Comparison of PCM and MQA

Let me translate that :
But you will need to pay extra for it of course.
Unfold = mqa software / hardware so $ mqa license
When you can have the original pcm for free !


Nonsense! Paul Miller from HiFi News is a reputed and independent journalist. These are his measurements.

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So Wim,

You are now acknowledging the fact that 1st unfolds of 24/88.2 and 24/96 MQA files do deliver the above spectra? And you are also aware that 1st unfolds are available free-of-charge in the Tidal app?
It will sound better when you with an MQA DAC, are they expensive…?

Come on…! You are fooling yourself and others, but since we are talking about MQA, it’s all fine with me… :slight_smile:

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Nope, note that from around 30 kHz it differs greatly from the original DXD.

And before we forget, You (& MQA) claim that the format is lossless up to 48 kHz. If so where does this gap come from?


This is Paul Miller's measurement ?

I have never told the opposite, so what is your point exactly? They do losslessly restore estimates (so lossy anyway) in the first unfold - which is also the only unfold.

No they are NOT freely available in the Tidal app.
You pay extra for it in Tidal’s monthly streaming subscription fee.
That’s why Qobuz is 5$ cheaper a month.


The names of the recording engineers are mentioned and thse are their statements:

Recording professionals are hearing the same things. Alan Silverman, engineer of the new Judy Collins record Strangers Again , said this about the track “When I Go” (with Willie Nelson): “I’ve just compared the MQA playback with my original 88.2k 24-bit master and find the MQA to be mystifyingly more satisfying, and not by just a subtle shade. Listening to Willie and Judy, their voices sound much more real, at the same time, they have a textural filigree and detail of tone that I am not hearing in the original master! The sameholds for the banjo and the subtle electric guitar in the right channel. I am delighted andextremely enthusiastic about the MQA process.”

Morten Lindberg of the Norwegian label 2L, which has had 23 Grammy nominations since 2006, 16 of them for Best Engineering, said, “I have spent many hours with Bob Stuart, listening to original recordings and [am] constantly amazed by the incredible sense of space and clarity brought by MQA.” About his title Magnificat , Lindberg said, “The MQA sounds great! You can hear positive ‘sweetening’ of the top-end on both the strings andespecially the sibilants of the soloist. MQA smoothes the recording—it was like removing the veil of a net curtain

And what happens if a mastering engineer doesn’t want MQA to “smooth” his or her recording?

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Yep, those quotes make mqa sound like a poor sort of auto-tune for the digital realm.


Don’t ask me, that’s up to the mastering engineer or the label who owns the rights.

Peter, You must remember to thank Bob Stuart for having spend so much money to collect “support statements”
The funny thing is NOBODY outside of the ones paid to shill for MP3 vers. 2 is out in support of it.
At the moment there is no recordings out that has used anything but PCM or DSD to record. Why is that?
With all of the perceived advantages? Simply because they want ALL of the information that is available in the PCM master.

I asked You about two album reviews that You posted. Your answer is quoting two completely different albums. Just to remind You they were: Christian Weidner : Every Hour Of The Light And Dark & Giovanni Guidi, Gianluca Petrella, Louis Sclavis & Gerald Cleaver : Ida Lupino. You then go on about Judy Collins - Strangers Again and an insignificant producer. That nobody has ever heard of outside of Bob Stuarts company referring to him (to get their moneys worth)


Early implementations were certainly a problem, and they improved with time. However steep filters were part of the problem. High resolution PCM developed in part because it was possible to use gentle roll-off filters at higher sample rates, and they were found to sound better - by both designers and studio engineers.

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Well that’s not true. I have been involved in more than a dozen “takedowns” of albums that had been degraded by Bob Stuart (BS) and his cohorts. Without the knowledge of the Mastering engineer or rights owner.
These albums are no longer available in MP3 vers.2
In most cases the rights holders didn’t even know what BS’s “format” was.


Steep filters are still used to good effect, to some ears. It’s not the only factor that governs the quality of reconstruction. There’s plenty of scope for innovation in digital to analogue conversion, but it’s difficult to evaluate the MQA proposition objectively. I’m still left wondering why I’d choose to pay to adopt a closed format over a free, open one that I prefer the sound of, can tweak with my own filters and could implement myself at a push?


You somehow forgot to mention Neil Young, who had the MQA versions of his masters removed from Tidal - because he said didn’t sound like his masters (which he owns) and had their sound altered by the MQA process without his knowledge or approval.
He was adamant that the MQA version was neither a “master” nor “authenticated”.


If MQA is so great and superior sounding, how come no label is using it as an archive format, only as a marketing format?


Oh, a quiz? :grinning:

  1. because they want the full resolution
  2. because it’s all a matter of DRM
  3. because BS gave them shares, so they get revenue

Did I get it right, is there a prize?



Your prize is to be free to choose the format you prefer - am I allowed to choose my preference as well?

Enjoy the music Kenneth and don’t worry so much about MQA if you don’t like it.


There are always a balance of factors, and you can hypothetically trade an improvement in one or another area (modulator design for example) against lack of improvement in another. However doing one variable experiments to the extent possible, the enhanced ability to use slow roll-off transition bands has been a major argument for high resolution over the years.

Would it make a difference to the said mastering engineer if the sibilants are shown to be distorted? Maybe the mastering engineer has just become accustomed to distortion in sound and likes it that way?

The point in mastering, at least in acoustic recordings, is to be as faithful as possible to the original sound (live feed). I realize that the mastering engineer is usually far down in the chain, coming after recording and mixing, and usually doesn’t have access to the live feed. However recording/balance engineers like Morten L., who do coherent, acoustic, minimalist recordings, have very good access to the original and would know why they are saying that the smoothing of sibilants is a good thing.