MQA Again

sunbeamgls posted:
Keler Pierre posted:

I am promoting nothing. I doubt all magazines and audio sites have financial interests in giving positive review of a product or technology. It may and even is the case for some, like What hifi or stereo magazine....But when you have unanimity from all serious magazines, as absolute sound, stereophile, hificritic, audiostream, computer audiophile, hifi news, it is rather difficult to not believe in this unanimity.  But if you reject magazines and audio sites reviews, and prefer to believe 2 or 3 forum members,

it is your right and choice.  I think you would be a good candidate for a sect community...

You're still missing the point.  I am not commenting on the functionality nor the sound quality like the magazines have done.  The business model is the real issue, the technology is a very distant second on the list, to the point where the technical issues are not worth discussing until the business model has been understood and accepted.  If you consider being driven to pay a fee to a third party intent on driving proprietary solutions, imposing a levy at every stage of production and with the possibility of applying DRM so that you can't play that content unless you play it on one of their proprietary licenced systems, THEN you can discuss the technology.  I just really don't understand why anyone would accept this business model which brings no benefit over what is possible today using existing and open systems.

I do belong to a sect, one that isn't published very much and doesn't really organise itsself - its members don't like to be brainwashed by marketing hype.

ok, ok, stay with your beliefs...For me my ears don't trump me: i have listened to mqa tidal files and 16/44 same tidal files, and for me, as for the majority of people who have made this comparison, mqa sound better. You can think or demonstrate what you want, the ears are the only truth.

Huge posted:

I never said that the Meridian engineers were wrong, just that their marketing people had resorted to hyperbole.

So, there's no excuse for you to accuse me of arrogance (or of being a marketing executive) - please read my posts a little more carefully.

 

arrogance is to believe that one point of view is more true to the general point of view admitted and tested and proved by real audio specialists recognized in the audio world community.  Perhaps you believe that you are right and meridian, dcs, berkeley audio, msb audio are all wrong.  It is arrogance!

 

If you said that i have misunderstood your response, i believe you and apologize.

Keler Pierre posted:
 

If you said that i have misunderstood your response, i believe you and apologize.

Yes I believe there may have been some misunderstanding here!

Incidentally, at first I also misunderstood your posts...  Initially I thought you were saying that MQA would act on a 24/192 master file and actually improve it!  Later I realised this isn't what you were saying at all; you were actually comparing MQA to 16/44.1 LPCM - and yes I agree, here MQA has a considerable theoretical potential for advantage.

As you say I haven't tried it (for quality listening I exclusively download to a NAS, I only use internet streaming for finding new music, so for me personally MQA has comparatively little benefit).  That's the other reason I haven't tried to say it can't be better than 16/44.1!

Huge posted:
Keler Pierre posted:
 

If you said that i have misunderstood your response, i believe you and apologize.

Yes I believe there may have been some misunderstanding here!

Incidentally, at first I also misunderstood your posts...  Initially I thought you were saying that MQA would act on a 24/192 master file and actually improve it!  Later I realised this isn't what you were saying at all; you were actually comparing MQA to 16/44.1 LPCM - and yes I agree, here MQA has a considerable theoretical potential for advantage.

As you say I haven't tried it (for quality listening I exclusively download to a NAS, I only use internet streaming for finding new music, so for me personally MQA has comparatively little benefit).  That's the other reason I haven't tried to say it can't be better than 16/44.1!

i am glad to end peacefully this debate and that misunderstandings had gone away.  Like you i prefer streaming from nas for now. But in the future, with this step with mqa on tidal, perhaps there will be more steps and we will be able to stream full dsd files , looseless, with tidal, qobuz etc....and the streaming from these services will be as good as from nas.

Keler Pierre posted:
sunbeamgls posted:
Keler Pierre posted:

I am promoting nothing. I doubt all magazines and audio sites have financial interests in giving positive review of a product or technology. It may and even is the case for some, like What hifi or stereo magazine....But when you have unanimity from all serious magazines, as absolute sound, stereophile, hificritic, audiostream, computer audiophile, hifi news, it is rather difficult to not believe in this unanimity.  But if you reject magazines and audio sites reviews, and prefer to believe 2 or 3 forum members,

it is your right and choice.  I think you would be a good candidate for a sect community...

You're still missing the point.  I am not commenting on the functionality nor the sound quality like the magazines have done.  The business model is the real issue, the technology is a very distant second on the list, to the point where the technical issues are not worth discussing until the business model has been understood and accepted.  If you consider being driven to pay a fee to a third party intent on driving proprietary solutions, imposing a levy at every stage of production and with the possibility of applying DRM so that you can't play that content unless you play it on one of their proprietary licenced systems, THEN you can discuss the technology.  I just really don't understand why anyone would accept this business model which brings no benefit over what is possible today using existing and open systems.

I do belong to a sect, one that isn't published very much and doesn't really organise itsself - its members don't like to be brainwashed by marketing hype.

ok, ok, stay with your beliefs...For me my ears don't trump me: i have listened to mqa tidal files and 16/44 same tidal files, and for me, as for the majority of people who have made this comparison, mqa sound better. You can think or demonstrate what you want, the ears are the only truth.

It is nothing to do with ears nor beliefs. Read what I have written (perhaps use Google translate if that helps). My point is about the big picture, your posts about the technology and sound quality are down in the detail. I just suggest you look up for a while from the details and take in what MQA is really all about.

sunbeamgls posted:
Keler Pierre posted:
sunbeamgls posted:
Keler Pierre posted:

I am promoting nothing. I doubt all magazines and audio sites have financial interests in giving positive review of a product or technology. It may and even is the case for some, like What hifi or stereo magazine....But when you have unanimity from all serious magazines, as absolute sound, stereophile, hificritic, audiostream, computer audiophile, hifi news, it is rather difficult to not believe in this unanimity.  But if you reject magazines and audio sites reviews, and prefer to believe 2 or 3 forum members,

it is your right and choice.  I think you would be a good candidate for a sect community...

You're still missing the point.  I am not commenting on the functionality nor the sound quality like the magazines have done.  The business model is the real issue, the technology is a very distant second on the list, to the point where the technical issues are not worth discussing until the business model has been understood and accepted.  If you consider being driven to pay a fee to a third party intent on driving proprietary solutions, imposing a levy at every stage of production and with the possibility of applying DRM so that you can't play that content unless you play it on one of their proprietary licenced systems, THEN you can discuss the technology.  I just really don't understand why anyone would accept this business model which brings no benefit over what is possible today using existing and open systems.

I do belong to a sect, one that isn't published very much and doesn't really organise itsself - its members don't like to be brainwashed by marketing hype.

ok, ok, stay with your beliefs...For me my ears don't trump me: i have listened to mqa tidal files and 16/44 same tidal files, and for me, as for the majority of people who have made this comparison, mqa sound better. You can think or demonstrate what you want, the ears are the only truth.

It is nothing to do with ears nor beliefs. Read what I have written (perhaps use Google translate if that helps). My point is about the big picture, your posts about the technology and sound quality are down in the detail. I just suggest you look up for a while from the details and take in what MQA is really all about.

you said that you don't see any benefit(of mqa) vs all which is existing today. Have i understood your affirmation?   if yes, i disagree because mqa is a benefit on tidal streaming, just tidal streaming.  If i have not understood, so ok, it is my fault and poor frenchy english.

Maybe It is time to summarise, this from a non-technical angle:-

In the consideration of playback below, I have taken the MQA file  to be from a 24/192 hi res master, assumed an identical sounding DAC in all case, with a high resolution system, and used the following definitions:

  • Red book = CD quality file that has been produced from the same 24/192 master as the MQA, but has been through no lossy process other than the downsampling to that resolution

  • Hi Res = the original 24/192 master 
  • Accurate = sounds like the original master
  • Sounds good = sounds pleasing to a particular listener, even if it might sound different from the original master

So this is my understanding of MQA:


1. The fully compressed MQA file played as it is on ordinary equipment not MQA-enabled, i.e not unfolded / restored / decompressed in any way, has reduced bit depth and is carrying encoded data that is not extracted in playing, so playback will not be accurate to the original hi res master. And because of its encoded data and reduced bit depth, it will not sound as good as the original hi res master to any discerning listener, and not even as good as red book, although it is possible that some people will find the different sound to their taste, and so could prefer it.


2. The MQA file played partially unfolded, as by software in the rendering stage of the player feeding a standard DAC  has been partially unpacked, but not fully so so playback will again not be accurate to the original hi res master. To a discerning listener it will not sound as good as the original hi res master, however whether it will sound as good as red book may depend on the listener's ability to hear the effect of the differences that do exist in the stream, and if it sounds different whether that will be considered to sound good will depend on the listeners's preferences. I don't think anyone can make absolute assumptions about how they will like the sound without hearing for themselves, though of course people may have expectations.


3. MQA file fully unfolded/restored as in an MQA DAC is fully unpacked but has data missing and/or replaced by interpolated data that may or may not be accurate, and the stream contains artefacts generated by the processing. So overall the stream is not accurate to the original hi res master. To a listener whether it will sound as good as the original hi res will depend on their ability to hear the differences or effects of them, which will also depend on the system used. And if it sounds different, whether that will be considered to be good will depend on the listeners's preferences.

 

Benefit to the listener wanting an online streaming service rather than purchasing hi res files clearly depends on whether the individual finds the sound - 1, 2 or 3 above - to be better than red book, and on whether the cost of the MQA streaming is any more than red book streaming, and on whether full hi res streaming of the same music is available from anywhere.

If the individual does feel there is benefit to them, then it doesn't matter if there is more benefit to the supplier.

What does matter is if people, sellers or other listeners, try to pressure others into believing that it is a service worth paying extra for if the music either doesn't sound better to those others, or if it doesn't suit for some other reason, which might include the fact that the music has lost accuracy compared to the original hi res.

Keler Pierre posted:
sunbeamgls posted:
Keler Pierre posted:
sunbeamgls posted:
Keler Pierre posted:

I am promoting nothing. I doubt all magazines and audio sites have financial interests in giving positive review of a product or technology. It may and even is the case for some, like What hifi or stereo magazine....But when you have unanimity from all serious magazines, as absolute sound, stereophile, hificritic, audiostream, computer audiophile, hifi news, it is rather difficult to not believe in this unanimity.  But if you reject magazines and audio sites reviews, and prefer to believe 2 or 3 forum members,

it is your right and choice.  I think you would be a good candidate for a sect community...

You're still missing the point.  I am not commenting on the functionality nor the sound quality like the magazines have done.  The business model is the real issue, the technology is a very distant second on the list, to the point where the technical issues are not worth discussing until the business model has been understood and accepted.  If you consider being driven to pay a fee to a third party intent on driving proprietary solutions, imposing a levy at every stage of production and with the possibility of applying DRM so that you can't play that content unless you play it on one of their proprietary licenced systems, THEN you can discuss the technology.  I just really don't understand why anyone would accept this business model which brings no benefit over what is possible today using existing and open systems.

I do belong to a sect, one that isn't published very much and doesn't really organise itsself - its members don't like to be brainwashed by marketing hype.

ok, ok, stay with your beliefs...For me my ears don't trump me: i have listened to mqa tidal files and 16/44 same tidal files, and for me, as for the majority of people who have made this comparison, mqa sound better. You can think or demonstrate what you want, the ears are the only truth.

It is nothing to do with ears nor beliefs. Read what I have written (perhaps use Google translate if that helps). My point is about the big picture, your posts about the technology and sound quality are down in the detail. I just suggest you look up for a while from the details and take in what MQA is really all about.

you said that you don't see any benefit(of mqa) vs all which is existing today. Have i understood your affirmation?   if yes, i disagree because mqa is a benefit on tidal streaming, just tidal streaming.  If i have not understood, so ok, it is my fault and poor frenchy english.

No, I haven't said that, but I can't think of how to re-phrase the significant issue which you're struggling to see because you're only looking at the details and not the big picture.

sunbeamgls posted:
Keler Pierre posted:
sunbeamgls posted:
Keler Pierre posted:
sunbeamgls posted:
Keler Pierre posted:

I am promoting nothing. I doubt all magazines and audio sites have financial interests in giving positive review of a product or technology. It may and even is the case for some, like What hifi or stereo magazine....But when you have unanimity from all serious magazines, as absolute sound, stereophile, hificritic, audiostream, computer audiophile, hifi news, it is rather difficult to not believe in this unanimity.  But if you reject magazines and audio sites reviews, and prefer to believe 2 or 3 forum members,

it is your right and choice.  I think you would be a good candidate for a sect community...

You're still missing the point.  I am not commenting on the functionality nor the sound quality like the magazines have done.  The business model is the real issue, the technology is a very distant second on the list, to the point where the technical issues are not worth discussing until the business model has been understood and accepted.  If you consider being driven to pay a fee to a third party intent on driving proprietary solutions, imposing a levy at every stage of production and with the possibility of applying DRM so that you can't play that content unless you play it on one of their proprietary licenced systems, THEN you can discuss the technology.  I just really don't understand why anyone would accept this business model which brings no benefit over what is possible today using existing and open systems.

I do belong to a sect, one that isn't published very much and doesn't really organise itsself - its members don't like to be brainwashed by marketing hype.

ok, ok, stay with your beliefs...For me my ears don't trump me: i have listened to mqa tidal files and 16/44 same tidal files, and for me, as for the majority of people who have made this comparison, mqa sound better. You can think or demonstrate what you want, the ears are the only truth.

It is nothing to do with ears nor beliefs. Read what I have written (perhaps use Google translate if that helps). My point is about the big picture, your posts about the technology and sound quality are down in the detail. I just suggest you look up for a while from the details and take in what MQA is really all about.

you said that you don't see any benefit(of mqa) vs all which is existing today. Have i understood your affirmation?   if yes, i disagree because mqa is a benefit on tidal streaming, just tidal streaming.  If i have not understood, so ok, it is my fault and poor frenchy english.

No, I haven't said that, but I can't think of how to re-phrase the significant issue which you're struggling to see because you're only looking at the details and not the big picture.

i read again all your post and i can agree with some ideas, like the necessity to buy a licence to play mqa....I think just that for direct streaming from tidal, with a mqa capable dac, is a step forward in sound quality, vs streaming 16/44 only quality before ( on tidal). But yes, you have to pay for an mqa capable dac.   I will not buy an mqa dac just to stream on tidal, because streaming downloads have better sound quality.  So no, i will not fall in this trap.

But tomorrow, certainly, the vast majority of dacs will be mqa capable, or better than mqa capable ( streaming directly dsd from tidal for instance or 24/192).

I am not comparing of buying hirez, which is another point.  But i imagine the future with tidal like direct streaming, without buying and downloading and stocking music on nas( which is a cost). Today it can be mqa, and perhaps tomorrow we will be able to stream directly on these services dsd, full high rez files, limitless, with the same quality or perhaps better than streaming downloads.  If this day will arrive, it will be for me a big step and even a big saving of money:  if you download 10 albums per mounth on qobuz or hdtracks, you pay around 100GBP per month. Tidal is 20 GBP per month.   For now streaming downloads is better, but who knows after.  Mqa is a step in the direction i wanted to point.

For me it is more important than all the buzz and commercial trap of ROON.

Keler Pierre posted:
Simon-in-Suffolk posted:
Keler Pierre posted:

i have read that qobuz will have the possibility,  very soon, to stream 24 bit files directly on his streaming service. If it is true, it is better than mqa streaming on tidal.  Anybody knows something sure about this?    Because if it is true and real, mqa will be behind then...( i am talking about streaming from tidal or qobuz, not streaming hirez that were downloaded and stocked on nas).

For the web streaming companies, MQA makes sense... there is no hidef AAC or MP3, lossless Hidef, even FLAC, is in efficient to stream due to dither and ultrasonic noise, and lossy hidef MQA is a good half way house. I am not knocking it for that.. I think MQA to my car streamer or my portable streamer would be really great..

i don't understand why you refer of tidal streaming in a car. Do you think or not that tidal mqa streaming is better than tidal 16/44?   

Will with my humble, hopefully unalderated rears, I prefer 44.1/16 lossless PCM to 88.2 or 96 / 24 lossy  MQA through a software decoder. Sure the MQA version can sound initially impressive, I wrote about it on this forum some time back, but after a while it grates or tires or simply doesn't sustain my interest... to my ears it just doesn't have that inner depth and natural resolution that good 44.1/16 has..certainly with the DACs I use...  and yes just for the avoidance of doubt that inner depth and  natural resolution I describe is certainly not evident with all DACs playing back 44.1/16... and for these sort of DACs MQA may sound better overall compared to unmodified lossless PCM.. but I hypothesise now...

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:
Keler Pierre posted:
Simon-in-Suffolk posted:
Keler Pierre posted:

i have read that qobuz will have the possibility,  very soon, to stream 24 bit files directly on his streaming service. If it is true, it is better than mqa streaming on tidal.  Anybody knows something sure about this?    Because if it is true and real, mqa will be behind then...( i am talking about streaming from tidal or qobuz, not streaming hirez that were downloaded and stocked on nas).

For the web streaming companies, MQA makes sense... there is no hidef AAC or MP3, lossless Hidef, even FLAC, is in efficient to stream due to dither and ultrasonic noise, and lossy hidef MQA is a good half way house. I am not knocking it for that.. I think MQA to my car streamer or my portable streamer would be really great..

i don't understand why you refer of tidal streaming in a car. Do you think or not that tidal mqa streaming is better than tidal 16/44?   

Will with my humble, hopefully unalderated rears, I prefer 44.1/16 lossless PCM to 88.2 or 96 / 24 lossy  MQA through a software decoder. Sure the MQA version can sound initially impressive, I wrote about it on this forum some time back, but after a while it grates or tires or simply doesn't sustain my interest... to my ears it just doesn't have that inner depth and natural resolution that good 44.1/16 has..certainly with the DACs I use...  and yes just for the avoidance of doubt that inner depth and  natural resolution I describe is certainly not evident with all DACs playing back 44.1/16... and for these sort of DACs MQA may sound better overall compared to unmodified lossless PCM.. but I hypothesise now...

you said " certainly with the dac i use" ( chord hugo/ non mqa) and you " prefer 16/44 to 24/96 mqa through a software decoder" : which software decoder ?  may i ask...

i just read a review of the qobuz sublime plus streaming of high rez( 24/88, 24/192) files: for what hifi, tidal offer a better sound quality with their mqa streaming.   It is what hifi magazine, so i am not so confident as for serious audio magazines like hifi critic, stereophile...

But another point to mqa.

Keler Pierre posted:

i just read a review of the qobuz sublime plus streaming of high rez( 24/88, 24/192) files: for what hifi, tidal offer a better sound quality with their mqa streaming.   It is what hifi magazine, so i am not so confident as for serious audio magazines like hifi critic, stereophile...

But another point to mqa.

So assuming an identical master the possibilities are:

A) STreaming from Qobuz is flawed (or more so than from Tidal if that is also flawed), not getting through bit perfect.

Or B) what they are assessing as sound quality is a subjective assessment of what they perceive as desirable sound attributes, and the artefacts caused npby MQA are percieved as beneficial. Whether that is better sound quality depends on your definition.

Did they use a downloaded copy of the hi res fole as a reference, and if so, did the Qobuz streamed version sound inferior (= proof of A, whether or not also partly B), or identical (proof of B)? If they didn't compare to the non-streamed hi res file then the cause is indeterminate. 

Innocent Bystander posted:
Keler Pierre posted:

i just read a review of the qobuz sublime plus streaming of high rez( 24/88, 24/192) files: for what hifi, tidal offer a better sound quality with their mqa streaming.   It is what hifi magazine, so i am not so confident as for serious audio magazines like hifi critic, stereophile...

But another point to mqa.

So assuming an identical master the possibilities are:

A) STreaming from Qobuz is flawed (or more so than from Tidal if that is also flawed), not getting through bit perfect.

Or B) what they are assessing as sound quality is a subjective assessment of what they perceive as desirable sound attributes, and the artefacts caused npby MQA are percieved as beneficial. Whether that is better sound quality depends on your definition.

Did they use a downloaded copy of the hi res fole as a reference, and if so, did the Qobuz streamed version sound inferior (= proof of A, whether or not also partly B), or identical (proof of B)? If they didn't compare to the non-streamed hi res file then the cause is indeterminate. 

it is the streaming directly from qobuz , high rez files, which seems for them inferior to direct streaming from tidal for mqa files.  As i said before, it is not a comparison of mqa vs high rez downloads, but the benefit of mqa in direct streaming from the service of tidal.   Qobuz offers recently the possibility to stream directly high rez, in their sublime plus offer.  For what hifi, this direct streaming is better on tidal.

Innocent Bystander posted:
Keler Pierre posted:

i just read a review of the qobuz sublime plus streaming of high rez( 24/88, 24/192) files: for what hifi, tidal offer a better sound quality with their mqa streaming.   It is what hifi magazine, so i am not so confident as for serious audio magazines like hifi critic, stereophile...

But another point to mqa.

So assuming an identical master the possibilities are:

A) STreaming from Qobuz is flawed (or more so than from Tidal if that is also flawed), not getting through bit perfect.

Or B) what they are assessing as sound quality is a subjective assessment of what they perceive as desirable sound attributes, and the artefacts caused npby MQA are percieved as beneficial. Whether that is better sound quality depends on your definition.

Did they use a downloaded copy of the hi res fole as a reference, and if so, did the Qobuz streamed version sound inferior (= proof of A, whether or not also partly B), or identical (proof of B)? If they didn't compare to the non-streamed hi res file then the cause is indeterminate. 

i recommend to you to read first this short review:  google: qobuz sublime + what hifi review.

It wil be more clear than my english.

Ok, I've had a read, and they just compared streaming with no local file to compare, it is guesswork as rpto whether the cause is A or B (assuming that, when they say the same recordings played through both, it does mean the same masterings, though that of course is might be difference - though if it was, I'd expect maybe some of Qobuz to sound better than Tidal's, and vice versa.

interesting that What HiFi say  "Qobuz isn’t particularly forthcoming about how it’s managed to shoehorn 24-bit/192kHz audio files into packages small enough to be reliably streamed.", which seams odd to me (but I am no expert at the technicalities of online streaming) 

Innocent Bystander posted:

Ok, I've had a read, and they just compared streaming with no local file to compare, it is guesswork as rpto whether the cause is A or B (assuming that, when they say the same recordings played through both, it does mean the same masterings, though that of course is might be difference - though if it was, I'd expect maybe some of Qobuz to sound better than Tidal's, and vice versa.

interesting that What HiFi say  "Qobuz isn’t particularly forthcoming about how it’s managed to shoehorn 24-bit/192kHz audio files into packages small enough to be reliably streamed.", which seams odd to me (but I am no expert at the technicalities of online streaming) 

i had expected to read that qobuz online streaming is better than tidal online streaming.

I have thought qobuz better.

As for local streaming, it was never the subject of mqa. Mqa allows better sound quality on online streaming only.  But local streaming, with downloads before and nas stocking , is still better than mqa or 16/44 online streaming.   The unique benefit of mqa is on online tidal (for now )streaming, 

 

Keler Pierre posted:
Innocent Bystander posted:

Ok, I've had a read, and they just compared streaming with no local file to compare, it is guesswork as rpto whether the cause is A or B (assuming that, when they say the same recordings played through both, it does mean the same masterings, though that of course is might be difference - though if it was, I'd expect maybe some of Qobuz to sound better than Tidal's, and vice versa.

interesting that What HiFi say  "Qobuz isn’t particularly forthcoming about how it’s managed to shoehorn 24-bit/192kHz audio files into packages small enough to be reliably streamed.", which seams odd to me (but I am no expert at the technicalities of online streaming) 

i had expected to read that qobuz online streaming is better than tidal online streaming.

I have thought qobuz better.

As for local streaming, it was never the subject of mqa. Mqa allows better sound quality on online streaming only.  But local streaming, with downloads before and nas stocking , is still better than mqa or 16/44 online streaming.   The unique benefit of mqa is on online tidal (for now )streaming, 

My puzzlement is why doesnt Qobuz sound better than Tidal's MQA, leading to my analysis of A or B.

in theory the Qobuz should sound the same as downloaded hi res - the problem is that we don't know if it does, or more specifically, What HiFi didn't tell us whether or not it did. If it doesn't, then Qobuz are charging a premium for streaming something that is flawed.

The problem with both Qobuz and Tidal is that they are currently more concerned with the headlines, being the next big thing, and having 'cool' looking apps, rather than actually doing any of it well in SQ terms.  If they perfectly delivered 16/44,1 for a start, it would be better than a half arsed implementation of either full-fat hi-res or MQA as it currently stands.  This is specifically from the perspective of someone using a PC and the desktop apps into a modest Naim system.  I am sure it sounds much better if I connect up my i-phone and supplied ear...plugs?  Buds?  What are those things?

Innocent Bystander posted:

 

Keler Pierre posted:
Innocent Bystander posted:

Ok, I've had a read, and they just compared streaming with no local file to compare, it is guesswork as rpto whether the cause is A or B (assuming that, when they say the same recordings played through both, it does mean the same masterings, though that of course is might be difference - though if it was, I'd expect maybe some of Qobuz to sound better than Tidal's, and vice versa.

interesting that What HiFi say  "Qobuz isn’t particularly forthcoming about how it’s managed to shoehorn 24-bit/192kHz audio files into packages small enough to be reliably streamed.", which seams odd to me (but I am no expert at the technicalities of online streaming) 

i had expected to read that qobuz online streaming is better than tidal online streaming.

I have thought qobuz better.

As for local streaming, it was never the subject of mqa. Mqa allows better sound quality on online streaming only.  But local streaming, with downloads before and nas stocking , is still better than mqa or 16/44 online streaming.   The unique benefit of mqa is on online tidal (for now )streaming, 

My puzzlement is why doesnt Qobuz sound better than Tidal's MQA, leading to my analysis of A or B.

in theory the Qobuz should sound the same as downloaded hi res - the problem is that we don't know if it does, or more specifically, What HiFi didn't tell us whether or not it did. If it doesn't, then Qobuz are charging a premium for streaming something that is flawed.

i agree that it seems, on what hifi review, that qobuz is charging a premium for a flawed streaming.

 

my inner experience with nds/555dr/ full optimized network:  streaming high rez files from my unitserve/ linear ps is better than streaming online on Tidal.  But i find that the gap between streaming 16/44 on my serve and streaming 16/44 online tidal is very little.  So probably, with mqa streaming on tidal with an mqa dac, this gap would be reduced or non existent ( vs streaming locally 16/44).  

It seems that my Dragonfly Black supports MQA since a couple of weeks.

I just saw this message on AudioQuests website:

'Please note: Due to unprecedented demand, there are delays in shipping both DragonFlys Black and Red. Please be irritated with AudioQuest rather than with your dealer as we work to fill backorders as quickly as possible. Thanks for your patience.'

 

That is a statement from a company I want to buy from. Totally transparent.

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:

Pierre, you asked me what software decoder I am using with MQA, well it's the decoder built into the Tidal client.. which then produces 88.2/24 or 96/24 SPDIF or USB streams, depending on MQA source file, which I then connect to a DAC

Simon

ok simon, so you have not tested an mqa dac yet? am i right?

Ardbeg10y posted:

It seems that my Dragonfly Black supports MQA since a couple of weeks.

I just saw this message on AudioQuests website:

'Please note: Due to unprecedented demand, there are delays in shipping both DragonFlys Black and Red. Please be irritated with AudioQuest rather than with your dealer as we work to fill backorders as quickly as possible. Thanks for your patience.'

 

That is a statement from a company I want to buy from. Totally transparent.

you will tell us how are your impressions on mqa/vs 16/44 streaming, if you want...

Gary Shaw posted:

I see HDTracks are going to offer a streaming service, using MQA and hosted by 7digital. Presumably starting in the US.

good thing for us. But in Europe we can't buy the majority of high rez files on hd tracks, just some....it will be probably the same for streaming....

Noted today on the new FAQ on the Uniti Atom page on the Naim website. Unity Atom page, support tab, last Q on the FAQ section.

"Will MQA be supported on the new Uniti range?

1. MQA is not supported on the new Uniti range."

It doesn't say never, but... 

French Rooster posted:
Emre posted:

It would be nice to stream mqa trough my 272 using tidal for the same price, i am using at work with explorer2 dac at work, it is nice..

Other than that still i dont get it...

Isnt it just a double layer compression file that can be unfolded by dac ör player?

Same file mqa vs 24/196 How does it compare? In theory they should sound same right? With a mqa dac, without a mqa dac the mqa  version will be 16/44...

Am i missing something?

 

you can't stream 24/192 on tidal. So , with an mqa dac, you can only compare 16/44 vs mqa streaming on tidal.  But streaming high rez files from nas is still better than streaming mqa with tidal, from what i understood in the different reviews i read.

You can indeed stream 24/192 with Tidal and MQA. I am doing so with an Explorer2. MQA files are available at different resolutions up to 24/192

My usual preferred source is LP12/Ekos/Dynavector 17D3/Prefix/Hicap/Cirkus/Trampolin2/Lingo 3.

Until now I have been a complete digital luddite and find the technology totally alien.

Out of curiosity I decided to take out a free trial of Tidal "HiFi" and bought a Meridian Explorer2.

I have been listening to MQA almost exclusively and my usually very active LP12 has remained silent for the last month. Nuff said.

I have read a lot of paranoia on here about MQA's business model and licencing requirements. I dont remember there being much outcry about Dolby Labs back in the day which seemed to be a similar licencing arrangement?

At the Birmingham show at the weekend, Bluesound were doing a demo of MQA, from a Bluenode (2 I think) into B&W 700 series floorstanders. 

The demo was various pieces of music, each played 3 times, 320k MP3, lossless PCM (CD they called it) and MQA. Consistently the MP3 was noticeably poor, the "CD" and MQA were different. To me, the MQA offered a warmer voice range and fuller bass, but I was worried on almost every track that that seemed to be at the expense of balance with the midrange seeming recessed. It was on fairly simple vocal popular music, so it wasn't possible for me to be sure.  I asked for a piece of complex orchestral music as I thought that would make it easy to tell what was happening, they didn't have any sadly. They tried a piece of solo piano where to be honest I couldn't tell them apart.

For me that wasn't a compelling demonstration, the MQA certainly sounded different, for me it wasn't better. Maybe it's more accurate and I haven't adjusted to the correct sound, but I'm not convinced. 

I was impressed by the little Bluenode, at £500 it gave a very good account of itself, driving the floorstanders surprisingly well and giving an engaging and lively presentation from the uncompressed samples.

Huge posted:

Of what significance is the ESS Sabre DAC?

It only mean that with a lowly phone you can now record and play high definition music that hold on a micro SD card. The make of the dac is irrevelant but miniaturization is mind blowing if you compare this to the size taken by separate components.

Huge posted:

Of what significance is the ESS Sabre DAC?

I depends a bit which ESS Sabre Dac chip is used, but they are also in the quite good and successful Dragonfly Black and Red Dacs. The Dragonfly Red has a very good digital volume control which is implemented natively on the Dac chip.

The importance of the implementation remains - of course.

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