MQA disappointing

(crenca) #1531

MQA is like those products on the shelf that say “50% More!” :yum:


Given the thread topic this shouldn’t be the biggest suprise in the world :wink: . I’d count myself in the against camp because of a strong personal and professional preference for open file formats. Even if the sound quality improvements were remarkable I’d be a tough sell unless something like this was available for MQA.

This is a great idea for a thread. I have some hi-res downloads that disappoint compared to the CD rips they were supposed to supersede. Seeing where people agree and disagree would be interesting and the thread might prove useful for anyone considering a purchase.

(Jeff) #1533

I imagine the list will be rather long when it comes to disappointing hi-res downloads. That said, you can find long threads discussing just this on the Hoffman forums.

(crenca) #1534

The whole “mastering” question - the what, how, when, who of differing masterings - is covered in several places. Like @DrTone notes, Hoffman exists for this very reason.

Yes, MQA has obviously leveraged the ambiguity, in essence claiming for itself (or allowing others to) what are in fact mastering improvements (or not depending upon your taste).

Good point about this. MQA’s business model is obviously designed to prevent just such a thing (i.e. NDA’s, etc.)


Thanks for the info. Couldn’t agree more regarding NDAs, saw your other post on them. They’re corrosive, I love the way they’re usually accompanied by “we’ve got nothing to hide, BUT…”

(Dirk De Taey) #1536

Thanks for your tip on the Shelby Linn album.
I am now listening to the CD version on Qobuz, and indeed it is much better than the SACD I have bought ( and ripped).

However, this example is making things even more complicated than they are already.
One of the avantages of the Qobuz Sublime streaming option is highrez streaming and affordable downloads, hirez much more than Redbook.
Now Bydefault, I will need to listen (almost) every album at least twice before deciding if and which version will added to my Roon library.
As I like to support artist by also purchasing their album(s), Itcan happen that I need to spend more for a ‘lower’ format.
Luckily I am not (and never will) be into MQA!

(Jeff) #1537

Unless the consensus on the Hoffman forums is the hi-res is the bomb, I just buy CD quality. I’m very happy with how my DAC handles redbook.


It is strange that quite a few of us appear ‘hear’ MQA quite differently. I also have a number of acoustic and electric guitars (too many) and attend many acoustic live performances. I do not hear the distortion that you and a number of others hear when listening to MQA encoded files.

I listen to music on 4 devices - a Marantz NA7004 (non MQA capable), Chord Hugo (non MQA capable), Linn Klimax DS/1 (non MQA capable) and Mytek Brooklyn+ (MQA capable). I do not hear the distortion you describe when listening through any of them (using the Roon 1st unfold for the first 3 devices, and native MQA through the Brooklyn+).

Perhaps the difference can at least partly be attributed to the DAC and streaming system that you and some others use?



I’ve just returned from holiday and replied to your post prior to reading your later post which outlined your system components - a superb system! Any inference I made in my reply about your system potentially hamstringing your music streaming experience is obviously way off the mark.

However, I still do not hear the distortion that you hear when playing MQA sources.

(crenca) #1540

Well, since the distortion is measurable and documented, it’s there and real. It’s mostly in the top octave so the ability to hear it is dependant on your age/hearing, system, etc. Some genres (i.e. Classical, some Jazz, etc.) oftentimes don’t have much top octave energy and don’t activate it much at all. When I play my hi res copy of Bob James “The New Cool” I usually can not tell the difference between it and the MQA version on Tidal.

The other kind of “distortion” of MQA is the out of phase (i.e. “Minimum Phase”) filtering scheme. This is more readily apparent I believe. However, many like minimum phase filtering schemes (often subjectively reported as more “analogue”) and some products implement them exclusively.


So you say. It’s also inaudible to many. Measurable, documented and inaudible…

(Dirk De Taey) #1542

The fact it is inaudible to you (or even anybody else) does not matter.
The fact mqa does take music information away, whilst claiming it offers better quality than Redbook and even Hirez, is just a big scam.
There’s no need for it, it does not bring any value at all.

And if you like the sound of it, there are other ways to achieve the same or better, using existing non-proprietary filters and music players, based on open standards.
You have just to try and play with music players such as Aurdivana, HQplayer, … and their range of available filters. You could be surprised how much you will like those.


It matters to me because I listen to music, audibility is really important there.

(crenca) #1544



Or you could just press play…

(Martin Kelly) #1546

Or do it ‘old skool’, C90 style: EJECT!

(Chris ) #1547

That’s not true… Just sayin’

(Martin Kelly) #1548

Not true Chris.
MQA is lossy. Some digital data is dispensed with in MQA conversion. MQA is not lossless, unlike FLAC, ALAC etc

(Chris ) #1549

If you mean above 45Khz where you can’t even record it, let alone hear it and it’s influence on anything is nothing… then it’s lossy.
This isn’t MP3 in any way shape or form and so the Lossy emphasis is misleading at best.


I like this definition
" lossy



  1. having or involving the dissipation of electrical or electromagnetic energy.

(of data compression) in which unnecessary information is discarded."

Unnecessary meaning inaudible, hence lossy but no (relevant) information lost, no music lost