[SOLVED] Zidoo still don't have an XMOS licensed driver

Discussion in 'Eversolo DMP-A6' started by atomic garden, Jul 3, 2023.

  1. atomic garden

    atomic garden Member

    It's a little embarrassing to write this but...

    It seems that Zidoo never payed for a full license for the Windows XMOS driver. This driver is used to get all the features with Windows USB audio, like Native DSD, multiple clocks, multichannel, ajustable latency.

    We noticed this on the Z8 DAC forum, with some users noticing that the supplied driver doesn't support native DSD. Zidoo offers a driver from 2017 with limited funcionalities on USB audio: Only DoP (no native DSD), single clock, fixed latency, no multichannel (only stereo).

    All details here: http://forum.zidoo.tv/index.php?threads/eversolo-z6-z8-native-dsd-support.95814/#post-193257

    While other companies like SMSL, Topping, Sabaj, Aune, Loxjie (and many others) is constantly paying fees to get the new drivers for its customers, Zidoo refuses to provide full funcionality for its products to save some money.

    Please notice that if you use DMP-A6 with the native streamer apps as source, you will get native DSD support. But if you use a PC with Windows connected by USB, you will not get native DSD, or ajustable latency, or multiple clock domains. The USB driver is the same for Z6, Z8 and A6.

    A fellow forum member had to hack an old driver from another manufacturer to get Native DSD support. How unreal is this?
    Glerup71 and Topdude like this.
  2. Nice Monkey

    Nice Monkey Well-Known Member Beta test group

    I did not read anywhere that drivers for Windows or any other OS platform connected via USB where advertised or included.
    Most people will be using the streamer as such and not as a mere DAC I guess.

    Can't you buy the required drivers on Windows from Microsoft or a third party? XMOS would be another possible source. You looked on their site for Windows matching drivers?

    Only Stereo? The USB Input connects via XMOS to the 2CH/Stereo DAC. How ever on earth do you expect to get MCH that way???
    Repeat once more DoP is not a restriction in sound just another transport type. Native DSD sounds maybe better that DSD over PCM but is just a trick for communication. Why do you care?
    Single clock what are you referring to?

    The XMOS processor handles primarily the interfaces, including USB connections, SPDIF/AES-EBU connection and I2S input from the Wi-Fi/Network. All inputs are decoded, pass through a memory buffer, then DSD/DOP decoding is applied and MQA decoding.
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2023
    Nutul likes this.
  3. atomic garden

    atomic garden Member

    I understand that most people will use the native apps as source, but in case someone wants to use a windows PC as a source, there will be limitations.

    Z6, Z8 and A6 uses the same driver: https://eversolo.com/Support/release_apk.html

    Unortunately I cannot buy the driver by myself. The company that makes drivers for XMOS interfaces is Thesycon. They state that only manufacturers can buy the license from them.

    Yeah, multichannel was just one example of the limitations by using the provided free driver. All the limitations are on the attached image.

    What I really want with the driver (and is locked on the free driver provided) is to set the lowest latency possible, for advanced software players, as HQPlayer or JPlay or JRiver. It makes a huge impact on sound quality.

    That and Native DSD. DoP DSD has absolutely the same sound as Native DSD, I'm aware of that. However, with DoP we are limited to DSD256 instead of DSD512, because DSD256 uses all the PCM available banwidth of 768 kHz. DSD512 with DoP would require a PCM 1536 kHz capability.

    One can ask "there is no DSD512 commercially available tracks, why do you need it?" Because of advanced software upsampling, like we have with HQPlayer. Upsampling PCM to highest available DSD rate will get you much better sound quality in most cases. Just like using the lowest possible latency.

    I understand that the vast majority of the people don't have this use case. But as I said, every XMOS Dac manufacturer that I know provides a licensed and fresh driver. I'm shocked that Zidoo refuses to offer it to its customers, so they can get the best out of the available hardware.

    Attached Files:

  4. ammar11

    ammar11 Well-Known Member

    Personally I would be happy to take the PC out of the equation when I have a dedicated streamer like the A6. I'll just have my files in the internal SSD and play everything from there.
    Bonzo and Nutul like this.
  5. Nutul

    Nutul Well-Known Member


    can you explain what do you mean with "lowest latency"? There is no latency on a player.
    Latency come into play IF you:
    1. sample a sound
    2. apply some DSP to it
    3. play it back

    as all the processing takes some time (this time is the latency), and in this case, for example, if you are watching a movie, and its sound goes through the process above (or just through steps 2 and 3), you would experience the image being ahead of the sound (of about such latency).

    Words out there in the wild (mainly from musicians playing on online multi-player sessions) suggest that a latency higher than 20 / 25ms is already beginning to disturb playing in sinch "only" listening to each other; but I cannot say if the same latency would be unacceptable, or even worse, when watching a movie.

    A couple of years ago, during the pandemic, I co-wrote a software to allow online, real-time, world-wide multi-player music sessions. We achieved 12ms round-trip latency from LA to NY.
    This was on optimal conditions, hi-bandwidth internet, etc. etc. As an example, between LA and Sofia (Europe) we could get, sometimes, as low as 35 / 40ms, but on average we were at 60 (which is not good at all for playing without metronome - and yes, we had time-server based, sychronised, latency-compensated metronome)
    All this just to say that I do know what latency is, and what it is not.
    atomic garden and ammar11 like this.
  6. Boxa

    Boxa New Member

    Absolutely!!!, I bought the unit specifially to remove the PC/laptop from equation. Best outcome ever, plus I no longer need Roon.
    Bonzo and ammar11 like this.
  7. atomic garden

    atomic garden Member

    12ms round-trip latency from LA to NY is pretty nuts, well done!

    The latency is not on the player, is on the driver according to the configured buffer size. The player can use ASIO or WASAPI or Kernel Streaming to send data to the DAC. The latency (by selecting the buffer size) can be configured on the driver control pannel or on the player software. High latencies gives a more relaxed sound, while low latencies gets a more detailed sound. Kernel Streaming offers the lowest possible latency, but few players support it. JPlay is one example.

    I've had many discussions when someone says "software player doesn't change the sound if it's all bit-perfect" or "driver latency doesn't change the sound at all". I won't get into details, but if someone is interested, get to know and test (free trial) JPLAY. It works best with a Windows driver + Kernel Streaming + lowest driver latency + lowest configured latency on the software ("DAC link" closest to 1000 Hz as possible).

    A little FAQ as a starting point regarding players and latencies: http://jplay.eu/faq/

    Even if we take out JPLAY and only talk about the driver latency, you can see that setting the driver buffer size affects the output latency. I'm attaching screenshots of different driver Latency settings from the XMOS control pannel with another XMOS DAC I have (Loxjie D40 with updated driver)

    Attached Files:

  8. Nutul

    Nutul Well-Known Member

    Those are input sample rates. Of course in this realm buffer sizes and sample rates DO AFFECT latency.
    Yout DAC just plays the music you throw at it. AND in case it suffers, as you appear to imply, of some form of latency, IT WILL BE one-shot only: when you start the playback; from then on, everything will follow the music's pace, otherwise you'd hear unpleasant artifacts in the music, similar to wow/flutter for cassettes / tapes - which I strongly believe is not the case, even in Windows.
  9. Nice Monkey

    Nice Monkey Well-Known Member Beta test group

    For watching movies sync/latency is important. But with movies MCH in DD/DTS is a must and that goes via HDMI.
    With later versions HDMI latency is compensated automatically for and most players (also Zidoo) allow to sync it manually if ever needed.
    Never seen any issue there. Sound via XMOS is extremely stable without any jitter so latency will only delay all sound with a fraction which hasn't any impact on sound quality what so ever.

    Perception is individual but in my experience never saw a positive effect of oversampling PCM nor DSD. The Eversolo/Zidoo integrated DAC's won't improve the sound doing so maybe others do? I am very surprised you hear it does (tried it doing blind tests?).
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2023
  10. atomic garden

    atomic garden Member

    It's not a one-shot only, buffer size changes drastically the sound during all the playback. Playing digital sound thru a multi-threaded system (hardware and software) is very complex, as it has so many variables and everything can affect the sound (power supply noise, CPU load during playback, memory speed, leakage current, CPU scheduling algorithms, CPU affinity, process/thread priority, core isolation, ethernet noise, latencies from different sources). Communication to the DAC with USB and driver is only one of the factors.

    I'm not trying to prove my point, I am pretty sure of the changes in sound. I've been reading, listening and endless testing (including leveled blind tests) for 9 years, so I'm prettu sure of what I'm saying. Disbelieving other's knowledge is not cool when you are not experienced in the matter. So please don't oversimplify what is imensely complex. Thousands of pleople have been speding years studying, developing, testing and comparing.

    Regarding oversampling: Most people don't know, but the majority of the modern DACs (all ESS DACs for example, including Z6, Z8 and A6) internally oversamples PCM to the it's max rate, and then applies delta-sigma modulation (like DSD format) right before the analog stage of the conversion. So you already have oversampling going on in your DAC, wheter you like it or not. If you feed your DAC with PCM lower than 352 kHz, you have internal oversampling. And you always have PCM to delta-sigma conversion too. With the limited computing power of a DAC hardware, you can imagine that it simply cannot use more advanced algorithms. So it uses lightweight ones. Now compare the computing power of the DAC vs a modern PC CPU + GPU. Bingo, you have a much better sound by using better upsampling and modulation then your DAC can do.

    Not trying to evalgelize here, but a discussion is always better with knowledge based arguments.

    I just need a proper driver to get the most out of this excelent hardware.
  11. Nutul

    Nutul Well-Known Member

    I perfectly agree on oversampling; this said you could try, then, to oversample some tracks to 352 and feed the DAC with those, and as it wouldn't waste time and resources further oversampling them, everything should be faster. And maybe also that "latency" that you ostinately continue to say it's there (sorry, no matter what I try, I cannot have my brain accept this...), should disappear...
  12. atomic garden

    atomic garden Member

    Besides oversampling, if you do the delta-sigma modulation with an external software insted of the DAC internal one, you get an even better sound.

    The latency I'm refering is not the real delay between clicking play on the software and getting sound output. Is the specific buffer size of the driver used to connect the output of the player software to the XMOS input on the DAC. This buffer size changes immensely the sound that you hear. You can test and read about it, if you like. Or you can even keep saying my knowledge and experience is not valid just based on your assumptions. I don't care and I won't try to convince people that are not willing to spend time to learn and discover what I did. I'm OK with that, but there is no point spending time writing this if other "just can't accept".

    I was skeptical about all the things I know nowadays. Until I started learning, testing, listening and jaw dropping. And then my brain started accepting things it didn't accept before.


    But I still want a licensed driver for Z8 :(
  13. Nutul

    Nutul Well-Known Member

    Apart from "clicks" and "pops" I don't think an incorrect, or too-small, or even too-big buffer size can produce anything else.
    Anyway, if you experience such things, most probably would need an upgraded / newer / official driver.
    But how about trying to let the A6 play from its internal drive / memory, instead of bringing Windows in...? It's cool to play everything on your PC, but I would never use a standard PC to play music and listen to it critically as I think you (and I, for one) do. Desktops or laptops are just too noisy electrically speaking. After all, if the driver is available for Windows only, there must be some reason.

    And I am not saying, in any way, that your expertise or knowledge is not valid, I just, based on mine, cannot understand it because there are scenarios in which such a driver is not needed (Mac and Linux / Android - which is Linux), and I still understand the latency mentioned in the driver's updates is just an incoming latency dictated by buffer size and sampling rate of the ADC.

    "Is the specific buffer size of the driver used to connect the output of the player software to the XMOS input on the DAC."
    The above finds no place in a driverless situation; and I seem to remember that the USB Audio Protocol 2.0 has the renderer (the DAC) ask the source for data to play, instead of the source (the PC in your case) feeding it at a certain pace, requiring the DAC itself to either be able to keep up, or to discard / overwrite some sample buffers. Of course poor implementation of such protocol can rely on driver support to be "corrected", or even present at all (just speculating here, of course).

    Nevertheless, maybe it's not clear, but I DO AGREE that a newer driver SHOULD be available, as scenarios requiring it to fully exploit the device by some OSs do exist.
    Hope Eversolo takes some action in this regard.

    Enjoy the music. ;-)
    atomic garden likes this.
  14. atomic garden

    atomic garden Member

    Thanks for understanding :)

    Currently my need for the driver is only for Z8 DAC. I posted on the DMP-A6 thread to get attention from the A6 owners (that nowadays are much more numbered than Z8 owners) because Z6, Z8 and A6 uses the same driver.

    When A6 was released I just had bought the Wiim Pro, so when I am not critically listening, I use it as source. The convenience can't be matched. I hope to upgrade the Wiim Pro with a DMP-A6 if money will allow me in the future.

    But for now, my Z8 needs a proper driver, as many other owners on the Z8 forums.

    I still have hope that Zidoo will change this awkward situation:

    - Best hardware (on pair with others)
    - Best design (top 1)
    - Best user interface (top 1)
    - Best sound (on pair with others)
    - No functional windows driver

    Nutul likes this.
  15. Glerup71

    Glerup71 Active Member

    And why is Zidoo just dead quietly...!!!
    atomic garden and Spizz like this.
  16. atomic garden

    atomic garden Member

    Yes. If they are aware of the problem and they are not doing anything, that's really sad. However I still hope thy are working on this.
  17. atomic garden

    atomic garden Member

    Hello Zidoo, any news? @mirror @Markswift2003
  18. Markswift2003

    Markswift2003 Well-Known Member SUPER Administrator Beta test group Contributor

  19. atomic garden

    atomic garden Member

    A licensed updated driver for DMP-A6, Z6 and Z8
  20. Markswift2003

    Markswift2003 Well-Known Member SUPER Administrator Beta test group Contributor

    Not something I'm involved in but will ask.
    atomic garden likes this.

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