Tidal MQA and Raspberry Pi streamer w/ USB

Hi all,
Trying to figure out the innards of Volumio/Tidal/MQA/USB-DACs etc. I appreciate your input in advance.

I am a Tidal hifi subscriber (which obviously includes MQA permissions). Using Volumio with a USB DAC (WaveIO receiver, DDDAC1543 DAC). I have the WaveIO provided with front panel LEDs that display the handshake rate the stream is being read at. So, if my stream is at 44.1kHz, the appropriate LED turns on. If it’s 48kHz, I see the next LED lit etc.

As I’m trying to understand and learn how this works internally, some questions for the Tidal and Volumio gurus out there:

  • I can’t find any stream (including those marked as “MASTER”) that would exceed 48kHz; all Tidal content comes in at either 44.1 or 48kHz. Is this correct? I’m concerned my DAC is obviously not MQA compatible, and so I’m not sure if the stream gets “downgraded” due to that.
  • are there any (supported or marginally tolerated) ways to set this? Under Windows, the WaveIO driver would allow me to overwrite the “perceived sample rate” (this 44.1 or 48 mentioned above). I assume this is mostly an issue of how the Linux underlying WaveIO driver supports this switching (automatic or potentially… manual?).
  • I guess another question is exactly what level of support the WaveIO gets on this Volumio platform. One of the reasons I chose Volumio (and decided to pay for it) is that it recognizes the WaveIO directly (displays its name etc.), but I’m not sure exactly how well Volumio and WaveIO talk to each other.

Thank you!

1 Like

To answer your third question: unlike with Windows, where WAVEIO appears to be using a proprietary ASIO driver, there is no specific “waveio” support with Linux and therefore not with Volumio either.
With linux, all usb audio devices share the same standard usb audio driver, though for some operations, like dsd playback, the device interface needs to be registered in the driver.
In the case of Waveio it is (XMOS).

Thank you for these details. It explains this - Native DSD suport on Linux for WaveIO cards · Issue #10 · lintweaker/xmos-native-dsd · GitHub.

Should I then expect the WaveIO to properly switch between modes when operated through Volumio? I have seen it switch between 44.1 and 48kHz depending on what the player displays (and therefore the actual properties of the stream).