Tidal MQA files stutter

In Audirvana, Tidal MQA files hesitate or stutter several times, mostly at the beginning of the track about 50% of the time. I am using the IFI Zen V2 as a MQA decoder. This does not happen when I play the same MQA tracks in the Windows Tidal App through the same IFI DAC. This also does not happen with non-MQA files, or my local files (which are not MQA). If I go back to the beginning of the song, it often will not stutter on 2nd replay.

I have tried updating my DAC to latest firmware, rebooting PC, disconnecting Tidal in Audirvana and re-connecting, but the problem persists. I also tried using the DAC as a renderer, but the issue continued.

Enclosed is the Debug Info. Thanks - Peter:

Audirvana Studio 1.8.5 (10805)

Windows 10 (19042) with 16GB physical RAM

SIGNAL PROCESSING:

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

UPSAMPLING:
SoX with Power Of Two upsampling
SoX filter parameters
Bandwidth at 0dB = 96.8379%
Filter max length = 26879
Anti-aliasing = 98.5165
Phase = 66%

AUDIO VOLUME:
Max allowed volume: 45.0549
Replay Gain: by album
SW volume control: OFF

LIBRARY SETTINGS:
Sync list: 2 folders
AUTO: C:\Users\kaavi\Music
AUTO: C:\Users\kaavi\OneDrive\Music Downloads
Library database path: C:\Users\kaavi\AppData\Local\Audirvana\Audirvana\AudirvanaDatabase.sqlite

Remote Control server:
Listening on 192.168.1.218 on port 50851

ACTIVE STREAMING SERVICES
TIDAL: Connected as HIFI

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

Max. memory for audio buffers: 6406MB

Local Audio Engine: WASAPI

Preferred device:
Speakers (2- iFi (by AMR) HD+ USB Audio)
Model UID:MMDEVAPI\AudioEndpoints
UID:\?\SWD#MMDEVAPI#{0.0.0.00000000}.{bb4dd503-d5b2-4d2d-aa32-c5027fa03367}#{e6327cad-dcec-4949-ae8a-991e976a79d2}

Currently playing in Integer Mode:
Device: 2ch 24bits Integer, 8 bytes per frame 48kHz

Active Sample Rate: 48kHz

Bridge settings:
Sample rate limitation: none
Sample rate switching latency: 0.5s
Limit bitdepth to 24bit: OFF
Mute during sample rate change: OFF

Selected device:
Local audio device
Speakers (2- iFi (by AMR) HD+ USB Audio)
Manufacturer: Microsoft
Model Name: Speakers (2- iFi (by AMR) HD+ USB Audio)
Model UID: MMDEVAPI\AudioEndpoints
UID: \?\SWD#MMDEVAPI#{0.0.0.00000000}.{bb4dd503-d5b2-4d2d-aa32-c5027fa03367}#{e6327cad-dcec-4949-ae8a-991e976a79d2}

8 available sample rates up to 384000Hz
44100
48000
88200
96000
176400
192000
352800
384000
Volume Control
Physical: Yes
Virtual: No
MQA capability
Auto-detect MQA devices: Yes
MQA Decoder device
DSD capability: DSD via PCM 1.0
Device audio channels
Preferred stereo channels L:0 R:1
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: No

1 output streams:
Number of active channels: 2, in 1 stream(s)
Channel #0 :Stream 0 channel 0
Channel #1 :Stream 0 channel 1
2 ch Integer PCM 16bit little endian 44.1kHz
2 ch Integer PCM 24bit little endian aligned high in 32bit chunk 44.1kHz
2 ch Integer PCM 32bit little endian 44.1kHz
2 ch Integer PCM 16bit little endian 48kHz
2 ch Integer PCM 24bit little endian aligned high in 32bit chunk 48kHz
2 ch Integer PCM 32bit little endian 48kHz
2 ch Integer PCM 16bit little endian 88.2kHz
2 ch Integer PCM 24bit little endian aligned high in 32bit chunk 88.2kHz
2 ch Integer PCM 32bit little endian 88.2kHz
2 ch Integer PCM 16bit little endian 96kHz
2 ch Integer PCM 24bit little endian aligned high in 32bit chunk 96kHz
2 ch Integer PCM 32bit little endian 96kHz
2 ch Integer PCM 16bit little endian 176.4kHz
2 ch Integer PCM 24bit little endian aligned high in 32bit chunk 176.4kHz
2 ch Integer PCM 32bit little endian 176.4kHz
2 ch Integer PCM 16bit little endian 192kHz
2 ch Integer PCM 24bit little endian aligned high in 32bit chunk 192kHz
2 ch Integer PCM 32bit little endian 192kHz
2 ch Integer PCM 16bit little endian 352.8kHz
2 ch Integer PCM 24bit little endian aligned high in 32bit chunk 352.8kHz
2 ch Integer PCM 32bit little endian 352.8kHz
2 ch Integer PCM 16bit little endian 384kHz
2 ch Integer PCM 24bit little endian aligned high in 32bit chunk 384kHz
2 ch Integer PCM 32bit little endian 384kHz

Local devices found : 5
Device #0: Line (Realtek USB2.0 Audio) Manufacturer: Microsoft Model UID: MMDEVAPI\AudioEndpoints UID: \?\SWD#MMDEVAPI#{0.0.0.00000000}.{cb72a92c-a9d1-4f85-b3fc-f79dd8e77685}#{e6327cad-dcec-4949-ae8a-991e976a79d2} Model Name: Line (Realtek USB2.0 Audio)
Device #1: Headphones (Realtek USB2.0 Audio) Manufacturer: Microsoft Model UID: MMDEVAPI\AudioEndpoints UID: \?\SWD#MMDEVAPI#{0.0.0.00000000}.{f142eedf-9bb1-4f1c-b2e7-75be9c1d9ffa}#{e6327cad-dcec-4949-ae8a-991e976a79d2} Model Name: Headphones (Realtek USB2.0 Audio)
Device #2: Speakers (2- iFi (by AMR) HD+ USB Audio) Manufacturer: Microsoft Model UID: MMDEVAPI\AudioEndpoints UID: \?\SWD#MMDEVAPI#{0.0.0.00000000}.{bb4dd503-d5b2-4d2d-aa32-c5027fa03367}#{e6327cad-dcec-4949-ae8a-991e976a79d2} Model Name: Speakers (2- iFi (by AMR) HD+ USB Audio)
Device #3: Speaker (Realtek(R) Audio) Manufacturer: Microsoft Model UID: MMDEVAPI\AudioEndpoints UID: \?\SWD#MMDEVAPI#{0.0.0.00000000}.{f0a03e98-94bd-4de8-a87a-1282c20304e2}#{e6327cad-dcec-4949-ae8a-991e976a79d2} Model Name: Speaker (Realtek(R) Audio)
Device #4: LG ULTRAWIDE (Intel(R) Display Audio) Manufacturer: Microsoft Model UID: MMDEVAPI\AudioEndpoints UID: \?\SWD#MMDEVAPI#{0.0.0.00000000}.{c6cf96e7-12db-4264-8d18-813deca244fd}#{e6327cad-dcec-4949-ae8a-991e976a79d2} Model Name: LG ULTRAWIDE (Intel(R) Display Audio)

UPnP devices found : 1
Device #0RX-V679 DBB499 UID: uuid:9ab0c000-f668-11de-9976-00a0dedbb499 Location: http://192.168.1.154:49154/MediaRenderer/desc.xml

Hello @kaavik47,

can you send us your audirvana.log file at [email protected]?

Sent you this file on 12/1. Any response?

Hello @kaavik47,

Can you give me the track you tried to play you have the issue with?

It’s not just one track, it’s a large number of MQA tracks on Tidal. One example is Back in the USSR by the Beatles off the MQA White Album. Another example is It’s A Beautiful Day by U2 of the MQA All That You Can’t Leave Behind album.

In both cases, if I play it, it stutters the first time and it switches out of MQA format. If I rewind and start over, it plays fine and stays in MQA format.

Thanks - Peter

Have you tried feeding your ifi device 100% volume and control volume down stream ? Just a thought my ifi dxd device prefers 100% for dsd or MQA files.
Good luck with it !

AUDIO VOLUME:
Max allowed volume: 45.0549
Replay Gain: by album
SW volume control: OFF

Turn off the upsampling.

Turning off upsampling has no effect. On an MQA track in Tidal, upsampling isn’t even activated, and the songs still stutter on initial play, regardless of that setting.

Something else is a problem here. Reduce the pre-load cache to 2000MB.

Do you use plugins? Have you tried with local files?

Local files work fine, as do Tidal non-MQA files. I have no MQA local files. I do not use any plug-ins. I will try reducing the cache and let you know.

Reducing cache was not helpful.

Just for the info, same problem here

The fact that the DAC does not recognise it as MQA tells you that something us messing with the signal. Does it play without issues to the built-in audio device?

You could also download sampler MQA file and try to play that.

It switches in and out of MQA format when it is stuttering only - otherwise, it stays in MQA, and this only happens when I’m using Audirvana. As I said before, it plays MQA on Tidal directly with no problems. That is why I suspect that Audirvana is causing the problem.

Have you tried with local MQA file?

You are windows as well ?

Currently listening to a few Pat Metheny MQA tidal tracks on ifi xDSD DAC amp on Mac not windows. Absolutely no drop out light indicator solid. ?

Try letting Audirvāna do the decode, set your DAC to not MQA and try perhaps?

Hey Racer, is there a midi setting on his windows? I know on my Mac I want midi volume to be 100% or MQA and dsd won’t lock up properly

Yes, I have a PC, but why should I pay for Audirvana if I can get better fidelity and fewer bugs with Tidal and other music sources directly? The whole concept of Audirvana is bit perfect audio and enhanced fidelity for all sources of music. The U/I is inferior, so it needs to provide a better musical experience. If I can’t get that, it’s a waste of time and $$ in my opinion.

Wow, not sure if you are addressing me or ? PC Ok w/me , Probably some settings are off a bit but since you don’t have local files and your system sounds better with Tidal application to you then that’s all that counts right ?

Best of luck

Another satisfactory MQA experience