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I have attempted to do this in a semi-formal way.

The biggest problem is many/most MQA files on Tidal are different masters from those available as 24 bit downloads. It’s almost impossible to do a true comparison.

Personally I like the sound of MQA just as much as uncompressed files but MQA comes with a lot of baggage that I’m not willing to accept. 

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I have. Conclusion: some MQA sound a bit better, some a little worse, some not very different. All in all, a bit like listening to a different master of the same album (which some are).  If you investigate, the whole "authenticated" thing is  bogus as is the "deblurring" claim. It's just marketing speak designed to reel in users and create a demand. 
 

Conclusion: What is it for? It doesn't solve any existing problem and is a proprietary format. Equipment producers have to pay large fees to MQA in order to add it in. At some point the consumer also pays for that. As far as I can see it adds nothing overall other than money to the pocket of MQA.  

 

So just give me hi-res flac. Open source and no one pays anything for it. 

 

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On 11/08/2019 at 1:55 AM, Gregory13 said:

Has anyone done some serious MQA listening to know the difference between MQA 24-bit and FLAC 24 bit?

It really depends on what you do with each format.    It's possible to get just as good results with FLAC.

 

MQA could get the same results with less data .... and has "authentication" so you know you're getting what you're paying for .... and other fancy internet enabled type capabilities they could use later to make your sound better or worse, or keep their hand in your pocket.

 

Nobody should really expect MQA to sound generally better or generally worse... it will depend on the release, and it's unlikely you're going to be able to do an apples to apples comparison easily  (see comment from Mr Dent above)

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 11/08/2019 at 1:55 AM, Gregory13 said:

Has anyone done some serious MQA listening to know the difference between MQA 24-bit and FLAC 24 bit?

As was pointed out earlier, comparing is difficult because different masters are often used. However, 2L samplers are from same master recordings

http://www.2l.no/hires/

 

There are people here who do like MQA but tend to be swamped by those who see it as a money grabbing exercise with its innate ability to take over the music chain and lock out other formats. I am in the latter camp...

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On 18/08/2019 at 8:44 PM, Sime said:

The only MQA album I really enjoyed was the MQA CD version of Avalon. 

Just went to listen to this on Tidal and was disappointed to see they just had the "normal" version and no Tidal Master version to be seen.  

 

I put it on anyway as I have not listened to Roxy in many (30+ ??) years and am enjoying it immensely - nostalgia.  Might play Flesh and Blood next as that was a favourite back in the day.

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36 minutes ago, vgcr said:

Just went to listen to this on Tidal and was disappointed to see they just had the "normal" version and no Tidal Master version to be seen.  

 

I put it on anyway as I have not listened to Roxy in many (30+ ??) years and am enjoying it immensely - nostalgia.  Might play Flesh and Blood next as that was a favourite back in the day.

That’s because I’m literally talking about this album on CD but it’s an MQA CD from Japan. 

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1 minute ago, Sime said:

That’s because I’m literally talking about this album on CD but it’s an MQA CD from Japan. 

yes understand that but thought perhaps Tidal might have had the MQA version as well.  Obviously not in this case - but with lots of other albums Tidal give you the choice to listen to normal "CD" or MQA.   I got Tidal after ECM relented and allowed streaming services to use their catalogue nearly two years back.  The Tidal Masters stuff is just a bonus for me.

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  • 6 months later...

I just started MQA a week ago. I'm using Aurdirvana on a 30 day trial. Software Decode only.

 

Right now, I've listened to 50+ MQA albums ranging from

 

Jay-Z, Led Zeppelin, Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Eagles, Linkin Park, Matchbox Twenty, Rod Stewart,

Marvin Gaye, Coldplay, Pink Floyd, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Beatles, The Carpenters, Nirvana, Tame Impala,

Slipknot, Fleetwood Mac, Eminem, Bruno Mars, Getz & Gilberto.

 

The difference varies from the what type of  music and sometimes it is very subtle that it requires careful listening to spot the difference.

 

One thing common I noticed was the sound reproduction of drums especially the snare, and cymbals, second is the sound of bass.

The more sound it can reproduce properly the more sounds you hear.

The MQA is more defined and has more texture and relaxed tone compared to hires equivalent.

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Interesting post on lack of presence of MQA at Bristol Show

https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/topic/30381-mqa-is-vaporware/?do=findComment&comment=1031455

 

Found only 1 rep talking about MQA at the show.

 

The author also looked at MQA mentions in the show guides over a number of years.

2015 : 3, 2016 : 1, 2017 : 10, 2018 : 3, 2019 : 0, 2020 : 0

 

You can interpret the numbers 2 ways. One is that MQA is now standard and no longer a diffentiator for vendors. The other is that MQA is withering. My bet is on the latter...

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I've read a bit and watched a few comparisons on YouTube etc  on this and also have Tidal. 

Whilst Idid not dig deep into the numbers, it was clear on the indicators on my BlueSound Node 2i what was being played (CD or MQA) BUT I had to look at the indicators to know - it was not as if when an MQA track or album came on and I was immediately struck by its grace.

 

In the end, my personal experience was that MQA was not a major factor to me when listening to the music I like on Tidal and as such I have now bypassed the DAC in the  BlueSound Node 2i for what I believe to be a better DAC and therefore have no decoding of MQA at my call.

That said, when playing a cd file or MQA file through Tidal the external DAC will still show x1 for CD or x2 for MQA so the file is still still recognised as larger or something but  just not being unpacked to its full "musical origami"  sizing.

 

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I have struggled to tell the difference between MQA and non MQA tracks on Tidal. And be aware that some Tidal MQA tracks use a better master!

 

Not a fan of MQA because of its intent to take over the entire music chain and lock out small outfits who cannot afford its license fees.  I will not mourn its passing...

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9 minutes ago, Snoopy8 said:

 

 

Not a fan of MQA because of its intent to take over the entire music chain and lock out small outfits who cannot afford its license fees.  I will not mourn its passing...

Definitely agree.

MQA is nothing more than an anti competitive scam that does nothing, except to line the pockets of its owners. I hope it dies a slow and very painful death.

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19 minutes ago, rantan said:

Definitely agree.

MQA is nothing more than an anti competitive scam that does nothing, except to line the pockets of its owners. I hope it dies a slow and very painful death.

I believe the inventor is wealthy already, so I doubt MQA going broke can be slow and very painful!  But I get your point about not liking them.

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16 hours ago, _kaolin said:

The MQA is more defined and has more texture and relaxed tone compared to hires equivalent.

Interesting. My experience is quite the opposite. 
Admittedly I struggle to hear a difference but it feels to me as if mqa misses the leading edge of drum and snare sounds. Maybe that’s the more “relaxed” sound you describe but to me it’s as if something’s been left out 

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1 hour ago, rantan said:

Definitely agree.

MQA is nothing more than an anti competitive scam that does nothing, except to line the pockets of its owners. I hope it dies a slow and very painful death.

Tell us what you really think! Haha!

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4 hours ago, Sime said:

I’ve never heard any difference. 

 

On 18/08/2019 at 8:44 PM, Sime said:

The only MQA album I really enjoyed was the MQA CD version of Avalon. 

Are you retracting the statement about Avalon CD?

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1 hour ago, Snoopy8 said:

 

Are you retracting the statement about Avalon CD?

I’ve heard and own three different versions of Brothers in arms, all different to an extent. If one album I heard on MQA I liked, mind you, from memory, that’s the only one that I did compare and like, well it’s not enough to say that MQA is better. 
 

I’ve listened to dozens of MQA albums, both with the Node2i and the Brooklyn plus, it’s why the Brooklyn is no longer here. 
 

Once I owned an M-Scaler, MQA became a joke, and I do believe that was after that quote about Avalon. 

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33 minutes ago, Sime said:

I’ve heard and own three different versions of Brothers in arms, all different to an extent. If one album I heard on MQA I liked, mind you, from memory, that’s the only one that I did compare and like, well it’s not enough to say that MQA is better. 
 

I’ve listened to dozens of MQA albums, both with the Node2i and the Brooklyn plus, it’s why the Brooklyn is no longer here. 
 

Once I owned an M-Scaler, MQA became a joke, and I do believe that was after that quote about Avalon. 

Ok, you escape! ? 

 

Going OT, the MOFI remaster of Brother's In Arms is the best version by far.

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9 hours ago, sir sanders zingmore said:

Interesting. My experience is quite the opposite. 
Admittedly I struggle to hear a difference but it feels to me as if mqa misses the leading edge of drum and snare sounds. Maybe that’s the more “relaxed” sound you describe but to me it’s as if something’s been left out 

kind of not enough punch, is that what you mean by somethings' been left out?

 

 

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