MQA disappointing


Unfortunately I don’t have an MQA DAC so I’m stuck with 44.1k with Qobuz app or 88.2k with Roon. 352k is still an impossible feat.


It’s to do with correcting it, depending on how the AD was done, how is that nothing to do with it? That’s my understanding of the theory.

(Rudi) #1726

In THEORY you are right, but doing something like this is, well THEORY.
Each mike feed goes through A/D conversion, each mike feed would have it’s own correction characteristics. Correcting this even for one recording for which the exact recording topology would be know, is in practice impossible. For a minimal miked recording with two mikes I could just about imagine it might be possible, if the individual mike feeds are accessible. Multi miked recordings, no way,as the errors are superimposed. Now imagine the effort needed to do it for each recording that is issued in MQA format. How one would go about that, eludes me.

(Martin Kelly) #1727

Who says a 24/192, 24/96, DSD or DXD recording needs ‘correcting’?
Oh, yes. MQA do…
Well, more often-than-not, they sound just fine to me just as they are!

(Martin Kelly) #1728

That’s because they don’t. It’s impossible.


Anything is done subsequently sounds to me like applying an EQing? If you want to correct any deficiency you have to always start at the source and work yourself down. This is logic not dubious claims.

(Chris ) #1730

Well, if I was a fan of 2L music, I would trust Morten Lindberg on his technical decision to use MQA and thereby get an MQA facility. If you don’t listen to the music, it doesn’t matter.

(Rudi) #1731

Welcome back, Chris

(Chris ) #1732

Thank you… :sunglasses:


I will trust Morten Lindberg that they always mastered on DXD 24/352.8kHz and I will be happy to purchase their downloads and playback in full glorious unaltered resolution.

(Chris ) #1734

That’s a great solution.


OK so that I understand (maybe this isn’t the place), a recording engineer has a pile of digital and analogue tracks, “mastered”. How does that collection of files get onto a CD or a file? Or maybe I should go away and read up on it.

(Jeff) #1736

An audio workstation combines it into one usually with further analog or digital manipulation on each track as well as the master. It’s similar to a blender, and this is why we question the claims of fixing A/D conversion issues in this scenario.

Sure if a master tape was captured with a single A/D converter MQA could do DSPing particular to that converter.

Some believe that MQA’s fixing A/D conversion is more likely a type of general apodizing that might be done up front in addition to the downsampling filters.

But it’s hard to know for sure because of how the folding process also affects the audio signal.

(Martin Kelly) #1737

I’m sure the only ‘technical decision’ used by 2L to adopt MQA for streaming their music, was based on piracy, file-copying and DRM.
Interestingly, I recently purchased a 24/352 download of this 2L recording from HDTracks:

This download is more-or-less a ‘mirror’ of the original DXD master produced from the original recording sessions (DXD is based-on 24/352). Obviously, the files are huge.

I compared it to the MQA stream from both Tidal and Qobuz, and there was no competition - The 24/352 file trounced the MQA stream, putting-paid to MQA’s claim of sonic superiority.

Saying that, I like the sound of MQA. Sometimes. And it’s very bandwidth-friendly in streaming applications. After all, there’s no way you could stream a 24/352 file down the pipe without having problems!

But let’s get one thing straight: MQA might sound OK (to me at least), but it’s all about anti-piracy and DRM in streaming applications. That’s all.

(Chris ) #1738

You would have to talk to Morten Lindberg about his motives, I cannot speak for him. Still, I haven’t noticed any DRM in MQA as yet.
Also, what is wrong with people protecting their intellectual property beyond any reasonable use case?

(Martin Kelly) #1739

Nothing at all. Which is why MQA exists. It’s there to protect against piracy, and it fits in well with streaming applications, being less demanding of both provider server speed and bandwidth, and end-user download speeds.
But I do think this whole ‘sonic superiority’ claim is nothing but smoke and mirrors. Yes, MQA can sound really good. And really good, considering it’s streamed. But compared to, say a DSD stream, it pales.
I’ve always said that MQA is the future for streaming. And nothing I’ve heard to-date, either factually or sonically, has changed that opinion.

(Jeff) #1740

Nothing. But trying to hide it to the public under other questionable audio claims is what has some up in arms.

Regular encryption always gets broken so a destructive process is probably an easier sell to the studios but not desired by many consumers as this thread has revealed.


It’s a roughly comparable bitrate to 4k Netflix if I’m not mistaken, so about 17 Mbps. Technically completely feasible, but obviously not a great idea if there isn’t a specific “entertain your neighbourhood bat” tier.

My home hookup is a gigabit, up/down.

That’s enough for a different full DXD stereo stream to each of the 58 rooms in my house. :stuck_out_tongue:

(Martin Kelly) #1742

I also have a fast 200mbps fibre connection to my home, so streaming DSD or 24/352 shouldn’t pose a problem for me either.
But, as we know, internet access can be sporadic, traffic-managed and just damn slow, depending on where you live/how much you pay.

And I really think that’s where MQA will find it’s leverage in the market - selling ‘quasi Hi-Res’ streams to consumers with limited internet speeds/reliability, and also to labels/distributors who want to ‘protect’ their wares.

I’d never purchase an MQA download, but I think that streaming MQA will almost become essential in the next few years, as more labels/distributors jump on board with it.

(Chris ) #1743

And MQA have stated there is no DRM in MQA. That is the case today certainly…