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miguelito

Qobuz vs Tidal - an automotive comparison

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What characteristic(s) are you comparing?  Sound quality, music selection, interface?

 


Home: UltraRendu (Roon) + Uptone LPS-1.2 | Berkeley Alpha USB | Schiit Yggdrasil Analog 2 | Jeff Rowland Coherence II Series 2 | Blue Circle Audio BC202 | Revel Ultima Gem speakers | 2 x Revel Performa3 B112 subwoofers (Sablon Reserva usb+ethernet+power cords/MG Audio Planus 3 cables/GIK Acoustic room treatments/Stillpoints/Blue Circle Conditioners). Headphones: Cavalli Liquid Carbon > HD800/Meze 99 

 

Desktop at Work: Uptone Iso Regen + LPS-1 > Schiit Eitr > Schiit Bifrost Multibit | Luminous Audio Axiom II pre | Job 225 amp | Gallo Strada 2 | Elac S10 sub

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Not @miguelito, but: 

 

Interface - I used Audirvana Plus for Tidal and am using it for Qobuz, so the interfaces are pretty well equivalent for me.  I assume with Roon they'll be pretty well equivalent for you too (IIRC, Qobuz does or soon will integrate with Roon).

 

Music selection - I was a little disappointed in Tidal, but my tastes run to some obscure stuff.  I've managed to find some things on Qobuz that I didn't on Tidal (e.g., the old Spirit album "Spirit of '76"), but I do notice gaps in Qobuz (e.g., the album "Homeland" by Tish Hinojosa, with the song "Voice of the Big Guitar").  Which one will have more of what you like or what you want to explore more deeply is something you'll need to try Qobuz to find out (I assume you have or have tried Tidal).

 

Sound quality - Just my own subjective impression in trials probably a year apart, but I was never impressed with Tidal's sound quality, while from the very start Qobuz' was jaw-dropping.  (I began with a Cassandra Wilson track - BTW Qobuz, would like to see her album "Blue Light 'til Dawn" on your service.)  For me, Qobuz wins this one going away, and makes everything else secondary.


One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, A+ -> microRendu -> USPCB -> ISO Regen (powered by LPS-1) -> Ghent JSSG360 USB cable -> iFi micro-iDSD -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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34 minutes ago, johnwilk said:

Qobuz sound is  better than Tidal, and I found Roon sound inferior to Audirvana Plus until I detached from the laptop, splurged on an ultrarendu, ps and NAS and voila, Audirvana now pales in the shade...

Yes. Ethernet is the way to go. With my previous DAC, the microRendu was a game changer. I now have a dCS Rossi + Clock playing via ethernet/RoonReady. Fabulous sound.


mini+Roon > dCS Rossini DAC + Rossini Master Clock >

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo G2

system pics

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I think we are jumping to a lot of conclusions on limited data...

1. If you have Roon with both Tidal and Qobuz pick out some individual songs or classical pieces and check how many versions of each one (not that recording, but the piece, i.e. Piano Sonata No.3 in B-Minor) are listed for each of Tidal and Qobuz.  At least in the U.S., Tidal almost always wins out (has more albums containing that piece).  That being said, in looking through my own collection I have been surprised that, particularly as to Classical, there are far more albums that are only in Tidal or only in Qobuz than I would have thought.

2. Using just the standalone Tidal app or the Standalone Qobuz app (on a built for music PC and through headphones), I hear significant differences and prefer Qobuz.  

3. BUT, comparing Tidal through Roon, Qobuz through Roon and ripped 16/44 through 24/192 through Roon they sound extremely close (with the "Roon Sound" being in the middle between the more euphonious Tidal and the leaner, more articulate Qobuz.  I do prefer 24/192 in Qobuz over the same album in MQA through Tidal, but I really have to listen extremely carefully to think I can hear a difference between native 16/44 played as ripped, Tidal or Qobuz.    

4.  Adding either Audirvana or HQ Player changes things once more, but it soon becomes clear that what matters are my Izotope settings or HQP filter settings, more than what the source material was.  

5. SO, while I was looking to drop one of Tidal or Qobuz in the next month or two, that now looks like a less obvious conclusion.

6. I 100% agree with Miquelito that Ethernet (in my case fiber and hopefully soon through the OpticalRendu) to the DAC is the way to go!


Synology NAS>i7-6700/32GB/NVIDIA QUADRO M4000 Win10>Tidal>Roon>HQPlayer>Fiber Switch>Sonicorbiter SE (NAA)>REGEN>Oppo BDP-105D>Bryston SP3>Levinson No. 432 amps>Magnepan (MG20.1x2, CCR and MMC2x6)

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3 hours ago, sdolezalek said:

I think we are jumping to a lot of conclusions on limited data...

1. If you have Roon with both Tidal and Qobuz pick out some individual songs or classical pieces and check how many versions of each one (not that recording, but the piece, i.e. Piano Sonata No.3 in B-Minor) are listed for each of Tidal and Qobuz.  At least in the U.S., Tidal almost always wins out (has more albums containing that piece).  That being said, in looking through my own collection I have been surprised that, particularly as to Classical, there are far more albums that are only in Tidal or only in Qobuz than I would have thought.

Fair point. A more fair comp needs to be done when Qobuz is out of beta.

 

3 hours ago, sdolezalek said:

2. Using just the standalone Tidal app or the Standalone Qobuz app (on a built for music PC and through headphones), I hear significant differences and prefer Qobuz. 

Cool. I have not tried anything other than Roon or iOS apps. Both awesome.

 

3 hours ago, sdolezalek said:

3. BUT, comparing Tidal through Roon, Qobuz through Roon and ripped 16/44 through 24/192 through Roon they sound extremely close (with the "Roon Sound" being in the middle between the more euphonious Tidal and the leaner, more articulate Qobuz.  I do prefer 24/192 in Qobuz over the same album in MQA through Tidal, but I really have to listen extremely carefully to think I can hear a difference between native 16/44 played as ripped, Tidal or Qobuz.  

I have a full MQA decoding DAC. I have found MQA to sound as if they have put the same condiment in every dish. It's like the effect of MSG in food. It's appealing at first but becomes a borring after a while. Prefer true high res.

 

3 hours ago, sdolezalek said:

4.  Adding either Audirvana or HQ Player changes things once more, but it soon becomes clear that what matters are my Izotope settings or HQP filter settings, more than what the source material was.  

Too much futzing around, I don't do that nomo.

 

3 hours ago, sdolezalek said:

5. SO, while I was looking to drop one of Tidal or Qobuz in the next month or two, that now looks like a less obvious conclusion.

:)

 

3 hours ago, sdolezalek said:

6. I 100% agree with Miquelito that Ethernet (in my case fiber and hopefully soon through the OpticalRendu) to the DAC is the way to go!

 


mini+Roon > dCS Rossini DAC + Rossini Master Clock >

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo G2

system pics

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On 1/25/2019 at 6:48 PM, miguelito said:

So in summary:

1- Great selection so far - as good as Tidal it looks and possibly better

2- Great recommendations

3- Liner notes

4- True hi res

5- Buy at a discount from the SAME platform

6- Gorgeous iOS app

7- On iOS I can get high res out of a DAC connected to the iOS device without any nonsense MQA decoding!!! And it sounds incredible.

 

Mayback to the nth! 


mini+Roon > dCS Rossini DAC + Rossini Master Clock >

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo G2

system pics

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