Comparison of PCM and MQA

I did Cameron and it was interesting and passionately made - my compliments!

I have read some interesting comments on Audio Science Review regarding the validity of your test. All this taught me a lot more about how MQA actually works and that is for me the most intriguing aspect of their invention. I am glad you discussed 2nd and 3rd folds of MQA.

The most important part, however, is how it sounds and that has not changed a bit.

I still prefer MQA when I have the choice but am also happy with other formats. I hope this is OK.


1.- Ah - that is the matter isn’t it? specially because I believe this is more than about any sound quality or lack thereof. It is of course, OK that you prefer MQA - not one of us has the right to call you out, harass or otherwise take you to task for preferring it.

Just wish I could convince you to reject it.

Because more than anything MQA is an attack on consumer rights. I need to remind everyone that DRM is more than about the ability to copy anything. Yes, MQA files are currently not copy protected. Sure. But, even that can change any moment - it is the control kept on the content that allows it. That is the scary part.

2.- The cleverest thing about the video is that it has forced EVEN MQA proponents to admit that it is a lossy scheme. One of their main arguments against the video, that it uses a test signal? Well, guess what other schemes also do badly on test signals ? Lossy schemes! :smiley:


3.- Respectfully requesting that the one comment per day limit is removed. If it wasn’t for that, it would be one of the most active subjects on the community. Artificially keeping it form becoming that, amounts to limiting our freedom to discuss it - and also minimizes the impact of the video, using an editorial decision. And, yes, I know, Roon is a private company and this forum its property, sure… ( so I need no lectures on the exact nature of freedom of speech in the USA, I know it and understand it), but as a gesture of goodwill towards consumer rights, it would be fantastic.



Hi Terry, sounds like you’re from Down Under too.
Qobuz in Australia? Why wasn’t I told? lol
Have you ditched Tidal? I will certainly consider doing so if Qobuz ticks most of my boxes.
Some “mastered” albums sound horrible to me. I start listening to what was previously a Redbook file and think “wtf?”. Turns out that it has been “mastered” to death.
It is the removal of the non-MQA album and thus the removal of any choice and/or comparison that really annoys me.


Hi Ian,

Originally South London but now after 20 odd years of working all over the world, I’ve settled in rural Victoria (Macedon Ranges).

I ditched Tidal the day of the Square announcement that they had bought into Tidal. It also coincided with my discovery that the entire Led Zeppelin catalogue was mqa only and that all PCM had been removed.

The erosion of choice accelerated my decision. There were plenty of questionable examples of mqa that I experienced and I was waiting for Qobuz so I could do some testing, but a combination of testing Qobuz over VPN against Tidal through a friend’s system and the Square announcement led me to ditch Tidal early. Better to go without for a couple of months than fund the scam (or fund Dorsey) any further. I had plenty of local files and vinyl to see me through.

The rate of conversions cannot be supported by the number of experienced audio engineers in existence; it’s going too fast for that to be possible. It’s just a careless “she’ll be alright, mate” batch process seemingly without much QA. Vote with your wallet.



Hey mate, a fellow Macedon Ranges listener here too. Great part of the world.

All I want in my streaming is as close to what the mastering engineer spat out as is possible. This is usually going to be 24/96 or 24/192. I can handle any DAC and DSP from that point onwards.

Qobuz ticks the box for me aptly. Add on a few TB of my own FLACs and there’s no shortage of quality, un-interfered with music to play with.


Most Tidal customers just play tracks at whatever default highest setting they’re offered and don’t pay attention to anything else. They just accept the MQA because they’re told it’s better quality.

It’s the true audiophiles (a minority) that actually look in to it, care about, and pay attention to audio quality.

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Here is a reply I got when I posted about eliminating the limit.

As I sit here enjoying Talking Reality Blues on Tom Jones Latest album in MQA on a bluesound pulse 2 when SWMBO says, Wow, it’s just like he is in the room with us…

She has no idea of MQA or could care less about such details. (That’s Blue Collar Stuff) :joy:

It wasn’t terrible distortions and lossy audio that caused her sudden statement there…


My wife has formats totally sorted. If she can’t see a record spinning it’s probably digital.

p.s. She loves using Roon.


Is that another way of saying true audiophiles have better taste, ears and systems?
So I don’t have to join your club I’m off to listen to cassettes.


Please define audiophile.

In different zones I use Devialet Expert Pro 1000 amps, a Meridian Ultra Dac, Mytek Manhattan II, Meridian DSPs, Hifiman, DAN Clark and Sennheiser cans, a Hugo 2 and Astell & Kern SP1000 and despite the videos and graphs still tend to prefer MQA when available, and Tidal over Qobuz when not. I have also heard great artists in the great halls…from Salzburg to the O2.

Question…am I an audiophile?

More importantly, is it, or is it not, a derogatory term…

everything I have read shows that MQA is lossy and FLAC is not and is also free. my opinion is to avoid MQA and not buy any device on which it is included.


Flac is not a format, it’s a method of lossless packing that MQA use along with any other format. Flac does not have a sound.
So I understand from your statement you don’t even know what you prefer but I will assume you prefer standard 16/44 CD files to MQA.
I am amazed how poor the hearing of so many so called audiophiles must be from the statements I have read on this subject. Sometimes the arguments on paper seem quite persuasive until I select an MQA track and… boom… there it is… beautiful sounding music… all arguments are over in my world…

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Now that was actually worth watching, always good to hear somebody speak their mind.


I think Mike Moffat might be my spirit animal. This explains the predicament perfectly.


But that comment is missing the point - sure, like it all you want, prefer it, patronize it; all good.

But it is a subjective opinion with no evidentiary support - sure, all opinions are like that; BUT, we are NOT even talking about that.

  1. It completely tramples over the consumer’s right to control her/his content

  2. To do so they implement a lossy scheme which is not advertised as such; “Master Quality Authenticated” imho, seems to be none of those things.

You keep repeating “it sounds fantastic!” in every post, I will keep repeating “you are missing the point”. I really hope you get that the issue is about consumer rights. If you like the sound, then well, not your fight.

And just to not throw away my only shot for today I will reply to @Neil_Russell

Thanks for that - well - I 100% disagree with the moderator on that. The net effect is censorship - again, Roon’s right, but, again, disagreeing as respectfully as possible. In my mind, if MQA went away, it would be beneficial to Roon as a developer independent of Meridian: 1) No more fees for the MQA license on the support they offer 2) No more developer time implementing and supporting that

Just my very humble opinion.



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