I am in a bit of a dilemma and hoping to get some insight on the forum.
I am being offered a demo NDX2 for a discount.
I mostly listen to vinyl (RP3 - SN3) and streaming via Bluesound node N130. When I have (lots of) free time, I hookup an iPad cabled via a Schiit Gungnir for some lossless/Hi-Res listening.
My dilemma is that given that the NDx2 doesn’t unfold MQA and the NDX2 won’t accept a direct iPad connection for lossless/Hi-Res, would the NDX2 add anything to my set up? Ideally, I would replace the bluesound node and the Gungnir with the Ndx2 - but I loose on my (hobby!) of lossless/MQA.
Any insights would be very much appreciated!
I would ask for a home demo, you may find you like the ndx2 sound even if it does not unfold mqa?
The NDX2 is a much better streamer than the node but is designed for quality. MQA is a compression algorithm trying to solve bandwidth compromises (or a marketing stunt aiming to impose DRM, depending on your viewpoint).
The NDX2 is completely at home with true lossless which it will express much better than the node.
The NDX2 will stream lossless from Qobuz or CD quality from Tidal, both via the app with an internet connection, both of which should be well ahead of your current setup.
Again, I’d just try to get a home demo and compare.
Consider that both Roon and Audirvana software can do a 1st MQA unfold too, but when I had Tidal, basically to compare with Qobuz and try some MQA files I wasn’t bowled over and ultimately it’s compressed which was a nice attempt to overcome poor internet bandwidth at the time but for most this is unlikely to be an issue these days.
It also depends on your music tastes so Tidal or other providers using MQA might be better than one using lossless if it doesn’t have your music styles in abundance.
Thanks all! Went in for the demo and indeed, it didn’t matter any more if it was MQA or lossless - the sound quality via the NDX2 was immensely different! Called in the whole family for testing and the opinion was unanimous!
NYE weekend shall be spent enjoying the set up.
Great news, I’m glad it worked out for you all.
The bluesound is no match for an NDX2 I have both, and there is a night and day difference.
And the NDX2 will play the normal version of the MQA file without the MQA unfold better than the bluesound with the MQA decoding the same file.
I think you will be very happy with your new NDX2.
MQA is a solution looking for a problem. I have a NDX2 and it’s excellent, and that’s coming from me, a complete vinyl snob. I use Qobuz via Roon. I had TIDAL for a while and although it had a few things (i.e. titles) at the time that Qobuz didn’t have it was too little to worry about. Qobuz costs me less too.
It took the NDX2 for me to appreciate digital streaming.
Wait until you hear the NDX2 with a XPS-Dr on it.
Not to mention a Hi-Cap DR on the SN3
Couldn’t agree more @sonwleo
I think you will love your NDX2. This is what I read about MQA:
TIDAL MQA is NOT lossless and sounds worse than Qobuz, especially if you have the correct gear. On MQA issue see here: https://goldensound.audio/2021/11/29/tidal-hifi-is-not-lossless/#:~:text=MQA is not lossless.,Track streamed in compressed format.
See also: What-HiFi Best music streaming services | What Hi-Fi? Forum
Use the NDX2 as a Roon Endpoint (it has RAAT support) and let the Roon Core make the 1st unfold of MQA & Tidal Masters. This gives you upto 24/96 which is 96% of the Tidal Masters.
Plus Roon is so much better to use for Library and Playback Management.
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