MQA DSD64 - What's that?

I just found this album on Tidal: Classically Chilled because it was marked as MQA 2822khz in the list and showed up as MQA DSD64 if you open it.

While playing roon reports a very non spectacular signal path.

Does such a thing (MQA DSD64) exist? will roon support it?

Same thing here

I think this album has been flagged incorrectly.
I have just played it and it is just a normal CD encoding.

Yes that’s probably the case.
But the question is wether a MQA DSD64 encoding exists. I never heard of such thing. I thought that MQA is based on a PCM based workflow

Not that I am aware of.
DSD64 and DSD128 Yes, but never heard of MQA DSD64 either.
The whole thing is probably a tagging error

A tagging error (MQA DSD64) which creates MQA 2822khz in the list view?
I am not yet convinced

Track 24 is corrupt. My dac is switching MQA, 16/44 and 16/88. And just playing the track…

AFAIK does the string after MQA just designate the format of the master being used to generate the MQA file. I expect you always get a MQA encoded PCM file. Much like the old SPARS code on CDs that told you something about the mastering process, but you always got a CD (16-bit, 44.1kHz) when you bought it.

Tagging @support .

Hello @Chris_KA ,

Thanks for the report, I have forwarded your feedback to the team to look into this closer, thanks!

1 Like

As it happens, i was playing an old CD Rip of mine and all of a sudden my DAC indicated 88KHz sample rate? It was on a particular track, mid album. Looking at the file details there is no indication that the file has been corrupted or has bad tagging or anything like that.
The file is available here!

Hi Mikael,
this is interesting. It seems we entered a grey zone here. I downloaded your file and added it to my local roon library and in the track list it shows up as FLAC 44.1kHz 16bit. But when played roon reports FLAC 44.1kHz 16bit 2ch, MQA DSD64.

So my DAC (SMSL M500) is able to work as full MQA decoder & renderer or just as MQA renderer. As decoder and renderer the DAC does not fall for it and plays it as normal 16/44 file without problem.
When I add some DSP work (Crossfeed filter) I force the signal path to do the first unfold in roon and use the DAC just as MQA renderer.

Here we see that roon reports the 1st unfold but obviously does not succeed as the MQA renderer reports just 16/44. In both cases the file played without problem but without mqa which is most probably not here.

I think roon is somehow tricked in beliving that this is a MQA file which it isn’t

1 Like

Agreed, i am playing back the same file right now in JRiver MC 27 and there is no indication of the file being different from the rest of the album (of course, JRiver does not know what to do with MQA-files though)

MQA requires PCM. Cannot do the “MQA mag^H^H^H sh^H stuff” without PCM.

MQA needs to steal / borrow / share / decimate some of bit depth of PCM to put the origami details. DSD is 1 bit. No place for the origami info.

we know! Just read the whole thread. This is no DSD file at all.

Open the file with kid3… there should be 3 fields for mqa if it is a mqa file.


Not sure that would matter, as long as it sends it bit perfect to the mqa dac, the dac will decode and render it.

I have a few albums ripped with the hdcd plugin from dbpoweramp and they are 24/44.1. I used to play them from iTunes to my adcom 700 dac that had the hdcd chip and it would recognize the files as hdcd. I can assure you iTunes had no idea what an hdcd encode was. Lol

I just checked with kid3. The file in question does not have MQA metadata at all. Also the bitstream itself does not trigger MQA within the DACs. Nevertheless roon thinks it is an mqa file. I wonder why.

I had the same results. I checked it from the tidal app and there is no indication of Master anywhere. Oh well. Lol

This topic was automatically closed 14 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.