Are MQA versions sometimes different recordings?


#1

so late last night I’m listening to Tidal via Roon, and I’m playing the MQA version of Grateful Dead’s American Beauty.

Sounds great, although I seem to hear some reverb in the recording where I never noticed it before. Thought it might just be that this MQA version is revealing never-before-heard characteristics. In “Friend of the Devil,” the point at which the drums come in has way more depth than I remember.

Anyway, the weirdest thing was with the song “Brokedown Palace.”

Usually there’s a measure or two of musical intro, then Jerry sings. But in the MQA version, he starts singing BEFORE the guitar/keyboards come in. Bizarre. Is it a different recording? Am i deliriously tired?

Can anyone verify or debunk my observation?


If hi-res FLAC already on Tidal/Qobuz, what's the point of ripping my CDs?
#2

I have noticed that Natalie Merchant’s Tigerlily MQA version is definitely a different mix than the original.


#3

@ternizator Yes, they appear to be different lineage. Brokedown Palace on the MQA version is 11 seconds shorter than the non-MQA version. Interesting.


#4

i know right


#5

Sounds like someone might have given the MQA treatment to Mickey Hart’s American Beauty remix from @ 2003. See this link at the fifth through seventh paragraphs for more details about that reverb-heavy remix:


#6

well dayum.

Nice detective work, bootzilla.


#7

I believe this is based on the remaster which IMO is worse off with additional compression and is clipped over the top on a few tracks.

Sharper sound but less musical.


#8

As far as I know they still have not released the Grateful Dead studio box set as individual downloads. Bootzilla’s nailed it I think (not having listened to the Tidal version myself).


#9

So here’s an interesting thing… or not, ahdunno.

Finally got cleared for the Qobuz trial in the US, so i signed right up.

Wanted to see what versions/bitrates Qobuz had for American Beauty. They have the same versions that Tidal does. The 16/44.1 CD-quality version, and a 24/96 version. (But no MQA designation.)

Now if you remember from earlier in the thread, that the MQA version of Brokedown Palace on Tidal was a different mix than I’d ever heard before – perhaps some Mickey Hart remix.

So I played the 24/96 Qobuz version of Brokedown Palace, and it’s exactly the same remix as the MQA version.

Now, my humble system (or my humble ears) aren’t able to distinguish a quality difference between Tidal and Qobuz like some claim to, so I won’t even go there… but I did find it interesting that what’s called “MQA” on Tidal, is not listed as MQA on Qobuz, even tho bitrates and mixes are the same.


#10

For what it’s worth, the 24/96 HDTracks.com version track length corresponds to the original recording (4:09), rather than the Mickey Hart remix (3:58).


#11

In response to the Thread title…uh, yup. Issue/Unanswered Question #1 from Day 1. Then there’s the Remastering by Robot Algorhythm thing ; )