MQA from an NDS

Hi all, Im wondering if anyone has tried this: I’m thinking of getting an MQA DAC like the Mytek Brooklyn DAC+ and using the digital output of my NDS to feed the digital input of the Brooklyn. Would this method enable (TIDAL MASTERS) MQA full unfold? The digital output on the NDS is RCA - will this pass full fat HD signal? Many thanks

Would be an interesting experiment.
But not a happy or efficient long term solution.
Not at all purist or elegant in terms of signal chain.
Whether you ran it through the Brooklyn first or second…?
It adds +1 to the number of boxes.
The signal would get processed and converted from D to A to D to A… (although it is always really A because square waves are actually A).
And you might get what is good about MQA, plus the lovely smooth, aliveness of a Naim system.
(Of course, you might also get a kludge or no sound at all…)

Are you sure about that? :wink:

Seems likely on principle that the signl would go D to A at least twice if it is sent through 2 DACs.
(But no, that comment was not based on engineering knowledge, just a deduction.)

I wonder whether Naim should now be clarifying its digital music offer as regards ‘separates’ and ‘integrated’ with regard to:
Naim have a variety of great boxes that do some of these things.
e.g. The 2 new streamers all have DACs.
But one cannot (as far as know) buy a Naim streamer without a DAC.
And the desire that prompted the OP’s post (and other live threads) suggest that a Naim streamer without a DAC would be a popular item as the digital audio market continues to rapidly and discontinuously change and evolve.

A Naim streamer without a DAC would only make (commercial) sense if Naim made a separate DAC which they no longer do.

Yes - I’d expect that to be part of a digital audio offer too.

Do you know would happen if you try to send an audio file through 2 DACs in series?

I’m not sure that this would work as the Naim NDS won’t see an MQA file.

Well a DAC is a Digital to Analogue Convertor so it’s not possible to output the analogue output of a DAC into the digital input of another.

Correct - but the OP was asking about the digital output of a DAC into the digital input of another DAC.
Would that work?
By DAC here the OP was asking about the DAC as a box, not the DAC chip itself.

The output of a DAC is, by definition, analogue. You can’t put an analogue signal through another DAC unless you first put it through an ADC, which would be a bit bonkers!

I think the OP is wondering if he uses Tidal on an NDS, and then takes the digital output into a (likely inferior) MQA capable DAC will you get a full MQA unfold.

My thoughts are that it won’t work as the NDS is not MQA aware so the MQA signal is lost in the NDS, in fact it won’t even offer to play it.

Even if it did work It seems a lot of effort to go to to use a lossy (albeit quite good) format. Why not play redbook which Naim implements very well in its streamers or go for true high res via Qobuz and Bubble which depending on his NAS may mean no additional hardware.

No wonder some people say streaming is so complicated, it really doesn’t have to involve multiple dacs!

Isn’t the OP wanting to use the NDS as digital transport into another DAC? Which should work fine but as the NDS won’t recognise MQA then I don’t think it will work.

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That was my understanding, yes. These suggestions that some sort of MQA decoding box could be put in front of an NDS are all very well, but if that box was a DAC, the NDS would be completely redundant. If it wasn’t a DAC and had a digital out, perhaps it could unfold the MQA into say a 24/192 stream, but I’m not sure that MQA would sanction the idea of any part of the replay chain not contributing to their revenue stream.

How about if the OP played Tidal Masters files thru a Brooklyn DAC and then used the NDS as a streamer/transport/server?
Would that work?

So what is ‘the digital output of my NDS’ that the OP mentioned?
Is it a pass-through of the digital signal?

There’s no ‘pass through’ on any Naim network player. UPnP has different protocols to SPDIF.

Well one can decode MQA partly on audirvana and stream that through upnp to an NDS

As you can on Tidal, Roon etc. The point being that if you want the full MQA experience, you need to put the stream through an MQA DAC.