I’ve loved my Roon / Tidal induction. My current set-up is a near field Ropieee->Schiit Modius/Schiit Bifrost 2->Emotiva A-100/Schiit Jotunheim (balanced)->KEF Q150/Sennheiser HD6XX
I’m also building a proper system in my new basement - either Maggies or Focals or Revels most likely, but still in very early design phase. Basement isn’t even done. Just want you to have context that I’m neither a died in the wool audiophile obscurantist nor a cost is no object I’ll try anything guy.
So here is the question. I want to give MQA a proper shake. I don’t want to break the bank.
- budget: Could spend $500, or even $1000 if I felt like that would make the difference
- commitment: Would ideally like something that I could return if after a month if I don’t find the magic
- sound: I like warmth / organic, not etched
- features: do not need a headphone amp built in; could always use jotunheim or another separate. Prefer to have balanced out if I can
My philosophy is that I’m a hopeful skeptic. A lot of people say I’ll love it. I want to. I’m a little dubious going in, but I’ve adopted all kinds of things (coffee, travel, clothing, audio) that folks have suggested where I’ve originally been skeptical.
So here are the ideas I’ve looked at:
- SMSL SU-9
- SMSL M500
- iFi Micro iDSD signature
- Meridian Explorer 2
- Topping D90
And then there are the “this blows my budget by far, but if I’m not going to appreciate MQA without it, I can see my way clear to considering it, though this might put my timeline back by a bit”:
6. Mytek Brooklyn DAC+
7. Aurelic Altair G1
8. IFi iDSD Pro
Note that within this group it’s not entirely fair, because my existing equipment is not at this level. I can compare the MQA vs redbook/non-MQA portion of each of these items.
Note: MQA hate isn’t helpful to this exercise, even if I understand why some might.
So I realize this is going to get some people riled up. I don’t know if I will like MQA at all. A bit dubious that I will. But I want to really try — for a full month. Can you help me figure out what it’ll take to really decide? Which one would you choose? Beyond this group, understanding my budget? Appreciate all your help.