Roon redux




Mqa stuff is fine if there’s no red book alternative? It still plays just as normal even if you haven’t got mqa stuff.

Not sure why it’s a problem? It just doesn’t unwrap to get the full monty, but works fine otherwise in the lower resolution (which is often better than redbook).


I have been using Qobuz as my default option as pretty much decided that is the route I’m going. There are some gaps in the older parts of back catalogues but it is an extensive library.

I didn’t know anything about MQA until it was flagged here but having read up on it I would prefer to avoid it.


It’s very much the principle, Steve.

I don’t endorse MQA, I don’t want MQA, I didn’t pay for MQA when I took Tidal’s £20/m “lossless” service. I think Bob Stuart is an arsehole trying to line his pension pot with a pointless format that contains stealth DRM.


I get you. But you can just play it unwrapped as a standard file and not have to pay them a penny.
If you have both versions on tidal it is just a label… you are only feeling better by selecting the non mqa.
It makes no actual difference to what you hear. Unless they make cash from you using it without the licence and hardware.
It would be better just having the free high res (not upsampled stuff), I agree.


Ironically, if you play a MQA file on non-compliant hardware it is not bit-perfect. MQA claim that it’s better, because of their de-blur technology. It’s hard to describe that as anything but utter horse shit


Didn’t know that. Shows how unclear it all is. The guides say it plays ok unwrapped. Often in a slightly better than red book resolution.

Again, why can’t we just have a world where it’s clear what you get. Redbook. High res. Upsampled high res. Clearly marked.

Mqa was supposed to give clarity… but it is just DRM with some spin.


You clearly don’t.

It’s being licensed to Tidal (and Roon). I’m paying them indirectly. I am the product, etc. etc.

Putting aside whether I could even reliably tell the difference between 320kpb mp3 and Lossless in a blind test, MQA is a lossy format. I am being mis-sold if Tidal are not providing redbook versions.


Seems so if unwrapped mqa isn’t just usual or better standard lossless.

I live and learn!


MQA is valueless to the end user and predicated on marketing to drive adoption so they can extract cash from licensing from everywhere but the end-user. It’s clever, as it appears free and with no downside when it is the exact opposite.

Ultimately it’s worse in every respect that simple hi-res. Since streaming hi-res is trivial for 99.99% of users nowadays, MQA solves no problems at all. (As an aside, MQA often compresses badly, so can be higher bandwidth than the same lossless file.)




It’s also worth pointing out that MQA doesn’t utilise the full dynamic range of high res. So if you take a 24/96 recording and MQA it to get a 24/48 stream, you don’t get 24 bits of dynamic range - some is lost for the high frequency stuff.

This probably only matters to you if you are using digital attenuation, but I would expect that high res streaming users are more likely than most to do this.


I’m very fortunate to have subs provided for Tidal and Qobuz Sublime+. At the start, I still preferred Tidal but right now, if I had to choose one to spend my own money on, Qobuz would be the one I’d pick without hesitation.

A few senior industry types who have to go unnamed, are really hoping that Qobuz being added to Roon could be a significant help in knocking MQA into touch. We’ll have to see.


Qobuz has one major flaw for my listening habits: the library is missing large chunks of stuff I listen to. It is weak on alternative/indie.


And most stuff is red book not hi-res


I’m not bothered about that either because

a) I think hi-res is unnecessary and doesn’t bring anything to the party
b) It’s on a different pricing tier anyway.


that answers that question then


Tidal wins for me, trial only at Keggie then dumped