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TIDAL MQA streaming started!

JPLAY MQA TIDAL

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#1 cheeTarh Consulting

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Posted 06 January 2017 - 12:52 AM

Hi, everybody!

 

TIDAL started "Master" quality streaming with MQA technologies. What you need is TIDAL Desktop Application.

http://tidal.com/jp/download

 

You can find 199 Hi-Res albums under "Master" in "What's New."

 

 

 

It seems that MQA decorder is embedded in TIDAL Desktop App, and the sounds are surely different from normal Hi-Fi albums.

 

I am testing this with my sub-system (non JPLAY), but I am not sure if it is played as 24 bit format or not. At least, my DAC does not say higher rates of 88.2kHz and / or more with the indicator.

 

Can this be integrated with JPLAY, somehow?

(TIDAL Desktop App is available for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.)

 

 

sincerely,



#2 cheeTarh Consulting

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Posted 06 January 2017 - 02:35 AM

Continued...

 

I have tested TIDAL "Master" on my main system. DAC says 44.1kHz, but I still do not know it is 16 bit or 24 bit.

 

As it is not JPLAY, the sounds are kind of "so, so..."



#3 cheeTarh Consulting

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Posted 06 January 2017 - 08:46 AM

Continued...

 

I have succeeded in playing 96kHz/ 24bit by TIDAL MQA "Master!" You need to select the speaker, and click the setting button just right hand. Then, you need to activate "Use Exclusive Mode." Then, your DAC says it is 96kHz/ 24bit.

 

Sounds became more like high res. Before this setting, probably only the MQA's unique technology of reducing "ringing effects" in DA conversion was effective.

 

sincerely,



#4 Marcin_gps

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Posted 08 January 2017 - 08:29 AM

I also tested the new 24bit streaming. It seems it's available in Roon too (although not sure if Roon includes MQA decoder). But there are some albums in both 16bit and 24bit options available. I used Roberta Flack's Killing Me Softly initially

 

Attached File  roontidal24.jpg   110.18KB   2 downloads

 

And you know what? 16bit album sounds better, by far! 

Then I listened to Fleetwood Mac and, again, 16bit FLAC was better. 24bit sounded veiled and compressed. 16bit had higher resolution, was more 3D / holographic and had better energy. It was overall more natural and realistic sounding. In my opinion the new 24bit streaming could be beneficial in entry level systems where additional control and smoothness will likely make the listening experience more enjoyable. But for high end systems 16 bit true CD format sounds a lot better than 'lossy' 24bit flac. 

 

UPDATE

It seems that 24bit TIDAL streaming via Roon is, at the moment, nothing more than a 24bit 'lossy' flac without any MQA benefits. I'll have to check MQA-enabled software to make a proper test. 



#5 cheeTarh Consulting

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Posted 08 January 2017 - 09:44 AM

I also tested the new 24bit streaming. It seems it's available in Roon too (although not sure if Roon includes MQA decoder). But there are some albums in both 16bit and 24bit options available. I used Roberta Flack's Killing Me Softly initially

 

attachicon.gifroontidal24.jpg

 

And you know what? 16bit album sounds better, by far! 

Then I listened to Fleetwood Mac and, again, 16bit FLAC was better. 24bit sounded veiled and compressed. 16bit had higher resolution, was more 3D / holographic and had better energy. It was overall more natural and realistic sounding. In my opinion the new 24bit streaming could be beneficial in entry level systems where additional control and smoothness will likely make the listening experience more enjoyable. But for high end systems 16 bit true CD format sounds a lot better than 'lossy' 24bit flac. 

 

Thanks for your assessment, Marcin!

 

I checked the sounds again with the album "Boys Don't Cry" by Rumer in both normal one and the "Master" one. To me using TIDAL Desktop App., "Master" one has clearly higher channel separation than normal one. The differences are very large that non-audio mania can easily tell. I asked my daughters and they could tell the differences, although they are not usually interested in sound quality. Not only the separation, but the main vocal is more highlightened.

 

However, I am wondering if the improvement seems artificial, or not. I admit that most TIDAL listenners would appreciate the improvement, anyway.

 

 

 

Marcin, I think that your assessment was done with Roon system. I do not have Roon system. Could you try TIDAL Desktop App. in which MQA decorder is embeded? It can be easily downloaded on the link in my first post. Please make sure that you follow the tips in my 3rd post, and confirm that your DAC says 96kHz is played.

 

 

 

Although "Master" sounds better than normal, "Master" is far behind JPLAY sounds.

 

sincerely,



#6 Marcin_gps

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Posted 08 January 2017 - 12:03 PM

Which DAC did you use for evaluation? 



#7 cheeTarh Consulting

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Posted 08 January 2017 - 12:13 PM

Which DAC did you use for evaluation? 

 

The DAC I use today is SONY UDA-1, a cheap DAC & amplifier for my simple sub-system. The DAC I use yesterday was PIONEER N-70A for my main system. You do not need any special DAC for this MQA experiment. As noted, the MQA decoder is in TIDAL Desktop App.

 

sincerely,






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