dsd playback on pi b rev 2 5102A dac

Very new to this posting malarkey. Not even sure if this is the correct bit of the board…

Recently found a use for my old RPi B (rev 2) by adding a £14 DAC from ebay “HIFI DAC Audio Sound Card Module I2S interface for Raspberry pi B Version”


which is apparently based on a PCM5102A/I2S interface. Soldered on the p5 header. Eventually linked to my Synology music library via NFS [cat 6 cable, GBe router/switch], and found the correct DAC driver (“hifiberry”) for Voumio 1.55. I understand PCs and ‘hi-fi’ well enough, but this hardware, Linux and networking was all a big learning curve…

Anyway it plays most formats very nicely - including FLAC up to 192khz (which is the highest I have). Listening via RCA into an old ARCAM 1 amp and Wharfedale speakers.

Trouble is, when playing DSD SACD sips [my own SACDs, ripped via a PS3 to ISO, then split] the playback stutters. This is on DSD direct. The DoP did not seem to help. Is the problem with DAC do we think, or the limitation of the Rpi B. The files are DST64 per foobar (which also sys “5645 kbs”).
Is there Rpi/DAC combination which definitely plays DSD64 without stutter?

First of the DAC needs to support DSD. I don’t know if the 5102a does.

Desides that, I’ve heard more people having trouble with dsd than people who didn’t. But thats the whole problem with support, your not going to post that something works as a support request and all…

So it might be that dsd isnt fully supported, i just found on some site that some versions of mpd didn’t play dsd. If volumio uses one of these it wouldn’t work.

Thanks MobeyDuck. Truth is I don’t know for sure. The same chip seems to be in DSD capable hardware. It does play the DSD on the Rpi but it jitters. Could be the 5102A chip, the Rpi B processor\memory, or some other factor.

As you say, lots of stuff about DACs not playing DSD well, but have not seen a definitive “it works” for a Rpi/DAC combination.

I will keep looking…

I have been able of playing DSD relatively fine, meaning my RPi B+ with Volumio 1.55 has a MPD version capable of replaying up to DSD128 without any real issues (assumption here). But there are other issues (unless the future proofs that it was MPD afterall but for now seems unlikely) because to feed high rate signals to my DAC I had to use the USB port as my Hifiberry Digi+ uses S/PDIF and cannot transport such high signal rates. Unfortunately the RPi USB port causes issues in keeping a steady signal flow to the DAC causing audiable clicks in the sound. This seems to be an issue that has been reported very often. Good news could be the RPi 3 that has a seperate chip for Wifi that doesn’t use the USB bus (like the LAN does) and more processing power. Haven’t tried that yet :slight_smile:

More computing/processing power doesn’t matter for the USB bus on the pi, there’s a chip in-between the soc and the USB/lan ports that is the bottleneck.
On the pi 3 the Wifi and Bluetooth doesn’t run over that chip.

More processing power doesn’t make the USB chip any different, but the processor has to handle all USB packets using interrupt as far as I am aware. And more processing power means it can handle more interrupts and better. But I might be wrong…

Thanks both for your experience. But, my i2s DAC is onboard P10/P5 connector and my source is a NAS into the RJ45, so I assume the USB does not come into it (but like I say this is all new to me)!

Using the LAN port means on the Pi that you are using the USB bus as the Pi’s LAN adapter in effect a USB2LAN adapter is. So transporting data over LAN means that the processor gets the data through the USB bus.