What MQA DAC are you using?

What MQA DACs are folks using?

Meridian 818v3 to Jadis i35 and Sonus Faber Guarneri Evolutions, don’t use Tidal though so the MQA capability is not currently utilised. Meridian DSP 8000SE (upgraded) currently not being used.


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Mytek Brooklyn

Meridian 818v3.

Remember, Roon started out as Meridian Sooloos, so these expensive products will be over-represented.

I intend to replace me bedroom Geek Out with a Dragonfly as soon as they release the MQA feature, next month.

Meridian Explorer 2

Next month? I thought the DragonFly update was a January thing, too? Or is all this MQA decoding/rendering slipping?

I assumed it might be January 45th…

Ordered an Explorer 2 today, not for MQA particularly but because it was on sale and I wanted a DAC/headphone amp while I work. But will definitely try MQA out with Tidal…

I just ordered the Explorer 2 too today (thats a lot of 2s) mainly to try mqa. With the sale its about the same price as the Dragonfly red. My imprsession from reviews is that the Explorer 2 is a better DAC but I haven‘t seen any direct comparisons. What do you guys think?

The Explorer can fully unfold MQA up to 192khz. The Dragonfly Red is a renderer so the first stage of unfolding needs to be done in software. It then does the rest.

Hmm. I saw a statement somewhere (can’t remember where) that the Dragonfly’s receiver chip’s limit of 96k is not an issue because the unfolding to 192 or higher takes place inside the Dragonfly. That would contradict this statement.

I saw Archimago speculating on this theory based on the limited power of the CPU inside.

We will see.

Quote below from Bob Stuart to AudioStream

MQA Core (which comes out of the soft decoder or digital outputs) carries the additional information necessary for an MQA Renderer (eg Dragonfly) or a full Decoder (eg MSB, Brinkman, Mytek, Meridian) to ‘finish the job downstream’.
Read more at http://www.audiostream.com/content/mqa-decoding-explained#uXHlI7AKh3AXB1eD.99

So to get full fat MQA, it seems like you would need the Tidal app, which is Desktop only for now…AND the Dragonfly to do the full decode downstream

It’s a question of how long it will take Tidal & Roon to implement software decoding in their non-desktop app…and equally whether this may be limited to the newer 835 and A10 processors only

Having tried both, I can say that the Dragonfly is smaller and more convenient than the Explorer 2…as well as being more power efficient when used with mobile devices…but that even when playing 16/44 material, that the Explorer sounds much better IMHO…and that’s before factoring in the full MQA decoding possible with the Explorer 2


Very much depends on your typical usage scenario…you could try feeding the F80 via its Analog in with an Explorer 2

Whilst I haven’t tried it with an F80, I find that the Explorer 2 adds some noticeable benefits, which may overcome the ADC / DAC conversions that would result from using it with an F80…[the Explorer 2 benefits being RE / Upsampling / Apodizing of 16/44 material…as well as full unfolding of MQA material]

And at £129, the Explorer is such a small and convenient device that can be used be used in many home & travel applications that I think the investment is very worthwhile…and it would allow you to compare the Explorer / F80 combo versus the F80 receiving 24/96 from the Tidal app

They are a bargain at £129 but my Roon PC is in a seperately part of the house. I stream to the F80 so it won’t be possible unfortunately.

Interesting. I wasn’t aware of the full decoder/renderer distinction.
I am going to use the Explorer 2 to listen to MQA titles for now but stick with my M-dac for the rest. At this price it keeps my audiophile gadget hunger in check while I wait for the MQA dac market to mature (if ever).

I just bought the Meridian Prime after thorough listening and comparing. I use it threefold: Pre Amp, DAC and Headphone Amp.
It is a really fantastic device, even without MQA!
It soooo much better than my G91a that I used before as a pre-amp, but with it’s MQA functionality and the certainty that MQA is becoming real world now, this machine is a no-brainer!

Anybody in US able to get Meridian Explorer2?

There is only one Meridian authorized dealer close to where I live, and they quoted me $299 to order (not in stock).

There is one for sale on Amazon third party for $199, but not sure if authorized dealer.


Bought mine online last week. Audio Advisor is a good seller. They are in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Had it within a couple of days. ($199.99).


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In the bedroom I have a RPi 3 wireless roon endpoint with a explorer 2 and UE triple fi ear buds