MQA via Tidal and iFi Zen DAC V2

Me again…
the docs from my new Zen DAC describe following MQA “variations” indicated by different colours:

  • Green = MQA
  • Blue = MQA Studio
  • Magenta = Original Sample Rate (MQB)
    I think these colours are the “official” MQA indicators.
    Green and Blue appear, but yet I couldn’t find a “Magenta Album” on Tidal.
    Any suggestions?

My understanding is that “magenta” is when software has done the first unfold.
And since volumio does not do that, you will only ever get green or blue with volumio.

(someone please correct me if I am wrong)

ok…then I was absolutely wrong. Same with Tidal Connect? As I understood the Tidal software does this first unfold?
Anyway…thank you very much.

The Windows Tidal app can do the first unfold, but volumio does not (including Tidal Connect)

this is not windows…

ok…you brought me back to reality :wink:

i’m a windows based person so i know that somethings are better in windows,
comparing those is not really possible.

but…nevertheless: it sounds great. And, to be honest and maybe because magenta is also the colour of Deutsche Telekom, I prefer white, yellow, blue, green and red :wink:

so far i know is volumio more a pass true at max volume to unfold mqa you have to have a licence
and it’s something like 53 euro with any device and that’s why we could not support that.

This clarifies a lot, thank you,

Roon software has the core first unfold decoder included, and it works with “render only” devices to full unfold. But Roon is even more expensive and I dislike their approach of licensing to a single core. It is therefore not usable on the road in a mobile situation.

I use Roon now for over a year and I compared sound and it does sound well. But I agree with some people that a basic Tidal stream 24-bit with a good “not unfolding” DAC can sound just as well or better (also depending on taste).

I read a technical test that showed some downsides of MQA and I can imagine the lossy format downsides can degrade the sound quality level to some extend.

MQA: A Review of controversies, concerns, and cautions - Reviews - Audiophile Style

So the advantage that MQA gives: mainly absence of jitter is then partly or totally gone. I tested it myself with a more expensive DAC.

However I am not against MQA as it gives an efficient streaming capability with good sound while from the same library you can use it on almost any mobile gear.

Seems correct.

The iFi Nano iOne that I tested was showing the purple led after Roon did first unfold. When I did not use Roon and played Volumio straight I only saw the green led (within Volumio app and Tidal Connect both), while this Nano DAC doesn’t support first unfold and therefore could not render (to get the blue led). Without Roon The Nano can only play the basic MQA 48khz 24 bit without final unfold (rendering). And this sounds still pretty well, even tough it misses the lossy MQA data, when using a good (non MQA full decoding) DAC.

By the way: the iFi manual docs are freely available on their website, for anyone interested.

every compression wil have some loss, mqa is a compression
and i’m happy with my sound that is what counts.
i got all 3 dragonfly’s and now 2x khadas tone 1 board i love the last one.

Not every compression is lossless, take ALAC and FLAC. They’re lossless compression like for example standard ZIP, BZip or GZip. But MQA seems to be more like mp3 or AAC, so lossy, but I’m not sure about the technicalities of MQA, take this with a grain of salt!
I am certain though, that not all compression is lossy and ALAC, FLAC and the standard file compression algorithms are lossless.

I decided to cancel Tidal completely. I have spent to much time and nerves to get MQA running. And, for me, it sucks. Even with my main (High End) Accuphase chain CD quality delivers the same and often even better sound then the Tidal MQA. MQA failed…just my five Cents.

Same here, running the last month of my 3 months, 2 euro trail. But then it’s adios Tidal and stick with Qobuz.
Waiting for Amazon HD and Spotify HD becoming available to see what those are.
Some nice reading in regards to MQA: