SOtM sMS 200 Ultra neo and iFi Neo iDSD DAC settings / MQA

Could some help me please with the setting for my SOtM sMS 200 Ultra neo and iFi Neo iDSD DAC In order to play MQA files.
Thx a lot in advance

Which firmware version are you running on the NEO? I’ve found that the latest firmware does not function reliably when the NEO is used as an MQA Renderer. Symptoms include no sound and rapid changing of the format on the display.

I have not reproduced this issue when the NEO is used as an MQA Full Decoder.

Until this bug is fixed by a new firmware release, I’d suggest setting MQA Capabilities for the Zone to “Decoder only”, even though this is technically not correct.

Under Advanced settings, I would enable Roon’s MQA Core Decoder. Roon will only do the first unfold if you have any DSP enabled. If your signal path is bit-perfect, the NEO will handle decoding and rendering internally. With these settings, worst case, Roon will handle MAQ Core decoding, giving you 80% of the MQA benefits.

Once iFi has fixed this bug, you can use also the NEO, as an MQA Renderer. This division of labor is nice, and it allows you to do room correction convolution in Roon while preserving SAC-specific MQA rendering on the DAC.

Hi David,
thnx for your response.
I’m running the latest iFi firmware indeed. I made the changes you suggested.
Anything known when the firmware update is expected?

1 Like

It’s difficult to say. Sometimes, iFi Audio goes years between firmware releases. Oh, another quirk with the latest firmware is that, when running the NEO in fixed output mode, if you turn the volume dial all of the way down, it mutes the XLR and RCA outputs. I did not do this with the prior firmware.

I find this kind-of annoying. When I’m not using the internal headphone amp, I prefer to turn the volume down; however, now, if I turn it down to far, there’s no output from the “fixed” outputs.

1 Like

Yes , that’s quite annoying indeed. Guess I’ll just have to wait…