MQA disappointing

(Chris ) #201

That’s me told then…

(Adam Goodfellow) #202

The problem for MQA (and TBH any other hi-res format that deal with popular music) is so few production are actually good enough to reveal an improvement with MQA.

Also for a lot of MQA versions I have come across in the genres I tend to listen to most, the same rate is still 44.1K or maybe 48 even after a full decode and render. So basically that regular CD at an debatably higher effective bit depth, (or not depending on how you look at the MQA encode/decode process).

TBH I have heard far more 320kbit productions of the kind of quality that deserve to be done in hi-res than I have heard MQA productions that justify use of the format.

(James Heckman) #203

Whew, I am so grateful to have learned a few things here. First, so glad to learn I’m Wrong. Second, delighted to learn there’s only one way to look at things. Third, that any analysis or interpretation beyond flat statements of (selected) “facts” are superfluous and useless, and certainly not interesting. And finally, very comforted to recognize that someone is in charge of this discussion who can discern Right from Wrong, and prevent so many of us from going astray. Many thanks!

Despite the sarcasm here, my point is intended to illustrate that aggressiveness isn’t necessary in these discussions. We are fellow hobbyists with mutual interests and many points of view, and can discuss and learn from each other in a friendly way.
Jim Heckman


You made a statement and i believe that your statement is wrong (and I’ve explained my point of view). That’s all.
If you think someone who tells you that you are wrong in your statement, is aggressive…that’s your problem.

(Chris ) #205

It may be our problem not liking being told we are wrong, but that doesn’t automatically make you right either… Calm down, it’s only music…

(Reader of the Internets) #206

(Henry) #207

But you were wrong because you made reference to 3ips popularity being about quantity vs. quality. It was cost for 3ips, just as it is cost for MP3. People buy what they can afford, and if quality doesn’t matter then cost is the arbiter.


Well, the way i see it is like this: the cost of the tape was the same regardless the speed. Now, once you bought the blank tape, recording at lower speed (lower quality) it’s just a matter of choice (to have more music at a lower sound quality instead of less music but at a higher sound quality) not of cost. For mp3 it may not be the same, the cost of an mp3 album being lower that the original.

(James Heckman) #209

Well I never thought I’d get into one of these ridiculous tit-for-tats, but I see I stepped into the quicksand. Well I’ll step out now, hopefully the wiser, and let the audio forum flame wars to more intrepid souls. Have fun, guys!

(John Hill) #210

I will keep this simple. I have an MQA DAC, I subscribe to Tidal. It doesn’t cost me one cent to play MQA files versus non-MQA files. Some files sound better, some don’t. I just make a playlist in Tidal of MQA tracks that I like. No big deal - I don’t see why so many people are out of their heads on this.

If you don’t like it, don’t play it. If you do like it, play it. Why is that so hard?


Probably because they see history repeating here. Pushed by the industry and adopted by the crowd for the wrong reasons this format has the potential to became the main format for file based music distribution and once again people who love the high quality sound will have to pay more for what they need. And a simplistic attitude on this (don’t like it, don’t play it) doesn’t help.

It is not hard and you’re right, that’s the correct attitude. But then again, I don’t have and I don’t play any mp3 and yet I have to pay more for everything else that I like because of this format’s popularity (demand and supply bla bla bla).

My experience is not like yours and it cost me some money to play MQA files (new dac) but it was a minimal investment which I made in order to hear for myself what ROON and Tidal are about. Once lesson learned, the new gear will go to sale! :slight_smile:

And, to get back on the topic I was not disappointed! Because I did not expected anything from this format, I event didn’t expected (or needed for that matter) the format. The good digital audio quality is already out there (SACD, 24/xx, DSD and so on). Now, one can argue that the streaming benefits from MQA, it may be so if your streaming service of choice is TIDAL (as you said some files sound better, other don’t). But there are other streaming services to choose from for your hi res enjoyment (24/192 for example with DSD streaming on his way).

(Henry) #212

DSD streaming? Not going to happen any time soon. Who do you think is going to deliver that without some method of folding?


(Henry) #214

Interesting! First observation is this:

“A stable high-speed internet connection of more than 12Mbps is required.
Wired LAN connection recommended.”

Also the sources aren’t exactly extensive. But it does demonstrate someone is experimenting even if my ‘any time soon’ comment still stands!


Well, I was only trying to make a point :slight_smile:

(Stuart Matheson) #216

James- it’s Roon!!!


DSD uses native uncompressed format, i.e, DSD64 streams at 2.822Mbps while DSD128 at 5.644Mbps. However PrimeSeat uses lossless compression, I believe it is similar to SACD multi-channel; if I re-called it is DST, Direct Stream Transfer. The compression ratio is around 2.4x, better than FLAC. A DSD64 when losslessly compressed is smaller than a 24/96k FLAC. So DSD lossless streaming is a possibility.

(James Heckman) #218

Thanks for the (needed) reminder, Stuart. Sometimes one loses perspective.

(Henry) #219

It is great to see that this is being looked at, but honestly there has been so much time to put this into practice. But no one has actually done it. And the only reason it is being looked at is because MQA beat them to the punch. So many lost opportunities.


Thank you James for articulating what I was trying get across here. I have two teenagers who love spotify - however my son recently is now fascinated by Vinyls (never going back to that, I know its analogue sound benefits but just does not suit the time taken, i rather play my SACD / DVD audio player) - my son recently got his first stereo (convinced him to go from a boom box to simple pair of stereo speakers and a amp) - now thats sparked his interest in quality recordings - and now he jumps on one my devices checks out roon for his audeze (birthday present) headphones via dragonfly (prefer mojo sound to dragon fly but thats another story ) - he loves the streaming quality of Tidal to Spotify and now we have a Tidal family subscription -my wife and daughter are sticking to spotify and bluetooth boom boxes - however the Roon software is slowly getting them across (they dont even realise Tidal is integrated with my music on the NAS.

My point is that we should not discount the MP3 generation being ignorant about audiophile sound quality - I think hi res streaming (MQA partnership with Tidal was been a boost for Hi Res formats generally) whether its MQA or something better than FLAC for streaming will influence both how studios master their recordings (80s and early 90s we saw the worst of the recordings when digital recordings on computer had primacy over analogue tapes) - to me the hipster Vinyl generation will challenge our views we hold of them being ignorant - we have 4k streaming on Video so why not Hi Res sound streaming- not wedded to MQA but I think it is best in terms of streaming friendly Roon solution we have to date - happy to adopt the next best thing in streaming (if its better than MQA and integrated to Roon) and download Fleetwood Mac for the 10th time remastered again with new sound patented engineering that brings some more detail like buying audiophile ethernet cables! :smile: