Hell freezes over: Tool albums on TIDAL

Just by accident I found that Tool doesn’t block streaming services any more.

As I like to own music, I would like to buy the best versions of their albums.

  • Are TIDAL’s FLAC files encoded with 96/24 or just 48/16?
  • Has anyone bought a Tool album from Qubuz? They offer 96/24, but can I trust Qobuz that they don’t sell just upsampled versions?
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For some bizarre reason TIDAL have chosen 44.1/16bit.

HDTracks have all the albums for purchase in 96/24.

They’ve not chosen anything: TIDAL’s doesn’t stream PCM over 48k. Tool’s label is RCA, which is owned by Sony, so no MQA (yet).

Ah, okay, I didn’t realise that, all this time I have had TIDAL :grin:

I purchased Lateralus from HDTracks in 96/24 and personally I prefer my 44.1/16 CD rip.
Bass and mid range frequencies appear more defined and richer to my ears.
In fact I am finding this with everything I purchase in Hi-Res. MQA from TIDAL sounds exactly like the comparable bit rate Hi-Res file to me. I have been swapping between local hi-res files and TIDAL MQA on my Prime Headphone Amp and comparing the two. I can’t hear a difference.

My hearing isn’t the best anymore though, so listen for yourself :grinning:

I posted this in another thread but originally found the link on another forum when looking up Tool albums in hires:


Gives their reason why they think 16/24 files are better than hires.

In my experience I find most hires to have a little more air and maybe technically better but I’m not sure it’s always musically better. The cd quality seems to have more warmth to it. Pretty sure it’s more about mastering than bit and sample rates.

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FWIW, I think that article is rubbish. Lots of misunderstanding and pseudo-science dressed up as science with pretty graphs. YMMV.

Well that’s the problem with the internet. Never know what to believe.

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Also I wanted to believe that article as my justification of switching back to Tidal. Keep trying to live with just Qobuz but end up finding many albums missing when I start using roon to look for similar artists. I’m sure at some point I’ll switch back again to Qobuz.

I do see Qobuz has Tool steaming in hires 96/24. I didn’t get a chance to compare to the cd version since Qobuz sub ended.