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I recently bought a Bluesound Node 2 and subscribed to Tidal to dip my toes into the lossless streaming world. I'm using an outboard DAC (Marantz SA-8004) as the Bluesound dac is not up to my standards. Is there any way to find what recordings are available at Tidal that will stream a higher bitrate than redbook? My Marantz dac will handle up to 24/192.
I read in some old posts that you can't access the "Masters" files (not sure what that means) if using an iphone or ipad so I will have to load the software on one of my laptops I guess.
When you bring up Tidal within Roon, there are couple sections that will list Albums that are "Masters" as well as curated Playlists that are "Masters". In Tidal terminology "Masters" are MQA encoded streams.
Roon will report the signal path including information on the Tidal file being streamed. For example, most are "redbook" 44.1KHz 16bit 2ch but it will also report higher resolution streams such as 48KHz 24bit 2ch, MQA 192KHz.
You can also fairly easily find "Masters" or MQA content in Tidal via Roon. See some sample screen shots below. These are from my iPad as I use the Roon App to control my local library as well as Tidal streaming from my Mac Mini.
when using Roon?
The computer is still doing the partial MQA decoding, but in this setup it really doesn't matter 'cuz I wouldn't consider the iPad over wifi to be an 'audiophile approved' end-point anyway. ;-) And I haven't bought into the whole MQA buzz in the first place.
My post was to mainly show the OP how Roon can help us find MQA content and 'see' the signal path and the resolution of the stream.
SONOS plays TIDAL at 16/44.1 but will not decode MQA, at least as far as I know. Whether TIDAL's co-marketing partners like Bluesound and others plan to support MQA decoding in their players is a good question.
The TIDAL players for Windows and OS-X will decode MQA, sending a hi-rez stream to your DAC, but it takes some computer resources to do it as on my MacBook Air the fan will come on if I'm streaming TIDAL and it's an MQA track.
This leads me to think there is no way I'll be decoding MQA on my Raspberry Pi unless the decoding is done on the computer that runs LMS or ROON or whatever.
Hey, hey....with the Wyred 4 Sound upgrade the Connect will sample at 96kHz my man!
if SONOS doesn't have a license to do so?
Or even if they do, will the TIDAL player that's in the SONOS do it?
Also doubting that SONOS is able to decode the Hi Rez QOBUZ stuff one can stream with QOBUZ Sublime+, but that's just a guess.
No MQA but will do 96 kHz. Upgrade is down to $469.
I'm guessing that it's up-sampling to 96kHz with a new S/PDIF board. Not a bad thing but he isn't messing with SONOS software just the S/PDIF output and not even touching the TOSLING output.
But yes, the stock SONOS Connect is a bad sounding box, not even close to my Raspberry Pi/HiFiBerry Digi+ Pro combo and it fact is not even listenable after hearing a laptop computer with USB input to the same DAC.
Right now, on Redbook CD quality streaming the Raspberry Pi with a not-too-great PS is close in not equal to my Macbook Air/Regen USB to the same DAC.
With a better PS like the $400 LPS-1, I'm guessing the Pi would beat the computer as a source.
Surely you jest! It's time for the...
You get to spend more money that way!
I did get to hear my Raspberry Pi powered by an LPS-1 set to 5V the other day. It's a step up from both the Jameco and the iPower wart.
Guessing that the Raspberry Pi/HiFiBerry Digi+ Pro with the LPS-1 might beat that uRendu powered with a cheapo switching supply, but don't know for sure.
Next step, uRendu.
Step after that, LPS-1.
" Whether TIDAL's co-marketing partners like Bluesound and others plan to support MQA decoding in their players is a good question. "
They already do:
( or is it just the Tidal player integrated with the Bluesound control app?)
Wondering where the MQA decoding is being done. Betting it's not on the guy in the ad's phone!
Also wondering why so much resource is being used on my MacBook Air when streaming MQA Masters and having the TIDAL app do the decoding rather than the Meridian Explorer MQA enabled DAC.
So is the DAC inside the Bluesound enabled device an MQA enable device automatically. If you use a non-MQA enabled DAC with a Bluesound player is it still MQA enabled as some unfolding is done in the player as is done on the TIDAL player in my MacBook Air?
SO many questions with MQA.
I just checked on my iMac, and Tidal is barely a blip. I tried pass-through MQA and with MQA decode on the computer. Neither send it over 10% utilization. Now, this is no Macbook Air. It is the highest priced stock iMac (or at least until the recent releases a few weeks ago). 27", 3.3ghz i5... It is the best computer I've ever used anywhere. Maybe an i7 would be a slight bump but the reports said it wasn't worth the extra money, and I wanted it same day anyway.
I also have an Air, but I don't have Tidal on that as it is a work computer and installing SW is a no-no. They would do it for me if I asked, but it isn't that important.
uses significantly more CPU time than playing 16/44.1 tracks. Obviously my MacBook Air with the slowest CPU available at the time (mid 2011) is going to have a larger percentage of CPU time used to decode MQA in TIDAL than my recently purchased maxed out i7 iMac.
But still, it's using at least 3 time the resources to stream MQA and decode it in the player that it is to just stream 16/44.1, or so it would seem. Enough to make the fan come on. But that happens when I streaming a YouTube video and have a dozen Firefox tabs open anyway.
All files on tidal except MQA are redbook.
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