I also saw that Roon will do “pass thru” for Meridan Explorer. So if Roon does MQA pass thru now, AND if Bridge II does the full unfold, I am completely unclear on why Brian would say that Roon has to do a 1st unfold for Bridge II.
LOL this is no fault of anyone here but I’m getting a headache - the entire MQA thing with the DS has been a headache for many for a long while btw, so again, no fault of anyone here in this discussion.
The experts are very easily reached (Dennis and Paul at PSA and Brian here) and should clarify.
I was and am always happy to trust Brian but it may be worth someone cross-checking (again) with PSA otherwise we are all dogs continually chasing our tails.
Unless someone gets new clarification from a credible source, rather than piecing together posts from here and there like a CSI agent (and BELIEVE ME, I’ve done that a lot in trying myself to piece things together, so I’m making fun of myself here too), I suggest we revisit a week or so from now, after PSA’s rollout LOL
For clarity, how do you define full unfold. Is it the third description?
Thanks in anticipation.
MQA Core Decoder
This unfolds the MQA file once to deliver even higher than CD-quality.
The first unfold recovers all the direct music-related information. Output is 88.2kHz or 96kHz.
These products feature an MQA renderer which can complete the final unfold.
An MQA Renderer will include ‘stream lock’ but is not able to decode an MQA stream or authenticate it.
MQA Full Decoder
Products with a full MQA Decoder unfold the file to deliver the highest possible sound quality. At this level of playback you are hearing what the artist created in the studio – with precise file and platform specific DAC compensation and management.
I don’t think the Bridge will care what the source is as it will just see an incoming MQA stream and decode it accordingly. As Roon will just pass through the MQA file unchanged (no DSP) there are no changes needed to Roon.
As for the level of decoding this has me a bit confused too. I thought the Bridge was just going to do the first and second unfold but PSA talk about full decoding. They do say that there will be a MQA indicator light on the DS display which I thought indicated full decoding. Whatever the outcome it will certainly be better than no MQA support and I am happy with that given that PSA were not even considering this a few months back.
I have no idea how it will work with Roon as they have not contacted us at all. What I do know is that the bridge will do a full unfold from an MQA stream. It works via jRiver or mConnect or Tidal. Currently it does not seem to work playing MQA files via Roon.
I’ve mentioned this in a few other threads–and want to be clear that this information is generic, applying to all Roon Ready partners:
We will be reaching out to all Roon Ready partners this week to deliver an updated RAAT SDK that communicates information about MQA streams properly. This SDK release depends on build 242 being broadly available, otherwise the functionality will not work consistently. Once that is done, the hard technical limitations that formerly prevented Roon Ready devices from decoding MQA streams delivered via RAAT will be resolved.
At that point, it will be up to each Roon Ready partner who makes an MQA capable device to integrate RAAT with the MQA decoding/unfolding functionality in the device. How they prioritize and time those releases will vary from partner to partner.
For myself - as with other Roonies with PSA DAC’ed Roonies - I guess we wait. However, I cannot help but have called to mind the expression:
“Something you know is wrong.”
Indeed. Here’s what I know now…
MQA is fully decodable if a MQA supporting DAC gets a clean copy of it.
Roon has “MQA passthru” working now for some DACs,
So, Roon is passing through clean MQA copies.
If presented with a clean MQA copy, Bridge II will fully unfold it.
Upcoming changes in the RAAT SDK must be incorporated into Roon Ready devices to be passed a clean copy of an MQA file.
Clearly my understanding does not add up. Something I know is wrong. But I take it on faith that numbers 4 and 5 above are indeed fact now. So my confusion must arrive from something I’ve stated in 1, 2, and 3 as being incorrect.
Thanks again folks! This has been a very interesting journey. And being a bit more informed now is satisfying. Thank you.
The thing you are missing is that #1 is not always as it seems. Just because a manufacturer can sniffer and decide mqa, doesn’t mean that they do. Some only do it on stream start so they can pick proper clocking before starting the mqa parts.