MQA settings - unclear to me,,,


I’m trying to set up my various DACs for MQA since i am trialing Tidal. I read the KB, and sorry, but it was still unclear on what settings to choose. The lack of clarity came from “where will the described actions be performed? – Roon or DAC?”

Basically i have two DACs on different zones (grouped however). Neither supports MQA. Both support HD up to 192/24. Neither is supported for auto-discover.

When i go into audio setup i see “MQA capabilities”. Here’s the question- am i being asked the capabilities of the DAC, or the desired capabilities of Roon? I want Roon to do, if possible, both unfolds, and hand the corrected HD stream to the DAC.

Thanks in advance,


Hi Just me

First, no software is allowed to do the second render step. The render step is restricted to DAC hardware, so if you want that then you will need an MQA DAC to get it.

Roon can do the first unfold, aka decode. Since both DACs are in terms the same for MQA, i.e. both unsupported, then you would under the device settings set each to:

Choose under MQA Capabilities: NO MQA SUPPORT

Then under the advanced section:

Enable MQA Core Decoder" Set to YES

To answer specifically, MQA Capabilities refers to the capabilities of the DAC.

MQA files will unpack to either 48, 88.1, or 96 with some odd exceptions. You can then have Roon upsample this to your desired target output resolution.

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possibly answering my own question, i guessed (hey 50% chance of being right) at “no MQA support”. The quality chain now shows “Roon core MQA decoder” and then “24/96” sent to the DAC. This implies i got it right.

May i suggest that you need to explain what the various options apply to. “Does your DAC?”… or “do you want Roon to?” … It not in the interface and its not in the KB, except by inference.

However the apparent presence of software unfold1 & 2 is a pleasant surprise.

The default settings on Roon Ready DACs do it all for you. If your DAC was MQA capable and Roon Ready the set up is automatic.
The final unfold requires an MQA DAC and cannot be done in software, that’s how it works.

thanks on both Dan.

KB sorta implies that both are supported - i thought that was not the MQA model…

I understood that HQPlayer is capable of the second folding aka rendering. Maybe I misunderstood though

I think you misundertood.

Jussi has a setting/settings which he thinks is as good as MQA rendering but it is not “officially” MQA (at least not that I understand). The “rendering” portion of MQA is a target upsample rate and filter selection. If you use HQPlayer then you want to use HQPlayer’s filters and upsampling engine, as, that is the whole point of using it, imho.

I think you might be misunderstanding, Roon only does the Decode step which is step 1. Step 2 is called Rendering not Decoding.

From the KB:

Roon has partnered with MQA Ltd to properly support decoding

What Roon can do, that other softwares cannot ASFAIK, is to allow a user to add DSP to this first Decode without destroying the MQA rendering information, for example adding in Room Correction. This would then allow an MQA DAC to continue the MQA render process that would otherwise have been made non-render-able.

Thanks for the clarification.
I very much appreciate it

No problem. But the owner/coder of HQPlayer is active on here. You might just send him a message and ask directly.

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