Roon not decoding MQA file for McIntosh C52

What does your device setup for the C52 look like Graham? If you don’t know how to get there go to settings/audio and click on the gears icon next to the Zone for the C52. It’s likely that is not setup correctly for the C52.

Thanks for responding. In “Device Setup,” for MQA Capabilities, it is set to “No MQA Support,” which is selected when I chose McIntosh C52 as my device.

Can you take a screen shot of device setup and make sure advance settings is open?

Thanks. In the “Device Setup” menu, I first selected McIntosh, then selected C52, which Roon recognized.


I’ve attached a screen shot of my Device Setup menu.

scroll down in Device Setup, open up Advanced and take another screen shot

Not sure what is happening here but it looks like something is not right at the other end of the playback chain the signal path shows the source file is only 16 bits and is not showing MQA which are usually 24 bit files. Do you get the same for all MQA files?

Would still like to see a screen shot of the Advanced section of Device Setup, but in any case, you should make sure in that section Max Sample rate is set to “Up to 384kHz”, Max Bits Per Sample is set to “32” – this is what your device supports. And Make sure Enable MQA Core Decoder is set to “Yes”.

That will likely address your issue but if not it is beyond me and you should flag Roon Support. Good luck!

I looked at your original screen shot and you are playing a 16 bit regular pcm flac source.

@DrTone, Agreed, this looks like a metadata issue (false positive for MQA) let’s tag @support.

@Graham_Galt, can you select a different MQA album from Tidal, and then check the signal path.

Roon is not playing mqa version looking at the signal path.

Hi @Graham_Galt,

It appears that the file you selected to play is 44.1/16 according to the signal path which is strange. I just tried on my end and this album was played as 192Khz/MQA.

Is this issue occurring for all MQA albums or just this one? Is the behavior still occurring at the present time?

Same here … (with a UK Tidal account) seems there’s more to it than just a MQA false +ve.

Thanks, Craig. Here’s a screen shot for the advanced section of Device Setup.

The “Max Sample Rate” section is definitely set to “Up to 384kHz,” which aligns with the C52’s capabilities.

Here’s a screen shot of another MQA file, which shows MQA being 96kHz, but the signal path sees it as FLAC 44.1kHz.

Hi. Thanks. Yes, I get the same result on all MQA files – they all turn up in the signal path (and on the C52 as 44.1kHz files, regardless of what the MQA format displays in the album browser window.

Thank, CrystalGipsy, and thanks to everyone else who is working to help me. Much appreciated!


Thanks, Carl. Weird, huh?

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Your issue is likely not a device setup issue, but something that causes Roon to get a non-MQA 16/44.1 stream instead of the MQA stream from Tidal.

I remember seeing the same problem reported two or three times before, but is not clear to me what exactly the solution was, e.g.

Perhaps try this:

  • Logout and disable Tidal account.
  • Shutdown Roon Core
  • Find your Roon database and delete the tidal_account file (Database > Registry > Core > tidal_account)
  • Navigate to /Library/Roon/Cache
  • Move the contents of the /Cache folder elsewhere, like your desktop, or just delete it
  • Reboot Roon Core and login Tidal again

Dear Peter and other Tidal geniuses,

Thank you so much for all your helpful guidance. I’m pleased to report that I am now listening to a 96kHz Tidal MQA file through Roon at 96kHz! The advice to flush out the database and start fresh with Tidal addressed the issue completely. I love seeing (and, more importantly, hearing) a signal path that starts with a 96kHz MQA files and ends with a 96kHz file on my C52.

I always knew that Roon was an amazing piece of software (having suffered through Amarrah, J-River and others), but now I’m happier than ever that I signed up for the lifetime version. The support community is top-notch and super-helpful.

Thanks so much.

Ever grateful,



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