Tidal > Roon > MQA to DSD question


#1

I installed Roon today and connected through the Bridge2. It worked on the first try, sounds good, etc. I am happy to stream this way from one side of the house to the other.

My question is that Roon says the Tidal Master I am playing is “TIDAL FLAC 48kHz 24bit 2ch, MQA 96kHz”. See attached screenshot.

My question — The DSD screen is saying “48k 24bit”. Is this because it shows the raw format it is receiving?

I would have expected the DSD to show “96k 24bit” e.g. the unfolded resolution which it should be doing internally based on the DSD product description otherwise how do we know it is really working.

Any clarity that can be provided would be appreciated.

Thx, Dan…

Tidal-Path-MQA-Screen.png


#2

The DS/Bridge II does not yet unfold MQA using Roon. They are waiting for an update from Converse Digital, who builds the Bridge.


#3

Thanks for the quick response. Which invariably leads to more questions.

Is there an ETA when Converse Digital will provide this update?

Does the DS/Bridge option unfold MQA when fed from any other Mac based server at this time?

On my second (office) system I use Audirvana with a NuWave DSD via USB. Audirvana does the MQA unpacking up to 96k. In general MQA is nice but not as competitive with feeding in 194/24 or real DSD128 via my Bryston player directly into the DAC.

Thx again, Dan…


#4
Daniel Rosenberg said Is there an ETA when Converse Digital will provide this update?
See, this thread.

#5

So far, no. I communicate with Scott, the CEO, each week and they claim they are having trouble with Roon. Not sure what to think here but it is truly frustrating. We’re in talks with Roon to find out their side of the story.


#6

The DS/Bridge II will currently unfold MQA up to 192/24 using a UPnP server (e.g., minimserver, available on the Mac and most other platforms) and the right Converse Digital control point (I forget if it is MConnect, MControl, etc.).


#7

Thanks for the fast response Paul and Steve.

The DSD unit sounds so good when playing standard redbook format that for me MQA is a nice to have but not urgent. Streaming is a secondary use case for me.

Also, as an engineer I know well the pain of integrating multiple 3rd party vendors into complex technology products so I will wait patiently.

Regards, Dan…


#8

Just FYI to the group. Converse finished the work integrating MQA into Roon and we are now testing it. Should have something for you in the next few days, next week hopefully at the latest if all goes well. It’ll involve a bridge update and, of course, you’ll need to make sure you have the latest version of ROON installed.


#9

How do you spell RELIEF…must have made your day Paul


#10
Paul McGowan said

Just FYI to the group. Converse finished the work integrating MQA into Roon and we are now testing it. Should have something for you in the next few days, next week hopefully at the latest if all goes well. It’ll involve a bridge update and, of course, you’ll need to make sure you have the latest version of ROON installed.


Wow - how exciting - after making my proclamation that I wasn’t going to buy all my gear until this is working, I pulled the trigger and took delivery of everything last week - it will be great to have this - and even better to be able to delete the mConnect app from my phone (despite the fact that I just paid $7 for it).

#11
Paul McGowan said

Just FYI to the group… Should have something for you in the next few days, next week hopefully at the latest if all goes well…

I made sure to thank Paul (a typical thank you click) for this post, but in retrospect, I realize a bit more might be in order.

I think we can likely all agree that there has been a good deal of frustration around this impending update. Both from the user side, and clearly from the PS Audio side. So - knowing that - when Paul put a time frame around when he hoped this would be available to the user community, he knew that he was setting himself up for yet-more-unhappiness, should PSA not have this update available within the stated time-frame.

But he stated it anyway.

I’m not saying such unhappiness would be fair. I’m just saying Paul knew it could happen, if they could not make that target. Yet the best available information was shared with us anyway. So I would like to thank Mr. McGowan for his candor, and his clearly demonstrated desire to be as open as possible.

IMO it says a lot for Paul McGowan, and says lot for what we can expect from PS Audio.

Thank you sir. laugh


#12

A fair observation and well said.


#13

I am trying, boss.


#14
  1. Dschamis said Wow - how exciting - after making my proclamation that I wasn't going to buy all my gear until this is working, I pulled the trigger and took delivery of everything last week - it will be great to have this - and even better to be able to delete the mConnect app from my phone (despite the fact that I just paid $7 for it).
The mConnect Control app is free in the Google Play store.

#15

The Control app didn’t play MQA for me properly - the mConnect player app did.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.conversdigitalpaid


#16

That is very interesting (and odd) because mControl shows the TIDAL Masters list, whereas mConnect does not (at least not as of the last time I checked).


#17

Hi Paul,

Is there an ETA for the Bridge software to enable MQA in Roon?

Thx, Dan…


#18

Dan, Paul has said a few times now that it is coming in the next week or so - you just need a bit of patience.

Personally I’m not losing any sleep over it because, so far, I’m not impressed with the Tidal MQA tracks. I mostly prefer the the standard 16/44 versions to the 24/48 MQA when played back via the Bridge II input of my DSJ.

My normal playback method is Roon from my Mac Mini to the DSJ via Bridge, so the (Tidal sourced) MQA is un-decoded. But using the mConnect app from my android smartphone, which allows full de-coding via the Bridge, doesn’t change my impression. I’m quite bemused by all the fervour and clamouring for the MQA ‘feature’.

I do appreciate that PS Audio has made the effort to provide the MQA option - it will be interesting to experiment further. However I’m very glad they decided to provide this without messing with the main DAC code. I think the jury is definitely out on whether MQA is a step forward. I’m highly dubious.


#19
Paul McGowan said

Just FYI to the group. Converse finished the work integrating MQA into Roon and we are now testing it. Should have something for you in the next few days, next week hopefully at the latest if all goes well. It’ll involve a bridge update and, of course, you’ll need to make sure you have the latest version of ROON installed.


I have been waiting with baited breath for the follow-up announcement that the testing has gone well and a new release of ROON and Bridge II firmware are ready for distribution. I’ve been using the mControl app to listen to Tidal, and have a growing appreciation of MQA as a result, so my anticipation of combining the benefits of Roon and MQA is also growing. Here’s to the prospect of good news!

#20

This will be a “nice to have”.

So far it appears that Converse’s communication is not great, and anything they say in terms of time needs to be multiplied by an unknown factor. Roon will not announce anything until the day before it is released, from hard lessons learned that Paul (God bless 'im) refuses to learn. Which is that customers get completely bent out of shape if you don’t deliver something you teased, when you suggested you would. I’m sure Paul believed Converse when they told him two weeks ago that it was days away.

As for MQA, I’ve been pretty surprised so far at the lack of understanding among otherwise technical folks that, the vast majority of the time, when you “compare” an MQA file to a non MQA file, you have no idea if you are making any sort of apples-to-apples, meaningful comparison. I was just at an audiophile meeting where it became fairly clear to me that many think comparing the MQA and non-MQA files on Tidal means or proves something about MQA one way OR the other. It doesn’t.