Multi Channel SACD Files


I have some SACD ISO files which contain both Multi channel tracks as well as Stereo. Since the DirectStream is Stereo only DAC can I play those ISO’s directly in JRiver MC and it will automatically play the Stereo tracks. If the answer is yes then what do I need to configure in JRiver to play them? Please note that I would like to play them either using the USB or the Bridge II interfaces.


You can play the iso’s directly - that’s what I do. I add a column that displays the number of channels to the track display, sort by track number and delete the MC tracks. You can also configure a view to only show the two channel tracks in an iso. JRiver didn’t used to have any specific support to help with this stuff, but I haven’t really used JRiver MC 21 much yet so I don’t know for sure if it has added something to help. Don’t try to use the DSP settings to fold down the MC tracks to stereo.

Perhaps someone who uses JRiver and iso’s on a daily basis will have some specific instructions.

FWIW in foobar2000 you can select to show only stereo, only MC or both.

Thank you Ted for your answer. Is it possible to play the files directly without filtering the multi channel tracks? Because I have a controller that just play the whole file through JRiver. If JRiver plays the whole file can the DirectStream differentiate between the Multi Channel and Stereo streams and play the Stereo?


Playing the whole file is a strange thing - does the controller play .zip and .rar files as one unit too? In any case are you sure that you can’t just have the controller play the files that JRiver tells is exist from it’s library? JRiver, foobar2000, etc. treat an ISO like a collection of tracks, just as they do a big file with a cue sheet, a .zip file of music files or a .rar file, etc.

The DS (ignoring the bridge) has no ability to skip any of it’s input, the samples are sent without structure or feedback so the best the DS can do is to mute the samples that don’t make sense. With, say, I2S there’s not even any metadata so there’s no way to express the concept of multichannel vs. stereo, the DAC just sees a stream of samples to play.

I haven’t sent a multichannel file over S/PDIF, TOSLink or AES/EBU to see what happens, it probably sounds very weird.

The bridge is a little more complicated in that it understands how to unpack or decode a few files types (e.g. flac, mp3) but .iso isn’t among them. So once again you’ll have to present the data as a collection of tracks.

I’ve never worried about this except to not try playing a multi channel file with JRiver and all of the controller software I run (which I don’t do very often) just sees the individual tracks in the JRiver library, but I’m by no means an expert in various control point software, I much prefer browsing and playing my music directly with JRiver, foobar2000, etc.

Hello Ted,

I am new to the forum. Great learning aid.

I am a multichannel guy. I have been researching the PinkFaun I2S Multichannel Bridge card and it appears to be quality equipment. I currently employ an Oppo 105D for MCH playback. I am happy with it but I am looking to upgrade.

Will I be able to link/synch 3 PS DACs with the PinkFaun to create multichannel playback?

Thanks very much, jjk

In a brief internet search I couldn’t find any information on a “PinkFaun I2S Multichannel Bridge card”, but they list PS Audio as one of the compatible DACs for their stereo I2S bridge card so I’d expect that if they have a MC card it would work with PS Audio DAC’s as well. From PS Audio’s side, tho the DS wasn’t designed to sync multiple units together for multichannel one of the previous software updates helps them track well enough for MC. (I and a few other members of this forum have three DSs in a multichannel setup.)

Thanks T.

PinkFaun makes a MCH version of the Bridge PCIe card. I have been in contact with them.

Just to confirm, is it correct that you don’t see any issue with what I am proposing? Ideally I would like to configure a DS for the mains, a DSJr for C/Sub, and a NuWave for the surrounds. Will that work?

Thanks again, jjk

The NuWave will definitely have different delays than the DS and the DS Jr, they may even add up to perhaps a 10’ difference in speaker placement so I wouldn’t use a NuWave along with the DSs unless you have some kind of delay compensation in your system (which would probably convert DSD to PCM.)

The DS and the DS Jr share the same source and FPGA hardware. I see no reason that I’d ever significantly change the delays in one without changing both. You might need to use the same software release in both (i.e. use Yale in both or Torreys in both…) when I do make an overall change in processing - which I expect to do in the next release.

I employ JRiver and have reasonable proficiency using it. Also reasonable proficiency with REW.

So to me it sounds as if I should be able to set delays with JRiver, no problem after measuring. Or Dirac. Similar to system delay with subs?

Thanks T.