MQA first unfold in Roon? MQA? [Delivered in 1.5]

As I say, everybody his…

I keep hearing people are actually playing and listening to DSD. They appear to be happy and healthy.

I guess the same goes for MQA…

They do? Still DSD? wow.

I begin to see the similarities between MQA and DSD… When DSP is applied to MQA, it will lose its so called ‘magic’ and the ‘blue light’ will suddenly goes away. For DSD, it is converted to PCM😟!

Either ways, You can’t have best in the world but you can probably get the best beer in the world… Carlsberg

I can rip SACDs with a Sony PS3 and play the DSF files!

12 posts were merged into an existing topic: Matrix Audio X-SPDIF 2 (USB - I2S interface)

What does it unfold to? The flac/alac is 24/48, I think.

The advantages of easy origami are two-fold.
-Tim Vine


For me, it is not the existence of MQA that is threatening. I am somewhat concerned that non-MQA hi resolution will disappear. That would be a negative development. Means you have to have an MQA DAC to hear any hi res.

You’ll still get 24 bit with MQA. I get that now from Tidal/Roon without any software unfold.

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Even though you see ‘24 bit 44.1kHz or 48kHz’ this does not necessarily translate to actual resolution. MQA uses the upper bit range of the ‘24 bit’ data to reproduce the high frequencies above 20kHz range. As a result, playing back unfold MQA gets you around 13 bit of resolution while fully unfold goes as high as 17 bit resolution. At 17 bit /88.2/96kHz is still considered high resolution audio, plus a fully compensated impulse response during the rendering/up sampling to internal DAC, it makes MQA really shines at its best!

Thanks I thought if Roon reported that it was 24 but it was actually 24 bit

It is physically 24 bit. But no files/streams – outside of digitally generated test signals – possess true 24 bit noise floor. That is not possible in real world recording. MQA or other digital processing also may maintain bit depth but increase quantization noise, hence decrease resolution.

In short, not all 24 bit files exhibit 24 bit resolution.


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I’ve shifted the non-MQA related discussion into a more appropriate thread. Apologies for the irrelevant parallel conversation; fascinating though my choice of DAC may be. I think we all know @RBM was to blame.

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This is a good point Andrew and one which makes me wonder whether any pleasure I take from playing folded up 24 bit 48kHz Tidal MQA masters is pure placebo. What we don’t know is whether any 16 bit 44kHz Tidal alternative is the same master or not. Tidal and Roon are adapted to distinguish between various versions of a recording. I can’t see why record companies don’t make it transparently clear. Someone will want to acquire every version of “Kind of Blue”.

How about these, supposedly from the same master?

To follow up my own post, a good parallel to the above – and one that many will recognize immediately from visual experience – is 1080p video. All 1080p video possesses the same physical resolution. But that does not mean all 1080p video is of equal quality or the same effective resolution. The 1080p physical resolution is a container, and the contents may or may not exploit the full extent of the container.


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Almost all 2L masters are recorded in DXD format; 352.4/24 and is converted to various PCM sampling rates, including DSD and MQA.

No, Hi-Res PCM is a defacto standard in almost all recording studios and all archives are done in this way. MQA is done as a distribution format from the Hi-Res PCM source. There will be people going for studio master recordings and the market need for digital downloads are still healthy.

MQA for distibution format? Whats the point in todays i-net speeds, mobile included?