MQA disappointing

(Mark) #851

No, you’re reaching now. That’s not the way to interpret my comments, as you well know.

(Jeremy) #852

No, you’re reaching now. That’s not the way to interpret my comments, as you well know.


I really don’t think this has anything to do with my (or anyone else’s) subjective opinion. I’ve worked in
hundreds of recording studios (almost) all over the world. Nobody has ever expected me (or any other pianist I know) to record solo piano stuff in a room full of acoustic guitars, drums, vibraphones etc. – for obvious reasons…

Don’t get me wrong – I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having a guitar in your listening room. Jamming along to what you’re listening to can be great fun, but this doesn’t change the laws of physics…

(String ) #854

Okay! So what should we do with the Grand Piano?
When we recorded the guitars and drums etc…?
Spend a few hours to pick it apart and calling in more people, so we could carry it out of the studio!!!
Place it outside and when we should use it reverses everything?
Take a few hours, maybe one or two days?
So it got the right temperature and calling a Piano Tuner, before we could recording it, OR? Mr. Professional on recording and Studios?

The Studios that is built in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s!
Had one big recording room a little room for the drums that we used to recording the lead vocals and a control room!!!
But I never get fired! For having the Grand Piano in the same room as the drums, guitar amps, the acoustic guitars standing or hanging on the wall! Nobody else for that matter!
So if you don’t know what you are talking about, please don’t make a Professional Musician and Studio Producer, Studio, Mastering Engineer for almost 40th years!
So angry and upset that I had to write how it worked in the Studio World!
In this stupid discussion about MQA!
Let the people including myself like it, no matter what you and other people who don’t like it thinks about it because nobody forcing you to listen to it, Okay?

No Love & Respect



Maybe you misunderstood me. Solo piano, not a solo part on piano during a band project…

I’ve been a studio/session musician for more than 20 years…

I didn’t say I didn’t like MQA…

(String ) #856

Okay, but you didn’t write it like that!
But we’re only humans and it’s okay to express things wrong or misunderstanding, things wrong!

So Peace Fellow Musician.

Love & Respect


(Music and Shawarma Lover) #857

Same for vinyl although one cannot get every title on vinyl anymore.

True that CD may be around yet for some time, but the point is, releases can be MQA CD. You buy the CD, bring it home, and unless you have an MQA DAC (or Roon, but try that in the car), you get a somewhat crippled version of the content.

I don’t recall the label (2L?) but a rep posted that their standard release was now MQA CD. That just seems like adulterated product. It’s one thing to have MQA as an option and I am glad you enjoy it. But if all the labels jump to MQA releases alone, that’s not good. There are lots of devices that don’t and never will be capable of playing MQA at its full quality.

Call it DRM or not - a rose by any other name – but when HDCP came out, I had a whole bunch of perfectly good hi def capable video gear that I had to toss so as to get to HDCP compliant. That sucked. I don’t want that for music.


Thanks a lot. I must admit I was a little shocked to get such an angry response from you.

I don’t mean to come off as pedantic, but I think you might’ve missed one of my posts. I was explicitly referring to “solo piano sessions” and I also mentioned my experience as a studio musician (pianist)…

Anyway, I’m glad that this misunderstanding has been solved.

Peace @Anders_Strengberg

(Chris ) #859

My opinion on MQA is similar to that at 2L and I think they know what they are doing artistically and how they would like one to ideally enjoy the music.
I don’t see CD undecoded MQA as crippled. It sounds great to me, certainly better than MP3, so again a step up.
CD as a format is dying in the West as streaming takes over. It will be fast becoming a niche product. I don’t see MQA coming to the grass roots anytime soon although I wish it would.

Going back in time, we really had no choice. It was vinyl and Reel to Reel tape and nothing else. Everything else has been a down grade in quality (except SACD & DVD Audio that never really took off) so now we have VINYL back and trendy along with CD dying and MP3 (poor quality) persisting. Then MQA at great quality. The tide is turning with quality I hope.
The traditional high res vendors will play a big role in the future as well for their large niche market.
So with MQA, I don’t see the world and competition coming to an end, in-fact things have never looked better.

The system I have and the music I can access at the quality available would have been unbelievable back in the day (60’s 70’s 80’s) science fiction even…

(Music and Shawarma Lover) #861

That is a pretty low bar and a surprising statement from someone who appears to have a very nice system that didn’t come from a thrift shop. If you’ve spent time, effort, money working to optimize your system, doesn’t the source material merit the same approach?

If I buy a CD, it should be redbook. Nothing worse. People spend 4-5-6 figures trying to eek out the last bit of audio quality and then if one can only get a release in MQA CD that isn’t full redbook, that’s not right.

Nothing to do with how decoded MQA sounds - if you want to stream and can decode, more power to you. If you want to buy a CD that works in full resolution only on your MQA decoding system, more power to you.

But a release that is ONLY MQA? No redbook alternative? I don’t like the idea of any label releasing in MQA only. Means anywhere one cannot decode, you’re looking at sub-redbook resolution. That’s adulterated product, almost by definition.

I don’t really care if the differences are not that detectable, and how would you ever even know, because you don’t have access to a redbook version to compare.

Chris, you’re free to love the MQA sound - I have enjoyed it too. But you are wilfully ignoring the issues that go along with MQA-only releases which is the debate we’re having today. Not really being any more open minded than the others you have urged to really listen.

IIRC, MQA encoded CD is the equivalent of 13 bit resolution. Or thereabouts. That’s like paying for a liter of gas and getting 800 ML (doing my best to be metric here…) - it’s a bad product choice and if 2L is an audiophile label (I dunno, not familiar with their artists) then they will suffer for this. They should hear the feedback.

No question, but not the same point.

(Jeff) #862

Here’s a post from Mans on MQA-CD. Most files he’s analyzed have had 14-15 bits of PCM but the format itself allows for as low as 8 bits.

If MQA-CD becomes the distribution medium of choice for more labels we have all lost, including Chris L. Who in their right mind would want a distribution medium that doesn’t compress as well as redbook, doesn’t deliver any extra folded data, and actually throws aways data for no other reason but to ensure licensing is paid from beginning to end.

(Rudi) #863

That would indeed be the worst of all worlds. I have a few MQA CDs and they do NOT unfold when playing them from a CD Player via SPDIF to my MQA capable dCS Rossini. It seems to be the fault of the Rossini and the bug is acknowledged by dCS.
Has anyone been successful in playing MQA CDs and having them unfold correctly?

In order to actually get the unfolding I need to

  • rip the CD
  • run the rip through MQA Tag Restorer
  • stream the rip to the dCS Rossini

Seems mighty complicated for the media of the future.

(Chris ) #864

Yes, but that is not by design as you state. It’s a bug with new technology and stuff happens. When it’s fixed, all will be as designed. (I hope)

(Rudi) #865

Chris, you do realize that all old non MQA capable equipment needs to be replaced to enjoy MQA CDs. Roon does NOT decode MQA CDs, like it does Tidal MQA tracks.
What would be the benefit if the only CD format available were not an internationally standardized one (Redbook) but one that is owned and patented by a private commercial enterprise? I honestly can’t see any, besides MQA making a lot of money from licensing their proprietary technology.

(Chris ) #866

MQA CDs play as CD as MQA is backward compatible. You only need a decoder if you want MQA. That was the same for SACD and DVD Audio.
For Vinyl you need a record deck… more expense…

Also MQA CDs are only a thing in Japan as far as I know, I don’t see them coming to the UK at all unless people make an effort to buy them. Here, streaming is a thing and with that, everything is available.
I don’t see Spotify doing MQA anytime soon, if at all.

Another thought is that people have a problem with companies monetising product but would soon complain if their boss cut their wages. I suppose people are used to almost everything appearing to be free, when in reality it is not.

(Rudi) #867

At a substantial loss of quality, because you are throwing away the magic dust which comes to play in the first unfold. And the magic dust takes space on the CD which is not available to reproduction in backward compatible mode.
Doesn’t sound like a good thing, if MQA CD were to be the only physical medium available.

Thanks for keeping this thread interesting with new arguments, although you do contradict yourself at times. Might want to watch out for that. You’re giving your critics a free lunch.

(Chris ) #868

:joy: sorry, I’m not perfect but I’ll try to keep it interesting. CD can sound amazing if properly mastered so I am not against CD. Most of my music is CD quality as that is all that is available to me.

The MQA extra information is held below the noise floor, in a space that normally only has random noise anyway and so, as I understand it, MQA CD is the same as CD only better as you get the benefit of the studio de blurring process in the audio you can play. (First unfold is better but, for me in my system full MQA sounds glorious on the material I have experienced).

This may be why some people claim they don’t like it, because it is different. We are very used to the blur inherent in CD and we don’t like change.

The more MQA I listen to, the more I find CD unsatisfactory as I know better is available.

(Jeff) #869


What would you expect to unfold from 1-2 bits when those 1-2 bits contain the MQA control data and little more?

You have to get the “MQA authentication” flag, source sample rate and required upsampling filter into those couple bits.

(Jeremy) #870

Are there any papers describing inherent CD “blur”? Is this a new area of mathematics that has just been discovered or something somebody made up as a marketing tactic? A google of “CD blur” turns up only the rock group Blur!

I am not familiar with the term in any AES papers but I may have missed it? I assume that something “inherent” means it is a fundamental problem related to the original Redbook format. I am surprised to see it deserves no mention anywhere…

(Music and Shawarma Lover) #871

OK so what you are really saying is that it WOULD be a problem if labels started releasing only in MQA, but you don’t see that as a practical problem because it is not happening.

Finally you’ve agreed with me! I’m going to take that small concession and rest on it.