Cannot disable MQA for Tidal streaming with all proper settings

Hello, I’m having trouble streaming from tidal without mqa being unfolded on my dac. Due to issues with this device(topping e50), I need to absolutely avoid MQA as it causes clicking and stuttering when streaming.

On services settings, I have set the audio quality to hifi and to prefer anything over mqa.
On my device settings, I have disabled the core decoder slider and tried both disabling and enabling the mqa capabilities settings.

Every time a song with mqa comes on through streaming, the stream stutters with a noticable “digitization”. What am I doing wrong???

Welcome to the Roon community, @Smoothie.

The settings is Roon are correct, and the signal path shows that the Decoding and Rendering occurs inside the DAC.

Make sure you have the latest XMOS drivers installed.

Incidentally, did you rename the Topping to “This PC”?

What happens if you enable core decoder and set capabilities to none? When I did this with my D90SE (and one other DAC) it prevented the rendering stage from happening (so Roon did the first unfold and that was the end of it).

You can’t turn off MQA for Tidal if the stream is MQA it will send MQA. If you want to break it being MQA then add in volume levelling or some other DSP without Roon core decoder active it will strip MQA signalling and stop the DAC from activating its decoder.

Thanks for the confirmation. Could you shine a little bit of light on what xmos drivers to update? Do you mean if my topping drivers are up to date?

The “this pc” is what shows all of my audio devices on my pc itself with a separate section where I can presumably stream to (chromecast, soundbar,etc). My dac is labeled “topping e50” in roon as you’d expect.

This did, in fact, prevent my dac from decoding this. Thanks! Here is my new signal setup (below).

Though, it’s odd that the mqa file is still being selected instead of the flac version as both appear to be available. This same behavior is seen on the native Tidal app with hifi selected so maybe it’s just a mislabel on Tidals behalf? This odd behavior is repeatable on lots of songs.

Not unusual. This is well known by now. A lot of FLAC 16 bit 44.1 kHz on Tidal also is MQA encoded, whether or not labeled as such. And it is present on all Tidal lossless service tiers. Only MQA 24 bit actually requires Tidal’s highest service tier.


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Yet, the signal path was for My PC not the Topping. Usually the DAC bypasses the OS… unless Windows behaves differently to Linux and macOS.

I think you should look into why MQA doesn’t play correctly.

My iFi Zen DAC V2 also stuttered with MQA playback. I’ve fixed that by changing the iFi’s firmware.

I’m not familiar with Topping but if they also offer firmware updates like iFi does, then it is well worth checking out.

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