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A tale of two streaming services...


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29 minutes ago, stefano_mbp said:

on the side of Tidal or not ... a mqa file completely unfolded by a compatible dac corresponds perfectly to the described characteristics …


The ad says "TIDAL MQA Streaming up to 9216 kbps".


In what way is that statement about what is being "streamed" true?


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

Free The Music - No MQA!  :nomqa:

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… must be considered that Tidal streams MQA compressed files, this is well known, as it is well known they are lossy too.

Once they are unfolded/decompressed they correspond to the advertised characteristics.


What does your dac display when you play some of those fully unfolded files?


I repeat myself, I’m not with nor against Tidal/MQA … this is marketing strategy … how many adverts are not so … transparent?


Same comments can be done about some false resolution of Qobuz streaming files: more than once it happens they are just upsampled copies of the original ones.



My audio system

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Just now, R1200CL said:



What is the difference between HiFi quality and Master Quality audio?

TIDAL HiFi provides uncompressed lossless sound quality, streaming at 1411kbps or 16-Bit / 44.1 kHz. Master Quality audio reflects the original source and can stream up to 9216 kbps or 24-Bit / 192 kHz (typically 96 kHz / 24 bit)


How does TIDAL deliver Master Quality audio?

MQA files are compressed through a process known as ‘Music Origami’ in order to make them small enough to stream or download. TIDAL utilizes MQA’s Core Decoder compression technology to achieve the first unfold and deliver higher than CD-quality. This first unfold is capable of an output of 88.2kHz or 96kHz. 

MQA Renderers are capable of the second unfold. Renderers can come in the form of products such as Digital Analog Converters or headphones. When paired with a core decoder they can complete the final unfold enabling you to hear exactly what the artist created and recorded in the highest possible sound quality. 



That's marketing. There is no more data to unfold. It's upsampling after 96 kHz. 

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11 minutes ago, R1200CL said:

How can I measure the Tidal (or any other stream) ?


Are you serious ?

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12 hours ago, KeenObserver said:

"Step right up folks!"

" See the bearded lady!"

"See the lizard boy!"

"See the streaming service outputting 9216 kbps!"


Welcome to TIDAL's MQA freak show!

"Relax, it's only hi-fi. There's never been a hi-fi emergency." - Roy Hall

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." - William Bruce Cameron


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