Streaming MQA to a Cocktail Audio X50 --> Rotel-1592

First and foremost, Roon is great! Really like it so far.

I have a general question with respect to my Roon setup. Currently the Roon core is located on my iMac (i7, 40GB RAM, late 2017). At the endpoint side I am using a Cocktail Audio X50 (wired network) that is hooked to a Rotel-1592 via USB-Audio out (amp with integrated USB-DAC).

This is a rather good sounding setup. However, I have some questions:

  1. It seems that the X50 has full MQA-support; however, when playing 96kHz MQA music from Tidal, the Rotel only show 48kHz. Is this meant to be, when the decoding is done by the X50?

  2. What functionality would I loose when I hook the iMac directly to the Rotel-1592 (via USB)? Can I then still use MQA? Will there be a general loss in sound quality? I am not sure what the X50 is doing in my current setup, since it does not function as a DAC. It came to my mind that I do not need it at all.

Sorry for these questions, but sometimes I am a bit confused by all zhis Roon/DAC/MQA stuff.

Would be nice if someone could help me out on this.


… I have to add that my library is stored on my iMac, not on the X50.

A noble set.

But unfortunately X50 has no full MQA-support because it’s not DAC (X45 is).
When you connect your Rotel directly to iMac - no full MQA -support also (only so called “first unfold” in Roon); Rotel’s DAC is not MQA capable.

Only MQA capable DAC can serve full MQA -support, through analog output.

This is technical point of view.
Sound quality - It’s a matter of taste… :wink:

Thanks for your answer.

This means that in my case the X50 is pretty useless in my setup.
Is there somewhere a list with DACs that have full MQA support?

Look here please: