Jump to content
IGNORED

MQA is Vaporware


Recommended Posts

50 minutes ago, KeenObserver said:

Is MQA dead yet?

 

I'd like to move on, but I don't feel I can if the threat of MQA still hangs over the heads of the music consumer.

 

Is there any way of determining if MQA Ltd secured further funding to stay in business?

 

Has MQA had a presence at any Hi-Fi events?

It clearly isn't doing well and hasn't made any significant inroads other than Tidal (and it's a stretch to call Tidal significant); but until the financial backers give up on it, it's still alive. 

 

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: RPi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Confused said:

It is the Bristol Sound and Vision show in the UK this weekend.

 

https://www.bristolshow.co.uk/

 

https://www.bristolshow.co.uk/showguide.lasso

 

We have a few shows in the UK, the Bristol show tends more to the "consumer" end of the market, but does usually have some pretty decent kit on show.  (We have other UK shows that serve the more costly end of the market.)

 

The Bristol show is in part sponsored and organised by UK magazine What Hifi.  This gives some significance to this thread, as What Hifi are pretty much the only UK magazine that has been actively promoting the delights of MQA.  

 

What Hifi have their own demo area at the show, a few years ago they were doing a demo with a laptop / headphone set up, where you could listen to pairs of tracks, first on MP3 format, then compare the same track via MQA.

 

Maybe two or three years ago, Pioneer had a big room and were playing exclusively MQA material on a rather nice system, with many MQA posters on display.

 

So in the past, there have been signs of MQA activity at the Bristol show, although a quick review of the 2020 show guide would actually indicate a MQA free show this year.

 

If my weekend goes to plan, I should be visiting the show this weekend.  For what its worth, I will keep an eye and an ear out for any MQA promotion, although I suspect there will not be much there other than maybe the odd MQA logo on music servers and similar.

 

Regardless of whatever might or might not show from MQA, this sounds like a great time!

 

Enjoy man!

 

Archimago's Musings... A "more objective" audiophile blog.

Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, Archimago said:

 

Regardless of whatever might or might not show from MQA, this sounds like a great time!

 

Enjoy man!

 

Thanks!  As it happens, my main reason to go is because GIK Acoustics are exhibiting and I thought it would be a good opportunity to get a close look at their products and have a chat with them about some plans I have to improve my room a little.  
 

MQA hunting, and anything else I see or hear, will be a bonus, but it should indeed be fun.  I see they will have the £170k Naim Statement Amps there, so I shall have a listen to them now my harmonic distortion detecting skills have been honed thanks to your blind test initiative.

Windows 10 PC, Roon, HQPlayer, SOtM sMS-200Ultra, tX-USBultra, Paul Hynes SR4 (x2), Mutec REF10, Mutec MC3+USB, Devialet 1000Pro, KEF Blade.  Plus Pro-Ject Signature 12 TT for playing my 'legacy' vinyl collection.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Confused said:

Thanks!  As it happens, my main reason to go is because GIK Acoustics are exhibiting and I thought it would be a good opportunity to get a close look at their products and have a chat with them about some plans I have to improve my room a little.  

Great move. You can improve the sound of your system immensely with good acoustics. make sure to ask them about room assessments. 

 

Have fun!

Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing Polestar | Quick Community Reviews and Ratings

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

Great move. You can improve the sound of your system immensely with good acoustics. make sure to ask them about room assessments. 

 

Have fun!


I will, my main objective here is to deblur my room.

Windows 10 PC, Roon, HQPlayer, SOtM sMS-200Ultra, tX-USBultra, Paul Hynes SR4 (x2), Mutec REF10, Mutec MC3+USB, Devialet 1000Pro, KEF Blade.  Plus Pro-Ject Signature 12 TT for playing my 'legacy' vinyl collection.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, I didn’t want to pollute the “Qobuz Issues” thread so I thought this was a good place to post this:

 

While manually copying some of my favorites over to Qobuz from TIDAL I’m noticing that a lot of recent pop albums that are listed as MQA in TIDAL and are 24/44.1 before decoded/unfolded can be found as Hi-Res in Qobuz but at the same 24/44.1 bit/sr values. 

 

Is this like the thing we saw with 2L: the studios are sending Qobuz the same MQA version of these albums they send to TIDAL, and Qobuz is listing them as Hi-Res? If so, the MQA crap is encoded in these tracks, so would the Redbook versions be better?

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Confused said:

As a follow up to my post earlier this week, I can now report back after my visit yesterday to the Bristol Sound and Vision show. 

 

Personally I was going because GIK were exhibiting for the first time, and I was interested in taking a look at some of their products and having a chat with them regarding some ideas and questions that I have.  This much worked out well, in fact I am very glad I made the effort to go.  Lets put it this way, I can look at GIK products on their website and pick the style and colour that I prefer, but when I see the actual products in the flesh, it is a different colour and style that really like.  The internet is great but it has its limitations, if I had selected products on line rather than seeing for real, I would not have made the best choices.

 

Anyway, back to MQA.  I drove to Bristol with a friend that was interested in going and listening to a couple of things that were on demo.  When driving, we came up with a plan and some rules for the show.  If we were ever in a room and an MQA logo was visible and a sales person was either on hand or actually pestering, the rule was that we had to ask the question "what is MQA".  This was just a bit of a lark, and we thought it might be fun to see what responses we got.  We made it all the way through the morning, past lunch, and to be honest had not seen an MQA logo, no posters displaying MQA capability or anything else.  So as a general impression, I think is quite possible that someone could visit the show not knowing MQA existed, and leaving still not knowing.  It was not being pushed by anyone.  I even wandered into the Pro-ject room, knowing that they had MQA DAC / streamers at the show.  What I had not fully realised is that they do not actually have MQA logos on them, so even looking at MQA capable devices you could miss MQA completely, you might just spot it if you read the little specification cards displayed next to some of the products, but nobody seemed to be making a big thing out of it.

 

Then we visited the Hegel room.  Hegel were actually doing a very interesting demo.  They had a relatively small room, with the Hegel H190, H390 and H590 and a pair of KEF LS50's, they were playing a couple of tracks then swapping the amps for comparison.  When I was there I heard the H590, then the H190, and for me it was very interesting to hear the difference between the two, even with the relatively modest, perhaps price inappropriate, KEF LS50's.  As a off topic subjective comment, I have to say that the H590 LS50 combo was actually amongst the very best sounding rooms in the show, quite impressive.

 

Back on topic, during the amp swap, it happened!  The Hegel rep was running through the streaming options offered by the H590, so the normal stuff "It'll do AirPlay, UPnP, Spotify Connect, all your streaming services, it even has full MQA decoding and rendering".  Bingo!  That was it, MQA is alive and well, it was mentioned by the Hegel rep!  Plus full credit to my companion for the day, straight in there with the key question, zero hesitation, "what is MQA"?  I thought the Hegel rep's answer was actually quite interesting, he said something along the lines of "it is for when you want to listen to high-res material from Tidal, they use MQA to reduce the file size for streaming, you need the MQA decoder to bring this back to high-res".  The point is, it was quite a dry and matter of fact response, no mention of deblurring, time domain accuracy or anything else, he just pitched it as something that might be useful to have if you want to stream Tidal.

 

So based on what I saw at Bristol, MQA is not entirely dead.  It does look a little sad though, like a withering plant that you don't think will survive the winter.  Oh, an Qobuz has a stand there, pushing their new reduced price hi-res streaming deal.

 

To put this in perspective, I noticed that on the Bristol Sound and Vision website, there are links to this year's show guide, and those from past years.  If you search the pdf's, there are no references to MQA in the 2020 or 2019 show guide.  The 2018 show guide has three MQA mentions, in iFi and Bluesound listings. The 2017 show guide has 10 mentions, from Tidal, Bluesound, Technics, Pioneer and Audioquest.  Then to 2016, just the one mention, for the Pioneer XDP-100R DAP.  The 2015 show guide is particularly interesting, there are three MQA mentions, but these all exist in press listings, for What Hifi and Hifi Critic.  Then back to 2014, no mentions, basically MQA does not exist yet.  So from 2015, you see it mentioned by the press, then listed for one manufacturer in 2016, by 2017 you hit the peak, then by 2018 there are signs of withering, and for 2019 / 2020 is has basically disappeared, or at least it has in terms of anything that manufacturers actually want in their show guide listing.

 

The show guides are here if you want to take a look for yourself, I quite enjoyed seeing how the listings have evolved over the last few years:

 

https://www.bristolshow.co.uk/showguide.lasso

 

As a complete off topic aside, the weather is appalling in the UK at the moment and the driving conditions were quite bad at times when heading to Bristol on the M4.  Nevertheless, I was surprised at just how quickly we got there.  Not so on the way home, multiple accidents on the motorway, one was quite spectacular with overturned vehicles etc.  We made it back safe and sound though (eventually).  I am having a quiet day at home today! 

Great post. Thank you. 

Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing Polestar | Quick Community Reviews and Ratings

Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎2‎/‎19‎/‎2020 at 3:25 AM, Confused said:

What Hifi are pretty much the only UK magazine that has been actively promoting the delights of MQA.  

 

 My understanding is that the team from HiFi Critic magazine also attended this show, and the only report back I have seen from one of their forum members didn't even mention MQA.

 I will see if I can find out more.

Alex

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, sandyk said:

 

 My understanding is that the team from HiFi Critic magazine also attended this show, and the only report back I have seen from one of their forum members didn't even mention MQA.

 I will see if I can find out more.

Alex

They not only promote it they also haven't found out it's not lossless, as of the 19th.2020.

As a HiFi publication I find that a bit embarrassing 

 

MQA (hi-res): A lossless compression format that packages hi-res files for more efficient streaming. Used for Tidal Masters hi-res streaming.

 

https://www.whathifi.com/advice/mp3-aac-wav-flac-all-the-audio-file-formats-explained

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/23/2020 at 7:18 PM, Confused said:

What I had not fully realised is that they do not actually have MQA logos on them, so even looking at MQA capable devices you could miss MQA completely, you might just spot it if you read the little specification cards displayed next to some of the products, but nobody seemed to be making a big thing out of it.

 

It sounds like the manufacturers are quietly telling MQA to f-off, with a couple of exceptions. It's something I'd have to verify, but I suspect that manufacturers added it at customer/fan request, but when the product hit dealers, they found that all but a very rare few  people had any idea what it was, and they didn't want to have to explain it to those who didn't. Given the marketing was almost all BS they are now avoiding it altogether.

 

On 2/24/2020 at 2:56 AM, FredericV said:

It's interesting that they added a footnote specially for MQA, as they mention it under hi-res, with Tidal being the first hi-res service

https://www.stereophile.com/content/let-rolling-streams-their-gladness-show

and then try to avoid the discussion if MQA is hi-res:

 

Forum argument PTSD? 😂

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/25/2020 at 9:58 AM, FredericV said:

I did order a new DAC yesterday to complement my current R2R dac which we take to every show. It is said to be even better than my old DAC, at half the price, so I blindly invested in it as I know the designer who now works for a new company, and the sound difference was confirmed by 2 reviewers.

 

You are talking about the Sonnet Morpheus?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×
×
  • Create New...