Have you contacted Aurender and received a clear reply as to their plans?
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Perhaps you should conduct a thorough research before you shoot down N100H which is a only a streamer, there is no internal DAC aboard N100H for MQA decoding unlike Aurender A10.
In addition to A10, couple of my Mytek DAC’s and uber expensive Meridien Ultra DAC fully decodes the MQA files at the moment.
"MQA decoding is hardware dependent on the DAC being used and so while the file is encoded in MQA, it is in a standard PCM "wrapper" or container file. The file can be either 16 bit or 24 bit (depending on the provenance of the original master file) and is either a 44.1kHz or 48kHz sampling rate, dependent on the A/D conversion and mastering sampling rate of the the original file.
In order for an MQA file to be properly decoded, it needs to be used with appropriate DAC hardware that carries an MQA certification. Otherwise it will just play back as a standard PCM file (capable of supporting either of the specs mentioned above). A user with a non-MQA DAC will still receive some of the benefits of MQA encoding, namely reduction of temporal blur, but the MQA decoding process is tailored for the DAC architecture and is only supported by MQA certified DACs"
Hope this helps!
As lalitk posts above, all Aurender music servers are capable of MQA file playback and displaying MQA content. Currently, Aurender music servers (including the A10) will send the necessary bit-perfect information to MQA certified DAC hardware with Full Decoder technology for the best possible MQA experience .
As the A10 is Aurender's ONLY music server that also contains a certified, MQA Full Decoder DAC, the Aurender Conductor App can only display MQA Decoding status when used with the A10. Otherwise, the MQA file or stream is sent to the DAC hardware and an MQA certified DAC with Full Decoder technology will provide the decoding status.
My Aurender music server has a tab for all albums coded with MQA. When I stream them to my non-MQA DAC, the DAC displays 48khz and sounds very good.
MQA is software. Months ago, MQA files would be unfolded on a computer so what Lalitk mentioned above isn't completely true. There are benefits of unfolding MQA files even if you don't have a MQA supported DAC. I didn't go with Aurender products when I auditioned many similar products years ago. I initially went with the Auralic Aries and they had software for MQA over a year ago but pulled it. Then I moved up to the PS Audio directstream with bridge II. The bridge II firmware had an upgrade yesterday to handle MQA with Tidal. So it is possible to include MQA in streaming units
Thank you for your feedback. If you would’ve read my post carefully, nowhere I said that MQA is a hardware. All I was trying to reiterate is MQA encoded files requires MQA certified hardware to properly decode the max embedded resolution.
Do you consider Perfect Wave Bridge II a software or hardware upgrade? Is your PS Audio Directstream DAC capable of decoding MQA files without PW Bridge II from an external source like a streamer or computer?
Are you able to operate Bridge II independently and stream/decode MQA files?
N100 or N100H is a independent cache digital music player designed specifically to stream digital files, including MQA files just like your Bridge II in tandem with a outboard DAC. Without Bridge I or II, directstream is simply a DAC.
What operator should be looking for is one box solution - streamer / DAC to enjoy MQA and other digital files, like A10 or directstream with power Bridge II.
IMO, PS audio has taken a smart approach of ’modular’ design to keep their DAC’s relevant with future software / hardware upgrades.
I did not just shoot my mouth out .for Tidal is working on a version that can be used like a firmware upgrade such as I have been doing with my
PS Audio Direct Stream dac..tidal says a later in the year .
It is correct the A10 does have dac built in . I think the firmware version will be much better for all .it is all a scam about $$. Originally it was supposed to be 1 license and a small very minimal charge per unit. I refuse to pay Tidal a dime as well as Many others until they stop their Black mailing practices forcing companies to Keep paying .that is my opinion .
This device is fully capable of producing MQA encoded streams to a DAC. What it will not do is decode MQA. This is how MQA works. The decoding firmware should be DAC specific.
Having said that, I think Tidal is doing a quasi-MQA decoding if you run Chrome, so it is possible this may be somewhat subject to change.
At the current time though, this is exactly how Meridian designed MQA. I would not be upset with Aurrender.
Just keep in mind as you rush to spend money on the latest tech that MQA will fail. Bob's stated aim is to change all music production to AD-Processing-DA with MQA not just DA over PCM.
Secondly, MQA is not "better than" the PCM source in 99% of intentionally distorted and compressed pop music. That's just their marketing to get MQA in the door then take over later. I would know, I make the source files. MQA knows this too. Only for super natural acoustic/natural music based in realism is there even a tiny opportunity for advantage with the MQA round trip. And not nearly as important as a better amp, speakers, DA, etc. Pop music and classical music from tape or digital PCM to MQA? Forget it.
From Michael of Berkeley Audio, who is on board with MQA: I spoke with Bob Stuart about your concerns regarding the marketing of MQA and he conceded you have valid point. He also said that “de-blurring” (the MQA time-domain filter fixup) can be omitted during encoding and that doing so would be appropriate in situations such as yours where what could be considered technical artifacts of the A/D conversion process are part of a large number of factors that were combined deliberately to produce the precise sound of the mastered recording. "
Including and adjusting for the AD artifacts is part of the gig in mastering. I suggest people push for streaming of master files or use the services coming on to stream them. If you want to have a nice 16 bit file, use dbPoweramp to shrink your files, it's far better than MQA.
SRC comparisons here: