Tidal MQA not working with Pro-ject S2

Everything in Roon looks ok, but no indication that the S2 recognized MQA. What did I do wrong? @support

Signal path: TIDAL FLAC 48kHz 24 bit 2ch, MQA 192kHz - Roon Advanced Audio Transport - CoreAudio Exclusive Mode - Box S2 (2.12 firmware).
Mac Mini, latest OS and Roon, S2 connected via USB

Do you have volume normalization turned on?

A picture of your Signal Path would be very useful.

Hi @Bo_Shao

I see the volume is at 50 in Roon. If you turn the volume to 100 in Roon, does it solve the issue?

I don’t have the S2 DAC with me anymore to test, and I can’t recall if Roon can control the DAC’s internal volume via USB.

Roon volume should be set to max, use the volume control on the S2. I would change the volume mode setting.

Unfortunately the volume control doesn’t make a difference. I tried that already.

Have you setup Tidal to exclusively use the s2 and tick the box to avoid software unfolding MQA?

Mystery deepens. I set it the same way on my MacBook and as long as the volume setting is correct (fixed volume), MQA works. But the same setup on the Mac Mini doesn’t work. I will look into it further. Thank you all.

On a separate note, the S2 is not a full pre-amplifier. It does not increase the gain of digital signals. It cannot drive my power amplifier (Prima Luna Dialog HP) and Magnepans to sufficient volume. Admittedly, the Maggies are low efficiency speakers, but my little iFi Nano has no trouble.

The settings in TIDAL’s app(s) have no bearing on Roon functionality.

@Bo_Shao Have you tried setting Volume Control Mode to “Use Fixed Volume”?

Hello @Bo_Shao,

Just wanted to chime in and offer some more assistance. Firstly, it should be known that Pro-Ject is aware of issues occurring with MQA playback with a handful of customers is and working improving this behavior with their continued firmware updates. Unfortunately, I don’t have any specific information on when these updates can be expected or if they will be relevant in your case.

Secondly, I would like to know if you’ve tried using the Pre Box S2 with external power along with the USB connection from both your Mac Mini and MacBook, to see if that changes things. MQA decoding requires some extra grunt from the Pro-Ject’s processor, and a few cases have been reported where using external power instead of relying on the bus power alone has fixed some issues for users.