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iFi ZEN Stream
#21
The answer it pretty easy - Devialet has a bug Smile

BTW, I avoid any usage of DSP including high-pass filter - except on subwoofers.
Devialet Expert 440 Pro | Dynaudio Confidence 50 | 2x SVS SB16-Ultra
Anthem MRX 720 | Dynaudio Excite X28 | Dynaudio Emit M20
LG OLED 77 CX | LG OLED 65 C7






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#22
Full Edit to reduce verbose.

Bought pre-owned 220Pro this week Tuesday. Loving everything about it, ever since i sold/moved out of Devialet (Le 120 in 2017). Back to Devialet and my system sounds superb.

I was using NODE (2021) and found positive appreciable difference on my previous setup while using NODE which handled MQA. NODE fed to Denafrips Ares2 over S/PDIF. Point is, I was looking for MQA option on this Chat forum and finally stumbled on this thread. Thank you for iFi Zen Stream topic!

I read this thread since first post, until it stopped on 13th Sept. Was hoping the topic led to MQA unfolding supported by ZEN Stream. iFi website says Tidal Masters Tier. May I request “Confused” to Check and Confirm that Zen Stream can do full MQA unfolding (Decoding and Rendering) or not?

I do want to buy Zen Stream for MQA un-folding purpose if it does and I prefer USB/S/PDIF from Zen-Stream to 220Pro

I like iFi products, little buggers with great quality, heavy and i love them and its Roon Ready.
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#23
This weekend I had some quiet time to try to get through my list of things to try with the Zen Stream prior to perhaps selling some kit and simplifying my system a little.

In my previous trials, it was basically the Zen Stream feeding the MC3+USB via S/PDIF versus my clocked sMS-200ulta and tX-USBultra feeding the MC3+USB via USB.

So far I have not tried the Zen Stream at all via it's USB output. I have established to my own satisfaction at least that the Zen Stream via S/DIF to the Mutec is at least as good as the SOtM kit via USB, but what about using the Zen via USB?

To test this I decided to try running the Zen S/PDIF to the MC3+USB, and then switching to the Zen Stream to tX-USBultra to MC3+USB. Some might ask why not go USB direct to the Mutec and leave the tX out of the chain? A fair point, but in the short term my key interest is establishing if there is any point keeping any of the SOtM kit. So if it just happened to be that Zen to tX-USBultra to MC3+USB, I would keep the tX, and if this is the case, then the above test is the easiest way to establish this.

Anyway, this little trial did not really go quite as I has planned. Switching between the Zen via S/PDIF and USB (with the tX in the chain), I started to think that maybe I had a marginal preference to USB. This distracted my thoughts to wondering if the Zen via USB was best direct to the MC3+USB or with the tX in the chain. Much swapping between the two, and to be honest I found it a little inconclusive, there were a couple of times I thought maybe better with the tX, other times I thought the iFi direct was better. Ummm. Before I concluded this one in my own mind, I got interrupted by a friend. This particular friend is an idiot and knows little about hifi, but I do know from past experience has a very good ear. We listened to a couple of tracks, switching the tX in and out of the chain, and in both cases the iFi direct to the Mutec was my fiends "blind" choice. OK - Hardly a conclusive scientific study, but perhaps indicative that the tX is not adding much, and might be taking something away. What interests me here is that when I tried a similar test with the sMS-200ultra, I had no doubt that I preferred the sound with the tX in the chain. Speculating a little, maybe the Zen's built in iPurifier 3 is doing much the same "clean up" job as the tX-USBultra, and hence the latter is of little benefit.

For context, there is not a lot in it for any of these last experiments, but I am thinking now that the SOtM kit is now surplus to my own requirements and can find a new home. At the time of writing I am a little unsure if I will retry this little test, or just give up, sell the SOtM kit and get back just to listening to music. Either way, the little Zen continues to impress me. I actually bought it thinking that I wanted to take USB out of the chain. The S/PDIF output of the Zen demonstrated in previous trials that it is good enough to perform this task, I then try the Zen via USB and suspect that this is even better.

I think in the long term, I will simply run the Zen via S/PDIF for a few weeks, then swap to USB, and see if longer term listening reveals anything. No harm doing this as the Zen sounds pretty decent either way.

A note to @Jnan_devi - first to say long time no hear from, good to see you back in this parish. I will start with the simple answer to your question. No, the Zen Stream cannot perform full MQA unfolding, decoding and rendering. In fact, it is not possible for any "network attached end point" to do this. An external device or software could potentially perform the "first unfold", but the second unfold (which is basically up sampling and imposition of a filter) can only be performed my an MQA enabled DAC. Personally I think MQA is a confidence trick, damaging to the marked, and much reverse engineering and testing over the last few years has pretty much debunked every claim made by MQA. Nothing has verified MQA's claims, and MQA themselves are unable to provide any verifiable evidence of what they claim.

With that rant over, I do understand that some Tidal fans may want to play MQA into a Devialet with the best possible fidelity. Here the Zen Stream can actually help. I reckon that the ultimate way to play MQA into a Devialet is to use software to perform the first unfold (Roon or Tidal app), then use one of the poly-sinc-mqa filters offered by HQPlayer to perform the nearest you can get to a second unfold into a Devialet, together with 24/192 upsampling. As the Zen Stream is a great sounding and cost effective way to run HQPlayer NAA with a Devialet, this might be something to consider.

Some more reading here:
https://devialetchat.com/Thread-HQPlayer...#pid102252

And as this is not really the right place to discuss MQA, I would suggest any further MQA discussion here:
https://devialetchat.com/Thread-Devialet...ght=unfold

Plus, Jnan - The link below might interest you, a slightly rambling review but includes some interesting comments:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PP1Zsh078nU
1000 Pro - KEF Blade - SOtM sMS-200Ultra Neo - tX-USBultra - Mutec REF10 - MC3+USB - Pro-Ject Signature 12
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#24
(26-Sep-2021, 13:52)Confused Wrote: Plus, Jnan - The link below might interest you, a slightly rambling review but includes some interesting comments:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PP1Zsh078nU
Thank you @Confused for the warm welcome back msg and yes I have seen this video. I had just bought NODE (2021 - Full MQA), however USB is yet to be enabled on NODE. I have always used USB and I like it. However With Zen-Stream, it can stream over USB, i really wanted it. Hence I sold NODE and was looking if ZEN-Stream can help. Meanwhile I sold rest (Including NODE) of my stuff and went for for 220Pro. If ZS does not support full MQA then i have very little value to it. I mean its Roon Ready (So is Devialet), regarding my system, its NUC-ROCK to Roon-Ready Zen-Stream -> <Process it> and then stream through USB / S/PDIF to Devialet,  "thats one more device in the path". I would rather stick to NUC-ROCK to Devialet directly (RAAT or AIR). this is my own thought, some how if Devialet cannot do final rendering, then I would prefer to go without MQA. <Edit> i have not yet given up on Z-S!. Love calling it tiny bugger doing good stuff in small package!!. Darn I should have kept NODE which did full decoding - rendering and send data bits over S/PDIF. USB Yet to be enabled. Anyways, I m enjoying my simple system with 220Pro driving my speakers, and love my it very very much Wink  Angel  Wink !
Rock OS (Roon) on NUC 2016 Model (ETH Wired to Router) > Cat8 from Router to switch to 220Pro (CI) > RAAT/AIR > KEF Reference1
Ipad Mini 4/iPhone for Roon Remote"
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#25
EOM regarding MQA. thanks for MQA Links! Will follow through those.
Rock OS (Roon) on NUC 2016 Model (ETH Wired to Router) > Cat8 from Router to switch to 220Pro (CI) > RAAT/AIR > KEF Reference1
Ipad Mini 4/iPhone for Roon Remote"
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