MQA disappointing


I am not surprised they couldn’t hear any “master sound” improvement with MQA.
MQA offers no improvement whatsoever.
It is important that can be proven with independent tests.
So why MQA has been “invented” then?
Most major labels have a share within that MQA thing (If I remember correctly) hmmm…
It is as was said from the beginning: many more fees are possible and wanted and for sure DRM.
Audiophiles are really a herd of sheep.
Somebody tells them that a data reduced (!!!) process makes a better sound, and they run completely blind in that direction.
Somehow that’s really comical and funny.

(Chris ) #1370

See above, go listen…


It is like : Marx Brothers at the Opera: :rofl:

(Martin Kelly) #1372

Are you saying that MQA is Skynet?



I’m fully aware of this…:wink:

As a matter of fact, we didn’t do our blind tests to “find out” whether such differences are audible or not. On the contrary, we exclusively dealt with differences that can be demonstrated to be perceptible. In other words, our objective was not to show how people imagine differences that don’t really exist. No, we wanted to show how problematic/misleading A/B comparisons tend to be in the context of music perception…

I think it’s important to put things into perspective. How important is an “audible” difference if it takes “months of training” (as @Rhythmatist and others suggested) to be able to perceive it (with a 60-70% probability)?

(Sean) #1374

Very interesting to read this… I had a discussion once with a gentleman I was buying some used HiFi gear from… after some general chit-chat, it turned out he was a psychiatrist and his wife is a neuroscientist. Both love listening to music and having good gear for music listening.

To cut a very long story short, the discussion somehow eventually turned to potential flaws in A/B testing, including (but not limited to) the potential for increased stress/anxiety (associated with A/B testing) to potentially become a confounding factor in A/B testing…

Nobody ask me for sources of research papers etc… it was just a casual weekend afternoon verbal discussion :slight_smile:


Just to be clear MQA does not offer an improvement to Hi-Res. MQA is actually derived from Hi-Res masters. The difference in SQ of MQA and Hi-Res boiled down the type of filters that they used. MQA filters resembled to of a minimum phase filters which in some way sound a bit like ‘analog’ while standard filter normally used in Hi-Res masters tend to sound brighter and a bit ‘digital’ sound. It is just a personal preference. There’s no right or wrong here. You can listen and compare Qobuz Hi-Res vs Tidal Master.


MQA is digital.
It sounds like digital because it is digital.
Nowadays you can apply whatever filter you like to any digital format.
It will never be analog.


Of course digital will never be analog but minimum phase filter has an exponential distortion increasing. This gives rise to predorminant second harmonics distortion and preceived as more ‘analog’ sounding. The same goes with DSD, though DSD don’t use anti-aliasing and sharp cut-off filters like PCM.

(Jeremy) #1379

Absolutely. If you listen a bit harder for something you expect then you often imagine you hear it - even if the difference isn’t there. However, once you have taken time to learn specifically what to listen for it then it becomes a little more obvious.

The importance of a very small difference in the case of MQA is in context of their claims of superior sound. For this reason, I spent a lot time to properly evaluate MQA only to discover that the superior sound is distortion or degradation of the audio. My efforts were difficult and lengthy because there was no database of MQA vs non-MQA files to test. So not only did I have to wade through a lot of music to discover when differences are more easily audible, I also had to deal with different mastering which is a random wild card. To my knowledge MQA has not provided a list of Tidal tracks that are non-MQA vs MQA (or provided the source file prior to a MQA processing) so that anyone could easily compare. It looks like MQA has deliberately made comparisons very difficult.

Anyone here who has done a superficial comparison of a few minutes or a hour or so is likely to either

  1. Hear no differences
  2. imagine an improvement with MQA because of expectation bias

A to B Comparisons are complicated by exact volume level matching as well as challenges of quickly switching inputs. Rapid A to B switching in under 0.1 secs is preferred. Most people can’t be bothered or won’t have the necessary equipment to do rapid A to B. Rapid A to B can be complicated in that most DACs take some time to synchronize.


That is often the case for anything built upon nefarious underpinnings.


You’re using the word “Wow” to describe the difference in audio quality between MQA & uncompressed audio. That speaks volumes.

(Martin Kelly) #1382

Just to be clear that what you claim as ‘fact’ with regard to MQA offering no improvement to/over Hi-Res is just your opinion. Nothing more, nothing less.
You would obviously get a very different opinion from MQA Ltd. And from the people who enjoy listening to it and are of the opinion that it sounds better than Hi-Res. And from a multitude of different sources…


Well, they try to sell that “superior” product. If they are not “convinced”, just Chris and a few lost souls remain.


You can start by asking yourself why MQA exists. Was it something the hi-fi industry wanted? Did we have a void that needed filling? Was Meridian & the music industry simply acting out good intentions?

I mean, if you’re hell bent on choosing lossy formats (forgetting about DRM for a moment), then what’s wrong with 256K AAC?

Sell me on why MQA is even a thing, then we can talk. Otherwise, ya got nothing other than your purchase validations to sit on.

(String ) #1385

Just Chris and a few lost souls remain.
So now you’re acting like The Spanish Inquisition against MQA :joy::joy::joy:
And the one’s that like it?
Don’t you understand how stupid it sounds?
Just Chris and a few lost souls remain.
Shall Cris and we how are “The few lost souls” be standing in front of a Tribunal?
So if we don’t stop listening and like MQA!
Shall you use torture to stopping us, Or?

If you don’t now what’s it is please read about it below :joy:

The Spanish Inquisition was a tribunalstarted in 1478 in Spain. It was started by Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile. During the Spanish Inquisition many people were burnt in front of crowds in the streets.

The rulers of Spain asked the Pope to start the Inquisition to catch Jews who pretended to be Christians. In 1492 they commanded all Jews and Muslims to leave Spain. Many left, but many stayed and said they were Christians. The Inquisition became busy deciding which ones were lying. When Protestants appeared, the Inquisition said they were pretending to be Christians. Most trials ended with the defendant simply giving up his beliefs and being let go. The Inquisition became less active in later years and was completely abolished in 1834.

I hope you and your followers understand how stupid it sounds :joy:

(Martin Kelly) #1386

I’m not defending MQA. I am quite ambivalent about the format.
Yes, I like the way it sounds. Sometimes. But I also object to its marketing, and usage implications. I also think that MQA have been opaque, and arguably downright misleading in its promotion.
But I’m lucky - I have a Lumin streamer, and so I have been able to evaluate it without my additional monetary outlay. So I have no ‘purchase valdiations’ to sit-on!
What I do object to is to people spouting and disseminating prejudice and unqualified definitives concerning MQA (from ‘either side of the fence’, so to speak).
It’s absolutely OK to be critical, from either side. But I’m just so so tired of hearing immature opinions such as: ‘I don’t like MQA, so therefore it must be absolutely rubbish, and anyone who does like it must be either deaf or stupid, or both!’ GROW UP!
MQA is here. For the moment. Some people like it. Others do not. That’s fine. But let’s not decend into behaviour like that seen in the House of Commons of late. You know? The place where they shout rubbish at one another, and they STILL can’t make a friggin’ decision! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

(Martin Kelly) #1387

Condescending claptrap.
But I am partial to a bit of James Blunt sometimes…


And you can stream it in MQA! :wink:


Hello Anders

thanks for your reply.
you made my day.

(String ) #1389

Dear miklats,

Your welcome it’s always nice :joy:.
To make someone happy even if it’s,
a :poop: like you :smiling_imp:!

Love & Respect