MQA VS EQUIVALENT 96k FLAC

Below are two examples of same album, and I want to understand the difference and what is SUPPOSE to be different.

One is Tidal (which I’m trying on trial now) and the other 96k from Qobuz which I have and like pretty well. Should the theory be that their very similar and the big difference is that the streaming rate and file size are more compact, or is there more to it…

Second question, how is an older artist like this’s content created at these formats. Does someone get permission to take original tracks (analog?) and use a modern encoder in each of the different formats to be able to offer this?

And one more thing, in this situation, is the MQA considered the default higher res format by Roon and why?

There’s a lot of questions in there with entire discussion forums on each of them
Tidal uses MQA read about it below, some love it some loath it.


In the case of the Beatles recent remixes Giles Martin had access to the original tapes.

Some people will say MQA sounds better, others will say MQA sucks. I used to think MQA had more bass response, but now I think I was probably imagining that. I have three DAC’s I use, two of which are MQA. If I’m using an MQA DAC, I listen to either Tidal MQA or Qobuz high resolution. When using a non-MQA DAC, I usually listen to Qobuz high resolution. The only thing that might sound less than optimal would be MQA with a non-MQA DAC, even with Roon doing the decoding.

Some will say the MQA in not lossless since it is compressed to 44.1 or 48. Ignore that nonsense. Well, ignore it if you have an MQA DAC.

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I should have started out with, Ive read all the typical MQA, Flac white papers, specs. Etc.

So the summary is, MQA is a better efficient packaging as an encoding format. I do understand their goal is that it is to be authenticated from studio origination.

Any idea bout the choice of the Tidal Mqa as the higher res vs the Qobuz?

In my opinion 96 is 96 regardless, 192 is 192. I have both Tidal and Qobuz because sometimes one will have high resolution or MQA while the other doesn’t for a given album. That said, sometimes 16/44.1 sounds as good or better. It’s about the master.

Hmm, thanks for that. It’s exactly my thought process as well, just wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing something…

Agreed about the master recording…I have been trying to notice certain Recording engineers…

Thanks