MusicLife keeps messing with the DAC filters

Hi @madfiddler can you break this out into another thread and tag me in it as I’d like to take a look at this. In my testing, the DAC filter does stick with what I’ve set either through MusicLife or the stand alone Control app. My gut feeling is we’re not correctly fetching the current state of the DAC filter on launch, but more details will help me figure this out!

I moved the post into a new topic.

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When you observe this are you playing an MQA stream? MQA enforces the use of a specific filter, no matter which one you choose.

I’m sorry I need to test for this and outline what I am experiencing in a bit more detail in order to reproduce. I was hoping to do that before unnecessarily breaking out a new thread. There is enough already for Arcam to be dealing with without me creating unnecessary noise :slightly_smiling_face:

I don’t understand why MQA would enforce a specific DAC filter though. Nowhere have I seen this documented, by Tidal (my MQA source) or Arcam. right now though I can’t say if my observation is specific to MQA material. Subject to test.

In short: as part of MQA certification process device is sent to them, and they are choosing best suitable filter for that particular device, that will be best in re-creating what studio has intended (not direct quote from MQA, but close enough). This filter is than used ALWAYS when you listen to MQA files.
Actually i’m not sure how it’s done in SA30, but for example in Mytek devices this particular filter is used ALWAYS when MQA decoder is active in the device, even if you’re not playing MQA file. To use different filter you need to disable MQA decoder in the device menu.
In SA30 it’s not possible to disable MQA decoder, so i don’t know how it is in reality. Is MQA filter always forced (which renders filter choice menu useless) or is it only enabled when playing MQA files.

In SA30 filter changes when MQA file starts playing. When MQA stops, filter changes to the one set by the user. Of course, it may be that the filter enforced by MQA is the same one that the user sets according to their general preferences. Unfortunately, I can’t remember now which filter is selected during MQA playback, but this can be easily checked from within the MusicLife app, which reads the current state from the device during playback.

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Except I don’t trust what MusicLife reports on the playback details tbh…the web client seems to show more specific detail on each file being streamed and I would rely on that……I know that is a different thing but it knocks my confidence in what MusicLife reports. The “now playing” needs updating somehow with popup or drop down with detail on the media being streamed and this should match the amps display IMHO

I wasn’t talking about the Now Playing section, I was talking about setting the parameters of the device itself. That’s what webclient doesn’t show or can’t do.

Never thought to check this way, but you are right, thanks a lot for this info.
Just now checked, and MQA filter is Minimum Phase Slow. Whatever filter is set, it will automatically switch to this one when MQA playback starts. When switching to non-MQA it switches back to original user choice.
MusicLife is correctly showing the change in real time.
So I think it’s entirely possible that there is no bug in MusicLife, just that OP accidentally saw this change and thought something is wrong.
I have to say this is much better solution than in Mytek…

I am going to choose the Minimum Phase slow as my filter of choice and see if it has any effect on distortion issues…

Hi all.

This is intended behaviour. MQA recommend the use of ‘Minimumum Phase Slow’, so the SA30 changes to this when MQA is playing. After playing it reverts back to the users preference.

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Thank you @arcam_paul for confirmation. I guess it’s clear now.
Too bad it was not documented anywhere, as probably that would save some of us guessing and reporting non-existing bugs.

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This is interesting. I don’t play MQA files as I don’t subscribe to TIDAL but if MQA designers consider ‘Minimum Phase Slow’ as the best filter and must therefore understand more about these things then I may try it as my default filter. At the moment it’s been left on the default ‘Apodizing’ as I didn’t really understand how to choose.

Similar thoughts here tbh, I couldn’t hear a significant difference when switching,…,but from the above comments, if MQA fixes it to one filter that probably explains why!!!