Volumio, Roon, i2S, and DSD128

Apologies in advance for the alphabet soup that is this post. :slight_smile:

Like many on this forum, I’ve had an interest in getting i2S sources for my DirectStream. My current incarnation uses a Pi4 and the Pi2AES hat to serve as Roon endpoint, with Volumio running on the Pi.

At this point, I’ve got i2S running successfully, but it seems to limit itself to DSD64 and 192k. If I use the USB output from the (same) pi, I get DSD128 without issue. But the bandwidth of the i2S connection appears to be limited, and I find no apparent way to un-limit it.

I thought this might be just a factor of which i2S DAC is specified in the Playback options for Volumio, but I’ve now discovered that i2S DAC setting can just be disabled (I use HDMI as the output device) and the data successfully passes over HDMI to the DS HDMI port anyway.

So does anyone know how to get DSD128 to work over i2S, in Roon, from a Pi4 to the DS using Volumio? I swear this must be an easy configuration, but it’s confounding me.

I did some research on this a long time ago: those limitations are built in (operating system? Drivers? Who knows) to the bridge between the pi main board and the I2S daughter board. If you look around, you’ll find few streamers with hdmi out, and vanishingly few that support more than DSD64.

The hope is that the forthcoming (sometime) Airlens streamer will support DSD256 over hdmi.

Does this endpoint do DSD 5.1 or just stereo (in DSD64 of course)?

I don’t know, since I don’t even have any 5.1 DSD source material, plus the DirectStream DAC only does 2-channel anyway.

Yeah, I figure it’s lost somewhere in a driver or setting but I’m not motivated enough to mine the (non-obvious) info to figure that out right now. :slight_smile: I don’t play enough DSD64 to care so much even if I really could hear the difference. It’s more about making sure I’ve tweaked everything right.

Pi2Design has its Mercury Streamer that does I2S over HDMI. It’s based on the CM4 pi. I ordered one and it should arrive soon, so I’ll futz with that too.