Originally Posted by Marcner
At the risk of veering off topic, in the last paragraph are you saying that Tidal (or Roon) could upgrade their software to decode MQA and negate the need to have a MQA capable DAC?
MQA is a quagmire right now. See THIS post where even the pro journalists and DAC designers seem confused about it.
My quick summary - Tidal can decode MQA for every DAC to reap at least some theoretical benefit. I'm seeing 96kHz from a Windows PC running Tidal paired with various non-MQA DACs. There's also another "layer" of optimization with the time-domain performance and that aspect requires an MQA-capable DAC in order to access.
It's important to note the possible downsides of MQA though - DRM concerns (which some people are very vocal about), and the fact that the encoding scheme basically steals 3 of the least significant bits in a 16-bit file. Meaning 13-bit performance if you don't get the decoding squared away either via software or hardware.
It will all shake out eventually, for now there's nothing to do but wait and keep enjoying the gear/music you have. The new Tidal MQA selections sound fine to me via my non-MQA DACs, possibly better than the standard Tidal material but I'm reserving judgement for now.