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  • MQA

    I have a question about MQA,

    Is MQA sound quality better than streaming from say Jriver to a dac and 2 channel system soundwise?

    I see a lot on MQA but there seems to be no info if it is better. Of course using Tidal, I can understand its use, They can stream an MP3 size file that after the process is Hi Rez, but is it better than whats out there now like 96/24 ? Or is it just all hype now?

  • #2
    Not better. Maybe not worse, but restrictive at the end of the day. Listen and decide for yourself. Listen to a wide variety of music not just "select" tracks that sound great no matter how they are encoded. I will pass on MQA, others are excited.

    As I understand you cannot use any DSP with MQA so that takes out a certain user. Hi res PCM and DSD seem to offer plenty and the new filters for both leave many choices to tinker with sound currently.


    Comment


    • #3
      Don't listen to anyone's views but your own. I for one don't look at mqa as a new format. Tidal alone sounds pretty good and stunning on some. And one more is this some music 🎶 played is better in quality then the cd I own or downloads. An example is buena vista social club. I own downloads and cd. But what ever master tidal has streaming in red book blows all my owned up.
      Now for tidal. I don't own a dac that completely decodes mqa my Msb is supposed too but that is a Long story
      if you use tidal desktop app you get two of the three unfolds at 24/96 and in most cases it's better than the reg album they offer by a margin. Some it's close but still seems better. What I think drives some crazy is what mqa is doing to our music in that they possible own it's rights
      I cannot say what rights are and would much rather just get the hi Rez master streamed. But consider this plenty of our music is screwed from the start. So mqa has taken the time and money to remaster it like SHM did.
      But they also own it and don't let you hear the complete end product unless you buy one of there approved dacs.
      I will not lol.
      Now I use roon that has a wonderful tidal interface
      only issue is there is no mqa unfold lol. Apparently roon and mqa have a ongoing issue. The issue is not technical it's financial although that is not publicly stated.
      In the end mqa is free with a hi fi subscription to tidal.
      Play and enjoy and post how you feel.
      analog stuff.
      otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 made new by soren
      otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 1/2 combo made new by soren
      sota sapphire used eminent tech ver 2 arm
      new sota nova table has magnetic levitation platter and full speed control and latest motor same arm as above
      thorens td124 sme ver 2 arm
      thorens td125 sme ver 2 arm
      kenwood direct drive sme ver 2 arm
      phono preamp Ml no 25 all re capped
      speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
      mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
      digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
      Dacs lampi various

      Comment


      • #4
        Here's my take on it. I have no interest in buying or downloading MQA files to have in my collection or on my server. However, I have an MQA compatible DAC/headphone amp (just a little Audioquest Black) that I use when I stream Tidal off my notebook. When streaming MQA/Masters file the AQ Black sounds better than my Audioengine D3. When listening to Tidal HiFi or FLAC files the D3 sounds better. If it makes streaming services sound better that's good enough for me.
        Steve Lefkowicz
        Senior Associate Editor at Positive Feedback
        --------------------------------------------------------
        http://www.audionirvana.org/forum/ti...ounding-system

        Comment


        • Alpinist
          Alpinist commented
          Editing a comment
          This is exactly my take on it as well.

          Ken

      • #5
        So if I am understanding everyone correctly. MQA is great for Tidal. But an MQA file and dac in my system as compared to regular Hi Rez FLAC, there is no proof that the MQA sounds better?

        Comment


        • #6
          Originally posted by mshump View Post
          So if I am understanding everyone correctly. MQA is great for Tidal. But an MQA file and dac in my system as compared to regular Hi Rez FLAC, there is no proof that the MQA sounds better?
          "Sounds better" would be personal preference, and there is a wide range of answers (opinions) to your question, as even a brief perusal of Internet audio boards will reveal.
          Modwright Oppo 205 full tube mod
          Pass Labs INT60
          Daedalus Audio Ulysses v.2
          REL S3
          Daedalus/Wywires and Acoustic Zen cables
          Torus IS5

          Comment


          • #7
            Yes
            consider my SHM ideal it's a remix more than mqa format
            by a 400 maridian for mqa or get 2/3 desktop alone
            analog stuff.
            otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 made new by soren
            otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 1/2 combo made new by soren
            sota sapphire used eminent tech ver 2 arm
            new sota nova table has magnetic levitation platter and full speed control and latest motor same arm as above
            thorens td124 sme ver 2 arm
            thorens td125 sme ver 2 arm
            kenwood direct drive sme ver 2 arm
            phono preamp Ml no 25 all re capped
            speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
            mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
            digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
            Dacs lampi various

            Comment


            • #8
              Originally posted by rbbert View Post
              "Sounds better" would be personal preference, and there is a wide range of answers (opinions) to your question, as even a brief perusal of Internet audio boards will reveal.
              Lots of opinions, few have heard. But why let that stop them? Never has before.

              And I have no vested interest one way or the other.
              Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
              Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
              ________________________________________

              -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
              -cj 40th Anniversary ART300 monoblock amplifiers
              -cj GAT preamplifier Series 2 preamplifier
              -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
              -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
              -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
              -Lyra Atlas SL, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
              -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
              -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Allnic cables, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, MG Audio, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies Power Cords
              -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

              Comment


              • #9
                Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                ________________________________________

                -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
                -cj 40th Anniversary ART300 monoblock amplifiers
                -cj GAT preamplifier Series 2 preamplifier
                -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
                -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                -Lyra Atlas SL, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Allnic cables, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, MG Audio, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies Power Cords
                -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

                Comment


                • #10
                  I liked it, good article!
                  Disclosure:
                  Alma Music and Audio - La Jolla, CA
                  Aqua Hi-Fi - Audio Research - Audioquest - Audionet - Audiopax - Auralic - Aurender - Bergmann - Brodmann - D'Agostino - darTZeel - Devialet - DEQX - ELAC - Evolution Acoustics - Hegel - iFi - Innuos - IsoTek - Kii Audio - Koetsu - Kronos - Kubala Sosna - Kuzma - Larsen - Linn - MSB Technology - Music Hall - Ortofon - Solid Steel - Technics - Wharfedale - Wilson Audio - YG Acoustics
                  [ http://almaaudio.com ]

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    Nice read , but leaves out some critical points. How much is remastering from the tapes or multitrack effect the sound rather than Mqa software .
                    I have many of the Mqa files from tidal ripped from SACD . I can say almost none are better than my SACD rips . SHM what I feel is what should be done Instead of Mqa is not the norm. One can say Mqa as it has three levels of unfolding gives us less band with needed . That argument is false.
                    Shm beats any of my SACD rips proving the point of remaster and done for us audiophiles is what we really need.
                    Having said this I love Mqa for what it does for me on tidal, The cost of this addtional reworking has to be paid for and repaid over time somehow.
                    Chads analog productions prove the point of remaster as well. At 50 a pop for downloads or SHM SACD ,s yields proof of tidal at 25 a month being better in finances. I am buying the cheap meridian DAC to play tidal at full unfold . At 3 per 400 it's cheap enough to try . I have an audio buddy who says it's pretty good and he has what I feel is very good taste in digital sound.
                    analog stuff.
                    otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 made new by soren
                    otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 1/2 combo made new by soren
                    sota sapphire used eminent tech ver 2 arm
                    new sota nova table has magnetic levitation platter and full speed control and latest motor same arm as above
                    thorens td124 sme ver 2 arm
                    thorens td125 sme ver 2 arm
                    kenwood direct drive sme ver 2 arm
                    phono preamp Ml no 25 all re capped
                    speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
                    mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
                    digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
                    Dacs lampi various

                    Comment


                    • rbbert
                      rbbert commented
                      Editing a comment
                      You have a pretty high-end DAC, right? I'll bet you often find the partial unfold into your DAC sounds better than the full unfold through the Explorer2 (is that the one you are trying? $300 list price?)

                  • #12
                    IMO, many of the comments are more relevant and insightful than the editorial itself.
                    Modwright Oppo 205 full tube mod
                    Pass Labs INT60
                    Daedalus Audio Ulysses v.2
                    REL S3
                    Daedalus/Wywires and Acoustic Zen cables
                    Torus IS5

                    Comment


                    • #13
                      I don’t own the meridian explorer dac but plan to buy one.
                      I cannot comment on it directly. But your comment seems right. I think a 400 dac will not sound like a 10 k dac much less and a 40k one.
                      analog stuff.
                      otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 made new by soren
                      otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 1/2 combo made new by soren
                      sota sapphire used eminent tech ver 2 arm
                      new sota nova table has magnetic levitation platter and full speed control and latest motor same arm as above
                      thorens td124 sme ver 2 arm
                      thorens td125 sme ver 2 arm
                      kenwood direct drive sme ver 2 arm
                      phono preamp Ml no 25 all re capped
                      speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
                      mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
                      digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
                      Dacs lampi various

                      Comment


                      • #14
                        Update. I hAve on loan a mytek brooklyn for now. I can confirm this. A fully unfolded Mqa is very nice . It is like a SHM or anolog production quality
                        maybe not completely but close enough and on tidal at 25 per month to access there titles well worth it.
                        Having said this. I for one don't feel it's Mqa but truly a remix like the two I mentioned above for us audio nuts.
                        I have many shms,s and analog productions. Mqa is close but what comes out after the music is this.
                        They are spending the time and money to fix our music on a massive level , at some point they must sell SACD or cd or downloads to recoup . Tidal looses money and I wonder how long they will be around. Also now tidal just added an addtional hi rez called master. Waiting on the price increase . At this point in my life I want the best sounding music I can find. You anolog people do the same by pressings or new tapes . Using the tidal desktop is 2/3 of the full unfold and is still pretty good considering it streaming .
                        i don't know tidal,s or Mqa business models. But I do know what Mqa has done is locked up all the new music while inprovemnt it.
                        There are many sides to the Mqa implimentation , having to buy or makers letting Mqa into there DAC making is this slow , complex and costly for them. We as end users just pay again and again but this has been going over my lifetime.

                        What I would like is someone like BRUCE and others who produce or dub or remix music
                        to coment on this fro a pure sound perspective not the business of buying the music .
                        analog stuff.
                        otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 made new by soren
                        otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 1/2 combo made new by soren
                        sota sapphire used eminent tech ver 2 arm
                        new sota nova table has magnetic levitation platter and full speed control and latest motor same arm as above
                        thorens td124 sme ver 2 arm
                        thorens td125 sme ver 2 arm
                        kenwood direct drive sme ver 2 arm
                        phono preamp Ml no 25 all re capped
                        speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
                        mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
                        digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
                        Dacs lampi various

                        Comment


                        • #15
                          Originally posted by mshump View Post
                          So if I am understanding everyone correctly. MQA is great for Tidal. But an MQA file and dac in my system as compared to regular Hi Rez FLAC, there is no proof that the MQA sounds better?
                          That is the big question.

                          There's quite a discussion on that over on the Gearslutz Forum where they talk of the effects of MQA processing on Hi Rez PCM music files.
                          Worth a read.

                          https://www.gearslutz.com/board/mast...er-rmaf-9.html


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