MQA disappointing

I had no idea what MQA was until I bought my Audiolab 8300cdq. I bought it for one reason: I had previous had the M-Dac+ and liked it. (I have owned others, hated Chord tho have been tempted by the Qutest). I digress as usual. I bought it because of the cd player included which auto upgrades to 32bit every cd. I don’t play cd’s because it’s too painful and frankly dangerous as I am likely to fall in the process. I bought it for my husband because he is a technophobe and assumed he’d have no problem with it. I was wrong. Now tho I think he gets it. I know he enjoys it. And does play all his classical, opera etc on it and Streisand whom I can’t stomach. I also bought him a record deck for loads for his huge collection. He played a Brahms the other day which was almost 60yrs old and in Mono! I didn’t notice. What I did notice was how clean it was, pop free.

Anyway, this machine plays MQA. I of course jumped at it and bought the albums I could by Joni Mitchell and Cary Simon and anyone else I like.

I stopped buying them because I can’t tell any difference but I continue to buy 192khz because I can hear the difference. Tho am not sure there is a difference between 96khz and 192khz.

BUT it all seems pointless now as I use Roon and my Zone of choice is Daniel(HQP), set to play back at DSD128, poly-sinc-short-mp and DSD5. Anything like xtr or DSD7 and my machine gets too hot and the fan comes on. However we both like this sound and to our ears it sounds clearer. Listening without Daniel and the music sounds muddy. To us. (If ti matters, John is classically trained pianist and bass Opera singer tho became a world renowned Historian instead!)

Getting one’s knickers in a twist over MQA has been a very interesting read, if the subject is pointless. The cynic in me tends to side with it being bulldust and designed for idiots like me who bought it because it was the new miracle sound file.

I dropped my Tidal sub because the customer service was bad, not because of MQA. I wrote several times and got non sensical or not replies. I wanted to know if th4e difference in price between the same album was because one version was MQA. They never answered. I bought the most expensive version and it was bog standard 16/44.1khz. No extra tracks either.

Qobuz I like.

I enjoy reading about the artists but after listening to Annie Keating it started to play Sniff n Tears which I find enjoyable. I was rather surprised to read them described as New Wave. To me I assumed i was listening to Americana, somewhere along the lines of John Ritter.

BTW a woman I really like, and I have all their work, is Mary Gauthier. You might too.

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A post was merged into an existing topic: What MQA are we listening to [2020]

Hello dear Chris.


It’s been a long, longtime since I wrote anything on Roon!

I needed the rest from all writing, but I haven’t had any resting from Music…

I have worked with a Record Company CULT METAL CLASSICS.

CMC is Releasing almost only Hard Rock/Metal, NWOBHM how many Roon Users Knows what NWOBHM stands for?
It’s a name for the British Heavy Metal who started in the beginning of the 80’s,

NWOBHM = New Wave Of British Heavy Metal :love_you_gesture:.

Back In 1985 Sweden was I Working in a Recording Studio, as a Producer, Mixing and Mastering Engineer.

Except everything above, did I Singing The Lead Vocal on a project Sacrifice and we recorded 3 songs we’re 2 of them become Side A and B on a 7”Vinyl Single!

Please check our Website Page for more information.

Collectors paying between 400-600 Euro for the 7” Vinyl Single from 1985 (depending on the condition), but it’s not only in Sweden it’s in the hole world :love_you_gesture:.

Okay what have this MQA to do you may thinking?

The Record Company CULT METAL CLASSICS will release a 12” EP Vinyl, CD, and a 35TH Anniversary Edition Box including The 12” EP Vinyl, CD and a reissue of The 7” Vinyl Single from 1985 (Not Remastered) a T-shirt…

The Vinyl EP and CD is 3 Remastered Songs from 1985 also 2 New Recorded Songs from 2015 New Mixed 2020.

Also released on The Digital Music Streaming Service Platforms, Spotify, iTunes, Qobuz, TIDAL and many more…

Since I’m a huge fan and love MQA so did I contact them to ask if they could encoding, our Hi-Res Masters (48KHz 24bit ).

After a great mail conversation :grinning:.

So is our Hi-Res Masters now becomes MQA Music Files, I can hardly wait to listening on my own Music In MQA :love_you_gesture:
Of course are you all welcome to listen as well.

Some of you may wonder, if The Music only will come out as FLAC 44.1KHz 16bit 2ch and FLAC 48KHz 24bit 2ch MQA?
Well it’s mp3, ogg…
But I think that you mean Qobuz Hi-Res, Right!
I shall contact Qobuz and I hope that they will make it, because it’s already decided that The Music is gonna be on we’re Service!

But I don’t understand why so many people have been so negative against MQA “it’s only about money and so on…”?
We don’t have to pay anything for the encoding, any % of the Money we earning on TIDAL!
Give them any of our “Different Credits” to our Music or something like that!

The people who makes the encoding is sending me, encoded MQA files so I can listen and approve “The MQA Sound”!
Exactly like when our Vinyl is “Test Pressed” and “The CD” so I can listen and approve or maybe want to have something changed, before they goes to mass production!

Love & Respect

Anders Strenberg


Thank you Anders for sharing your story. Heavy Metal is not my normal listening, but I look forward to hearing your Music, especially in MQA with your stamp of approval.

Like you, I thoroughly enjoy the MQA I have heard, it sounds just natural and correct to me. Some people just don’t like, don’t want and won’t accept change, they will do all they can to justify this in a discussion, and that’s OK too. I hear what they say and then listen with my ears and cannot accept their arguments and hostility.
I also respect Bob Stuart and his track record of achievement over the years, I believe him to be an honourable man with a passion for music and it’s authenticity.

Please let us know when your MQA re releases arrive.

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I agree. I usually listen to MQA when using an MQA DAC. Otherwise, I listen to 24/96 or 24/192 when available.

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I have never heard an MQA file that, to MY ears, sounds as good ad 44.1/16 flac. Part of that may be attributable to Tidal itself, as in general, their 44.1/14 files don’t sound as good as Qobuz’s. And I have heard several others make the same comment, so it’s not just my ears.

It may not be your ears, but it might very well be the specific hi-fi gear you have in your music replay system.

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As far as MQA, my system is high end with complete unfolding, so it should not be a factor. As far as “flac vs flac”, theoretically it should never be a difference no matter what system you use. A 44.1/14 Tidal flac file vs the same both played on my system theoretically should sound the same, but hey don’t.

MQA is not a lossy format. This may be why it doesn’t sound as good. And that is with a MQA capable dac.

You mean it IS a lossy format.

Correction , it is lossy

Let’s say that we have an album that has been recorded in hi-res (24bit/192 MHz) and that the album is released in two formats.

  1. CD Quality (16bit/44.1KHz) on CD and made available as CD quality files on Tidal and Qobuz.

  2. MQA (Hi-res) release on Tidal.

You would no doubt describe the MQA release as ‘lossy’ compared to the original hi-res recording, and you would be technically correct, no matter how clever and effective the MQA processing.

However, would you not also describe the 16bit/44.1KHz versions on Tidal and Qobuz as being ‘lossy’ compared to the original hi-res recording, because they have been down-sampled in order to be made available as CD quality files?

In which case, is it not entirely possible that the hi-res MQA file is closer to the original recording than the 16 bit CD quality version and sounds better because of this?

Again we use lossy as a digital term. The whole point of MQA and why it is a closed system (you need a decoder and renderer plus a capable replay system) is that it is not lossy in analog terms. No musical information is lost at the loudspeaker. You hear the sound put into the system.
You may be used to, familiar with and enjoy the compromised CD/digital sound more. MQA should sound different.
Live with it for a while and you will see what I mean.
My MQA optimised system sounds amazing and my many Jaw Drop experiments I have done with people who have no idea what MQA is, tells me all I need to know.
A familiarity with quality live sound is also a great tool to have in the box and I encourage people to experience this as much as they can when concerts resume.


A post was split to a new topic: Audio volume when using Chord Mojo with Roon

Anyone who doubts the sound quality of MQA should listen on Tidal to the 50th anniversary edition of Workingman’s Dead fully unfolded in 192 hi-res on a Meridian system


MQA is a lossy format, per it’s inventor, Bob Stewart.

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44.1/16 is lossy, but, it does not have, to my ears, as much wrong with it as the same track in MQA. To my ears, MQA sounds smeared, and lacks the transient response 44.1/16 has. And the higher the bit and frequency it goes, the better it sounds to me. DSD beats everything, though. Especially if recorded with great skill and care, like the new Don Gruisin effort, Out of Thin Air on PS Audio’s label Octave Records. Not really my kind of music, but my, oh my, oh my, my system has never sounded as good as when this is playing. The most realistic sounding piano ever, again to my ears. IMHO, anything less than DSD looses something.

So why would you listen to something that is “not really my kind of music” just because it is recorded well?


But, the analog sound you get from MQA, imho, IS lossy, lossier that anything was or flac from 44.1/16 on up. I hear distortion and smearing that I don’t get with the wav and flac files of the same tracks, and inferior transients. Each and every one of us is unique to our abilities to hear the various deficiencies in music. You might be able to detects distortions and deficiencies that I can not, and vice versa. That’s just a fact of life, and something I accept. I hope you get as much pleasure from MQA as I do from non-MQA. If you are, then I know you are smiling. And I want everyone to smile, especially with all that is going on. Health, happiness and good listening to all.

It is my reference of how it should sound. And I do enjoy it, and greatly appreciate it, just not as much as The Doobie Brothers, John Lee Hooker, and my other favorites. Like, when I have to get something accomplished, I’m better off playing stuff that does not get me singing along and tapping my feet, and shaking my bootie. But I still want it to sound good. The Gruisin album fits that purpose like a custom made suit.