MQA disappointing

(Chris ) #872

It’s called pre ringing or pre echo if you like. Something that never happens in nature. This is also an effect that Apodising filters try to reduce.
A twig snaps, you don’t hear an echo before the sound is created, or do you…

(Jeff) #873

Well at least you now admit that MQA does nothing different than many DAC digital filters have been able to do for years. Your preference for it makes sense as Meridian has always used a similar filter.

Bob being a shrewd/greasy salesman has packaged it in a container that appeals to labels and then markets it with a bunch buzz words for the audiophile.

(Chris ) #874

There is no need to be rude towards people, Shrewd/Greasy is not acceptable IMHO

(Jeff) #875

Part one on my sentence makes him shrewd, second part makes him greasy. I call it as I see it.


What violence in all these exchanges that are only discussions of people very spoiled. That everyone listens to what he likes, the search for a sort of absolute truth that would be the only true and pure music seems derisory. In the end the market of this very small niche of Hires will decide.

(Mike O'Neill) #877

Why is this thread still going ?

Agree to differ, I wish I had the hearing left to tell the difference

Maybe just LISTEN


What a ridiculous thing to say. Just don’t buy it. Nobody is taking your money.


It’s the relentless anti MQA campaign, they have all committed to go on and on and on…It’s not enough to make a point, it has to be done a thousand times every week on every board until they win. It’s not about music.


My underlying point, while made flippantly, is that in some cases, there is no choice anymore, which is a concern some, myself included, have with MQA. I think that given the history of the industry, and given the issues DCS owners are seeing, this is fair and reasonable.

You’re right that it isn’t about music for me, at least it isn’t the primary issue as far as I’m concerned (I just don’t hear the filter differences). It’s about a well-ressourced corporation taking choices away from consumers, at a financial cost for consumers (no matter how small on a case-by-case basis), and shoving an inferior technology down their throats. That corporation is the bully, and not the victim here.

(Music and Shawarma Lover) #882

It takes two to Tango.


It doesn’t take two to carry out a campaign. Even if they and their threads are left alone, someone will be “on duty” to wake it up with a repetition of the mantra.


Now if you were talking about Amazon or Google, I’d jump on THAT bandwagon.


A financial cost for the consumer? The monthly subscription for Tidal is cheaper than for Qobuz, the annual subscription is the same. You find DACs without MQA decoders at delusional prices and DACs with MQA decoders at more affordable prices. The storage in Hires is 2 to 3 times larger than in MQA, with a higher cost in capacity and in electricity. The use of bandwidth also has a cost. I am not sure that the MQA’s business model is worse than the HiRes in general and for the consumer more specifically.


Sounds like you get yourself all wrong. MQA DAC will cost significantly higher to make because every DACs made has to pay a license fee to MQA Ltd. This is a fact.

If you are doing streaming, storage is not an issue whether you use MQA or Hi-Res contents. Besides you pay for fibre broadband speed in excess of 100Mbps, it will a waste not to use it. In another word, we don’t have an bandwidth issue here. Wasting electricity? I suggest you off the modem and router when not in use.

(Rudi) #887

The threads usually start quite objectively, until both sides dig in their heels.

My personal objections are not against MQA itself, but against the claims MQA makes about what it does.

MQA is a technology that was designed to transport “almost hires” content over a bandwidth constrained pipe. Specifically “around 17bit/96kHz” over a 24/48kHz bandwidth. Were this the claim MQA makes, I think everyone would be happy.

But MQA claims something different:

  • temporal deblurring, which would only be possible, if the recording process were MQA, so that the nature of the ADC’s blurring can be compensated for in the latter stages of the process. It is quite obvious that a distortion during recording whose exact nature is not known cannot be compensated for at a later stage.
  • authenticate the played back track as being true to the artist’s intentions and that it has not been tampered with. Fact is that the track can be modified and the authentication flag still signals a track that is true to the artists intentions

Whether MQA actually sounds “better” (or rather “different”) from a hires file from the same master I cannot say with any certainty. I listened to Tord Gustavsen’s “The Ground” in MQA (Tidal) and 24/96 (Qobuz) yesterday. In some tracks I believe I heard a difference, in some I could not hear one.

Hearing differences is highly subjective, especially if the comparison is done casually. Probably the biggest factor influencing is expectation bias. This explains why people who believe MQA sounds “better” actually perceive it as such and people who are negatively disposed to MQA would tend to hear it as “worse”.

But everyone should judge for themselves. If they hear a difference and believe MQA sounds different / better, so be it. It is their listening experience, not mine. Maybe by hearing is simply not good enough any more.

It would really be helpful if the discussions could differentiate between subjective listening experience (which is truly subjective and can not be disputed) and the validity of claims made.

BTW there is an interesting thread with lots of background information on Gearslutz, where sound engineers discuss MQA (some for, some against - both passionately).

(Chris ) #888

This is false, they can go back to the equipment used and fingerprint them (for want of a better term) to correct anomalies.


Technically MQA transports around 1.5 to 1.7Mbps which is slightly higher than Redbook standard but not close to a 24 bit 44.1/48kHz. MQA is actually a 16+8 bit rather than a full 24 bit system. Coding on the first 16 bit in the audio range and last 8 bit in the ultrasound range can significantly reduce the amount of bandwidth it needs to transmit.

The unfolding (another bandwidth reduction) is based on the last 8 bit information and this get decoded back to 88.2/96k. The effective resolution after dithering and decoded is 17 bit at 88.2/96k. The catch is only around 17 bit of resolution is available in audio range while only 8 bit is for the ultrasonic range. What MQA initially claimed to be lossless coding and full 24 bit capability is simply not true. This backfired and created such as mess to the audiophile community (Bad marketing).

(Chris ) #890

This is also false because if you manipulate the file in an un authorised way, the MQA indicator will not light.

(Daniel Lundh) #891

This is also false.


That’s actually a really good read. I’m more informed.