Is a lossless signal path better than enhanced signal path?

Yes, I have heard that, and I understand the reasoning.
But simply running an Acourate process was complex enough, and I loved the results, so enough…

And that’s all that matters at the end of the day Anders. Kudos to you…

Why do you say that?

Because it is the one with the fewest possible steps in the signal path and no modification/degradation at all in the signal all the way down from the source (TIDAL MQA in this case) to the PROJECT PRE BOX S2D that takes care of the FULL MQA Unfolding-Rendering process.

Just want to let you know that MQA Ltd. people has already answered me that doing MQB (Unfolding by software and Rendering by Hardware) definitely results in a LOWER QUALITY sound that doing MQA (Unfolding and Rendering by Hardware at the DAC).

If you have a different or better way to achieve this please let me know.

I haven’t seen such statements, it contradicts other statements.
And I don’t know what “fewest possible steps” means in this architecture.

I have no personal knowledge, of course.
And I no longer bother with MQA.
Just curious.

There was no reference in Acourate or in Mitch’s book about limiting the range of applicability.
And with my limited knowledge of the math involved, I don’t see how you would limit it…

In any case, I have applied it in a smaller, more problematic room, with equal satisfaction.

Please be so kind to share the link for those contradictory statements so I would discuss them with the MQA Ltd. people.

For fewest possible steps I mean there is only 4 steps in the ROON signal path to fully decode an MQA stream in LOSSLESS form.

Any other decode method that induces digital manipulation and degradation will have more steps and will reduce the quality of the signal path from LOSSLESS to ENHANCED.

So if you no longer bother with MQA hope this would satisfy your curiosity.

One more step in Roon, one fewer step in the DAC.

The unfolding gets done somewhere.
It isn’t automatically better to do it in the DAC than in Roon.
The designation lossless is just a descriptor. Not determinative.

Like upsampling: is it better to upsample in Roon, or in the DAC? Or in the middle, in HQPlayer? Some people argue for software, some for hardware — it isn’t automatically better because you can label the path lossless.

As I have told you MQA people states that the best MQA processing (and the only one coded as MQA) is with the DAC doing all the signal processing.

If you think that you know better than them, well…there’s nothing else to say.

There is NO Upsampling, NO Volume Leveling, NO DSP involved.

Also, forgetting the labels, if you believe that doing upsampling using the HQPlayer or any other software piece (Enhanced) is better than reproducing a pure unretouched signal (Lossless), please be happy with it.

You seem to think that I am arguing for my preferred setup.
I am not.
You don’t know what my setup is, and I am not going to tell you.
So stop with the snide remarks.
And don’t SHOUT at me.

I was curious about your statement, not about MQA.
And you explained that you have heard this from the vendor.
It may surprise you that the internet is full of people who don’t automatically accept vendor statements but prefer to analyze, measure and test.

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Well, duh! Do you think you are telling us something we don’t already know??

If the DAC does all the MQA processing the signal must arrive to the DAC in bit perfect form. So, obviously, there can be no upsampling, no volume leveling, and no DSP involved.

You realize that MQA is not lossless, don’t you?

In most cases, unless you are using a non-upsampling (NOS) DAC, the “signal”, lossless or not, is processed in some way so that is no longer that “pure unretouched” signal you so strongly worship. Did you know that?

In most cases, I prefer one or more of the HQPlayer upsampling filters to those in DACs. You can certainly prefer what you want. But don’t pooh pooh something you don’t know or understand.

Regarding the rest of your comments, I prefer not engage such low level chat.
Thank you for your comments.

The Internet is also plagued with people that under the lack of arguments to support a statement recurs to the “offensive behavior” claim.

You want to discourage the vendor’s statement?

You think you know more than them?

Nevertheless I do really appreciate your cooperation to help me clarify my doubts over the ROON’s signal path quality.

I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed and I haven’t used Acourate (yet) but a 30 second Google search of “Acourate” and “schroeder” led me here:

Great stuff… If it sounds great to you (and the FR plots look stellar) doing Room EQ all the way to 20kHz, then there’s no worries I guess… Just wanted to share (for others maybe) that’s it’s generally not advised by any of the real experts in the field…

This is hilarious! I am not talking about the input sample rate. You do know that the S2D has 8 filters and, based on the manual, you have to select one of the 8. I suspect those filters upsample the any PCM input to the max internal rate that is a direct multiple. Of course, the manual is so bad that this information is not in it.

Just an FYI, the MQA renderer aka as the second unfold is just upsampling with their specific filters. So if you want pure, MQA isn’t really it.

Huh? It’s upsampling 16/44 to 24/192. I hear a noticeable improvement. Maybe @jussi_laako could elaborate, but I feel enhanced is an improvement over lossless.

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Let me bring you some enlightenment.

  1. No Sir, the PCM filters are Sabre Chipset (or any other Chipset) features and they do not upsample the signal.

  2. When you play an MQA stream all Chipset filters are totally disabled since that is the way MQA technology is designed.

  3. It’s more than obvious that you have never heard or seen a FULL MQA DAC, otherwise you would have known all these facts along with the most important of all:


And here is a link where you can confirm this, where you can find samples up to 352.8 KHz on PCM and DSD256 of the very same tracks.

Enjoy your listening the way you want it.

There’s always a personal taste component on this.

Along with the resolution that a given setup might offer.

If you like upsampling more than a pure signal with the original studio recording resolution is totally personal, thus absolutely respectable.