Goldensound’s view on MQA

Well then I don’t know why Naim made the statements they made about adding MQA being possible if it was sufficiently requested by Naim customers. Surely there is a way if they say so.

For the firmware update, Naim have only been talking about the first unfold and that doesn’t require a certified DAC.

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In my recollection, they did not mention this detail at least in the post I read and as I remember it. But maybe; am too lazy to search as I don’t really care :slight_smile:

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I guess they could implement first unfold on the platforms with adequate processing power and memory, issuing as a firmware update. On the basis of Xanthe’s observation they could develop a future DAC or streamer using an MQA-suitable chip, though unless already in the pipeline it could take some considerable time.



And would incur very significant development cost to develop an entirely new DAC platform (FPGA based perhaps?)

I thought it may be interesting to find the preferred streaming services for our forum:

At the moment Tidal is available in more countries than Qobuz so that might skew results. Probably lots of Naim users in countries where Qobuz is not available would drop Tidal at a moment’s notice were Qobuz to become an option

In most cases, it’s a lossy solution to a problem you don’t have.
I recently moved house and went from a 1000 Mbit/s Cable service to a DSL service where I don’t even hit 50 Mbit/s on a good day.
I can still listen to HiRes FLAC from Qobuz and don’t face an issue of, “I don’t have much bandwidth, I wish there was a technology that could deliver HiRes audio using less bandwidth”
I actually imagined I might encounter more bandwidth challenges with the move to a slower service given we have a multitude of devices like security cameras and both myself and my wife online and working at home all day as well as regular streaming for the children in the background, but that just isn’t the case and I’d say I’m on the slower end of bandwidth here in our village and relative to others on this community forum.
I’ve also spent a few cycles recently (now I have a few again finally) looking in to the mastering aspect of MQA and the Tidal offering in general. I can’t see why you can’t deliver a reference copy of a recording using an existing format like FLAC or WAVE and consider that “what the artist intended”, it reads to the average consumer like they are getting access to some special recipe only made possible by a technology like MQA delivered by a service like Tidal.
I’d also add that just because it’s available in a higher quality format it doesn’t mean it’s any better or that any manipulation hasn’t gone in to what you ultimate receive in your DAC at home. I also still end up listening mostly to material in 16/44.1 format, I let Roon create a radio playlist and often let that take me on a journey for a few hours, as I check in to it as I go, a lot of the time it’s 16/44.1 streams anyway!
Those will be a mix of my local files, Tidal and Qobuz, I’d not be able to blind test between them if I’m honest, the local WAV might sound a bit less digital but not enough for me to repeatedly identify the playback source in reality. It’s a nice safety net and importantly, it’s mine to do with as I choose and will work without a service or a network connection if required.

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It is very geography specific, you’re right on that.
Does anyone use other services like Deezer or Amazon Music for example?
I can’t say I use either here in the UK but others may find those favourable when looking for a 16/44.1 or better streaming service.

Qobuz has now launched in Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland. So that may help.

Hi all,

On some of the posts it claims that the Naim streamer platform is not suitable to add MQA via a software upgrade. That is incorrect and the platform has the hardware and software to run a full MQA implementation if we go that route. We have had various technical conversations with the team at MQA on this in the past.

Just want to ensure forum misinformation doesn’t become internet fact!


Steve Harris
Software Director
Naim Audio Ltd.


Thanks, Steve.
Copying in @Suedkiez @Xanthe and @Innocent_Bystander to ensure they see your clarification.


No-one in their right mind would store the reference master in anything but Broadcast WAV. The master often represent high artistical and commercial values and must be accessible with standard tools (Pro Tools, Steinberg WaveLab) without any extra plugins for the future, that is a common demand.

To trust a small outfit like MQA using their own proprietary format with any masters would be batsh*t crazy. They may be nice guys and all that but that doesnt change anything.

I still beleive that for MQA to make it big at this stage require it being forced from the top down by the big companies with some force.

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Exactly as we were saying until the Forum experts intervened…

That’s really interesting.

I’d be very interested to know how this can be achieved with DtoAs with 5.2μS resolution when I have seen that MQA claims “the leading-edge uncertainty of transients comes down to just 4µs”.
N.B. this isn’t from the MQA website, so this could be misleading… and that would certainly explain how a 5.2μS resolution DtoA can be claimed achieve 4µs uncertainty (i.e. 4µs, not +/-4µs!).

Ah, so you’d be able to provide the answer to my question above then.

Would you please be so kind as to do so.


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Could it be that the whole unfold can be done using existing hardware/software implementations just that the DACs might not be up to the 4 microsecond or better specs of newer DACs?

Just wondering I guess if the unfold can be done with a little limitation in outputting the full unfold. Hope that makes sense.

… or the zero uS delay of any (new or old) NOS DAC.

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Early investors want to see growth, not profits. Streaming certainly has seen lots of growth and continues to expand. Eventually the profits will come, and you are correct that the investors will want to see profits. If you compare streaming to downloads, cd’s or vinyl, it is the dominant growth medium based on numbers posted in other posts on this forum.

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Large investors think in decades.