MQA - How do you know you are receiving and listening to it via DirectStream Sr.?

How do you best process MQA files when using the DS Sr.? USB input? How do you know they are being processed? Bridge II? How do you select the file via Bridge? What should I see on the DS Screen to indicate MQA is being processed?


If you are using Roon with the Bridge II you can see how the music file is being processed. When you play a file at the bottom of the page you see which file is playing. There is a blue dot next to the file name. You can push the button and Roon pulls up a dialog box that shows the steps the DS/Roon takes to process the file.

Hope this helps


The only way to get fully unfolded MQA music on the DSD Sr. is via the Bridge. USB will not allow the final unfold, and therefore you will not get the “MQA” or MQA." indicators on the top center of the DSD screen.

If you are streaming via software on a computer that can handle the first and second unfold (Roon, Audirvana+, etc.), that will get passed to the DSD via USB.

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I have a few MQA encoded albums on my NAS storage. If I use Roon to play them through the Bridge II card of the DS senior, the LCD display says MQA. (MQA followed by a DOT) as well as the higher sampling rate as a result of the unfold.

I also have the mConnectHD app on my iPad. If I use that to play MQA albums from Tidal, I get MQA on my DS.

But if I use the same app to play those MQA albums from my NAS, no unfolding occurs. The songs play at the original bitrate of the file.

Any idea why this is, @Paul?

I was wondering, with my DSJ when I stream MQA files from Tidal is the DSJ converting that MQA to DSD (Direct Stream Digital) or is it actually MQA and NOT DSD.

That question doesn’t really make sense in the DS or DS Jr. The signal is processed exactly as MQA directs it - then it’s sent to a DAC that upsamples everything to 56.448MHz and then analog filters a single bit output. That’s exactly what happens with PCM inputs and DSD inputs as well - they are “decoded” and then upsampled…

So if I read your response correctly, if not please assist, what I’m hearing is a play back in DSD not MQA since the dac is upsampling the MQA signal.

Also: is there anyway to disable upsampling


No. There’s an MQA “decoding” in the bridge module (the optional streaming module for the DS, built in to the SD Jr) After that module the bits are the same high rate PCM information that any hardware DAC would get from an MQA decoding chip. Then that higher rate PCM (the decoded MQA) is sent to the DS proper which plays any input whatsoever the same (it ends up as DSD256). But how the DS does it’s job is just as immaterial to MQA as any DAC chip following an MQA decoding.

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Thanks Ted.