Interesting video on MQA

chander

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Great video, thanks @jai1611 for posting this here. I have been reading up a lot on MQA performance, and other than a few people who wholeheartedly recommend and swear by MQA, mostly I have been coming across a lot of negatives.

I also used Tidal Masters for a year or so, and initially I was really impressed too, it was fantastic stuff, but for most of the music I love, it started tiring me out, hifi was better, but then they took away that choice, master was the only one you could listen to - if a master was available. I still preferred the sound on Spotify and my local FLACS - the DACs I owned always made spotify more enjoyable that Tidal Masters. I paused my Tidal membership a few months back and have completely moved to Spotify for streaming. I debated that decision everyday, and I kept wondering if my gear is not good enough. But this video makes things a lot clearer.
 

Analogous

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Sacrilegious maybe, but well recorded music sounds good whether it’s lossless or 320kbps MP3 or MQA.

Sure, with highly resolving systems and good hearing differences between these formats can be perceived.

But what I know now to be poor recordings that I used to love in my teenage (played through cassette players and Walkman) don’t sound very good on my setup even when digitally remastered. Pity.

Wondering if :oops: Tube amplifier based setups would be an improvement...
 

NewBee2020

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Found it on the Tidal subreddit

Informative!!...I have completely moved to Spotify due to its ease of use and it's great implementation of Spotify connect.
Not to forget the collection of indian music.
Podcasts are top-class.
Thanks for sharing this video.
 

jai1611

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My own experience with Tidal was ok - not as good as local storage but better than Spotify. More recently, I've tried out Qobuz and that seems to be a step up from Tidal. This is despite an MQA compatible chain. I'm considering giving up Tidal altogether and just using the Qobuz - Spotify combo for streaming.

(By the way did you know there is a FM with the handle @jai1606)
Didnt know that!
 
D

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but then they took away that choice, master was the only one you could listen to
Is that so? I find both options available (at least on browser version and in Stream Magic) - one can select Hifi or Master where both are available.


Wondering if Tube amplifier based setups would be an improvement...
Not really. It’s just different sound - more euphonic - not necessarily an improvement. At budget prices (when only tube pre is used) it comes at the cost of loss in speed and altered tonality. Unless one goes for all tube setup and speakers with sensitivity in mid 90s or higher which is a major investment.


My own experience with Tidal was ok - not as good as local storage but better than Spotify.
Same here. I prefer Tidal HiFi over Spotify - can easily perceive the loss in compression while listening to rich music with nuances like Hindustani classical where one tends to listen closely. As for Hindi (or regional Indian) songs I’ve found Hungama has better balance than Spotify (brighter/hollower), though it has a weird and unstable interface. I tend to go for combo of Tidal Hifi and Hungama Pro.
 
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chander

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More recently, I've tried out Qobuz and that seems to be a step up from Tidal
Quobuz is definitely fantastic. I had it earlier, but then I had a lot of issues with renewals and all.

Is that so? I find both options available (at least on browser version and in Stream Magic) - one can select Hifi or Master where both are available.
I am not too sure - on my phone and when I had the M11, it will only play the master files and will not let me choose. Maybe I was doing something wrong, but I am almost sure I wasn't.
 

drkrack

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Unsubscribed tidal a while ago and got a Qobuz account yesterday. The difference is quite noticeable. Folks say Qobuz has fewer choices but for that i have Spotify premium which I found better than tidal in choice and recommendations.
I'm Running Qobuz and Tidal Simultaneously, I've unsubscribed from Gaana & Spotify. Very Few times Spotify version were better than Tidal in my setup ; otherwise it was Tidal winning most of the times over Spotify. The Soundstage, Micro dynamics and Holographic presentation was easily evident on Tidal over Spotify.

Now, Qobuz has a more bolder presentation and appears detailed over Tidal. Especially vocals have more weight on Qobuz and subtle Background sounds in EcM etc are slightly clearer on Qobuz. Well recorded albums sound same in both streaming services. Indian regional albums in Kannada, Telugu and Malayalam are definitely better on Qobuz. Nevertheless it's not a big difference overall but personally Qobuz is more appealing.
 

rajeshv

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Iam a tidal and Spotify user.
Certain songs however Spotify premium sounds better than tidal.most likely due to recoding. For eg. Chris Jones long after sounds better in Spotify.
Qobuz is quite tempting. But it was not taking VPN access for subscription
 

rajeshv

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Ps audio Paul McGowan once said in a youtube video about mqa on similar lines.
DSD is the best according to him.better than vinyl as stated.
however their players have mqa decoding though
 

chander

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I am really waiting for Spotify HiFi - that UI, music discovery and if they really do a good job of HiFi (and hopefully not jump on the MQA bandwagon), I think I am sorted!
 

DB1989

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Great video, thanks @jai1611 for posting this here. I have been reading up a lot on MQA performance, and other than a few people who wholeheartedly recommend and swear by MQA, mostly I have been coming across a lot of negatives.

I also used Tidal Masters for a year or so, and initially I was really impressed too, it was fantastic stuff, but for most of the music I love, it started tiring me out, hifi was better, but then they took away that choice, master was the only one you could listen to - if a master was available. I still preferred the sound on Spotify and my local FLACS - the DACs I owned always made spotify more enjoyable that Tidal Masters. I paused my Tidal membership a few months back and have completely moved to Spotify for streaming. I debated that decision everyday, and I kept wondering if my gear is not good enough. But this video makes things a lot clearer.
I've found Tidal's redeeming feature to be their videos. YT videos of music don't sound anywhere as good as audio streamed through Spotify or Apple Music. And when you have people over, putting on music videos on YT can leave you a little red faced and struggling to justify the outlay (It could be Delhi specific and not applicable to other parts of India :p)

Enter Tidal videos and the audio sounds just right i.e. no different than listening to Tidal's audio only streams. In one word, simply Superb (if you consider Tidals audio to be so)! Though their vicdeo (and audio) library is limited, they've got most popular tracks which is what I tend to put on during gatherings so thats a non issue.

But what really takes the cake for listening in my own time are the live performances which look and sound fantastic and much MUCH better than their YT counterparts.

Apple Music also has videos but it brings my current PC to a crawl (its a 5 years old 4th gen Core i7 Laptop) so thats a no go. I'll give it another shot once my monster HTPC build is done (monster cuz the barebones PC case by itself weighs 23 kilos) and see whether i can still justify holding on to Tidal.
 

KiranPS

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HI Guys,

I always felt when some company has tall unverifiable claims , more often than not, its pure lies. MQA claimed to be a HiRes lossless format, it can un-fold (not un-compress) hires data encoded below the noise floor etc. They want us to Pay Extra for Music encoded in MQA and want us to buy new Hardware that can Decode MQA.

The Main issue is they never allow any independent lab/company to verify if their claims are true . They do not allow the Digital Data to be produced at the output of any MQA certified product. You can only get Analog output. They have spent a lot to get Mainstream Media like What-HiFi etc to sing praises about the quality. All Red flags in my book.

This is like, If some Camera Company claims a 80 Mega Pixel Sensor but says will never give you the Jpeg but only a Printed Copy from which
you should believe that it actually came from a 80MP Sensor, Most Camera users would not accept that.
We in the audiophile community are a little more trusting (err .. Gullible).

So no one could either verify or debunk the MQA Claims, till one guy had a brilliant idea to upload a file as an artist to Tidal thru a publisher
with some test tones and get the MQA Encoded file back that he could then test to see if its in fact Lossless and is Hires. Long story short MQA adds
noise to even places that are quiet in the original Track.

Here is the Video of that , Kudos to this guy for doing this for all of us.


Pls Share your comments.
 

sanjivnayak

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HI Guys,

I always felt when some company has tall unverifiable claims , more often than not, its pure lies. MQA claimed to be a HiRes lossless format, it can un-fold (not un-compress) hires data encoded below the noise floor etc. They want us to Pay Extra for Music encoded in MQA and want us to buy new Hardware that can Decode MQA.

The Main issue is they never allow any independent lab/company to verify if their claims are true . They do not allow the Digital Data to be produced at the output of any MQA certified product. You can only get Analog output. They have spent a lot to get Mainstream Media like What-HiFi etc to sing praises about the quality. All Red flags in my book.

This is like, If some Camera Company claims a 80 Mega Pixel Sensor but says will never give you the Jpeg but only a Printed Copy from which
you should believe that it actually came from a 80MP Sensor, Most Camera users would not accept that.
We in the audiophile community are a little more trusting (err .. Gullible).

So no one could either verify or debunk the MQA Claims, till one guy had a brilliant idea to upload a file as an artist to Tidal thru a publisher
with some test tones and get the MQA Encoded file back that he could then test to see if its in fact Lossless and is Hires. Long story short MQA adds
noise to even places that are quiet in the original Track.

Here is the Video of that , Kudos to this guy for doing this for all of us.


Pls Share your comments.
Gone through the video. Still can't understand if one group of people or Cos can fool the rest of the world. There can be some truth which has been magnified for big business.
 

Analogous

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“Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has.” ~ Margaret Mead​

 

Nikhil

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This video has created quite the splash all over. Personally I started having some serious problems with MQA and was a regular participant of the long and voluminous discussion "MQA is Vaporware" on Audiophile Style (then called Computer Audiophile). A lot of the work cited in the video stemmed from that discussion and till date it is one of the most prominent sources of information countering MQA.

We had some really great info from some really knowledgeable folks on there - Charlie Hansen (Ayre), Andreas Koch (DSD guru) and many others to name a few. The amazing thing was that instead of actually engaging in meaningful discussion or dialogue, most of the MQA proponents would aggressively dismiss/challenge any view point. What was even more amazing was that the people most defensive of MQA were from within the industry and included writers from prominent audio publications who would regurgitate the very same marketing material that MQA would generate.

It became very clear that the industry was going to stand behind MQA because it made business sense to them. The publications needed something to hype as the next best thing and sure enough the manufacturers were obliged to follow. Soon the leading dealers and distributors followed as they soon realized that this was generating a whole new demand for gear that could be sold. In a recession economy there was very little argument against anything that would help generate sales. While this article generally tries to give the industry a clean chit, the fact is that the entire chain - right from music labels down to dealers - benefited from it.

The music labels were perhaps the most complicit. The argument was simple - giving away hi res files was tantamount to giving away the family jewels. They would always get behind anything that allowed them to sell the same old wine to all those new suckers out there. How many would like to the buy the "Kind of Blue" in it's newest latest greatest best sounding ever MQA version?

The pro MQA band wagon has already started their damage control exercises. It's going to be interesting to watch. Personally this whole thing has soured me on the entire music industry.


.
 

Analogous

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This video has created quite the splash all over. Personally I started having some serious problems with MQA and was a regular participant of the long and voluminous discussion "MQA is Vaporware" on Audiophile Style (then called Computer Audiophile). A lot of the work cited in the video stemmed from that discussion and till date it is one of the most prominent sources of information countering MQA.

We had some really great info from some really knowledgeable folks on there - Charlie Hansen (Ayre), Andreas Koch (DSD guru) and many others to name a few. The amazing thing was that instead of actually engaging in meaningful discussion or dialogue, most of the MQA proponents would aggressively dismiss/challenge any view point. What was even more amazing was that the people most defensive of MQA were from within the industry and included writers from prominent audio publications who would regurgitate the very same marketing material that MQA would generate.

It became very clear that the industry was going to stand behind MQA because it made business sense to them. The publications needed something to hype as the next best thing and sure enough the manufacturers were obliged to follow. Soon the leading dealers and distributors followed as they soon realized that this was generating a whole new demand for gear that could be sold. In a recession economy there was very little argument against anything that would help generate sales. While this article generally tries to give the industry a clean chit, the fact is that the entire chain - right from music labels down to dealers - benefited from it.

The music labels were perhaps the most complicit. The argument was simple - giving away hi res files was tantamount to giving away the family jewels. They would always get behind anything that allowed them to sell the same old wine to all those new suckers out there. How many would like to the buy the "Kind of Blue" in it's newest latest greatest best sounding ever MQA version?

The pro MQA band wagon has already started their damage control exercises. It's going to be interesting to watch. Personally this whole thing has soured me on the entire music industry.


.
As with so many other things today, it is possible to make incredible claims or conmit the most outrageous acts, brazen it out and get away with it, often laughing all the way to the bank or a throne o_O
The cacophony of Facts and fiction, myths and reality all mixed up in the clamor makes it possible
A sad reality of the times we live in.
 
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