- Jun 25, 2019
Yeah, I agree with you regarding DSD and personally have not found many situations where there was a DSD version that was definitively better than available PCM ones. (Usually if this was the case it was also because the DSD version was a different master).Fair point re DSD being open source, though I still don't believe it serves a purpose in playback, its intended as a recording medium
Not saying MQA aren't a bit shifty, what company that is trying to sell something isn't.
However it is sometimes a useful tool to get better output from a mediocre dac as the oversampling and modulation from some dedicated software tools are better than the ones in some lower end dacs.
But my view is that DSD isn't being pushed upon us, doesn't cost anything, and I can still obtain HiRes PCM/DXD of the content instead of DSD if I wanted.
With MQA none of those are true. Its costly, and I cannot use native HiRes as an alternative. (Its aggressive expansion to encompass even 16/44.1khz content is also beyond frustrating)
Also potentially true, but again the fact that we cannot test ourselves by producing an MQA version of a file to compare, nor fully unfold one without having to record in the analog domain (immediately making things more tricky and adding a LOT of variables) makes it difficult.The diff between 11-13khz is interesting, but still not conclusive. You don't know which is "correct", just that there is a diff, what if you 44.1 file was downsamples with an algorithm that caused this? Or the fact that the MQA file started with a different bitrate master?
I'll have a look at the 2lno files and repeat some of the same tests on those later. I remember coming across it previously but if I remember correctly there was something different about those files compared to other available ones. I'll double check though cause I can't remember what the issue was.
I'm recording the first unfold from Roon's output as roon is certified by MQA themselves and widely used (could also in theory use the tidal player itself but I don't have it installed and wanted to use the same player for local files for sake of consistency).
The second unfold is a bit tricky, because its only done on hardware. This seems to be an arbitrary restriction and i'm sure there is likely someone clever who may be able to reverse engineer or modify a product such as this MQA addon card: https://www.sonnet-audio.com/Accessories.html , in order to obtain a digital, fully unfolded copy.
You could record the analog output of an MQA dac, but then its tricky to find a situation where you can get a fair test, as even in devices which are using the same DAC, such as the D90 and D90 MQA, other components on the digital input side differ. And most MQA dacs don't have an option to force them NOT to unfold MQA. So you cannot record the analog output of a non-unfolded MQA file from that dac as it will always unfold it.
Yeah hopefully it becomes more prevalent. I imagine spotify announcing their lossless tier will mean a LOT of people will join or switch to that.My predicament is that in Canada there are no alternative hi-res streaming services so I've got to learn to deal with MQA for now. My hope is that eventually they go out of business and it becomes public domain and or eventually the'll be a more fleshed out version of mansr's code and we can all just use MQA without a special dac.