I just downloaded a few Dead & Company shows from Nugs in MQA. From what I can see only this year’s shows are in MQA. With minimal digging around Nugs I found Springsteen 2017 shows also in MQA.
Impression - the top end feels cutoff but in fairness I wasn’t about to spring for PCM versions too and do any comparisons. I also realize we’re talking live shows, likely off the soundboards and I’m sure this wasn’t the best raw material to begin with.
Doing some more listening and feel the need to update my opinion. It isn’t the top end that is missing, it’s the crowd. Kind of gives it a sterile feel. This has nothing to do with MA (I think), but the original material. However, having purchased a number of live shows from Nugs in the past I don’t believe I’ve ever had any with this lack of crowd noise. Again it isn’t MQA’s fault.
Some might like the total black out of the crowd but to me it removes the ‘being there’ feel of listening to a live show. I don’t like handheld mics with lots of crowd noise, prefer soundboards, but usually you get a bit more of the crowd than this. Yes not MQA, but thought I’d mention it since I first reported a cutoff top end.
What your talking about is called a matrix (soundboard with crowd mics mixed in). I prefer this as well. You are correct that it is indeed the source as some band don’t release there recordings this way. I’m surprised Dead & Co would have no crowd noise…