MQA rendering - decoding TIDAL

Core Machine (Operating system/System info/Roon build number)

Nucleus 1.8 (build 756)

Network Details (Including networking gear model/manufacturer and if on WiFi/Ethernet)

Ethernet, Apple Time Capsule

Audio Devices (Specify what device you’re using and its connection type - USB/HDMI/etc.)

Mytek Brookly Bridge via Network
RME ADi-2 DAC fs via USB from iMac

Description Of Issue

I get this strange behavoir that I can not understand, but only with Warner mqa files streamed from Tidal.
When streamed to Mytek Brookly Bridge I get 16/44,1, but when connected to RME I get 24/88,2. But Mytek works correct when I play slme other mqa files.

I am attaching 4 photos:

  • first 2 examples (Mytek & RME) - Mytek plays only 16/44
  • second 2 examples – Mytek plays ok (as render & decoder) , RME plays OK (roon does the decodingg)

Add images

I don’t see nothing wrong in your signal path. Core decoding output is always 24/88,2 or 24/92.

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Compare the first and second picture. Why the difference? With Rme i get first unfolding, with Mytek none. The nest pictures are there to show to the settings are correct.

The “problem” you see is that Roon upconverts MQA 44.1kHz and probably 48kHz “authenticated” files to 88.2kHz or 96kHz when you use No MQA Support selected for your DAC. The upconversion to 88.2kHz with your RME DAC is not the original file’s format, though a simple conversion to double the bitrate and sample rate are generally not considered to be destructive or beneficial to the sound quality.

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RME / non-MQA DAC: Core in performing authentication, core is performing decoding, resulting 24/88,2 or 24/92 file. This one is send to the DAC. Your DAC will show 24/88,2 or 24/92 file.
MyTek / MQA decoder and render DAC: Core in performing authentication, and send MQA file to DAC. DAC is performing decoding and rendering. Your DAC will show MQA file.
Your signal path is ok.

Thanx, I understand it know. Basically these files are mqa files which unfold to 16/44.1. But with DAc which is not MQA compatibile Roon does the “unfold”, which is actually not “unfold”.

In your case:

  • RME: Core is doing first unfold. Second and third unfolds are not performed at all.
  • MyTek: MyTek is doing all three unfolds.
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