MQA: Revolutionary British streaming technology
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sonitus mirus

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  CES news...
 
...from a technical point of view we can confirm the Tidal/MQA service works. Here at CES Unveiled there was a working demo on a Mac laptop through the MQA-enabled Meridian Explorer 2 DAC and headphones, with MQA music files provided via music label 2L on Tidal.
 
Does anyone have a clue how to stream MQA tracks on Tidal?
 
This was just a working demo at the CES event.  It has not been made available to the public as of yet, as far as I can tell.  Provided that you have the latest driver installed from Meridian and followed the basic setup instructions, you should be able to play an MQA file.  There are also playback settings in Foobar that might need to be set under File>Preferences>Playback>Output.  You probably have everything setup correctly, but it doesn't hurt to double check.  It happens to all of us at one point or another.
 
https://www.meridian-audio.com/support/personal-audio-support/explorer-2/
 
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post-12227974
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peterinvan

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Don't have an MQA capable DAC, but are you sure Foobar is setup for bitperfect playback with no other things going on?  Using WASAPI or ASIO.  You also might try another piece of playback software.  Also, is there a bit of driver software for the Explorer 2 required for operation above 96 khz (usually there is when using Windows)?
 


Thanks for your reply.

I am using the Meridian USB2 ASIO drivers in Foobar2000.
Windows DAC properties are set to "no enhancements" and "Exclusive".
Latest Meridian drivers: WINDOWS DRIVER V1.68_19 November 3, 2015


When playing 24/96 two lights are on. 24/196 shows three lights.

I believe the first light is supposed to turn green to indicate MQA processing?
 
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spruce music

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Don't have an MQA capable DAC, but are you sure Foobar is setup for bitperfect playback with no other things going on?  Using WASAPI or ASIO.  You also might try another piece of playback software.  Also, is there a bit of driver software for the Explorer 2 required for operation above 96 khz (usually there is when using Windows)?
 


Thanks for your reply.

I am using the Meridian USB2 ASIO drivers in Foobar2000.
Windows DAC properties are set to "no enhancements" and "Exclusive".
Latest Meridian drivers: WINDOWS DRIVER V1.68_19 November 3, 2015


When playing 24/96 two lights are on. 24/196 shows three lights.

I believe the first light is supposed to turn green to indicate MQA processing?

Yes, I think it turns green for MQA and it turns blue if you have MQA studio, meaning they were using MQA end to end on the recording.  I would think the 2L tracks should turn the LED blue.
 
You could try Music Bee.  A bit of a clunky interface, but it works well and will do ASIO and WASAPI.  Would allow you to try it and see if the MQA indicators light.
 
http://getmusicbee.com/  Only do a direct download linked from this page.  If you decide to give it a try I can point you to the place to engage ASIO which is somewhat hidden away in the menu. 
 
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spruce music

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Don't have an MQA capable DAC, but are you sure Foobar is setup for bitperfect playback with no other things going on?  Using WASAPI or ASIO.  You also might try another piece of playback software.  Also, is there a bit of driver software for the Explorer 2 required for operation above 96 khz (usually there is when using Windows)?
 


Thanks for your reply.

I am using the Meridian USB2 ASIO drivers in Foobar2000.
Windows DAC properties are set to "no enhancements" and "Exclusive".
Latest Meridian drivers: WINDOWS DRIVER V1.68_19 November 3, 2015


When playing 24/96 two lights are on. 24/196 shows three lights.

I believe the first light is supposed to turn green to indicate MQA processing?

I watched a Bob Stuart panel on MQA at the RMAF 2015 today.  Near the very end a question about the Explorer 2 and hearing some full MQA examples was asked.  Mr. Stuart said the Explorer 2 had the .9 version of MQA.  It could not fully authenticate something like the 2L files from what he said.  He said the update to 1.0 status should happen near the end of the year.  This did not sound like a driver update rather something of a firmware update.  So if you know the process for that you might check for 1.0 status being available. 
 
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peterinvan

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I watched a Bob Stuart panel on MQA at the RMAF 2015 today.  Near the very end a question about the Explorer 2 and hearing some full MQA examples was asked.  Mr. Stuart said the Explorer 2 had the .9 version of MQA.  It could not fully authenticate something like the 2L files from what he said.  He said the update to 1.0 status should happen near the end of the year (2015).  This did not sound like a driver update rather something of a firmware update.  So if you know the process for that you might check for 1.0 status being available. 

Hi
 
Checked their site:
 
https://www.meridian-audio.com/support/personal-audio-support/explorer-2/
 
No sign of firmware update yet.
 
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Gringo

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In the Uk Meridian have announced that " MQA firmware will be available on Thursday, 4th February 2016"

"Explorer² and the Prime Headphone Amplifier firmware can be obtained via the Support section of the Meridian website. These updates are designed to be downloaded by users directly."

"For the 818v3, 808v6, Special Edition Loudspeakers and 40th Anniversary System firmware please contact your Meridian Premium Partner to discuss the firmware installation options."

As yet there is not a great deal of MQA material available but so far those who have purchased or downloaded free examples have said that undecoded MQA files sound superior to regular CD on their systems.
 
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peterinvan

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In the Uk Meridian have announced that " MQA firmware will be available on Thursday, 4th February 2016"

"Explorer² and the Prime Headphone Amplifier firmware can be obtained via the Support section of the Meridian website. These updates are designed to be downloaded by users directly."

"For the 818v3, 808v6, Special Edition Loudspeakers and 40th Anniversary System firmware please contact your Meridian Premium Partner to discuss the firmware installation options."

As yet there is not a great deal of MQA material available but so far those who have purchased or downloaded free examples have said that undecoded MQA files sound superior to regular CD on their systems.

Any indication that the Director (Direct) will have an MQA update?
 
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Gringo

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Nothing mentioned on thier website, l don't think it's likely personally as it has never been mentioned in any of their announcements as far as I know.
 
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Gringo

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MQA Firmware for the Director2 is now available on the Meridian website for download
 
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peterinvan

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MQA firmware for Explorer2. :D

https://www.meridian-audio.com/support/personal-audio-support/explorer-2/

No update for Director (Direct) DAC. :mad:
 
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Gringo

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Sorry, I meant to type Explorer2,
  There is a firmware update for the Prime as well.  I understand one or two people have had an issue installing it but the feedback from those who have done so, so far is that the results are as good as what was promised. 
 
 
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lamode

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Now that I've finally found the time to read up on MQA and I understand the algorithm, I'm sill not impressed. It's a cute trick but it doesn't achieve anything worthwhile. It's NOT equivalent to lossless 192/24 quality (not that anyone could hear the difference anyway), and the problem of streaming 192/24 lossless is becoming less and less of an issue with each passing year. There's just no point in introducing another format.
 
Oh, and the claim that this helps people to listen to 192/24 on portable devices which couldn't handle full 192/24 bandwidth makes me chuckle. People really think they can benefit from streaming 192/24 to their phones? I guess there's one born every minute.
 
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Gringo

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Are your comments based on the assumption of your understanding of what you have read is correct, on what you have heard or both? I only ask as I am unsure if you have heard MQA decoded.
 
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lamode

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Are your comments based on the assumption of your understanding of what you have read is correct, on what you have heard or both? I only ask as I am unsure if you have heard MQA decoded.
 
I don't need to hear it to know that it is technically inferior.
If you want better sound, we need better recordings. The studios are the weak link in the chain and have been for quite some time.
 
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Gringo

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Well I believe we can be absolutely certain that 50% of what you say is completely irrefutable, the rest is oppinion based on your understanding of some of the evidence. On the latter, we all need to make our own minds up.
 
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