MQA on Tidal and Dynamic Range (DR)

Hi guys

I am genuinely terribly sorry for adding yet another MQA thread here but I looked everywhere to see if there was an exiting thread where this could live. Mods, please feel free to move/merge if need be. I complained to myself last week at too many MQA threads on every forum and here I am :frowning:

I wanted to ask a very specific question, which I have also asked on another forum.

Fleetwood Mac Rumours

1977 CD DR = 15 :

2011 HDTracks 24/96 DR = 10 :

Does anyone know what the DR value is for the MQA version of Rumours streaming on Tidal? I don’t have the tools or knowledge to measure sadly

My obvious hope is that they went back to the original master tape, not the recent hi-res master but am I dreaming (as usual) ?

Sincerely appreciated in advance

PS: I also want to add, yes I know not all re-masters are bad and a high DR doesn’t automatically make a great album.

Have you listened to it? What do you think?

Yes mate. It sounds a bit closer to the HiRes master to me than the early pressing CD master. In terms of DR. Which is sad to me, I was hoping for no dynamic range compression for such a classic album but I could be very wrong.

I wanted to know if someone can help with measuring for me, for interests sake.

I don’t have numbers I’m afraid but it should be the studio master. MQA can’t fix a hot mix though as you know. That’s up to the artist or producer. Shame

Yes agreed mate but a DR value may (or may not) give us a hint about which master they went back to and I’m sure we’d all hope in this particular case they used a master with no dynamic range compression.

As I said, not all remasters are bad and a high DR doesn’t make an album great. I didn’t want this thread to spiral out of control about whether DR is everything or not.

Appreciate anyones help is measuring the DR for this album in particular (the MQA version on Tidal that is). Just for interests sake, nothing more. I think 1.3 will be able to measure DR which is cool. Hopefully works with Tidal too.

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Given the way that MQA decodes at the final step to analog, you’d have to measure the actual analog out to get the DR version from an MQA file. I don’t think you can get a true reading on the intermediate PCM/FLAC stream.

MQA – decoding, partial decoding, or no decoding – should not affect dynamic range readings significantly, if at all.



I have I believe every CD mastering of “Rumours.” There is no 1977 CD – because CD was not a commercial format until the next decade. But several different Japanese, German, and American masterings do exist with different dynamic range measurements, respectively. When I return home, I will elaborate with examples from my library.


Great news. Does anybody have the tools and spare minutes to help with Rumours out there to help out.

Would be immensely appreciated. And I’m not sure anyone has done such a comparison, at least in my readings on this forum and Computer Audiophile, so it may be of interest to others.

Agreed, my error there. The DR database shows as DR value of 15 for both the 1977 vinyl and 1984 CD anyway.

I may be confusing “Rumours” with “Tusk,” but the latter had a flat, high dynamic range, high res transfer on HDtracks in 2011. That transfer, though, is no longer available, has been replaced with a more recent, less dynamic remaster. The same may hold for “Rumours.”


As I recall, the highest DR “Rumours” is the RE-2 stealth remaster from the late 80s or early 90s.


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Yes Tusk was great in terms of DR for the HDtracks version. Rumours HDtracks not so great, in terms of DR, compared to early CD’s and vinyl (both which had DR of 15).

I’m hoping the MQA version of Rumours on Tidal is better (in terms of DR).

This is the first CD transfer of and considered by many as the digital holy grail for “Rumours:”

After six months of searching used CD stores, I serendipitously acquired this mastering as the Sanyo pressed Columbia House version just last week. My jaw dropped when I opened the jewel case and saw the Sanyo imprint.


Very very nice. I’m yet to hear that one sadly. You’re a very lucky man indeed.

I’m even more eager to know how Warner decided to approach this with the MQA version on Tidal now.

The CD copy I have is the DR=15 (going by the database and catalogue number, not because I have/can measure it myself).

For the unitiated, the above is a table of peak levels, which can be used as means to identify matching and different CD transfers.


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Sadly it sounds to me like the Tidal MQA version is the same as the HDTracks version which had a DR = 10. It sounds more much compressed than the early CD pressings or vinyl.

I don’t have a DR value and wish someone could verify but I was hoping Warner would treat such a classic and massively selling album better.

Surely there exists an uncompressed version of the 24/192 master. Why wasn’t that one released to Tidal in MQA? Sigh :frowning:

Interesting. I do not know that much about DR, but just recently compared the Songbird track on the Rumours album between vinyl, Tidal standard and Tidal Master.
Vinyl sounds great, standard CD (no idea what version is on Tidal) sounded more detailed, controlled, but also more clinical. Tidal Master combined the best of the two, integrating lots of detail sounding more refined and restoring the atmosphere of vinyl. More refined after all. The piano in the track suddenly seemd to be of a much better make :slight_smile:

System: Thorens T160/SME arm/Ortofon 2M Black/Devialet 220 Pro/Sonics Allegra
Roon on home built htps both server and bridge, into the Devialet over USB.

For CD quality, the 2004 remaster of “Rumours” continues to be reissued on CD and available for download or streaming.


You may have to do it yourself. Capturing the Tidal stream is not all that difficult, apparently, and can be done losslessly. Then, run the captured audio through the DR meter. Additionally, the MQA encoding is preserved, so you even could play back the local audio with MQA partial unfolding in Roon 1.3.

Of course, consider all of the above only for personal, educational use, not for piracy.