Simply Audio Roon-endpoint and MQA

Hi Looking for some clarification. Since purchasing Roon recently Ive been trying to find the best way of optimising Roon to my Onkyo TX 8270 receiver . The Onkyo handles up to 192khz NAS files and fully decodes Tidal MQA files - but is not recognised by Roon.
Tried Raspberry/AloDigione combination but discovered digital inputs on the Onkyo are restricted to 96khz.
Then relied on an ethernet connected Chromecast audio via tosslink cable to digital input on Onkyo - but this limits the NAS files to 96khz, however by passing through the Tidal MQA file to leave the Onkyo Decode and Render works great.
So to try and get 192khz from both sources have now purchased a Simply Audio Unit rebooted with Roonendpoint support and feeding to the Onkyo via analogue input - and delivers 192khz from the NAS files fine.

I was expecting that it would not support MQA - so was surprised when Roon default settings set it at Render -with Roon doing the initial decode.
So am I right in assuming that Roon is doing the first unfold , Simply Audio the second a delivering a fully folded MQA file to my Onkyo via analogue ?
Seems to good to be true

You may want to post the Roon signal path

Roon can do the MQA decoding if you have it set that way. Which ever DAC you are using to do the final digital to analog conversion is doing the MQA rendering if you have it set to do that and if it is capable. As long as you don’t go back to digital, afterwards, that’s what’s happening.

No, it should look like this:

You probably need to go digital into your receiver and let the receiver do the MQA rendering.

Thanks Jim - that helps to to see the complete process.
As explained digital isn’t an option for me as the Onkyo inputs are limited to 96khz

It suggests to me that Roon is completing the first unfold but doesn’t know if the Simply Audio unit is capable fo rendering .

Just means I have to save up some money and upgrade from current Onkyo Tx 8270 to the newer TX 8390 which is Roon Ready .Unless Onkyo extend their Roon Ready to earlier models - I can dream

I think MQA files are only 44.1 or 48 and then get unfolded to 88.2, 96, 192, etc. Your receiver might work well doing this. Also, perhaps it’s possible to have two different connections to your receiver, digital for MQA and analog for some other source such as local files or Qobuz.

What makes you think this? I can’t see any published content which implies this. Chromecast, yes. But that’s not the same.

Roon Ready ’ means the DAC or other device being certified complies with all Roon Labs requirements to fully allow for all Roon’s considerable functionality.

press release

Hmmm. as you said just chromecast - guess that means not full Roon functionality

I think there’s a little competition going on between Roon’s RAAT, DTS Play-Fi, and HEOS protocols for music delivery.

That’s all you need for MQA if the Onkyo is an MQA decoder and renderer. Simply set Roon MQA Capabilities under Device Settings to Decoder and Renderer. Roon will simply pass the MQA stream, which is either 44.1kHz or 48kHz, and this will be unfolded by the Onkyo to 88.2kHz or 96kHz before rendering to 176.4kHz or 192kHz.

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And it works fine through that channel , but I also have high res files on my NAS and 192 kHz won’t play because the digital inputs are restricted to 96 kHz
So I’m trying to find a device that plays via my analogue inputs that will deliver 192 kHz on NAS files and Tidal MQA
The main question I’m trying to address is this
Has the Simple Audio rebooted have MQA rendering ability ?

I’m not sure what model Roomplayer you’ve got but given their age and no references to MQA on the Reloaded site I think it’s fair to say that it does not support MQA.

Do you need a streamer (Ethernet connected) or is USB an option? You could take a look at the Bluesound Node or Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 Digital. Both, which are examples, would give you MQA and hi-res direct to one of the Onkyo’s analogue inputs.

Hi Bill

thanks for pointing this out - I got too excited and assumed it meant Roonready.

I guess it means that it will upgrade the in built chromecast to 96khz from the current restricted 48khz.

Which you can already achieve via a chromecast audio connected to via a tosslink cable - so not much of an improvement

Hi Martin - your conclusion is where I got to before set up - I got excited by noticing that Roon set up the Roomplayer as an MQA Renderer - but now convinced this is just a red herring.

Unfortunately my Onkyo does have a USB input - but the manual sates for storage devices only. The Pro-Ject S2 does not have a ethernet connection - and the Bluesound as yet does not have MQA - RAAT compatibility

When trying to find a solution of achieving both a Roon Ready Device with full MQA capability- it seems you have to spend over £2k

This is all very frustrating as I am very happy with my Onkyo TX 8270 - it plays 192khz Flac files - and fully Decodes MQA files in Tidal - but the user interface is clunky - and you can’t bridge a playlist across NAS drive and Tidal files. So disappointing that the digital inputs are restricted to 96Khz - who at Onkyo thought of that for a device that has a DAC capable fo handling up to 192khz

So am going to follow a three pronged approach
a) When not using Roon - just use the Onkyo- get both 192khz Flac and MQA files
b) When using Roon use the Chromecast Audio connected to my Onkyo by Tosslink - get up to 96Khz Flac and up to 192khz MQA
c) When using Roon and playing a Flac file in excess of 96khz- switch Roon output to the Simply Audio Room Player connected to my Onkyo via analogue RCA stereo cable

Just for info I did spot a Novafidelity N15D network streamer- which is mentioned on both MQA and Roon websites - and appears to be Roonready and MQA compatible - retails in UK at around £650 - will have to start saving again

Roon set all my endpoints as renderer only. Only one is MQA capable.

For higher samplerate than 96kHz PCM material: The HDMI Input of your Onkyo might be capable of higher samplerates than 96kHz. I couldn’t find any information on that. My Onkyo PR-SC5507 receives 24/192kHz over HDMI.
If this proves to be true, you could use an Intel NUC as a Roon Endpoint (Dietpi, Roon Bridge), connecting the NUC to the Onkyo through HDMI. A Celeron or Pentium NUC would suffice. This might give you what you are looking for.

that’s worth exploring - never heard of an Intel NUC 9 (have now looked up) - I did try a Raspberry Pi/Allo Digione combo - but as the Allo Digione only had coaxial and spdif out I had to return it.

Now wondering if just a raspberry pi loaded with Dietpi , would do the trick as it does have a hdmi out. Will Roon recognise this a Roon endpoint.