Hi-Res MQA cd’s (UHQCD format) released by Universal Music Japan


Whatever your stance on MQA - Why would anyone introduce a new format within a technology (CD) that’s on life support. If blue light comes on when you stream MQA in tidal why would you need a disc?


I haven’t bought any of these but on the Hoffman forum there are a number of persons who have and have been discussing them. The Oppo UDP-205 is able to decode the MQA portion and play it back as intended. . . there are mixed results from listeners. . . some really like the sound, some complain it sounds “processed.”


Most of my redbook ripped CD’s sound better to me (on the DS) than the the MQA versions that I’ve heard on Tidal. Some are better but is that because of the higher res or remastering - who knows. I guess it an interesting experiment but can’t imagine there’d be any market for these discs. Seems 10 years too late.


The interesting thing is that Japan has a unique market. They mainly just manufacture for Japan, don’t really take international sales too much to heart. And they manufacture a lot of CDs, the market is seemingly stronger there.


Kaleidescape just reported back to me that CD-1 and CD-2 are encoded differently, they can check that stuff remotely on my system.


From last weekend’s HiEnd Show held in Hong Kong; unfortunately, I didn’t have any MQA CDs to play to verify proper decoding from transport > DAC > amp


Didn’t matter if you did, I tried it and it didn’t work.


Hi Brodrick,
Any news from MSB whether their Uber-expensive transport + DAC combo plays back MQA CDs fully “unfolded”?


My latest information was “no”.

I have a MSB Select 2 owner coming here soon to listen to my new speakers, so I’ll double check on the status of that.


Awhile ago, I had ordered both the Jazz and Rock & Pop sampler CD’s discussed in this thread. I have the DMP and DSD stack. I also have the Oppo UDP-205. I knew it would not be possible to get MQA playback via the DMP since the MQA decoder is in the Bridge II card requiring an ethernet feed.

However, my Oppo 205 does fully unfold MQA files. Here is a pic of the on-screen menu when I played the green Hi-Res Rock & Pop sampler disk from Universal Music Japan. Notice that the “Channel Type” is 16/44.1K but the Oppo does recognize it as MQA Studio as indicated in the lower right of the screen. So, whatever is on the CD, it is being recognized and decoded as MQA Studio by my Oppo 205.


Maybe I’m missing something, but 16/44.1 is standard CD quality. MQA Studio when unfolded should be something better, at least 24/44.1, preferably at least 16/96, otherwise what’s the point of MQA? I’m assuming you are using the analog out of the Oppo. I don’t recall if you have a DS Sr, DS Jr, or other DAC, but if a DS can you send the SPDIF output to it and see what the input is?


Yeah, I’m not sure the technical inner workings of MQA or what “Studio” represents. You are correct - I was using the analog out on the Oppo. That is the only way to get an MQA decoding on the Oppo.

I have the DS Sr. However, the only way the DS can process MQA is though the ethernet port on the Bridge II. It cannot process MQA via the SPDIF input.


Makes sense to me! I know nothing of the Oppo functionality so can’t comment further. Perhaps someone will know more than either of us. I did try MQA on Tidal and wasn’t impressed so haven’t pursued it any further. Also, I was thinking of getting an Oppo at one point, mostly for Blu-Ray, but also as a backup to my DMP. Then they went and stopped production without warning and then I was out of the game.


Hi Brodric,
Any news on whether the MSB stack was able to playback the Japanese MQA CD, fully unfolded?


I haven’t heard…do you have the latest software on yours?