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Tidal and Qobuz streaming 'anomalies'


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Hi everyone

 

I just individuated a weird behavior when streaming some specific tracks from Tidal and Qobuz.

 

I was listening to a classic jazz recording (We get requests, Oscar Peterson Trio).

 

In particular I was enjoying track number 6 (You look good to me) of the Tidal 44/16 version

 

Then I realized that luckily a MQA Master version has been uploaded in Tidal and immediately restarted track 6 of the MQA version.

 

Once started the track I realized something was wrong: at the beginning of the track (and for the first 30 secs approx) there is a chime (triangle) playing in the left channel, accompanying the double bass on the right.

 

in the MQA version this chime sounds not real and really weird (like it is distorted or with an echo)

 

So I moved to Qobuz and I got the same behavior with the regular 44/16 version and the HiRes Audio version (btw I do not have Sublime + subscription, therefore I do not know what kind of processing Qobuz does for such tracks): regular version sounded perfect, while the HiRes version sounded again weird (the chime/triangle was 'distorted')

 

Could some of of you try the above mentioned tracks and report on the forum whether other customers hear the same anomaly?

 

I use a LUMIN S1 streamer 

 

regards

fabio

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Wow, that's subtle. You have good ears. Yes there is some distortion of the chime in the Hi-Res and MQA versions. The chime is a little harsher but also seems to ring a bit longer, in my headphones and on my speakers. But I wonder if that's distortion in the recording/reproduction process, or just the actual vibrations of the instrument, lost when the digital copy is limited to 16/44.1.

Whatever the reason, what we're hearing may be on the actual master tape. I don't think Qobuz does any processing on its Hi-Res files — we'd be hearing many complaints if they did anything of the sort — and when I use an app to look at their streaming bitrate it's always near or well above Tidal's minimum 1411 kbps if the files are Hi-Res (though when the files are 16/44.1 their bitrates are lower than Tidal's). This particular 24/96 file is streaming to me from Qobuz at 2955 kbps, in fact.

 

My cans and speakers have particularly good (some might say painful) treble response: Beyerdynamic DT-770 and Genelec M030, but my hearing fails somewhere around 12 kHz. I am a Tidal HiFi and Qobuz Sublime+ subscriber, and listened to this using their Windows desktop apps. I also used UAPP for Android to view the streaming bitrate. Hope this helps.

Everyone wants to date my avatar.

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@leftchannel

 

Thanks for your opinion

 

I do not think I have particularly 'good ear'. Fact is that in my system the difference is not so subtle:)

 

Moreover the reason for which I posted here this like an anomaly is because I can tell you that the artifact is in the high resolution files.

Triangle sounds in reality like we can hear it in the 16/44 files and not like in the MQA (Tidal) or HiRes (Qobuz) files 

 

If it would have been viceversa (artifact in the 44/16 files) I would have thought like you that the Master was correct and subsequent processing had created such weird sound on the chime/triangle.

 

Hower thanks for your contribution

 

I would be happy if other user jump in and post their impressions or other track with this kind of 'anomalies'

 

Regards

Fabio

 

 

 

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The MQA “hires” version is clearly off. It’s the piano that to my ears gets demolished as it sounds like it’s warbling off tune like a bad tape. The MQA version is odd as in some aspects it is better as in bass depth and punch but it’s like the speed is not quite right or something. 

David

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2 hours ago, realhifi said:

The MQA “hires” version is clearly off. It’s the piano that to my ears gets demolished as it sounds like it’s warbling off tune like a bad tape. The MQA version is odd as in some aspects it is better as in bass depth and punch but it’s like the speed is not quite right or something. 

 

Correct...exactly what I hear.

 

My question is: how came is this possible?

 

@Emerald Core

 

i'll try to write to Tidal customer service, but honestly speaking in the recent past they did solve zero of my issue I had with their streaming service and submitted to them....:-(

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  • 3 weeks later...

Interesting news: I’m listening to an old vinyl release of the Oscar Peterson Trio album...and, wow, the triangle bell on the left of track 6 sounds pretty similar to the MQA version on Tidal.

 

Therefore the 44/16 version is non-natural sounding. Compared to the al version,  would never have said that...

 

This confirms to people do not trusting MQA that this format brings some hidden treasures indeed :D

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Thanks for sharing! This proves that the MQA version on Tidal and the Hi-Res version on Qobuz are both of good provenance, as they both sound like the vinyl release. It's careful reproduction of the master that brings out these "hidden treasures".

And it's poor digital production, useless upsampling, and other sales tricks that give this whole business a bad name. Whether you prefer MQA, pure 24-bit hi-res, 320k MP3, vinyl or something else is a matter of taste and the abilities of your gear. I just wish we could rely on good provenance every time.

Everyone wants to date my avatar.

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8 hours ago, fabiodeluca said:

Interesting news: I’m listening to an old vinyl release of the Oscar Peterson Trio album...and, wow, the triangle bell on the left of track 6 sounds pretty similar to the MQA version on Tidal.

 

Therefore the 44/16 version is non-natural sounding. Compared to the al version,  would never have said that...

 

This confirms to people do not trusting MQA that this format brings some hidden treasures indeed :D

How does the piano sound on the vinyl? It is an interesting comparison (the MQA and 16/44 version that is) and there are ways I prefer the MQA and ways I prefer the other. 

I am listening the last couple nights to Tidal and some of them are Masters and I have to say I dig Tidal. So glad they are setting the streaming bar and I hope others follow. Soooooo much music out there to hear!

David

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