Tidal and MQA


I am a computer novice who could use some help. I have been streaming Tidal via their desktop app to get the MQA Masters music. It sounds really good and according to cnet the Tidal software only does 1 unfold of the 3 needed to get the full MQA effect. I stream to a Cary 200t dac via usb. The incoming and outgoing signal never changes from 44.1. The music to my ears sounds much better but I expected to see 24/96 at the least. Any thoughts??

jr96aolcom
I think some of the recordings themselves are very good, some terrible. I have listened to Tidal re-masters but without the MQA and they do sound very good.

I think you should judge value by your ears, not by the number of mathematical operations done to it before you hear it. :)

Best,


E
+1 erik.
OP, remember that not all recordings are mastered properly, so even if they get an MQA badge, they will still sound less than they should.
B

The MQA decoding situation is still pretty confusing.  I have read a little about it and I'm not sure what level of decoding you get through different software and hardware combinations.  If your DAC is telling you 44.1, I'd say that's what you're listening to. 

MQA says that there is some benefit realized when files are remastered (or whatever the correct term is) for MQA, so maybe that is the improvement you are hearing. 

I'm not sure the level of MQA support. I've read Tidal users getting 96/24 but not sure exactly the app.

Some work may need to be done to ensure you aren't outputting via the Windows mixer. Usually to get higher / bit perfect output from Windows you have to do something to make it exclusive, or use a special driver.

Best,

E
Thanks all I stumbled into figuring this out. I was listening to remastered non MQA at 44.1 and it sounded very good. Then I was able to figure out the settings quagmire and was able to turn on the Tidal MQA software. My DAC started showing 88.1 and 96k and believe me on most material it sounded very good. With an MQA DAC and realizing those last 2 unfolds could be pretty impressive

Regards

JB
Anytime I have heard Tidal, it sounded noticeably "compressed" when compared to taking a hi-res (24-96k or 24-192k) WAV/FLAC right from a HD into a decent DAC.
Hey @audiofreak32

How old is your DAC?

I ask because a number of modern DACs handle Redbook a lot better than they used to.  Schiit, Mytek, etc.

I simply don't have this problem at all.

Best,

E
My DAC is about 2 years old I think... Eastern Electric tube DAC, last/latest version.  I would never stream Tidal (or stream anything for that matter), on my system, but the multiple times I have heard Tidal playing on various systems, the sound was disappointing.  The majority of these systems were many times more expensive than my rig.
just Tagging in as I’m curious about this TIDAL business too.

I’m irritated Tidal won’t work on XP OS.
Is it supported on Apple? IOS? Apple TV?

I hate my Win 7 PC. Worst box I’ve ever had for general use.

Setup is everything IMO. As was said, a switch here or a box ticked there and violin! Its all better. Cables do make a diff as well.

Its nice to be able to listen to a really upscale stereo now and then but I gotta keep my expectations in check. The rap sheet for factors affecting sound is very long. And, everything in someone else’ rig was tuned by their ears to their preffs…. And on their budget. Dirty power lines can really affect the sound tremendously.

So can oxidized terminations…. Connectors…. IEC prongs. Etc.