Perfectwave Directstream DAC MQA Set up

I am considering acquiring a Perfectwave Directstream DAC.
Here is my use case:
I have a streamer (Auralic Aries G2) that sends unfolded MQA files to my DAC (Brookly DAC+)
The DAC performs the full unfolding and renders the file.
I’d like to continue to use the Aries G2 as a streamer but replace my current DAC with the Direcstream.
Here is where I need help. I’d like to know what I need (hardware/software) to make it all work.
And how to set it all up.
Thank you for your time and help.

The Directstream DAC alone does not unfold MQA. The MQA function is handled by the Bridge II card only.

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Thank you for your reply @sixpack1 .Do I have to stream from the Bridge II to get MQA? or Can I still stream from the Aries G2 and the Direcstream with the Bridge II will do the full MQA unfolding?
Thank you

Hi! My understanding is the Bridge II receives input via the ethernet cable and is the inbuilt “streamer” for the Directstream.

If you have a good streamer already, it might be best to use another digital input of the Directstream and rely on Roon etc to do the software (but not full) MQA unfolding?

Thank you @Interested . Here is where I get a little confused. You are saying I don’t need the Bridge II if I already have a streamer. Instead, use Roon. The Aries G2 will be a Roon end-point and the Roon core via software will do the partial MQA unfolding, is that correct?
If so, that means the MQA file that will be passed to the Direstream DAC won’t be fully unfolded and the Direcstream won’t be able to do the final unfolding…

Yes, that’s my understanding on both!

I believe Roon would unfold MQA up to 24/96 in this sort of set up.

I’ve been thinking about this as PS Audio have a new Directstream under development, with a standalone streamer. Neither will support MQA (which to me is a bit of a bummer) so I’d fall back on Roon for things which are native MQA.

You would have to stream from the bridge card tor MQA

MQA support was dropped by some including PSA, Mola Mola, Grimm Audio, etc. dCS and Meridian are still in, so far.

Tidal is currently testing MQA 384/24 and 352.8/24 but only the likes of Matrix & Lumin could handle such unfolds.

Hi and thanks @Serhan. It seems like the MQA concept is in trouble!

I had been looking forward to the AirLens/Directstream MkII unlocking the higher rate MQA that I see is possible, and which is capped to 192k via Bridge II, but not to be…

" I believe Roon would unfold MQA up to 24/96 in this sort of set up"

I can confirm that. Listened to MQA 24/192 song last night and it downsampled (right word?) to 24/96 during the unfold. Sort of a bummer.

@Interested Not sure MQA is in trouble, but it really makes things harder and may push me (I knot it has pushed other roon users) off Tidal and to Qobuz.

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Thank you everyone for your input. It seems like I’ve reached a dead-end with the DS DAC and MQA support. I may have to look in a different direction or give up on MQA. Thank you again for such an insightful conversation.


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Here is a link to an old post 2016 with Paul talking about MQA

Best wishes


Honestly if you are not into Tidal now, why start. Go with Qobuz, avoid MQA not because if is it better or not, but to avoid the headaches of hardware/software choices. ALL units that do MQA do normal, but not all do MQA. I will probably jump to Qobuz at some point. Just avoiding swapping all playlists and such in both roon and tidal. Start with Qobuz and your quest will be much easier.

BTW, I have not comparison of MQA vs Non, but I have seen a really mixed bag. Most hear nothing, others say its like 50-50 on which version they like better. Scientifically it does not may any sense to me. But nobody has said they think MQA is better all the time w/o question.

@brian.fitterman I have been using Tidal for a couple of years and I’m happy with it. But yes, there is hardware limitation when looking for new components, like a new DAC. I am contemplating switching to Qobuz to have access to more hardware options and possibly a better sound experience. Most reviews I’ve read thus far seem to point out that Qobuz has better sound but Tidal has a better selection. I’ll try Qobuz with my current setup, and then decide which route to take. Thanks for your input.

Yeah I hear the selection is getting better on qobuz.

Good luck! I think you have an amazing streamer, so you won’t need a Direcstream / Bridge II combo.

The Directstream is great, but it does seem a shame to leave half the resolution behind, which will be the story for MQA into either the Direcstream Mk I or II, if connecting through an external streamer.

If MQA is ok, but not the must have, I expect you may wish to wait a bit for the Direcstream Mk II, which we’re being told will be a good step up again on the Mk I, for PCM and DSD?

I agree with Interested. I wouldn’t bother with the Bridge II if you already have the Aries. The Aries and DSD sound great together!