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An announcement at High End Munich is that Qobuz is now available in full hi-rez flavour. Sublime + is a third more costly than Sublime for an annual subscription but provides 65000 high rez albums ( up to 24/192) in native format compared with e.g. Tidal's current 700+ MQA titles. Of course currently the latter come for no added premium.
O.K. Europe only but an interesting move.
I thought I would not do it, but for whatever reason I took the plunge and can share first impressions about Qobuz hi rez classical catalog ...
It sounds great, a clear step up from their 44.1/16. No tech issues with hi rez internet streaming so far.
But the hi rez catalog is less than I expected. Seems to go by the label: e.g. DG and Harmonia Mundi titles are in hi rez; but BIS and Chandos are in 44.1/16 only. Commercial decisions by labels I would guess ... (Of course, cd quality Qobuz classical catalog is head and shoulders above Tidal, different leagues altogether.)
Enjoying immensly Kempff's Beethoven sonatas in 96/24 as I type this ...
That is great. But do you have a DAC that displays the incoming data rate?
I have two Qobuz installations on two PCs using two DACs. In both cases using the Qobuz desktop player for Windows, whilst the Qobuz app shows 24/X (i.e. > 96 KS/s) output, the DACs report receiving 16/44.1 or x/44.1 input ( the latter using an AQ Dragonfly which doesn't display wordlength, the former my dCS stack).
Using the Qobuz phone app the DAC (in this case that same AQ Dragonfly Red) does report 96 KS/s.
I would appreciate details of your Qobuz account settings in the section for playing music if you are really getting 24/88.2 or 96. Are you using the Windows or Mac desktop app?
Yes, I too would be enjoying the Kempf Beethoven if I could get the test tracks to work and be persuaded to buy into Sublime+. A truly great piano player. I call him that rather than a pianist thinking of Mieczyslaw Horzsowski's criticism of a pupil " look at the front page of the music. It is a concerto for piano and orchestra, not pianist". Kempf truly understood the difference.
I had no problems at all.
I tried hi rez Qobuz in two set ups: with Qobuz app on w10 laptop and with Aries Mini streamer, both into M2Tech DACs. In both cases the DACs displayed the sampling rate correctly and consistently with Qobuz itself, from 44.1 to 48 to 96. The app also shows bit depth, at 16 or 24.
BTW, Aries's Lightning DS app has its glitches but overall is more user friendly running Qobuz than Qobuz own app: at least it is remotely controlled.
I doubt (but do not know) if any other proprietary player software does that, certainly not SONOS, nor to my knowledge, LMS.
Was the QOBUZ player plug-in hard to get in the US? Had to re-register my SONOS system in Europe in order to get the QOBUZ plug-in.
The Extremesd USB Audio Player Pro also provides full Qobuz support including sending the hi-rez repertoire correctly to the DAC. Cost is around 5 gbp/$ or whatever. Unfortunately it is for Android phone/tablet only but it is currently the only way that I can get to hear those Sublime+ test tracks.
As you and Maxim seem to have no bother getting them correctly via both Win and OSX setups I am feeling very frustrated. NB: I also tried the web player and still cannot decode the Sublime+ tracks at intended sample rates. I think that both of you use the French Qobuz players so it may be a problem affecting only the English version.
With Lightning DS, Qobuz seems to come preinstalled and unrestricted: I just had to log in to Qobuz service, entirely straightforward.
I have my own horror story about persuading Sonos to allow me to use Qobuz ...
Just went in and changed the address on my SONOS registration/account to Europe (France) and QOBUZ pops up as an option.
OK, lost the ability to stream Rhapsody, but I don't care. ;-)
That's gonna cost me, I guess....
OK, really not that much if any more as I already pay about 20 Euros a month and this is just about the same but as an upfront payment?
Plus the downloads are cheaper with Sublime+ as they are with Sublime?
If so, it's really a wash.
No, not quite, it's about 30 euro a month equivalent paid annually upfront. Yes, downloads remain discounted.
How have you got on with the test samples using your Mac?
No bit depth on the display though.
But that DAC sucks to back to the Audio-GD for me, which says nothing.
I notice on this new version of QOBUZ that when I mess with sample rate in OS-X Audio Midi Setup/Audio Devices I get really high pitched version of what is playing if I up the sample rate above that which is streaming. Lower pitch when setting the sample rate lower that what is playing.
Only with QOBUZ, nothing else.
30 Euros a month but pay up-front? Likely will.
Only bad thing is that it eliminates my plan to stream TIDAL and QOBUZ to my living room easy chair using a Raspberry Pi. Now I am back to a MacBook Air running the QOBUZ OS-X Player.
"... only a very few individuals understand as yet that personal salvation is a contradiction in terms."
And if so, is the new 'player' a resource hog?
Recall with NAXOS offered a 'hi rez' streaming service ClassicsOnlineHD it used a plug-in (OraStream?) that was a bit of a resource hog.
And, of course, the moment I decide to go to LMS and the Raspberry Pi for streaming to my favorite DAC/Headphone Amp, all of the streaming services go Hi Rez which I am guessing will not be supported by LMS and the puny processing power of a Raspberry Pi (just guessing though).
Not yet as I am still in Munich with only a phone to communicate with. I am considering it but I am little cynical about hi-rez to start anyway . I have lived with some form of it since the turn of the century but feel that my real gains have come from just getting redbook to perform better (after all it forms most of my music collection).
I intend to buy and download a hi-rez album or two from Qobuz which wlll allow me to stream them without Sublime+ and then compare to the standard CD stream. That should make my mind up.
As for resources I have an 80Mb/s line and dedicated music computer running the Qobuz app so I hope it will not be an issue. Only a trial will reveal if I am right.
Yes, 24/44.1, 24/48, 24/96 an 24/192 album all streamed without having to purchase them. $350 a year, approx $20 a month.
So please, someone tell me why MQA is needed again???
Clearly there are NO bandwidth issues.
So why do we need LOSSY, reduced file sizes?
Oh yeh, MQA sounds "better", you know because proprietary DSP that REDUCES resolution, and requires software and hardware to decode fully is BETTER than a pristine master file.
There is NOTHING masterful about MQA, and it is clearly inferior QUALITY.
It may very well sound "better" than Redbook resolution, which ALL listeners have been comparing it to, only because it was processed with a higher resolution file.
The industry puppets and the shills will have a lot to answer for.
FYI. VERY easy to get a USA Qobuz account.
The OP stated that Sublime+ cost about 1/3 more than Sublime, which is 220 per year (currently about $242). That would put Sublime+ at roughly about $320 per year, which is about $27 per month.
Assuming these numbers are accurate, true high-res from Qobuz costs more than the lossy-compressed high-res (MQA) from Tidal. However if the 65,000 albums quoted by the OP is accurate, that is over 100x the number of MQA albums currently available on Tidal. Plus there is no need to purchase new hardware for decoding. The extra $7 per month for Qobuz Supreme+ would seem less expensive than buying a new DAC, plus there are apparently far more titles available. Clearly the situation is changing rapidly. The MQA announcement at CES seemed significant, but the Qobuz announcement at Munich may be even more significant. What will the next major audio show bring?
As always, strictly my opinion and not those of my employer, friends, family, or neighborhood raccoons.
Charles, the actual price for Sublime+ is 349.99 euro per annum. That has to be paid upfront, there isn't a monthly charge.
Like most streaming services working internationally that means 350 of your currency whatever it is. No converted rate for us Brits.
> > Charles, the actual price for Sublime+ is 349.99 euro per annum. That has to be paid upfront, there isn't a monthly charge.
Like most streaming services working internationally that means 350 of your currency whatever it is. No converted rate for us Brits. < <
Thanks very much for the accurate information. For those of you who don't know, the pricing of downloads is set by the record labels. I assume the same is true for streaming.
MP3 streaming is 10 units per month from many, many services. CD-quality streaming is 20 units per month from several services. MQA streaming is also 20 units per month, with Tidal being the only tangible source. Now we see the first source of true hi-res streaming (from Qobuz) and it is 30 units per month.
It would seem that the record labels place a higher price on a higher quality product. In other words they don't value MQA any more than CD quality, whereas true hi-res files are worth more - even 44/24. Very interesting!
As always my posts here reflect my opinions only and not those of my employer, family, pen-pals, or ex-girlfriends.
Just to add that the price isn't just set in effect by the record companies. The music publishers also have a major role.
> > Just to add that the price isn't just set in effect by the record companies. The music publishers also have a major role. < <
Thanks for the clarification, as I forgot about the publishers. Copyright law comes into play with the publishers, and to complicate things further that varies not only from country to country, but also over time within a single country as legislators change their minds (usually due to bribery from the vested interests). My understanding is that US law states that any *unreleased* music automatically loses copyright protection 50 years after the date of performance.
That is the reason for the recent spate of massive box sets of previously unreleased music - including the recent Sergeant Pepper's remix. We are approaching the 50th anniversary of the performances. My understanding is that all of these additional outtakes would have no copyright protection unless released within the 50-year window. There are many other similar releases being prepared for release for the very same reason, including Dylan, The Doors, Pink Floyd, Hendrix, et cetera, et cetera.
The entire existing system is quite cumbersome. Likely set up by attorneys, as it seems they are the ones that always benefits from copyright disputes.
Strictly my personal opinion and not that of my employer, associates, or poker-buddies.
Here are some official links:
In French, but easy to make out what is being offered.
And check out this stellar review from What HiFif from last year:
and press release:
I can tell you as a supplier, Qobuz has an enormous catalog, including many very rare rock and pop records in 24 bit, some only available there.
This totally destroys the bandwidth myth, one of MQA's big selling points.
Aside from the totally unproven and bold assertions that MQA sounds better than the lossless master file it was created from, there is literally no reason for it to exist.
Sprint is going to have to answer for this..how a little start up in France can offer full 24/192 resolution streaming with no proprietary compression, and they as a major telecom company and 50% owner of Tidal, cannot.
Yes, plus Qobuz' new interface which resembles Roon with artist biogs, track data down to other artists on the track, producer even engineer. Plus full CD booklet.
I have had a play with Tidal here at the show and was quite disappointed particularly with their classical music offering. I never knew Star Wars was classical music until Tidal ;-)
I have been a Qobuz member for 5 years and absolutely love it. They have had their growing pains but they really do a great job.
Qobuz is also integrated in quite a few DLNA control apps.
Thumbs up for their new service.
when will it be available in the USA..?
Isaak J. Has some practical advice. As for Qobuz coming to the USA, it isn't even available in all EU countries yet let alone all Europe.
I have heard in the past that they did not come to the USA because they have been on the verge of bankruptcy. Do not know what there current financial status is
Yes, that was two years ago. They had to find a new owner and have it approved by the French courts ( they are a French company) in December 2015. This they did but I do not know who rescued them.
Very easy to sign up. I emailed them and told them I regularly travel between Europe and the USA and 24 hours later I had an account. A dozen or so friends of have done this as well. I have also had friends who are European citizens here working for extended periods and they were given accounts.
Or, very easy to use a proxy.
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