Question about DAC and MQA


So I just signed up for Tidal today and will be checking it out.

I chose Audiophile Quality of course during setup and played some Master versions of some tracks.

So Tidal displays "Masters" when playing the tracks and it goes through my external DAC to my AVR.

Does that mean my DAC is compatible with MQA?

I ask because I can not find any documentation explicitly stating that my DAC is compatible and it is not listed under MQA Partners either but it seems to be playing.

Is that how Tidal MQA works, meaning either it will play or it won't play if it it not compatible or is it converting down somehow?

New to Tidal and MQA.

DAC is Questyle CMA400i.

I have looked up your DAC specs and it is not MQA compatible. Nevertheless it’s a very well designed DAC. Not knowing what device you’re using to stream Tidal files, my best guess is you’re listening to MQA files at 24bit/96kHz resolution. 

Following article should help you demystify MQA decoding,

Tidal streaming is very good. And their catalog is great across the board. If you’re into high resolution files (above 16bit/44.1kHz), I suggest signing up with Qobuz which offers the 24bit/192 kHz streaming quality.  There are so many threads here that outlines user experiences with Tidal and Qobuz, I recommend you sign up for free trial with Qobuz and decide for yourself. 

I am subscribed to both services until Qobuz catches up to Tidal. Qobuz is relatively new to US market and slowly catching up to Tidal catalog. 
Hi Lalitk,

Thanks for your input and suggestions.

I am streaming Tidal using the Windows Desktop Software through my computer.

Today I also signed up for Qobuz to check out through it's trial period.

Through Qobuz I made sure to select some tracks that were 24/192 but I see on my DAC, the indicator light remains on 44.1/48, so as with Tidal, the DAC is not compatible with Qobuz.

Now besides the technicalities, it still sounds good at CD Quality, same with Tidal.

But I am not sure if I will stay with either service since I am not getting the full benefits with my DAC.

For streaming, I could add a Blue Node to the system and get one of these services with full benefits if I really wanted to but then again, it's a matter of if I want to pay for the services. That is something I will really need to think about.

If I use such a service just once in a while, I might just use Spotify (I know, the horror, lol).

Thanks for your input, that cleared things up a bit.

I think you should check the Tidal and Qobuz app settings. The free trial with Qobuz may be limited to 24/96kHz resolution. The Spotify resolution is nowhere near the sound quality of Tidal or Qobuz. I would sign up for full service with Qobuz as you can cancel anytime.

Once you experience the 16bit/44.1kHz or higher resolution, there is no going back.

A dedicated music server would definitely yield improvements over your laptop.