I set my Roon Settings for my Mac to “No MQA support” so the signal is both decoded and rendered on my SMSL DAC. what am I missing?
Have you reviewed the MQA settings in the Roon FAQ? Here.
The MQA Capabilities setting is telling Roon what your DAC can do. NO MQA SUPPORT means your DAC cannot do any MQA decoding or rendering itself. If you want your DAC to do both, then set it to “Decoder and Renderer”.
In “Decoder and Renderer” mode if you have “No DSP Enabled” then Roon will pass through the bit-perfect MQA stream to the device. And if you do have the “DSP Engine Enabled”, then, Roon will engage its MQA Core Decoder and unfold the file to a high-resolution 24 bit/88.2 kHz or 24 bit/96 kHz stream. Before any DSP is applied, Roon will preserve the 2nd unfold MQA Rendering information. After the DSP Engine operations have finished, Roon will then re-insert the MQA Rendering information before passing the stream to the device.
If don’t want that, then you could also turn off Roon’s MQA decoder OFF. But, keep in mind, any DSP functionality, including volume leveling, will destroy the MQA information.
Post a signal path screenshot.