MQA on Raspberry Pi?

Exciting news that MQA is available through on Tidal, and works through Roon! In other news, AudioQuest announced that a firmware update will be available to enable MQA support on the DragonFly Red & Black. I already own a DF Red, so this has me wondering, can I build a Raspberry Pi endpoint that has full MQA support? I’m new to the Raspberry Pi thing, but it sounds like Roon Bridge makes it pretty easy to get a USB DAC working on the Pi. Once the MQA firmware is released for the Dragonfly, would this give the full measure of MQA goodness (for very little additional investment)?

Alternatively, are there any inexpensive HAT DACs that support MQA?


Disclaimer; I’m a non-techie Roon use who’s just bought a RPi to use as an endpoint, so about 2 pages ahead of you in the Roon manual!

My reading of things is that you’re correct; when the DF becomes MQA’d then an RPi should give you the full experience.

One thing you may have missed. Or that I may have got wrong - can other please comment (Renee?!).

Version 1.3 of Roon (not necessarily the initial release) should bring with it the ability for Roon to decode MQA, negating the need for a MQA capable DAC. Not a big issue for you as all you need is a firmware update, but great news for me as my M2Tech HiFace DAC isn’t due to get MQA capability.

Oh and I think V1.3 will also bring upsampling up to DSD rates (should your DAC be capable of handling it).

If so then the cost of Roon is starting to look decidedly good value (not that it wasn’t already)

Comments welcome from those who know what they’re talking about :grin:

not 100% sure I know what I’m talking about :stuck_out_tongue: but… looks software decoding will only be capable of unfolding MQA files’ sample rate but you will still need MQA certified hardware to get the full MQA quality

Having read up a bit more since my post that would certainly seem to be the case with the next release of Audirvana coming out soon ( see MQA website)

However Roon does that already, so what is 1.3 going to bring over and above that.

Confusing. Anyone from Room care to help - I appreciate there may be commercial reasons you can’t say yet.

Where did you see them say that? That seems to go against everything they’ve said about working with Jussi to support HQPlayer.

See the thread in this forum entitled ‘Article on DAR about Roon 1.3’

Although it’s referenced in several other threads as well.

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A Pi w/ RoonBridge will pass through undecoded MQA just fine, so the DF Red can perform its unfolding magic after the MQA firmware update. There are currently no MQA compatible HATs available that I know of. You will not need MQA software decoding for this.

It appears Roon will offer software decoding over time. Whether this will have the same limitations that the Tidal app has, or perhaps something more elaborate for DACs Roon knows the exact hardware of (USB and RoonReady) remains to be seen.

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Playing TIdal Master MQA through My M2Tech EVO Hiface to my NDAC results in the highres light going on. If that means MQA capability? Don´t know, but ot works fine.
(Through Roon the second light on my NDAC does not lit).

Thanks for the pointer to the 1.3 article. I missed that over the holidays. Still surprised, but DSD upsampling be a welcome addition for my DietPi endpoint.

Low cost is obviously one of the primary advantages of RPi end points. I’m guessing that MQA licensing is not free, so I wonder if there will ever be a HAT with MQA. (Although that would be an excellent way to differentiate one’s product in the marketplace.)