MQA disappointing

(Andrew Cox) #362

Yes. In fact Roon can do the first MQA unfold, apply DSP (except upsampling, which messes with MQA) and retain the MQA rendering information for an MQA Renderer.

I like to use the first MQA unfold in Roon and then send the 88.1/96 kHz signal to HQP where I do room convolution, upsample to DSD 512 and then send the whole sorry mess to a NOS R2R DAC (Holo Audio Spring).

If you’d told me 4 years ago that I’d be doing that to an audio signal I would have laughed at you. But I like the way it sounds.


I think I will see if I can a Qutest on demo for a few days…
It’s not listed as Roon certified as far as I can tell, but sure it will be.

(Henry) #364

Always go with the best DAC regardless of MQA capability. Depending on your POV MQA could be considered nice to have but a good DAC cannot become bad overnight, and the vast bulk of digital music out there remains untouched by MQA.

(Martin Webster) #365

Others on the forum have the Qutest; it will work without problem and it’s listed along with line art in Find your device.

(Jeremy) #366

Also if you recognize MQA for what it is then how do you respect manufacturers who jump on the band wagon of an inferior product


I thought MQA was just another format… added for streaming. I can’t see manufacturers abandoning other formats. On the contrary, I see more reasonably priced components offering high res options these days… but only a few seem to have added MQA.


Hopefully it stays that way so we’re not force fed any more garbage than the pack of lies they thought folk were too stupid to figure out.

(Jeremy) #370

For those still unable to hear phase distortion of MQA, try listening to Norah Jones album Come Away with Me. The key track to listen to is Shoot the Moon. It has a repetitive guitar pluck that is quite easy to pay attention to or follow.

There are two MQA versions on Tidal and I have the HD Tracks 192KHz version. You can also listen to the CD version and still hear the effect.

Basically the MQA version has a strange audible pitch change on the transient of the guitar plucks. It doesn’t sound natural at all. All other versions sound normal.

I believe MQA broadens the initial transient making it both stronger (louder) and also as a consequence slightly lower in frequency than it should be. Our ears are extremely sensitive to this kind of distortion. Most people can hear as little as five cents change in pitch.

I am sensitive to pitch. I know this because I keep having to tell my guitar players to re-tune - they usually can’t tell they are out of tune until it is really bad.


I’ve Tidal Hi-Fi as well as Qobuz which streams Hi-Res. I also own the CD ‘Come Fly With Me’ by Norah Jones.

When compared the CD vs Qobuz Hi-Res 24/192, the overall tonal, timbre and texture are quite close, apparently the Hi-Res has upper resolution with more ‘air’ and details extension.

When compared to Tidal Master, it is very different indeed; there’s a lot of emphasis on the mids, as if there’s too much ‘body’ to it. The plugging of the guitar sounds weird too, I find it too ‘thick’ and lack the upper ‘charm’. I can said overall it sounds a bit ‘mushy’. The vocal on the other hand is thicker which I like.

Overall, I still prefer the CD and Hi-Res versions as it consistently flat throughout the frequency response without some kind of emphasis on it.

(Jeremy) #372

Yes the vocals are thicker on Tidal MQA Master too. It is as if an ever so slight audio compressor was applied.

(Andrew Strutt) #373

Not wanting to jump on the what’s better bandwagon, and although most probably already been mentioned, but for those of us streaming with limited bandwidth MQA provides access to hi res music and that’s a good thing. Sounds great!


You mean lossy music.

(Chris ) #375

Nope he means High Res With no musical loss.

(Andrew Strutt) #376

Doesn’t sound lossy to me…


Now, as in immediate music loss. Spot on.


Limited bandwidth? If you can stream YouTube on your phone, your internet connection is more than fast enough to stream lossless Hi-Res music. I don’t see this as an advantage anymore.

(Chris ) #379

That was a typo… :sunglasses:

(Music and Shawarma Lover) #380

Lossy is lossy. “No musical loss” was a claim attached to MP3s for quite a while as well. For archiving, I think it’s not the right format versus 24/192. For streaming, it sounds very good. I listened to the CD and the MQA of the new release of the Beatles White Album, and I had a 1% preference for the MQA version. This one, oddly, wasn’t louder, but sounded a little sweeter. It’s probably distortion, but it was pleasing distortion!


A Freudian typo. Even your subconscious mind knows better. :laughing:


MQA is done already.
They tried to corner the audiomarket and failed. They wanted new fees from everybody in the chain.
What a Chuzpe. And all that with a lossy codec.