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