MQA volume level drop on dCS Rossini APEX

I noticed some albums in MQA have a serious problem when playing on the dCS Rossini APEX:
The track starts normally but after a split second the output level drops by estimated 20db.
So you turn the volume up… the next track now starts way too loud but drops again massively.
Examples are Steely Dan „Two against nature“ and INXS „Kick“.

The problem does not exist on my A&K Hires-player, so it appears to be dCS-related.
The Rossini APEX is connected to a Vivaldi clock.

Hi Dirk and welcome to the form. I hope that you will find this an enjoyable and useful resource.

My immediate reaction to your issue is that it may not be a fault at all. Am I right to assume you are referring your Tidal account being listened to via Mosaic? Have you checked the virtual volume control in Mosaic and whether has been set to a low level ( perhaps inadvertently) which may be why the sound reduces suddenly after a split second.

If you are unfamiliar with the volume control in Mosaic it is the speaker icon in the control area of the app. See this screenshot ( control set at 0.0dB):

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Hi Pete, thanks for your answer.

Well TIDAL is not the problem, the files played are coming from a Melco server controlled via Mosaic.
Quite strange…

Dirk, were the MQA-CDs ripped into FLAC format and properly tagged with MQATag? Also, when the problem happens, have you noticed your Rossini front-panel display and is it properly decoding the MQA stream from the get go?

Good morning Anup,

The files were purchased at official sites like and downloaded in FLAC.
I normally check the tags with „tag editor“ on my mac.
However I just reloaded the files again and played them without any tagging-no change.

The display looks normal to me, see the pic attached.

Got it, so these were MQA tagged FLAC files that you purchased.

What about the Rossini’s front-panel right at that split-second when the volume change problem occurs?

Just wondering if the problem you’re experiencing has to do with the split-second it takes for the Rossini to recognise that the stream is MQA encoded. :thinking:

There is no change at the beginning of the track. All is and stays as shown in the pic.

Hi Dirk,

Interesting … what happens if, instead of turning up the volume, you track skip to the next track and then track skip back again?

Is it repeatable on the same files each time…?

Best Regards


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Hi Phil,

yes, the problem is there every time even when skipping back and forth, absolutely 100% repeatable.

Is it possible for you to WeTransfer me some files to check please?

if you could send them to [email protected]



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Hello Phil, certainly, should arrive soon…

Hi Dirk,

Just checking as haven’t seen anything yet …



Not sure if this is helpful (I’m not the most technical person) but I’ve also had some strange volume issues in the last couple weeks. I also use Rossini Apex with a Rossini clock. That said, I play my music (both Tital and Qobuz) through Roon using a Taiko streamer.

Kind of randomly the sound in the right channel seems to fluctuate by increasing and decreasing in the last week or two—so when that happens I have typically just changed the song. I think I’ve noticed this is exclusively on Tidal so far, so I changed my roon settings to play Qobuz first last night.

Since that change, I haven’t seen the volume fluctuating, but I will continue to monitor. I actually assumed this was a Roon software update thing or an issue with the new Tidal HiRes FLAC recordings that were just released in my country in August—rather than a DCS issue. But anyway, just wanted to chime in since I have experienced something similar recently.

Hi Ryan,

When you’ve had this on TIDAL has it been with MQA files exclusively? Could you possibly throw yourself into the firing line and Use TIDAL again and check?



Thanks Dirk … I have your files … I’ll take a “look” (listen) ASAP.

Hi Dirk,

OK so the reason for the volume drop on the files that you sent over is that the tagging for those files contain “ReplayGain” tags and this is being actioned when the tracks are played.

ReplayGain tags are usually added when a batch of files are processed together to make sure that they all have a similar level … however that then means that when they are split off from the files that they were levelled with then their volumes end up seeming to be all over the place.

Basically - if you can check for and remove the ReplayGain tags from those files (and any others) then you should be OK.

I hope that helps.




Thanks for teaching many of us something new today. Thanks!!

Thanks indeed, Phil.

Even files downloaded straight from an official website seem to include these tags for some reason unknown to me…

Will check and try to correct the problem as advised.

Great service!
Best regards…

Thanks Phil, as @still-one says, this is something new.

Is the subject of “Replay Gain” tags something only associated with MQA processed files or should we be aware of the issue in respect of other formats?

Presumably one needs a tag editor to remove them if one finds the issue?

Hi Pete,

ReplayGain is a general tag that can be applied to any formats … a lot of players do just ignore it but it is there for a purpose.

Yes, a tag editor should allow you to remove it but be aware that if you edit the tags on an MQA file then you can also end up with an MQA file that loses its MQA’ness if it doesn’t recalculate all the checksums and so on (if I remember correctly - it’s been a while since I delved into MQA tags so I might be thinking of something else).


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