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  1. #1
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    News: Millions Of MQA Tracks Coming To TIDAL Masters From Warner Music

    Peter Lie
    LUMIN Firmware Lead

  2. #2

    Re: News: Millions Of MQA Tracks Coming To TIDAL Masters From Warner Music

    I'm a bit perplexed by the following: Is the article saying they will somehow improve on the original recording if it only exists in the digital format of 44.1/16 or do they mean they will MQA from the original recordings such as master tapes from the vault? Because those are two very different things and I am not 100% convinced that MQA is the answer to every question an audiophile ever had.

    "In a press release to announce the expansion of TIDAL’s Masters offering, Stuart explained: “By paying great attention to the nature of sound and the way we hear, MQA opens a clear window and delivers all the detail and nuance of the original song. The music industry’s catalogue contains millions of significant performances from the early days of CD where, sometimes, the recording was created in 44.1kHz 16bit and where no alternative existed. We are delighted that Warner Music Group is bringing this content to TIDAL.”
    Serge

  3. #3
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    Re: News: Millions Of MQA Tracks Coming To TIDAL Masters From Warner Music

    [QUOTE=TheOctopus;315631.... I am not 100% convinced that MQA is the answer to every question an audiophile ever had.

    "In a press release to announce the expansion of TIDAL’s Masters offering, Stuart explained: “By paying great attention to the nature of sound and the way we hear, MQA opens a clear window and delivers all the detail and nuance of the original song. The music industry’s catalogue contains millions of significant performances from the early days of CD where, sometimes, the recording was created in 44.1kHz 16bit and where no alternative existed. We are delighted that Warner Music Group is bringing this content to TIDAL.”[/QUOTE]

    Agreed.
    MQA is probably an answer to using less bandwidth and less storage space.
    It seems tht one advantage of MQA is that it's compressed so it occupies less space...
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  4. #4

    Re: News: Millions Of MQA Tracks Coming To TIDAL Masters From Warner Music

    Quote Originally Posted by TheOctopus View Post
    I'm a bit perplexed by the following: Is the article saying they will somehow improve on the original recording if it only exists in the digital format of 44.1/16 or do they mean they will MQA from the original recordings such as master tapes from the vault? Because those are two very different things and I am not 100% convinced that MQA is the answer to every question an audiophile ever had.

    "In a press release to announce the expansion of TIDAL’s Masters offering, Stuart explained: “By paying great attention to the nature of sound and the way we hear, MQA opens a clear window and delivers all the detail and nuance of the original song. The music industry’s catalogue contains millions of significant performances from the early days of CD where, sometimes, the recording was created in 44.1kHz 16bit and where no alternative existed. We are delighted that Warner Music Group is bringing this content to TIDAL.”
    MQA is a solution in search of a problem that never existed IMO. I'll take 16/44.1 recordings that were made from the original master tapes and weren't scrubbed through a digital filter that removes the analog noise floor from the tapes over MQA files every day of the week.
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  5. #5

    Re: News: Millions Of MQA Tracks Coming To TIDAL Masters From Warner Music

    Quote Originally Posted by Gregm View Post
    Agreed.
    MQA is probably an answer to using less bandwidth and less storage space.
    It seems tht one advantage of MQA is that it's compressed so it occupies less space...
    Technology has rendered that point moot. Storage space is dirt cheap.
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  6. #6
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    Re: News: Millions Of MQA Tracks Coming To TIDAL Masters From Warner Music

    I wonder what the subscriber makeup is in regards to MQA, meaning a comparison between audiophile and non-audiophile.

    Most non-audiophiles I know never even heard of Tidal or Qobuz, but familiar with Spotify and iTunes.




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  7. #7

    Re: News: Millions Of MQA Tracks Coming To TIDAL Masters From Warner Music

    "An article titled Digital Done Wrong on the International Audio/Video Review web site, concluded that MQA is founded on a fundamentally unsound understanding of correct digital audio processing and found that playback of a sample MQA encoding demonstrated gross distortion and reconstruction failure. It did however comment that some listeners may find the technical defects of MQA encoding subjectively pleasing."

    "In an interview for online publication Positive Feedback, engineer Andreas Koch is critical of MQA due to its lossy algorithms and compression, along with its licensing requirements; also saying that a format such as this "does not solve any problem that the world currently has." Koch was involved in the creation of the Super Audio CD, the development of the Direct Stream Digital codec, and is co-founder of audio product manufacturer Playback Designs."

    Perhaps the main reason? "Commercial MQA-capable playback devices require payment of a royalty to MQA Ltd per unit sold. Based on information from Auralic, a manufacturer of Audiophile Wireless Audio Streamers, Meridian Audio prohibits digital output of unpacked MQA in any digital format, only allowing the unpacked data to be fed to an on-board MQA-compatible DAC and output in analog form. Some claim this to be a kind of DRM process, which allows a proper MQA file to be authenticated and the full quality of the signal decoded only on commercially licensed equipment.
    Serge

  8. #8

    Re: News: Millions Of MQA Tracks Coming To TIDAL Masters From Warner Music

    Quote Originally Posted by mep View Post
    Technology has rendered that point moot. Storage space is dirt cheap.

    Storage IS cheap all things considered in this hobby of ours and MQA is counterintuitive to me and has been since day one. I however kept an open mind but my ears do keep telling me otherwise and that I don't like MQA for the most part. Some unfamiliar recordings easily slip by, the ear can't tell where the problem lies. It is upon a direct comparison however, the KING is revealed to have NO CLOTHES.




    From Wikipedia

    "MQA encoding is lossy; it hierarchically compresses the relatively little energy in the higher frequency bands into data streams that are embedded in the lower frequency bands using proprietary dithering techniques but after the decoding the result would be the lossless archive.

    After a series of such manipulations, the resulting 44.1 kHz data, the layered data streams, and a final "touchup" stream (compressed difference between the lossy signal from unpacking all layers and the original) are provided to the playback device. Given the low amount of energy expected in higher frequencies, and using only one extra frequency band layer (upper 44.1 kHz band of 96/24 packed into dither of 48/16) and one touchup stream (compressed difference between original 96/24 and 48/16) are together distributed as a 48/24 stream, of which 48/16 bit-decimated part can be played by normal 48/16 playback equipment.

    One more difference to standard formats is the sampling process. The audio stream is sampled and convolved with a triangle function, and interpolated later during playback. The techniques employed, including the sampling of signals with a finite rate of innovation, were developed by a number of researchers over the preceding decade, including Pier Luigi Dragotti and others.[12][13]

    MQA-encoded content can be carried via any lossless file format such as FLAC or ALAC; hence, it can be played back on systems either with or without an MQA decoder. In the latter case, the resulting audio has easily identifiable high-frequency noise occupying 3 LSB bits, thus limiting playback on non-MQA devices effectively to 13 bit. MQA claims that nevertheless the quality is higher than "normal" 48/16, because of the novel sampling and convolution processes.[14]

    Other than the sampling and convolution methods, which were not explained by MQA in detail, the encoding process is similar to that used in XRCD and HDCD.

    However, unlike other lossy compression formats like MP3 and WMA, the lossy encoding method of MQA is similar to aptX, LDAC and WavPack Hybrid Lossy, which uses time-domain ADPCM and bitrate reduction instead of perceptual encoding based on psychoacoustic models."
    Serge

  9. #9
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    Re: News: Millions Of MQA Tracks Coming To TIDAL Masters From Warner Music

    Quote Originally Posted by mep View Post
    Technology has rendered that point moot. Storage space is dirt cheap.
    Well actually your point is moot. Storage is not a factor with Tidal since you are streaming the MQA files not storing them.
    Jim

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  10. #10

    Re: News: Millions Of MQA Tracks Coming To TIDAL Masters From Warner Music

    Quote Originally Posted by still-one View Post
    Well actually your point is moot. Storage is not a factor with Tidal since you are streaming the MQA files not storing them.
    How about storage at the source? That's what I was referring to. I assume the majority of people who listen to MQA are streaming it from Tidal.
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  11. #11

    Re: News: Millions Of MQA Tracks Coming To TIDAL Masters From Warner Music

    Quote Originally Posted by TheOctopus View Post
    "An article titled Digital Done Wrong on the International Audio/Video Review web site, concluded that MQA is founded on a fundamentally unsound understanding of correct digital audio processing and found that playback of a sample MQA encoding demonstrated gross distortion and reconstruction failure. It did however comment that some listeners may find the technical defects of MQA encoding subjectively pleasing."

    "In an interview for online publication Positive Feedback, engineer Andreas Koch is critical of MQA due to its lossy algorithms and compression, along with its licensing requirements; also saying that a format such as this "does not solve any problem that the world currently has." Koch was involved in the creation of the Super Audio CD, the development of the Direct Stream Digital codec, and is co-founder of audio product manufacturer Playback Designs."

    Perhaps the main reason? "Commercial MQA-capable playback devices require payment of a royalty to MQA Ltd per unit sold. Based on information from Auralic, a manufacturer of Audiophile Wireless Audio Streamers, Meridian Audio prohibits digital output of unpacked MQA in any digital format, only allowing the unpacked data to be fed to an on-board MQA-compatible DAC and output in analog form. Some claim this to be a kind of DRM process, which allows a proper MQA file to be authenticated and the full quality of the signal decoded only on commercially licensed equipment.
    When I first subscribed to Tidal, I was looking forward to hearing what MQA sounded like. It didn't take long to realize that something was wrong.
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  12. #12

    Re: News: Millions Of MQA Tracks Coming To TIDAL Masters From Warner Music

    Quote Originally Posted by mep View Post
    When I first subscribed to Tidal, I was looking forward to hearing what MQA sounded like. It didn't take long to realize that something was wrong.
    To be fair and objective, I do not have an MQA unfolding DAC so my listening is limited quality then, by design of MQA. (MQA-encoded content can be carried via any lossless file format such as FLAC or ALAC; hence, it can be played back on systems either with or without an MQA decoder. In the latter case, the resulting audio has easily identifiable high-frequency noise occupying 3 LSB bits, thus limiting playback on non-MQA devices effectively to 13 bit. MQA claims that nevertheless the quality is higher than "normal" 48/16, because of the novel sampling and convolution processes.)

    I fortunately do have a choice and I choose not to listen to MQA but Qobuz instead. Qobuz does sound more analog and natural to my ears and I have proven that with long and careful listening sessions out of sheer curiosity and since it is so easy with Roon and having both Qobuz, Tidal and even SACD of the same recording.


    If my findings are strictly due to a non MQA DAC, then so be it but I still have a choice and I choose none of this gimmick that does nothing for my enjoyment of music and puts $$$$ in Stuart's pocket instead.
    Serge

  13. #13

    Re: News: Millions Of MQA Tracks Coming To TIDAL Masters From Warner Music

    Quote Originally Posted by UltraFast69 View Post
    ...
    Most non-audiophiles I know never even heard of Tidal or Qobuz, but familiar with Spotify and iTunes.
    ....
    Agree about Qobuz, but not Tidal?
    Spotify and iTunes... well... you must be hanging around old folks! News: Millions Of MQA Tracks Coming To TIDAL Masters From Warner Music

    Young folks are in the know when it comes to Tidal (Jay Z, Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Kanye West, etc.)

    Artist-Owned – TIDAL

  14. #14

    Re: News: Millions Of MQA Tracks Coming To TIDAL Masters From Warner Music

    Quote Originally Posted by TheOctopus View Post
    To be fair and objective, I do not have an MQA unfolding DAC so my listening is limited quality then, by design of MQA. (MQA-encoded content can be carried via any lossless file format such as FLAC or ALAC; hence, it can be played back on systems either with or without an MQA decoder. In the latter case, the resulting audio has easily identifiable high-frequency noise occupying 3 LSB bits, thus limiting playback on non-MQA devices effectively to 13 bit. MQA claims that nevertheless the quality is higher than "normal" 48/16, because of the novel sampling and convolution processes.)

    I fortunately do have a choice and I choose not to listen to MQA but Qobuz instead. Qobuz does sound more analog and natural to my ears and I have proven that with long and careful listening sessions out of sheer curiosity and since it is so easy with Roon and having both Qobuz, Tidal and even SACD of the same recording.


    If my findings are strictly due to a non MQA DAC, then so be it but I still have a choice and I choose none of this gimmick that does nothing for my enjoyment of music and puts $$$$ in Stuart's pocket instead.
    My DAC unfolds all the MQA laundry. The main reason I keep Tidal is in case someone wants to claim that a certain MQA file is superior to all other versions available from either Tidal or Quobuz so I can check it out.
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  15. #15
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    News: Millions Of MQA Tracks Coming To TIDAL Masters From Warner Music

    Quote Originally Posted by mep View Post
    My DAC unfolds all the MQA laundry. The main reason I keep Tidal is in case someone wants to claim that a certain MQA file is superior to all other versions available from either Tidal or Quobuz so I can check it out.
    I’m the same. I have a Meridian 808v6 with full MQA ability. I keep Tidal just because. But I typically stream qobuz through my aurender. I also typically choose my McIntosh D1100 dac (non-MQA) over the 808 although the 2 dacs sound remarkably similar. I have yet to hear a true SQ improvement with MQA.

  16. #16

    Re: News: Millions Of MQA Tracks Coming To TIDAL Masters From Warner Music

    Quote Originally Posted by TheOctopus View Post
    "An article titled Digital Done Wrong on the International Audio/Video Review web site, concluded that MQA is founded on a fundamentally unsound understanding of correct digital audio processing and found that playback of a sample MQA encoding demonstrated gross distortion and reconstruction failure. It did however comment that some listeners may find the technical defects of MQA encoding subjectively pleasing."

    "In an interview for online publication Positive Feedback, engineer Andreas Koch is critical of MQA due to its lossy algorithms and compression, along with its licensing requirements; also saying that a format such as this "does not solve any problem that the world currently has." Koch was involved in the creation of the Super Audio CD, the development of the Direct Stream Digital codec, and is co-founder of audio product manufacturer Playback Designs."

    Perhaps the main reason? "Commercial MQA-capable playback devices require payment of a royalty to MQA Ltd per unit sold. Based on information from Auralic, a manufacturer of Audiophile Wireless Audio Streamers, Meridian Audio prohibits digital output of unpacked MQA in any digital format, only allowing the unpacked data to be fed to an on-board MQA-compatible DAC and output in analog form. Some claim this to be a kind of DRM process, which allows a proper MQA file to be authenticated and the full quality of the signal decoded only on commercially licensed equipment.
    MQA is just another licensing scheme and cash grab to rip off content creators, recording studios, mastering servieces and manufacturers, etc., etc. by charging licensing fees at virtually every step of the music creation, recording, mastering, distribution, playback, etc. process.

    Linn has it pretty much nailed in this article: MQA is Bad For Music. Here's Why.

    MQA is just another ploy to get us to buy a copy of Ride Across the River or Keith, Don't Go for 5th time, after having bought it on LP, Redbook CD, SACD, 24/196, and now...MQA.

    No thanks.

    Bottom-line: the most important and significant thing that determines the quality of a recording, either analog or digital, by far, is the quality of the mastering.

    I'll take a 16/44 recording mastered by Alan Yoshida over MQA any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

  17. #17
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    Re: News: Millions Of MQA Tracks Coming To TIDAL Masters From Warner Music

    For my system and ears, I prefer Tidal MQA over Qobuz HD by a small amount. I wish it wasn't so because Tidal is more expensive. I do have a MQA Dac.
    Paul

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  18. #18
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    Re: News: Millions Of MQA Tracks Coming To TIDAL Masters From Warner Music

    MQA wasn't made for audiophiles. we are an insignificant factor in the music world. there is a reason the top 2 streaming services still don't have even cd-quality sound. i can't say MQA Tidal Masters sound worse than the originals when I've done compares. most sound better.

    and streaming 24/192 on the go around the world isn't easy to do for most. nor are the big studios ever going to give it up en masse.

    there is more MQA music than SACD ever dreamed of- where of course Koch and his buddies charged a licensing fee, too. if anything, its safe to say DSD is dead. and fair to say the 10 remaining SACD enthusiasts don't complain about fees.
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  19. #19
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    Re: News: Millions Of MQA Tracks Coming To TIDAL Masters From Warner Music

    Quote Originally Posted by Puma Cat View Post
    MQA is just another licensing scheme and cash grab to rip off content creators, recording studios, mastering servieces and manufacturers, etc., etc. by charging licensing fees at virtually every step of the music creation, recording, mastering, distribution, playback, etc. process.

    Linn has it pretty much nailed in this article: MQA is Bad For Music. Here's Why.

    MQA is just another ploy to get us to buy a copy of Ride Across the River or Keith, Don't Go for 5th time, after having bought it on LP, Redbook CD, SACD, 24/196, and now...MQA.

    No thanks.

    Bottom-line: the most important and significant thing that determines the quality of a recording, either analog or digital, by far, is the quality of the mastering.

    I'll take a 16/44 recording mastered by Alan Yoshida over MQA any day of the week and twice on Sunday.
    And I will take the thousands of MQA recording I have access to and for which I have paid not one single penny extra for. The MQA titles in Tidal are provided at the same rate as CD quality. My DAC manufacturer provided MQA for no additional charge.

    As far as ripping off creators give me a break. Copyrights for music are now absurd. Why someone should generate earnings for something they created for 70 to 120 years is crazy. Nowhere else does on generate earnings for something they did that far in the past.
    Jim

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  20. #20

    Re: News: Millions Of MQA Tracks Coming To TIDAL Masters From Warner Music

    Quote Originally Posted by KeithR View Post
    ...
    if anything, its safe to say DSD is dead
    ...
    I think that you might be referring to SACD discs not DSD.

    New recordings continue to be made in DSD and sold via downloads. I use HQPlayer to convert all PCM to DSD and up convert to 8X DSD. So, in essence, I stream ALL my music in DSD.

    DSD is alive and doing better than ever!

  21. #21
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    Re: News: Millions Of MQA Tracks Coming To TIDAL Masters From Warner Music

    Those of us who do not stream have little interest in MQA. For local storage size is not an issue and the sound quality benefits of higher resolution and DSD are certainly worth it. And yes, original recording quality is the single most important thing. And honestly, yes DSD is alive and thriving. Even McIntosh has a DAC module that can handle DSD512 now. People are constantly putting the proverbial nail in its coffin, similar to what was done to vinyl not such a distance memory.

    MQA's main benefits are to make it easier to stream, and take up less space for storing files on portables. Even that is not an issue now. I carry hundreds of albums on my portable of all resolution levels from CD quality to DSD256 (I will not put a MP3 on my portables ).

    Puma is not the first person in the industry that I have heard describe MQA as a a cash grab or - "MQA is just another licensing scheme and cash grab to rip off content creators, recording studios, mastering servieces and manufacturers, etc., etc. by charging licensing fees at virtually every step of the music creation, recording, mastering, distribution, playback, etc. process."

    A friend works for Stereophile and he makes the exact same statement.
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  22. #22

    Re: News: Millions Of MQA Tracks Coming To TIDAL Masters From Warner Music

    Quote Originally Posted by PMCH View Post
    For my system and ears, I prefer Tidal MQA over Qobuz HD by a small amount. I wish it wasn't so because Tidal is more expensive. I do have a MQA Dac.
    What you should try if you haven’t yet is to listen the “Hi-Rez” version of an album and switch over to the 16/44.1 version. You might be in for a major shock.
    Micro Seiki SX-8000 air bearing table, SME 312s arm, SME 3012R arn, Dynavector XV-1s cartridge, Lyra Etna SL cartridge, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 2 track R2R, Ampex 350 tape repros, Roon Nucleus Plus music server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6, ARC Ref 75 with KT-150s, JBL 4345 speakers, Viero Equilibro Level 3 speaker cables, and Definitive Technology Ref subs.

  23. #23
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    Re: News: Millions Of MQA Tracks Coming To TIDAL Masters From Warner Music

    Quote Originally Posted by mep View Post
    What you should try if you haven’t yet is to listen the “Hi-Rez” version of an album and switch over to the 16/44.1 version. You might be in for a major shock.
    I have tried that many times. I almost always prefer the Hi-Rez versions. It may just be my ears, I don't rule anything out.
    Paul

    Main Stereo System:

    Sonus Faber Stradivari, McIntosh C1100, MC2301 (2), Esoteric K-01x, Aurender W20SE, Berkeley Alpha DAC Reference Series 3 MQA, Berkeley Alpha USB, Synergistic Research and Audience Power Conditioners, AZ Absolute Copper interconnects, AZ Absolute speaker cables, AZ Gargantua 2 and Krakatoa PC's, Stillpoints & Symposium shelves under everything.

    Theater System:
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  24. #24

    Re: News: Millions Of MQA Tracks Coming To TIDAL Masters From Warner Music

    Quote Originally Posted by PMCH View Post
    For my system and ears, I prefer Tidal MQA over Qobuz HD by a small amount. I wish it wasn't so because Tidal is more expensive. I do have a MQA Dac.
    Nothing wrong with preferring Tidal MQA, even if MQA has been proven to be lossy. It is no different to the LP vs CD or tube vs SS preferences.

  25. #25

    Re: News: Millions Of MQA Tracks Coming To TIDAL Masters From Warner Music

    Quote Originally Posted by PMCH View Post
    I have tried that many times. I almost always prefer the Hi-Rez versions. It may just be my ears, I don't rule anything out.
    Interesting. I almost never prefer the so called hi-rez version of albums. One exception are digital recordings that were originally recorded at 24/88.2. Too many of the hi-rez versions have had the life sucked out of the recordings.

    I suspect there are too many albums that were never recorded at the resolution and bit depth that is displayed on Tidal and Quobuz (except for the 16/44.1 files). I think that many “hi-rez” files are just upsampled 16/44.1 files that have been sheep dipped in digital filters if the albums were originally recorded to tape in order to remove the tape hiss.
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  26. #26

    Re: News: Millions Of MQA Tracks Coming To TIDAL Masters From Warner Music

    Quote Originally Posted by mep View Post
    What you should try if you haven’t yet is to listen the “Hi-Rez” version of an album and switch over to the 16/44.1 version. You might be in for a major shock.
    What I learned from doing that experiment is that often it is next to impossible to tell if you are comparing apples-to-apples. For example, a Hi-Rez version may have been remastered. In which case, it WILL sound different. Or it may have been tweaked in a way that it sounds different but that is not explicitly stated.

    Today, the technology exists for anyone to take any 16/44.1 recording (or even lower resolution) and upconvert it to Hi-Rez (I convert my 16/44 music to 512DSD on the fly). You are not doing any remastering but you are able to use sophisticated filters that affect the sound. I would not be surprised if some companies do something similar and sell them as Hi-Rez downloads and charge customers a pretty penny for it.

  27. #27

    Re: News: Millions Of MQA Tracks Coming To TIDAL Masters From Warner Music

    Quote Originally Posted by nicoff View Post
    What I learned from doing that experiment is that often it is next to impossible to tell if you are comparing apples-to-apples. For example, a Hi-Rez version may have been remastered. In which case, it WILL sound different. Or it may have been tweaked in a way that it sounds different but that is not explicitly stated.

    Today, the technology exists for anyone to take any 16/44.1 recording (or even lower resolution) and upconvert it to Hi-Rez (I convert my 16/44 music to 512DSD on the fly). You are not doing any remastering but you are able to use sophisticated filters that affect the sound. I would not be surprised if some companies do something similar and sell them as Hi-Rez downloads and charge customers a pretty penny for it.
    That is exactly what they do..

    The only high resolution I buy anymore is from boutique recording studios like Sound Liaison who "record" their own talent with a high resolution equipment and digital files to begin with. Granted, the music selection is often limited but it is a special "treat" when the new album aligns with one's taste. Sound Liaison Music Shop
    Serge

  28. #28
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    Re: News: Millions Of MQA Tracks Coming To TIDAL Masters From Warner Music

    One of the things MQA claims to do is remove temporal artifacts caused by the steep anti-aliasing filters used in early Redbook digital recorders.

    The low sampling rate of 44.1 kHz requires steep anti-aliasing filters in the A/D converter. These filters smear the time response and create pre-echo, something that never occurs in nature. By knowing the characteristics of the A/D converters in the original PCM encoders, you can create a correction filter and D/A reconstruction filter that significantly reduces the temporal distortion caused by the original A/D converters.

    This is one reason that MQA encoded tracks can sound better than the original redbook ones.
    Tom

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  29. #29

    Re: News: Millions Of MQA Tracks Coming To TIDAL Masters From Warner Music

    Quote Originally Posted by W9TR View Post
    One of the things MQA claims to do is remove temporal artifacts caused by the steep anti-aliasing filters used in early Redbook digital recorders.

    The low sampling rate of 44.1 kHz requires steep anti-aliasing filters in the A/D converter. These filters smear the time response and create pre-echo, something that never occurs in nature. By knowing the characteristics of the A/D converters in the original PCM encoders, you can create a correction filter and D/A reconstruction filter that significantly reduces the temporal distortion caused by the original A/D converters.

    This is one reason that MQA encoded tracks can sound better than the original redbook ones.
    Absolutely but the Qobuz files still sound better to my ears. Again, I do not have an MQA dac. Actually I do, the audioquest dragonfly thingy but I am not even going to bother as my headphones are 300 ohms.
    Serge

  30. #30

    Re: News: Millions Of MQA Tracks Coming To TIDAL Masters From Warner Music

    Quote Originally Posted by W9TR View Post
    One of the things MQA claims to do is remove temporal artifacts caused by the steep anti-aliasing filters used in early Redbook digital recorders.

    The low sampling rate of 44.1 kHz requires steep anti-aliasing filters in the A/D converter. These filters smear the time response and create pre-echo, something that never occurs in nature. By knowing the characteristics of the A/D converters in the original PCM encoders, you can create a correction filter and D/A reconstruction filter that significantly reduces the temporal distortion caused by the original A/D converters.
    That's correct, and you don't need MQA to do so. dCS, Chord, TotalDAC, Lampizator and Schiit, just as some examples, all have and use excellent filters and filtering algorithms for producing excellent results when decoding PCM.

  31. #31
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    Re: News: Millions Of MQA Tracks Coming To TIDAL Masters From Warner Music

    One of my favorite uses for TIDAL is the My Mix playlists. Great for music discovery. But Qobuz is my preferred streaming service, and the Lumin app makes going back and forth between those services really easy (especially since I’m not a Roon user). Even adding the same track to the play queue for quick comparison (e.g., MQA from TIDAL, High-Res from Qobuz) can be accomplished very quickly with the press-and-hold pop-up search features.

    Tip: in the Lumin app, go to a TIDAL My Mix playlist. Press and hold a track and on the pop-up, press the Qobuz icon at the end of the line for the Album title. This opens the Qobuz search interface in the Lumin app with a list of matches, where the album is usually in the top 20 or so results; tap that to find the same song and add it to the queue. Now I can play songs from Qobuz servers but use the curated lists from TIDAL.

    (Note: on the pop-up you get a line for Album title, Song title, Artists, etc.; I don’t press the Qobuz icon next to the song title in the pop-up since the search results (1000 hits max) are not sortable and the target song is usually not easy to find. I have much quicker results finding the desired song when searching for the album.)

    So if you are like me, have a Lumin streamer, and like TIDAL’s discovery features, but dislike MQA and prefer lossless FLAC from Qobuz, maybe this tip will be of use to you. Oh, and another tip: after I’ve added all those Qobuz-matched songs to a fresh queue in the Lumin app I can save the queue back to Qobuz as playlist (in essence porting over the My Mix playlist from TIDAL to Qobuz).

    Cheers

  32. #32

    Re: News: Millions Of MQA Tracks Coming To TIDAL Masters From Warner Music

    Paul McGowan on MQA and he is friends with Bob Stuart... MQA. What is it and is it any good? - YouTube
    Serge

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    Re: News: Millions Of MQA Tracks Coming To TIDAL Masters From Warner Music

    i'm not for or against MQA. it's typically slightly better than redbook on Tidal, maybe 70% of the time, but i always prefer the higher rez from Quboz......and 75% of the time prefer the redbook on Quboz to MQA on Tidal. and MQA is never as good as my files. period.

    when i'm doing searches and investigate the best versions of recordings, it's easy to quickly hear these differences.

    but the 800 pound gorilla in the room is your dac. if you have a high quality bit perfect dac that does not upsample everything, then higher rez PCM should be consistently superior. and if your dac converts everything to dsd (PS Audio for instance) then of course your result will be skewed. too much math going on for the result to be predictable.

    overall i'm for more music to be offered for streaming. i pretty much think anything Bob Stuart does sucks, but will hold my nose for more music. so the net result of this news is positive. i would prefer if my Tidal subscription cost increases would go to the artists rather than Mr. Stuart. but that's the world we live in......and they did not ask me.........

  34. #34
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    Re: News: Millions Of MQA Tracks Coming To TIDAL Masters From Warner Music

    Quote Originally Posted by Puma Cat View Post
    That's correct, and you don't need MQA to do so. dCS, Chord, TotalDAC, Lampizator and Schiit, just as some examples, all have and use excellent filters and filtering algorithms for producing excellent results when decoding PCM.
    Stephen - very true - The thing that Stuart et all can do that those wonderful DAC's can't is understand which A/D converter box was used for mastering and compensate for its specific anti-aliasing filters. Who knows if they actually do this when they encode MQA Masters, but it is an approach that has technical merit and tends to get lost in the discussions of what MQA is actually doing.
    Tom

    Audio:
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    Proac Response 1sc Rears,
    Three MC2301's for L,C,R
    MC 602 for the rears
    C 1100, MX 151, MCD 1100, MR 77
    Nottingham Dais with Sumiko Palo Santos Presentation
    SurfacePro 3, JRiver, WW Starlight Platinum USB, Schiit Yggdrasil, Benchmark DAC3 HGC

    Video:
    MX 151, OppO BDP-95, JVC RS-500 DILA projector, 106" diagonal Stewart Luxus Screenwall Deluxe with Studiotek 130 G3 material.

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  35. #35
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    Re: News: Millions Of MQA Tracks Coming To TIDAL Masters From Warner Music

    Qobuz (not Quboz)
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