Old external DAC and MQA

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spf2
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Joined: Thu May 16, 2019 10:31 pm

Old external DAC and MQA

Post by spf2 » Fri May 17, 2019 8:27 am

I have an old external DAC. When I listen to CD quality tracks on tidal with my Node 2i it works great. But MQA tracks are just static. I see a toggle “MQA external DAC” but it has no effect. Is there any way to fix (besides obvious: don’t play MQA or use internal DAC)?

SeppiE
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Location: Liverpool, UK

Re: Old external DAC and MQA

Post by SeppiE » Fri May 17, 2019 9:20 am

The DAC you are using probably cannot handle anything above Redbook standard hence the static, post the model number or have a Google.

spf2
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu May 16, 2019 10:31 pm

Re: Old external DAC and MQA

Post by spf2 » Fri May 17, 2019 9:39 am

I’m sure that’s correct. My question is whether I can configure the Node to output a signal it can understand. I hoped that “MQA external DAC” would be it.

SeppiE
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Joined: Fri Jul 11, 2014 12:04 pm
Location: Liverpool, UK

Re: Old external DAC and MQA

Post by SeppiE » Fri May 17, 2019 10:25 am

Unfortunately not, the option is to send the unfolded MQA signal to the DAC rather than it being partially unfolded by the player and either way the signal exceeds the capability of your DAC.

The best DAC I ever owned was a QED Digit, unfortunately it was severely limited with its input and even Internet Radio stations would not play (static or silence) so it had to go but that was 10 years ago now.

As you say... use Analogue, the DAC in Bluesound devices is very good.

spf2
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu May 16, 2019 10:31 pm

Re: Old external DAC and MQA

Post by spf2 » Sat May 18, 2019 11:45 am

Too bad. I’ll probably return it then.

KenM10759
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Re: Old external DAC and MQA

Post by KenM10759 » Sat May 18, 2019 6:46 pm

spf2 wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 11:45 am
Too bad. I’ll probably return it then.
Return which?

IMO, it's the old external DAC that should go. If it's not handling anything above 16/44.1, why keep it? The growing availability of 24/48 and higher resolution digital music is well worth having a modern DAC. The MQA capability of the Node 2i is convenient but shouldn't be a deal maker or breaker. We don't know how long MQA even needs to be around, as it's there to get higher rates through slower connections.
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TonyW
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Re: Old external DAC and MQA

Post by TonyW » Tue May 21, 2019 2:25 pm

The NODE has a Burr Brown 24/192 DAC. Bypass the DAC and use the Analogue outs of the NODE to play directly to your amplifier. Let your ears decide.
spf2 wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 9:39 am
I’m sure that’s correct. My question is whether I can configure the Node to output a signal it can understand. I hoped that “MQA external DAC” would be it.
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