Is Tidal in trouble?

(Martin J) #589

It has already been proven Tidal Hi-Fi being 100% identical to CD by comparing the frequency spectrums of both.
Sometimes the album might sound different being a remaster but it has nothing to do with the quality of Tidal’s stream.


Yes, that’s all true, but the difference between 128kb/s and CD quality IS audible. I think it’s perfectly okay if some people (probably a very small minority) prefer the former to the latter. I’m not one of them. Maybe @peter_jasz is. If that’s his personal taste - who am I to judge…?


This thread and discussion has evolved in interesting ways. Flaming this and that. I understand some arguments and others are probably mostly trolling.

One thing I think is certain and that is no matter what happens to Tidal we will still have Tidal. At least in the short term. Ten years from now … who knows? And, frankly, who cares? If there is a will there is a way.


Agreed. I’ve decided to opt out of any further subjectivist vs. objectivist discussions.
They are tedious and pointless.

(Dick Vliek) #593

Haha @Slim_Fishguttz, you know you can’t resist eventually.


So what bandwith, or kbps, would be required to get streaming to true CD quality? Sorry if this is a dumb question, but I want to learn from you techies :grinning:

(Jeff) #595

A couple mbps for uncompressed pcm. Of course flac compression will save some bandwidth.

(peter jasz) #596

hwz1970: Fair enough. Let’s put it another way; some of the 128 kb/s internet radio streams (via MPD) sounds spectacular -regardless if comparing with Tidal or any other format (digital or ‘analog’).

I love it when I hear you (jump-on-the-bandwagon types) reference “expectation bias” in your responses. Seriously, I expected 128 kb/s compressed audio to sound that great ?
I recall near ‘up-chucking/ hurling’ (lol) when I heard some 320 kb/s compressed audio some 10-15 years back.
For sure, with that frame of reference, I baked some ‘expectation bias’ into my current listening observations (regarding 96 kb/s + ‘streams’). Too funny.


(peter jasz) #597

It’s called honesty- and nearing 40-years of genuine, authentic hi-fi experience/expertise.
I’ve long ago learned to “make” the more expensive stuff-recordings-formats prove its mettle.
Tidal is far from anything remotely resembling authentic, high-resolution performance (sound quality). In fact, it’s laughable.

But then again, my admittedly nascent computer audio/set-up skill may very well have something do with it (MPD 128 k/s ‘Streams’ sounding far superior than hi-rez Tidal).


(Chris ) #598

I listen to Tidal a lot and I can tell you that my experience is music at a quality that would seem like magic or science fiction only a few years ago.
Just now in listening to Jess Klein and it’s like she is in the room. I know this because we have hosted her live.
There is nothing wrong with the tidal stream quality here…

(Henry) #599

Is Tidal in trouble? Well they are still here, providing a service in the biggest markets around the world. Are they troubled by the superiority of PJ’s MPD stream? I’d say no. Perhaps if the rest of us could experience it that would change. I personally think Tidal, Qobuz et al are being allowed to grow to the point they have a lossless/high res offering the big players can absorb under their own branding. So while at some point the Tidal brand might be replaced in the same way it replaced its predecessor, the underlying infrastructure and licences will remain. And hopefully any agreements with Roon.


Even, I, with cloth ears can hear difference between 128kbs streams and FLAC quality, or even 320kbs for that matter. There’s a strange and unpleasant glass-shattering tinkly sound to high frequencies with 128kbs, heightened further if one goes down further to 96 or 64kbs. It’s quite noticeable. Are you sure about your statement??

(peter jasz) #601

Sallah_48: Indeed, I am. I, as you (in some respects anyway), can also easily hear/discern any Flac file (other than uncompressed) from WAV.
It’s inferior -Flac.
Since there’s been plenty of discussion (I initiated) on the topic, it is unclear what may be responsible (equipment/processes) for this observation. Yet it’s there. As an (immediate) listener, I care not particularly -or specifically- what accounts for this, although it would be wonderful and educational to know the ‘why’s’. In fact, it’s essential.

Similarly, although it’s a bit tougher (at times), the same could be said, as you point out, identifying 64/96/128 (and 320 kb/s) ‘streams’.

Moving on, I suspect the inferiority of some computer audio signals (all, not just Tidal) is simply a result of the immense signal processing involved -its success or failure, with respect to audibility.

We (listener’s) have no idea what Tidal (or any other’s) are doing to the signal (spare me the dubious “fact” it’s bit-perfect), nor how it’s interpreted/processed by end users equipment/set-up.

I’ve said it earlier and it bears repeating: It’s incumbent upon the better ‘system’ to demonstrate its clear and consistent superiority (I’m speaking of SQ alone) over ‘lesser’ formats or systems.

If it fails to convincingly demonstrate this, what’s the point ?

(P.S. Any credible audiophile will attest to the fact that a single cable change (or power source) can have a dramatic impact upon perceived SQ. It’s important to keep this in mind when discussing a system’s or ‘sources’ sound quality.)

(Chris ) #602

Flac is exactly the same as Wav on my system, I have listened. I cannot tell any difference. I use Meridian and Bluesound gear here.

(peter jasz) #603

I’ve heard/read this before; what FLAC compression are you using -if any ?


(Chris ) #604

I use the normal level 5 in DB power amp mostly

(peter jasz) #605

Mr. McLeod: When you say:

If it is SQ (sound quality) that defines Tidal’s Raison de tere’, I’d day Yes. How could it be any other way?



So, I just played a 41/16 AIFF file from my Aurender and it showed about 1.4 Mbps, while a 192/24 AIFF showed 5.4 Mbps. Unfortunately, it doesn‘t show me the bandwidth when I stream a file from either Qobuz or Tidal. Do these numbers look OK?

(peter jasz) #607

Chris: Understood. In absolutely every case/ personal listening session-comparison (blind) I’ve selected WAV as the clearly superior sounding format: Resolution, timing, fluidity-naturalness, layering, realistic harmonics (instrument-vocal texture, realism) were rather easy to identify/discern.

(Actually, in about 2-3/50 ‘listening sessions’, I was uncertain -and chose Flac (once), but the other two times advanced AAC/ACC? compression.) as “better” sounding/preferable.)


(Chris ) #608

The great thing is, it’s all optional and we can choose… enjoy the Wav…