24/96 and higher MQA tracks do not decode correctly using internal MQA decoder

It would if you only have Roon set as Hifi and not HiFi + as that doesn’t allow any MQA above 44.1/16 so all the others would play as flac. What’s odd in your example is that there isn’t a version available to play as normal flac listed in Roon.

MQA files are only ever delivered at 44.1 or 48 there isn’t any other rates what your seeing is the ORFs which you get with the full decode and render. You can only get to 88.2/24 or 96/24 with software decoder.

Well I do have that digital preamp in my A/V room but this is in my home office where I have the last really good pure analog system Meridian made which is the 502 preamp and a pair of 557 power amps however I know this is a much deeper ideological discussion :stuck_out_tongue:

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I might have downgraded Tidal now that now that I realize the software decoder can’t deal with hi-res MQA but when you have the cheaper subscription you are limited to CD quality. The system in my A/V room does have an MQA decoder although I almost never listen to music in there. However, all my zones have very high quality balanced component systems so I can easily tell the difference between CD quality and hi-res at 24/96 and above (which includes vinyl). It’s not just the fidelity of the sound, it’s the staging and depth of field that allows you to identify hi-res in a blind test.

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Roon’s core decoding works just fine with MQA if you have it enabled, subscribe to a Tidal tier that includes MQA, and playback actual MQA content (see your first pic).

I’m not sure I understand this comment. In the screenshot I provided it says “FLAC 48kHz 24bit, MQA 192kHz”.

All indications are that Tidal is sample rate converting an MQA 48 kHz base rate file to 44.1 kHz, thereby obliterating MQA encoding.


That’s not an MQA file. It’s a 16/44.1 FLAC file.

Software MQA decoding (Tidal or Roon) decodes MQA 44.1 to 88.2 and 48 to 96. That’s it.

Software or hardware decoding of 24/48 MQA would be to 96. An MQA capable DAC would render that file from 96 to 192 unless you don’t have it set to do MQA rendering.

But in your signal path it’s not playing as that your getting only a standard flac encoded file at 44.1 which points to your settings for Tidal in Roon not being set at Master only Hifi. Hifi will not allow playback of MQA above 44.1/16.

Hi, this is something I’ve been wondering myself but I’m not sure if I know which setting you are referring to. I have the setting for “How would you like Roon to treat MQA encoded content?” as “Treat MQA as better than CD quality, but not as good as lossless hi-res content.” Is this what you are referring to?

No in services area where you link your Tidal account ensure the streaming quality is set to Master. For the endpoints in the audio settings for each zone ensure you set Roons MQA core decoder to on and MQA capabilities is set to Decoder Only.

Finally, that was it. I still had the default setting for Tidal under services so I changed that to Master. I hadn’t noticed since I mostly listen to my local library files and Qobuz but got Tidal as well since they have the most content. Glad to have figured this out - thank you!

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