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MQA is Vaporware


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9 hours ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

It’s all about words, and words matter. MQA saying perceptually lossless would’ve been fine, but saying just lossless isn’t fine. Mastered for iTunes is clear that it’s not the real master. Tidal just listing the album as master removes the delineation between Tidal master and the real master. 

Hm, still his statement "If TIDAL referred to their [MQA] titles as TIDAL MASTERS, I would have no problem" seems at odds with the sound quality problems he perceives with MQA. This combined with the implicit and wrong suggestion that Tidal did the MQA conversion of his Warner albums (without his consent) makes it a rather confusing and strange publication that appears to be directed primarily against Tidal..

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12 minutes ago, firedog said:

I think you slightly missed his point. What he mostly seems to be objecting to are Tidal Masters (MQA) being sold/streamed as HIS masters. NY is very particular about the sounds of the recordings he releases, and it seem he doesn't want  the Tidal-MQA version being positioned as HIS (i.e., "authenticated" masters and the rest of the blah blah of MQA).
 

Just as he doesn't object to his music being sold as mp3 - as it is clear that's not HIS original sound.

OK, thank you for the clarification. So he primarily has a problem with Tidal, not MQA per se.

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1 hour ago, Fast and Bulbous said:

...

 

Lastly, in an overlong thread, MQA is a donkey smuggler. If that story is not familiar, a one minute read of this http://www.jasonelliot.com/About.html will make it clear.

What's the donkey? Looks like DRM to me as it has done since day one. Who benefits from that? The labels. 

 

...

 

 

 

This is the most important point and should be the driving issue against MQA.

 

Seems to me that anyone who has spent significant money on playback equipment would be fighting MQA tooth and nail...because if MQA takes over...how much one's equipment is relevant?  What if the labels really castrate the music and MQA is needed for a "reasonable" listen?  And as long as I am writing Dark Fantasy, what if passive speakers need to have a signal return to the amp signifying MQA compliance?  Sure someone will figure out how to hack all this...but better not to go there...

 

Note: I do own two MQA compliant portable DACs from iFi...contemplating sending them back to iFi...

QNAP TS453Pro w/QLMS->Netgear Switch->Netgear R7800 Router->Ethernet (50 ft)->Netgear switch->SBT->iFi xDSD->Linn Majik-IL (preamp)->Linn 2250->Linn Keilidh; Control Points: Squeeze Commander (DroidX) & iPeng (iPad Air); Also: Rega P3-24 w/ DV 10x5; OPPO 103; PC Playback: Foobar2000 & JRiver; Portable: Sony NWZ_ZX1 & ZX2 w/ PHA-3; SMSL IQ, Fiio Q5, iFi Nano iDSD BL; Garage: Edifier S1000DB Active Speakers  Wish List: New DAC,  SBT replacement; Dream system: Linn EXACT or ATC Active or Big Tubes (KR or Nagra or Shindo or ...)

 

My goal is to use appliances and take home PC out of the chain...

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Just now, DuckToller said:

Why not just change the firmware back to non-MQA standard firmware (5.20 limoncello)
https://ifi-audio.com/firmware/unified-firmware-for-various-products/
saves a lot of money for freight ... ;-)

I have...and I have the xDSD set up in my home system...but it is the principle...

QNAP TS453Pro w/QLMS->Netgear Switch->Netgear R7800 Router->Ethernet (50 ft)->Netgear switch->SBT->iFi xDSD->Linn Majik-IL (preamp)->Linn 2250->Linn Keilidh; Control Points: Squeeze Commander (DroidX) & iPeng (iPad Air); Also: Rega P3-24 w/ DV 10x5; OPPO 103; PC Playback: Foobar2000 & JRiver; Portable: Sony NWZ_ZX1 & ZX2 w/ PHA-3; SMSL IQ, Fiio Q5, iFi Nano iDSD BL; Garage: Edifier S1000DB Active Speakers  Wish List: New DAC,  SBT replacement; Dream system: Linn EXACT or ATC Active or Big Tubes (KR or Nagra or Shindo or ...)

 

My goal is to use appliances and take home PC out of the chain...

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2 minutes ago, jcbenten said:

I have...and I have the xDSD set up in my home system...but it is the principle...

yes I see, making a clear statement of disappointment to the manufacturer may make you feel better ...
If I assume correctly the XMOS USB microcontroller chip is the vehicle that allows MQA to intrude into your home system ...
 

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6 minutes ago, GUTB said:

How many of you guys tested DXD vs MQA? I noticed that 2L has those in their sample page so I gave them a listen. DXD vs MQA vs MQA-CD.

DXD: Exceptionally good sound. Anyone who has DACs which are capable of this sample rate (352/24) should try it. Not many labels, really only a few audiophile labels have the machines for it.

MQA: Claimed by 2L on the page to be "original resolution" meaning if that's true it should sound the same as the DXD.

MQA-CD: Not claimed to be "original resolution". The difference is that it's MQA in a 44/16 stream.

 

So, first I played the DXD track. As mentioned, exceptionally good. A very open sense of separation and definition of harmonics, ads to the sense of reality.

 

Next up, MQA 44/24, or "original resolution". Oh. Not good! It sounded high-res, but there was definite closing in of the air between instruments, more "flat", harmonics less defined. I was shaking my head. Definitely not "original resolution"...

 

...but wait, I made a mistake. I had accidently opened the MQA-CD version. They are both labelled the same except for the difference in bit-depth and I had accidently opened 44/16. Okay, let's try 44/24. Alright, this was more like it. In fact, I tried hard to to grasp differences in the sound. The MQA 44/24 "original resolution" I believe has a bit less harmonic resolution which seemed evident on strings and the tapping of drum sticks. It's as if the MQA stripped some of the harmonics as noise. If I wasn't listening critically with my TH900 headphones I'm not sure I'd have picked it up, perhaps as something slightly "off" compared to the DXD. But they really do sound very similar. I'm not sure if there was the "forward" presentation effect present in other MQA albums.

 

Going back to the MQA-CD version (44/16) I was able to validate that yes, there was a definite loss of overall resolution, more akin to what I'd consider 96kHz -- a little bit more open, a little bit more air between instruments compared to CD.

 

So from this experience I don't know if pursuing MQA-CD is worth while if higher resolution versions are available for download. It's still up there with SACD as being the best available physical music format.

 

And you, of course, did that all under double blind conditions?

Boycott Warner

Boycott Tidal

Boycott Roon

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5 hours ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

Authenticated means that the content hasn't changed from the point it leaves the Tidal servers until the point it hits one's DAC. Thats it. 

 

Would any of the more technically savvy members care to enlighten us on how big of an achievement this actually is, i.e, how much randomized uncorrected packet loss from a Tidal server would result in an inaudible alteration to a file once played back, and how much it'd take to make it audible ?

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4 minutes ago, Thuaveta said:

 

Would any of the more technically savvy members care to enlighten us on how big of an achievement this actually is, i.e, how much randomized uncorrected packet loss from a Tidal server would result in an inaudible alteration to a file once played back, and how much it'd take to make it audible ?

 

It's somewhat similar to how HDCD files illuminate the HDCD indicator on a DAC. If the 16th or 24th bit of an HDCD file is changed, then the light won't illuminate. It's just a flag in the file.

 

I believe MQA files have been messed with by members here, but the authentication indicator was still illuminated. Not sure how real world this scenario is though. 

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