Best audio quality using TIDAL app or ROON?

  1. In that case I don’t see how this discussion applies to Meridian. I am pretty sure that Meridian will fully unpack and decode MQA only to their own secure protocols and certified devices, or to analog, they would not decode MQA to a SPDIF output. So what are we talking about, since the OP was about Meridian?

  2. Are you sure? You have some credibility in this field, but that statement doesn’t make any sense to me. What I read from you was, if the original recording is 44k, and it is MQA processed and encoded, the result is an MQA encoded 24/44k file, and MQA unpacking would produce a 88k file. Is that what you say? How can such a result fit the term packing + unpacking? How can it fit the description of MQA origami?

You reference Computer Audiophile, but I don’t see that result from this description:

Another example can be seen when streaming Beyonce’s album Lemonade. The MQA distribution file is packed to 24/44.1 and the decoded file is also 24/44.1. The album must have been recorded at 24/44.1 and the studio is being honest with us, rather than upsampling it to 88.2 or higher.

When a master is 44.1 or 48 kHz, the core decoder Authenticates, decodes full dynamic range and matches to the current PC playback settings. (Depending on the soundcard and audio configuration, the Tidal App may decode this example to 44.1k or a provide a compatible 88.2k output for smoother playlisting).

I acknowledge that what I said cannot be found from public MQA marketing materials, and cannot be proven with equipment that does not output MQA Core to SPDIF.

Some day we’d be able to see how Roon does it.

Easily proven via USB from Audirvana to my DirectStream DAC and Hugo2 DAC - both of these DACs tell you the sample rate of the incoming USB signal.

Ok, but that doesn’t answer my two questions:

(Assuming you make sure the test is done with a 44k source file, not an 88k source file in a 44k MQA container.)

  1. Is this really part of the MQA spec? In other words, do all MQA processors do this, or is it just a few, like Audirvana, who add it of their own volition?
  2. To create an 88k result from a 44k original, in what sense is this MQA origami unpacking, as opposed to just upsampling? If you have an 88k original, we know the MQA process illustrated in those diagrams and papers: the 22 - 44 kHz frequency band is reduced and folded into the lower significance bits. Upsampling is a commonplace non-MQA concept, where you take 44k samples and generate 88k output with an interpolation method of some sort. So what is the MQA process of getting 88k from 44k? If it is not upsampling (because the MQA people have been very clear that MQA is not upsampling) and not unfolding (because there is nothing folded to unfold)?

If you present Audirvana with a 24/44k MQA file that was folded from a 24/88k original, Audirvana will unpack it and recreate the 88k original, right? If you present Audirvana with a 24/44k MQA file that was created from a 24/45k or 16/44k original, you say it still creates a 24/88k result?

Hi Anders

Sincere apologies but I feel like the same question is being asked multiple times. Please see my very first responses for obvservations, with both Audirvana and Tidal desktop app.

I believe the same happens with the Bluesiund Node 2 via digital out when using Bluesounds app and Tidal MQA - when the Node 2 is decoding. Obviously not talking about the RCA outputs here.

As for why this happens I have no idea but as Peter says it looks like a function of MQA Core decoding to digital outputs.

Yeah, that’s fair.
It’s just that my head is exploding over this behavior.

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HA I completely understand the head exploding.

When I first reported what I was seeing on my DirectStream and Hugo2 (the incoming sample rates) Peter gave me the same explanation he gave you and that was enough for me to just accept it - he’s a clever chap.

It must be up-sampling. To be honest if there’s no additional music content, I’d prefer these apps DIDN’T do this, but you can’t disable it sadly.