DSD Sr with MQA Streamer

#1

I’m a new user with DSD Sr on order (without the Bridge). My initial plan was to use my Nad M50.2 server as a BluOS streamer to play MQA files from Tidal, using the DSD Sr as the DAC. But as I’m reading more, it looks like the Bridge II is necessary for full MQA decoding.

  1. I imagine, however, that I can still do the first unfold through my MQA streamer in the NAD and then output it to the DSD Sr as a non-MQA DAC, correct?

  2. If I were to get the Bridge, would I be able to do the full unfold using a combination of the NAD Streamer and DSD Dac? If so, how would I set that up? Would a digital cable between the NAD and DSD do the trick or do I also have to network the DSD?

Thanks!

#2

You wouldn’t need the NAD streamer at all in that scenario as the Bridge II will stream full MQA on it’s own.

#3

But wouldn’t I then be limited to mConnect as the controller app, or have to set up a Roon system? I’d prefer to use the BluOS as my controller app. I’m comfortable with it, much more so than with mConnect, which I tried out a couple years back when I auditioned the Jr DAC. i found the mConnect app to be buggy.

#4

If you are determined to use the NAD as the streamer then you need to find a fully MQA capable DAC. The DSD is only going to play what it’s fed. So unless the NAD sends full MQA through it’s digital outputs, not likely, you won’t get it from the DS.

#5

Give Roon a try on a trial basis, if you have not already. Odds are you will never look back. My $0.02.

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#6

I bought a Roon lifetime subscription for $500. Great investment. I’m running my 3TB hard drive, Tidal, and Qobuz without a hiccup. Bridge 2s sound quality is excellent, and my library is ENORMOUS!
Only been using Qobuz for a short time, but, I think it’s got way more high res content and generally sounds better. Someone suggested it was because they start with better recordings. Very plausible.

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#7

Yes; great stuff. Roon 1.6 and JRiver Media Center (I use both), “feeding” my DS Sr. DAC and Bridge II from my iMac via Wi-Fi (to the router) and then Ethernet (into the Bridge) is producing the best overall sound quality I have ever had in my system.

Check out the playlists for Qobuz over in the “For Qobuz Users” thread, if you have not already.

#8

I second that with my eyes closed…!

#9

I’m feeling a lot of love on the Roon option.

Question. Do I need to have the Bridge in order to get Roon, if my Nad M50.2 can function as an endpoint instead? In other words, can I use the DSD Sr just as a DAC pushing Roon through the NAD streamer, or do I need to network the DSD?

#10

IIRC, Bridge II is what makes Sr. a Roon endpoint. But you can feed any digital signal from another Roon endpoint to the other inputs to the DAC. Bridge II not required (but I recommend it)…

#11

So the Bridge isn’t required for Roon, but you’re recommending it. Apologies for the newbie questions, but can I ask what advantages the Bridge would have rather than feeding the Roon signal from my Nad streamer to the DSD? Is it because a networked/endpoint DAC is inherently better on Roon than a standalone DAC, or is that the Bridge’s synergy with the DSD would work as better as a streamer than the NAD. I can see the MQA advantage with the Bridge, allowing a full unfolding, but I’m now looking at using Qobuz, which I tried very briefly last night and which will make the MQA question irrelevant.

#12

I keep my 3TB hard drive server in a closet away from my system, isolated. Having it on the network makes it available to play in any room I want, or even over portable speakers by the pool!

#13

For now why don’t you decide on Tidal or Qobuz before you spend any more money. You have to live with and use this system not the Roon enablers. While mConnect may not be perfect, and Roon isn’t either, it is much improved over the last couple of years and works with the Bridge II as it is supposed to with both Tidal and Qobuz. I use it every day.

#14

I use both Qobuz and Tidal with Roon. Mcontrol works, but not even in the same league as Roon. $500 for a lifetime subscription is a small price to pay, compared to components you likely already own.

#15

Contrary to what a hand full of you seem to think Roon is not the solution to every streaming question asked on this forum. Especially for inexperienced users or those without the time or interest to involve other gear in their setup.

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#16

dawkinsj,

Thank you for the response. I have to make another decision prior to Roon–whether to purchase the Bridge at all. My DSD’s on order (next month’s shipment), but since I already have a fairly decent server/streamer in the NAD M50.2 and since I’m pretty comfortable with the BluOS environment, I don’t know if there’s any advantages to do streaming via the Bridge other than the full MQA unfold.

#17

It could be!

#18

You would be correct. If you decide on Qobuz, which I have, then you are good as you are.

#19

Roon works great without Tidal or Qobuz!

#20

I have a contrarian point of view. I used Roon for a year, its a great library management solution for sure, the best on the market. In my, perhaps minority opinion, Roon doesn’t have the best sound quality engine and needs HQPlayer to bring it up to snuff, and that’s a whole ‘nother ball of wax. I also much prefer not using the Bridge II which enables the use of the venerable Matrix Audio X SPDIF 2.

There’s also a lengthy thread about those who recommend removing the Bridge II from the DS. And to my knowledge, and in a category that doesn’t matter that much, both Paul McGowan and Ted Smith do not use the Bridge II for their listening, which is not to pass a conclusion upon the Bridge, just anecdotal.

Given you like your NAD, why not stick with that and add the Matrix? Then decide with a Roon trial if its library management acumen is worth the the trade offs?

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