MacOS Catalina DF red Audirvana 3.5 MQA max bit rate?

Hi there. Hope you can help. Long time user but first post so not quite sure if it’s in the right place. Sorry
My question is like many other Tidal forums, there is a bit of misunderstanding about the MQA output resolution (bit rate) under MacOS. There is a lot of windows users on the tidal forum reporting how "magically " their Dragonfly red or black started outputting in 24/192 and even higher resolution with Audirvana?? Is this possible??!

I can only get 24/96 with exact same setup but under MacOS not windows. My understanding was that any of the Df’s are limited to 24/96? Confused if this is an OS issue or settings issue under Audirvana. Any input would be much appreciated? Thanks in advance

Audirvana reports MQA original resolution from which the file is encoded. The files will be „unfolded“ in Audirvana and passed to the renderer (your DF) where the target result will be approximated using various methods like filtering and upsampling.

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Ok thanks. So that means that DF red is capped at 24/96 max, correct? My confusion comes from Tidal fb forum where users are reporting 24/192 and above under windows OS. I dont think that df is able to do that? I tried all the settings in Audirvana but max I get is 24/96 Attached is the picture of the DF red and Audirvana in windows environment. Could it be the win driver is not reporting it correctly or could it be df is working better on Windows??

DAC can’t go beyond the natively supported resolution.

People generally have poor understanding of MQA.

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Agreed. Thanks a lot for clarifying. Have a happy new year

Thanks, you too. Great choice of music btw.

Update. No they cannot go above their native bit rate. Except for MQA. Just confirmed by plugging my df red to a windows computer and playing mqa file. But for some strange reason on my Mac it still sitting on 24/96 only. So the problem is within Audirvana itself or the osx. Not firmware related to df red as this has been ruled out See the photo below from my win10 laptop

Would be nice to hear from other Mac users

That’s not the “real” resolution, hence why the format is lossy. The real resolution never goes beyond 24/96.

This only means that Audirvana recognized MQA capable DAC and can play MQA file in all it’s glory.

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In all its glory under Windows but not in all its glory under Macintosh? So I’m missing out as my main rig is Mac mini :frowning: Curious to see if update fixes it

in your picture above, you must be upsampling, because your DAC doesn’t support 352.8 files ? it tops at 96…

Not sure why the difference. Maybe under Mac your DF is not recognized as MQA capable renderer, or it’s just a visualization bug.

Maybe @Damien3 can clarify.

Nope. Upsampling is disabled. I will send another picture tonight

Recognised as mqa renderer. Hence all the hype on tidal forums etc. windows is doing full unfold but not mac (mqa only)

Hello @Ance_Kuzev, Can you send me a copy of the “Debug Info”? You can get it in Audirvana Settings>General>Debug Info

Note: By clicking on the Debug Info Audirvana button automatically copies all its content, all you have to do is paste it in response to this message

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Audirvana Mac Version 3.5.29 (3559)
macOS 10.15.2 with 16384MB RAM

Registered to Ance Kuzev

SIGNAL PROCESSING:

Polarity Inversion:
	Globally: OFF
	Per track: ON
Effects plugins NOT ACTIVE

UPSAMPLING:
SoX not in use
SoX filter parameters
Bandwidth at 0dB = 99.5
Filter max length = 30000
Anti-aliasing = 100
Phase = 66

AUDIO VOLUME:
Max allowed volume: 100
Replay Gain: None
SW volume control: OFF

LIBRARY SETTINGS:
Sync list: 1 folders
AUTO: /Volumes/music/
iTunes/Music library synchronization: not synchronized
Library database path: /Users/ancekuzev/Library/Application Support/Audirvana/AudirvanaPlusDatabaseV2.sqlite

ACTIVE STREAMING SERVICES
TIDAL: Connected as HIFI

=================== AUDIO DEVICE ========================

CoreAudio audio path, buffer I/O frame size: 512

Max. memory for audio buffers: 13312MB

Local Audio Engine:
Exclusive access: Enabled
Integer mode: Enabled

Preferred device:
Built-in Output
Model UID:
UID:

Active Sample Rate: 96kHz
Hog Mode is off

Bridge settings:
Sample rate limitation: none
Sample rate switching latency: none
Limit bitdepth to 24bit: OFF
Mute during sample rate change: OFF

Selected device:
Local audio device
ID 0x3a AudioQuest DragonFly Red v1.0 Manufacturer:AudioQuest
Model UID:AudioQuest DragonFly Red v1.0:21B4:0082 UID:AppleUSBAudioEngine:AudioQuest:AudioQuest DragonFly Red v1.0:AQDFRD0120010918:1

4 available sample rates up to 96000Hz
44100
48000
88200
96000
Audio buffer frame size : 29 to 4096 frames
Current I/O buffer frame size : 512
Volume Control
Physical: Yes
Virtual: Yes
MQA capability
Auto-detect MQA devices: Yes
Not a MQA device, user set to MQA Renderer
DSD capability: Unhandled
Device audio channels
Preferred stereo channels L:1 R:2
Channel bitmap: Ox3, layout:
Channel 0 mapped to 0
Channel 1 mapped to 1

Audio channels in use
Number of channels: 2
Use as stereo device only: No
Simple stereo device: Yes

1 output streams:
Number of active channels: 2, in 1 stream(s)
Channel #0 :Stream 0 channel 0
Channel #1 :Stream 0 channel 1

Stream ID 0x3b 2 channels starting at 1
8 virtual formats:
2 ch Mixable linear PCM Interleaved 32 little endian Signed Float 96kHz
2 ch Mixable linear PCM Interleaved 32 little endian Signed Float 88.2kHz
2 ch Mixable linear PCM Interleaved 32 little endian Signed Float 48kHz
2 ch Mixable linear PCM Interleaved 32 little endian Signed Float 44.1kHz
2 ch Non-mixable linear PCM Interleaved 24 little endian Signed Integer 96kHz
2 ch Non-mixable linear PCM Interleaved 24 little endian Signed Integer 88.2kHz
2 ch Non-mixable linear PCM Interleaved 24 little endian Signed Integer 48kHz
2 ch Non-mixable linear PCM Interleaved 24 little endian Signed Integer 44.1kHz

8 physical formats
2 ch Mixable linear PCM Interleaved 24 little endian Signed Integer 96kHz
2 ch Mixable linear PCM Interleaved 24 little endian Signed Integer 88.2kHz
2 ch Mixable linear PCM Interleaved 24 little endian Signed Integer 48kHz
2 ch Mixable linear PCM Interleaved 24 little endian Signed Integer 44.1kHz
2 ch Non-mixable linear PCM Interleaved 24 little endian Signed Integer 96kHz
2 ch Non-mixable linear PCM Interleaved 24 little endian Signed Integer 88.2kHz
2 ch Non-mixable linear PCM Interleaved 24 little endian Signed Integer 48kHz
2 ch Non-mixable linear PCM Interleaved 24 little endian Signed Integer 44.1kHz

Local devices found : 3
Device #0: ID 0x33 Built-in Output Manufacturer: Apple Inc. Model UID: AppleHDA:88 UID: AppleHDAEngineOutput:1B,0,1,2:0
Device #1: ID 0x3e HDMI Manufacturer: Apple Inc. Model UID: AppleHDA:88 UID: AppleHDAEngineOutputDP:1B,3,1,2:0:{4935-003E-01010101}
Device #2: ID 0x3a AudioQuest DragonFly Red v1.0 Manufacturer: AudioQuest Model UID: AudioQuest DragonFly Red v1.0:21B4:0082 UID: AppleUSBAudioEngine:AudioQuest:AudioQuest DragonFly Red v1.0:AQDFRD0120010918:1

UPnP devices found : 1
Device #0: ID 0x0 Marantz UID: uuid:87c06513-5eb0-1377-0080-0005cda5f7fa Location: http://192.168.173.202:60006/upnp/desc/aios_device/aios_device.xml

Have you experienced it with other MQA files?

Hi Damien. Mqa works ok and lights up purple under MacOS. The only issue is it never goes above 24/96. Tried many different samples from tidal as it is very easy they are all in my favourites on both machines. Windows goes to Max but Mac goes only 24/96 on the same MQA Tidal songs. weird

Audirvana 3.5 integrates the MQA Core Decoder that performs the first unfolding (up to 88.2 or 96kHz) to benefit from the high resolution of the MQA audio files even without an MQA audio device. By MQA decision, the second unfolding (to 176.4 or 192kHz) can be performed only in a MQA renderer/decoder DAC.

Non MQA capable audio devices can benefit from the high resolution (doubled sample rate compared to the encoded file one) thanks to the MQA decoder integrated in Audirvana 3.
In this case, Audirvana brings, in addition to the general Sound Quality improvement, the decoding of the MQA file that would be played only at little above CD quality otherwise, losing all its high resolution benefits. Note that decoding the signal beyond twice the sampling rate of the encoded file (for the few rare recordings actually made above 96kHz) can only be done in a DAC MQA.

You then need to leave “Not MQA decoder” for your DAC in the Audio Settings, so that Audirvana performs the MQA decoding.

If you have a DAC that is “MQA decoder” then, you can select MQA decoder. That means that no audio processing done in Audirvana, as the DAC is doing all of the MQA decoding.
If you have a DAC that is “MQA renderer” then, you can selecter MQA renderer. That means MQA first unfolding done in Audirvana, and no other audio processing as the DAC is doing the other unfolding

The Blue color means that the file is “Studio authenticated”.
The Green color is for other MQA audio file.

Hi I have a basic understanding of how things work with MQA ( I think) My issue is that the very same settings and same audioquest DF Red perform completely different. Under Win10 I get 24/352 and under MacOS only 24/96. My Dac is a renderer only but still different results?? Not sure if Win10 is reporting incorrectly but I think MacOs does not get a full unfold for some reason

Try to disable the volume control or set it to 100% (obviously without the headphones attached).