Node 2i MQA

I have tried various settings related to MQA support for my Node 2i in Roon. No matter what I do, I can hear virtually no difference in the music. Am I missing something?

My gear includes a Bluesound Node 2i, Peachtree Nova 150 integrated amp, Totem Arro speakers, Mac Mini serving Roon Core

I’ve tried:

  • Node 2i as renderer only vs. decoder and renderer
  • Node 2i coax to amp vs. analog to amp
  • various volume/tone control settings in BluOS app

Currently, I have the Node 2i set up as decoder and renderer. When I do an A-B test switching between coax and analog output, I hear virtually no difference. My understanding is that I should be hearing MQA only if the Node output to the amp is via analog (otherwise, the amp not the streamer is doing digital to analog conversion).

Is it possible that the Nova 150 DAC delivers virtually the same output as the Node 2i MQA renderer? Am I missing some significant setting?

I’m not sure that’s right. Assuming the Node 2i is doing the MQA->PCM translation in both cases, the only difference between the analog out and the digital (COAX) out would the performance of the two different DAC chips. Two reasonably good DACs in the two boxes, so I wouldn’t be surprised if their rendition of certain recordings was virtually identical.