MQA General Discussion

I used to have two things I tried not to read or get excited about:

  • out of season football (the real kind, AFL);
  • Royal gossip (celebrities are far more interesting).

I think I will add MQA to that list. At least until they can tell me what equipment is required.


I would add MQA but defo remove royal gossip… Too juicy to miss.

I am continually impressed with TIDAL’s 16/44 streaming quality… Amazing.

[quote=“digitalzed, post:98, topic:88, full:true”]
Hopefully there may be a way to upgrade firmware on some current DAC’s. I know that’s wishful thinking. Call me a dreamer.
[/quote]I think that’s a strong possibility for the majority of medium and high-end DAC’s.
I guess a lot depends on how the hardware has been designed and constructed.

An MQA file looks like a 24/44 (or 24/48) FLAC file. If you play it as-is it should play with redbook quality. It would be insane for TIDAL to get on the MQA boat if special hardware is required to even play their streams.

1 Like

At least based on the analysis I’ve done with the currently available MQA material, it is below RedBook quality… Although larger files than normal 18/96 FLAC would give, which would have one bit more than what MQA uses (17) and enough dynamic range for the original DXD source material.

1 Like

John Darko provides a better explanation than most, as usual: MQA at DAR.


Thanks for the link.

Dark provides a better explanation rhan most, as usual

I completely agree with this. I very much prefer his style of writing over many other more “mainstream” publications.

Paradoxically, what Japan doesn’t yet have is a music streaming service.

Not MQA related but this surprises the hell out of me.

This is why we don’t yet see MQA-accredited streamers that only output (digitally) to a user-selected outboard DAC box – how does the MQA software know to which DAC chip it is talking? Stuart says an adjustable MQA software decoder will come “eventually”.

Good news as it portends to Roon and MQA i presume?

Decoding and rendering – we should take a moment to define and separate these two processes as they relate to MQA. Decoding refers to the first step: recognising the incoming stream as an MQA file and unfolding any hi-res content (should it exist). Rendering is where the MQA software optimises the signal immediately before its decoded to analogue, thus mitigating the DAC chip’s potential to blur time-domain information.

Best on this section i don’t see any reason why Roon, Auralic, Tidal, couldn’t have an option to toggle decode via software. While i think that rendering being handled through via Roon is technically possible, i have no idea what the inputs are that would need to be included to make it realistic for every DAC, and thus have no clue how feasible it is. i don’t see any reason why the selections (resolution) we already have couldn’t provide a basis to how to decode the stream though.

1 Like

The link in Anders’ post and on John’s page all lead to a “Coming soon” page for me.
Can you guys still see this article or … has it been taken down … scary chord

Looks like it may have been taken down for some reason.

Its back up for me again now

This is very interesting and actually not surprising at all… Japan has a culture of “collection”, of “ownership”, of “pride of ownership”. This reflects in the widespread production of sophisticated media: xrcd, blu-spec cd, and many others.

I find myself slowly (and sort of grudgingly) drifting towards TIDAL “borrowship” in many cases - except for my favorite music which I want to have everywhere even without an internet connection.

So I am all for higher res on TIDAL. I would also like the management of offline music on TIDAL to be better.

1 Like

And by the way… Targeting Japan as a good market for MQA seems to me to be completely misguided… The reason there’s no hi-res streaming in Japan is not that they are waiting for MQA, it is in the culture and cultivation of true ownership. If MQA can come of with MQA-cd, maybe there’s a chance for them. Curiously enough, I don’t think HDCD ever took hold of the japanese market.

World First – Meridian Firmware Update Enables MQA Playback

And what about Roon playback?

Are we close to a offical MQA aunch ?
The end of speculations is over. Now you can ask Bob yourself. (Almost)

1 Like

Excellent idea and some great questions so far. Looking forward to the responses.

I’d rather have an MQA enabled Roon that knows what DAC I’ve got. My Vega has to be sent back to China (from Australia) to have a firmware upgrade apparently.

Edit: The upgrade isn’t compulsory, but would enable it to receive DSD256. It may be better to wait until MQA firmware is also available and do it in one fell swoop.

Ouch. I hope you have a spare DAC in the meantime.

An interesting perspective on MQA…

1 Like

2L MQA Comparisons: Supplementary Listeners’ Notes For The 2L Test Bench