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MQA vs. Non-MQA, Empirical Measurements

Jimbob54

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Don't forget MQA makes EQ very difficult unless you pay for Roon. Also extra cost of a special DAC which has a chance of using the broken MQA filters on all content.
Does the core decode not work in the Tidal app for eg of you output to EAPO then onto the dac? Doesn't that just mean you can't pass onto an mqa dac to do the last render?
 

acbarn

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I love music. And the MQA tracks I've listened to on my test-drive of Tidal have been superb. Much preferable (admittedly not blind, not by a trained listener) to the same tracks on Tidal and Qobuz "CD-quality." Testing was primarily Sting's The Last Ship, in the event anyone cares.
For whatever reason, MQA tracks are frequently louder than standard PCM. If you’re really wanting to compare accurately, be sure to volume match using some method other than ears. Even very subtly louder tracks always sound better when making these types of subtle comparisons.
 

levimax

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Does the core decode not work in the Tidal app for eg of you output to EAPO then onto the dac? Doesn't that just mean you can't pass onto an mqa dac to do the last render?
When you add EQ and send stream to an MQA DAC since the stream has been changed the light does not come on and the final unfold not done...
 

MaxBuck

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For whatever reason, MQA tracks are frequently louder than standard PCM. If you’re really wanting to compare accurately, be sure to volume match using some method other than ears. Even very subtly louder tracks always sound better when making these types of subtle comparisons.
Good point. I'll try again using an SPL app and report back.
 

MaxBuck

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Interesting finding: max SPL on the CD-quality cut was 86.7 dbA; max on the MQA was 87.2 dbA. But average on the CD-quality was 79.98 dbA compared to 79.66 on the MQA. Suggests that the CD-quality cut was acoustically compressed in a way the MQA was not. That had been my impression before doing the measurements, actually.
 

SIY

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Interesting finding: max SPL on the CD-quality cut was 86.7 dbA; max on the MQA was 87.2 dbA. But average on the CD-quality was 79.98 dbA compared to 79.66 on the MQA. Suggests that the CD-quality cut was acoustically compressed in a way the MQA was not. That had been my impression before doing the measurements, actually.
Measured how? That’s a pretty small difference and might not be significant.
 

MaxBuck

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Measured how? That’s a pretty small difference and might not be significant.
I'm using the Keuwlsoft SPL Meter app on a Samsung Note 9, mounted on an angled phone stand acquired at a local health fair.

Hardly research grade stuff, obviously.
 

Emlin

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I'm using the Keuwlsoft SPL Meter app on a Samsung Note 9, mounted on an angled phone stand acquired at a local health fair.

Hardly research grade stuff, obviously.
Try a different app. Then another. They'll give different results.
 

jmos

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Here is a cool site I found that has files in many different formats supposedly from the same DXD source. I have listened to a few. Mainly compared the original stereo 24BIT/352.8kHz, the MQA stereo original resolution (24/352), and original CD 16BIT/44kHz.

http://www.2l.no/hires/

The thing I found the most interesting is looking at the difference in file size between stereo 24/352 and the MQA 24/352. The MQA file is about 1/8th the size. I do not know about everyone else but I listen on the go quite a bit and use my cellular data plan to stream. The bandwidth savings on streaming MQA hi res is significant.

I have an unlimited data plan. However, once you go over 20gb they throttle you. I try to last as long as I can all month to stay below the throttle threshold. It appears streaming MQA on anything hi res would go a long way to helping with that. Granted it scales down as the sampling decreases. With 24/96 files the MQA is roughly 1/2 the size of the original. And CD 16/44 quality there is no size difference.

Disk space is cheap enough that the file sizes do not come into play as much. But for streaming it most certainly does. So for me, I think I will stick to Tidal/MQA for streaming and the original non MQA file for stuff I download local.
 
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