How do you know MQA is getting unfolded by the arcam Dac

I have an SA30 with a Bluenode. The Bluenode is connected via digital coax to the AV on the SA30. When I play a Tidal master from the tidal app via tidal connect on the Bluenode how do I know what DAC is being used and whether the MQA is being downsampled?

When I play via MusicLife the sa30 states MQA on its digital screen, via Tidal Connect it just states 88.2 kHz. In BluOS I have MQA external DAC off and Output Level Fixed on. To be honest I’m still confused what MQA external DAC does in BluOS. One minor related thing … My music life iOS app switches to Chinese characters when I connect to my Arcam.

You need to set the blusound node to external DAC on. It should then pass the signal to the SR30.

Thanks for the reply. What’s confusing me is when I set ‘MQA external DAC’ on in the BluOS app, the SA30 display states the frequency is 44kHz and BluOS app states that it now playing at CD quality. Whereas with ‘MQA external DAC’ off, the BlueOS app states MQA and and SA30 display states 88.2kHz.

I’ve looked into a little more, and what I think is happening is the unfolded MQA file is being passed to the SA30 and so BluOS thinks that it’s lower quality as it passes through the Node because it hasn’t been unfolded yet into the high resolution with MQA.

That said, with the unfolded file being passed directly to the SA30 I would expect the SA30 to specifically state MQA on its digital display as it does when you natively play an MQA file through MusicLife.

Sounds like the node is still doing first unfold. I’m also not sure if the SA30 can accept the MQA signal via SPDIF. I use the onboard decoder / streamer with Roon so no need for the Node.

If it can’t that would explain why the display is only showing the quality of the first unfold.

Prehaps one of the arcam guys could confirm?

Still not getting too far with this. Any Arcam folks about to explain what’s going on with the MQA unfold and why the Arcam SA30 is not recognising the MQA stream provided by the Bluenode.

Hi aipainter, welcome to the form.

I think you cannot have the SA30 unfold a MQA stream sent through a digital input because the manual states “SA30 only supports two channel PCM audio input”, refer to page en-12. I think a MQA stream has to be retrieved by the SA30 itself over the network.

Trying the MQA from the Node over coaxial and I can definitely say that the internal DAC doesn’t support it from this input.

It seems that the only way for the MQA to work is a direct use of the streaming function of the device.