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#282459 - 2019-02-05 09:35 218 into F80 - MQA?
Registered: 2009-08-09
Posts: 94
NavSWEDEN Offline
Hitchhiker
NavSWEDEN Offline
Hitchhiker

Registered: 2009-08-09
Posts: 94
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
I am awaiting delivery of a 218 with the view of connecting it to my F80 via optical / digital or RCA.
I have a library of MQA downloads on a MD600 and also Tidal.

My understanding is that TIDAL will do the first unfold of MQA and then presumably the 218 will do the final rendering before output to the F80.
Will this give full MQA?

And if not, why not - is there a limitation with the RCA, optical/digital ports?

Many thanks


#1 808v6,DSP7200SE,MD600,Rega RP10/Aria/Apheta,Nakamichi Dragon tape,Panasonic 65EZ1000 OLED,Oppo 203
#2 F80,218,Pioneer KRP500A plasma,Apple TV
Cabling:Nordost Frey2;QX4/QB8 power
Kitchen:M80
Bedroom:Henry Kloss Model 1
Portable:Chord Hugo2,Astell&Kern SP1000 player.
Head/earphones:Audeze LCD-XC & LCDi4,Shure SE846
Gone:G95,MC200,MS200,B&W 805s
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#282461 - 2019-02-05 09:43 Re: meridian 218 into F80 - MQA? [Re: NavSWEDEN]
Registered: 2010-12-09
Posts: 3,800
Ratbert Offline
Vogon Civil Servant
Ratbert Offline
Vogon Civil Servant

Registered: 2010-12-09
Posts: 3,800
Loc: Europe
I believe you will need to setup your Tidal account to run in bypass mode, this prevents it doing the first unfold of MQA files and passing them untouched to the 218 where the first unfold is carried out and the rendering information passed to the DSP SE speakers, if not then just the first unfold is passed through.

Why can’t Tidal do the first unfold and the Meridian 218 do the render, it is because the 218 (all Meridian MQA capable dacs) can not render a file that it did not also unfold, you would need to speak to Meridian to clarify why they operate that way?


If you give a man a fish he will eat for a day. But if you teach a man to fish he will buy an ugly hat. And if you talk about fish to a starving man then you are a consultant.
—————————————
If at first you don't succeed, try again. Then quit. No use being a fool about it.
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#282462 - 2019-02-05 09:56 Re: meridian 218 into F80 - MQA? [Re: Ratbert]
Registered: 2004-08-07
Posts: 7,809
Ian Offline
President of the Imperial Galactic Government
Ian Offline
President of the Imperial Galactic Government

Registered: 2004-08-07
Posts: 7,809
Loc: Surrey, England, UK
I’m not sure if analogue in on F80 remains analogue or; like all other modern Meridian products, it converts to digital, Ie width, boundary are done in digital domain - I suspected they are so this answer is made on assumption that F80 converts analogue inputs to digital.

So whilst an MQA signal that is rendered to analogue is ‘true MQA’ and limited by analogue system bandwidth etc, if it is redigitised, Ie if F80 does A/D, it just adds a whole A/D -D/A chain that MQA first attempted to make as transparent as true analogue. So apart from any resolution enhancement, which Roon or Tidal desktop would give ‘for free’, 218 would not bring anything MQA wise to the party as it gets filtered by F80 A/D/A, Ie it’s not full MQA - for that you need to stay analogue in high bandwidth system or use SE speakers.

At the end of the day, it’s what you prefer the sound of.

IMHO


Meridian owner since 1992
Prime & PSU, Focal Elear headphones, roon (ROCK 8Gi5 Nuc), Explorer 1 & 2, F80. 200/203, MC200 and various Sonos.
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#282463 - 2019-02-05 09:59 Re: meridian 218 into F80 - MQA? [Re: Ian]
Registered: 2010-12-09
Posts: 3,800
Ratbert Offline
Vogon Civil Servant
Ratbert Offline
Vogon Civil Servant

Registered: 2010-12-09
Posts: 3,800
Loc: Europe
+1

I was referring to 218 to SE’s.


If you give a man a fish he will eat for a day. But if you teach a man to fish he will buy an ugly hat. And if you talk about fish to a starving man then you are a consultant.
—————————————
If at first you don't succeed, try again. Then quit. No use being a fool about it.
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#282466 - 2019-02-05 10:11 Re: meridian 218 into F80 - MQA? [Re: NavSWEDEN]
Registered: 2001-05-23
Posts: 2,870
Gianni Offline
Great Green Arkleseizure
Gianni Offline
Great Green Arkleseizure

Registered: 2001-05-23
Posts: 2,870
Loc: North London, United Kingdom
Originally Posted By Gianni
Full MQA can be experienced in analogue only.

First unfold MQA is available digitally, for example from TIDAL over USB and from any of the Meridian source products (except the UltraDAC) listed above.

Full MQA is the sum of the first unfold and the second DAC-related* processing (hence the analogue only comment above).

If you use the analogue outputs of the 218 into the f80 analogue input you will get full MQA.

If you use the digital output of the 218 into the digital input on the F80 you will get the first unfold.


There is a lot more to it than that and I am sure others will chime in. I have tried to simplify it down to outcomes rather than signal path processing.



* the second part of MQA corrects for the DAC so, by definition, it can only be experienced after the DAC, i.e. in analogue.


Quoting from the other thread where this is being discussed.

My explanation may be incorrect as Ratbert and Ian suggest...


"Wonderful perfect quadraphonic sound with distortion levels so low as to make a brave man weep" - Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz of the Galactic Hyperspace Planning Council
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#282469 - 2019-02-05 11:25 Re: meridian 218 into F80 - MQA? [Re: Gianni]
Registered: 2009-08-09
Posts: 94
NavSWEDEN Offline
Hitchhiker
NavSWEDEN Offline
Hitchhiker

Registered: 2009-08-09
Posts: 94
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Thanks for all the comments. Seems the 218 will be no better than the MS200 I am currently using!


#1 808v6,DSP7200SE,MD600,Rega RP10/Aria/Apheta,Nakamichi Dragon tape,Panasonic 65EZ1000 OLED,Oppo 203
#2 F80,218,Pioneer KRP500A plasma,Apple TV
Cabling:Nordost Frey2;QX4/QB8 power
Kitchen:M80
Bedroom:Henry Kloss Model 1
Portable:Chord Hugo2,Astell&Kern SP1000 player.
Head/earphones:Audeze LCD-XC & LCDi4,Shure SE846
Gone:G95,MC200,MS200,B&W 805s
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#282474 - 2019-02-05 13:14 Re: meridian 218 into F80 - MQA? [Re: NavSWEDEN]
Registered: 2004-01-12
Posts: 2,365
Crion Offline
Senior Shouting Officer
Crion Offline
Senior Shouting Officer

Registered: 2004-01-12
Posts: 2,365
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
I wouldn't count on that. It will still do the first MQA unfold correctly which MS200 in comparison does not perform.

With MS218 you will listen to the true unfolded MQA material what you don't have is an MQA filter in the F80 DAC but that is no different from a legacy 24/96 non-SE DSP speaker.

I would try both the analog-in vs digital-in on the F80 from the 218.

In comparison when you have an excellent streamer like the 818v3/808v6 into 861v8 the best audio connection is actually analog according to reports. But how the 218 into F80 fare in this regard you will have to try out.


Future 861 MQA/24-192 system upgrade owner!
DSP8000SE, DSP7200SEHC, DSP5200SE sides, DSP7200SE rears, 861v8/ID41, MC200, Sim2 HT380 T2 1080P, Stewart Cinecurve 2.35:1, XEIT CM-5E Anamorphic lens, Apple-TV 4K with Infuse 6, HDI Dune BD Prime 3.0 with Wireworld Platinum HDMI -> UHD722 -> Audioquest Diamond RJ45. Shunyata Sigma Digital@861v8.
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#282475 - 2019-02-05 13:25 Re: meridian 218 into F80 - MQA? [Re: Crion]
Registered: 2001-05-23
Posts: 2,870
Gianni Offline
Great Green Arkleseizure
Gianni Offline
Great Green Arkleseizure

Registered: 2001-05-23
Posts: 2,870
Loc: North London, United Kingdom
I just checked the rear panels of the F80, the 218 and the MS200.

It seems the 218 only has digital coaxial out and has no optical out. And the F80 only has optical in. So one would have to use the analogue outputs to feed the F80 from a 218. An MS200 has an optical out so that adds another option.

So the question re SQ would be:

- 218 analogue (full MQA) out into F80 analogue vs.

- MS200 analogue out (no MQA) into F80 analogue vs.

- MS200 optical out (no MQA) into F80 digital

An F80 is impressive but could it really resolve MQA vs. non-MQA in a (presumably) non-critical listening environment? Especially if the analogue in goes through some kind of DSP (which it must based on the F80 architecture).

M2C


"Wonderful perfect quadraphonic sound with distortion levels so low as to make a brave man weep" - Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz of the Galactic Hyperspace Planning Council
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#282476 - 2019-02-05 13:31 Re: meridian 218 into F80 - MQA? [Re: Gianni]
Registered: 2004-01-12
Posts: 2,365
Crion Offline
Senior Shouting Officer
Crion Offline
Senior Shouting Officer

Registered: 2004-01-12
Posts: 2,365
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
I actually think the difference could be obvious on redbook 16/44.1 material between MS200 and MS218 on analog, maybe even digital.

Now you can hotrod the MS200 with a linear 12V DC PSU but I wager that the 218 will trounce the MS200 on analog. Hotrodding the MS200 with a 12V LPSU could even things out. But until anyone goes through the comparison we are just discussing this theoretically. smile


Future 861 MQA/24-192 system upgrade owner!
DSP8000SE, DSP7200SEHC, DSP5200SE sides, DSP7200SE rears, 861v8/ID41, MC200, Sim2 HT380 T2 1080P, Stewart Cinecurve 2.35:1, XEIT CM-5E Anamorphic lens, Apple-TV 4K with Infuse 6, HDI Dune BD Prime 3.0 with Wireworld Platinum HDMI -> UHD722 -> Audioquest Diamond RJ45. Shunyata Sigma Digital@861v8.
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#282483 - 2019-02-05 17:26 Re: meridian 218 into F80 - MQA? [Re: Crion]
Registered: 2004-04-15
Posts: 12,570
VirusKiller Online content
Don't Panic
VirusKiller Online content
Don't Panic

Registered: 2004-04-15
Posts: 12,570
Loc: nr. Milton Keynes, UK
If I was using a 218, I would go 2x digital out (i.e. with first MQA unfold) from the 218 into the F80, with a coax to optical adapter.

I'm using Roon to do the first unfold and then streaming that to two MS200s, which feed my F80s.


Roon Developer and ex-moderator of this Forum
I am #25 in the HH1 photo of fame.
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#282530 - 2019-02-06 20:12 Re: meridian 218 into F80 - MQA? [Re: Ratbert]
Registered: 2012-09-16
Posts: 516
Huw Offline
Paranoid android
Huw Offline
Paranoid android

Registered: 2012-09-16
Posts: 516
Loc: Churt Surrey, UK
This is confusing me... I was not aware that I had to configure MQA files from Tidal in bypass mode, based upon what you indicate is a limitation in the unfold sequence capabilities of the 218?

I tend to download Tidal MQA albums into my C15 and thence into the 218 by Cat 6a cable and then forward to my 5200SEs. The post if I read correctly suggest I might be doing something wrong with the incoming Tidal stream.

I happen to have an F80 but had never considered using it for MQA... interesting though, but in my opinion MQA is about enhanced soundstage which an F80 would surely struggle with.

Appreciate someone clarifying this need to receive Tidal MQA files in bypass mode to enable the 218 to work properly... ie both first and second unfold (I am not even sure I understand what that means) and how one configures that incoming stream

Thanks
regards
Huw


#1 5200SE, 218, Panasonic plasma, Sony BRD, Humax, Yamaha sound bar.
#2 AC200, MS200, 5K 96/24, Panasonic TV.
#3 C15, TwinStore, 562v, 565, 555, 5Ks & 5KHC 18 bit, MS600, MS200, Explorer2 & Arcam Solo Systemdek I920, Ortofon M520 QNAP Roon Bryston pre & power, Synthèse floating 2.
#4 Panasonic 4K, Canton DM75.
#5 F80, MS200, Explorer 2, iDock.
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#282532 - 2019-02-06 20:34 Re: meridian 218 into F80 - MQA? [Re: Huw]
Registered: 2009-11-10
Posts: 1,878
CMB Integrations - Bruce Offline
Meridian Partner Knows where his towel is
CMB Integrations - Bruce Offline
Meridian Partner
Knows where his towel is

Registered: 2009-11-10
Posts: 1,878
Loc: Lexington, South Carolina, USA
Does the 5200SE master speaker indicate MQA xxk when playing MQA files? If it does, then you are set up correctly and have the correct subscription level.


www.cmbintegrations.com

System #1 Trinnov Altitude 32-8-16, 808v6, DSP8000SEUG, DSP7200SEHC, Revel B112, Monitor Audio Silver 10, Paradigm 85F, ATI 200WX7 Amp, JVC RS15, Shunyata Triton V3, Sigma power cables, Black Diamond Zero Edge screen. QNAP TS-251 3TB, Roon Nucleus.

System #2 Mark Levinson No515, No5805,No 519 Revel, F228be.


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