MQA - updated thoughts please

I know there has been a few chats about MQA but nothing too recent. I am interested in hearing from anyone who has heard it, either on their system or elsewhere and what you make of it?  

I was intrigued to overhear in a HiFi store the other day "we won't sell you any DAC without MQA as they will be immediately obsolete .." Also lots of comments about "leading edges" and how "every record company in the world is going this way".

Well let me know your thoughts and experiences.

Also interested in an reported official Naim view on MQA. Thanks

Original Post

I have the impression the momentum in MQA has somewhat dissipated.... its kind of ended as a nich format like DSD but probably less impact on the market... I think most who are in the market for hidef audio probably don’t want to use a lossy codec with artefacts that assume psychoacoustically your brain ignores them... don’t get me wrong, it’s all very clever, but I think it’s technology looking for a market.

I have heard it with a software decoder into a DAC, it sounded ok and some tracks sounded rather fun, it seemingly sounded better on cheaper less resolving equipment... the better the equipment was I heard it on, the more artificial it sounded... I now use lossless HIdef, or 44.1/16 but I gave it a try.

I listen to it on Tidal via Roon into a Nova so I only get the first unfold.

I am a huge fan - it makes the music sound better in comparison to my rips of the same albums. It's hard to nail down what "better" denotes but the words clarity and authority spring to mind. Listening to Live Dead (Grateful Dead) the other evening with a friend we heard an MQA version of St Stephen and then had to resort to a rip of The Eleven because you just can't have one without the other. My friend had no idea they were different codecs but spontaneously said "Who stuffed cotton wool in my ears?".  Until then I thought my Live Dead rip sounded damn fine and it still does, but I had to agree. It's not night and day but back to back MQA really shines.

All at no extra cost to me.  

MQA Albums are remastered as I have understood, which could explain the different sound to your own rips. Hard to pinpoint what is remaster and what is MQA.

If I compare on my headphones, through Tidal, both the MQA and non MQA mastered versions and my own rips, I prefer my own rips all of the time. Listening to MQA makes me tired in the longer run. I listen to rock and classical, and it is a consistent experience.

It is great though that Tidal offers you the option. I might not like it, but others do.

Pev posted:

I listen to it on Tidal via Roon into a Nova so I only get the first unfold.

I am a huge fan - it makes the music sound better in comparison to my rips of the same albums. It's hard to nail down what "better" denotes but the words clarity and authority spring to mind. Listening to Live Dead (Grateful Dead) the other evening with a friend we heard an MQA version of St Stephen and then had to resort to a rip of The Eleven because you just can't have one without the other. My friend had no idea they were different codecs but spontaneously said "Who stuffed cotton wool in my ears?".  Until then I thought my Live Dead rip sounded damn fine and it still does, but I had to agree. It's not night and day but back to back MQA really shines.

All at no extra cost to me.  

the nova can decode mqa ?   i thought no naim streamer or dac could decode mqa.   

jmtennapel posted:

MQA Albums are remastered as I have understood, which could explain the different sound to your own rips. Hard to pinpoint what is remaster and what is MQA.

If I compare on my headphones, through Tidal, both the MQA and non MQA mastered versions and my own rips, I prefer my own rips all of the time. Listening to MQA makes me tired in the longer run. I listen to rock and classical, and it is a consistent experience.

It is great though that Tidal offers you the option. I might not like it, but others do.

what is your dac or streamer if i may ask ?

So far.....
Have found local MQA sound the same as streamed MQA from Tidal, which is good. This is played via the Roon core (ROCK running on NUC5i3, via a Sonore UPnP bridge into the NDS, outputting WAV).
This is better than regular FLAC, where the local Redbook versions are better than Tidal 16/44.1 via the Naim integration. However local versions will be transcoded to WAV by Asset on the RPi server. So need to try this again via Roon, and bridged to UPnP, where it is output as WAV, an equivalent transcoded path to the UPnP route.
So MQA vs non-MQA
MQA 44.1k are as good as local Redbook versions
MQA 48k/96k versions is where the some MQA versions are better than local HiRes versions, but not all.
MQA 192k - the local 24/192 versions have it, but it is tight and sometimes the Naim UPnP path is different to the Roon/Bridge path. There are 4 paths here:
1. Local MQA unfolded to 24/96
2. Tidal MQA unfolded to 24/96
3. Roon playing the local 24/192 FLAC
4. Naim app/UPnP playing the local 24/192 FLAC
 
The Sonore UPnP Bridge integration is very good, it just presents from Roon to the Ethernet input on the NDS, so retaining the Network player status & signal path. No async USB, S/PDIF or I2S conversion required. It even select the input, if you were using a digital input or iRadio.
So it makes MQA support (1st unfold to 24/96) seamless.
[Roon 1.5 also introduced FLAC radio streaming, but that’s a whole separate topic]
However the Roon UI makes the Naim app look very basic & primitive, when you go back. It’s like a flat single dimensional filing system, with no hyperlinks or meta links to other albums, associated pieces of work, similar artists, etc. And this before Roon release the reworked UI with portrait made for all iPad/tablets and improved layout, metadata support and all the other things they are working.
Plus you have the ‘Other versions’ feature now, where you can store different formats of the same materials, instead of having them listed multiple times.
I don’t see the Naim App being developed any further for the ‘Classic’ streamer range especially with 3rd party UPnP server technology. I also don’t see Naim equipment having anything more that being able to support 1st unfold of MQA material, any time soon, so this is it for now, “as good as it gets”.
I have also heard a full Meridian DSP8000 system, with the full MQA playback path, which was pretty spectacular, so I believe there is something in it,
The Tidal Masters count is over 8,000 albums now & the back catalogue from Sony is being prepared for release too.
 
Simon

Sonore UPnP Bridge runs on the same network, and behaves as a Roon Endpoint, but presents the stream to the Ethernet input of the Naim player. So the Roon Core is running on the NUC, controlled by a Roon Remote, with the Bridge selected as a playback zone, and the Naim sees a WAV stream (also can see a native DSD64 stream from dsf files too).

So I have some MQA (44.1k, 48k, 96k & 192k) encoded files in my NAS Library, served by Roon with 1st unfold performed in the Roon Core, and then MQA Masters streamed over the internet. That gives me the 4 different paths to try. Actually there is 5, playback of the local MQA through the Naim App via the UPnP server, but these are only seen as 24/48 files, without any decoding.

All very interesting and on occasion all having merit, but with access to a large library of MQA material. But at the same over 50% of my local 80k tracks are also HiRes.

Does that provide you with any further direction, @French Rooster?

simes_pep posted:

Sonore UPnP Bridge runs on the same network, and behaves as a Roon Endpoint, but presents the stream to the Ethernet input of the Naim player. So the Roon Core is running on the NUC, controlled by a Roon Remote, with the Bridge selected as a playback zone, and the Naim sees a WAV stream (also can see a native DSD64 stream from dsf files too).

So I have some MQA (44.1k, 48k, 96k & 192k) encoded files in my NAS Library, served by Roon with 1st unfold performed in the Roon Core, and then MQA Masters streamed over the internet. That gives me the 4 different paths to try. Actually there is 5, playback of the local MQA through the Naim App via the UPnP server, but these are only seen as 24/48 files, without any decoding.

All very interesting and on occasion all having merit, but with access to a large library of MQA material. But at the same over 50% of my local 80k tracks are also HiRes.

Does that provide you with any further direction, @French Rooster?

nds streaming mqa files from tidal is not really streaming mqa, because it has no mqa dac.  So are you really sure to listen to mqa files with your system, or just using roon and his presentation with the help of sonore micro rendu, but not really decoding mqa?    perhaps you are using another dac than the nds?

Would not say it is day or night to me. Some albums sounded subjectively better but it is probably due to remastering involved rather that MQA itself.

In terms of market adoption, it seems to have lost some traction. Franky I do not see the real need as we do have adequate bandwith generally to use high res uncompressed.

I think MQA is a complex subject, made more complex because MQA as a company has struggled to adequately convey a clear and consistent message to the consumer. Right now I think MQA is at risk of losing the audiophile consumer. We will have to see how important that turns out to be.

Here are some unstructured thoughts and questions.

- We are not the customer. The customers are the big labels, streaming companies and DAC manufacturers. Ultimately the labels will decide it's fait. The big labels have always given the music lover what they want, which is not necessarily what we want!

- The big labels are signed up, ESS just announced native MQA Rendering in their new DAC chips. According to rumor Dezer will announce this year. MQA appears to be doing alright at the business end of things.

- We can't assume it's a choice between uncompressed hi-res or MQA. Many labels and artists refuse to release their whole master quality catalog. Red Book or MQA could be the best they ever offer.

- MQA can be delivered via downloads and physical media, but the focus is streaming. If your subscription is not up to date it's irrelevant if your stream has DRM.

- Is a DRM wrapped MQA stream better than a watermarked Red Book track?

- Is MQA DRM?

- Over the last few years there has been some concern of the provenance of some hi-res music i.e. was it upsampled Red Book or worse. MQA potentially solves some of that problem. DRM to the rescue?

- Today, MQA costs no more than Red Book streaming.

- MQA is becoming more flexible. At the beginning room correction wasn't possible. Now it is.

- It's lossy, even though the MQA told us it wasn't.

- If I listen to the same track twice do I hear it exactly the same on the second play. I'm pretty sure my analog ears aren't bit perfect;-) I'm a music lover first, audiophile second.

- When I listen to music, format is the last thing I think about. I don't think, "I'm going to listen to hi-res", but I do say "I feel like listening to Led Zepplin"

- The fact it's lossy doesn't stop me from listening to Radio Paradise. Quality reproduction is important, but it's not the most important part of my enjoyment.

- Using Roon 1.5 on my main system (Speakers) and Tidal Desktop/AudioQuest DragonFly Red on my computer (Speakers and Headphones), I'm hearing what everyone else is hearing. Some great, some ok, and some bad i.e. I prefer the Red Book version.

- So far what I've heard doesn't leave me with the feeling I need to go and buy a new MQA capable DAC for my main system.

- The fragmented nature of modern recording leads to tracks being assembled from parts recorded in a variety of formats. Very few bands can afford to spend a month in an expensive studio anymore. A producer friend recently told me that many modern bands are recorded at lower quality than 20 years ago.

- If MQA is successful, will less music be released in hi-res. Probably. It's also possible, probable even that a lot of that music would never been released in hi-res, irrespective of MQA's existence.

- MQA has to deal with the industry as it is, for all the good and bad that implies.

- Open is good proprietary is bad. I have some sympathy with that view, but being a proprietary licence encumbered format didn't stop mp3 becoming ubiquitous. Everyone wants to get paid. I would have a much bigger issue with this if MQA was primarily a download format.

I was initially quite optimistic about MQA. For the first time in years the industry was thinking about the quality of it's product. Some of what I've heard is great. Some of it not so much. A bit like most recordings! I still think it's too early to tell if MQA will be succesful, mostly because it's all about the labels and very little to do with whether or not we like it. With the resurgence of vinyl, and the increasing popularity of cassettes, the only thing I'm going to confidently predicts is that the CD will make a comeback;-)

French Rooster posted:
jmtennapel posted:

MQA Albums are remastered as I have understood, which could explain the different sound to your own rips. Hard to pinpoint what is remaster and what is MQA.

If I compare on my headphones, through Tidal, both the MQA and non MQA mastered versions and my own rips, I prefer my own rips all of the time. Listening to MQA makes me tired in the longer run. I listen to rock and classical, and it is a consistent experience.

It is great though that Tidal offers you the option. I might not like it, but others do.

what is your dac or streamer if i may ask ?

The comparison with my headphones is done on my iMac. The Tidal software can play MQA on a computer.

French Rooster posted:
simes_pep posted:

Sonore UPnP Bridge runs on the same network, and behaves as a Roon Endpoint, but presents the stream to the Ethernet input of the Naim player. So the Roon Core is running on the NUC, controlled by a Roon Remote, with the Bridge selected as a playback zone, and the Naim sees a WAV stream (also can see a native DSD64 stream from dsf files too).

So I have some MQA (44.1k, 48k, 96k & 192k) encoded files in my NAS Library, served by Roon with 1st unfold performed in the Roon Core, and then MQA Masters streamed over the internet. That gives me the 4 different paths to try. Actually there is 5, playback of the local MQA through the Naim App via the UPnP server, but these are only seen as 24/48 files, without any decoding.

All very interesting and on occasion all having merit, but with access to a large library of MQA material. But at the same over 50% of my local 80k tracks are also HiRes.

Does that provide you with any further direction, @French Rooster?

nds streaming mqa files from tidal is not really streaming mqa, because it has no mqa dac.  So are you really sure to listen to mqa files with your system, or just using roon and his presentation with the help of sonore micro rendu, but not really decoding mqa?    perhaps you are using another dac than the nds?

Definitely decoding MQA files streamed as Tidal Masters

9AD60D49-9ADD-495A-8A04-7392E537BF04

so the Naim app & NDS front panel confirms that a 24/96 WAV stream is being played via the UPnP input. MQA unfolding being undertaken in the Roon Core, prior to the bridging to the NDS.

I have already posted screenshots of this in an earlier thread, which is here https://forums.naimaudio.com/to...upnp-bridge-into-nds

This thread was about how are people finding the MQA playback experience vs. local files (Redbook, HiRes) & streamed (Red book, TIdal Masters & HiRes), though a discussion on Qobuz’s Sublime+ subscription seems to be in another thread.

Simon

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French Rooster posted:
Pev posted:

I listen to it on Tidal via Roon into a Nova so I only get the first unfold.

I am a huge fan - it makes the music sound better in comparison to my rips of the same albums. It's hard to nail down what "better" denotes but the words clarity and authority spring to mind. Listening to Live Dead (Grateful Dead) the other evening with a friend we heard an MQA version of St Stephen and then had to resort to a rip of The Eleven because you just can't have one without the other. My friend had no idea they were different codecs but spontaneously said "Who stuffed cotton wool in my ears?".  Until then I thought my Live Dead rip sounded damn fine and it still does, but I had to agree. It's not night and day but back to back MQA really shines.

All at no extra cost to me.  

the nova can decode mqa ?   i thought no naim streamer or dac could decode mqa.   

The Nova doesn't decode MQA though I believe the capability is there in the streaming section of the newer streaming products should Naim choose to implement it.

My Nova is a Roon endpoint and the latest Roon release performs the first MQA unfold and sends 24/192 (or other hi res depending on album) to the Nova which displays and plays it as such.

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:

I have the impression the momentum in MQA has somewhat dissipated.... its kind of ended as a nich format like DSD but probably less impact on the market... I think most who are in the market for hidef audio probably don’t want to use a lossy codec with artefacts that assume psychoacoustically your brain ignores them... don’t get me wrong, it’s all very clever, but I think it’s technology looking for a market.

I have heard it with a software decoder into a DAC, it sounded ok and some tracks sounded rather fun, it seemingly sounded better on cheaper less resolving equipment... the better the equipment was I heard it on, the more artificial it sounded... I now use lossless HIdef, or 44.1/16 but I gave it a try.

Simes_Pep is convinced that he is listening to true mqa files with nds and sonore upnp bridge, using roon.  Is it possible ?   the nds has no mqa decoding dac, so for me it is impossible to listen really to mqa with the nds, even using roon and sonore.

French Rooster posted:

 

Simes_Pep is convinced that he is listening to true mqa files with nds and sonore upnp bridge, using roon.  Is it possible ?   the nds has no mqa decoding dac, so for me it is impossible to listen really to mqa with the nds, even using roon and sonore.

He just said Roon was doing the first unfold (i.e. software decoding), not that there was a hardware decode. There is a good explanation of MQA if you google MQA Decoding Explained or MQA first unfold.

William posted:
French Rooster posted:

 

Simes_Pep is convinced that he is listening to true mqa files with nds and sonore upnp bridge, using roon.  Is it possible ?   the nds has no mqa decoding dac, so for me it is impossible to listen really to mqa with the nds, even using roon and sonore.

He just said Roon was doing the first unfold (i.e. software decoding), not that there was a hardware decode. There is a good explanation of MQA if you google MQA Decoding Explained or MQA first unfold.

thanks, i understood now.  Not so easy to understand....

French Rooster posted:
William posted:
French Rooster posted:

 

Simes_Pep is convinced that he is listening to true mqa files with nds and sonore upnp bridge, using roon.  Is it possible ?   the nds has no mqa decoding dac, so for me it is impossible to listen really to mqa with the nds, even using roon and sonore.

He just said Roon was doing the first unfold (i.e. software decoding), not that there was a hardware decode. There is a good explanation of MQA if you google MQA Decoding Explained or MQA first unfold.

thanks, i understood now.  Not so easy to understand....

Is this not the playback path you have available, with a Roon core, a Sonore product able to run the UPnP Bridge and a Naim network player?

There are a number of threads on the Roon forum covering the 1.5 release and use of the UPnP Bridge.

Thanks, Simon

simes_pep posted:
French Rooster posted:
William posted:
French Rooster posted:

 

Simes_Pep is convinced that he is listening to true mqa files with nds and sonore upnp bridge, using roon.  Is it possible ?   the nds has no mqa decoding dac, so for me it is impossible to listen really to mqa with the nds, even using roon and sonore.

He just said Roon was doing the first unfold (i.e. software decoding), not that there was a hardware decode. There is a good explanation of MQA if you google MQA Decoding Explained or MQA first unfold.

thanks, i understood now.  Not so easy to understand....

Is this not the playback path you have available, with a Roon core, a Sonore product able to run the UPnP Bridge and a Naim network player?

There are a number of threads on the Roon forum covering the 1.5 release and use of the UPnP Bridge.

Thanks, Simon

sorry, but personnaly i don’t see much interest in roon and adding tweaks as sonore to a high end streamer like nds is for me useless.  I am streaming hirez locally, stored on my unitserve, and i don’t need more.   If someone demonstrated me that roon and sonore can improve the sound quality of streaming with my nds, i will change my mind .   

I don’t criticize roon, but it is not on my taste, i don’t like to have propositions in listening music, and the facebook like interface is not for me too.  

Pev posted:
French Rooster posted:
Pev posted:

I listen to it on Tidal via Roon into a Nova so I only get the first unfold.

I am a huge fan - it makes the music sound better in comparison to my rips of the same albums. It's hard to nail down what "better" denotes but the words clarity and authority spring to mind. Listening to Live Dead (Grateful Dead) the other evening with a friend we heard an MQA version of St Stephen and then had to resort to a rip of The Eleven because you just can't have one without the other. My friend had no idea they were different codecs but spontaneously said "Who stuffed cotton wool in my ears?".  Until then I thought my Live Dead rip sounded damn fine and it still does, but I had to agree. It's not night and day but back to back MQA really shines.

All at no extra cost to me.  

the nova can decode mqa ?   i thought no naim streamer or dac could decode mqa.   

The Nova doesn't decode MQA though I believe the capability is there in the streaming section of the newer streaming products should Naim choose to implement it.

My Nova is a Roon endpoint and the latest Roon release performs the first MQA unfold and sends 24/192 (or other hi res depending on album) to the Nova which displays and plays it as such.

You cant get 24/192 with software only it will decode to 24/94, you need MQA dac to get the full 24/192 MQA quality. 

French Rooster posted:
SimonPeterArnold posted:

Listening to some MQA right now via Roon and Tidal, sounds pretty good to me.

@French Rooster I am completely lost as to how Roon resembles Facebook in any way. But horses for courses I suppose. 

facebook :  you can listen to this, you can listen to that....you can share what you listen to....

It reminded me of Facebook as well - not resembling as such, but the whole “social media” aspect of sharing with “friends” and telling others what you’re listening too and vice versa, plus the constant prompts for things I might be interested in (actually 99% not).

Innocent Bystander posted:
French Rooster posted:
SimonPeterArnold posted:

Listening to some MQA right now via Roon and Tidal, sounds pretty good to me.

@French Rooster I am completely lost as to how Roon resembles Facebook in any way. But horses for courses I suppose. 

facebook :  you can listen to this, you can listen to that....you can share what you listen to....

It reminded me of Facebook as well - not resembling as such, but the whole “social media” aspect of sharing with “friends” and telling others what you’re listening too and vice versa, plus the constant prompts for things I might be interested in (actually 99% not).

you have some kind of advertisings and you have to pay for that!   

GregW posted:

I think MQA is a complex subject, made more complex because MQA as a company has struggled to adequately convey a clear and consistent message to the consumer. Right now I think MQA is at risk of losing the audiophile consumer. We will have to see how important that turns out to be.

Here are some unstructured thoughts and questions.

- We are not the customer. The customers are the big labels, streaming companies and DAC manufacturers. Ultimately the labels will decide it's fait. The big labels have always given the music lover what they want, which is not necessarily what we want!

- The big labels are signed up, ESS just announced native MQA Rendering in their new DAC chips. According to rumor Dezer will announce this year. MQA appears to be doing alright at the business end of things.

- We can't assume it's a choice between uncompressed hi-res or MQA. Many labels and artists refuse to release their whole master quality catalog. Red Book or MQA could be the best they ever offer.

- MQA can be delivered via downloads and physical media, but the focus is streaming. If your subscription is not up to date it's irrelevant if your stream has DRM.

- Is a DRM wrapped MQA stream better than a watermarked Red Book track?

- Is MQA DRM?

- Over the last few years there has been some concern of the provenance of some hi-res music i.e. was it upsampled Red Book or worse. MQA potentially solves some of that problem. DRM to the rescue?

- Today, MQA costs no more than Red Book streaming.

- MQA is becoming more flexible. At the beginning room correction wasn't possible. Now it is.

- It's lossy, even though the MQA told us it wasn't.

- If I listen to the same track twice do I hear it exactly the same on the second play. I'm pretty sure my analog ears aren't bit perfect;-) I'm a music lover first, audiophile second.

- When I listen to music, format is the last thing I think about. I don't think, "I'm going to listen to hi-res", but I do say "I feel like listening to Led Zepplin"

- The fact it's lossy doesn't stop me from listening to Radio Paradise. Quality reproduction is important, but it's not the most important part of my enjoyment.

- Using Roon 1.5 on my main system (Speakers) and Tidal Desktop/AudioQuest DragonFly Red on my computer (Speakers and Headphones), I'm hearing what everyone else is hearing. Some great, some ok, and some bad i.e. I prefer the Red Book version.

- So far what I've heard doesn't leave me with the feeling I need to go and buy a new MQA capable DAC for my main system.

- The fragmented nature of modern recording leads to tracks being assembled from parts recorded in a variety of formats. Very few bands can afford to spend a month in an expensive studio anymore. A producer friend recently told me that many modern bands are recorded at lower quality than 20 years ago.

- If MQA is successful, will less music be released in hi-res. Probably. It's also possible, probable even that a lot of that music would never been released in hi-res, irrespective of MQA's existence.

- MQA has to deal with the industry as it is, for all the good and bad that implies.

- Open is good proprietary is bad. I have some sympathy with that view, but being a proprietary licence encumbered format didn't stop mp3 becoming ubiquitous. Everyone wants to get paid. I would have a much bigger issue with this if MQA was primarily a download format.

I was initially quite optimistic about MQA. For the first time in years the industry was thinking about the quality of it's product. Some of what I've heard is great. Some of it not so much. A bit like most recordings! I still think it's too early to tell if MQA will be succesful, mostly because it's all about the labels and very little to do with whether or not we like it. With the resurgence of vinyl, and the increasing popularity of cassettes, the only thing I'm going to confidently predicts is that the CD will make a comeback;-)

Some interesting points here @GregW

- We are not the customer. The customers are the big labels, streaming companies and DAC manufacturers. Ultimately the labels will decide it's fait. The big labels have always given the music lover what they want, which is not necessarily what we want!

It is very clear that the success of a format is completely controlled by the labels, be it CD, Vinyl, DVD-A, SACD or even HiRes downloads, which are still a niche market offering. Can you still buy tracks through iTunes?

Streaming, intitially via the ‘leaked’ MP3 format & encoder is the only time the Labels have not been in control, so they are not going to allow that type of situation to reoccur, if they can help it. Please they are desparately seeking a way of selling your music to you, just as they did, for the mass market, from vinyl to CD.

- The big labels are signed up, ESS just announced native MQA Rendering in their new DAC chips. According to rumor Dezer will announce this year. MQA appears to be doing alright at the business end of things.

That’s interesting, I wonder if Naim considered using the Sabre ESS Chipset in the newer products instead of sticking with the Brown Burr DAC chips we have in the NDS, NDX etc. However in the future MQA hardware level decoding may be a default provision in the DAC.

- We can't assume it's a choice between uncompressed hi-res or MQA. Many labels and artists refuse to release their whole master quality catalog. Red Book or MQA could be the best they ever offer.

You have to remember for the mass market, streaming of lossy formats at 256 or 320 kbps is the way they access music now, never mind Red book quality, so they really been dumbed down, and this may be all they get or want.

- MQA can be delivered via downloads and physical media, but the focus is streaming. If your subscription is not up to date it's irrelevant if your stream has DRM.

The MQA physical format is just in Japan isn’t it - could be an interesting  revival of disc spinning?

- Is a DRM wrapped MQA stream better than a watermarked Red Book track?

 

- Is MQA DRM?

- Over the last few years there has been some concern of the provenance of some hi-res music i.e. was it upsampled Red Book or worse. MQA potentially solves some of that problem. DRM to the rescue?

- Today, MQA costs no more than Red Book streaming.

- MQA is becoming more flexible. At the beginning room correction wasn't possible. Now it is.

- It's lossy, even though the MQA told us it wasn't.

- If I listen to the same track twice do I hear it exactly the same on the second play. I'm pretty sure my analog ears aren't bit perfect;-) I'm a music lover first, audiophile second.

- When I listen to music, format is the last thing I think about. I don't think, "I'm going to listen to hi-res", but I do say "I feel like listening to Led Zepplin"

- The fact it's lossy doesn't stop me from listening to Radio Paradise. Quality reproduction is important, but it's not the most important part of my enjoyment.

- Using Roon 1.5 on my main system (Speakers) and Tidal Desktop/AudioQuest DragonFly Red on my computer (Speakers and Headphones), I'm hearing what everyone else is hearing. Some great, some ok, and some bad i.e. I prefer the Red Book version.

- So far what I've heard doesn't leave me with the feeling I need to go and buy a new MQA capable DAC for my main system.

- The fragmented nature of modern recording leads to tracks being assembled from parts recorded in a variety of formats. Very few bands can afford to spend a month in an expensive studio anymore. A producer friend recently told me that many modern bands are recorded at lower quality than 20 years ago.

- If MQA is successful, will less music be released in hi-res. Probably. It's also possible, probable even that a lot of that music would never been released in hi-res, irrespective of MQA's existence.

- MQA has to deal with the industry as it is, for all the good and bad that implies.

- Open is good proprietary is bad. I have some sympathy with that view, but being a proprietary licence encumbered format didn't stop mp3 becoming ubiquitous. Everyone wants to get paid. I would have a much bigger issue with this if MQA was primarily a download format.

French Rooster posted:
Innocent Bystander posted:
French Rooster posted:
SimonPeterArnold posted:

Listening to some MQA right now via Roon and Tidal, sounds pretty good to me.

@French Rooster I am completely lost as to how Roon resembles Facebook in any way. But horses for courses I suppose. 

facebook :  you can listen to this, you can listen to that....you can share what you listen to....

It reminded me of Facebook as well - not resembling as such, but the whole “social media” aspect of sharing with “friends” and telling others what you’re listening too and vice versa, plus the constant prompts for things I might be interested in (actually 99% not).

you have some kind of advertisings and you have to pay for that!   

There is no advertising at all, as for sharing features they are limited and very much hidden away so no idea what your on about  there, whats so different about posting on this forum about what your listening to. There is no need to use them if you don't want to. I haven't touched them in 2 years of having Roon and tbh wouldn't even know they existed as it has zero impact on how it all works or interacts with my collection. What you see in Roon is all about your music collection nothing more and allows you to delve in to all the artists and recordings in detail if you wish. Its helped me discover other artists and albums i did not know existed from collaborators on tracks. no other software has managed to do this for me that is made up of my own music. As I said horses for courses but music to me is about discovery and enjoying it an inspiring others to try some thing new.

Anyway back to MQA there a plenty of other threads about Roon.

SimonPeterArnold posted:
French Rooster posted:
Innocent Bystander posted:
French Rooster posted:
SimonPeterArnold posted:

Listening to some MQA right now via Roon and Tidal, sounds pretty good to me.

@French Rooster I am completely lost as to how Roon resembles Facebook in any way. But horses for courses I suppose. 

facebook :  you can listen to this, you can listen to that....you can share what you listen to....

It reminded me of Facebook as well - not resembling as such, but the whole “social media” aspect of sharing with “friends” and telling others what you’re listening too and vice versa, plus the constant prompts for things I might be interested in (actually 99% not).

you have some kind of advertisings and you have to pay for that!   

There is no advertising at all, as for sharing features they are limited and very much hidden away so no idea what your on about  there, whats so different about posting on this forum about what your listening to. There is no need to use them if you don't want to. I haven't touched them in 2 years of having Roon and tbh wouldn't even know they existed as it has zero impact on how it all works or interacts with my collection. What you see in Roon is all about your music collection nothing more and allows you to delve in to all the artists and recordings in detail if you wish. Its helped me discover other artists and albums i did not know existed from collaborators on tracks. no other software has managed to do this for me that is made up of my own music. As I said horses for courses but music to me is about discovery and enjoying it an inspiring others to try some thing new.

Anyway back to MQA there a plenty of other threads about Roon.

Well, when I tokk actrial, I felt atat all the suggestions etc were being thrust at me. If that could becswirched off, or if someone is happy with it, I could see Roon being good for people who use Tidal, especially if they have their own collection, as it seems to blend seemlessly, but otherwise I could see no benefit, so asI have no interest in Tidal and dislike the social media -like feel it wasn’t for me.

mqa are more on my interests, but unfortunately the nds can’t decode them.  Perhaps one day naim streamers will incorporate mqa decoding and i will probably using more tidal than today.

As to discover new artists or collabolators on tracks, or new albums in the same kind of music, i am using regularly the excellent site » all music « .

Thanks all. Do those that have heard a full MQA capable DAC think Naim should consider the technology? Or are we happy streaming HiDef files (our own files or from online sources) without having to fold/unfold MQA? Is there a benefit or otherwise to Naim to consider MQA?

 

I like MQA, when I hear MQA through Audirvana, I definitely feel that MQA adds an extra dimension to the music, the bass is tighter, tauter, more instrument separations, and most important for me, it seems more musical.I sometimes I pay more attention to, feel more foot tap induced to what I am listening to, and incidentally I find out later that these albums  are MQA encoded.

I would certainly like to be able to listen to unfolded MQA files from Tidal, but unfortunately I can't. The streamer I use in my main system is a Linn Klimax DS/1, and not only does Linn not currently support MQA, it has stated that it will not support MQA in the future. Further, Tidal's 'MQA Masters' library cannot even be viewed or accessed in the integrated Tidal section of the Linn Kazoo app.   

 

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