SGCD: Best strategy to playback MQA from Tidal/Roon

I run Roon with a Tidal subscription. My transport is a Pro-Ject Stream Box S2 Ultra which feeds the SGCD + S300.

The SGCD does not process MQA files.

What would be the best settings in Roon / Stream Box, to playback MQA files with best sonic result in my setup described above.


Most streamers that accept MQA are capable of converting it to 24 bit 96 kHz or higher, before it channels it to the USB or other streamer outputs. Your SGCD should be able to cope with that, I’d look for that feature when you shop for a suitable streamer/server.

If I am not mistaken the SOtM sMS-200ultra or sMS-200ultra neo offers that feature. Its a foot price match with your system and you can upgrade it with external clicks linear power supplies, audiophile switch, you name it SOtM offers it.

Roon will do the first unfold no matter what the streamer/dac can do.

So does that mean that when you utilize Roon, Roon will decode DSD and MQA to PCM, such that you can still enjoy your DSD or MQA files utilizing a pure PCM DAC?

How good is that conversion by software compared to native playback?
Typically streamers have limited CPU capacity as the try to keep the noise down, how does that work real time with high res files?

If streamers / DAC’s are PCM, DSD and MQA specifies I assume they have dedicated well tested circuits to perform as for what they are advertised.

When just relying on Roon it sounds like a gamble, whether your streamer has the power to do a roper conversion.

Thank you all for your input. I think I got it right now. See the screenshots for my settings:
General device settings in Roon

Advanced device settings in Roon

Signal path DSD128

Signal path MQA

Signal path FLAC 44.1

I’m not sure if the bit-depth conversion and re-sampling for MQA and FLAC files is the most efficient.
Ideas for fine tuning welcome.


MQA is a waste of time!

While this may be your unsolicited opinion, this is of absolute no help to the OP.

Welcome to the forum, reddog! Most here are very helpful.

Thanks for posting the screenshots. I think these will be really helpful for some in the future. MQA always get’s a bit trickier if you’re using a DAC that does not do the unfold native.

Your response was not solicited either. Thanks, dad!

Ahh- family.

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Thanks. And no offense taken. I know “Audio Formats” is a sensitive topic. Right up there with cables. :wink:

I have question though: I would like to turn off bitdepth upsampling for 44.1/16 files. But do not find any setting for this.
In fact, I would like that only DSD and MQA files are resampled as to achieve optimal playback on the SGCD.

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I cant help specifically but you might take a look at the Roon board for some help. That is generally a descent place to look for help.

I got the answer from the Roon User community.
The setting “Volume Leveling = ON” causes the resampling of bit depth.
In my configuration the target bit depth is set to 24bits because that’s the max the SGCD supports.

So now the next question:
Most Internet Radio stations with quality streams have 32bit. In my case Roon down samples this to 24bits. Would it be better to not down sample this stream and let SGCD deal with it? How would SGCD process this?