The Marlin

Streaming Tidal MQA...

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45 minutes ago, StingRay said:

You can use a Bluesound Node 2i to do that. You dont need to spend loads of money.

I do the same, but I’m getting disillusioned by some recent vinyl pressings.  The sibilance on some recording (such as The remastered version of The Queen is Dead by The Smiths is terrible. 
 

My favourite recent pressing is ‘Shortly After Takeoff’ by BC Camplight.  Great songs, beautifully recorded and presented. 
But a lot of modern pressings leave a lot to be desired. 

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I've tested it many times. CD vs. Tidal HIfi vs Tidal MQA,  They all sound it bit different. Is one better?  Not to my ears. MQA pushes the sould out to the sides more to my ears, giving a sense of more air and sound stage, just so slightly.  I can play an MQA track right now and run it out of the Node 2 DAC (MQA) vs my Jolida DAC (non MQA).   IF there is a difference, it's not worth fretting about.

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In order to play an MQA file you will need a compatible streamer with USB out to go with the Topping D90 MQA. Or you can use the USB out of a PC/laptop and the desktop version of Tidal. I have an MQA capable setup and Tidal through Roon. I would say, hand on heart that a good DAC (and the D90 is a good one) is the aim. MQA is just a bit of gravy if that is what you like. You get the right lights come on and you know you are getting the best from your chosen files. But always be aware that there are virtually no MQA only releases. Just the odd one or two. So you can get the CD quality releases from Tidal for everything regardless. 

The aim is to get the MQA file to the DAC bit perfect. Probably the best low cost option is a Raspberry Pi streamer with a distribution on it that has Tidal. I am not familiar with them but I would have thought Volumio or Moode could do what you need.
 

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27 minutes ago, Cable Monkey said:

In order to play an MQA file you will need a compatible streamer with USB out to go with the Topping D90 MQA. Or you can use the USB out of a PC/laptop and the desktop version of Tidal. I have an MQA capable setup and Tidal through Roon. I would say, hand on heart that a good DAC (and the D90 is a good one) is the aim. MQA is just a bit of gravy if that is what you like. You get the right lights come on and you know you are getting the best from your chosen files. But always be aware that there are virtually no MQA only releases. Just the odd one or two. So you can get the CD quality releases from Tidal for everything regardless. 

The aim is to get the MQA file to the DAC bit perfect. Probably the best low cost option is a Raspberry Pi streamer with a distribution on it that has Tidal. I am not familiar with them but I would have thought Volumio or Moode could do what you need.
 

Why do you need USB?

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MQA requires processing power to decode. The USB is a convenient place to do that and leaves other inputs unmolested. In the case of FPGA based DACs you can do it there, and that could extend to all inputs. But people who have used FPGA have gone to a lot of trouble and they tend to reject MQA because it bypasses their hard work. Read Chord, PS Audio etc.

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7 minutes ago, Cable Monkey said:

MQA requires processing power to decode. The USB is a convenient place to do that and leaves other inputs unmolested. In the case of FPGA based DACs you can do it there, and that could extend to all inputs. But people who have used FPGA have gone to a lot of trouble and they tend to reject MQA because it bypasses their hard work. Read Chord, PS Audio etc.

But is that not done within the streamer? My Node 2 handles MQA but it does not have USB.

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2 hours ago, StingRay said:

But is that not done within the streamer? My Node 2 handles MQA but it does not have USB.

I agree with you👍
68995FBD-3ED5-411D-BD8A-48161DE3D915.thumb.jpeg.fbee86786ddf9eba48e19bbec331d0c6.jpeg

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5 minutes ago, Beyond you said:

I agree with you👍
68995FBD-3ED5-411D-BD8A-48161DE3D915.thumb.jpeg.fbee86786ddf9eba48e19bbec331d0c6.jpeg

That applies to the analogue outputs of the Node 2i, not the digital output that was being discussed above.

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3 hours ago, Cable Monkey said:

In order to play an MQA file you will need a compatible streamer with USB out to go with the Topping D90 MQA. Or you can use the USB out of a PC/laptop and the desktop version of Tidal. I have an MQA capable setup and Tidal through Roon. I would say, hand on heart that a good DAC (and the D90 is a good one) is the aim. MQA is just a bit of gravy if that is what you like. You get the right lights come on and you know you are getting the best from your chosen files. But always be aware that there are virtually no MQA only releases. Just the odd one or two. So you can get the CD quality releases from Tidal for everything regardless. 

The aim is to get the MQA file to the DAC bit perfect. Probably the best low cost option is a Raspberry Pi streamer with a distribution on it that has Tidal. I am not familiar with them but I would have thought Volumio or Moode could do what you need.
 

Bingo Henry. That's just explained an awful lot.

I keep banging on about how to my ears, Tidal MQA is so little different to Qobuz high res, and sometimes better. But what I hadn't taken into account is that I'm playing Tidal and Qobuz streaming from a PC with a HiFace USB to SPDIF converter and using the Tidal desktop software, which is processing the MQA. I had assumed every Tidal app did that, but maybe not.

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@StingRay

The Node 2i is an end to end device with a streamer and DAC combined. In that instance the MQA, BluOS and Roon capability is all built in to a processor in the streamer. But you cannot do full MQA in a streamer only because it needs to ‘know’ the DAC. My example above was specific to the OP’s mention of the D90 MQA but as with anything there are many ways to skin a cat. My streaming DAC does it all via the Lumin supplied streaming module. All other inputs including USB are not MQA capable. 

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On 19/10/2020 at 10:07, The Marlin said:

I currently sit on my sofa and play Apple Music from my phone which goes via Airplay to my Apple TV, and further to my DAC, then Hifi.  It doesn’t appear that this will work with Tidal MQA,

Here is the question. If I want to take advantage of Tidal MQA, and sit on my sofa in a similar untethered way, how do I get MQA Audio off Tidal (iphone app)

Marlin

News just in ¬¬. Well to me anyway :$ I'm often behind the curve :(:)

https://www.whathifi.com/news/tidal-connect-one-touch-casting-of-hi-res-and-dolby-atmos-music

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5 hours ago, Man in a van said:

News just in ¬¬. Well to me anyway :$ I'm often behind the curve :(:)

https://www.whathifi.com/news/tidal-connect-one-touch-casting-of-hi-res-and-dolby-atmos-music

Now, that I like. 

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On 19/10/2020 at 17:22, Boysey said:

I use Tidal and Qobus via Roon via a Myteck Brooklyn DAC and I personally find very little difference between MQA mastered music and High Res files. Furthermore, not all MQA files are equalemoji33.png

This is totally accurate. I’m using the Mytek Brooklyn Bridge. I can hear the difference between MQA and non-MQA using headphones whilst doing the comparison. But I doubt I can really tell them apart in a blind test using headphones.

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