George 47

MQA ---- All you Ever Wanted to Know??

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2 hours ago, Kevin Wood said:

I'm just saying it as I see it and I feel I've been completely objective. I'm sorry if you feel otherwise. It delivers 24/96 content. There are already ways in which I can obtain this "losslessly", if I wanted, although perhaps the options are more limited if I want it from a streaming service.

Many would argue that everything added by such content is in a region beyond audibility because it's either above 22 KHz or below -96 dbfs, or both.

If I want to use a digital active crossover or room correction, as many here have done recently on a DIY basis to great effect, I have to re-digitise the analogue output of an MQA certified component, as I understand it. Not ideal.

Yes, it might be a useful technology for streaming Hi-Res and, I guess, if that is a burning desire, and MQA is what your provider of choice provide, you have to accept its' limitations.

I just don't understand the hype, I suppose, and I worry that, if technology such as this becomes the de-facto it will seriously limit what a DIY'er can do with digital audio and still leave us moaning about the real problem which is how the music was mastered in the first place.

If you are objective then have a look at your assertion that "It delivers 24/96 content." I am not saying I disagree with your premise but you need to base it on reality which is that MQA can deliver any sample rate from 44.1k up. Software decoders do a partial decode that can give you 96k but full decode will give you a rate which varies depending on the intended rate. So even the link to high resolution is erroneous because quite a lot of content is native 24/44.

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9 hours ago, Cable Monkey said:

 on reality which is that MQA can deliver any sample rate from 44.1k up. Software decoders do a partial decode that can give you 96k but full decode will give you a rate which varies depending on the intended rate

The reality is that this is based on (leaky) upsampling, and not on actual information conveyed from source to listener.

Above 96kHz MQA does NOT deliver information. This is a verified fact.

http://www.pinkfishmedia.net/forum/showpost.php?p=3072610&postcount=619

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13 hours ago, Kevin Wood said:

, and I worry that, if technology such as this becomes the de-facto it will seriously limit what a DIY'er can do with digital audio and still leave us moaning about the real problem which is how the music was mastered in the first place.

Absolutely.

A lot of interesting present-day audio developments happen in an open-source atmosphere, with a lot of power in the hands of small creative companies, DIYers, and active hobbyists. MQA threatens to revert this totally.

Edited by Werner
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MQA is just another attempt to slice the back catalogue and will end up delivering nothing but piss poor DRM by the back door.

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I've often thought with all these formats, cd is all you really need. That's the impression from my system and kit over hi res formats. I've also got some MP3 tracks played through really decent Cyrus dual mono dacs (in my dac xp signature pre amp/dac) that sound fantastic.

hi res formats aren't better but just different in my system. 

I've got so much more out of changing things like amps and speakers than changing formats being some kind of majic thing. I think sometimes people loose account of the basics in hi fi, which items do the best sound. Hi res downloads haven't taken off yet, let alone mqa being widespread, so no point getting embroiled in a format you can't get any music on it, or very little.

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Given how little of cd's abilities we get to hear, I'm less interested in a new format than having what they currently have done properly.

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Yes and a good time to buy a really good CD player or cd transport in the next 3-5 years if cd new production becomes dead in this timescale, which wouldn't be surprising. 

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Super Wammer
2 hours ago, Jelly Tussle said:

Blimey; some people seem to be getting their knickers in twist over MQA. :D

Anyhow; I think this is an interesting watch:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3r_VRxcwODI

Indeed a very interesting video. I must admit, the more I learn about MQA the more I think it has potential, albeit with reservations about the potential monopoly that could ensue.

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10 minutes ago, bigfool1956 said:

Indeed a very interesting video. I must admit, the more I learn about MQA the more I think it has potential, albeit with reservations about the potential monopoly that could ensue.

Glad you found the video interesting.

I think the best way to judge; is to actually go and listen to format and then decide for yourself.

I'm not quite sure how a 'potential monopoly' could ensue? :dunno:

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Super Wammer
27 minutes ago, Jelly Tussle said:

Glad you found the video interesting.

I think the best way to judge; is to actually go and listen to format and then decide for yourself.

I'm not quite sure how a 'potential monopoly' could ensue? :dunno:

I have been listening to 1st step MQA via Tidal, and have made some comments previously. I don't have an MQA enabled DAC, so I'm not getting the chance to hear the correction that's applied to the DAC, only that used for the ADC. The main thing I have found so far is that the MQA remasters are themselves generally better than what went before (Jagged Little Pill being an obvious example to my ears), and that I generally suffer less listener fatigue with MQA files.

Unfortunately I've found Tidal Masters to be quite buggy on my laptop, and Tidal streaming itself being subject to pauses and buffering, which is annoying when watching a film, and utterly useless when listening to music. My internet is fast enough for Netflix and other people to use the internet in my household, so it definitely should be good enough for Tidal Masters.

The potential monopoly lies in the way that MQA has a finger in every pie along the way from Studio (or remastering suite) to consumer. A similar situation to Dolby Digital, but at least DTS was an alternative back then - and still is with the newer hi-res film audio options. With the impetus that MQA is achieving, then it will likely be a must-have feature on forthcoming DACs, like the various Dolby/DTS codecs are for AV amps.

I really wish I had the spare dosh to get an MQA enabled DAC so I could hear the full end-to-end experience. I'm not sure that the cheap USB dacs, such as the dragonfly or the Explorer 2 would match up to the Pioneer N50a I'm currently using (even if that is not exactly high end) and so I might throw out the baby with the bathwater when listening critically. Having said that, I'm very curious so I might try it anyway :D

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1 hour ago, bigfool1956 said:

I have been listening to 1st step MQA via Tidal, and have made some comments previously. I don't have an MQA enabled DAC, so I'm not getting the chance to hear the correction that's applied to the DAC, only that used for the ADC. The main thing I have found so far is that the MQA remasters are themselves generally better than what went before (Jagged Little Pill being an obvious example to my ears), and that I generally suffer less listener fatigue with MQA files.

Unfortunately I've found Tidal Masters to be quite buggy on my laptop, and Tidal streaming itself being subject to pauses and buffering, which is annoying when watching a film, and utterly useless when listening to music. My internet is fast enough for Netflix and other people to use the internet in my household, so it definitely should be good enough for Tidal Masters.

The potential monopoly lies in the way that MQA has a finger in every pie along the way from Studio (or remastering suite) to consumer. A similar situation to Dolby Digital, but at least DTS was an alternative back then - and still is with the newer hi-res film audio options. With the impetus that MQA is achieving, then it will likely be a must-have feature on forthcoming DACs, like the various Dolby/DTS codecs are for AV amps.

I really wish I had the spare dosh to get an MQA enabled DAC so I could hear the full end-to-end experience. I'm not sure that the cheap USB dacs, such as the dragonfly or the Explorer 2 would match up to the Pioneer N50a I'm currently using (even if that is not exactly high end) and so I might throw out the baby with the bathwater when listening critically. Having said that, I'm very curious so I might try it anyway :D

Hi

Sorry to hear the problems you’ve had trying to play MQA/Tidal. Not quite sure what the issue is as I know someone who manages to that with a quite a slow internet connection i.e. Iplayer buffers etc.

I hope you manage to resolve the issue to enable you to come to an opinion about MQA.

You could download some test tracks from 2L; but that requires a MQA capable DAC… I do have a Explorer 2 DAC; but not having (or heard) a Pioneer N50A I couldn’t compare the two. I regard the E2 as a very good budget DAC indeed but it’s certainly not the be all and end all of DAC’s. It does however sound excellent when playing MQA material and very good with non MQA material.

I understand what you’re saying regarding MQA potentially having a finger in every pie; but still don’t actually see an issue with it.

To use your analogy regarding Dolby Digital and DTS. Most discs have either one codec or the other; not both. So if you are buying a particular film; you are still forced to accept whatever codec the studio chooses to use. Is this a bad thing? Well potentially yes; because if I really wanted film ‘X’ with DD and not DTS; I could be stuffed. But in the real world; is this really an issue? I don’t think so.

You’re right MQA could become a ‘must have’ feature on forthcoming DAC’s and I think that’s a good thing. It will give more people a chance to find out what MQA is all about. If they like it; then great. If they don’t then they can carry on and ignore it.

Edited by Jelly Tussle

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Given some people's views on MQA this must be vital for them.....

a Crucifix-shaped Black Sabbath USB stick, exclusive to this box set, which can be worn round the neck and contains MQA high definition audio of the first eight Black Sabbath albums

https://www.audiostream.com/content/black-sabbath-mqa-crucifix

62217blacksabbathMQA.jpg.ccfd2858584b497ff41487643f69aa20.jpg

It is the devil's work....

Edited by George 47

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I thought the cross had to be upside down....

S.

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