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MQA Deep Dive - I published music on tidal to test MQA

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GoldenOne

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Thread Starter #41
As far as I've been able to tell, all MQA files on Tidal are 24-bit. Many of them are, however, made from 44.1 kHz masters, quite pointlessly.
You can view the source file info if using a player such as roon. It'll tell you the bit depth/sample rate of the file from qobuz/tidal.
Or more piratey methods (which I of course don't endorse but is pretty much the only way to actually get the file info without roon)
 

mansr

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#42
Some time ago, I used a virtual sound card to capture snippets from over 100 MQA tracks. Every single one was 24-bit. They might of course have added huge numbers of 16-bit MQA since then, but I seriously doubt it. I suggest you double-check your method, because there's probably a mistake somewhere if you're seeing mostly 16-bit files.
 
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Thread Starter #43
Some time ago, I used a virtual sound card to capture snippets from over 100 MQA tracks. Every single one was 24-bit. They might of course have added huge numbers of 16-bit MQA since then, but I seriously doubt it. I suggest you double-check your method, because there's probably a mistake somewhere if you're seeing mostly 16-bit files.
This is due to the "unfolding" process.

The first unfold upsamples/unfolds the 16/44.1k file to typically 24 bit 88.2khz. Hence why your recordings (and the later recordings in my post) are 24 bit

Kj8uEdR1Ow.png


You can see here the original is 16 bit but it's 'decoded' to 24 bit 88.2khz

Tidal's player does the first unfold unless you explicitly tell it not to
 
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GoldenOne

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Thread Starter #45
Not if you tell it you have a full MQA DAC, which I did. The captures also work as expected with a standalone decoder.
Keep in mind that with that method you'd need to ensure that you weren't seeing 24 bit simply because your virtual card/DAW was recording at 24 bit. You'd need to use a tool such as mediainfo in order to check the TRUE bit depth of the file. (Mediainfo is also handy for checking if a file has been dithered to an unusual bit depth, I came across one a while ago that was 19 bits)

I just had a look through more and it does seem that there is the occasional 24 bit source file, (roon will tell you that) but the vast majority are 16 bit
1617293804441.png
 

mansr

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#46
I know how to tell a 16-bit file from 24-bit. A lot of the files do have instructions for the "renderer" to reduce the resolution to 16 bits after resampling. Could that be what Roon is reporting?
 
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GoldenOne

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Thread Starter #47
I know how to tell a 16-bit file from 24-bit. A lot of the files do have instructions for the "renderer" to reduce the resolution to 16 bits after resampling. Could that be what Roon is reporting?
No because you can also rip the file directly from tidal using other tools and inspect it directly, no recording needed (Which of course I would NEVER do :oops:) and that shows the same
 
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Thread Starter #51
How about posting the same screen as you did for the other file so we can make a meaningful comparison?
1617296385184.png


Here's a comparison of the native 48khz version vs the MQA encoded one (can't compare unfolded with hires because there is no native hires version, thanks MQA)
MQA version is louder by half a decibel (and actually clips at a few points whereas normal version does not). I enabled deltawave's gain matching to compensate for this. Similar to the original post, not identical, MQA version louder, and lots more HF noise.

 
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Thread Starter #55
just saw it, barely any differences in the audible band. thanks!
I wouldn't exactly call differences of several dB small but hey...
Additionally, the fact that there is a difference at all in the audible band is the issue in itself
 
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Thread Starter #57
is it possible to check if the format adds distortion?
It depends. Technically distortion simply implies that the result differs from the intended signal. If you treat the native hires release as the intended target then yes, it does add distortion. Mostly out of the audible range but some within still.

The closest thing to a synthetic test we have is the testing done by John Atkinson at stereophile as he convinced them to send him an MQA encoded impulse file.
It uh....didn't look too good

1617297648917.png
 

norcalscott

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#58
I would have to say that "most" of the MQA tracks on Tidal are 24-bit. The Walter Trout track is definitely 16-bit, but I grabbed a random Van Morrison track that is 24-bit. This is USB Audio Player Pro playing Tidal on a HiBy R5 Saber.
Walter Trout.jpg

Van Morrison.jpg
 
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Thread Starter #60
I would have to say that "most" of the MQA tracks on Tidal are 24-bit. The Walter Trout track is definitely 16-bit, but I grabbed a random Van Morrison track that is 24-bit. This is USB Audio Player Pro playing Tidal on a HiBy R5 Saber.
View attachment 121467
View attachment 121468
There's a few releases of it on tidal, the non-deluxe release is 24/48. Then the deluxe version has a 16/44.1 and 24/48 release (both MQA). Unfortunately unless you use roon or something other than the tidal player there's no way to know for sure which you're getting which is frustrating.
 
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