I'm completely sold on MQA. Thank God for the Bob Stuarts of this world

(Sean) #81

Hi Anders, I think the ‘like for like’ comment mainly applies to re-mastered releases, where they may share the same master.

i.e two different mastering engineers using the same master to produce two different remasters

So if someone is making the comment that an MQA version sounds better than every previous version, how do we know it’s not a new remaster completely (even from the same master)? Sometimes it’s possible to find out but not always.

The recent comment that set this discussion alive was:

If we changed the words “masters” to “remasters” I think everything makes more sense.

Nobody should have any problems with anybody else preferring a different remaster I hope :grin:

(Jeff) #82

Has anyone seen evidence of an analog straight to MQA device in the wild?

More likely a known ADC. Take the resultant PCM, black box it either before or after downsample and then fold.


Yes, analogue masters to MQA are not much in Tidal; especially those in 70’s and early 80’s are mastered on MQA 192k. Example like Linda Ronstadt ‘The 70’s Studio Album’

The 90’s and beyond, most are mastered 24/96k PCM (mostly Pop), so this is transferred to MQA 96k. I prefer the analogue masters transfer to MQA, it sounds more ‘analogue’ feeling. However I prefer analogue masters transfer to DSD, it is almost analogue like in every details.

(Jeff) #84

Yes? You didn’t answer my question, what hardware is capable of doing analog straight to MQA?


The hardware is called MQA encoder. It may contain a ADC + Encoder for recording from analog source. A purely MQA encoder will simply accept digital source like PCM.

These encoders are NOT own by anyone except MQA Ltd. Music companies simply supply the source files and they (MQA) will convert for them.

(Jeff) #88

So no. It would have been easier to say that than explain what everyone knows, there is a PCM to MQA encoder.


Guess we have wait one day for MQA to release a software MQA encoder to public; so people can convert PCM (FLAC) to MQA. Who’s know, if it does take off, they will be forced to give out. :open_mouth:


@Anders_Strengberg - come back when you get a chance.


(Jeff) #92

I’m just trying to figure out why you and others say the best sounding MQA is created from an Analog source. Sounds to me that there is no such thing as Analog straight to MQA, PCM is always the middle man.


Hi @Slim_Fishguttz, apologies if I have offended anyone, not my intention. English isn’t my native language either, that’s probably why you addressed me as well. But my remark isn’t about language here, it’s about style.

Much likely a personal allergy, but I don’t see the need — in any language — to write entire posts in capitals, or with exclamation marks, for that matter. Granted, I could have said this factual, and leave the practical joke behind. Sorry for that.

Perhaps it’s a sign of enthusiasm, and that I wouldn’t want to discourage, but to express it this way makes reading a lot harder. Regardless what language it is written in.

Edit: I notice you’ve just removed your post, but I think it is still valid to make my point. Now, let’s get back on topic. And @Anders_Strengberg, please don’t feel discouraged to keep on participating in this thread or any other on this forum :slight_smile:


Yeah, removed almost immediately. Surprised you saw it.

I flagged your post and @browellm, because I don’t believe (most of the time) in personal attacks.

Still, I get your point about capitalization. For those of us who hear a voice in their head when they read, all caps can be painful. :upside_down_face:


Wow, isn’t that a bit harsh, Slim? As I’ve tried to explain, it was not meant as a personal attack at all. I appreciate enthusiasm, but I also believe we are all adults here, can communicate likewise and can mildly correct each other. My joke was meant to make my suggestion more mildly, not more like a personal attack.

Once again, sorry if that came across differently. Apparently so drastically, you felt the need to flag it. But then again, I know it’s probably with good intentions, so let’s leave it at that. Enjoy your Sunday evening!

(Steve) #96

Well, if that’s the case you must be absolutely impeccable in your native language! Your English seems perfect to me.


Thanks, @hifi_swlon! Too kind, I’m sure, as I’m positive there must be tons of errors in my posts. Luckily, this isn’t the National Dictation Contest, but “just” a forum for music nerds like me! :wink: Enjoy the music! :smiley:

Edit: sorry for letting this thread drift off topic so much.

(Mark) #98

You flagged my post as a perosnal attack, despite there not being a personal atttack. Seems legit.


FWIW: Darko loves Bob because he’s a big and long time sponsor of the site.

I’m more inclined to believe Rob Watts, Chord’s DAC designer, mainly due to how impressed I’ve been with his DAC’s. He’s down on MQA:

MQA or minimum phase filters and NOS filters, then the SQ is soft and bloated in the bass; this is all consistent with transient timing uncertainty. With DSD we have a similar phenomena; take a DSD encoding, it always sounds warmer compared to the original PCM; in this case we have an amplitude related timing uncertainty (the filter examples are all sampling related timing uncertainty).

from: https://www.head-fi.org/threads/watts-up.800264/page-61?utm_campaign=HFnotification&utm_medium=email&utm_source=watched_thread_reply_messagetext#post-14334244


And what about the designers of products such as dCs who have spent considerable time and effort to incorporate MQA in thier products, they are just as respected as Chord.


Chord make great DACs and so do dCs so who’s right?


Sounds like dCs is just rendering the MQA, not actually decoding it, just like what Chord does.

(Sean) #102

Current Chord DACs don’t decode or render MQA.

John Franks is open with supporting the 1st unfold (like Roon does anyway) so don’t be surprised to see it in a streamer (Poly/2Go etc) in future. You won’t see any MQA decoding done by Rob’s FPGA though, not a chance. Similar approach to PS Audio with the DirectStream - the MQA stuff is done by their network card not by Ted’s FPGA.

See the end of this video after 5 minutes:


Chord DAC’s render MQA just fine (they just don’t decode).

In fact, I’m using the Chord Hugo TT right now with Roon’s ‘Renderer Only’ setting, works fine:

Isn’t this what supporting ‘first unfold’ is?