MQA settings in roon - help a newbie out

I’ve had a bit of a dig through the forums and the FAQ’s for roon itself and I can’t really quite seem to find the answer I need.

I’m looking for hints on best practice when using MQA on a non MQA Dac. My Peactree DAC does 24/192 quite merrily but no MQA.

I have the MQA settings on roon set to “no MQA support”, yet further down theres another option for “use MQA Core decoder” which seems to be ticked, in spite of having no MQA. Turning this on and off seems to make no difference to the signal path.

I assume with my non MQA DAC that roon is doing all the unfolding and decoding, and is being passed to my DAC at whatever bitrate is left (usually 24/96).

Sounds fine, but wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing a trick

Check here: https://www.mqa.co.uk/how-it-works.
ROON is performing “MQA Core Decoder” only, if you select this option. In your case, it is better this option to be selected.
“MQA Renderer” is usually performed by DAC, if it is MQA compatible.

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Ticking core decoder seems to make no difference though, as I’ve already told roon my DAC can’t do MQA, so it seems to be authenticating the MQA from tidal, unwrapping to 24/96 and then just passing direct to DAC.

What exactly does turning “use MQA core decoder” on do?

Could this have been automatically turned on by Roon when I was playing around with DSP (as if I’ve read correctly, roon needs to decode the MQA fully before any DSP can be applied). If i’m not using any DSP, I had the feeling the core decoder didn’t need to be on.

ok so a bit more reading based on what you sent me suggests that if I choose no MQA support and don’t enable core decoder, then all i’m getting is the most basic version of the MQA file at likely CD quality (give or take).

If I enable core decoder then roon performs first unfold and passes on higher resolution files to my DAC.

Thanks for the pointer i’ll enable that again!

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Sounds correct to me. That’s how Roon is configured for my non-mqa endpoint.

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This is a good decision. :grinning:

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Popped core decoder back on. Seems to sound fine! I get the feeling it’s a touch smoother and less edgy than without. Tough call though, not much in it.

That is correct. If you are listening to MQA files, it’s better to do the first, or core, unfold.

High resolution, a perspective

This is a good read, not sure where to put it.

http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=18046

Broken link

Thanks, fixed, you have to download the pdf from here