MQA via Bridge2


#1

Downloaded my first MQA file (The Doors, LA Woman) from OnkyoMusic (listed as 24/96 MQA). Upon playback via JRiver/Bridge2 (Hard Drive>USB to laptop/windows>Ethernet to router>Ethernet to Bridge2-current update version), both the DS (Sr.) and the JRiver controller showed the file as 24/48. There is no indication on the DS that the file is MQA.

Is the file not unfolding properly, or did Onkyo dupe me? What should the DS display read?


#2

I believe only Roon and the MConnect app is capable of fully unfolded MQA files to the Bridge II. Try using the MConnect (free) app via Android or iOS to test this theory. If MConnect fully unfolds it and the DSD displays the proper spec, then you know.


#3

LA Woman on Tidal MQA via mConnect to BridgeII is 24/96


#4

If there Bridge is presented with an MQA file it should decode it and trigger the light.


#5

I hesitate to accuse OnkyoMusic of deceitful business protocols. Instead, I should confirm whether there is an issue in my setup. Does anyone know if JRiver requires any ‘setup’ before it will properly handle MQA . . . Or, should the Bridge2 simply take over all the heavy lifting? I believe I’m up to date on my Bridge firmware. When was the last time an upgrade was issued?

Thanks.


#6

Bridge2 should simply do the complete unfolding (as it does using the mConnect control point) and the DS screen has to look like this (notice the MQA. light!) :

Using the Lumin app and selecting my Tidal enabled Melco as renderer results in 24/48, the pre-unfolding native resolution :

Playing a downloaded (2L free test) MQA file from my Melco to the Bridge results in complete unfolding;

I’m willing to test your download, just PM and send me a small track.
Not using computers/JRiver in my audio chain can’t help you with that…


#7

Assuming it is sent to the Bridge II unmolested. In other words, no upsampling can be done by JRiver or any other software.


#8

With respect, I do not believe that this is correct. My understanding is that no MQA unfolding is taking place at 24/48. In other words, the pre-unfolding native resolution of the Doors MQA track is 24/48. When you use the mConnect app and the Bridge II input to play this MQA track, the native 24/48 file is unfolded up to a maximum of 24/192 (and in this example, to 24/96).


#9

Do’nt know what’s happening really technical with mqa hocuspocus (who does;-) , but playing this mqa Doors album using Lumin and the DS over USB from the Melco gives me this (16/44 & mqa symbol) screen on the app

and this display on the DS

which seemed to me that there is some kind of unfolding :thinking:


#10

I have seen analogous discrepancies between app readout and DS display, and I can understand why one might assume that there is an MQA ‘first unfold’ from 16/44.1 to 24/48 taking place. However, I am virtually certain that that is not the case. I will leave it to someone more technically inclined to try to explain what is actually going on between your Lumin app and your DS screen. My best guess is that the Lumin app – which, AFAIK, does not decode MQA at any level – simply does not recognize the extra bits and sampling frequency in native MQA tracks. In other words, the Lumin app may be displaying the 24/48 native MQA track mistakenly as 16/44.1, whereas the DS is displaying correctly the pre-unfolding bit rate and sampling frequency (24/48) of the MQA track.


#11

Completely agreed that the Lumin app does’nt unfold anything, as it’s just a control point.

Anyways…mqa is not of that great interest to me, prefer native hires :smile:


#12

The only way the Bridge II card will decode MQA is if, and only if, you play the MQA track through the Ethernet port on the Bridge II card. You will never decode MQA playing through USB, I2S, or any other input.


#13

Agreed.


#14

To get back on track and address Timequest’s issue; JRiver does not appear to support MQA, according to the forum section on their website.

It can pass an MQA file through, but you still have to have some sort of MQA Core software to get the MQA file to work on your DS, which is a MQA Endpoint.


#15

The DS display will always be your most accurate indication of what’s actually happening. I am not sure what the Lumin app is doing but the DS his certainly giving you exactly what it suggests. The only way for DS to decode MQA is through the Bridge and then only if it is bit perfect from the source.


#16

Sorry for the confusion, you’re right;

”…The MQA encapsulation process folds the file in such a way that it can be stored / travel at 24bit/48kHz or 24bit/44.1kHz and then be unfolded again by the end user with an MQA-certified DAC and/or software…

…On non-MQA-certified streamers the 24bit/48kHz MQA file is also passed directly onto the DAC. No unfolding takes place…”


#17

Great input guys. Thank you. I wondered whether JRiver would handle MQA. Evidently not.

So, for those who have listened, does the MQA version of “LA Woman” sound better than the redbook version? I wonder too, whether the MQA version sounds different/better than the 24/96 hi-res (NON-MQA) version??


#18

Compared to the 16bits version the completely decoded MQA one (as for most MQA releases) definitely sounds better on Tidal. But IMHO Qobuz native hires surpasses decoded Tidal MQA, and not only in this release…


#19

I bet there’s a thread on how to use Mconnect around here somewhere. I’ll do a search. . . Thanks again.


#20

Timequest,
I am using JRiver with MQA files and it is working. I have a Junior and I am getting MQA. on the display which is how I know it is working.

There is a bit perfect test that you can do. I believe in the download section there are bit perfect files that you can download and play like a music file in JRiver. On the Junior, there will be a “B” in the display indicating bit perfect. If you don’t get bit perfect, then your JRiver settings are not correct.

There is a JRiver set-up tutorial in the How To menu which will help with the set-up.