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Anything new in the Tidal world?

Posted on March 18, 2017 at 07:43:16

Posts: 1099
Location: NYC
Joined: November 22, 2003
After my Tidal trial period ended I stopped being able to see what was new coming out in MQA. Has there been any progress? I see a post from 2 weeks ago below, but anything else?

And when will Audioquest release the upgraded firmware for the Dragonfly Dacs to allow MQA? After being teased with that they pulled the rug out and said "later".


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RE: Anything new in the Tidal world?, posted on March 18, 2017 at 12:34:24

Posts: 219
Joined: February 17, 2014
nada classical. and my audirvana still won't run masters.


On both fronts, not much, posted on March 20, 2017 at 13:24:32

Posts: 1270
Location: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: June 27, 2001
The one positive note is that Tidal has started labeling the Masters with an "M" in a box, so I am no longer clicking both versions to find out which is which.

The number of new albums on the list is slowing to a trickle. May have to wait for the other labels to roll out their catalogs to see an uptick.

On the AQ front, I tweeted them for an ETA and got the bland non-committal response of "We're working on it, and we'll let you know as soon as it's ready."
Feel a little cheated - they were claiming by the end of January at CES; I suspect they had tipped the reviewers much earlier. It's the only way I can explain Art Dudley's cryptic comment at the end of his review about upcoming upgrade-ability.

"Decaf is for cowards."
Jack Kevorkian


RE: On both fronts, not much, posted on March 20, 2017 at 16:01:36

Posts: 1099
Location: NYC
Joined: November 22, 2003
This is why I decided not to continue with Tidal, at least not yet. With all of the titles out there, why are there only a handful of about a thousand available? And only about 10 titles became available after I joined in the month I had it.

As for AQ, I stopped holding my breath over vaporware a long time ago.


About those Dragonfly DACs..., posted on March 20, 2017 at 18:52:55

Posts: 755
Joined: January 18, 2002
Guys, this is where a little research into the Dragonfly DACs could be helpful. Remember that the Dragonfly Red and Black DACs are using a Microchip PIC32MX processor inside.

There is not enough horsepower for much processing. This is why it depends on software decode in TIDAL on your computer. At best, I suspect the device will just detect an MQA stream and plug in some custom parameters for the filter on the DAC chip. No fancy further unfolding to 192kHz since there's just not enough processor cycles...

No surprise they're taking their time. We shall see, but I very much suspect the difference in sound will be essentially placebo.

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


RE: About those Dragonfly DACs..., posted on March 21, 2017 at 04:19:30

Posts: 1099
Location: NYC
Joined: November 22, 2003
Even if they are able to make it work, I'd suspect that the power requirement would just eat up my iPhone's battery, assumimg that Tidal MQA would even be available on an iPhone. The DFB is OK now, it takes more power than just straight headphones, but still quite usable.

Maybe the best solution is to do the first unfold in the phone and let the DAC just work on 24/96. I don't expect "perfect" sound from the phone anyway. For that matter, I'm mostly on the NYC subway when I use it for music, not exactly a relaxing, quiet environment. I get looks from people when I have it plugged in with that green glowing dragonfly.


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