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Upsamplers, DACs, jitter, shakes and analogue withdrawals, this is it.

RE: MQA streaming?

Yes computer audio does tend to be somewhat complex if you want it to work properly and to exploit its capabilities. However I doubt that Joe Public knows or cares about MQA.

I have been thinking about a solution for you. You appear to have the room downstairs for a network streamer. Why not use that space for a small pc laptop, say 13 or even 10 inch? They are very small and thin these days and basic spec ones (all you need) are relativley cheap. You can load Tidal desktop on this and connect it directly to your amp's DAC via a USB/SPdif converter. Not only would you then have Tidal Masters but it could also be the hub of a music storage system with a media player such as Jriver MC installed with a small external drive if you want to go this way. There is one matter to settle though and that is the data processing capabilities of your amp's DAC. Aside from the fact that it is based around a 24 bit Wolfson chip I can find out no more. The digital connectivity specs of the amp could mean that it is limited. I would suggest that you try to find out if it will support 24/192 minimum as if not you will need to consider an outboard DAC if you want to follow a true hi-rez route.

However please remember that MQA is very much a novelty and may well not survive the market. It was announced 3 years ago and has since lost its major harware partner ( Pioneer) and the support of its major download partner (Highresaudio). It is currently effectively limited to Tidal and to recordings from Warner (though there is a deal with UMG as yet to produce anything). Other support is limited to a handful of obscure music producers and a limited supply of hardware from mainly boutique manufacturers.

As far as Tidal is concerned your desire to get the Master tracks relates currently to only 700 albums available of which many will probably hold no interest for you. At present about 60 are added each month.

I have written on these boards recently (hi-rez forum I think) that the roll out of MQA does not show the impetus I expect from a succesful medium and that it may just fade away (like 3D TV). I will be at the huge audio trade fair/show in Munich next week and will look out for any news relating to MQA.

Let me know how you go forward.

Edits: 05/11/17

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