Auralic's MQA solution

Why do you believe that Auralic’s “decoding” to be SOFTWARE based, as opposed to hardware??

Also, why do you believe ANY Decoding or Unfolding to be occuring in Auralic’s proposed solution…even they themselves refer to it as being based on their proprietary upsampling and filters…they specifically do not mention any decoding or unfolding of MQA embedded content, which would require an MQA licence…which they boast they do not have

Until Auralic clarify EXACTLY what they mean, I think users here should treat their “MQA Decoding” claims with skepticism

Whatever Auralic is doing is being implemented through a firmware upgrade to the Auralic streaming devices, including the Aries. I can set up a separate thread for folks to argue whether firmware is software or hardware if desired …


I think given the architecture of almost all DAC’s [and hardware] these days, most people know that “Hardware Processing” means customised Firmware / Software specific to that DAC running on the DAC itself

And certainly, when DAC Manufacturers decide to implement MQA Hardware Decoding / Rendering, it will be in the form of a Firmware update to their DAC…very much akin to what Auralic have now done with their range

It’s interesting they have decided to do anything different at all. Clearly MQA has shown that something needs to be done and they have learned from its results whilst deciding to go their own way.

They made that decision a long time ago when they opted to be an early adopter. And the decision to go their own way is a not an act of appreciation or benevolence towards MQA. It is precisely the opposite. Why should anyone go with MQA officially if they can just invoke their own code.

If their treatment of MQA is the first unfold as seen in the Tidal app then they have emulated the software element of the decode. If it is more deeply embedded then a third party app like Roon should be able to exploit it’s ability to detect and up-sample an MQA encoded stream.

no: the reason behind it is that Auralic was scre##d by the MQA consortium
after their first contacts with the consortium, Auralic promised its customers that MQA was coming to the Aries family, but afterwards (months later) the consortium changed its mind so that only DACs would be certified and Auralic… :angry:

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Where did you find this out?

I’d have thought with MQA having always been an end to end solution that a DAC was always required…

I’m not sure where it went wrong between the two companies but if you have more info please share.


I think Darko, in between the lines, says something about it

though if you look back at when the Aries was introduced you’ll find Mr. Wang saying they already were in touch with the consortium and promised MQA decoding was coming

and think about it: Auralic also makes DACs that use ESS chips but… they are not going to have them certified :wink:

EDIT: found something more about Auralic/MQA here: Withdrawal of MQA support

No, it hasn’t.

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It has or they wouldn’t be doing it to try and ride a wave in this way.

Meh. It’s a bandwagon that looks more like a clown car.


Agree that it has been a complete disaster, and there were clearly misunderstandings or mistakes made. I’m just not sure there was a change of mind about allowing an unprotected decoded digital stream. I have a feeling that MQA would have considered the implications of this, after all Meridian had already developed MHR for similar use case. I may be wrong… I really hope this had been covered and it wasn’t the wait and see approach described in the topic you linked to. Two sides to…

meanwhile I am enjoying some lovely MQA recordings

Terrific, really pleased for you. :sleeping:

Now now!
+10 char

This is me :sunglasses::headphones:

IMHO, I think it’s quite instructive that Auralic were alone among the MQA Partners in putting forward their solution, which included an unprotected digital stream.

Because the Labels have long been on the record [pun intended] as saying that they wanted to protect their “Crown Jewels”…and not allowing the piracy of very high res versions of their content

Auralic were the only one who were putting forward this “unprotected digital stream” solution…while other partners like Mytek, Bluesound and others were not.

So were Auralic “screwed” as is stated above…or did they jump the gun by introducing a “solution” which the Labels had already said would never be allowed??

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This seems reasonable, and as you suggest the lack of other manufacturers going this way supports the idea.

We’ll never know the ins and outs, but I bet the legalities and contractual challenges in getting to this stage have been difficult to say the least. Keeping all parties happy was, IMO, always going to be an uphill battle, end consumer included!

Ronnie, I strongly disagree about ‘unprotected digital stream’ Bluesound does indeed allows limited digital output to a external DAC via its SPDIF. Please read what Auralic has to say about this:

MQA has some issues that are difficult to integrate into existing manufacturers ecosystem without a major overhaul on their software development; such as DSP, up-sampling and room correction just to name a few. As a result Auralic choose to develop their own decoding algorithm that can be used in their existing ecosystem.

You can disagree all you want…but the plain fact of the matter is that Auralic were proposing to send an unprotect digital stream [up to 8x rate of 352 / 384k] between their components…something that the Labels had been very clear about not allowing, as it could compromise their “Crown Jewels” of content

The Bluesound Node 2 only allows the 1st stage Decoded stream up to 2x rate (96k) [i.e. the same as the Tidal app] out to downstream components

There is a BIG difference between those two streams…especially in the eyes of the labels…which is why Tidal and Bluesound are doing what they are doing with the blessing of the Labels…while Auralic was prevented from even demonstrating their proposed solution

By contrast, Meridian also passes a Digital Stream between its components…but it’s an MHR Encrypted stream…the same standard used and approved by the DVD-A consortium for the transfer of high res data

Auralic weren’t singled out for unfair treatment here…they simply went too far…and didn’t understand how the Labels were going to react to protect their Crown Jewels

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