New TIDAL tiers and MQA

Films never been lostless even before it went digital. Film prints had less resolution than your 1080p TV they go through that many stages. Now it’s compressed jpeg2000 images, also a lot of acquisition isnt lossless either but that’s another story.

Actually, there ARE definitions for those terms. The problem is worse than no definitions…it’s conflicting and ambiguous definitions. What we need are unified definitions that are easy to understand by everyone.

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What standards body and/or association/organization do you get your definitions from?

Every single association and organization there is, than is why I said the definitions are ambiguous and conflicting, and need to be unified. Definitions on Stereophile differ from those on The Absolute Sound which differ from those on What Hi Fi, etc., etc. etc. sometimes they slightly differ, sometimes drastically. And when it comes to definitions, they is no such thing as a single standards body.

Yeah, none of those are recognized as standards bodies.

Probably the closest thing we have is “hi-res audio” and its little sticker which is pretty universally accepted as anything capable of a bitdepth/resolution greater than 16/44.1. But that’s it. Says nothing about lossless (in fact, very much the opposite, see LDAC which is tagged by Sony as a hi-res audio codec and is very much lossy).


I think I’m going to disable Tidal this weekend and only stream Qobuz for a while. I am fairly certain I won’t miss Tidal. When given a choice I choose to put the Qobuz version in my library. It’s rare that I only see Tidal when I look at versions. I’ve also noticed that Qobuz frequently has higher res as well.


Are you getting any support and feedback from any SBAF Australian members yet, @crenca?

It would be good to confirm what people are, and are not getting.

Clarity will enable informed choice; this is not intended to denigrate any format, I happen to agree with @wklie when he says all he wants is for people to have access to their format of choice.

I know there are some out there that just fog-horn their listening habits, proclaiming superiority of one format or another to anyone listening in order to sway the argument (the mute user function has been handy here). This is not about the superiority of format over another, it’s about choice and identifying ethical commercial practices (or not). We owe it to ourselves to get the facts out into the light.


I’m not sure hi-res audio means anything beyond the marketing world, but this paper is interesting:


I like this paper. The most ‘fun’ statement?

“… the most likely issues are the anti-alias and anti-imaging filtering chains used to implement classic Shannon sampling.”

Which might be taken to mean we’ve been doing pcm ‘wrong’ for always, and undermines the ‘I want the master pcm because it’s perfect’ position a little.

Or maybe I’m reading out of context. Remember - it’s always more complicated than you imagine.


Folks here may be interested to read Neil Young’s recent book " To Feel the Music: A Songwriter’s Mission to Save High-Quality Audio"

It’s available on Amazon.

Haha… It doesn’t matter what changes Tidal makes. After having Tidal since it first came out, I cancelled it a few days ago.

I was tired of Tidal not sounding nearly as good as Qobuz, and was tired of them shoving stupid MQA in my face every chance they got.

I have played several albums on Tidal that claimed they were the “original” non-MQA versions only to look down and my SMSL M400 DAC to see that it was getting an MQA signal. Hence why I said above that Tidal is shoving MQA in your face.

That’s not to mention all of the other shady BS Tidal has been doing with MQA. And the fact that Tidal sounds nowhere near as good as Qobuz.

I’ve been using Tidal and Qobuz side by side for a little over a year now, thinking that I would keep Tidal just in case Qobuz didn’t have a particular album. Over the past year, I only came across two albums that Tidal has and Qobuz doesn’t. One of them Qobuz finally got, the other I won’t miss as I didn’t listen to it but maybe twice.

Plus there’s been rumors that Square, who just bought out Tidal, might shut down Tidal after a while. So who knows there.

No… I’ll proudly keep my Qobuz and very proudly ditch Tidal. I also have Amazon Prime and Spotify, so I have options with Amazon HD and Spotify HiFi when it’s available as well.


To be honest anything that takes the edge off Neil Young’s voice is fine by me. In fact mono am radio is best for him in my opinion, preferably in a car doing 70 with the roof down.


Like my 74 Vette…lmfao!
Yes he and Dylan sound pretty good in that car!

I bet. I’m guessing the engine would sound better to me than the two them though.

Actually my garbage disposal sounds better than that pair…imho …of course…lol

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It’s getting hotter in the lossless market :money_mouth_face: :fire:


@GoldenSound analysis appears to confirm that Tidal is just removing the MQA flag, so this “HiFi” tier is just deflagged MQA and not real PCM 16/44. Has Roon been able to confirm this?

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Nothing as of yet but @GoldenSound posted his analysis that supports this new tier is just deflagged MQA, so Roon and the like will not reveal it to be MQA…

Roon will identify MQA in signal path if a music is indeed MQA even if not “flagged”, as will all properly implemented MQA DAC.

Would someone with an active subscription care to see what this streams as from Qobuz?