Roon remote settings for Dragonfly Black wrt Tidal MQA files

Hi, more of a question here than a problem. I’m running Roon server (latest) on a dedicated linux pc, and am using rpi ropieexl’s for bridges, and a variety of dacs. Everything is working great, just have some questions with this DAC and MQA:

My dragonfly black 1.5, firmware version 1.07 DAC when plugged into a rpi, from there, analog 3.5mm goes to analog in RCAs of amp. For the DAC settings under Device setup towards bottom, I have Enable MQA Core Decoder set to on. I have this question:

  1. I believe Roon Server does the first unfold, and the Dragonfly only does the Render
  2. So I’m curious why I have to enable this setting, to get what I think is the best sound so far?

I also have MQA Capabilities in Device setup for Decoder and Renderer. Is this correct?

It seems that I should just use Render only, assuming Render is equivalent to 2nd unfold? And also assuming that RoonServer always does the MQA first unfold?

My path is Tdtal source flac 44.1/16bit 2ch, MQA 88.2khz (Taylor Swift Evermore album on Tidal)
to Auth MQA 88.2khz with MQA signaling, to Preserve MQA signaling to 24 to 64 bit float, to -5.2db vol level, to Crossfade 1000ms, to 64 bit float to 24-bit with MQA Signaling, to ropieexl device with RAAT, to Dragonfly black Alsa, to MQA Renderer ORFS 88.2khz, to analog output.

So in the above scenario, which sounds great, is there an easy way to turn off the 2nd unfold on the dragonfly, just for comparison testing? Thank you.

The Dragonfly’s can only render, so, yes set it to Render Only. The Render stage is not an unfold, btw.

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I’m not sure. You can try a test by setting MQA Decoder to ON and MQA Capabilities to NONE for the Dragonfly and see if that lets Roon do the Decode without the Dragonfly Render stage.

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Thanks, Render Only, to No MQA does turn the butterfly logo on the DAC from purple (MQA 96kHz), to magenta (88.2 kHz no MQA). I’ll have to take some time to do critical listening. Thank you.

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