No Playback on MQA Tidal content - BluSound Node 2


1st I’m really new at digital audio so sorry if the answers to this are easy and in front of my face.

MQA content from Tidal will not play on my system while other content plays fine. I’m running Roon 1.5 (build 323 64bit). I’m running Roon on an iMac Retina 5K 2017 4.2Ghz, i7, 40 GB Ram (HighSierra 10.13.4). I’m networked to a BluSound Node 2 (BlueOS 2.16.9) which is connected to an old school Classe pre-amp SSP-25 via Coax digital, then, Classe 401 amp. My Tidal subscription is Hi-Fi. When I play MQA and look at single path everything looks ok but no sound. I have tried going into Device Setup and changing MQA settings but nothing appears to work. Any help would be appreciated.

Thank you.



Hello @Stewart_Marcano,

  • I did some research on the Classe SSP-25 and I couldn’t discern if the device officially supports high resolution playback via its digital inputs. This would be the first thing I would check.
  • To test this, you can go into the “Device Setup” page for the Bluesound Node 2, click the “Show Advanced” tab, and set the “Enable MQA Core Decoder” option to “No”
  • Are you getting audio output while playing MQA content from the analog RCA outputs on the rear of the device?


This pre has reviews dating back to 1999 so my guess is it tops out at 48k.

Hi @John and @Henry_McLeod

Thank you for your help over the holiday weekend.

I was able to research, test your suggestions but I’m still rather confused (not unusual!).

For reference, My music path & eq was as follows prior to your suggestions: iMac (Roon Core - playing Tidal HiFi or my FLAC flies on iMac) to BlueSound Node 2 (via ethernet), Bluesound Node 2 to SSP-25 (via digital coax output into a digital input on SSP-25), SSP-25 to Classe 401 amp (via XLR balanced), Then from 401 to B&W 802’s (via cables).

After your suggestion, I added another path from the BlueSound Node 2 to the SSP-25 and connected them via the RCA analog out from Node 2 to analog RCA inputs on SSP-25. I also have the original path too so I can test it both ways.

So now on channel AV1 (analog) I have RCA Analog from Node 2 to SSP-25 and on channel AV2 (digital) I have the digital coax from Node 2 to SSP-25…

So Here are the tests all using Tidal through Roon as MQA source:

Test 1
Device Setup Node 2 (Enable MQA Core Decoder = yes)
AV1 (analog) has output
AV2 (digital) has no output (this is what my setup was that prompted my support message)

Test 2
Device Setup Node 2 (Enable MQA Core Decoder = no)
AV1 (analog) has output
AV2 (digital) has output

So I guess I’m a little confused, the SSP-25 has to be decoding the MQA 192/24? given the results of Test 2. I thought the issue was as you guys pointed out that the SSP-25 probably cannot handle High Res and I have to use the analog from Node 2. But it looks like it can? Does this make sense since the SSP-25 is 19-20 years old in technology? or is something else potentially going on?

I also opened up the BlueSound OS (not Roon) and the settings for MQA External DAC do not appear to change the output when I turn this setting “on” or “off” so this is puzzling too.

Would appreciate any thoughts you have on this and thank you again for all your help. The good news is I got out put, just not sure what it is totally.


Hello @Stewart_Marcano,

If you are referring to the “Authentication” stage in signal path showing the MQA Studio sample rate, this is not the sample rate that is being sent to your device. This stage checks for the providence of the MQA file to make sure it is authentic, but performs no unfolding of the stream past it’s 44.1 kHz or 48 kHz rate.


Thanks @john

I wasn’t referring to that but thanks for that info and your help. I’m asking given the results of the tests - particularly test 2 which you asked me to do. Does that indicate that the ssp-25 is the DAC for the MQA? And if so does that make sense given it age and like Henry said probably cannot process MQA? or do you have any idea on what is actuals occurring or can you let me know how I might find out what’s actuals going on. Also as a side note, I contacted BlueSound support at the same time as my original post and they got back to me indicating that there is a problem with MQA and Roon and you guys are working on it. However, I was able to get output - so again just a little confused as to what is going on. Thanks!!!