The short/good news about to spill from CES 2018 is for Format-First Audiophile owners of Sonore streamers. In collaboration with Small Green Computer, a forthcoming firmware to the Signature Rendu SE, ultraRendu and microRendu will add MQA ‘core decode’ functionality to their Roon, MPD/DLNA and Squeezelite output modes1. Support for NAA output mode remains in development. Upgraded to v2.6, the Sonicorbiter operating system will execute the first unfold on the device before sending the hi-res datastream downstream to any DAC, MQA compatible or not. A pass-through mode will present for fully MQA-compatible DACs that handle all unfolds and MQA’s bespoke-fit minimum phase digital filtering. Hold your horses though! The update isn’t available just yet. I’m told that Sonore/MQA are aiming to ship the new code in a two weeks. Maybe three. Further information: Sonore 1. MQA core decoding cannot be applied to the Spotify or AirPlay output mode. The former don’t yet offer MQA-encoded streams and the latter isn’t bit-perfect.
UPDATE June 2018: Sonore and Small Green Computer have reportedly shelved all plans to add MQA support to their streamers.
“We have it working and ready to go, but it’s on permanent hold. Here are some of the issues:
1. HDTracks was supposed to offer MQA streaming and now they are not.
2. Roon will have decoding soon.>
3. A+ already has MQA decoding.
4. No way to use Tidal Masters directly.
5. Add to these a few more issues like contacts, fees, and all the negativity.”