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MQA is Vaporware

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Thanks witchdoctor I did just this. Your not going to like it, but the 16/44 is better through my system - horns HF harmonics are "burnt" in the MQA version...

Oh you're right. Now I've changed my mind. I hate MQA.

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Most of these are younger people who have had smart mobile devices around them all their lives. A very small percentage of them might be interested in higher sound quality. Might.

They're also spending a lot of money on vinyl (not my kids, but their friends). With the "remasters" the labels are putting out and the crappy turntables they're playing them on I don't think they are getting high SQ. But they do, and it's really cool too.

Did you know that vinyl is the only audio physical media that's been growing - and very significantly - for the past five years or so.

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Just out of curiosity, why did you buy the Explorer 2 if you don't plan to use it until Roon releases decoding sometime in the future? For me it's a non-issue because I'm not about give up my non-MQA DACs for the foreseeable future.

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Just out of curiosity, why did you buy the Explorer 2 if you don't plan to use it until Roon releases decoding sometime in the future? For me it's a non-issue because I'm not about give up my non-MQA DACs for the foreseeable future.

 

It is $200 on Amazon, and my curiosity about MQA got the best of me. The E2 can do full decoding. Not sure if Roon will just pass it through. I hope so.I admit I just assumed the current version of Roon can't access the MQA content. I should experiment.

 

But the Tidal desktop app still sucks. :-)

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You're right about that. I wasn't even going to try it into my PS Audio DAC because I was sure it was crap. But, like you, my curiosity got the best of me and I became impatient waiting for Roon. I was very pleasantly surprised. It's at least worth the effort of plugging the USB into a good DAC and listening.

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...Not sure if Roon will just pass it through. I hope so.

It can.


Roon lifetime > Mac Mini > ethernet > microRendu (RAAT) w/ Paul Hynes SR3 > Intona > Curious USB link > Devialet 250 Pro > PMC fact 8.

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If I can find all the MQA on Tidal and pass it undecoded to the Explorer 2, that will do for now.

 

Still can't understand why Tidal doesn't label the MQA masters so they are easy to find.


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Still can't understand why Tidal doesn't label the MQA masters so they are easy to find.

 

Are you really surprised? We are talking about Tidal you know.

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Are you really surprised? We are talking about Tidal you know.

 

I would think MQA is behind this, not Tidal. MQA continues to be clear as mud in many ways.


Jim

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For what it's worth, I happen to think Ted Smith at PS Audio has the best perspective on all this MQA stuff. And he does it in one paragraph!

 

Ted Smith said

etchcube said

All questions are explained in-depth much better here:
http://www.computeraudiophile……ob-stuart/

By no means is that true. He sidesteps many of the questions and many of his answers, when parsed, say quite different things than they appear to on the surface. For example Redbook has no particular limit on timing accuracy (any properly bandlimited input signal can be placed at any point in time with arbitrary accuracy.) It’s limits derive from bit width limits and the bandwidth limit and resultant constraints on the antialiasing and reconstruction filters. Many people have chosen filters that aren’t optimized for best preservation of waveshape, but that’s not Redbook’s fault. I’m glad that MQA is helping people understand that phase is important.

It’s easy for me to believe that MQA can help many DACs get better sound from a 16/44.1 or 16/48k bit stream than they do now. It’s quite another thing to claim that MQA betters 24/192 or DSD – on the surface it explicitly doesn’t have the same S/N or bandwidth… And 24/192 and DSD don’t have the problems that Redbook does. IMO they solve Redbook’s problems much more elegantly than MQA and with less damage to the signal, tho not at the same bit rates.

I’ll stop there since I’ve not got time for this …

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I would think MQA is behind this, not Tidal. MQA continues to be clear as mud in many ways.

MQA doesn't have anything to do with the Tidal app.

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Still can't understand why Tidal doesn't label the MQA masters so they are easy to find.

 

Lazy, or lost the list on what's masters or not, to quick to the gate and fail behind, etc.. And agree MQA has nothing to do with the administration of the app or the Tidal catalog. Tidal just messed up.


The Truth Is Out There

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For what it's worth, I happen to think Ted Smith at PS Audio has the best perspective on all this MQA stuff. And he does it in one paragraph!

 

Ted Smith said

etchcube said

All questions are explained in-depth much better here:
http://www.computeraudiophile……ob-stuart/

By no means is that true. He sidesteps many of the questions and many of his answers, when parsed, say quite different things than they appear to on the surface. For example Redbook has no particular limit on timing accuracy (any properly bandlimited input signal can be placed at any point in time with arbitrary accuracy.) It’s limits derive from bit width limits and the bandwidth limit and resultant constraints on the antialiasing and reconstruction filters. Many people have chosen filters that aren’t optimized for best preservation of waveshape, but that’s not Redbook’s fault. I’m glad that MQA is helping people understand that phase is important.

It’s easy for me to believe that MQA can help many DACs get better sound from a 16/44.1 or 16/48k bit stream than they do now. It’s quite another thing to claim that MQA betters 24/192 or DSD – on the surface it explicitly doesn’t have the same S/N or bandwidth… And 24/192 and DSD don’t have the problems that Redbook does. IMO they solve Redbook’s problems much more elegantly than MQA and with less damage to the signal, tho not at the same bit rates.

I’ll stop there since I’ve not got time for this …

 

PS Audio is just another dupe that is afraid that people happy streaming MQA at no additional cost won't need to buy all the expensive inventory sitting in their warehouse collecting dust. What a moronic attempt at self preservation from a sycophant that feeds off people easily swayed by technobabble double talk.

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Also Paul McGowan and Ted Smith on software decoding versus decoding on the chip with DAC profiling.

 

January 7, 2017

1:32 pm

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Paul McGowan said

The perfect place for the MQA decoder is in the server or Bridge, not the DAC. That’s what we’ve figured out so far and that’s what we’re noodling on to see if it can be done there.

According to Roon, the full unfolding of MQA files will be done within Roon. I think Paul’s post above suggests this is preferable to MQA being decoded by the DAC.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 7, 2017

1:43 pm

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Definitely – The DS can take, say, 24/176.4, 24/192 or 24/352.8 which I have a hard time believing will limit MQA’s sound quality so decoding it in the player, bridge or server makes a lot of sense and decouples MQA from hardware – e.g. they can upgrade it…

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PS Audio is just another dupe that is afraid that people happy streaming MQA at no additional cost won't need to buy all the expensive inventory sitting in their warehouse collecting dust. What a moronic attempt at self preservation from a sycophant that feeds off people easily swayed by technobabble double talk.

You should fact check a bit before you go off. What they say is you don't need to buy anything to get all the benefits of MQA. That's why I've never considered ponying up money for any of this.

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For now I have the Tidal App unpacking to 96/24 into the DirectStream USB and it sounds fantastic. All the opinions I've seen on the PS Audio forum concur. No need to spend a nickel.

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It’s easy for me to believe that MQA can help many DACs get better sound from a 16/44.1 or 16/48k bit stream than they do now.

 

How it is possibly?


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How it is possibly?

 

I think what he is saying is it brings a kind of "best practice" to the heretofore poor overall filter/reconstruction design of *most* DAC's. He is not saying that MQA is necessary or brings something undiscovered to the table - so we are back to the overall (end to end, etc.) package argument. I look at this argument/angle and then I look at the actual MQA implementation we have currently (mostly Tidal of course) and judge it a hit or miss...a big "depends", but then we are back to the "mastering" angle...


Hey MQA, if it is not all $voodoo$, show us the math!

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I think what he is saying is it brings a kind of "best practice" to the heretofore poor overall filter/reconstruction design of *most* DAC's. He is not saying that MQA is necessary or brings something undiscovered to the table - so we are back to the overall (end to end, etc.) package argument. I look at this argument/angle and then I look at the actual MQA implementation we have currently (mostly Tidal of course) and judge it a hit or miss...a big "depends", but then we are back to the "mastering" angle...

 

I think, that I understand, what you meant. But let's look to example:

 

1. We have compressed as MQA original high-res (as example 192/24).

 

2. We compare it with the original hi-res 192/24.

 

3. Both cases we use single DAC's mode (sample rate/bit depth - 192/24).

 

Where's improving?


AuI ConverteR 48x44 - HD audio converter/optimizer for DAC of high resolution files

ISO, DSF, DFF (1-bit/D64/128/256/512/1024), wav, flac, aiff, alac,  safe CD ripper to PCM/DSF,

Seamless Album Conversion, AIFF, WAV, FLAC, DSF metadata editor, Mac & Windows
Offline conversion save energy and nature

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MQA doesn't have anything to do with the Tidal app.

 

I guess I will sound like some conspiracy theorist (heaven forbid!) but I can't buy into the thought that MQA doesn't dictate how their wares are presented by companies like Tidal in exchange for licensing the tech. The proof in the pudding will be when more outlets make streaming of MQA available and how they label them or not.


Jim

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PS Audio is just another dupe that is afraid that people happy streaming MQA at no additional cost won't need to buy all the expensive inventory sitting in their warehouse collecting dust. What a moronic attempt at self preservation from a sycophant that feeds off people easily swayed by technobabble double talk.

 

Really?! Ted Smith? One of the most knowledgeable and innovative DAC designers around? Who probably knew more about digital audio and its implementations 5 years ago than Bob Stuart ever knew?

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Really?! Ted Smith? One of the most knowledgeable and innovative DAC designers around? Who probably knew more about digital audio and its implementations 5 years ago than Bob Stuart ever knew?

 

You'll probably want to do some additional homework before publicly admitting to such a comment.


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I think, that I understand, what you meant. But let's look to example:

 

1. We have compressed as MQA original high-res (as example 192/24).

 

2. We compare it with the original hi-res 192/24."

 

3. Both cases we use single DAC's mode (sample rate/bit depth - 192/24).

 

Where's improving?

 

He didn't say that. You have to read more carefully.

"It’s quite another thing to claim that MQA betters 24/192 or DSD – on the surface it explicitly doesn’t have the same S/N or bandwidth… And 24/192 and DSD don’t have the problems that Redbook does. IMO they solve Redbook’s problems much more elegantly than MQA and with less damage to the signal, tho not at the same bit rates.

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