How to unfold MQA when adding external DAC to Node 2i

If I connect a Project Pre box S2 dac to a Bluesound Node 2i via optical, will mqa fully unfold in the Node? Will there be any improvement in sq because of the dac?

I believe one must use the line out from a Node in order to get the second unfold (assuming first unfold is happening in the Roon software). In other words, you have to use the MQA-enabled DAC in the Node to get the full unfold.

Optical shouldn’t work unless:

  1. The DAC can decode via optical (most do it via USB and/or Network connections.
  2. The signal is passed bit perfect (MQA information preserved).

Yep, you have to pass the signal untouched out the Toslink to the DAC. So, the DAC would be doing the both MQA stages.

@MichaelH I think I sent you down the wrong path here. You can absolutely send an MQA file via optical from the Node 2i to your Pre Box S2 DAC and have it partially or fully unfold the file. I didn’t realize that the Pre Box S2 was an MQA DAC. Here’s an excerpt from the Bluesound website regarding this issue:
If you have an external DAC that is certified by MQA, you may bypass Bluesound’s MQA rendering process in the Bluesound NODE 2 or VAULT 2 and send the pure untouched music bits directly via TOSLink Optical or Digital COAX output for processing by your external DAC.
As to SQ, my guess is that the Pre Box S2 has a better DAC than the Bluesound Node 2i. But that’s just a guess…

The pre Box S2 only does MQA via USB. It can’t decode MQA via toslink or coaxial. For this you need a DAC like the Mytek Liberty.