iFi Zenstream, ROON & TIDAL MQA

For those of you running a ZenStream and using TIDAL MQA, does the freq. LED on the front of your Zenstream change colors from the regular green to something else (Yellow for the higher rates maybe?) when playing MQA files? or does it just stay green?

Darius I remember something about a bug in the latest firmware breaking some MQA features again. It was broken a little while ago and then fixed

I have a non mqa dac so just after the first unfold. I have MQA passthrough left on auto. Should I change that to anything else in the meantime? or does auto work fine?

If it doesn’t support MQA you can just leave it from memory. Though I remember playing with a lot of settings on this with my Zen DAC early on to get the different coloured lights

I think I figured out the LED thing. If I am not mistaken, it won’t change from green even with MQA as green is the color up to 96khz, as Roon is only doing the first unfold, it won’t go past 96khz anyways, so the light remains green.

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In looking at Roons instructions for MQA set up, I am now wondering which way I go. I am just using Roon for the first unfold into a non-mqa dac.

By default Roon chooses for my device: "Renderer only"

Roon will engage its MQA Core Decoder and unfold the file to high-resolution 24 bit/88.2 kHz or 24 bit/96 kHz stream. This stream will contain the MQA Rendering information necessary for your DAC to complete the unfolding process.

But then I look at the setting " No MQA Support"

Roon will engage its MQA Core Decoder and unfold the file to a high-resolution 24 bit/88.2 kHz or 24 bit/96 kHz stream.

Which one should I be using in my case?

Darius it should make no difference from what I remember.
Roon does the first unfold and there is no second without an MQA compatible DAC.
Renderer only does the first unfold and should be fine in your setup as it passes the result to your DAC where it plays beautiful music :grinning:


Thanks Michael!

This is now, technically, noise if you pass it to a non-mqa DAC. Reason I say this is that left in place its decode instructions for your DAC not audio. An unfold, without these instructions, uses these bits for audio.


Thanks ipeverywhere, so you are saying that I should use “no MQA support” for a cleaner signal of the stream, but still retaining the first unfold (but not the data for the second unfold)?

That’s what I do with my limited understanding of how MQA works. :wink:

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