Questions about Allo, iFi, and MQA

Hi @support I have some questions about MQA support with my setup. First things first: everything is working finde with my Poly-Mojo set as “renderer” and i have some experience using MQA-files with my meridian and iFi DAC connected directly to my mac. Meridian Explorer 2 via USB@Allo Digi One and MQA passthrough works as well.


A) Audio set to “MQA renderer” in Roon -> Allo Digi One Player -> SPDIF/Chinch -> iDSD Micro BL -> Chinch-> Preamp/Amp…

See Screenshot. Lamp at iDSD is green (no MQA)
Q: I guess its because the SPDIF does not transport the MQA Data to the DAC?

B) Audio set to “No MQA Support” in Roon -> Allo Digi One Player -> USB -> iDSD Micro BL -> Chinch-> Preamp/Amp…

See Screenshot. Lamp at iDSD is green (no MQA)
Q: So what does that mean? First unfold is still “there”, but not “more”? Still more potential if “Renderer would be checked in roon”?

C) Audio set to “MQA Renderer” in Roon -> Allo Digi One Player -> USB -> iDSD Micro BL -> Chinch-> Preamp/Amp…

See Screenshot. Lamp at iDSD is yellow (jaaaay!).

Q: So that is the best performance my setup is capable of… but unfortunately my sound breaks every few seconds :confused: with this setting. The Allo Digi One is running the latest version of Volumio and connected to 1 Gb/s Cable.

Too weak Hardware (Allo Digi One)?
Something with the iDSD and MQA (its not on your list afaik)?
Maybe still network?

Any idea where to start looking?

Thanks in advance!

Hello @Ramona_Kollar-Neuber,

I moved your post into a new thread so that I can give you the proper attention.

For Setup A, you are correct, the iFI does not do MQA over SPDIF

For Setups B&C, you should have Roon Device Setup MQA capability setting to “Renderer Only” for the iFi to work with MQA correctly

To troubleshoot why you are seeing dropouts with MQA signal, can you try plugging the iFI iDSD Micro BL directly into your Roon Core machine, setting MQA to “Renderer Only”, and seeing if the device plays with dropouts? We need to see if this issue is caused by Roon, the Allo Digi One, or the iDSD.


Thank you :slight_smile:
I can plug the iDSD to the core the next day, BUT… i plugged the DAC to my MacBook running a Roon and sat down next to my rack. Should work even better for testing?

Everything is running superb via Wifi. Yellow lights, no dropouts at all, great sound. I guess it’s the Allo then? :frowning:

Hello @Ramona_Kollar-Neuber,

Yes, I think it’s safe to say that the Allo is the issue here. I would investigate any switches on your network and see if you can simplify things, we are not aware of issues effecting RaspberryPi and MQA playback at the moment. This sounds like a network problem to me.


Sounds plausible! I will check an report back! Thanks for the fast reply and your efforts!

Apologies for wasting your time ;D … i never ever would have thought a wifi is more stable than my LAN. Switched to wifi at the Allo: solved!

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Weird thing: after switching to wifi on the Allo, the HAT does not appear at the audio setup in roon any more. It is still working (upnp and airplay) but no option in roon. Have to check this out tomorrow.

Anyone a recommendation for the OS? Volumio is OK (did that Roon-thing via the shell)? Unfortunately the whole HAT is unnecessary for MQA playback, but i guess the re-balancing at the iDSD will help with USB distortions and jitter probs?

Hello @Ramona_Kollar-Neuber,

I believe the DietPi distro supports WiFi, and has a great community of support here on the forums.


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