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#272024 - 2018-01-19 20:01 Bluesound Node 2 MQA works streamed to legacy 18 bit DSP5k!
Registered: 2016-10-31
Posts: 113
Nstzya Offline
Hitchhiker
Nstzya Offline
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Registered: 2016-10-31
Posts: 113
Loc: Indianapolis, USA
I’ve been in the process of resurrecting some legacy 18 bit Gen 1 DSP5000’s (that I am ashamed to admit have heretofore been used as speaker stands for a variety of bookshelf trials - for which they do an excellent job BTW).

After being impressed with a Bluesound Powernode 2 streaming Tidal MQA driving the bookshelves, I got a Node 2 to try with the DSP5000.

As I understand the Node 2 - and MQA - although the Node 2 will fully unfold MQA given that it has an MQA DAC, if one as in my case taps the Digital Out (SPDIF coaxial) it will merely perform the first unfold and output 24/96 - which the 18 bit legacy DSPs should ignore. But I’m playing and enjoying MQA files (blue dot lit) on the DSP at the moment! How should this be possible?

-Scott


DSP5000/18, 500.2, Bluesound Node 2 (MQA)
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#272025 - 2018-01-19 20:32 Re: Bluesound Node 2 MQA works streamed to legacy 18 bit DSP5k! [Re: Nstzya]
Registered: 2002-08-28
Posts: 4,287
Mr Meridian Offline
President of the Imperial Galactic Government
Mr Meridian Offline
President of the Imperial Galactic Government

Registered: 2002-08-28
Posts: 4,287
Loc: Perthshire, Scotland
Hi Scott

I believe there are a lot of MQA files around at 44kHz, in which case the older DSPs will be fine, as they can handle up to 48k. I think they also accept 24bit signals, but ignore the last couple of bits.

Cheers

George

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#272026 - 2018-01-19 20:40 Re: Bluesound Node 2 MQA works streamed to legacy 18 bit DSP5k! [Re: Mr Meridian]
Registered: 2016-10-31
Posts: 113
Nstzya Offline
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Nstzya Offline
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Registered: 2016-10-31
Posts: 113
Loc: Indianapolis, USA
Hi George,
I would generally agree with you except that in the Bluesound/MQA/Tidal milieu, when the blue dot lights it means it's a high res studio cut...


DSP5000/18, 500.2, Bluesound Node 2 (MQA)
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#272027 - 2018-01-19 21:00 Re: Bluesound Node 2 MQA works streamed to legacy 18 bit DSP5k! [Re: Nstzya]
Registered: 2007-05-19
Posts: 982
JobSeeker Offline
Pan-dimensional being
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Pan-dimensional being

Registered: 2007-05-19
Posts: 982
Loc: West Yorkshire, England
Don’t forget to specify in settings that the digital out is going to a non-MQA DAC. I can’t remember what the default setting is.


Roon (ROCK NUC with internal SSD storage)
Meridian 218, DSP3200
Lindemann Musicbook / Lyngdorf SDA-2400, PMC Wafer 1
Testing Bluesound Node 2 and Auralic Aries Mini with above
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#272041 - 2018-01-19 22:53 Re: Bluesound Node 2 MQA works streamed to legacy 18 bit DSP5k! [Re: JobSeeker]
Registered: 2016-10-31
Posts: 113
Nstzya Offline
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Nstzya Offline
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Registered: 2016-10-31
Posts: 113
Loc: Indianapolis, USA
I did. That’s why I’m dumbfounded.

I’m not arguing. And certainly enjoying bc it sounds great. But wondering what is going on digitally cuz it’s not supposed to...


DSP5000/18, 500.2, Bluesound Node 2 (MQA)
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#272056 - 2018-01-20 06:51 Re: Bluesound Node 2 MQA works streamed to legacy 18 bit DSP5k! [Re: Nstzya]
Registered: 2004-08-07
Posts: 7,441
Ian Offline
President of the Imperial Galactic Government
Ian Offline
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Registered: 2004-08-07
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Loc: Surrey, England, UK
Originally Posted By Nstzya
Hi George,
I would generally agree with you except that in the Bluesound/MQA/Tidal milieu, when the blue dot lights it means it's a high res studio cut...
Does the blue light mean hi-res or (as in Meridian MQA world) does it simply mean that it is "authenticated" (studio) irrespective of resolution?

In Meridian world you can have blue dot at any resolution, even 44.1/48k which would play on 18bit 5k's.


Meridian owner since 1992
DSP5000 96/24, MC200, Prime & PSU, Focal Elear, Explorer 1 & 2, F80, 200/203 and various Sonos.
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#272063 - 2018-01-20 09:23 Re: Bluesound Node 2 MQA works streamed to legacy 18 bit DSP5k! [Re: Nstzya]
Registered: 2007-05-19
Posts: 982
JobSeeker Offline
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If you're talking about the blue dot being lit on the Bluesound front panel, it has no significance regarding MQA - it merely means that you are hard wired to an Ethernet connection.. Only the app shows MQA indications.


Roon (ROCK NUC with internal SSD storage)
Meridian 218, DSP3200
Lindemann Musicbook / Lyngdorf SDA-2400, PMC Wafer 1
Testing Bluesound Node 2 and Auralic Aries Mini with above
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#272072 - 2018-01-20 10:50 Re: Bluesound Node 2 MQA works streamed to legacy 18 bit DSP5k! [Re: JobSeeker]
Registered: 2016-10-31
Posts: 113
Nstzya Offline
Hitchhiker
Nstzya Offline
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Registered: 2016-10-31
Posts: 113
Loc: Indianapolis, USA
Haha, I’m a bit of a minnow in this shark pool of wisdom, but THAT would be funny! Yes, for those unfamiliar with Bluesound, there is a blue LED indicator light on the front of Bluesound devices, but I am talking about in the app itself, Jobseeker, lol! Adjacent to the MQA symbol itself.

I’ll need to delve further into the Bluesound materials, but as suggested, it must be the lower res MQA stuff or it simply wouldn’t/shouldn’t work. A few end of week beers and I came home to play with my new toy and got a little excited. Apologies.

It’s surprising then how much of the MQA catalogue is in this format bc I was able to play quite a few selections. Anyway, for those legacy 18 bit owners looking for something to feed and optimize their formally state of the art devices, it’s an interesting option...


DSP5000/18, 500.2, Bluesound Node 2 (MQA)
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#272075 - 2018-01-20 12:03 Re: Bluesound Node 2 MQA works streamed to legacy 18 bit DSP5k! [Re: Nstzya]
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Fitcaz Offline
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The blue "light" is showing the source file is MQA quality and not the output.

As you indicate the stream on the digital output is not full MQA and is maximum 24/96 presumably your system strips 6 bits to get to 18 bit play back.


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#272077 - 2018-01-20 12:24 Re: Bluesound Node 2 MQA works streamed to legacy 18 bit DSP5k! [Re: Fitcaz]
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Mr Meridian Offline
President of the Imperial Galactic Government
Mr Meridian Offline
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Registered: 2002-08-28
Posts: 4,287
Loc: Perthshire, Scotland
IIRC, the 18 bit DSPs' optimum input word length is 22 bits, which the output DACs reconstruct with 18 bit precision. So a 24 bit input will only lose the two least significant bits.

In my 518 days, you'd have the CD transport sending vanilla 16/44 which would be dithered to 22 bits for the speaker. The 518 was a brilliant piece of kit and really let the 18 bit DSP5000s bloom. The only downside was a slight softening of the bass, but a very worthwhile trade off. Anyway, going rather off topic now!

Cheers
George

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#272082 - 2018-01-20 13:04 Re: Bluesound Node 2 MQA works streamed to legacy 18 bit DSP5k! [Re: Mr Meridian]
Registered: 2004-08-07
Posts: 7,441
Ian Offline
President of the Imperial Galactic Government
Ian Offline
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Registered: 2004-08-07
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Loc: Surrey, England, UK
18bit is really a bit of a misnomer with 5k's as SPDIF is min 24 bit so as George says, it’s more a case of what v1 5ks make use of rather than can accept.


Meridian owner since 1992
DSP5000 96/24, MC200, Prime & PSU, Focal Elear, Explorer 1 & 2, F80, 200/203 and various Sonos.
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#272084 - 2018-01-20 13:11 Re: Bluesound Node 2 MQA works streamed to legacy 18 bit DSP5k! [Re: Ian]
Registered: 2004-04-15
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VirusKiller Offline
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I'm quite curious as to what the Node 2 is outputting. The MQA file/stream decoded to MQA Core, then down-sampled? Or the un-decoded MQA file/stream?


Roon Developer and ex-moderator of this Forum
I am #25 in the HH1 photo of fame.
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#272085 - 2018-01-20 13:12 Re: Bluesound Node 2 MQA works streamed to legacy 18 bit DSP5k! [Re: Mr Meridian]
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Hector Offline
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Hector Offline
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Agreed George also my experience. Hard to differentiate 518 22 bit out to 18 bit 5Ks compared to 96/24 5Ks.
Hector


AV: Thorens TD160B, SME, ShureV15MK2, 500, 598, 861v4, DSP7200.1LR, DSP3300HC Samsung UE55, SkyHD.
DINING: MS600, AC200, DSP5200SLLR.
STUDY 504, SB Touch, 2x MD600, C15, 808.6, 5200SE, Mac & PC, Explorer v1, Prime+PS Grado GS1000i
HORIZONTAL: M80, MS200, Red Rose Spirit + Sonus Faber Toys
A capella to Zydeco
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#272104 - 2018-01-20 19:55 Re: Bluesound Node 2 MQA works streamed to legacy 18 bit DSP5k! [Re: Hector]
Registered: 2016-10-31
Posts: 113
Nstzya Offline
Hitchhiker
Nstzya Offline
Hitchhiker

Registered: 2016-10-31
Posts: 113
Loc: Indianapolis, USA
Funny we should slide off topic onto the 518. One came up on eBay in USA just this week and I got sniped in last minutes and couldn’t get logged on in time. Lucky guy. I wanted to see what it can do. (Anyone looking to part with theirs? A dealer’s got one on eBay at $699 which is WAY over market. The auction went for $280...)

Back on topic, it’s all coming back to me 18, 22, dithering, etc. and that it will accept and truncate 24 bit. But not the 24/96 this Bluesound should be outputting if it’s unfolding as it does. In fact there are several MQA titles that simply stay silent and don’t play. Presumably that’s the 24/96 unfolded stuff. What would the stuff that plays be then? 24/44? 24/48? Other?

There’s a support thread with this topic on the Bluesound support site that I have resurrected where their technical dept was looking into a technical issue with Tidal MQA files. Still waiting to hear. They aren’t as prompt as you guys.


DSP5000/18, 500.2, Bluesound Node 2 (MQA)
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#272105 - 2018-01-20 20:08 Re: Bluesound Node 2 MQA works streamed to legacy 18 bit DSP5k! [Re: Nstzya]
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Fitcaz Offline
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VK - you can choose either unfolded MQA or pass through on the Bluesound for a seperate downstream MQA DAC


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#272108 - 2018-01-20 20:17 Re: Bluesound Node 2 MQA works streamed to legacy 18 bit DSP5k! [Re: Fitcaz]
Registered: 2004-04-15
Posts: 12,317
VirusKiller Offline
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Registered: 2004-04-15
Posts: 12,317
Loc: nr. Milton Keynes, UK
Okay, so for 18-bitters, you can't decode to MQA Core (88/96k).


Roon Developer and ex-moderator of this Forum
I am #25 in the HH1 photo of fame.
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#272136 - 2018-01-21 15:01 Re: Bluesound Node 2 MQA works streamed to legacy 18 bit DSP5k! [Re: VirusKiller]
Registered: 2016-10-31
Posts: 113
Nstzya Offline
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Nstzya Offline
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Registered: 2016-10-31
Posts: 113
Loc: Indianapolis, USA
Followup with help from Bluesound Community.

Apparently the Bluesound Node 2 is having a technical issue with some of the MQA files it receives from Tidal, and in these cases simply passes along the raw MQA codec without any decoding to the digital outputs. This raw MQA 24/44.1/48 bitstream can be recognized by my 18 bitters and still processed to a useful audible signal - albeit not MQA decoded nor rendered. From what I understand, this result will still be better than “CD quality” however. So an unfortunate technical problem turns out to be fortunate in my case.

Also, this poster seems to indicate that if I elect the External MQA DAC option, it will send the same raw MQA data stream out the dig output. That would be great for when they resolve their technical issues, but doesn’t seem correct... as I thought all MQA devices did at least the core decoding before sending to an external MQA DAC. In fact, I thought I read somewhere that it was a requirement from Meridian that the raw MQA codec can NOT be digitally output?


DSP5000/18, 500.2, Bluesound Node 2 (MQA)
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#272139 - 2018-01-21 15:49 Re: Bluesound Node 2 MQA works streamed to legacy 18 bit DSP5k! [Re: Nstzya]
Registered: 2004-12-09
Posts: 6,242
ChrisLayerUK Offline
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ChrisLayerUK Offline
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Posts: 6,242
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Not sure that’s correct, it seems your getting an undecoded file at the digital output if you select the external DAC option. This would still need an MQA DAC to decode it, but will allow files to play, undecoded, on your speakers.
A great option to use on those speakers.


No 18 in the Hall of fame smile I have simple tastes; I am content to settle for the best: GIK monster bass panels, rear wall.
MC200 500GB, QNAP TVS 471i3. Roon into 2 MS200's. Explorer 2. Bluesound Pulse 2 and Mini. 596 v1.89.2, 518, G61R, M60.2 Rosewood, M33C, M33 Rears, M1500 Sub, Foxsat HD, Sony Blu Ray, Pioneer 5090, 2 Chromecast's for LRB videos.
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#272142 - 2018-01-21 16:04 Re: Bluesound Node 2 MQA works streamed to legacy 18 bit DSP5k! [Re: ChrisLayerUK]
Registered: 2016-10-31
Posts: 113
Nstzya Offline
Hitchhiker
Nstzya Offline
Hitchhiker

Registered: 2016-10-31
Posts: 113
Loc: Indianapolis, USA
Oh would that it be so! But I am still stymied about what exactly is coming out the dig outs when I elect external MQA DAC. Again, I prob need a MQA primer for dummies, but it is my understanding that an external MQA DAC can only process Core MQA. Is that not the case? Can an external DAC process raw MQA bitstream without a software initial unfolding to Core? And secondly, doesn’t MQA licensing prohibit outputting digitally anything other than Core - i.e. no raw MQA bitstream output digitally?


DSP5000/18, 500.2, Bluesound Node 2 (MQA)
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#272144 - 2018-01-21 16:21 Re: Bluesound Node 2 MQA works streamed to legacy 18 bit DSP5k! [Re: Nstzya]
Registered: 2004-12-09
Posts: 6,242
ChrisLayerUK Offline
President of the Imperial Galactic Government
ChrisLayerUK Offline
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Registered: 2004-12-09
Posts: 6,242
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As I see it (and I could be wrong) you are getting an un decoded MQA file on the digital out. That can be played on anything. A further decoder would decode it. Just my guess.
Does it play all files on your speakers that way?


No 18 in the Hall of fame smile I have simple tastes; I am content to settle for the best: GIK monster bass panels, rear wall.
MC200 500GB, QNAP TVS 471i3. Roon into 2 MS200's. Explorer 2. Bluesound Pulse 2 and Mini. 596 v1.89.2, 518, G61R, M60.2 Rosewood, M33C, M33 Rears, M1500 Sub, Foxsat HD, Sony Blu Ray, Pioneer 5090, 2 Chromecast's for LRB videos.
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#272145 - 2018-01-21 16:45 Re: Bluesound Node 2 MQA works streamed to legacy 18 bit DSP5k! [Re: ChrisLayerUK]
Registered: 2016-10-31
Posts: 113
Nstzya Offline
Hitchhiker
Nstzya Offline
Hitchhiker

Registered: 2016-10-31
Posts: 113
Loc: Indianapolis, USA
Funny you should ask. I just came back to report that I had tried it both ways to just see what happens! Duh!

Well, I’m excited to report that every MQA file I tried - even those that didn’t play before - play with the external MQA DAC selected so it must in fact be outputting raw MQA bitstream! Even though there is a load of great hardware in this box going to waste, this still makes for a GREAT option for folks to breathe new life into legacy 18 bitters. And it will all be there for future use when these old boys finally die...

My only problem with this arrangement is click/pops between tracks. Gonna go search on causes/cures for that elsewhere, but any quick thoughts anyone?


DSP5000/18, 500.2, Bluesound Node 2 (MQA)
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#272152 - 2018-01-21 17:26 Re: Bluesound Node 2 MQA works streamed to legacy 18 bit DSP5k! [Re: Nstzya]
Registered: 2001-05-23
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Gianni Offline
Great Green Arkleseizure
Gianni Offline
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Originally Posted By Nstzya
Also, this poster seems to indicate that if I elect the External MQA DAC option, it will send the same raw MQA data stream out the dig output. That would be great for when they resolve their technical issues, but doesn’t seem correct... as I thought all MQA devices did at least the core decoding before sending to an external MQA DAC. In fact, I thought I read somewhere that it was a requirement from Meridian that the raw MQA codec can NOT be digitally output??
Are you using Tidal as your MQA source?

Tidal may be configured to unfold (partially process) MQA. This process may be done in the Tidal software or in the downstream hardware. If it is partially processed in Tidal it can be output as digital 24/96 but some files (e.g. Fragile by Yes) just won't stream in my experience. Only the downstream device can perform the rendering to analogue which gives full-fat MQA.

Originally Posted By Nstzya
My only problem with this arrangement is click/pops between tracks. Gonna go search on causes/cures for that elsewhere, but any quick thoughts anyone?
Are you using Tidal as your MQA source?

Using Tidal through Sooloos there seems to re-determination of the MQA capabilities of the various devices and this seems (in my experience using Tidal through Sooloos to an 818v3) to cause an occasional click between tracks. In your setup this may be causing the Bluesound to DSP5000 digital lock to be lost and you may be getting a louder click/pop as a result.


Wonderful perfect quadraphonic sound with distortion levels so low as to make a brave man weep smile
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#272156 - 2018-01-21 22:13 Re: Bluesound Node 2 MQA works streamed to legacy 18 bit DSP5k! [Re: Gianni]
Registered: 2016-10-31
Posts: 113
Nstzya Offline
Hitchhiker
Nstzya Offline
Hitchhiker

Registered: 2016-10-31
Posts: 113
Loc: Indianapolis, USA
Hello Gianni,

Sort of... Yes I am streaming Tidal but doing so via BluOS which is Bluesounds control Ap OS. So it is Tidal modified. It ‘repackages’ and reformats Tidal, stripping out some of the desktop functions most notably the EQ and the desktop software MQA processing unfolding stage. It may also be the source of some of the issues working on my behalf.

I haven’t been able to find a solution to the pop/clicks in my searches. When left on its own to play a Tidal playlist, it pops/clicks every time it changes tracks. As Ian suggests elsewhere, this sounds to be related to digital noise while buffering/transitioning digital streams. Interestingly, if I skip tracks manually, there is no such noise...


DSP5000/18, 500.2, Bluesound Node 2 (MQA)
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#272161 - 2018-01-22 11:04 Re: Bluesound Node 2 MQA works streamed to legacy 18 bit DSP5k! [Re: Nstzya]
Registered: 2011-02-02
Posts: 2,234
Hector Offline
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Hector Offline
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Hi Nstzya
As you experience clicks/pops between tracks when playing MQA material could this be an artefact of the BluOS as the system briefly unlocks and re-locks to the MQA source. I see this visually momentarily (but not audibly) on my SE speakers at the time you experience the click/pop.
Hector


AV: Thorens TD160B, SME, ShureV15MK2, 500, 598, 861v4, DSP7200.1LR, DSP3300HC Samsung UE55, SkyHD.
DINING: MS600, AC200, DSP5200SLLR.
STUDY 504, SB Touch, 2x MD600, C15, 808.6, 5200SE, Mac & PC, Explorer v1, Prime+PS Grado GS1000i
HORIZONTAL: M80, MS200, Red Rose Spirit + Sonus Faber Toys
A capella to Zydeco
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#272197 - 2018-01-23 14:30 Re: Bluesound Node 2 MQA works streamed to legacy 18 bit DSP5k! [Re: Hector]
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Steve M Offline
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Steve M Offline
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Folks,

[Back in early 2017] While we were all waiting patiently on the release of the 218 9 months ago, I looked closely at the Bluesound Node 2 as an MQA alternative decoder to the 218. However my research led me to finding that the internal MQA certified DAC only fully unwraps MQA files for the analogue outputs of the Node 2. There is internal MQA software doing the unfolding.

That shut down any idea of me buying it but is it is a great Streaming product for anyone wanting to add MQA decoding capabilities to an analogue sound system.

The link to the original post I made at the time in April last year follows; Bluesound Node 2 MQA Decoder

There is also a link in the post which answers some of the questions in this thread and is definitely worth reading, so I have also copied it directly here; Bluesound Node 2 MQA Capabilities

Cheers,

Steve M


#1: 8000s, 5500HC, 8000s, 861v8, 800Dv4, HD621
#2: 6000s, 6000C, 5000s, 6000s, 568.2mm, 598DP, 511
#3: 5500s, 5000C, 5000s, 561, 800v3, 518
Edited by Steve M; 2018-01-24 10:40.
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#272199 - 2018-01-23 16:00 Re: Bluesound Node 2 MQA works streamed to legacy 18 bit DSP5k! [Re: Steve M]
Registered: 2007-05-19
Posts: 982
JobSeeker Offline
Pan-dimensional being
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As far as I know, the 218 does the same? Or am I misunderstanding something? I own both.


Roon (ROCK NUC with internal SSD storage)
Meridian 218, DSP3200
Lindemann Musicbook / Lyngdorf SDA-2400, PMC Wafer 1
Testing Bluesound Node 2 and Auralic Aries Mini with above
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#272200 - 2018-01-23 16:04 Re: Bluesound Node 2 MQA works streamed to legacy 18 bit DSP5k! [Re: Steve M]
Registered: 2007-02-06
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Jon Raines Offline
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Jon Raines Offline
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Folks,

While we were all waiting patiently on the release of the 218,

I thought this was readily available now.


596, 504, 568.2mm, 562v2, 551, DSP5Ks smileys+3dB, DSP5.5kHC smiley, DSP420's, DSP33s, DSW1500, Samsung 55" QLED, Sky Q silver, 3xKef ceiling speakers, 2xMSR+custom keys, Mac Mini, Modded Edge v1.6, ATV2, vMSR, Amazon FireTV4k,Mc200 1tb
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#272201 - 2018-01-23 16:18 Re: Bluesound Node 2 MQA works streamed to legacy 18 bit DSP5k! [Re: Jon Raines]
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Hector Offline
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Hector Offline
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Steve M refers to his post of April 2017. I was also originally confused, but reread his post for understanding.
218 is of course available now.
Hector


AV: Thorens TD160B, SME, ShureV15MK2, 500, 598, 861v4, DSP7200.1LR, DSP3300HC Samsung UE55, SkyHD.
DINING: MS600, AC200, DSP5200SLLR.
STUDY 504, SB Touch, 2x MD600, C15, 808.6, 5200SE, Mac & PC, Explorer v1, Prime+PS Grado GS1000i
HORIZONTAL: M80, MS200, Red Rose Spirit + Sonus Faber Toys
A capella to Zydeco
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#272205 - 2018-01-23 16:38 Re: Bluesound Node 2 MQA works streamed to legacy 18 bit DSP5k! [Re: Hector]
Registered: 2004-12-09
Posts: 6,242
ChrisLayerUK Offline
President of the Imperial Galactic Government
ChrisLayerUK Offline
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Registered: 2004-12-09
Posts: 6,242
Loc: Colchester, Essex, UK
Just seen this on the Bluesound site in answer to digital out question.

Quote:
All Bluesound Players come with a Burr Brown 24/192 on board DAC. When using TOSLink Optical out or COAX digital out on the NODE or VAULT, you are bypassing our DAC and no processing occurs.


No 18 in the Hall of fame smile I have simple tastes; I am content to settle for the best: GIK monster bass panels, rear wall.
MC200 500GB, QNAP TVS 471i3. Roon into 2 MS200's. Explorer 2. Bluesound Pulse 2 and Mini. 596 v1.89.2, 518, G61R, M60.2 Rosewood, M33C, M33 Rears, M1500 Sub, Foxsat HD, Sony Blu Ray, Pioneer 5090, 2 Chromecast's for LRB videos.
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#272208 - 2018-01-23 17:26 Re: Bluesound Node 2 MQA works streamed to legacy 18 bit DSP5k! [Re: ChrisLayerUK]
Registered: 2007-05-19
Posts: 982
JobSeeker Offline
Pan-dimensional being
JobSeeker Offline
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The thing is, if it were that simple, why did Bluesound have to add an option in settings as to whether or not the digital out was connected to an MQA or non-MQA DAC? Unless they removed that in the last software update. Must have a look, as my Node 2 has been out of use while I test a Lindemann Musicbook 20DSD (which,rumour us it, will become Roon Ready later this year though I’ve seen nothing published)


Roon (ROCK NUC with internal SSD storage)
Meridian 218, DSP3200
Lindemann Musicbook / Lyngdorf SDA-2400, PMC Wafer 1
Testing Bluesound Node 2 and Auralic Aries Mini with above
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#272234 - 2018-01-24 03:59 Re: Bluesound Node 2 MQA works streamed to legacy 18 bit DSP5k! [Re: JobSeeker]
Registered: 2016-10-31
Posts: 113
Nstzya Offline
Hitchhiker
Nstzya Offline
Hitchhiker

Registered: 2016-10-31
Posts: 113
Loc: Indianapolis, USA
Originally Posted By JobSeeker
The thing is, if it were that simple, why did Bluesound have to add an option in settings as to whether or not the digital out was connected to an MQA or non-MQA DAC? Unless they removed that in the last software update.
I can confirm that it is still there, Jobseeker. That is how I was able to select MQA DAC and get my 18 bits to recognize all the Tidal MQA files I sent them from dig coax outs. Which seems to conflict with what I read in both links that Steve M references here:

Originally Posted By Steve M
The link to the original post I made at the time in April last year follows; Bluesound Node 2 MQA Decoder

There is also a link in the post which answers some of the questions in this thread and is definitely worth reading, so I have also copied it directly here; Bluesound Node 2 MQA Capabilities
What is confusing is those discussions seem to indicate that - at least at that time - that the Node 2 would perform initial software MQA unfolding and send that to the digital outputs. Of course it would not have been subsequently fully rendered (unfolded) unless the external DAC was MQA compliant (so I assume this is the reason it did not satisfy Steve M’s needs).

BUT... such an initial software unfold (96/24) thru dig out should not be recognized by my 18 bit DSP’s. And this is what I experienced with many MQA files when I had selected external non-MQA DAC. This leads me to believe that perhaps there has been a firmware update such that when one selects external MQA DAC no unfolding at all occurs and the raw folded MQA file (44/24) appears at the dig outs. How else does one explain the current situation where ALL MQA files streamed from Tidal now play on my 18 bitters with external MQA DAC selected?

BUT... this is equally puzzling because how would an external MQA DAC take a raw folded MQA file and process it without an initial software unfolding prior to final rendering (2nd unfolding)?

So I’m no closer to understanding what’s happening than when I opened this thread!


DSP5000/18, 500.2, Bluesound Node 2 (MQA)
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#272237 - 2018-01-24 07:41 Re: Bluesound Node 2 MQA works streamed to legacy 18 bit DSP5k! [Re: Nstzya]
Registered: 2004-12-09
Posts: 6,242
ChrisLayerUK Offline
President of the Imperial Galactic Government
ChrisLayerUK Offline
President of the Imperial Galactic Government

Registered: 2004-12-09
Posts: 6,242
Loc: Colchester, Essex, UK
An MQA file is like any other file only it has MQA data hidden beneath the noise floor. It is backward compatible and will play on any system.
An MQA DAC will recognise the MQA file and decode it to its capability.
Only an MQA renderer requires the first unfold to occur first.

This is as I understand it, so your speakers should play the MQA file as if it were any music file.


No 18 in the Hall of fame smile I have simple tastes; I am content to settle for the best: GIK monster bass panels, rear wall.
MC200 500GB, QNAP TVS 471i3. Roon into 2 MS200's. Explorer 2. Bluesound Pulse 2 and Mini. 596 v1.89.2, 518, G61R, M60.2 Rosewood, M33C, M33 Rears, M1500 Sub, Foxsat HD, Sony Blu Ray, Pioneer 5090, 2 Chromecast's for LRB videos.
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#272238 - 2018-01-24 07:45 Re: Bluesound Node 2 MQA works streamed to legacy 18 bit DSP5k! [Re: Nstzya]
Registered: 2004-08-07
Posts: 7,441
Ian Offline
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Ian Offline
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Registered: 2004-08-07
Posts: 7,441
Loc: Surrey, England, UK
is there some confusion between unfolding and upsampling?

I believe that an original master 44.1/48k MQA encoded file when unfolded will remain at 44.1/48k unless it is subsequently upsampled which would lose MQA encoding.

If not upsampled, it will play on '18bit' DSP's, the difference being that MQA passthrough passes through an MQA stream that can be subsequently decoded in an MQA DAC, where as non MQA passthrough will have created a non MQA PCM stream, ie all the MQA encoded hints are unfolded back into 44.1/48k PCM.

If the original master was say 96/24 (albeit compressed to be 44.1/48k PCM compatible and thus playable on 18bit DSP's) , then that MQA stream would be unfolded to 96/24 PCM and not play on 18bit DSP's. No upsampling in traditional sense required per say as its part of MQA unfold rather than a separate (non MQA compliant) operation.

May be wrong about this.


Meridian owner since 1992
DSP5000 96/24, MC200, Prime & PSU, Focal Elear, Explorer 1 & 2, F80, 200/203 and various Sonos.
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#272355 - 2018-01-27 13:10 Re: Bluesound Node 2 MQA works streamed to legacy 18 bit DSP5k! [Re: Ian]
Registered: 2016-10-31
Posts: 113
Nstzya Offline
Hitchhiker
Nstzya Offline
Hitchhiker

Registered: 2016-10-31
Posts: 113
Loc: Indianapolis, USA
Yes, I am still confused - a bit. On just one issue. And apologize for taking my own thread off topic into MQA rather than streaming discussion, but at the risk of having my hitchhiker license suspended...
How does an external MQA DAC fully render a raw unprocessed 44/16 MQA file to 24/192 without an initial software unfold?


DSP5000/18, 500.2, Bluesound Node 2 (MQA)
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#272356 - 2018-01-27 13:14 Re: Bluesound Node 2 MQA works streamed to legacy 18 bit DSP5k! [Re: Nstzya]
Registered: 2004-12-09
Posts: 6,242
ChrisLayerUK Offline
President of the Imperial Galactic Government
ChrisLayerUK Offline
President of the Imperial Galactic Government

Registered: 2004-12-09
Posts: 6,242
Loc: Colchester, Essex, UK
An MQA DAC unfolds and renders the whole thing to its max capability, an example of which is the Explorer 2.

Renderers only render, Dragonfly as an instance.


No 18 in the Hall of fame smile I have simple tastes; I am content to settle for the best: GIK monster bass panels, rear wall.
MC200 500GB, QNAP TVS 471i3. Roon into 2 MS200's. Explorer 2. Bluesound Pulse 2 and Mini. 596 v1.89.2, 518, G61R, M60.2 Rosewood, M33C, M33 Rears, M1500 Sub, Foxsat HD, Sony Blu Ray, Pioneer 5090, 2 Chromecast's for LRB videos.
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#272357 - 2018-01-27 13:14 Re: Bluesound Node 2 MQA works streamed to legacy 18 bit DSP5k! [Re: Nstzya]
Registered: 2001-05-23
Posts: 2,718
Gianni Offline
Great Green Arkleseizure
Gianni Offline
Great Green Arkleseizure

Registered: 2001-05-23
Posts: 2,718
Loc: North London, United Kingdom
Because an MQA DAC is usually capable of performing the full unfold and render process.

And it will never render to 24/192, it will render to analogue since the render/DAC process is (or should be) integrated and inseparable.


Wonderful perfect quadraphonic sound with distortion levels so low as to make a brave man weep smile
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