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RE: About those Dragonfly DACs...

Here, according to Robert "Fan Boy" Harley, it is clear as day:

MQA's Unexpected Twist
by Robert Harley | Jan 12th, 2017

The announcement on January 5 that Tidal would begin streaming MQA files (and suggestions that many other streaming services would soon follow suit) was accompanied by an unexpected twist—that MQA decoding can be performed in music-player software rather than exclusively in an MQA-compliant DAC.

That is, you can listen to decoded MQA with your existing DAC.

MQA had previously asserted that MQA decoding would take place only in MQA-equipped DACs. Although technically possible to perform MQA decoding in music-player software such as Tidal, Roon, Audirvana, etc., MQA prohibited that scenario in part because software decoding doesn't deliver the full sound quality that MQA is capable of. MQA is an end-to-end system that ties together the analog-to-digital converter in the studio with the digital-to-analog converter in the listener's playback system. Software decoding, in which the "unwrapped" MQA file is output as a 96kHz/24-bit stream, doesn't allow this end-to-end connection because the software player doesn't know what DAC it is driving. The full implementation of MQA (decoding in a DAC rather than in software) offers better performance because it can correct for known limitations and flaws in the particular DAC chip, among other benefits.


Convenient how they changed the story? Why? DAC manufacturers were telling them to go take a hike.

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