[FAQ] Can I use my dCS CD player to playback MQA CDs?

Not directly, as our MQA implementation splits the two MQA stages (decode and render) into different hardware components. The first stage (MQA decode) is implemented in the network streaming component and the second stage is implemented in the DAC’s FPGA. As there is no data pathway from the player’s CD mechanism through the network processor there’s no way for the unit to perform he decode stage from an MQA CD.

Instead, the CD can be ripped to FLAC files and played back either via USB or streamed via the network. This sends the MQA carrier to the network streaming component of the system and allows for the initial MQA decode to take place.

MQA requires some tags to be present in the files and those don’t get written when the CD is ripped. MQA has released a program that will read in the ripped CD files and write the appropriate tags. More information on this can be found here: