Audirvana to non mqa DAC: who does the mqa decoding?

I am new here, and this is my first post.
I have used the search first, but found nothing to answer my question, so here it goes:
I have Audirvana in my iMac, connected to a Grace Design M9xx dac (no mqa). When I listen to Tidal masters, is Audirvana decoding the mqa file or am I getting the downsampled version of the file that you get when there’s no mqa decoding?
In audio settings, I have set it up so that when the dac is detected as non mqa, Audirvana will treat it as no mqa, so I guess the decoding should be done with Audirvana.
But… if I play a mqa song that is supposed to be 24/192, Audirvana only shows a bitrate of 24/96, so there is some downsampling. If I read the same song in Qobuz (which doesn’t use mqa), the bitrate reading is the full 24/192.
Can anyone help me?

It’s not downsampling. When your DAC is not MQA capable, only the first “unfold” is performed by Audirvana, from 44.1/48 to 88/96 KHz respectively. It’s perfectly normal.

To get the full “unfold” you need a MQA capable DAC, either rendered of full decoder.


I really didn’t mean downsampled, but I didn’t know hot to put it. I meant that I wasn’t getting the full bitrate of the mqa coded file.
Thank you for your reply.

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Recommend you to get a Zorloo Ztella or Hiby R2 Dac , for about 100 bucks, but both are full MQA for mobile or desktop. You can then get impression of transparency and air around the instrument MQA can bring. You will be surprised about how close or better in some aspects both are compared to your Pro DAC . Especially if Audirvana does first unfold.