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MQA sounds incredible.
I prefer the Meridian Explorer 2 compared to the software decoders out there, damn incredible.
Where is the Rick Ross? Where is the Cypress Hill? Where the hell is the Dr Greenthumb and we need more hip hop now, old school to now.
Much more gangster rap, classical, electronic, and Jazz needed in MQA on Tidal is needed. I can't just keep playing Black Sabbath over and over again. My subscription to Tidal ends this month, make me keep paying them industry. If not it is a damn pipe dream, all labels have to get on board. When, if not my $200 Meridian DAC I can smash it. And it will still be the same damn thing, CD perfect sound forever.
Edits: 01/09/17Follow Ups:
It's due to my dense head, but if I'm getting the information correct from what folks have been nice enough to post here, MQA is really just a way to get 96/24 or other hi rez from a low res source, such as streamed mp3 compressed files.
Is that right? Is that true?
If so, then your enthusiasm for MQA is really enthusiasm for plain hi rez over mp3, or maybe over red book? Would that be correct?
Severius! Supremus Invictus
Just , I hope, to clarify, MQA has two strategic components. The first is , as you say, to get a hi-rez file from a standard rez-carrier. That makes it sound a bit like like upsampling though, so for further further clarification, it is used to "pack" an actual hi-rez file within a standard rez carrier. To that extent it is not approprite to talk about MQA having a sound as the sound is effectively that of the hi-rez file.
However there is that second strategic component; the ability to correct aberrations caused by the digital filter when the recording was originally mastered. This is carried out when encoding. Going back to your earlier questions about making your own digital recordings e.g. from LPs, I would remark that this MQA process is only relevant to the correction of professional ADCs as it is the limited variety of these typically used in studios that makes it feasible for MQA to analyse their characteristics and to reproduce appropriate correcting algorithms.
The full MQA process involves the user's DAC also having a similar corrective process applied. Like the ADC process this requires MQA to "know" the DAC's digital filter characteristics hence the process is applied only within MQA equipped DACs.
As the "corrected" or " de-blurred" files (MQA calls the process rendering I believe) will differ from non de-blurred files then in this sense MQA does produce a unique sound, albeit dependent upon the original recording, which may reasonably be commented upon.
I'm not pointing a finger, just expressing frustration.
Why is digital so complex? All you want to do is play music, not design a financial processing system for a multi-national conglomerate.
I think it's due to the nature of computers. You don't "just push play".
You never, ever get to due that with any computer [at least not in my experience]. The first time I got a smart phone, it took weeks to get everything operational, and to this very day, there're things that still either don't function properly, or function at all.
Nothing in computer land ever works according to instructions. For example, iTunes. Should be simple and easy, cause its main purpose is to sell something to the most people possible.
But, unlike the instructions, and the way some people do it on their laptops or whatever, I get the following wacked-out results on my laptop:
1. Everytime I open the iTunes app on my laptop, I get a panel telling me that iTunes isn't my default player, and asking me whether I want to make the default. In fact, I made it the default when I first downloaded the app. And, every time I access the app, I always click on "yes" to make it the default. Makes no difference. The next time I enter iTunes, I get the same dumb question again.
2. Most people download music from the online itunes website, I think. But, for me, what comes up is just the ap stored on my laptop. The whole interface looks different and works differently, even tho I'm nevertheless still able to upload CD's to iTunes and then download them to a smart phone. But, it's totally different from what everyone else gets. Why? Who knows.
3. My DVD player worked flawlessly. Put a disk in, push play. Disk played. But, my Bluray player - full of all kinds of software running it - is another thing completely. If you don't push a specific sequence of buttons - it freezes. If you push the wrong button at the wrong time, it freezes. The only way to unfreeze it is to actually plug the power plug out of the wall. I'd say that freezing is actually what it does best, and seems to be designed to do most of the time. Same thing with many computers [maybe all of them].
And, that's the way computers are. Every time they make the tiniest, most trivial change to the systems at work, everything goes haywire, and nothing works, and they have to go crazy to fix and re-fix things. They then send out email instructions as either new solutions or temporary work-arounds. Those never work either - EVER. They always either leave something out, or they get something wrong, and they then have to come to individual desks and walk us through getting things to work.
And, all of these are just tiny, scratching-the-surface examples. My own examples with my own computers of computer craziness would fill many volumes of thick books.
There's no "just push play" in computer land.
Severius! Supremus Invictus
I agree with everything you say.
But we also tend to make it harder. We hear all the wonderful things are technology can do for us and we have to do it all.
Well, we can opt out
I open my laptop, open Tidal select an album and happily listen to it. I don't go thru all the nonsense (for me) of optimizing my laptop for the best quality playback. I don't go looking for some playback system like JRiver or HQ player or Roon. I keep it simple and it all sounds great
Yes I agree with you. I just want a black box with a way of selecting an item to play/view and two buttons; "start" and "stop". Instead I have something that requires an engineering degree to understand fully ( which is why I don't) and just doesn't do what it is supposed to do reliably which is why it is continually updated by the OS and application manufacturers.
Of course there are rarely instructions or other guidance offered to the user when these changes are made. We are just left to find out what they have done by chance when suddenly things no longer work as we expect them to.
I turn off automatic updates on my computer and whenever I get a message that there is an update waiting I don't do it. Like you said a single update can change a lot of ways that you operate your system.
Unfortunately with Windows 10 there is no way (officially) to turn off the updates. Also there is no message that one is pending. Mostly you just finish a session, turn off the computer to see that instead of closing you see an updating and closing message. When you reboot it installs the update and only then do you get a message to tell you that it has carried out the update. If you look for "details" of what it has done all you see are uniformative messages like " Cumulative update for 64 bit system". What the cumulation consists of is not revealed.
You can reverse the update but what a hassle. Of course some updates are actually wanted (e.g. security) and others are perhaps arguable (functions). The thing is that you get no choice.
MQA is a way to package high rez files 24/96, 24/192 and up in a small package (24/48) which makes it easy to stream like Tidal is now doing and fast downloads
I thought internet streaming and all downloads - except for specifically hi rez ones - were all low bit mp3 files?
Man - digital is sooooo confusing. Confusion = misery.
I might go back to acoustic 78's.
Severius! Supremus Invictus
Tidal has been streaming at 16/44 for a long time. Classics on line streams many 24/96 and 24/192 files. Tidal MQA is 24/96 on up
Your post reminded me of a old Cheech & Chong skit.
Skip ahead to the 45 second mark.
Stay calm and return fire.
Still listening to Black Sabbath self titled.
I got about 20 days left, they'll have to add catalog without me.
Just got a new preamp, that hurt the financials. Add in this Explorer 2 and I am hurting a little bit,
Tidal stays as cancelled, I will wait like the old man I am. You all say patience is needed, I'll come back for another month in a year.
Thanks for that clip, I don't have a record player, maybe if I compress my Black Sabbath albums to speex codec I can get the same result :) for the real world.
Has anyone compared the sound of MQA to the same music via an linear PCM on a Non-Oversampling DAC? I'm curious as to the subjective similarities and dissimilarities of MQA versus NOS sound.
My main dac is an Audio-gd master 7
MQA files without decoding streamed from Tidal sound better than non MQA files of the same recording. My master 7 is set to NOS operation
Thanks, for your reply, Alan. Just so that I'm clear:
You compared MQA encoded music, versus linear PCM music, both via an NOS DAC. But you haven't yet compared MQA enoded music decoded by an MQA DAC, versus linear PCM via an NOS DAC?
I have compared Tidal MQA streaming under every possible condition. I have posted results elsewhere on the asylum. In summary a MQA tidal file sounds better than the equivalent non mqa file sent to any kind of device whether it decodes mqa or not. You asked a specific question concerning nos dacs and I answered that specifically
I'm trying to understand this. Sorry in advance. To me it sounds like you are saying that streaming MQA from Tidal to a non MQA dac sounds better than streaming Tidal to a DAC that is MQA ready like the Explorer 2 ?
I am not saying that. MQA files streamed to a Non MQA dac sound better than a 16/44 flac file sent to the same dac. A MQA file sent to a dac with MQA decoding sounds even better
an MQA file streamed via Tidal to a Meridian Explorer 2 and the same performance formatted as 16/44 through your CDT2 and associated DAC? I'm not familiar with MQA or Tidal, and I wasn't pleased with the very basic USB converter on a NOS DAC I had several years ago, so any up-to-date info will be appreciated.
Any format to my Audio-GD Master 7 is better than MQA to the explorer. However MQA to the Master 7 is about the best digital I have heard. And I have heard every format including some very expensive dacs
Ah, yes. That is what I expected. The quality of the DAC is an important part of the equation. It's nice to know that convenient, high quality sound is going to be readily available without having to buy my music collection all over again. I will be looking at a new DAC once Tidal, or whoever survives the competition, has a larger hi-rez offering. The Audio-GD Master 7 is very tempting. Thanks for the info!
Remember the Master 7 will not be made for much longer because they are running out of the 1704 chip. But I notice he is introducing a new entry level dac using a self produced R2R ladder chip. Should be interesting. Also remember if you are into DSD the Master 7 does not do DSD
Pretty impressive sound on this one as well.
Not much classical so I guess I'll have to branch out a bit myself.
It is going to take months to get a lot of music into Tidal. Also what software decoders are you talking about?
as of that day I was referring to Tidal's software decoder. I'm using a Mac, haven't tried Windows yet to see how that sounds yet although I do have a machine that I can install Windows 10 on.
Again Tidal does not have a software decoder. It is presenting the 24/96 MQA file which should be an improvement over 16/44. To get the info above 96khz you still feed an outboard decoder
but whatever it is it takes a LOT of CPU time compared to normal TIDAL/QOBUZ.
If I understand what was explained by Meridian a year or so ago at RMAF, they are sending a 'folded' file that contains 'Hi Rez' in a packet which is 24/48 and 'unfolding' it to something that looks a lot like the original Hi Rez file but without all 24 bits.
I think some of that is being done in TIDAL's new software as I am told that without decoding all you get is 16/44.1 and this version of TIDAL, when playing MQA with TIDAL setting the 'audio device' it sets MIDI Player to either 88.2K or 96K depending on the album.
Understanding TIDAL is limited to a packet size of 24/48 I am guessing that the 'unfolding' to 88.2K and/or 96K is going on inside my old/slow MacBook Air and is causing the fan to run full force after a few minutes.
Go to this link and play Meridians Stuarts video. it is a very good explanation of what is going on. It seems what he is saying is that the Tidal app by itself is taking the 24/48 file which contains region A with B and C embedded and Creates the 24/96 file which contains regions A and B with C embedded. To get C you need a dac with MQA decoding. That is why a dac without MQA decoding sounds better with a MQA file streamed from Tidal because you are getting A and B while a 16/44 file only gives you region A. I think I am finally getting it.
till you feel better.
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