MQA and Bluesound

I apologize for posting this issue in a couple of spots today. Perhaps the former posts can be moved, or deleted?

First of all – Roon support for BluOS is very welcome news! Thanks to all who made this possible!

Unfortunately, there does seem to be an issue with MQA. A number of us, who have BluOS devices, are seeing indication that MQA is being passed to our devices as bit-perfect - yet the MQA data stream is not being unfolded/decoded. (Data stream at the device displays as 48KHz - normally it would display as 96KHz or 192KHz.)

It is my understanding that my device (NAD M32 w BluOS card) is MQA certified. Perhaps that is not the case? Otherwise, either the stream is not bit-perfect, or when using the “standard” BlueOS/Bluesound app, the MQA decoding is being done in that app - as the unfolding/decoding appears to be happening when using that app.

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Same question here and I’ve asked it of Bluesound too… but just to rephrase it here:

A) MQA --> RAAT --> Can be unwrapped/decoded “on chip” in MQA-certified hardware?
B) MQA --> Will be unwrapped/decoded " in software by Roon v1.3 --> RAAT --> played at highest resolution capable by non-MQA software (meaning a non-MQA 24/192 DAC will play the unwrapped stream at 24/192)?
C) Bluesound must NOT be MQA hardware and is decoding in software AND Roon/RAAT is bypassing that step when interfacing with the Bluesound hardware… and thus we must wait for Roon 1.3?

Are A, B & C correct?

My related 390DD with the BlueOS module updated successfully today. No interruptions in playback so far. I was actually expecting to have to go download a hex file and upload via USB - but was surprised to see it upgrade automatically via the Bluesound app on my iPhone.

Still not clear if that card can completely unfold those MQA files though.

I successfully updated my NAD M12 to v2.10. It worked except when switching between Roon and the BLU OS app on my Mac, it would occasionally get confused over which app was controlling the M12. A reboot of the Mac and M12 resolved the issue and hopefully a future BLU OS update will improve the stability for this issue.

Also, my M12 plays MQA files from Roon but they are not completely “unfolded”. A 96/24 Lake Street Dive file plays at 48/24. I believe this is fixed in Roon 1.3. Can anyone confirm this?

Roon, as is, currently will send along the audio stream bit perfect to an MQA dac which will do the full decode. A meridian explorer for example, but, not a dragonfly MQA dac which is just a renderer.

There has been no formal announcement that Roon V1.3 will have anything to do with MQA.

From your description it seems that the Bluesound software like Tidal is doing the first decode. Which suggests that the Bluesound DAC, like the Dragonfly, is an MQA renderer.

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I don’t think this is an issue with MQA. I upgraded the firmware on my Pulse 2 and had roon stream a 96KHz 24bit file to the Pulse 2. Sampling rate was downsampled to 48KHz. 24 bit samples were retained. Not sure where the problem is (roon or bluesound).

To be clear, the 96KHz file I sent to the pulse 2 was a local file. Not from Tidal.

I also noticed an error symbol in roon saying something to the effect of “Not certified player”.

Same phenomenon with me. Local files are currently being converted: 44.1 to 48 and 96 to 48. I think we have to wait until Roon 1.3 recognizes the bluesound devices as certified and then correctly controls.

So… with 1.3 we get really nice recognition of the Bluesound devices, including cartoon images of the actual bluesound endpoints… wife loves that!

Had we (BluOS-ers) not heard MQA last week we’d all have left the ecosystem for greener pastures of Roon… but alas, no MQA has left us wanting.

Can’t get either side to truly comment on this issue, so we are left to speculate and spread misinformation.

@support… can someone please confirm what the plan is? Both sides seem committed to MQA. Bluesound says their hardware are fully compliant and that in BluOS there is a software unfolding. They won’t comment on why it doesn’t work with Roon.

Will we need to wait for Roon to be capable of software unfolding to the enable it on Bluesound? Is MQA something planned for the Bluesound integration?

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We’ve been in touch with Lenbrook about this and are waiting to hear back about what is happening here.


It’s not a deal breaker for me, the ONLY issue at this point after the BluOS update,and Roon 1.3, is Tidal MQA, and since BluOS has a handy dandy “Masters” tab in the Tidal integration, for streaming those “few” titles at full MQA on Bluesound/NAD I think we can make do. The fact that EVERYTHING else can be handled by Roon is the far bigger story and I’m happy and can patiently wait until everything is working through Roon. But the fact that my 2 BS Pulses, Node, Powernode, Soundbar, and NAD HT Receiver can be controlled by Roon is nothing short of pure bliss, and having MQA as well is the cherry on top! Bravo to both Bluesound and Roon for making this happen.

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Getting this resolved would be fantastic. Other than the MQA issue, your integration with the Bluesound & NAD products that I have is excellent!

Agree with that sentiment. It’s the uncertainty of it all that is my only concern. If it is a technical issue that may take some weeks, months… no matter… as long as it is in the works.

And you are right. The far bigger story is a fantastic integration.

Sorry to chime in here slightly off topic…

I am running Roon with HiFi Tidal subscription and use a Peachtree Nova DAC as my Amp which is just a regular DAC without MQA support.

Now I wanted to buy the Node 2 latest model, which is advertised as MQA capable, thus will the Node 2 just act as a renderer in this case or does it do the complete unfolding in its highest quality possible.

I am a bit lost here sorry.

This is the loop/ setup i will have:

BLS Node 2, plus 1 external HDD for local library (Roon Server?)
Peachtreeaudio Nova 125 DAC, which is an integrated Amp and DAC
Roon on my PC (Roon Client?)

Do I need a new Amp/DAC for this with MQA capabilities, I’d rather not sell my trusted Nova :frowning: ?

Thanks and sorry for the question…

I noticed that in the loop section you have the Node 2 listed as Roon Server? and the answer would be, no. You need to use your PC as the Roon Server. Or get another machine to act as the Roon Server.

If MQA is your goal, I would keep your Peachtree, get the Meridian Explorer 2 and a Sonic Orbiter. So Ethernet > Sonic Orbiter > USB > Meridian >Analog>Peachtree (using Analog Aux in)

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Thanks Daniel
MQA would be the goal yes if it becomes sucessfull, so for now just exploring at the moment but since I wanted to buy a dedicated streamer I saw the MQA technology popping up so might well go wit it, thats why the Node 2. Otherwise would have opted at the sotm sms200 but it does not have the MQA thing…

Meridian providing the MQA, and the Sonic Orbiter the streamer I assume?
Whats different to the Node 2 in that setup with the explorer and orbiter? Thanks

I listed the Node2 as I wanted to attached a NAS QNAP to it if that is possible and run it as a server, nevermind. My ROG laptop is a dedicated music library server for this and probably the easiest way, ok.

Thanks for the help mate

where do I slot in the PC with Roon and Tidal in this loop?

The Roon Server starts the path: PC>Ethernet > Sonic Orbiter > USB > Meridian >Analog>Peachtree (using Analog Aux in)

Now, the PC can be your laptop which would then do server duties or it can be another PC to serve as the server and your laptop would just be a client to control the server. Tons of different options.

ok thanks Daniel
Whats different in this setup with the explorer and orbiter versus the Node 2, using the same path as you described.

It would be
PC>Ethernet >Node 2 >Analog>Peachtree (using Analog Aux in)

However that process currently wont get you MQA as the Node 2 is not decoding a bit perfect MQA stream when sent by Roon. And Roon is not decoding MQA.

Hopefully it would at some stage then I would only need to buy the Node 2. oh well, guess I have to chip in for those two new toys then. thanks Daniel
Any better suggestions beyond this, like a device that does both of the explorer and orbiter at this price point?