Roon MQA Pass Through

I looked at several threads and didn’t seem to find this issue answered. If it is please point me in the correct direction.

Running Roon on a Mac Mini and outputting to a Bel Canto 3.5 DAC. Have the Tidal desktop app on the same computer.

When I choose an MQA album in the Tidal app and play it through the Bel Canto the sample rate on the DAC bumps up to whatever the track output as. The Bel Canto has a readout that shows this and can and does vary with tracks played through it.

When I play the same track through Roon the sample rate does not change. It remains at 44.1.

I am assuming there’s a menu option to correct this but my search has been fruitless.

Any help would be appreciated.


You need bitperfect output from Roon.
Do you have volume control or levelling enabled in Roon?

Roon won’t decode MQA but the Tidal Desktop App does.
Roon decoding is coming but no dates as yet.

gecko; I do not have it enabled and bitperfect shows as active. It may be that the files I am seeing in Roon aren’t the Masters files?

Chris; Not asking Roon to decode. Was wondering if it does passthrough of the Tidal files. If you are saying Roon won’t do that, it’s a different story. Does Roon just not pick up the Masters MQA files form Tidal?

mater files thru roon show as 24/44.1 or 24/48 when you click the blue diamond light by the track. So Roon does not decode, but pass as is. Since I upsample everything to DSD512 I am not sure what the dac would read with no HQP up sampling.

Is your Bel Canto dac MQA capable?
If so, then a bitperfect out from Roon should result in your DAC recognizing the MQA stream and unfolding it.
If not, then Roon will output a 24/44.1 (instead of 16/44.1) to you dac as it doesn’t (yet) do software unfolding of MQA.

No the DAC isn’t MQA capable. Guess that means when using Roon it can’t use the Tidal software to unpack the files. Guess I’ll look for an MQA capable DAC to see what all the fuss is about. Thanks for the help.

Remember MQA decoding is coming to Roon but we don’t have an official date.
Track history suggests the Roon team don’t hang about but things do take time to get right.

I have a Bel Canto 2.7 DAC which I love. I pass Tidal MQA files through Jriver and use there upsampling method to my DAC’s highest capabilities. The sound I get is just awesome. Jriver shows what the incoming signal is and the DAC shows what the signal is being upsampled to, so I get all the info I need when playing a file. I also use some other settings within Jriver that enhance my sytems setup. Some albums of course aren’t that great, but many are the best I’ve heard through my system. I tried running Roon through Jriver which sounds great but it has too many drop outs.

I have a Dragonfly Red so I’m waiting to compare the two when Audioquest upgrades the device. The Bel Canto should still out perform a $200 portable DAC but I have high hopes for the little fella.

Beau_Ranheim, you may get lucky (by a long shot) with having Bel Canto upgrading that DAC to MQA capabilities. There top of the line Black Series is MQA certified, so they’ve already paid for the licensing. Maybe they can upgrade it someday like the Dragonfly. This is just wishful thinking on my part.