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CES 2017: MQA announces TIDAL Masters, and more - Page 41

post #601 of 645
Quote:
Originally Posted by rkw View Post
 
Originally Posted by dglow View Post


Unless I am mistaken MQA tracks are not available through Tidal Mobile. 

 

Yes MQA tracks are available through Tidal Mobile. You can favorite an MQA track or album in the desktop app and it will appear in the mobile app, which will play it in HiFi resolution. The mobile app doesn't do software MQA unfolding but the bits can be streamed to an external DAC that has MQA capability.

 

Can we assume you're streaming those bits from an iPhone 7? Or have you found a way to do this from the Tidal app on other devices? 

post #602 of 645
Quote:
Originally Posted by rkw View Post
 
Originally Posted by dglow View Post


Unless I am mistaken MQA tracks are not available through Tidal Mobile. 

 

Yes MQA tracks are available through Tidal Mobile. You can favorite an MQA track or album in the desktop app and it will appear in the mobile app, which will play it in HiFi resolution. The mobile app doesn't do software MQA unfolding but the bits can be streamed to an external DAC that has MQA capability.


Thank you, good to know. To be sure I understand:

 

1. MQA tracks are not labeled or indicated as such in Tidal Mobile.

2. One cannot listen to MQA-quality audio (> 44/48 SR) directly through a phone via Tidal Mobile. Correct?

post #603 of 645
Quote:
Originally Posted by dglow View Post
 


Thank you, good to know. To be sure I understand:

 

1. MQA tracks are not labeled or indicated as such in Tidal Mobile.

2. One cannot listen to MQA-quality audio (> 44/48 SR) directly through a phone via Tidal Mobile. Correct?

 

1. Yes only desktop application shows Master albums and playlists

2. Sure. You need an MQA capable external DAC and USB Audio Player Pro app to be able to send bit perfect MQA data from Tidal master albums to the external DAC.

post #604 of 645
Quote:
Originally Posted by dglow View Post
Originally Posted by rkw View Post
Originally Posted by dglow View Post


Unless I am mistaken MQA tracks are not available through Tidal Mobile. 

 

Yes MQA tracks are available through Tidal Mobile. You can favorite an MQA track or album in the desktop app and it will appear in the mobile app, which will play it in HiFi resolution. The mobile app doesn't do software MQA unfolding but the bits can be streamed to an external DAC that has MQA capability.


Thank you, good to know. To be sure I understand:

 

1. MQA tracks are not labeled or indicated as such in Tidal Mobile.

2. One cannot listen to MQA-quality audio (> 44/48 SR) directly through a phone via Tidal Mobile. Correct?

 

Yes, that's exactly what I meant. MQA tracks are available on mobile (although they are not labeled as MQA). There's no reason not to make them available since the files can be played like standard 44/48 resolution files. However, the mobile app doesn't do MQA unfolding and won't play at higher than 44/48 resolution.


Edited by rkw - 3/20/17 at 12:23am
post #605 of 645
Quote:
Originally Posted by Left Channel View Post
Originally Posted by rkw View Post
Originally Posted by dglow View Post


Unless I am mistaken MQA tracks are not available through Tidal Mobile. 

 

Yes MQA tracks are available through Tidal Mobile. You can favorite an MQA track or album in the desktop app and it will appear in the mobile app, which will play it in HiFi resolution. The mobile app doesn't do software MQA unfolding but the bits can be streamed to an external DAC that has MQA capability.

 

Can we assume you're streaming those bits from an iPhone 7? Or have you found a way to do this from the Tidal app on other devices? 

 

My comment was referring to UAPP Pro which was being discussed earlier.

post #606 of 645
Quote:
Originally Posted by rkw View Post
 

 

My comment was referring to UAPP Pro which was being discussed earlier.

 

With recent update of UAPP,

 

UAPP Pro + Meridian Explorer 2 can play MQA tracks from Tidal. It's confirmed. 

post #607 of 645

post #608 of 645

I am one of those who never forked out the money to "re-purchase" my entire library in high-resolution formats.  I did buy a dozen 24/192 PCM albums and a similar amount of DSD albums.  One of the reasons that I didn't download more is that some of the purveyors of hi-res downloads did not provide the provenance of their offerings, and in some cases I was delivered substandard results from a poor master or just a conversion from PCM to DSD.  I am not paying $25 per album for that kind of product.  

 

So when Tidal streaming came along, I found the SQ to be acceptable, but the interface not.  But Roon / Tidal + Masters checks all of the boxes for me: great interface and reasonable SQ.  

 

The biggest advantage I find is in music discovery: I am able to find the music that I really like, so that I can make a price / performance judgement on whether it is worth buying as a DSD download, or whether Tidal / Masters is good enough.  Another advantage is that I don't feel compelled to purchase complete albums any more, just the tracks that I like.  Frankly I feel that the record labels, by marketing their music primarily as albums, got me to buy a lot of tracks that I really didn't want or like. My experience so far has been to really enjoy Roon / Tidal / Master streaming to the point that I have not purchased a hi-res download since Tidal / Masters became available.  

 

I will continue to discover new music and will continue to make the judgement each time on whether I want to purchase a hi-resolution version through download.  The nice thing is that with Roon, it seamlessly integrates the downloaded tracks with favorited streaming tracks.

 

I don't think that I am that unique, and the bottom line is that I am enjoying the experience of discovery and listening even more.


Edited by tmarshl - 3/20/17 at 9:30am
post #609 of 645
Quote:
Originally Posted by rkw View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dglow View Post


Thank you, good to know. To be sure I understand:

 

1. MQA tracks are not labeled or indicated as such in Tidal Mobile.

2. One cannot listen to MQA-quality audio (> 44/48 SR) directly through a phone via Tidal Mobile. Correct?

 

Yes, that's exactly what I meant. MQA tracks are available on mobile (although they are not labeled as MQA). There's no reason not to make them available since the files can be played like standard 44/48 resolution files. However, the mobile app doesn't do MQA unfolding and won't play at higher than 44/48 resolution.

 

Thanks. Then it's accurate to say MQA-quality isn't available on mobilewhich for me is the operational fact that matters.

One can listen to MQA through a PC or by using external components, but not via the mobile device itself.

 

FWIW, I really want MQA on my phone. I'm sure it would sound excellent on my bluetooth earbuds...  :basshead: 

 

(that's sarcasm, fyi)

post #610 of 645
Is it possible to install UAPP on a DAP like the onkyo dp-X1 to get the full decoding benefits of MQA?
post #611 of 645
Quote:
Originally Posted by innocentblood View Post

Is it possible to install UAPP on a DAP like the onkyo dp-X1 to get the full decoding benefits of MQA?

 

Since it's an Android DAP, it should be installed easily. But the problem is if Onkyo DP-X1 will power up the external DAC or not. Does it support OTG host?

 

And one more thing, DP-X1 has already MQA support itself :) It's one of the rare DAPs supporting MQA, but I am not sure it's a software level or hardware level support.

post #612 of 645
Quote:
Originally Posted by tmarshl View Post
 

I am one of those who never forked out the money to "re-purchase" my entire library in high-resolution formats.  I did buy a dozen 24/192 PCM albums and a similar amount of DSD albums.  One of the reasons that I didn't download more is that some of the purveyors of hi-res downloads did not provide the provenance of their offerings, and in some cases I was delivered substandard results from a poor master or just a conversion from PCM to DSD.  I am not paying $25 per album for that kind of product.  

 

So when Tidal streaming came along, I found the SQ to be acceptable, but the interface not.  But Roon / Tidal + Masters checks all of the boxes for me: great interface and reasonable SQ.  

 

The biggest advantage I find is in music discovery: I am able to find the music that I really like, so that I can make a price / performance judgement on whether it is worth buying as a DSD download, or whether Tidal / Masters is good enough.  Another advantage is that I don't feel compelled to purchase complete albums any more, just the tracks that I like.  Frankly I feel that the record labels, by marketing their music primarily as albums, got me to buy a lot of tracks that I really didn't want or like. My experience so far has been to really enjoy Roon / Tidal / Master streaming to the point that I have not purchased a hi-res download since Tidal / Masters became available.  

 

I will continue to discover new music and will continue to make the judgement each time on whether I want to purchase a hi-resolution version through download.  The nice thing is that with Roon, it seamlessly integrates the downloaded tracks with favorited streaming tracks.

 

I don't think that I am that unique, and the bottom line is that I am enjoying the experience of discovery and listening even more.

well of course discovery is amazing on streaming services. many moons ago, Pandora took me out of my audio cave where I was fine listening to the same album in a loop for 3 months(I know Queen and Pink Floyd songs veeeeery well ^_^). online music has been, at least to me, the most significant audio progress since the K7 walkman. both really changed my way to experience music at a level that makes audio formats and resolutions insignificant in comparison.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by innocentblood View Post

Is it possible to install UAPP on a DAP like the onkyo dp-X1 to get the full decoding benefits of MQA?

UAPP does nothing for MQA, it's a mean to try and output basic digital audio when your source doesn't work with some external usb DAC. people talking about this, I guess, are thinking of using a DAC that does all the MQA decoding itself.

but your dp-x1 is supposed to do MQA decoding on its own and doesn't require the app nor an external MQA compatible DAC to offer you the fancy green or blue light depending on what sort of MQA it's playing.  now how that goes with tidal, I have no idea.

post #613 of 645
Quote:
Originally Posted by castleofargh View Post
 

well I hope I'm not as misleading as all the doublespeak in the article at least ^_^.

 

here is my DIY lowfi1337 example:

if I apply this EQ, which is kind of hard but not even as hard as what can be typically applied when down converting to 44.1khz(usually very hard filter for minimum aliazing),


I get this in my crappy loop

 

 

 

 

 

now if I use a gentler EQ

 

I get this

QED. 

I use the same misleading reliance on impulse response to convince all the people who don't understand impulse response that looking at one with the naked eye is relevant and that I have "improved" time.

but to be clear, unlike Meridian, I think my first example has superior fidelity and is preferable for 16/44. I don't get why I should find altered sound in the audible range to be preferable to more ringing at an inaudible frequency. I don't own a dog.


​I'm not sure what you are using as your input but assuming you are using an analog source and that you have measured the output through an analog scope and posted a screenshot then you are seeing just the effect of the EQ.  The MQA filtering is supposed to incorporate the effect of the original analog to digital conversion, which I think includes a specific digital sampling approach (a nonlinear operation), as well as the digital to analog conversion at the user end.  You can approximately represent this with a convolution kernel that looks similar to what you've measured here but is not exactly the same.  We can argue to what extent the differences are significant (i.e., is it audibly perceptible) but mathematically they are not the same thing.  And, the theory is that while the ringing frequency is inaudible (if it were to be represented by a singular tone), the impact of that ringing (it's convolution with the original continuous signal) is perceptible because it affects the timing of notes relative to each other.  Now, I'll concede that the painstaking approach MQA takes to reproduce the analog signal ultimately can be invalidated by the analog speaker/headphone system being used as room acoustics, driver angle, etc. will probably swamp these effects. I am also aware of the amped-up hype and marketing...but that's normal for ANY product.

 

On a separate (more subjective) note, many including myself have noted the improved sound quality of Tidal Masters.... I believe this is more of a function of the actual remastering quality than the MQA encoding but if MQA is helping/encouraging studios to distribute better masters than I'm all for it!

post #614 of 645
Quote:
Originally Posted by erich6 View Post
 

​I'm not sure what you are using as your input but assuming you are using an analog source and that you have measured the output through an analog scope and posted a screenshot then you are seeing just the effect of the EQ.  The MQA filtering is supposed to incorporate the effect of the original analog to digital conversion, which I think includes a specific digital sampling approach (a nonlinear operation), as well as the digital to analog conversion at the user end.  You can approximately represent this with a convolution kernel that looks similar to what you've measured here but is not exactly the same.  We can argue to what extent the differences are significant (i.e., is it audibly perceptible) but mathematically they are not the same thing.  And, the theory is that while the ringing frequency is inaudible (if it were to be represented by a singular tone), the impact of that ringing (it's convolution with the original continuous signal) is perceptible because it affects the timing of notes relative to each other.  Now, I'll concede that the painstaking approach MQA takes to reproduce the analog signal ultimately can be invalidated by the analog speaker/headphone system being used as room acoustics, driver angle, etc. will probably swamp these effects. I am also aware of the amped-up hype and marketing...but that's normal for ANY product.

 

On a separate (more subjective) note, many including myself have noted the improved sound quality of Tidal Masters.... I believe this is more of a function of the actual remastering quality than the MQA encoding but if MQA is helping/encouraging studios to distribute better masters than I'm all for it!

I could have explained what I was doing a little better, sorry about that. I'm generating a sweep, sending it to my EQ(used in both instances just for consistency in the signal path to show that only the applied EQ is the reason for change in the impulse). and the output of the EQ is measured in REW(because I know I can get an impulse response easily that way and I'm lazy^_^).

and of course I'm not saying I'm doing the exact same thing as MQA does with same settings and all, but the principle is massively the same. most of the timing blablah can be simplified as sample rate and low pass filter. they explain it with marketing lingo trying to make it look like a big deal, but that's all there is to timing accuracy in digital audio. more samples increase the time accuracy, different low pass filters will create some phase shift and do a few other things.

in fact more bits also increase the timing accuracy(because sine waves), so discarding some is bad for time (ok I'm half trolling again but it's still true).

 

for example, take a typical 24/96 master. because unlike Meridian, the studio cares about doing nominal band limiting while keeping as much content as possible and avoiding aliasing, they tend to apply a very strong low pass close to 48khz that will ring at those freqs, but everything else is kept with great fidelity in time and amplitude. that's what the master side of MQA is supposed to "improve":ph34r:.

  so how can they "improve" this 24/96 original master in the time domain? well they can't really pull higher sample rate data out of a hat to increase time domain accuracy. 96khz is all the data they have for this album and the hard low pass is in the signal now. so that's dead.

we're left with the idea of a new low pass filter before the low pass filter. to make a cleaner cut on the cheese, you cut it again. all of MQA aside from the compression design is based on that. they use a gentler slope for the filter, kind of like my poor example, and some extra salsa for the apodizing filter of the MQA DACs in the playback. all so that at the end of the audio band, there will be very little ringing. basically because there will be very little signal left at the ringing frequency and before. that's why they're so focused on time domain everything, because in the amplitude domain, they take no prisoner.

 

about making new nice sounding masters(which has nothing to do with the MQA format itself), I've already expressed my opinion. I'm all for more nice sounding music, but good masters available only in a particular format is a solution to milk the cow. choice means having all the masters available in all formats and resolutions equal or below the original. be it from the seller, or as a free convertion tool for the consumer who purchased the high resolution album. any other offer is restrictive and plays against us consumers.

also if I can only get a master in one format, I'd rather have it in one that is actually high fidelity, MQA is destructive compared to PCM.

 

now all this is my rant, I find the entire MQA solution to be bad for us and I would never purchase a MQA album unless everything else has disappeared(you can call me on that in 10 years if you want, it's an easy bet for me to win). but about MQA as a streaming solution, why not, those who want it can have it. those who don't, don't need to. the world is big and all is well. I just find a little strange how people would use tidal to avoid lossy formats(because let's be honest, people aren't all in love with tidal's interface....), but some of them are now enthusiastic even about listening to some 13/48 undecoded MQA on their phone. I find that strange.

post #615 of 645
Quote:
Originally Posted by jwbrent View Post


Why this hate towards Bob Stuart?

Meridian has been developing high end digital sound going back to the early 80s. They have earned a reputation for state of the art gear. I was lucky enough to own their top end, 808 CD player, and at the time it was revelatory.

Due to my experience with the company, I trust that Bob Stuart is amply qualified to put together a team to take digital audio further, and so I view his efforts regarding MQA as a continuation of 40 years of repeated success, enviable success for that matter.

It sounds like this thread has some Linn acolytes given the harsh words on display.


Because I find the MQA business model insidious.  If people believe that it exists to bring better sound to the masses you are dreaming.  It's about one thing and one thing only.  Licensing and the steady stream of income it brings the license holder.

 

The reason DVD Audio and SA-CD were brought to market was because the CD had reached the end of it's licensing cycle.  Sony wanted that back so came up with SA-CD/DSD.  Everyone else backed DVD Audio with the help of good old Bob.  We all know what happened there.  Both failed but DVD Audio did get a little bit of an ass kicking from SA-CD.  Bob Stuart is still butt hurt about this.  All that licensing money gone, poof!

 

So the mad scientist worked on his next licensing scheme late nights for years and years and has finally come up with MQA.  Of course the labels will sign up, just like they did with DVD Audio and SA-CD.  They love to sell you the same stuff only different over and over. 

 

Meridian has gone from cutting edge products to crappy $250 DACS.  There is no money in PCM for Bob anymore.  There are manufacturers that are selling better Schiit for far less money.

 

I'm not going to participate in this latest money grab.  I have 0 respect for it's mastermind.

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