MQA CDs? Hell, yeah!


Hell, no f’ing way!
If this is the future of CD’s then I might take up knitting.

(Anders Vinberg) #22

Why would I do that?
If I want to own instead of stream, why physical media?
And why MQA, albums that have been recently processed are typically downloadable in high res.


Please note MQA CDs are 16 bit 44.1k MQA (this ensures Redbook backward compatibility) not 24 bit/44.1/48k as in Tidal Master. It means MQA only unfold the first 16 bit from 0-22.05k bandwidth. 22.05-44.1k bandwidth is NOT encoded at all coz the lower 8 bit is not used when compared to 24 bit MQA in Tidal Master.

The rest is just up-sampling with appropriate filters. I would prefer the 24 bit MQA coz it is closer to the original hi-res masters.


I think that you are more likely to lose dynamic range than bandwidth, but I agree completely that there is no free lunch. UHD MQA CDs are being produced primarily for the physical-media-oriented Japanese market; I’m quite amused by the audiophile rush to get them when, as pointed out, the streaming options are likely to be superior. But each to his or her own.


The Tidal Master I downloaded from Tidal, ‘Fairytales’ was in 16/44.1, not 24/48. I do not use Tidal streaming so I do not know which format other MQA files have. What I do know is that ‘Fairytales’ was transferred to 24/192 for the restoration process. I believe this album should be 24/48. The redbook MQA seems like something record companies have demanded as a ‘convenience’ for them selves.


The TIDAL-streamable version is 24/48 192k MQA. Personally, I would challenge TIDAL about this, unless the download was explicitly advertised as 16/44.1. But even so…


I’ve contacted Tidal support about it. They ‘chicken out’ by saying that the files are delivered by the record company.
And there was no information about format when I purchased. Qobuz sells the same files, but they say it is 16bit (on the very last page before paying). One user here @Chrislayeruk has downloaded the album from Tidal UK. This is the 24/48 version.

(Tony Casey) #28

The samplers are being sold as twin CD’s. One MQA the other redbook, same master. Maybe someone has found a review?

(Peter Lie) #29

MQA CD reviews:


Another BS claims from the manufacturers? I couldn’t believe people will fall for this. 16 bit 44.1kHz MQA hardly qualify for a high resolution category! I would rather stick with Tidal Masters. Besides, if the original master is 48kHz, it needed to re-sample to 44.1kHz for MQA CD, this already a degrading quality!

(Peter Lie) #31

The fact that I provide a link to reviews containing subjective opinion does not necessarily mean I agree with those opinions. That was provided as an FYI, in response to the previous question asking for review.

From my point of view, if one is going to listen to MQA, 24-bit MQA from Tidal is technically better than 16-bit MQA from MQA CD.

(Chris ) #32

I listen to a lot of MQA recordings with my ears and whereas I appreciate all the technical arguments and people’s concerns about the wider possible impacts I come back to my ears.
The result is, they and do sound amazing based on my listening. The detractors, perhaps ought to come over and listen to my little Bluesound in my conservatory and have a cup of tea as they tell me what’s wrong with what I am hearing. If you can persuade me, maybe I’ll run to a biscuit as a reward lol


Exactly, Tidal Masters does not re-sample and offer pure 44.1 and 48k samples. Unlike MQA CD.

(simon arnold) #34

Oh they well always find something wrong, especially since it has compression. They run for the hills with such words. Heck if they can hear differences between HDD types, switches and ethernet cables you will owe a lot of biscuits. I personally think it sounds either as good as full hd or or as good as Redbook depending on the master in question.


They are good in making ‘false claims’ (I strongly disliked) and now they are doing all over again with MQA CD. Ironically MQA still believe they can persuade people to switch to MQA. I guess they will keep trying until they eventually give up.

(Chris ) #36

I take it you really don’t like MQA?


Nope, I still listen to Tidal Master via Roon decoding. What I don’t like is making false claims to lure people into believing that this is a real thing.

(Henry) #38

My first MQA CD purchase. Ripped just fine and seen by Roon as FLAC 44.1/16 MQA 176.4
I believe this is an MQA only release, no standard CD version. The MQA master on Tidal is 48/24 MQA 192 and does sound different, less prominent vocals. Maybe a touch quieter. I think reading the notes on Amazon though that the digital master the CD was derived from was 16 bit. Anyway it sounds good listening as I normally do (Roon unfold and then everything upped to DSD 128). Though there isn’t that much you can get wrong with just a female vocal and a piano. For the purists though this is a hybrid CD with an SACD layer which is interesting to me. It might widen the appeal creating something even an MQA hater might buy.

(Chris ) #39

I forgot about this EP from Kate Rusby. As you can see, it’s a 16bit MQA recording as are the CD’s Imunderstand. Anyway, it sounds lovely rendered on my Bluesound Pulse 2