Is it possible technically to implement MQA on a Squeezebox Touch ?
Can this be done by a plugin like the EDO plugin, firmware upgrade. or can it be implemented in Roon SW.
Any plans of support MQA for Squeezebox Touch ?
Any licence issues or cost in order to make the SBT play MQA ?
Some people stats that MQA in the player is not enough, it has to be implemented in the DAC as well. Is this correct ?
See also this Computer Audiophile discussion where Roon’s Danny Dulai and Brian Luczkiewicz is quoted.
Here is how i think it would work based upon my understanding. In short i think, using Roon to output to the touch, the answer is yes, with possible caveats.
I believe the manner it which it will work is Roon will decode the MQA file and then send that stream to the Touch. What i am unclear on is does MQA require hardware decoding to achieve the “full” benefits of the timing improvements from MQA or can it be done via software. Im not sure if that question has been answered and if it has i haven’t seen it. Of course that also depends on the remastering of files and the availability of these files being there for the timing side and not just being converted, for lack of a better term, to MQA.
I can’t comment on the squeezebox software side if that will ever have it included but it wouldn’t shock me to see it at all.
MQA is still a mystery to many. It does 3 things: protect the audio data so you know you hear exactly what the studio sent out, fit hires audio in smaller data files that can be played as Red book files on normal players and as hires files on MQA hardware and it contains metadata on artifacts originating from the studio. These, together with the artifacts of the DAC can be compensated for by the MQA decoder. As long as the data channel is bit perfect, it will work with MQA. So Roon is MQA compatible when set to bit perfect, non sampling rate conversion mode and when the output is digital to a DAC that does contain a MQA decoder. Even with a Squeezebox in-between that is digitally connected to a DAC that does the MQA decoding will playback at full resolution without problems as long as the Squeezebox is able to handle 24 bit 44.1 or 48 kHz. If the Squeezebox only does 16 bit, then the files will play but only at 44.1 or 48 kHz.
Well, to keep this strictly technically, as MQA support has been answered in another thread, and is something Roon wish to implement. Roon use the USB interface… If that mean both USB DAC and USB to SPDIF converter I do not know, but leave that, as my Thouch is a network interface. Still a SPDI/F converter should be a optrion for all that do not have a USB DAC or a streamer.
So I guess it can either be done inside Roon, if technology to decode MQA over TCP/IP is an option that is acceptable for the MQA company, is another issue. Or it require a addon equal to the EDO plugin for Squeezebox touch.
It should be said I’m not familiar with the consept Roon-Ready, as I guess you could compare a Touch with a Auralic in how they communicate with Roon. As we know Auralic also is in need of DAC spesific MQA decoding, the solution may be equal for both endpoints. For sure MQA decoding was not the intention to be done by Roon for the Auralic. So if it can be done for the Touch, it can be done for all other streamers as well.
To me the last option (plugin) make some sense, on the other hand we know the minimum requirement from MQA is DAC spesific parameters, so a plugin may be a challenge. I do not know. So that is why I like to understand the technical options. (Actually the MQA-requirements is a MQA DAC)
I think the first idea was to use parameters in the USB communication to determine the DAC chip, and by then fully automatic adjust the DAC parameters to that DAC.
If this can be done by the SPDI/F interface I do not know. Also I guess I would in one way or the other specify my DAC chip.
Also I do not know if it is enough to only know the DAC chip in use, as I guess the different brands, has their own adjustments that may has to be taken into account.
It would be interesting to know what is technical possible.