If I don't like or want MQA how should I set the streaming quality?

If I don’t like or want MQA should I set Tidal streaming quality in Roon to Hifi only or is it better to set it to Masters? My DAC does not support MQA so if I set the setting to Masters, I would get the first unfold versus the Redbook CD quality.

I would go to Tidal and change the ‘Streaming Quality’ right from your subscription.

Thanks. Is there a difference in setting it there versus in Roon?

I am not sure. If Roon offers you a drop-down for No MQA Support, you could also option it there too.

No, that still gives the MQA first-unfold.

Actually, you set it in “Settings” “Services” “Edit”, although here I only show Qobuz, since I don’t subscribe to Tidal any more.

My DAC doesn’t support MQA nor do I care for it. I set the streaming quality in Roon’s Tidal setup to HiFi and Tidal streams in the 16/44.1 whenever this is available and in MQA with Roon doing the unfold whenever this is the only available option. Think this is ok.

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This seems to make the most sense.

I have mine set to hi-fi and only ever get 44.1/16 streams. It sometimes SAYS mqa on the now playing album info, but signal path shows 44.1/16 source.

Not sure how that is happening or what exactly I’m getting in those cases but it sounds fine.

I think some albums are still MQA on Tidal even though they are CD quality so that is probably what you are seeing.

It’s not very clear to me what you want. Each option below has a different solution:

  • Do you want to not use albums that have the MQA tag at all (a kind of anti-MQA boycott)?
  • Do you want to send to the DAC the MQA files as a CD (without the MQA information)?
  • Do you want to send to the DAC the converted MQA files at a better quality than CD (without the information related to MQA)?

I understand that you do not want to send to the DAC the MQA files (converted or not to another quality) with the information related to the MQA, but I did not understand what exactly you want to send to the DAC.

If I didn’t want MQA, I would downgrade my Tidal subscription to Premium or Hi-Fi or whatever it’s called. Don’t subscribe to Masters. Or, I would drop Tidal and subscribe to Qobuz. In Roon, I would delete all MQA albums linked in my Roon library. I would turn-off the Roon MQA decoding. And in Roon Settings for Tidal, I would choose Hi-Fi, not Masters.

The Hifi subscription includes CD quality and the MQA Master quality. The next lower subscription (Premium) is not even CD quality.

I would do all of the above.

I think the best solution would be to subscribe to Qobuz and link all of my Tidal albums in Qobuz. Then, I would cancel my Tidal subscription.

I just want CD quality, ie. the redbook file without MQA whenever possible (I use the Chord M Scaler, which does better with CD quality versus anything MQA does).

Not an option for me since I hate Qobuz and I got Tidal HiFi for like $8.00 a month.

I have them both and like them both. Tidal for $99.99 and Qobuz for $149.99.

Set your sound quality in Tidal to HIFI and that should be it on that side. Disable all MQA handling on the core and on the endpoints and you are safe on this side. This is as far as I can read your question.

After discovering this morning that Tidal were not offering any non MQA versions of what I was looking for, I had a little play around. I set the Tidal Roon stream to “High” (the second tier). After trying a few different albums it seems that if you choose the 44.1 MQA version, you get a stream which shows up in the signal path as Tidal flac 44.1 and 44.1MQA. Choosing the MQA 96 version though results in a pure Tidal 44.1 stream. Just what I really want. I find MQA generally has a digital sheen when played in my system.

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PS. The reasons I don’t like MQA is that I’m a Chord DAC user and, from Rob Watts (Chord Electronics):

"…the compression from 88.2/96 to 44.1/48 this is seriously flawed with major sound quality and measurement issues. For one, it has a massive notch at 22.05 kHz or 24 kHz that is introduced, which will have transient timing repercussions; secondly the system has completely unacceptable aliasing issues, which means distortion at 20kHz is a massive 1% - and aliasing has a huge consequence to the sound quality too, as again it degrades transient timing; thirdly the system is lossy, and converts a 24 bit signal into something like 17 bits. This is again unacceptable. My advice is to ignore MQA and always go for the unchanged original file "

from: https://www.head-fi.org/threads/watts-up.800264/page-65#post-14414362

Lately I’ve just been trying to add the non MQA version of albums from Tidal if it’s available.