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Tidal Alternative

D

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Imo Qobuz sounds better than Tidal. I had both at the same time and went back and forth
yes, made the same observation + comparing a cd rip which sounded just like qobuz and tidal sounded off to both (qobuz and cdrip) ... it had specially brighter trebel and less deepbass
 

Beershaun

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Glad you are happy with qobuz performance on your critical listening system. I have definitely seen quality differences from system to system using the same files from the same service. I don't know why. My hypothesis though is it's the streaming endpoint in my setup rather than the service or file format being provided. Specifically I suspect my FireTV endpoints and HDMI connections are, either intentionally through resampling or unintentionally via added noise, reducing the signal levels going to my AVR. This causes the volume levels to be much lower and the drivers to move less reducing the "impact." So as you go through this journey I would encourage you to try a couple different streaming endpoints with the same service and same DAC and amp to see if you find that to cause differences.
 

Akary

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I have tidal that I recently removed hi-fi plus because with my system I could not find the difference between mqa and hi-fi resolution.
I also read the trend on the mqa question a bit and I wanted to try amazon hd but the problem is that its app on windows cannot directly control the dac by changing the output resolution and therefore uses the windows drivers instead of tidal va very good.
however tidal in my implant sounds much better to my ear.
Is there a way to make the amazon app communicate directly with the dac (my dac is a topping d50s) to test if that is the problem of the sound so different?
 

Akary

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For those who have used qobuz have they updated the app for with on-screen texts and can it work with the denon heos app?
 

Eddy H.

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I have tidal that I recently removed hi-fi plus because with my system I could not find the difference between mqa and hi-fi resolution.
I also read the trend on the mqa question a bit and I wanted to try amazon hd but the problem is that its app on windows cannot directly control the dac by changing the output resolution and therefore uses the windows drivers instead of tidal va very good.
however tidal in my implant sounds much better to my ear.
Is there a way to make the amazon app communicate directly with the dac (my dac is a topping d50s) to test if that is the problem of the sound so different?
Have you installed the Topping driver?
 

Strato007

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I have tidal that I recently removed hi-fi plus because with my system I could not find the difference between mqa and hi-fi resolution.
I also read the trend on the mqa question a bit and I wanted to try amazon hd but the problem is that its app on windows cannot directly control the dac by changing the output resolution and therefore uses the windows drivers instead of tidal va very good.
however tidal in my implant sounds much better to my ear.
Is there a way to make the amazon app communicate directly with the dac (my dac is a topping d50s) to test if that is the problem of the sound so different?
difficult to find any difference...
 

bevok

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Qobuz has been great other than they kind of stiffed their existing customers: if you signed up for the annual subscription, you probably weren't real happy when they dropped the price so that new customers pay less annually even though paying by the month. Odd marketing decision not to throw existing customers a bone. In light of the market share chart posted above, maybe an issue of financial viability?
I sent them a polite but strongly worded letter and they pro-rata'd the rest of my annual subscription at the new rate.
 

Gio

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Just switched from Tidal to Qobuz. For Classical and Jazz is another world. Much much more Hi-res file compared to Tidal. No need of MQA gears and I'm out of the doubt that MQA is not lossless.
 

brandonhall

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However, I just don't like the way it sounded on my very revealing critical listening system. It sounds off, and consider Tidal far more listenable and enjoyable when streamed through a Roku Ultra on a still good quality "midfi" Home Theater system (Marantz AV8802A, Parasound Halo A51). I thought something was wrong with my critical system and looked into Tidal.
I experienced the exact same thing. I'm trialing Elac Carina's from Crutchfield and they are set to replace a pair of KEF Q150s. Tidal always sounded great to me and I loved the software and then the Carina's came along. Completely different ballgame when comparing Tidal to Qobuz or Apple Music (I get it free but hate the software).

At least on these speakers, the difference is clear and obvious on multiple contemporary tracks. I can truly tell the differences on drums and horns. Say what you want about bias and subjectivity, but it's noticeably more detailed. Drums are the biggest difference. They sound natural on Qobuz and they are just thumps with Tidal Masters. Some examples... "Eagles - Hotel California", "Fleetwood Mac - I Don't Want to Know", "38 Special - Caught Up in You". There are numerous examples. It's crazy.
 
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Very happy with Apple Music lossless and it came with Apple TV for free or perhaps the other way round…or did it come with 200gb/mo iCloud? Who can tell with all these packages anymore?
 

brandonhall

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I'm pretty sure it's through my Verizon plan. I'm on an Android device and my typical usage is a desktop Mac. The Apple desktop app is lacking in my opinion.
 

Gio

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After some days of use of Qobuz I would state that Qobuz is 1.000 miles ahead to Tidal. I'm nor talking about only sound quality (as said much more hi-res files) but the difference is huge in the APP experience in all aspects. It's like having changed one gear in the equipment chain. Honestly I didn't imagine making such a change.
 

Tom C

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As a Qobuz subscriber, I'll add that they are the only service that plays lossless HD in a browser - all others stream lossy in the browser and require their apps to play lossless. And Qobuz also has responsive support. My only Qobuz gripe is their classical metadata sucks, but this is true of every streaming service except for Idagio (and maybe Apple Music, if they incorporated Primephonic's metadata when they acquired them).

Idagio also plays lossless in a browser, which is great. But they have only classical music, and they resample HD content to CD quality for streaming. Even if one believes that 44-16 is sufficiently transparent, the process of down-sampling may or may not be. Done properly it should be transparent, but it's not always done properly and I've encountered audible artifacts from flawed down-sampling just often enough not to trust it as a "black box".
Can I asked how you accomplished this? I’ve tried using Windows 10 and Ubuntu Studio. After selecting the max stream quality in the web player, the best I’ve been able to do is to manually change the sample rate and bit depth of the stream using the OS sound controller. Kind of inconvenient when listening to a play list which has different songs with different sample rates, and you want to do something else while listening.
 

MRC01

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In Ubuntu, set up Pulseaudio to avoid resampling. Then Pulseaudio will change the system sample rate to match the track you're playing. If the native sample rate changes from track to track, Pulseaudio automatically changes between tracks. It can do this only if no other apps are playing audio. Pulseaudio cannot change the sample rate while audio is playing.
Details here.
 

rwortman

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Why do the science police jump all over people and demand double blind listening tests for amp and DAC preferences but claimed differences between streaming services are exempt?
 

bevok

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Yes it would be nice if differences were quantified in some way, either with DBT or capture of the digital stream and quantified comparison. With listening tests of course all aspects of the signal chain would need to be identical. Would be really interesting! I've never noticed any differences personally aside from ones that are volume level related in casual listening, but others here undoubtedly have much more 'revealing' systems than me. Given the glaring contrasts in usability, functionality and reliability between the different services it would be surprising and fascinating if there were qualitative listening differences that outweighed these.
 

MRC01

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Why do the science police jump all over people and demand double blind listening tests for amp and DAC preferences but claimed differences between streaming services are exempt?
Music streaming services are either lossless, or they aren't. If they're lossless, there's no difference in sound quality. If they are lossy, the codecs/formats they use can be tested independently of the streaming service.

In short, once you know what codec/format they're using, you know how transparent they are.
 
Last edited:

rwortman

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Music streaming services are either lossless, or they aren't. If they're lossless, there's no difference in sound quality. If they are lossy, the codecs/formats they use can be tested independently of the streaming service.

In short, once you know what codec/format they're using, you know how transparent they are.
Oh, sure you do.
 
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