Hmmm - First I tried the cut you asked about: https://tidal.com/track/3650032 . It has the same clarity from the beginning and specifically 1:19 into the song, the whisper, percussion, and second voice coming in is spectacular. The stats mconnect is showing: 1058 kbps; FLAC; 44.1; 16 bit.
Second, when I am streaming, my TIDAL stream plays via DLNA. I agree - there is NO GAPLESS PLAY. It is like using the TIDAL app from 3 years ago. I suspect this is a limitation of HIBY mconnect, rather than a limitation of the SD-9.
I will say the gap is minimized when I turn on "Gapless to renderer" and leave "Gapless by app" turned off. Regardless - the gap is still at least 1/2 second on my equipment. (See I pic of mconnect interface, below.)
Just to check that the MQA, Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Cuts 1 and 2 (album title cut and a Little Help...), I tried them via the iOS TIDAL APP and Airplay direct to my amp, and yep - still gapless when playing directly from TIDAL Connect. View attachment 142271
Thank You for checking that for me, there must just be a problem with my particular unit that causes the distortion then.
I did not try Airplay, but I think that the lack of gapless support is a limitation of the SD-9. I am able to play gapless over any DLNA source when streaming from mconnect to my Yamaha WXC-50.