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Hi all,

 

I currently stream Roon from a CXN V2. Currently directly into a Marantz 6004 AVR.

 

I wanting MQA unfolding capability and unfortunately an MQA DAC into the Marantz will still be routed via the internal DAC rather than bypassing it which from everything I understand will negate the MQA unfold.

 

I no longer require multi channel functionality and am reverting to a stereo set up. I’m considering the NAD C 388.

 

It gives me the connectivity options I need. It will also decode MQA. All the info I can find on it though keeps referring to its Bluesound module to stream.

 

I already have a streamer so don’t need that functionality. AFAIK, MQA unfold occurs in the DAC. If I feed the C388 from my CXN V2  with Roon via coaxial will it still decode  the MQA or is there further wizardry in the Bluesound module that does this?

 

I don’t want to pay for functionality that I don’t require.

 

I had considered using the 7.1 inputs on the Marantz but uncertain if this will work.

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Connect the CXN to your Marantz via analog cables and then the CXN will do the first MQA unfold. 

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Posted (edited)
On 12/04/2021 at 10:15 PM, astormsau said:

Connect the CXN to your Marantz via analog cables and then the CXN will do the first MQA unfold. 

Thanks for coming back to me. Yes, that’s how I’m running it currently. I’m wanting to have the second unfold which was why I was looking at the MQA compatible DAC. 
 

Given I no longer require a 7 channel setup as I no longer have my theatre room and am spending more time listening to music I’m reverting to a dedicated 2 channel amp. Have pulled the trigger on a CXA 81 amplifier after listening to a few over the weekend.  The analog inputs on that amp will bypass the internal DAC. Looking forward to getting it all setup this coming weekend.

Edited by Bryce1963
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Have you actually compared MQA tracks with equivalent (same master, volume matched) CD tracks?  Please don't say Tidal because they often use better masters and increase the volume of MQA tracks.

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@Snoopy8

This thread seems to be a discussion on connection and component options. No need to divert to yet another discussion on the merits or otherwise of MQA.

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18 minutes ago, wolster said:

@Snoopy8

This thread seems to be a discussion on connection and component options. No need to divert to yet another discussion on the merits or otherwise of MQA.

Was intending to educate OP that getting an MQA DAC to do unfolding is not necessary, and that Tidal have been deceiving users.  If you believe it is inappropriate, please remove.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks all for the responses.
 

Re the MQA debate, is it / isn’t it for real ? While I really love my music I’m also looking to appreciate even more about it. Keen to find out for myself what all the MQA debate is about. I don’t have a particular position in relation to it and I’m subscribed to both Tidal and Qobuz. 
 

The whole exercise is about my enlightenment and I wanted to be sure I will be getting the fully unfolded version without any further digital shenanigans from an internal DAC. 
 

Looking to let my ears be the judge against all 3 formats. Depending on what I’m listening to I’m sure there will be for’s and against’s.
 

I was also keen to get back to a dedicated 2 channel amp anyway as music is my real passion, so just wanted to make sure I had the ability to be able to listen in whatever resolution my ears tell me I like best. Whether that’s 192kHz or MQA unfolds I want to work it out for myself based on what I hear.
 

I'm currently agnostic as to what that ends up being.

 

I’ll let you all know where it lands.

 

Thanks again

Edited by Bryce1963
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MQA-RIP2-300x300.png.61b5feb47d66538808d0d081feb784ad.png

 

"Nobody asked for MQA. Nobody needs it or particularly wants it.  It was an answer to a question nobody asked.  While it arguably wasn’t stillborn, it had lived a short, miserable existence."

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On 09/04/2021 at 2:46 PM, Bryce1963 said:

Hi all,

 

I currently stream Roon from a CXN V2. Currently directly into a Marantz 6004 AVR.

 

I wanting MQA unfolding capability and unfortunately an MQA DAC into the Marantz will still be routed via the internal DAC rather than bypassing it which from everything I understand will negate the MQA unfold.

 

I no longer require multi channel functionality and am reverting to a stereo set up. I’m considering the NAD C 388.

 

It gives me the connectivity options I need. It will also decode MQA. All the info I can find on it though keeps referring to its Bluesound module to stream.

 

I already have a streamer so don’t need that functionality. AFAIK, MQA unfold occurs in the DAC. If I feed the C388 from my CXN V2  with Roon via coaxial will it still decode  the MQA or is there further wizardry in the Bluesound module that does this?

 

I don’t want to pay for functionality that I don’t require.

 

I had considered using the 7.1 inputs on the Marantz but uncertain if this will work.

I'll try answer your question without entering the MQA debate too heavily.

There are alot of DACs that will unfold MQA via their USB inputs only - so feed a pc into their USB input and you'll get a full MQA "unfold".  

Also, available are DACs that will do the full "unfold"  as a streamer (node 2i for example) but with these if you want to get a better stand alone DAC to work with them and connect this stand alone DAC  via of the optical/coaxial outputs of your streamer (which would bypass the internal DAC) it will do the first "unfold" only so you'll get 24/96.  The next "unfold" or "musical origami" as its also been called is only done via certain hardware and as stated above you'll need to feed either USB input or stick with MQA compatable streamers internal DAC.  That said,  Mytek have a DAC that will allow you connect it to any streamer via optical/coaxial and it will still do the full unfold but its the only one I am aware of.

 

I went through a period a year or so go looking at all the current DACs that were getting rave reviews, ie SMSL, Topping, Matrix and even some higher end models like Lumin mini etc.  Not because I wanted an MQA compatible DAC (you actually pay for that version) but because I wanted to add another DAC to my current DACs (Oppo 205 and Denafrips Ares II).  Long story short none of the above would work a complete "unfold" of  MQA unless you fed it via the USB input.  Thats how I learnt that the Node 2i for example will do the first unpack and then the stand alone DAC would take that file and do its thing but nothing more.

 

FWIW, I have had Qobuz for over 12months and Spotify Premium for years.  I am also lucky that a mate has me on his family plan for Tidal however my system is setup bypassing the Node 2i DAC chip and using my own separate DACs and so MQA is and has been irrelevant to me for well over a year now.... I took the time to learn a bit about how it works and hardware needed and decided 16/44 or Hi-Res was the better and most musical pure way for me.  It also opened up a much larger DAC market too.

 

Hope this helps a little.

Cheers


 

 

Edited by 08Boss302
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Roon already does the first unfold. 
Honestly that’s ample. 
 

I’ve personally moved away from the MQA madness. 
I now enjoy music the way the artist intended. PCM via Qobuz. 

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