dCS Vivaldi MQA Release Announcement

dCS is pleased to announce updated firmware for the Vivaldi DAC and Upsampler. This release brings to a close our ongoing project to include MQA support in all of our current products. Properly implementing MQA in the Vivaldi separates was an extremely complex undertaking and presented a number of challenges. Although this release is delayed from our original announcement, we feel that the end result is well worth the wait.

dCS Distributors received the Vivaldi DAC update today (16th October) and will be working with their dealers to provide the software to customers. The Vivaldi Upsampler update will be posted to the server on Thursday, October 18 at 8:00AM GMT.

Update notes (IMPORTANT!!)

This update changes the way in which the dCS Vivaldi DAC communicates status information back to the Upsampler. This change will greatly improve the behavior of the system when the DAC and Upsampler are coordinating activities. As the new communication mechanism is incompatible with the prior mechanism the coordination process will fail if the Upsampler and DAC are not updated together. This will result in unstable behavior during sample rate changes, improper function of the volume control in the dCS app and Roon, as well as apparent failure of DAC settings changes made in the dCS app.

It is critical that you WAIT to update the Vivaldi Upsampler until you are able to update the Vivaldi DAC at the same time.

Please contact your dCS dealer or distributor to get a copy of the Vivaldi DAC update before you update the Vivaldi Upsampler over the internet.

Release Notes

We have issued release notes pertaining to this update in two separate documents. Please read these documents before starting the update process as they both contain useful information.

Release notes for the Vivaldi DAC and Upsampler can be downloaded here: dCS Vivaldi MQA Release Notes

Release notes for the associated network firmware update can be downloaded here: dCS Network Firmware [398] Release Notes

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I have contacted my dealer and I will wait 'till they have performed the update to their system before I go ahead with mine. I have been waiting for this since I upgraded from Rossini to Vivaldi.

Same here exactly.

Andrew, will the update to the upsampler cause issues if used with a dac other than the Vivaldi? I use the Scarlatti dac, and have just returned my Vivaldi upsampler to the factory for upgrade on the network card (I have left it as version 1 for all this time) but on the back of a recent demo with a V2 model the benefits were all too apparent. I guess the factory will automatically update its software?

None at all, and some of our final testing was in a configuration exactly like yours (Upsampler > Scarlatti).

They should as this is the version now in production, but depending on timing there’s a chance that it was in the queue before the production changeover. If it arrives with the old versions (2.02 / 350) then it’s easy to get the latest by running the update process through the app.

Hi Andrew , the Upsampler release went through just fine but I can’t update the DAC . The problem seems to be getting a 16 bit output from my MAC Pro . No matter what I do , it outputs 24 bit . I’ve tried with JRiver 23 and Audirvana Plus . Both programs show a 16 bit input but 24 bit out . The DAC cycles between 0/44.1, 23/44.1 and 24/44.1 . If I’m doing something wrong , I’m at a loss as to what it is .

  • USB connection from Mac to DAC.
    -USB set to Master Sync mode.
    -JRiver shows " No Change" to input but the output is 24 bit.

Seems simple but I must be missing something obvious . Any suggestions will be most gratefully received ( I’m imposing on you because I’ve probably made John Quick’s ears hurt with my whining ). Thanks .

Hi John,

I usually have no problem doing this with Audirvana+.

Here are my settings:

  • Audio Settings (Exclusive mode, and integer mode both checked)
  • Audio filters ( be sure forced upsampling is set to none)
  • Audio volume(Volume control=DAC only, replay gain=no normalization)
  • Audio units disabled

Here’s what I do:

  1. Turn off word clock, connect mac to DAC. Make sure clock setting is M
  2. Make sure that a normal music file plays correctly. Something 16/44.1 is preferred
  3. Clear the queue and load the update WAV file into the queue
  4. If the DAC isn’t showing 16/44.1 play the update file a bit to get the DAC to switch to 16bit then pause
  5. Make sure the update track is at 0:00.
  6. On the DAC goto menu > information > update and select.
  7. Wait for DAC to say “Start CD”
  8. Start the track in A+

At that point it should say “Scanning” then “Disk OK” then show the update progress.

Don’t worry about 16 vs 24 bits. Just make sure that it’s at 44.1K as the DAC needs to be on that clock to get everything to go correctly.

I’ll occasionally get a “wrong disc” error an if that’s the case I just kill the track and restart at step 5. (One more edit… sometimes with the wrong disc error I can’t get the update to go at all the next time. Then I power cycle the DAC and start over)

You can also load the track onto your Roon core and install RoonBridge or Roon on your Mac. Setup the audio device in Roon and then play the file to that zone. That’s how I’ve been doing updates lately. With Roon I’ve never had a problem.


Ha! Trust me, it’s going to take more than that to make his ears hurt (especially at this time of night :wink: )

Andrew , thank you so much . I was pretty much ready to try the Roon option since the settings and procedure you provided were what I had been doing without success . I thought I’d give it one more shot and I’m now up and running . The only thing I did differently , and I don’t know why this worked or even why I tried it except I’d tried everything else , was to toggle the USB input from 2 to 1 and back again ( John , I think you mentioned something like this in another context ,i…e. , as a post-installation check ) . I was very surprised to see the countdown ( up ? ) begin after more than a dozen previous failed attempts.

I should also mention that all but the last two attempts were using JRiver 23 . One failed attempt with A+ , cycled USB , second A+ attempt worked like a charm and all is well . If anybody else is having this weird syncing problem perhaps this will work for them.

Again , thanks so much to both of you .

i have the update up and running (I used Audirvana+ to run the DAC update from a MacBook Pro; special thanks to John Quick for assistance with a password issue). Preliminary listening is that it sounds quite good, certainly better than relying on Roon to do the decode of Tidal MQA files.

It is very interesting that the updated Vivaldi DAC allows the user to choose the filter for the playback of MQA files. I understand that “M” is the filter specified by MQA and filters “F1” through “F6” are the usual dCS filters for the Vivaldi. I am going to keep my opinion to myself until I’ve had more time to play and compare.

Hello Andrew,
Why dCS does not provide all software updates directly from your website? Sometimes there is a huge gap between the update release and when I receive my cd copy. At least here in Brazil. I own a Vivaldi DAC and a Network Bridge.

Kindest Regards,

I have been listening to my updated Vivaldi set-up for the last few days. It was a long time coming but the results were worth it. I must say the MQA files sound even better than what I remember from my previous Rossini set-up.

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rodrigo i have the same problem here in Sao Paulo

i agree that solution could be really important for us

i ve a full vivaldi stack and a netbridge

Nice Marcelo. Let’s hope for this.


Man, what ARE you talking about?

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I wonder how much time dCS gets to spend on the phone walking people thru the FREE update(s) because users don’t want to follow the F>>>> instructions? They are probably too polite to say it.

-Running Vivaldi DAC with Network Bridge, I have upgraded to 2.11 but I seem unable to configure with DAC as MQA decoder and renderer, which I gather is best way to do this. Opening “device setup” in Roon app, I see Network Bridge but not Vivaldi DAC. Can someone spell out the steps to finish this upgrade? Thanks.
-Worth mentioning for others, I doubt I am the only user who couldn’t get to 2.11 via USB. What worked for me was burning the wav file to disc and playing it to Vivaldi DAC via Toslink. Just another way to be aware of if anyone is having trouble.

All that Roon can see is the Network Bridge. It has no way of knowing what downstream DAC is connected. Select “Decoder and Renderer” and you’ll be good to go.

Just updated to 2.11. Noticed a new filter called M1 for MQA streams but couldn’t find any info on dCS site about this.


The Vivaldi docs haven’t been updated yet. The M1 filter is the MQA filter. There’s additional information on the MQA functions in the Rossini and Vivaldi One manuals.

Sorry for the confusion, but Martin (who updates the manuals) has been buried in other tasks for months.

Thank you Andrew! Just set in M1 as the MQA stream filter.