TIDAL to add 'millions' of Master Quality (MQA) Tracks

You must have a 24 bit file in order to unfold.

He doesn’t mention unfolding a 16 bit here. Do you have any other documentation?

What is ORFS ?

ORFS is the original Frequency Sample Rate

If the file is 44.1kHz/16b MQA,

  • there is no unfolding since there is nothing to unfold
  • if it’s extended to 44.1kHz/24b with 8 zeros at the bottom (which can occur in some circumstances), the decoder will ignore the zeros. This is in Bob Stuart’s blog.
    The only thing that should happen to the file is upsampling, which will use MQA filters in an MQA DAC, and standard filters in a non-MQA DAC.

It’s possible that Roon just doesn’t have another flag available for valid 44.1kHz/16b MQA files so it shows its standard/existing flags. I believe Roon should be able to answer this.

Also, your comment on Donald Fagan Nightfly above is wrong. If the album was resampled to 24/48, it cannot be unfolded since, again, there is no high res data to unfold. It will simply be encoded as a 24 bit file at 48 kHz.

Then there is another error in Roon. Can someone with a MQA DAC test ?

Yes, you keep finding the same flagging error. Nothing is being decoded, there isn’t anything to decode. Either Roon flagging is wrong or (conceivably I guess) something in the MQA bitstream is mis-set. Ask the Roon guys.

Just for Reference:

Donald Fagan Nightfly shows up as 48kHz MQA on an MQA DAC.

In the case of a true 44.1/48 k file (not meaning the Flac data rate), the Core shouldn’t be active, correct? The file should be sent directly to the renderer at 44.1k or 48 k, for subsequent upsampling within the DAC.

Have you another zone linked as you play this. I have seen this in my Meridian zone when I have my Pulse Flex and Meridian 210 zones linked.
I think the Roon unfolding takes over to support the flex and this is also repeated in the Meridian zone

Does this apply to 16 bit MQA ?
Before my understanding was that MQA only could be unfolded if 24 bit.

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Just to be clear. I don’t think Donald Fagan 24/48 is an error being unfolded to 24/96. But you indicated so.

However I accused Warner for doing upsampling of a original 16 bit recording. No 24 bit master exist. This has nothing to do with MQA. (But of cause Warner used this file to create a MQA. Maybe it unfold further in a DAC ?).

I’m talking about 16 bit MQA can’t be unfolded. Pr. definition of how MQA works.

Also I’m only talking about Roon doing fist unfold. Whatever type of MQA file is offered. If I had a MQA DAC I could tested more if there was any difference between how Roon and a DAC handle 16 bit MQA.

play the accused track in Audirvana, still the same?

I don’t know. MQA is a complex technology with many options.

Let me try to ask in a different way then.

Is it a correct behavior that Roon is unfolding a 16/44.1 to a 24/88.2 ?
Or can you have someone verify ?

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Yeah, this has puzzled me too. Haven’t gotten worried about it yet - but it does seem strange.

You keep using the term “unfolding.” That seems to be the hang up. For MQA, all unfolding is decoding, but not all decoding is unfolding. If not >48 kHz ORFS, then no ultrasonic encoding, nor unfolding.


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Andrew, you persist… What @R1200CL and others are saying that these tracks are MQA authenticated at 44.1Khz or 48Khz, they should NOT be “unfolded/upsampled/expanded” to more than the authenticated sample rate.


As I suspected.
Would be interesting if anyone using Audirvana can report same issues. I would assume the error is on MQA (the company) side.

Maybe this is your department to take necessary actions ?

This is definitely regional , i still can’t see the Pink Floyd stuff that started this thread South Africa the poor relation as ever , I’d check on Qobuz but we don’t have it , or maybe Amazon HD if we had that as well


I think you’re adding some confusion here.
But it’s interesting to see you have the CD version available. I add a circle :o: where your version has CD written. An interesting detail.
However this album is also being decoded into 24/88.2 when playing as any probably 16 bit MQA album will be. (I assume you have master available and hooked of in your Tidal subscription).