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#276599 - 2018-06-02 16:00 218 into 271 do I need Roon with Tidal
Registered: 2006-06-06
Posts: 159
Linnasak Offline
Linnasak Offline

Registered: 2006-06-06
Posts: 159
Loc: Skye, Scotland

I’ve ust got a 271 and thinking about a 218. I have a Mac Mini with Tidal desktop app currently playing to a Meridian Explorer 1 to optical input.

If I got a 218 I could connect it to the SpeakerLink input on the 271 and play 2 channel MQA I think.

Do I need Roon for this? Is it for the interface to control from say a iPhone or iPad or is it essential to do the MQA magic.

Finally how does a 2 channel 218 MQA compare to Trifield?

Comments appreciated,

Main system: 271, Marantz SR6011, 5500, 5500HC, 8x 33s, OPPO 203, Xbox one S, AppleTV4K, MAC mini, Sony vw760 , Stewart cabaret screen, LG 850 hdr tv, Linn LP12, Itok, Klyde, SkyQ, Panasonic BD, Toshiba HD-DVD.
Broken! G68D 598DP

System 2: 565, HD621, 519, 5000, 5000c, Mission 770, Quad 405x2, xBox1, SkyHD, Apple TV. JVC HD950.
Panasonic BD.
#276605 - 2018-06-02 19:08 Re: 218 into 271 do I need Roon with Tidal [Re: Linnasak]
Registered: 2009-07-13
Posts: 122
Kent in Welly Offline
Kent in Welly Offline

Registered: 2009-07-13
Posts: 122
Loc: Wellington, New Zealand
Hi Kevin,

You’ve got a few choices when it comes to the Tidal/Roon/MQA ecosystem.

Option 1: upgrade your Explorer 1 to an Explorer 2, and just leave everything else the same. You can continue to run Tidal on your Mac, but will now have the delights of MQA.

Option 2: add a 218. Tidal can’t see it and therefore can’t stream to it, so you’ll need to upgrade to Roon. Roon core will run happily on your Mac Mini and can be controlled from your iGadget, and you can then feed MQA into the 271/DSPs as required.

IMHO, it’s hard to overstate how much better Roon is than Tidal. The user interface and music discovery process in Roon is just utterly state of the art and the integration with Tidal and your local library is seamless, so every other music client feels a long way behind the curve in comparison. Also, the Roon forums are exceptionally helpful if you run into problems getting it set up and going. Tidal isn’t the worst streaming client in the world, but it does re-define ordinary!

Download Roon and have a go - you can run it as a local client on your Mac using the Explorer 1 if you want to just try it out, so you can see what it’s like before committing to buying a 218.

I can’t comment on whether MQA is better or worse than Trifield - I’ll leave far more qualified people than me to do that - but in the context of my system, MQA ranges from being a worthwhile improvement to a stunning revelation, depending on the material. Badly recorded music is still badly recorded, and 44/24 MQA doesn’t impress as much as the 96/24 and upwards material, but in every case my experience is that the MQA version of an album sounds better than standard 44/16 FLAC version streamed over Tidal. HTH!

Cheers ... Kent

Living: MacMini + Roon -> 218 -> DSP5200s
Study: MBPro + Roon -> Meridian Explorer -> Stax SRM-007t -> SR-007 Mk1
HT: Oppo/AppleTV -> HD621 -> G68 -> DSP3100HC + DSP3200s + C52/SW250
Living the dream in Martinborough, New Zealand

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