I have been using Qobuz for a while. A few days ago I decided to try the Tidal service. I tried listening to some of Pat Metheny’s albums. I love this artist. Especially early albums. On Tidal, many of these albums are encoded in the MQA. Some albums on Tidal MQA have a green circle. The listening sound had a clear degradation at high frequencies. For listening I use a MacBook from Audirvana, as well as SMSL m500 and Beyerdynamic DT-990Pro. Conclusion - MQA with a green circle is not suitable for listening. One of Metheny’s latest albums was encoded in the MQA with a blue circle. I compared this to an uncompressed Qobuz broadcast. I found differences in the sound of jumping hairs from the bow when playing the double bass. On Qobuz, the sound was natural and spatial; when the MQA was compressed, this sound lost its spatial dimension and became lifeless. When I heard this, the question of what to use to play the sound immediately disappeared. My obvious choice is Qobuz broadcast without any compression or any changes in sound material. I will spend my money on this service. For me, the choice is certain. I am disappointed that some of Pat Metheny’s albums have died when using MQA compression.
I’m pretty sure they must have the same CD not MQA, no?
Listen to this. On Tidal lies the MQA version of Metheny’s “From this Place” album. This is a recent release. I think it’s recorded and mixed well. And I found the differences between the track from Qobuz and the MQA from Tidal. I don’t understand why this mockery of sound, when Internet channels now do not interfere with broadcasts of excellent sound quality. And I will pay a service that distributes music, that makes it convenient, that pays for musicians. I get high, for this I owe other people!
For my taste MQA only is decent when played with a DAC that acts as native ´MQA decoder´. I clearly prefer the humble CD version to MQA ´rendering´ (e.g. at Tidal app or Audirvana) virtually every time.
It would be a good idea if you learn a bit about MQA, before you make strange statements here.
You did not mention if your DAC /Steamer/Digital Preamp is MQA compatible or not. If not why don’t you use TIDAL CD /HiFi resolution instead of the - most of times - new MQA Mastering , which of course is meant to serve MQA DACs. About your wrong accusation of “compression” for MQA, you can read many articles and reviews how it really works, not only on MQA.co.uk. Hint: NO Compression up to 48 kHz and above that only parts of signals are compressed which are NOT carrying any music or room signal, because higher tones or reverbs only occur in very low volume.
If I understand correctly, there is a special MQA mastering different from the original. Exactly as the artist intended? And the extra bandwidth above 48 kHz is not necessary, because this is not audible. But is it great that MQA has restored the information here?
Whenever the artist or record label decides to produce a MQA version of the album/track the original masters or remasters are listened to and the artist or owner of music ( strange enough that this can be different) decides which one is “the best” , or if there is one more remastering. MQA takes into consideration which original digital equipment was in use and what kind of deficit is known through todays measuring technology, to correct this deficits as much as possible. Extra bandwith above 48 kHz CAN BE necessary, due to the fact that even if we don’t hear tones higher than 20 kHz ( in case of older guys like me this goes down to 12kHz or less) , but we can hear positioning differences much smaller than guessed before, and this delays between left and right ear can ask for frequencies much higher than 48 kHz. Modern research can be found in the web. If its great can only be heard , and I trust my ears and that of major artists in case of recording /mastering like Bob Katz or Morten Lindberg from 2L.