MQA software decoding in Roon

Yeah, I agree something different is happening with the first unfold than subsequent ones. I haven’t dug deep enough in the technical references to figure it out yet.

@MusicEar, Fair comment. I suspect that for well-engineered masters and distributions MQA won’t make much of a difference in apparent sound quality. That’s certainly been the case for the limited samples I’ve tested. It is an interesting scheme for low-bandwidth digital distribution and it emphasizes good end-to-end engineering considerations…both are positive aspects of the approach.

What evidence exists that these 2nd and 3rd stage unfolds can happen with “low processing power” renderers??

If you’re simply referring to the Price of equipment like the Dragonfly and Explorer, then it must be remembered that the processing power within these devices are vastly greater than what was in “premium” DACS of 10 years ago…as processing power has vastly increased in power and reduced in price during that time

That does NOT make the Dragonfly / Explorer better DAC’s than those same 10-year premium DAC’s…but if you’re solely basing your claim of “low processing power” based on their price, then that would be a mistake IMHO

Price is not relevant, nor is comparison to 10 year old premium DACs. Processing power in renderers has been shown to be relatively limited.


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I don’t regard simply looking at a spec sheet to be “substantiation” of your claim of low processing power…as he admits himself, he doesn’t know what is else is within that design

Read the comments to the article. There is plenty more evidence. You are swimming against the current.


@Ronnie, What @WiWavelength said is correct, Dragonflys draw its power from the USB port, with such limited power it needs a very efficient microchip to the do processing but the downside to this is processing power has to be capped otherwise you going to run into power consumption issues. He is looking at the engineering point of view.

The input receiver of dragonfly is limited to 96k input sampling frequency and coupled to the limited processing power of the microchip, dragonfly will only act as a ‘renderer’ not capable of doing a full hardware decoding found in Mytek Brooklyn DAC.

The ‘renderer’ looks interesting to me. if Roon, for some reasons not able to do a full software decode, then a partial decode followed by ‘renderer’ resulted in a full decode. If they sell the ‘renderer’ as a plug-in dongles to their existing USB-DACs, it can achieve a full decoding together with Roon.

This solution is good in one sense that people don’t need to upgrade their existing USB-DACs, I think in some way, this will please a lot of people out there.

But. Whilst you pay your subscription you have acces to more music you could possibly afford in a ‘Hard’ Format that you own the right to enjoy outright.
For young people the task of collecting an instant library of all the music we oldies have collected over time is nigh impossible. Streaming is one answer.

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Where you get this information from?

Ronnie, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks!
To be clear we are living in interesting times. I know teenagers who could interact using a game controller before they could talk. People who have always had access to digital content regardless of where they happen to be. For them the concept of “owning” a digital file is an alien concept. You own the players, the transports. That is where the value is to them. The means of access is where it is at, the gateway to all of those goodies. For them it has always been there. They can’t perceive any reason why that might change short of the end of the world! That leaves ownership very much in the domain of those of us with the collector gene. Owning physical music is no longer the way it has to be. It is just a personal preference.

Hi @Henry_McLeod
As the owner of a 20,000 album library, I’m aware of the “personal preference” involved in buying that library and the time and effort involved

But I am equally aware that since Streaming became a legal business about 5-7 years ago…and streaming of high res content [in most countries and at reasonable data rates] became possible 6 weeks ago…that “owning” a library remains as just a personal preference…whereas it used to be a legal requirement

Those of us in our 40’s to our 80’s have the same choices open to us in 2017…ones that weren’t available at all only a short time ago…and IMHO any analysis has to reflect that those choices as “preferences” and not a requirement

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I agree with pretty much every word.

Well there are 1,458 MQA albums listed on the Google spreadsheet on this site…and at the rate at which people are finding them, I’m sure there is more to come

I’m referring to Tidal streaming…

As am I…and as is the Spreadsheet…there are near enough to 1,500 MQA Albums available for streaming thru Tidal

There are less than 500 albums as we speak now in Tidal streaming, where you get this figures from? Don’t get confuse from tracks to albums, they are different.


I repeat…there are ~1,500 MQA albums available for streaming thru Tidal…as detailed in the Google Spreadsheet linked and referenced many times on this Roon forum


Yes, @Ronnie, I counted myself… I got Auralic DS Lightning app, it has a section called ‘Masters’, not more than 500 albums as we speak…

Check this out:

It shows approx. 1450 titles found so far on Tidal.

The Masters can be played using the Tidal desktop app for Windows or Mac.