MQA CD Capabilities

Hello to all,

I would like to purchase the newest Patricia Barber MQA CD. I have a CD5 XS, a UnitiCore, and an NDS. I have not been able to find any information concerning my system’s ability to play MQA CDs. Does anybody know if the CD5 XS can play it. Would the UnitiCore accept the MQA CD?


AFAIK, MQA CDs claim to be playable by any regular CD player. However to get the full benefit of MQA you would need to feed an MQA DAC or decoder.

To that end, the disc may well be payable by your CD5XS and by the Uniticore, however, as I would assume MQA CDs do not comply with Redbook standards, playability could not be 100% assured.

MQA CDs are said (where I looked, the German “Stereo” hifi mag and some other Google hits) to comply to redbook, it’s MQA-encoded PCM.

1 Like

You have an NDS so if it was me I’d purchase the digital download.

I bought the DXD version (24/352) which Roon downsamples to 176 for playing into my Naim DAC.
I haven’t checked but there may be other resolutions from the usual suppliers.

The album is great and I wasn’t disappointed. :slightly_smiling_face:

Ah, thanks for the clarification Suedkiez.

1 Like

But it will be down on SQ compared to a regular 16/44 CD unless decoded.

1 Like

I guess so, I just checked if it could be guaranteed to play at all, unlike non-redbook CDs. I’d also get a normal CD or the non-MQA hi-res download if there is a choice

Thanks for posting this! I’m trying to figure out which version to buy. I have an NDX and a CDX2. . . . and there seems to be no good alternative. I’ve heard a few cuts and want to get it, but am thinking I should wait for the vinyl unless someone here advises me otherwise.

Is this the Higher album? On the Patricia Barber website there is no MQA CD but an SACD, and it does not say if this is a hybrid version that plays on a redbook player.
The download option is listed on this website but the purchase link is broken. However there seems to be a DSD download option like Guinnless mentioned on nativedsd dot com

The SACD is described as ‘hybrid’ so at least you will get a proper Redbook CD rather than a mangled MQA version. :slightly_smiling_face:


If you have Tidal the album is available for streaming in 24/352 MQA.

I’ll be buying the vinyl too once it’s released. :grinning:

Oh, no, I was referring to the new one, Clique, which (via Impex) is available in a variety of formats. I’m not a Tidal person, just Qobuz, and the latter hasn’t bought the licensing for it yet. I’m frustrated with the choices, none of which is suited for Naim. Which leads me back to vinyl ….(unless someone gives me a good suggestion here).

Do you have a streamer?

I see. That one isn’t on the official website and according to the jpc website it is not released yet, its date is August 20. So I guess it might still appear on Qobuz. The SACD at least is hybrid. And the downloads are DSD which I think the NDX can play

1 Like

Yep, the NDX can play DSD64.

1 Like

The title of her newest album is Clique. Higher and Clique were produced at the same time but she released Higher first. I stream FM 91 from Toronto, CA. This is a jazz station. They publish an online newsletter available for viewing on their web page only. They interviewed Patricia Barber and you still be able to find the interview.


1 Like

Thanks for the information stating that SACD is a hybrid. I do not use Tidal at this time but never say never that I might use it.

I agree. Why make this so difficult for us to purchase a product that will work with our Naim products.

1 Like

Yes, I have the NDS streamer.

The DSD should work then?