Digital Drive

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

Return to Digital Drive

Message Sort: Post Order or Asylum Reverse Threaded

Tidal and Mqa

Posted on January 8, 2017 at 21:40:51

Posts: 299
Joined: March 11, 2003
Totally confused-trying to figure out if I need an mqa capable dac to hear mqa correctly. I have a high end 2 ch system and a dac that goes up to 192kz. I have a Mac mini going into the dac via USB. In the settings on tidal I have enabled mqa master. On my dac it reads whatever is set on audio midi settings but I hear the sample rate changing depending on which mqa album is played. Thus if audio midi is set to 96 it reads 96 and so on. In tidal settings I selected my dac as the output and audio set to mqa master. I think I am getting something bc Fleetwood Mac rumors never sounded so good! Some folks they see a pass through setting. I do not see that-I can select from normal,hi if and master. I have selected master and my dac as the output-thus am I hearing mqa in full glory? Something is different in a good way!!


Hide full thread outline!
RE: Tidal and Mqa, posted on January 8, 2017 at 22:01:00

Posts: 475
Location: Mid-Atlantic/Northeast
Joined: May 18, 2010
I'm fairly certain that an MQA enabled DAC is required to decode MQA encoded music.
Ken Newton


RE: Tidal and Mqa, posted on January 8, 2017 at 22:21:03

Posts: 299
Joined: March 11, 2003
That's not what I heard on computer audio site-could be wrong but hopefully not-something is different when playing in the master quality setting a master album-well informed opinions needed here


RE: Tidal and Mqa, posted on January 9, 2017 at 02:43:58
Rodney Gold

Posts: 1608
Location: Cape Town South Africa
Joined: September 24, 1999
the desktop ap is set by default to partially decode the MQA stream
The mqa stream is 24/48 and the software decodes it to 24/96 and adds the secret sauce.
you can tell if you are getting decoded if you use the settings/streaming in the ap , hover your mouse at the output device and a cog appears , click it , you will see there is a radio box to enable mqa passthru (not decoded) or not , you can listen in real time to the on/off of software decoding ... difference is profound (exclusive mode must be on , force volume should also be on)

For the full monty , you need a MQA dac .. then the MQA stream is both decoded and the dacs characteristics are ALSO taken into account. you dont need a software decoder when this happens , its all done by the dac
In thayt case , the ap should be set to passthrough MQA

Up to you whether you can fit a MQA dac in or not and whether to get one

I can't but I can use the software decoder and am seriously impressed by just that...if I could use an MQA dac..I would buy one , the increase in SQ is worth it

Rodney Gold Cape Town

Roon/tidal>SBT>DIRAC{minidSP DDRC22) Twin Devialet D'Premiers- Vivid Audio Giya G1's , dedicated and fully treated room


Yep, yep and yep..., posted on January 9, 2017 at 06:40:12

Posts: 35567
Location: Cadiere d'azur FRANCE - San Francisco
Joined: February 26, 2001
More likely 24/48 decoded to something like 20/96 but that's a minor issue as those extra bits past 20 are pretty useless.


Well, not according to the guy at Mytek-, posted on January 9, 2017 at 09:59:34

Posts: 6654
Joined: April 12, 2002
Scroll down to the White Papers.


RE: Tidal and Mqa, posted on January 9, 2017 at 14:13:11

Posts: 4857
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Joined: January 24, 2003
January 14, 2010
The MQA file is 24/96 or 24/88 not 24/48.
When you play a master mqa file to a non mqa dac you are hearing this 24/96 file which should sound better than a 16/44 file. To get information above 96khz such if the original recording is 192khz you need an outboard dac with mqa decoding. Soin reality Tidal is not decoding MQA
I'm sure as we go further Absolute sound and stereophile will give us more information. Basically master recordings on Tidal should sound better than standard non-mqa files and outboard dacs with MQA decoding will sound even better


Page processed in 0.025 seconds.