Which master is used for each, CD, HDTracks and MQA? (rhetorical) I would bet the CD was created using a ‘lesser’ master compared to the others. Unless the same master is used one can’t really compare the different ‘containers’.
I have both the CD and DVD-A. They are different mixes, let alone different masterings. The HDtracks 24/96 download reportedly is a downmix from the DVD-A multichannel. The MQA probably is the same downmix.
In short, apples to oranges. Likely, a mastering comparison, not an MQA comparison.
Anything’s possible, but the probability is lowering with each album I listen to that sounds better. No offense, but I’ll take the evidence of my ears.
I’ve got a wide range of formats (ripped CD’s, DVD-A, SACD, Hires downloads, and probably others that my old brain can’t remember). I’m not making bold statements. I’m just saying that to my ears, on my systems, the albums I’ve compared have sounded unmistakably better.
As reference, I found some of the LivingStereo SACD’s also dramatically better than the corresponding cd’s (and the vinyl in one case). I’m not a format advocate or bigot. I just love hearing music sound the way my ears expect it to sound. I grew up in a family of orchestral musicians (pianos, violins and a cellist), and did a lot of listening to them practice. I get a goosefleshy smile when I hear reproduced music sound like that. It’s rare, but it happens, and to my ears, MQA’s getting me closer.
I think a lot of people are buying into it that MQA sounds ‘better’. I’m wary about how this is being mastered in the first place. Many recordings are intentionally re-mastered by adding additional DSP to make it sounds ‘better’. This is something you have to look out for. It is something you want from a original recording(untouched) or something has been ‘sweetened’? We can’t take it literally from our ears, doing some research is still equally important.
Heaven forbid we suffer music that ‘sounds better.’
There’s kind of an Occam’s razor thing here. If all the powers that be (i.e. whoever is running the conspiracy) had to do to sucker us into paying more was to add some sweetness (a bit of extra third harmonic distortion, perhaps) why didn’t they do it years ago?
Out of curiosity, I took an album for which there is almost certainly only one mix (Matthew Good’s Something Like a Storm), and compared the CD version to the MQA version. The differences are very apparent.
This thread was begun as a way to share the pleasure of what I was hearing. It has turned into another anti-MQA screed.
It has been done many years back since CD was still quite domain. Many of my CDs that I brought early on sound gorgeous but later re-issued or re-mastered and even compilations didn’t sound that good anymore, it seems there’s a ‘loudness wars’ and ‘sweet syrup’ added in. Many of the young gen prefer that kind of sound.
MQA is derived from original PCM master. If you compare the original PCM master and MQA, they sound different. So my question is are we listening to a sweetened ‘syrup’ or the original performance of the recording?
Yes it has to be anything but the elimination of temporal blurring or anything like that. It is different masters, it is sweetening syrup, it is beautification filters as others have described it, it is different volume levels or it’s just people hearing what they want in some sort of placebo effect. It’s anything but a real improvement. It s really all just a conspiracy to get me to pay more for nothing.
I’m just happy it costs me nothing to get versions of my music that I enjoy more. So much so I’m spending time enjoying listening rather than arguing about it.