What service do you use for music playback?


Yeah, Roon is looking like a high candidate for my next big purchase…I think the lifetime is worth the asking price.

I’ll try the free trial first.

Man I wish Spotify would hurry up and get Hi-Fi and be able to integrate with Roon…“what’s it like to dream Tyler” lo


I stood up a Plex server at home last week and imported all my music, then linked in my Tidal account. Spent quite a bit of time while I was at work comparing my losless files streamed from Plex to identical local files, and I’ll be damned if I can tell the difference. (Don’t tell my boss I was slacking off.)

Playing the same songs from the Tidal app did reveal differences. It either had a very subtle digital veil sounding effect, or in the case of some “Master” quality tracks, a blunting of detail that sounded like it was softening leading edges or the crisp sounds of cymbals and impacts of drums. Not on all tracks, mind you, but enough.

Google play music sounded like mud by comparison. YouTube is a joke.

So… Yay Plex! Their losless streaming and playback works quite well.


I sold my Matrix X Sabre Pro last week. I ordered a new Matrix X Sabre Pro with MQA from Arthur Powers.I normally would not mention who, but he is the sole distributer and retailer in US. This dac will help me with experiencing full unfolding MQA from Tidal. I’ve always enjoyed my XSABRE Pro with Woo Fireflies w/ separate power supply, and Wa 6 se 2nd gen. Will share my impressions with full hardware decoding (full unfolding) after few days of getting it.


I’ve been listening to the Audirvana+ wow…it is really good… I think I’ll pick it up, along with Roon at some point this year. Not the biggest fan of the UI…I’ve always disliked iTunes, and this is essentially an iTunes reskin. I also don’t like how it takes over all playback, and you have to close it down to listen directly in Qobuz or Tidal… as it logs you into those services through it, essentially logging you into a different device.

But it does add something to the audio…I was picking up detail better in tracks, Norah Jones “Don’t Know Why” I can hear piano pedals, and the guitar players fingers sliding along with the plucks just ever so slightly better. But it is still smooth, and very easy to listen to.


I love audirvana. I’ve been using it for many years, including the new Windows 10 version

I didn’t quite understand when you said this.
Am I assuming correctly, that you have gone to Audirvana preferences and through streaming, signed into Tidal with your credentials? I only had to do this once and from there on it appears as a source, as listed in left column such as library, playlist, and Tidal, hence it only signs in once-shows up on the left -click and your in. Maybe I understood you wrong?


I had my Tidal app up at the same time to see if I could A/B any difference.

I also noticed I couldn’t get audio from a YouTube video while it was up. But haven’t had time to dig around and see if there is an obvious solution or not. But so far it is pretty good, and it easily handles my FLAC files


Are you running the Windows version of Audirvana+ or the macOS version?

Are you stopping playback in Audirvana+ or just pausing it (there is a difference, even though it can look like you’ve stopped)?

With Exclusive mode checked you have to be sure to stop Playback to get audio elsewhere.


Mac version…

I’m braving the desolation…for pizza, as it is national Pizza day!

Of course pick up only during the desolation, but for pizza we will go to great lengths!


On the macOS version (and I assume it’s similar on the Windows version), you need to use the “Stop” (square) button in Audirvana+'s transport controls rather than “Pause”, otherwise it will hold on to the DAC connection (in the default “Exclusive” mode).

You can disable that behavior, by turning off Exclusive mode (under Preferences | Audio System) - but that defeats some of the point of using Audirvana+ in the first place - which, among other things, bypasses the Core Audio (or Windows) mixer - simplifying the replay stack.

And, of course, a player running in Exclusive mode means that nothing else can use the DAC when it is playing - as that’s the point of it.

The TIDAL client on macOS has a setting for this as well (Spotify doesn’t, of course, as it won’t even let you choose an output device, much less how you use it …).

You should have no issues having multiple TIDAL clients (Audirvana+, TIDAL, Roon) up and running at the same time. Just only one can be playing.

Just to make sure, I fired up Audirvana+ and TIDAL, verified that both are setup for “Exclusive” mode, and then played a TIDAL track in Audirvana+. I stopped that, then played a track via the TIDAL client. Then I stopped TIDAL and went back to playing the same TIDAL track in Audivarna+, and it works just fine. I could swap back and forwards as much as I wanted, with both applications running, as long as I stopped playback in the one that was playing first.

Hope that helps!


Thank you @Torq, I have moved 95% of my listening over to the Mac mini, my windows PC is now primarily just for gaming. I’ll test this out…I will first try and test it with the exclusive mode turned on. I’ll edit in my findings to this post.

Edit: It was user error of course =) I was hitting pause not stop to switch back and forth. Hmm… I will say I like Audirvana, it seems to be more “clear”, and or “resolving” but it is minor. Also Qobuz definitively has the best sound quality of the streamers, but not the most fun UI…I really think that Spotify has UI locked down. UX is a big deal… we have been doing a bunch of UX stuff at work and I can appreciate more and more why it is important, and why people will naturally stay/move to a system with a well designed UX.


Did you get the bear invite from Qobuz?
I thought I might have seen a post from you, at some point indicating you were late for three party. It might have been someone else? I only signed up about 4 weeks ago.
If I’m understanding it correctly, beta in USA is mostly bandwidth issue to provide what is believed to be huge subscription base expected here.


yeah, I signed up awhile back, I got the beta invite last week…

I am on the fence, still with it, especially after seeing that my Vet status can get me Tidal for cheaper.

I am still trying to figure out what I want/need…getting antsy which means winter impulse spending is upon me… I should sign off and refresh lol so I don’t buy something I don’t need but all of a sudden want…


In Tidal is your Dac a full unfold dac?


I have the ADI-2DAC…but haven’t dug into if it is a full unfold DAC or not


It doesn’t do MQA.

The TIDAL client will do the first unfold for you with MQA content with any DAC. So will Audirvana+ and Roon. But the RME ADI-2 DAC won’t do the 2nd fold or subsequent rendering.


cool beans, I wasn’t honestly too worried about it…I am plenty happy with the FLAC level of quality.

I threw on the NiBL, and set it up to do MQA, and it sounds good… But I’m not sure I would want to maintain it as a primary just for a couple of tracks.

It, seems like it is maybe just a little bit more resolving? But I really have to pay attention to it, and would have to A/B it a lot, to pick out the differences, and at this time not worth the effort for me.

Edit2: But damn if that magenta isn’t a pretty color shining at me :wink:


I know that feeling well. While TIDAL has multiple UI faults, one of it’s biggest is being unable to search on MQA. I find that there are often several different releases of music that I want, and one of them IS MQA, but I don’t realize that until I start checking in ROON.

Don’t forget that the lowly Dragonfly Black does the job of 2nd unfold/Render


Bear in mind that in most cases MQA content that sounds “betters” tends to do so due to better masters.

And when that is the case, even a normal PCM DAC with no MQA processing either internally or in the client, still tends to sound better playing that version than the non-MQA master.

Remember any PCM DAC can play MQA content. It just does so at the normal sample rate and with an effective 3-bit reduction in dynamic range (which is meaningless in most modern music as a depressing array of it only reaches 3 or 4-bits of dynamic range anyway, leaving plenty of headroom …).

That effective dynamic range compression will typically result in low-level details being more audible (they’re now louder than a full-range encoding, so that makes sense) and generally the whole thing feeling more “dynamic” … again on account of it’s average level being louder …

All that said, once you have access to known common MQA/PCM masters, you can do proper comparisons with software-level first-unfold, full decoding (hardware or hybrid) or un-decoded. And from there you get to make the hard decisions … :wink:


I’ll make the easy decision. MQA is too much fuss and brain damage. I’ll stick with PCM.


I agree ANGTFT (ain’t nobody got time for that)!

But maybe further down the line when my daughter doesn’t take up so much of my brain power… I am a simple guy lol