Directstream/ MQA/ Bluesound Node

I think I know the answer is no, but can a DS with the bridge II card decode MQA via the toslink/coax digital in; or can the DS only decode MQA via the USB or Ethernet? Have a bluesound setup and would like to keep everything running under one app. I have tried Roon before and would rather not resort to that if possible.

As the MQA decoding is done in the Bridge II the source data must pass through the ethernet connection of the bridge. (At least that is my understanding and happy to be corrected).

Correct. It won’t work because the coax and other inputs have no access to the bridge. The DAC does not decode MQA because to do that we would have had to compromise the DAC’s performance to accommodate MQA, something we were/not willing to do./

So guys, I am running Tidal in HiFi and Master (MQA) and trying to figure out the best way to present the output of my Bluesound 2i Node to my Directstream.

The Bluesound Node will do the “first unfold” and present that to the DS DAC in various formats, (none of which include the Bridge of course) at up whatever.

Can the DS take it from there? How would that sound or would we be better off just running only HIFI from Tidal and forgetting about “Masters/MQA”?

If I do run the output of the Bluesound Node to the DS, what it the best way to do that?

It is my understanding that you have to have a Bridge II Ethernet card installed in your DS and use that input in order to go “full Origami”. :slight_smile: Keep in mind that the Bridge will do the full unfold though so if you go that route, it would probably be best to let the Bridge do the first and second unfold.


Thank you for trying to help.
I actually already have a Bridge II installed, but the McConnect interface is so buggy I am trying to use a Node 2i I have lying around as that interface is stellar. That’s why I am trying to figure out the best way to pipe the output of the Bluesound into the Directstream digital inputs.


Good luck.

You only have two choices and neither will get you MQA or DSD so just pick the one you have the best cable for. I personally don’t think BluOS is any better than Mconnect so wouldn’t to me be gaining anything.

Write to their support. The problem is solved if you make them able to play over lan - to Bridge - 2

Digital Playback – The Bluesound Support Crew

Not sure what a screenshot of the Lumin app has to do with this thread.

Thanks, Michael. But I am already running with a Bridge II.

My question is, what is the best way to present the output of my Bluesound 2i Node to my Directstream, given that the Bluesound can do the first “MQA unfold” (or not).

The node 2i does the full MQA magic if you use its built-in DAC, so you could run the analog outs from the node 2i direct to your preamp, but that defeats the advantage of having a DSD. I suppose if you still have an analog input available you could connect both digitally into the DSD for non-MQA music and via analog for MQA stuff. There’s no reason that wouldn’t work.

Best of both worlds doing it that way.


Again as long as you recognize their is no way to get full MQA from the Node to the Directstream then you have two choices either optical or coax. You are going to have to try them both and see which you prefer. Ted Smith prefers optical and I prefer Coax. Options on optical cables are limited so you have more room to experiment with coax cables. If I was you I would switch from Tidal to Qobuz and then their Hi-Res files require no “special” processing like MQA from Tidal does.

That’s why output connections via both digital and analog will work. But, again, you need an open analog input on your pre-, and you’re counting on the (far inferior) internal DAC in the node 2i for the full MQA unfold.

That being said? THEORETICALLY, all MQA DACs use the same algorithm (that’s the point of MQA) so I can’t imagine it matters vice listening through your DSD DAC. If I’m wrong, I’m sure someone will correct me.

This gets you that full-MQA thing through your good pre- and amp when you listen to Tidal, and all the DAC-magic Ted built into the DSD when you aren’t listening to MQA-encoded files.

I’m fully aware of that. Then you send your signal through the lan cable. Your bluesound is on the same network as your bridge 2. This is the only way you can run MQA over your DS.

I am in the process of throwing 2TB onto my Roon server.

Bluesound NODE 2i

Audio formats: MP3, AAC, WMA (incl. Lossless), OGG, FLAC, ALAC, WAV, AIFF, MQA
32-bit / 192kHz built-in DAC
Maximum resolution: 24-bit / 192kHz

It unfolds to 24/96 - You can also see it in your app that an MQA tag appears when your Bluesound plays in MQA

Hello, and thanks for your comments. However, I am not interested in listening to the A/D conversion analog output and section of a $500 Bluesound Node 2i when I have a $5,000 DirectStream that I want to use for D/A conversion and analog out to the preamp.

Also, all MQA DACS do not use the same algorithm post first unfold.

Lastly, my remaining question is super specific and pertains only to what happens when a Directstream DAC is presented with a “first unfolded” MQA stream.

it’s clear from dawkinsj above that either optical or coax from the Bluesound will work and it has been stated that Ted likes optical so I will just use that.

If you’re interested in MQA for the high res content then why not just switch to Qobuz? You get high Rez using standard formats, which you can pass from the node2 to the dsd.

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