? MQA got some splainin to do

The presentation about MQA by GoldenSound is pretty good.


You know they’ll just respond, if at all, with the same smoke and mirrors, lies and deceit since the beginning.

I’ve enjoyed GoldenSounds reviews, etc. He’s got a great voice and way about it that resonants. I’ve never liked what MQA did to the sound nor their attitude when challenged.

Props to PS Audio for resisting them, save for the BridgeII under customer pressure, and I presume the chip maker, ConversDigital?, was adding to the firmware anyway.


This is an awesome presentation with good, hard facts to counter the hype. I had originally subscribed to Tidal because they had more of the music that I like, and I couldn’t say that there was a difference in the sound. After watching this, I re-upped my subscription to Qobuz and did some more comparisons. I could hear some of the things pointed out by this presentation. So, I will be dropping my Tidal subscription.

I’ve posted in a couple threads where measurements can help to make decisions easy. This is an example where I have solid evidence to back up what I may or may not be hearing. I love it!


Tried Tidal a few months ago using non-MQA and it sounded really weird to me. Very unnatural. Didn’t even make it a week and switched to Qobuz. The above video confirms that there are issues (MQA modifies even their non-MQA material…and sounds like ass).


Interesting (I skipped to the MQA “response”).
Also - that’s a synthesised voice, right?
Edit - or possibly speeded up slightly (not by pitch) it actually sounds a bit like a timestretch routine with <100% time stretch…

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This supports what my ears have been saying all along.


MQA-free audiophile household here. Glad I ignored the hype.


Was never very thrilled with it myself. I didn’t have a completely bias free view though because from day 1, Paul was a bit less less than enthusiastic about it to say the least. This forum doesn’t let me write some of the adjectives he’s used over the years.


:rofl: pg13 here


seems like rubbish to me - at least MP3 was honest about it being lossy (and you could download the encoders to do your own comparisons).
reminds me of the blockchain hype a few years ago.
or Theranos - and that didn’t end well :smiley:


Blockchain “hype”? Not sure I follow.

Glad I happen to be a Qobuz customer and never got involved with unfolding thing.


About four years ago, I “unfolded” my wallet to buy an MQA Btrooklyn, DAC from Mytek as few other MQA capable DAC’s were available. It took exactly a week for me to evaluate it and to take a pass on the hype. I sold the DAC after a few months at a loss and moved to the PSAudio family. I’ve never looked back. Except in scorn at MQA proponents.


At one of the last AXPONAs I sat in the Wilson room while the Bob Stuart and MQA cadre went through their explanation of what it is, how great it is, and how great it sounds. They then did a “no MQA / MQA” demonstration. They asked for people’s thoughts. I observed that I didn’t like the MQA version of what I heard. I was then told “Well, you’re not in the right seating position to hear the MQA playback properly. You need to be sitting here (they pointed to the some apparently special seat)”. I wondered how everyone else who peed in their pants at how great MQA sounded - who weren’t sitting in that ideal seat - could hear what I couldn’t hear. So the person in the perfect seat let me take it. I listened to the same selection and told them I still liked the non MQA’d version better. I was summarily shunned out of the room. I guess I’m not that good a listener. :man_shrugging: :grinning: :rofl:


folks were saying blockchain was the answer to every problem that cropped up at the time, when actually it has only so far had very narrow range of applications (and some significant scale limitations).
Theranos (possibly a better example) kept pulling in cash (from investors and public) and used it to stave off any actual investigation of the technology (which didn’t work).
Theranos is worth a google if you’ve not read the story :slight_smile:


Honesty has its price.

MQA started with good intentions as a means of streaming HD music when domestic broadband and wifi struggled with the speeds required. I remember this, being an early user of Qobuz when it was limited to 16/44, at the same time buying lots of HD music. Unfortunately for Mr Stewart broadband speeds improved rapidly and MQA was looking for a reason to exist. As far as I’m concerned, there isn’t one.

It’s not even as if MQA offered anything to the audiophile market. It was aimed squarely at the mass market and extracting licensing revenues therefrom, which it has singularly failed to do. At least 2-channel DSD has an audiophile following that may sustain it for a while yet, even though as a mass market format it failed about as fast as MQA (so fast I didn’t notice it at all - I was playing with my kids).

I’ve never listened to an SACD as I’ve never owned a SACD player, I bought 5 DSD downloads for which I owned a DSD DAC for a few months, and I’ve never listened to an MQA file. I’ve never had an issue with PCM and, as this video says, PCM master files are all you should ever need. Audiophiles dream of better formats - it’s just not something I’ve ever engaged in - and nor has the music industry generally.

This sound quality issue may soon become all very academic as MQA is dependent on Tidal, which was recently bought by Square, Inc. The thinking behind this is Tidal’s strength in the black/colored music market, which is a prime focus for Square, Inc’s cash apps. The idea is to cut the main record labels out of the music food chain, which is disastrous for MQA, as those record labels are their shareholders because they want to be part of the food chain.

So I don’t see how any of this sound quality argument has any relevance any more. It’s just about money.


I’m tempted to call it another form of [curses silently] DRM.
Anything that tries to extract royalties from me (and record companies so again me when I’ve paid extra for the product) and tries to say it is “authenticating” (again, smells like DRM) - sucks.


Well I’ll be the contrarian here. Of course, that may make me a contrarian among contrarians, but in any event . . . .

I’ve been a fan of MQA and still am. Now I freely admit that I have no way to know how it measures or whether it does half of what it claims. If it adds audible “noise,” perhaps the noise is in frequencies that I find euphonic given my musical tastes and the fact that my system isn’t particularly revealing. But in any event it certainly sounds as good as 16/44.1 to me, and often somewhat airier.

Also, as a contrarian, could someone explain to me why the GoldenSound reviewer went to such elaborate efforts to attack something he doesn’t like anyway? Perhaps it is explained somewhere in the podcast. I jumped around a bit and may have missed it.

I’ll also note that with my DS Jr. it was easy to use MQA, while with the Pro-Ject combo settings on Roon have mattered quite a bit, and I’ve had to spend some hours tinkering. Also, I’ve had issues with WiFi to the Pro-Ject at times when it comes to MQA, so I am switching to ethernet.

This was pretty eye opening. I tried streaming and the sound quality was not what I was hoping for so I stopped. It is not about convenience or access to more music for me. As soon as i had to have an MQA device I was out.

I am a big fan of SACD and DSD and have two DACs for improving the sound of one disc spinner and one for my computer for DSD files. Once I heard this I cannot go back.

There are some great sounding Redbook CDs, but more often than not they and LPs are a compromise for me. I think that if you have a $10K Turntable rig you are hearing a great deal more than I am. I am happy for you.

My 4 Sony SACD players from 2003 stopped playing the SACD discs, but still play CDs and 2496 files burned on DVDs. I am retiring them one at a time as gifts to friends who are way behind the audiophile game. It is sad that to get into the SACD game to day it starts at $2K. That is what makes DSD from the computer so important. My old Yamaha S-1800 SACD player from 2007 is still humming along and I am grateful for that. I am guessing it was made very well.