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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:03 pm 
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Do we all need to buy the 24/192 res files that we want now?
That's a question to ask.

If you have a hi-res library already, good for you. You likely too have a recent DAC that will read MQA also. But for the rest of us there's the following issue.

MQA is designed inter alia to secure the record companies' proprietorial interest in their music. Because you supposedly cannot crack and thus modify the music file in MQA format, there is no scope for pirating. The record company will not need to furnish hi-res files in other formats, for download or streaming, because MQA is supposedly so good. And so these other file types will remain 'in the vaults'.

In theory, in the not-so-distant future all new music will be encoded to MQA and all new DACs will be MQA-decoding only; a homogenisation of software and hardware. And the listener [us!] will be stuck with that, for good or for bad.

The current state of thought on MQA?
Some work on all of this - checking for true musicality - is being done in Montreal. Bob Ludwig of Montreal AES and McGill Uni, as I can Google, seems the man, but the results of any listening tests I cannot find [as of today].

What do you CAM'ers think then?


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:47 pm 
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F* MQA and the horse it road in on. If anyone here at this CAM forum believes the BS about improved sound quality, I have a set of cables to sell.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:57 pm 
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From what I am seeing the real benefit to MQA sound needs to be appreciated with high quality headphones.

For the rest of us streaming Tidal Masters files to a non-MQA DAC and amplified through speakers, the difference is not perceptible. Especially if you are over a certain age since apparently the roll off is in the higher frequency range.

The real advantage with MQA is the authenticated and unmodified files from when they were mastered.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:04 pm 
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Hi,

natedog wrote: 'MQA is designed inter alia to secure the record companies' proprietary interest in their music.'

There it is - the whole plot in a nutshell. The end of ripping; the end of 'red book audio'; the end of 44.1Kz and the higher sampling rate multiples of it. This end-game started with lawyers and Napster and with recording 'samples'. Intellectual property, including artistic products, are all the hi-value there is left in a post-industrial economy. Not surprising then that these evolving 'protection rackets' are the law of the land down south of us where all the real decisions get made anyway.

What to do? Got a DAC? Then get a good ADC - maybe a Scarlet Focus Rite. Hook it up to 'record out' on your pre-amp, (you have one right?) and while you are streaming the MQA file record the analog coming off it again in 24/96. Audible loss? Maybe a smidgeon, but the 24/96 file is yours.

Ah, many ways to skin a cat.

Cheers,
David Neice

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:12 pm 
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F* MQA and the horse it road in on. If anyone here at this CAM forum believes the BS about improved sound quality, I have a set of cables to sell.


Well, I thought as I posted here, 'that will be inspiring of passions'. I was not wrong!


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:43 pm 
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With my limited exposure to MQA, I have discovered there is a difference in comparison to Redbook 16/44. I was unable to detect a difference with the same sample files I obtained in 24/96 and 24/192. Also modifying the MQA file thus breaking the MQA fingerprint I was also unable to detect a difference with 24/96 and 24/192 but that difference with 16/44 was still noticeable. The samples where unknown to me and I am quite positive results will be different depending on music. My test was conducted on a MQA supported LG V30 smartphone and a non MQA supported DAC using both mid range headphones (Denon AH-D600) and high(ish) end IEM (Shure E846). I can’t be bothered hooking up my phone to my stereo for further testing.

For the purpose of retaining higher resolution in a smaller file size, I personally think MQA has succeeded. However, it aggressive licensing is a bit concerning. But saying that, we have yet to see what kind of impact that will have on the consumer in the forum of cost. Tidal does charge more for MQA, but to my knowledge the price is the same for Hi-Res. If a company such as Tidal can reduce it’s overhead, by using only 1 file for both Redbook and Hi-Res, then in theory that cost saving should be passed onto the consumer. In theory!! But as history has shown, record labels will most likely charge more for MQA content. On the hardware front, it is difficult to see what MQA support adds to the final cost – the AQ Dragonfly is a $130 DAC who’s MQA support came in the forum of a free firmware upgrade.

I won’t say that 16/44 resolution is going away anytime soon. But there is strong support for higher resolutions where many formats have failed (HDCD, DVDAudio and the failing SACD/DSD). MQA may not be the answer but it is a single file that caters to both Redbook and Hi-Res should someone wish to buy into the format. I am not sold on the format, but interested in seeing its progression.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:51 pm 
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It's probably the next DSD. Too much cooperation is required.

Right now I'm listening to an MQA compatible DAC (Mytek Brooklyn) and it's fantastic. But no MQA is being played through it. It sounds good and plays redbook and 24/192 AIFF and FLAC just fine. Great even.

I use a Dragonfly Red and Tidal at home for sitting at my desk, but MQA still doesn't matter much to me, as there aren't any Master albums on there that I listen to regularly. I can hear a slight difference. Nothing like actually hearing a better DAC/component. But again, redbook quality sounds just fine.

Unless phones start to employ fantastic DACs and data becomes a lot cheaper and there are a ton more Masters on Tidal to listen to, I can't see where it really fits in.

For now, I wouldn't factor MQA into my own buying decisions. For me, it only effects my Tidal listening, which is far from critical. If a DAC you like the sound of also supports MQA, that's a small bonus for now.

Everything else I buy from ProStudioMasters or get the CD and rip it to the InnuOS.

-- 09 Feb 2018 00:53 --

sthomas1049 wrote:
I won’t say that 16/44 resolution is going away anytime soon. But there is strong support for higher resolutions where many formats have failed (HDCD, DVDAudio and the failing SACD/DSD). MQA may not be the answer but it is a single file that caters to both Redbook and Hi-Res should someone wish to buy into the format. I am not sold on the format, but interested in seeing its progression.


Definitely!

PS. My father told me there would be flying cars in the future. And I think he meant like 2012...


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:54 pm 
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Audio_Guy wrote:
F* MQA and the horse it road in on. If anyone here at this CAM forum believes the BS about improved sound quality, I have a set of cables to sell.


+2


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 5:00 pm 
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Thats it then . I'm going to stick to FM radio and used cd's until this whole mess is sorted out.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 5:23 pm 
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Audio_Guy wrote:
F* MQA and the horse it road in on. If anyone here at this CAM forum believes the BS about improved sound quality, I have a set of cables to sell.


Haha, me likey.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 5:33 pm 
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I heartily welcome any new technology that enhances my enjoyment of recorded music. MQA hasnt cost me a thing so far, since it’s available on Tidal and my everday listening DAC supports it. But to be honest i have only found a handful of recordings that I thought worth listening to on a regular basis. The technology may be sophisticated but you can’t make a silk purse out of a pig’s ear.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:07 pm 
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natedog wrote:
Because you supposedly cannot crack and thus modify the music file in MQA format, there is no scope for pirating.

In the same way you can't crack DVD-Audio? Oh sorry that was done, I mean the way you can't rip SACD? Damn, sorry there's a couple of way's of doing that... Then the way you can't stream DSD to a DAC? Man, this just is not my day.... :oops:

Anybody who claims something can't be broken, has his head firmly pushed into the sand. Just give it some time...


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:07 pm 
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milesian wrote:
I heartily welcome any new technology that enhances my enjoyment of recorded music. MQA hasnt cost me a thing so far, since it’s available on Tidal and my everday listening DAC supports it. But to be honest i have only found a handful of recordings that I thought worth listening to on a regular basis. The technology may be sophisticated but you can’t make a silk purse out of a pig’s ear.



Absolutely great, I won't take the piss out of a happy customer. But the 'psuedo-science' behind MQA is what I take aim at for the larger population. MQA's compression has been not shown but proven to be less than CD quality.....side note (no one has ever been shown to tell the difference between CD quality and hi-rez anyway if the master wasn't altered (they usually are)).


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:25 pm 
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JoshK wrote:
milesian wrote:
I heartily welcome any new technology that enhances my enjoyment of recorded music. MQA hasnt cost me a thing so far, since it’s available on Tidal and my everday listening DAC supports it. But to be honest i have only found a handful of recordings that I thought worth listening to on a regular basis. The technology may be sophisticated but you can’t make a silk purse out of a pig’s ear.



Absolutely great, I won't take the piss out of a happy customer. But the 'psuedo-science' behind MQA is what I take aim at for the larger population. MQA's compression has been not shown but proven to be less than CD quality.....side note (no one has ever been shown to tell the difference between CD quality and hi-rez anyway if the master wasn't altered (they usually are)).


Interested in seeing this proof if you could provide the source(s). Thx


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:32 pm 
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G


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