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  #21  
Old 08-12-2017, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by audio bill View Post
The Lumin U1 I referred to is a server only with digital outputs, not like some of their other models which have an onboard DAC to function as a complete player.
Your are correct, had the other lumin's in my mind
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  #22  
Old 08-12-2017, 08:36 PM
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Bill.......Thanks for the information on MQA decoding. I am no MQA expert, only someone who is marginally interested in MQA. I am certain those with interest in MQA appreciate your input.

Earlier in post #8 I said while playing Tidal Master files my Esoteric K-01X displays 16Bit/48kHz when playing Tidal Masters. That was incorrect. According to my Conductor App the Tidal Master files are playing at 24Bit/48KHz, and my K-01X displays shows 48KHz during Tidal Master playback. I played the CD version from Tidal of Fleet Fox - Crack-Up and the Conductor App shows 16Bit/44.1KHz, and the K-01X shows 44.1KHz. The same Tidal recording of the Master files shows 24Bit/48KHz as does the K-01X. This indicates to me that the first level of MQA unfolding is happening either in the Tidal software or the Aurender N10 processing. Again, I'm no expert, just reporting on what is happening with my Aurender N10 music server.
Dan - In no way am I questioning your first hand experience with the N10. From what I've read Roon is working on adding MQA Core decoding but in the meantime they are similarly limited to 48kHz playback of MQA files as you're seeing with your Aurender N10. I also saw an Aurender dealer stating that Aurender is considering adding MQA Core decoding to the N10 but they are in the feasibility phase. The Lumin U1 will have it soon and other Lumin players now have full MQA decoding or can provide MQA Core decoding and output via coaxial digital output to an external MQA rendering DAC for full MQA decoding. Hope this helps to clarify MQA decoding status a bit but it certainly isn't very straightforward! The article in Computer Audiophile which I previously linked to is the most detailed explanation of MQA I've found.
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  #23  
Old 08-12-2017, 09:43 PM
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Hi Bill,

Seems like you and I are in a similar place with MQA. I have an incoming Berkeley Reference 2 DAC with MQA rendering. I love the Aurender N10 but with no commitment as of yet to do core MQA unfolding like the Lumin U1 is promising, I'm extremely hesitant to pull the trigger on the N10 right now. As Dan has stated (thank you Dan!), the N10 is apparently delivering the first level of MQA through Tidal. But if you're in my shoes, you want the whole enchilada! (192/24 I believe).

Best,
Ken
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  #24  
Old 08-12-2017, 10:16 PM
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Hi Ken,

You might be surprised to know that some Lumin users with the latest firmware on their complete players which do full MQA decoding are currently able to achieve 352kHz/24bit resolution on some MQA files as shown in the image below. If you use a server which performs MQA Core decoding along with your updated Berkeley MQA DAC performing rendering you should be able to achieve that as well when playing back the highest resolution MQA files. Congrats on the Berkeley, it was an already superb piece of gear which should be significantly better with the latest MQA upgrade!

Good listening!
- Bill

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  #25  
Old 08-12-2017, 10:32 PM
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Originally Posted by audio bill View Post
Hi Ken,

You might be surprised to know that some Lumin users with the latest firmware on their complete players which do full MQA decoding are currently able to achieve 352kHz/24bit resolution on some MQA files as shown in the image below. If you use a server which performs MQA Core decoding along with your updated Berkeley MQA DAC performing rendering you should be able to achieve that as well when playing back the highest resolution MQA files. Congrats on the Berkeley, it was an already superb piece of gear which should be significantly better with the latest MQA upgrade!

Good listening!
- Bill

Holy crap, go Lumin! Is that on the Lumin U1?

Thanks Bill!

Ken
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  #26  
Old 08-12-2017, 10:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audio bill View Post
Dan - In no way am I questioning your first hand experience with the N10. From what I've read Roon is working on adding MQA Core decoding but in the meantime they are similarly limited to 48kHz playback of MQA files as you're seeing with your Aurender N10. I also saw an Aurender dealer stating that Aurender is considering adding MQA Core decoding to the N10 but they are in the feasibility phase. The Lumin U1 will have it soon and other Lumin players now have full MQA decoding or can provide MQA Core decoding and output via coaxial digital output to an external MQA rendering DAC for full MQA decoding. Hope this helps to clarify MQA decoding status a bit but it certainly isn't very straightforward! The article in Computer Audiophile which I previously linked to is the most detailed explanation of MQA I've found.
Bill.......I did not think you were challenging anything I said. I am only reporting what is happening with my Aurender N10 when I play MQA Master files while stream from Tidal. I don't understand any of what may be allowing me to achieve 24Bit/48KHz playback but I am pleased to see it happening. Does it sound better than the same albums streamed from 16Bit/44.1KHz files? Not enough that I can be confident of any perceived improvement. My point is that some kind of MQA unfolding is happening, either in the Tidal software or the N10, to allow a 24Bit/48KHz file to play when I select an MQA Master file on Tidal. Beyond that I am clueless and not truly interested enough in MQA to dig any deeper, let alone wade through the Computer Audiophile article. I am extremely pleased with the Aurender N10 and the sound in delivers with my sound system sans MQA. Honestly, it doesn't matter to me which way that cookie crumbles.
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Last edited by jdandy; 08-12-2017 at 11:25 PM.
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  #27  
Old 08-13-2017, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by PlanarSpeakerFan View Post
Holy crap, go Lumin! Is that on the Lumin U1?

Thanks Bill!

Ken
I'm not certain which Lumin that was with, but if it was with the U1 it would have been with their beta firmware since MQA is not yet implemented in the U1's current firmware. It could be another Lumin player which already has full MQA decoding with their recent update.

After a bit more research I must correct my previous statement though specifically regarding the Berkeley; it appears that its DAC is limited to a maximum resolution of 192kHz so I don't think it will be able to achieve the 352kHz shown on the Lumin's MQA playback. Sorry for getting your hopes up but I'm certain their implementation will still provide an exceptional performance, and in addition they're claiming that their MQA upgrade also improves the audio quality of standard PCM, non-MQA recordings!
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  #28  
Old 08-15-2017, 01:42 PM
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Bill.......After having done some reading I think I am catching on. The reason my Aurender N10 handles Tidal MQA files at 24Bit/48KHz and passes them to the K-01X DAC has nothing to do with any hardware or software decoding going on in the N10 or Tidal. The MQA files themselves are stored in a folded fashion on the Tidal servers in 24Bit/48KHz or 24Bit/44.1KHz depending on the fully unfolded resolution when using an MQA DAC. All that is happening is my N10 passes the 24Bit/48KHz MQA file directly to the DAC.

If I was streaming from Tidal’s desktop app, the first unfold would take place even without an MQA DAC, so a 24bit/48kHz MQA file streamed via the Tidal desktop app will arrive at my DAC as a 24bit/96kHz file. This happens whether that DAC is or is not MQA certified. With my Aurender N10 the folded MQA file stored on Tidal's servers is simply being passed right through to the DAC. As I interpret what I have been reading, that is all that is going on with my Aurender N10 music streamer.
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STUDIO - McIntosh C1000C/P, MC2301 (2), MR88, Aurender N10, Esoteric K-01X, Sonos Connect, PurePower 2000, Stillpoints, Furutech Flux 50, Michell Gyro SE, Michell HR Power Supply, SME 309, Ortofon Cadenza Black, Wireworld, Sonus faber Amati Anniversario
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  #29  
Old 08-15-2017, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by jdandy View Post
Bill.......After having done some reading I think I am catching on. The reason my Aurender N10 handles Tidal MQA files at 24Bit/48KHz and passes them to the K-01X DAC has nothing to do with any hardware or software decoding going on in the N10 or Tidal. The MQA files themselves are stored in a folded fashion on the Tidal servers in 24Bit/48KHz or 24Bit/44.1KHz depending on the fully unfolded resolution when using an MQA DAC. All that is happening is my N10 passes the 24Bit/48KHz MQA file directly to the DAC.

If I was streaming from Tidal’s desktop app, the first unfold would take place even without an MQA DAC, so a 24bit/48kHz MQA file streamed via the Tidal desktop app will arrive at my DAC as a 24bit/96kHz file. This happens whether that DAC is or is not MQA certified. With my Aurender N10 the folded MQA file stored on Tidal's servers is simply being passed right through to the DAC. As I interpret what I have been reading, that is all that is going on with my Aurender N10 music streamer.


Does that mean to get the benefit of the first unfolding, we should connect the laptop straight to DAC?
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  #30  
Old 08-15-2017, 01:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdandy View Post
Bill.......After having done some reading I think I am catching on. The reason my Aurender N10 handles Tidal MQA files at 24Bit/48KHz and passes them to the K-01X DAC has nothing to do with any hardware or software decoding going on in the N10 or Tidal. The MQA files themselves are stored in a folded fashion on the Tidal servers in 24Bit/48KHz or 24Bit/44.1KHz depending on the fully unfolded resolution when using an MQA DAC. All that is happening is my N10 passes the 24Bit/48KHz MQA file directly to the DAC.

If I was streaming from Tidal’s desktop app, the first unfold would take place even without an MQA DAC, so a 24bit/48kHz MQA file streamed via the Tidal desktop app will arrive at my DAC as a 24bit/96kHz file. This happens whether that DAC is or is not MQA certified. With my Aurender N10 the folded MQA file stored on Tidal's servers is simply being passed right through to the DAC. As I interpret what I have been reading, that is all that is going on with my Aurender N10 music streamer.
Dan - I knew your curiosity would get the better of you to understand exactly what was happening and I think you've got it correct! Aurender is currently looking at the possibility of adding MQA Core decoding to their N10 via a firmware update, and if they do that you'll then be providing the higher resolution unfolded data to your DAC. If your DAC can act as an MQA renderer then you'd get fully decoded MQA, but if not you'll still end up benefiting from the first unfold which MQA Core provides. It's all a bit complicated and a whole new world of technical issues to understand, but the bottom line is if it helps us to better enjoy our favorite music that's what it's all about!
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