MQA disappointing

I was looking at a thread about Tool albums being in hires and someone posted this link:

It explains why 44/16 files are actually better. And I’ve seen posts from Rob Watt’s (Chord dac designer) that mention the same thing. That he can get back to original recording using cd quality. Includes a high rolloff filter for when you listen to hires.

So for me, I’m kind of over the hires vs MQA arguments. Just use cd quality when available. Also switched back to Tidal from Qobuz because I found it more important to have the albums actually available and not care about any minor differences in sound quality.


Here’s the thing. Incessant ranting on topic is allowed. Describing other posters as engaging in incessant ranting is not. If you don’t like said incessant ranting, don’t read it. Move on, do something else. Don’t post about how other posters are incessantly ranting and you don’t like it as that will get moderated.


Looks like there’s no much to argue the fact it has been so long… guessed 5yrs since it was announced? Not much has been taking place since then. Initially, they thought it was going to be big n over time I guessed they realise by now it is a niche market (Thanks goodness, otherwise it will become the next Dolby). The thing is people has moved on enjoying their music in various formats. This thread is getting a bit ‘toxic’ to read.

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At present, that is true. BUT MQA has the ability to introduce DRM (or equivalent) at any time they want to, and there’s no way around DRM if they eventually go that route.

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If we hunt around we can general find supporting and technically very convincing articles as to why X is better than Y. I have seen technically very convincing articles of why 44.1k @ 16 bit will always be good enough. Likewise I have seen equally convincing articles of why hi-res is needed and in particular 192k @ 24bit is a great choice and nothing better is needed. Maybe they are both right for different reasons, maybe not.

Maybe what we (as humans) learn in the future will turn all of this on its head yet again :wink:

Personally, the greatest annoyance across formats is that the video world went with multiples of 48K while the audio world went with multiples of 44.1K and now seems to be getting dragged into sample rate conversions whichever way they go.

Maybe there is merit in 7056000 samples @ 32 bit float as the only way to avoid all this :slight_smile:

The fear of all freedom loving peoples.

I take it you hate freedom, Slim? :wink:

Well I’m still not entirely sure I need better than 16/44 files. Chords dacs do a great job with just cd quality. And then you find supporting articles saying you don’t need better. But then I’ve seen the same thing said in the past about mp3 files. And the arguments for just using cd quality apparently might not be accurate info.

If we only need cd quality then there’s no point even comparing MQA vs hires.

I think I personally prefer the hires files slightly to cd quality and MQA. At some point I’ll go back to Qobuz once their library improves a bit more.

Not at all, just the concept of MQA.

Let’s not start something afresh.:smirk:

Oh no, please not that again! :wink:

IMHO, a large determinate of the sound is the mastering. I’ve heard high res masters that sounds like garbage compared to previous CD releases. And, I’ve heard the opposite. There is a reason that some of us hunt down specific releases.


I get the impression a lot of artists consider streaming services to be the new pirates given how little they apparently get back from it :slight_smile:


Off topic but isn’t streaming mostly promotion for their tours and merchandise. Thought artists never made much off actual records sales.

Some artists used to make a lot from records. I’ve seen the streaming accounts for well known artist I knew and quite honestly I was shocked at how little she made from it.

So yes - touring seems to be the main income these days especially with recent huge hikes in ticket

Bob Talks, Authentication…

An interesting article from a few years before MQA in Absolute Sound with Bob Stuart.


If I get a 44 16 mqa stream and don’t expand it, is it just the same as a non mqa stream or is it different?

It’s less either way, choose the regular pcm in that case. The 24 bit at least can be unfolded to 96kHz.

I think top 13 bits are the same, below that data is hijacked for MQA. As with most things MQA related, then it isn’t quite a simple as saying the end result is only 13 bit, supposedly the encoding process remains sonically equivalent to 14-15 bit (I think).

Personally I dispute that - I did run some test on various MQA files I could get my hands on to see how they sounded in the absence of any MQA decoding and rendering and I was not impressed. I thought it was generally quite obviously harsh. Some thread (or maybe another forum) on here has photos of what my cat thought of it - he was repeatably looking a bit stressed with the MQA version as a reasonable listening level, but wasn’t bothered by a non MQA version at the same level or MQA decoded version.

[Edit - turns out it was here High-end DAC really necessary?. Sadly he passed away early this year].