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CES 2017: MQA announces TIDAL Masters, and more

Discussion in 'Head-Fi Network & Industry News' started by joe, Jan 5, 2017.
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  1. Share2Care
    I own a delightful Jotunheim which hits the spot when it comes to desktop control centre. Not looking to upgrade. I looked at Tidal a while ago and nearly purchased just based on the improvement I found with the tracks. So I am tempted by Tidal, for the increase in quality...BUT...I am not sure how the MQA part will fit in. Do I need to purchase something to unleash the unfolding of the tracks?
    You will have to excuse my ignorance and I am trying to read up, but is there a way to spend the least amount of money so it can work with my Jot or does it not work like that?
    Guidance would be most appreciated. I am still slowly just walking out of pure beginner so be gentle! 
    Thanks! :)
  2. SpiderNhan
    Tidal will decode MQA 1x for you without any additional equipment so the Jotunheim will receive either a 24/88.2 or 24/96 stream. Higher levels of decoding are currently only possible with a MQA enabled DAC.
  3. OldRoadToad
    The following is public service announcement:  RUN!
  4. goldendarko
    I also use the Jotunheim with my PC and it works great with the TIDAL desktop application which allows you to listen to partially unfolded (24/96) hi res master tracks that are available through TIDAL. Nothing else you need to buy. If you had an MQA DAC you could get the fully unfolded master tracks (24/192) but I doubt you'd hear much difference the current albums available in master format already sound great.
  5. AxelCloris Administrator
    Had to remove some posts for going against the posting guidelines. Please keep posts directly related to MQA and not one another.
  6. headfry

    Check out James Taylor's album "Gorilla" - track Angry Blues. The regular HIFI sounds somewhat brasher,
    messier, somewhat blurred - images are quite flat and indistinct in both shape and position within the sound field.
    The Masters/MQA version is more natural, higher resolution-sounding, with
    much more believable imaging, much better space and position within the recording...and it not only sounds
    more detailed but sweeter/more natural,coherent,refined and is for me easier to enjoy.
    To sum up, MQA sounds higher resolution, more natural and once appreciated makes
    me seek out the MQA version against the regular FLAC. Well done conventional hires albums are (probably)
    roughly about as musical to me as Tidal software-decoded MQA.
    ....this is pretty much my experience with most if not all of the Masters recordings that I've heard (again,
    played through Tidal software-decoding, now in Audirvana Plus 3).
    Wildcatsare1 likes this.
  7. jwbrent

    What differences do you hear between TIDAL's software and Audirvana? Are there any functional improvements with Audirvana?
  8. shamu144
    I also use Audirvana 3 and love it to stream MQA albums with TIDAL. Audirvana to my ears offers a much more clear background and better resolution. Tidal alone sounds a bit muffled in comparaison. However, what I appreciate most with Audirvana 3 is that I can use the powerfull izotope upsampler on the fly and upsample the MQA files unfolded at 24/44, 24/88 or 24/96 up to 24/192 currently (old mac, so it does not support 24/384 but that is technically possible). In essence, it should be possible to replicate the second MQA unfolding done in hardware with the correct settings in Audirvana 3.
  9. headfry

    hi there....when I discovered that TIdal no longer streams Yes Master albums - keeps loading 
    and never plays - but through Audirvana 3 Plus they play fine - plus the fact that I can use
    my equalizer (AudioUnits/Voxengo Marvel eq) - and that it sounds as least as good as Tidal desktop - 
    maybe better - but with eq Audirvana is obviously better with my headphones - no eq possible through the current Tidal desktop.
    With my setup, I find music sounds best without izotope upsampling.
    The software set itself up seamlessly, with my Tidal logged in as well as all of the best settings
    automatically set - I was beyond impressed. (I upgraded from the demo).
    On a side note - I'm also greatly enjoying my portable setup with conventional hires files -
    iPod Touch 6th gen with Kaisertone sw/USB3CCK/AQ Jitterbug//Mojo/SR325e. Properly eq'd to
    subdue the highs - very slight subtle drop from 4k to 20k- I find that the 325e's sound amazing -
    supremely musical and not far off from my GS1000i's.
  10. chaturanga

    What do you mean with "...when I discovered that TIdal no longer streams Yes Master" ?
  11. headfry

    Master albums by the classic all-time prog group "Yes" (non-Masters play fine):
  12. TadMorose

    Strange. Yes Masters work for me. I tired 90125 and Big Generator and both played just fine in the desktop app.

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A3000 using Tapatalk
  13. headfry

    The Masters albums in questions are Close to the Edge, The Yes Album, Fragile and Relayer - four of
    their very best albums
  14. TadMorose
    I will try them and let you know.
  15. TadMorose
    @headfry I tried all four albums you mentioned. All four Master versions play fine on my desktop app running on Windows 10.
    My setup: ASUS laptop, Meridian Explorer² USB DAC, WireWorld Ultraviolet USB cable, Sonus faber PRYMA headphones.
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