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MQA is Vaporware


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I adjusted the volume of the Apple lossless up one "click" to compensate for that. Like I was saying, the person's ears told them that MQA was literally changing the music, by modifying the time alignment of sounds at different frequencies, and calling it "impulse response repair", in order to collect royalties. It's actually kind of amazing people have bought it hook, line, and sinker as a "repair" of "digital blurring" when, in fact, it's "repairing" musicians timing. Sigh. The songs used for comparison were Stressed Out and Jumpsuit, by the way.

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10 hours ago, lucretius said:


Why don't we just say that MQA is dead! Let that permeate the internet. That should translate to less sales.


Is Tidal going to go down with the sinking ship?

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On 6/16/2021 at 1:04 AM, nycaudiolistener said:

Hello. First post. I have not read all 929 pages of comments and my comment may be duplicative and/or redundant, but I played some songs with Apple lossless and Tidal MQA on an MQA-approved DAC and headphones, in a quiet room, for a professional person who has ears unlike anyone else I have ever met in my entire life. No details about the person. This person could immediately identify the differences between lossless and MQA. They greatly preferred the lossless. Basically, the person told me that they believe MQA is using something like sidechained 32-band compressors to realign very short differences in time between different frequencies along with a time-stretching tool that shortens or extends the waveform at various frequencies to make up for the slip and slide of the timing of various frequencies. To this person’s ears, the artifact of this process is that, for example, a snare drum sounds different in different parts of a song, depending on what else is going on, what other instruments are playing, in different parts of the song. Whereas, on the lossless file, the snare drum sounds the same throughout the song. In this person’s opinion, which they were clear, could be completely wrong, and was based on listening to only two songs, from the same artist, is that MQA is modifying the lossless files in a way that is very noticeable as well as being computationally difficult and technologically impressive, from an engineering perspective. They also said they hated it and liked the lossless better. I, on the other hand, prefer the MQA, probably because I like the more “percussive” nature of the processing imposed on the music. To each their own. But, definitely, under no circumstance, is MQA “lossless”… rather, it is a heavily processed remaster of the actual master. Peace!


Thank you for taking the time to do this. If your professional friend is willing to share any more impressions, they would be most welcome. I've been waiting for such a person to do something like this for some time. I had guessed that a seasoned professional would be able to take a good guess at what was being done to the music.


On 6/16/2021 at 3:21 AM, nycaudiolistener said:

In summary, if digital is inherently "unnatural" more digital doesn't make it more "natural."


It's rather like tweaking a photo to make it pop I guess. It's very visible to me when people oversaturate the colours in photos to make them pop. Looks impressive to the untrained eye, but the experienced one can see it isn't representative of the reality.


7 hours ago, Confused said:

It remains very popular amongst Roon users.  Maybe the good ship Tidal would sail on a little longer if it were to throw MQA overboard?


If you want to kill MQA dead, you'd reverse-engineer whatever processing they were actually doing and make something similar freely available. Hence my comments on it sounding like it has been run in through a 3D plug-in. nycaudiolistener provided a better potential analysis.   Lately people have been talking about pre-upsampling music with software that uses a million tap or better sync filter. Why not something similar for people who want an "MQA effect" on any music they choose? Might require some serious programming effort though.

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3 hours ago, jparvio said:

To put our mouth where the money is; journalism is NOT DEAD, at least in the free World. Against normal protocols I decided to publish here this months Editorial from our Editor-in-Chief. Remove if necessary. For those who don't do Finnish (what a shame), headline translates more or less to "The scam of master proportions":




I've got a nice Finnish-->english translator that would work if there was a text version of that.

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