Will Tidal benefit from Vivaldi Upsampler?

I’m considering the Vivaldi DAC, but I need the additional Upsampler to connect to my netwerk (I heard the Network Bridge is less than ideal for MAQ). My only source is streaming Tidal.

Is the Upsampler only necessary when playing low-res, low quality files? Or will Tidal files benefit too?

Anyone here with personal experience, playing Tidal with and without the Upsampler?

Thank you, Robert

Hi Robert,

I recently went through the same process as you. Tidal is either CD quality (16/44) or MQA, which decodes to a few different sample rates. On Tidal I’ve seen up to 24/192 MQA files.

The upsampler can upsample up to 352/384 (DXD) or 2x DSD. For MQA input it will not upsample at all, passing the original data to the DAC for MQA decoding.

Personally, I usually keep it set to DXD, and find this provides an audible improvement. I know some others prefer no upsampling at all though. So to answer your question, yes, the upsampler can provide a benefit for Tidal, assuming you like the sound of upsampling.

I have no experience with the network bridge, but I believe it will also be able to pass MQA data to the DAC. Others on the forum have stated though that even if you don’t want to use upsampling the upsampler still sounds better than the network bridge (which it had better, considering the price difference).

Thanks Jeff. I mostly listen to MQA and if the $22k Upsampler passes it on untouched, it’s just a very expensive network bridge :slight_smile:

But I guess there’s no other way to connect your Vivaldi to the netwerk. The dCS Network Bridge has some issues playing MQA files: Tidal MQA and Network Bridge/Vivaldi

Robert, on the Vivaldi system, the process of playing back MQA tracks is actually split across the Upsampler and DAC.

When a Tidal MQA track is received via the network interface, the Vivaldi Upsampler will do the 1st stage of MQA Decoding into the 88.2/96 base rates. It then passes this bitstream along with the MQA metadata/flags to the Vivaldi DAC which does the final Rendering into the MQA original sample rate.

The dCS User Manuals by the way are a very good source of information on how things work, I’d recommend pulling them down for a read. :slightly_smiling_face:

What I can tell you is that playing music, being with Tidal, Qobuz or with my Qnap NAS using a Vivaldi DAC and a Network Bridge is pure pleasure, both high files and MQA.

One other issue that you may wish to consider is that gapless replay is not available with dCS when using MQA. IMO this makes it not a viable replay option for classical music - particularly opera, some rock music e.g Abbey Road, certain “live” albums and a fair amount of progressive rock :

AndrewAndrew PapanikolasdCS: Programme Manager, Streaming Audio

Dec '19

There is a known issue with gapless playback of MQA tracks and this has to do with the way in which the MQA decoder and renderer components bolt together. The only easy way to get truly gapless playback with MQA is to have the decoder component permanently engaged and we’ve elected not to do that since it would be of no benefit (and possible detriment) when non-MQA content is played.

There’s a very hard way to do it without having the decoder permanently engaged and we’re not sure if we’re going to go down this path or not. It would be a huge amount of work for very little real gain since the number of truly gapless MQA albums is very small and the number of customer requests we’ve received for this capability is even smaller.

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Hi, what you mention is correct…I solved the problem…I bought a subscription to Qobuz…high resolution music play is gapless with the NB.

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