Cambridge, Tidal Connect and MQA

Interesting that TIdal Connect in Cambridge doesn’t support MQA. In that case, Tidal downsamples.

Wonder what Tidal does when only an MQA version is normally offered.

Seems they can supply a non-MQA stream when it’s needed. Dcks.

Playing a Master recording to my CA CXN via Tidal Connect

Normally the Stream Magic app reports the incoming sample rate and bit depth , in this case nil …

My DAC reports 44.1/16

The same album via Roon unfolds to 24/96, obviously. My DAC reports that as well.

Selected via the SreamMagic app gives 44.1/16 as well

CA support told me MQA will be down rated to CD so that all adds up.

Sounds fine

Be interesting to see what the new DAC Magic 200 does with it as it supports MQA ?

This is not new. Tidal has always provided 44.1k/16b streams in two situations: when MQA is requested but the streamer is not licensed for MQA (e.g. Logic Media Server), and when MQA is requested but the user only has Tidal HiFi tier. You can force the same thing by setting Tidal to HiFi regardless of what you’re paying for. There is no indication of what the 44.1/16 stream is that you’re sent. In some cases Tidal has a 44.1/16 library version shown and presumably that’s what you get. In others, the distributors must be providing a file like this as part of their agreement with Tidal but not shown in the library. I’ve always found these files to be below the quality of MQA, listened to through a high quality MQA DAC.

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The quality of Tidal’s content, non-MQA, went downhill last Oct. Not sure what it was, but, it is extremely noticeable. So much so, that I actively choose the Qobuz CD version over the Tidal CD version every time now, and again, nothing to do with MQA.

I wonder whether Roon, as a company dealing with Tidal, can ask whether anything in the streaming protocol, loudness normalization, or anything similar to that changed at that point in time?

Just another reason why I thought it was time to ditch Tidal in favor of Qobuz.

Tidal used to have a non MQA 16/44 version of most albums in the past. They started to replace those with 16/44 MQA versions around the time you mentioned. Sound quality of these 16/44 MQA albums is worse then their 16/44 non MQA predecessors in my opinion. They sound less dynamic and miss treble to my ears. In my region Tidal offered both 16/44 versions for a short period so I had quit some time for A/B testing. Sadly they started to delete the non MQA versions all together and that was the point where I cancelled my subscription and switched to Qobuz. And I am glad I did. If you are not into MQA at all just switch to Qobuz if you can. If you get a yearly sub you can even save quit a bit…

I can’t even get tidal connect to work on my cxn2 . I press play and nothing happens . I reset and updated software and it doesn’t work.