Author Topic: MQA Sonic Comparisions  (Read 2455 times)

Offline Nick B

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Re: MQA Sonic Comparisions
« Reply #15 on: October 02, 2017, 01:19:28 PM »
Here is a link to James Tanner's comments and conclusions from the Bryston circle' Post #93
http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=151245.80
My concerns about MQA are in regards to its best case recovered resolution of 17.2 bits – a loss of 6.8 bits from the 24 bit original and the potential for DRM problems.
 Of course DSP and crossovers are nixed by MQA from the get-go.
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Thanks, Scotty. It’s threads like this that have put me into the anti MQA camp. So I respectfully decline for the privilege of paying for another new format.
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Offline AJ Soundfield

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Re: MQA Sonic Comparisions
« Reply #16 on: October 02, 2017, 06:09:52 PM »
I spent 2+ months straight on Tidal (had it for well over a year) listening to "full" unfolded MQA via a Mytek Brooklyn.
My experience mirrors TMazz. Another audiophile prank. :roll:

Both the Mytek and Tidal are now gone.
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Offline rollo

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Re: MQA Sonic Comparisions
« Reply #17 on: October 03, 2017, 08:33:29 AM »
I spent 2+ months straight on Tidal (had it for well over a year) listening to "full" unfolded MQA via a Mytek Brooklyn.
My experience mirrors TMazz. Another audiophile prank. :roll:

Both the Mytek and Tidal are now gone.

   Could not agree more. AJ check out AQUA DAC's. Either La Scala or Formula.


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Offline tmazz

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Re: MQA Sonic Comparisions
« Reply #18 on: October 03, 2017, 08:20:29 PM »
let me clarify that I am not ready to pull the plug on MQA based on a three album comparison. What I attempted to do was simply see how much I could evaluate the sound of MQA. And not surprisingly to me, a first class LP beat out every one of the MQA files I tried. This should have been no surprise to anyone, as I have come to the same conclusion. I am sure that part of the reason is my personal preferences and part is the quality of my analog vs digital hardware in the first place.

I chose the albums that I did for the comparison based on what physical media I had readily available to make the comparison with as opposed to any particular sonic merits of the chosen albums. There are many MQA encoded albums on Tidal that I think sound great  (and sound better than other Tidal CD resolution versions of the same albums) that I did not use in the comparison. I don't know if they sound better because of the MQA encoding or because of the remastering that was done as part of the encoding process (I would lean towards the latter),, but I really don't care. As far as Tidal goes, the addition of MQA files to the library has to some extent improved the SQ of the library. And as far as I am concerned, better sound is better sound. It it the best tha you can get for those particular albums, most likely not, but it is better than what was there before.

And this leads to my attitude towards Tidal in general. I absolutely love the ability Tidal gives me to have a huge amount of music instantly at my fingertips. It allows me to access in real time things that would otherwise take me days, weeks or more to put my hands on. Itg also allows me to program large blocks of music so I can listen while busy with other things and easily have music going for hours at a time without fussing over it. Is it the best sound, absolutely not. But when I am going to plop my ass in the sweet spot for some serious listening it is a vinyl world anyhow and for the most part digital of any sort need not apply (YMMV). But I spend a whole lot of time enjoying music in situations other than sweet spot listening and for those times the breadth of the Tidal Library and the ease of accessing it often makes the somewhat lower SQ a very acceptable compromise. And to the extent that it can help the sound of Tidal to inch up a bit, even if only on some of the albums, I think that is a good thing.

No, I do not foresee a time then MQA becomes my go to format for high quality sound, but within the confines of when I tend to use it I think it can be a worthwhile technology.  Of course the rapidly dropping price and availability of storage and bandwidth steaming High Res files in their native formats may become financially more advantageous than paying for MQA licensing and hardware, but that is another issue altogether.
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Offline shadowlight

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Re: MQA Sonic Comparisions
« Reply #19 on: October 04, 2017, 07:11:53 AM »
Tom,

How does the same album sound on Tidal if they have a non-MQA copy?

Offline jimbones

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Re: MQA Sonic Comparisions
« Reply #20 on: October 04, 2017, 09:34:51 AM »
let me clarify that I am not ready to pull the plug on MQA based on a three album comparison. What I attempted to do was simply see how much I could evaluate the sound of MQA. And not surprisingly to me, a first class LP beat out every one of the MQA files I tried. This should have been no surprise to anyone, as I have come to the same conclusion. I am sure that part of the reason is my personal preferences and part is the quality of my analog vs digital hardware in the first place.

I chose the albums that I did for the comparison based on what physical media I had readily available to make the comparison with as opposed to any particular sonic merits of the chosen albums. There are many MQA encoded albums on Tidal that I think sound great  (and sound better than other Tidal CD resolution versions of the same albums) that I did not use in the comparison. I don't know if they sound better because of the MQA encoding or because of the remastering that was done as part of the encoding process (I would lean towards the latter),, but I really don't care. As far as Tidal goes, the addition of MQA files to the library has to some extent improved the SQ of the library. And as far as I am concerned, better sound is better sound. It it the best tha you can get for those particular albums, most likely not, but it is better than what was there before.

And this leads to my attitude towards Tidal in general. I absolutely love the ability Tidal gives me to have a huge amount of music instantly at my fingertips. It allows me to access in real time things that would otherwise take me days, weeks or more to put my hands on. Itg also allows me to program large blocks of music so I can listen while busy with other things and easily have music going for hours at a time without fussing over it. Is it the best sound, absolutely not. But when I am going to plop my ass in the sweet spot for some serious listening it is a vinyl world anyhow and for the most part digital of any sort need not apply (YMMV). But I spend a whole lot of time enjoying music in situations other than sweet spot listening and for those times the breadth of the Tidal Library and the ease of accessing it often makes the somewhat lower SQ a very acceptable compromise. And to the extent that it can help the sound of Tidal to inch up a bit, even if only on some of the albums, I think that is a good thing.

No, I do not foresee a time then MQA becomes my go to format for high quality sound, but within the confines of when I tend to use it I think it can be a worthwhile technology.  Of course the rapidly dropping price and availability of storage and bandwidth steaming High Res files in their native formats may become financially more advantageous than paying for MQA licensing and hardware, but that is another issue altogether.

Tom, your analog set up is very high end, to compare digital would not be fair. You would have to make a sizeable investment to bring them both up to the same level. Just that tonearm gaaaaaaa  :drool:
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Offline tmazz

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Re: MQA Sonic Comparisions
« Reply #21 on: October 05, 2017, 09:15:05 PM »
Tom,

How does the same album sound on Tidal if they have a non-MQA copy?

The problem is that it is rare that the non MQA version on Tidal is the same mastering as the MQA, whicjh makes the comparison very difficult to do and doesn't really tell you much about MQA per se.

As a matter of fact it is not unusual for Tidal to have several CD quality versions of a given album, and they rarely sound the same even though they are all redbook.

What I can say is that I have listened to quite a few MQA albums on Tidal that sounded very nice although  I did not have a similar mastering in redbook to compare it to. But they did sound better than the redbook versions already on Tidal. Since my comparisions of redbook and MQA versions of what I at least thought were the same mastering showed very little difference and thse other ones did, I can only attribute this increase in SQ to better mastering of the MQA version. (We have certainly heard some wide variations among different CD released of the same album over the years. But id MQA does nothing other than get the record companies to pay better attention to SQ in the production process, it will IMO be a benefit to us.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2017, 09:33:50 PM by tmazz »
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Offline tmazz

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Re: MQA Sonic Comparisions
« Reply #22 on: October 05, 2017, 09:33:13 PM »
let me clarify that I am not ready to pull the plug on MQA based on a three album comparison. What I attempted to do was simply see how much I could evaluate the sound of MQA. And not surprisingly to me, a first class LP beat out every one of the MQA files I tried. This should have been no surprise to anyone, as I have come to the same conclusion. I am sure that part of the reason is my personal preferences and part is the quality of my analog vs digital hardware in the first place.

I chose the albums that I did for the comparison based on what physical media I had readily available to make the comparison with as opposed to any particular sonic merits of the chosen albums. There are many MQA encoded albums on Tidal that I think sound great  (and sound better than other Tidal CD resolution versions of the same albums) that I did not use in the comparison. I don't know if they sound better because of the MQA encoding or because of the remastering that was done as part of the encoding process (I would lean towards the latter),, but I really don't care. As far as Tidal goes, the addition of MQA files to the library has to some extent improved the SQ of the library. And as far as I am concerned, better sound is better sound. It it the best tha you can get for those particular albums, most likely not, but it is better than what was there before.

And this leads to my attitude towards Tidal in general. I absolutely love the ability Tidal gives me to have a huge amount of music instantly at my fingertips. It allows me to access in real time things that would otherwise take me days, weeks or more to put my hands on. Itg also allows me to program large blocks of music so I can listen while busy with other things and easily have music going for hours at a time without fussing over it. Is it the best sound, absolutely not. But when I am going to plop my ass in the sweet spot for some serious listening it is a vinyl world anyhow and for the most part digital of any sort need not apply (YMMV). But I spend a whole lot of time enjoying music in situations other than sweet spot listening and for those times the breadth of the Tidal Library and the ease of accessing it often makes the somewhat lower SQ a very acceptable compromise. And to the extent that it can help the sound of Tidal to inch up a bit, even if only on some of the albums, I think that is a good thing.

No, I do not foresee a time then MQA becomes my go to format for high quality sound, but within the confines of when I tend to use it I think it can be a worthwhile technology.  Of course the rapidly dropping price and availability of storage and bandwidth steaming High Res files in their native formats may become financially more advantageous than paying for MQA licensing and hardware, but that is another issue altogether.

Tom, your analog set up is very high end, to compare digital would not be fair. You would have to make a sizeable investment to bring them both up to the same level. Just that tonearm gaaaaaaa  :drool:

You are absolutely right, which is why I brought it up.

But right now I have no intention to upgrade my digital equipment. For the time being it does what I need it to do just fine. If I am really concerned about SQ at any given time, I will be using my analog system anyway. Someday, when I end up moving to some kind of retirement home it might not be practical to keep the analog system going (or more likely have the space rto properly store all of the LPs and if at that time digital (and more specifically a music sever based system) become the most practical solution then I will look into a better digital front end at that time (with the rate that this stuff changes and improves it makes no sense to buy something today in anticipation of needing it five or ten years down the road.) Anyway, by the time I get to that point my hearing might have degraded to the point that I could appreciate better digital equipment anyway.  :roll:
Remember, it's all about the music........

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Offline shadowlight

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Re: MQA Sonic Comparisions
« Reply #23 on: October 06, 2017, 06:33:02 AM »
Thx Tom for you explanation related to multiple titles but different mastering on Tidal.  I did not realize Tidal had multiple versions of the same album.

Offline rollo

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Re: MQA Sonic Comparisions
« Reply #24 on: October 06, 2017, 07:06:49 AM »
Tom I agree it makes no sense to spend big money on digital UNLESS it is a modular deign that can be updated and never goes out of date. With software upgrades as they are discovered through your computer to DAC a no brainer. The modules which would replace any new board design offering are inexpensive. That is the only reason we took on the AQUA line. PS Audio offers similar benefits.
For me Tidal and music server are used for casual listening or background music for parties. I hope and wish for the music server to sound as good as the separates however it just does not. Serious listening mostly is dedicated transport and DAC or of course Da vinyl.

charles


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