Author Topic: MQA Decoders  (Read 1679 times)

Offline mariusc

Re: MQA Decoders
« Reply #15 on: November 19, 2020, 03:41:56 PM »
Quote
Can think of LP's sounding much better than some CD's in this regard.

I fully agree. I have a very long list of LP's sounding better than CD, escpecially 45 rpm.

Offline Agaton Sax

Re: MQA Decoders
« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2020, 06:33:57 AM »
Rereading my post,I may be seen as a huge blanket MQA fan. I am not. I am talking about streaming alone. I find pure 44.1/16 bit quality deplorable. I find 96/24 or higher quite pleasant. I find HDCD done ,the way it was intended, pleasant. Right now the best way I can stream in my house in this place is 44.1/16. If Tidal can take a higher quality meal and somehow squash it into a pink Tupperware box and let it re-expand into something resembling food in my house instead of sending it in a tin I am all for it. QOBUS,I believe, can send you the meal properly unsquashed but they don't deliver here. For me cheating and pretending to be who I am not in dealing with a supplier who does not want to deal with me is out. Upsampling or reclocking or whatever, to me, is just taking that  pink Tupperware box, as is, and putting it on a silver plate with garnish.

If I go to the restaurant to personally buy there and my meal is handed to me in a pink Tupperware  box, I am going to scream. Physical media or expensive downloads or, godforbid, initial recordings should never, ever, be folded or origamid or manipulated or MQAd for any economic or convenience or whatever reasons that is not intended for preserving  art in its purest form.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2020, 06:40:29 AM by Agaton Sax »

Offline Banjuka

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • AVForums Member
  • **
  • Posts: 66
  • Total likes: 31
  • My heart is warm and slightly v-shaped.
Re: MQA Decoders
« Reply #17 on: November 22, 2020, 01:29:32 PM »
Thanks Banjuka, I concur with your view. I posted the question initially given my mixed experiences. I wondered if my expectations were perhaps too high.

You're welcome  ;) Yes, in my experience MQA has a placebo effect and borders on audiophile snake-oil.

Offline Smoothjazz

Re: MQA Decoders
« Reply #18 on: November 23, 2020, 07:16:38 AM »
On the subject of DACS, has anyone experienced the PSAUDIO Directstream junior?

Offline Agaton Sax

Re: MQA Decoders
« Reply #19 on: November 23, 2020, 09:14:21 AM »
On the subject of DACS, has anyone experienced the PSAUDIO Directstream junior?

Jeez, I know Iím boring but didnít know it was this bad . Same thread!

Offline Smoothjazz

Re: MQA Decoders
« Reply #20 on: November 23, 2020, 08:07:36 PM »
What's your point Agaton it

Offline Agaton Sax

Re: MQA Decoders
« Reply #21 on: November 23, 2020, 09:28:24 PM »
What's your point Agaton it

Oh ,no point really. Post 20 you ask if anyone has experience with the PS Junior. Post 5 of the same thread I describe my experience with it. I write way too much nonsense anyway.

Online mr_b

Re: MQA Decoders
« Reply #22 on: November 23, 2020, 09:41:16 PM »
What? You mean mean it's polite to read the whole thread before asking questions? Well I never...
It's not about the gear, it's about the music... ok ok... it about the gear... no no the music... buuuuuuttt... oh the gear..

Online 2wice

Re: MQA Decoders
« Reply #23 on: November 23, 2020, 09:57:21 PM »
I write way too much nonsense anyway.

Don't stop

Offline Smoothjazz

Re: MQA Decoders
« Reply #24 on: November 24, 2020, 11:23:01 AM »
Agaton Sax, If there is no point then why make a needless comment. You made a fleeting reference to PSAUDIO in your essay. I was hoping someone who owns one presently would comment. No worries, next time I have the temerity to post, please don't feel obliged to read.

Offline VinylHead

Re: MQA Decoders
« Reply #25 on: November 24, 2020, 10:59:41 PM »
Is MQA worth it?  Lots of views and impressions. Frankly I was on the fence myself.  I prefer LP's, like the sound, the whole process of choosing, cleaning, putting on the TT and relaxing back to listen.

A few years back I was playing with a SONOS, streaming it to an very old Quad CD player as the DAC, sounded better than the SONOS, but it wasn't great.  SONOS couldn't handle MQA either.  In Stereophile, I read about the MYTEK Brooklyn and it sounded like a good DAC for the cost.  I found a demo one at discount and installed it, now using the CD player as a transport and indeed it was an improvement.  For the SONOS, frankly nothing can improve that it seems.

A while later I started experimenting with TIDAL through a computer (a second hand BAETIS Audio Prodigy that I came across)  to the MYTEK and using the MYTEK to do the MQA unfolding. That was quite a jump. I was now using JRiver to feed my ripped CD's, some high res music I had acquired, and Tidal to stream.  Not a bad sound.  I however found Tidal at that stage to have a most irritating front end.  About this time, I found a  (second hand) BAETIS Audio Reference pc at a reasonable price, and using their AES connection to the MYTEK, this was yet another step up in my appreciation of the sound.  Now I was playing less and less LP's and more TIDAL streaming.  the cherry on the top though was when a friend introduced me to ROON.  This integrates my stored digital music and TIDAL with a much improved (to me at least) user interface.     

I've played with listening to CD's/rips/downloads/streaming at CD quality and MQA.  I have not played a CD in over a year, I listen to records regularly, but the bulk of my enjoyable listening comes from TIDAL and preferably the MQA encoded content.  My experience is that its just more satisfying than the non MQA coded material.   Notably my enjoyment of music drops when ROON radio takes me to CD quality tracks.

My friend who introduced me to ROON has strong opinions and prefers his high resolution digital purchases.  He find that MQA looses something, and gives the sound a "rounded edge". I don't know. Maybe my ears are tired and can't hear it, but I miss that nuance! 

I appreciate the sound that I get this way, and my exploration of music has grown as a result.

TIDAL has improved the availability if MQA albums recently, and I understand they have also improved their front end. Maybe a topic for thread would be ROON, but for the moment, having the album artwork/liner notes/Allmusic commentary  available on a tablet whilst the music plays is satisfying.     

So a long winded response.  Horses for courses.  MQA, some like it, some don't. Try it and see.

For reference, the rest of my system is Valve Audio Black Widow pre and mono power amps feeding a Martin Logan ESL speakers.

   

Offline irengineer

Re: MQA Decoders
« Reply #26 on: November 25, 2020, 04:34:14 PM »
I have a Roon/Tidal setup running into a Mytek Brooklyn DAC+. For me, streaming music via this setup is convenient and it sounds great. From Tidal, I prefer MQA tracks/albums, especially when I feed the native stream to the DAC to do all the unfolding. The Mytek has a display that shows the level MQA tracks unfold to. It is not uncommon to see tracks on the 2L label to unfold to 24/352 with loads of others to 24/192. My Rotel DVD player feeds into the DAC as a transport. When comparing the Toslink/RCA connection, I prefer the Toslink into the DAC. I am not saying that I can hear a clear difference between 24/96 and some of the really high-res unfolds, but the MQA tracks do sound richer and fuller on my system.

I also own a iFI Zen DAC that does MQA. I use it as a headphone amp/DAC for my desktop with Tidal streaming on my PC. Here the setup does not allow you to see bitrate and the software setup is such that the first unfold is done in software and the second stage on the DAC. Using my midrange AKG headphones, I prefer MQA again. I tried the Zen DAC in my HiFi but the Mytek gave it a drumming.

So, with the kit and source comparisons in my system, I prefer Tidalís MQA for most albums. For the record, I do not own a large FLAC library, so streaming from Tidal or Spotify (superior user experience to Tidal, crappy sound on my system) my Roon/Tidal/Mytek setup sounds best by far. Would I upgrade my DAC for an MQA capable setup? Not if I had a quality DAC anyway. When buying new, Iíd buy an MQA capable device.

For the record, my vinyl setup is my real passion and this is the black hole into which I sink my funds :-)

My amp is a VA Exclame, powering a set of Tannoy Saturn S10ís, so a decent midrange setup on which to make the comparisons.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Offline msch997

Re: MQA Decoders
« Reply #27 on: December 02, 2020, 10:05:09 AM »
I have a Roon/Tidal setup running into a Mytek Brooklyn DAC+. For me, streaming music via this setup is convenient and it sounds great. From Tidal, I prefer MQA tracks/albums, especially when I feed the native stream to the DAC to do all the unfolding. The Mytek has a display that shows the level MQA tracks unfold to. It is not uncommon to see tracks on the 2L label to unfold to 24/352 with loads of others to 24/192. My Rotel DVD player feeds into the DAC as a transport. When comparing the Toslink/RCA connection, I prefer the Toslink into the DAC. I am not saying that I can hear a clear difference between 24/96 and some of the really high-res unfolds, but the MQA tracks do sound richer and fuller on my system.

I also own a iFI Zen DAC that does MQA. I use it as a headphone amp/DAC for my desktop with Tidal streaming on my PC. Here the setup does not allow you to see bitrate and the software setup is such that the first unfold is done in software and the second stage on the DAC. Using my midrange AKG headphones, I prefer MQA again. I tried the Zen DAC in my HiFi but the Mytek gave it a drumming.

So, with the kit and source comparisons in my system, I prefer Tidalís MQA for most albums. For the record, I do not own a large FLAC library, so streaming from Tidal or Spotify (superior user experience to Tidal, crappy sound on my system) my Roon/Tidal/Mytek setup sounds best by far. Would I upgrade my DAC for an MQA capable setup? Not if I had a quality DAC anyway. When buying new, Iíd buy an MQA capable device.

For the record, my vinyl setup is my real passion and this is the black hole into which I sink my funds :-)

My amp is a VA Exclame, powering a set of Tannoy Saturn S10ís, so a decent midrange setup on which to make the comparisons.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

My amp is a VA Exclame, powering a set of Tannoy Saturn S10ís, so a decent midrange setup on which to make the comparisons.

A Lot More than just decent if you ask me.



Offline ERad

Re: MQA Decoders
« Reply #28 on: December 02, 2020, 12:50:41 PM »
Just added a SMSL M400 DAC with MQA decoding.

My first impressions of MQA and the DAC is positive. Is MQA better?? Maybe not night and day above the 192kHz stuff, but I hear a difference. It's also a different DAC, so...definitely not scientific.

I like it! Guess that's all that counts really :whistler: If it gives me another reason to listen to music, WINNER!

Offline Hi-Phibian

  • Commercial Member
  • Trade Count: (+59)
  • *****
  • Posts: 13,855
  • Total likes: 722
  • I really prefer email, see my banner for address..
    • Croak Audio Exploration
Re: MQA Decoders
« Reply #29 on: December 02, 2020, 01:49:39 PM »
The big thing is that when comparing on MQA gear, MQA will almost always be better.

Will your non MQA material not be as good on an MQA DAC as it would be on a dac not held back by MQA hardware limitations? Imo yes.


Croak Audio
Analogue by birth, digital by design. Mostly a StereoType though known to enjoy some Mono too  http://www.croak.co.za https://instagram.com/croakaudio?igshid=1wzr83vlqtbyy