dCS has announced that MQA compatibility will be added to its current product lineup, implemented via a software update that will roll out to various products over the next few months. The company's Rossini system (the DAC is shown here) will be the first to receive the update this month, followed by the Vivaldi One and Network Bridge in November and the Vivaldi DAC and Upsampler in December. Check out the press release below for more details.
dCS announces the release of a software update that provides MQA compatibility to all current product ranges--bringing the MQA experience into what many regard as the best digital music source in the world.
MQA, Master Quality Authenticated, provides a means to efficiently encode and transmit high-resolution audio. MQA is based on the axiom that, in audio, high resolution can be more accurately defined in the analog domain in terms of temporal fine structure and lack of modulation noise than by any description in the digital domain, particularly one that relies on sample rate or bit depth numbers.
MQA works by converting the analog music to digital and back to analog again. The conceptual framework models analog as an infinite sample rate representation, which can be approximated by a hierarchical chain of downward and upward splines. The MQA encoder takes account of and corrects aspects of the original analog-to-digital and studio preparation chain.
Although a listener can enjoy the encoded stream at CD quality without a decoder, the best result comes with an MQA Decoder, or a combination of MQA Core Decoder and Renderer, which reconstructs exactly what was heard in the studio.
The MQA Renderer performs sampling reconstruction under song-by-song instruction from the encoder, while at the same time matching and optimizing the attached DAC to deliver an authenticated analog output.
MQA Decoders include a Renderer which is customized for each built-in digital-to-analog converter. Generally, the converter includes an integrated DAC, which is not wholly configurable and may have some performance limitations. For this reason, most MQA decoders include pre-compensation for the built-in converter.
dCS does not use IC converters in its DACs; instead the process of reconstructing analog from the digital stream is entirely custom, using specific software and discrete hardware to make a DAC. However, unlike other non-integrated DACs, the dCS is still modeled on reconstruction using oversampling, filtering and high-speed conversion.
David Steven, Managing Director, dCS, states:
"The dCS and MQA teams have been in discussion, development and testing for almost a year. This is a unique and exciting implementation made possible by the flexibility and capability of our platform, as well as the fact that both companies have aligned philosophies, strong mutual respect and trust."
Bob Stuart, Founder & CTO, MQA, adds:
"In the case of the dCS Rossini, the MQA and dCS teams were able to work together to develop code which accurately matched the MQA hierarchical ideal reconstruction to analog. This MQA implementation is unique, as it is the first opportunity to enable a DAC which, by providing exact rendering to beyond 16x (768 kHz), matches the desired temporal response with very low modulation noise."
For dCS owners, firmware can be easily updated via the Internet download and update functionality.
dCS Rossini--October 2017
dCS Vivaldi One--November 2017
dCS Network Bridge--November 2017
dCS Vivaldi DAC & Upsampler--December 2017