SOLVED: Tidal MQA @ 16/44.1kHz not 24/44.1 and higher

Although Audirvana seems to recognize MQA track (green light goes on next to MQA), the sample rate is stuck at 16/44.1kHz. The lowest sample rate for MQA Tidal tracks is 24/96kHz all the way up to 354kHz.

Starting to feel like I just wasted $100… unless there’s a fix?

Running version 3.5.44 (latest) on Big Sur w/ Dragonfly Cobalt.

Which DAC do you have? Check in the setting, if the DAC is set to MQA decoder, then what you see is perfectly normal. Your DAC will do the full decoding. You should be able to see on the DAC some indication that it’s receiving MQA. Something like a led or indication on the display.

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Dragonfly Cobalt, yes it’s set to MQA decoder. However, the sample rate shouldn’t change, right? The posted sample rate is higher going directly through Tidal.

What do you have your DAC set for MQA?? Decoder or renderer? Try renderer.

I guess I should be more clear, Audirvana is tracking all Tidal tracks as basic FLAC 16/44.1Hz. This doesn’t have anything to do with the DAC. Audirvana should recognize the true sample rate, especially for Master track irregardless of whether I’m playing it our not. That’s latent data, intrinsic to the source file itself.

Actually, it looks like the Dragonfly is actually sampling it as MQA (purple light indicator), but the Audirvana says it’s a FLAC 16 /44.1kHz.

After a little research (should have spared you guys the time), MQA is really just performing some compression magic that streams up to 24 bit/352 kHz after it’s unpacked, using just 16/44.1 bandwidth. That’s the whole point of the technology.

Case closed. I learned something today!

Bear in mind that the MQA is resolution agnostic. It can be applied to a 16/44.1 source. In that case it would just provide you benefit of accounting for recording equipment artefacts using processing and filtering. If you have MQA capable DAC it will also adjust for playback artefacts caused by the DAC chip.

AQ Dragonfly is MQA Renderer, make sure you select it as such. There is a lot of content on Tidal that is MQA in 16/44.1. Still make sure how you registered Tidal and selected correct tier. Select “Master” if you want higher resolution content.

He thinks ALL MQA in tidal are 24bit.

He’s one of the uninformed MQA consumer.
Tidal never directly stated Tidal Master can appear in 16/44.1 too.
It just says: usually 24/96kHz and higher.



Like I said before, most of the MQA tracks on Tidal unpack from a 16 bit / 44.1 kHz source. It’s the additional rendering/decoding performed by my DAC which then plays it at its new sample rate, which is at least 24 bit / 44.1 kHz, up to 24 bit / 352 kHz

No, some of the content really is 16/44.1. In those cases it doesn’t unfold to higher resolution.

Right the non-MQA content. I’m not referring to that.

No no, there is content that is MQA, but it started with the source that was 16/44.1. In those cases it will not unfold to higher res.

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Maybe I’m confused because my DAC changes color depending on the sample rate. I get a purple light for all MQA tracks which means it’s running at 24 bit / 44 kHz at the very least. Non MQA 16/44.1 is always green.

And I should mention this is for MQA tracks that plainly state they are 16 bit /44.1 kHz. Something is happening during that MQA rendering process that triggers a higher sample rate reaction from my DAC.

maybe post some screenshot and the name of the album/title of the track

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