Tidal MQA Hollowness


Has anyone (or perhaps everyone) noticed that MQA doesn't sound like actual music, but rather a dumbed-down version with all dynamics and angularities smoothed out into a seamless, easily digested pabulum? Anyhow that's my impression after several months' listening and finally listening critically. Seems an analogue of trends in contemporary English usage: students are now taught they needn't learn any of the 788 once-common English prepositions, since "in terms of" can replace them all; that "impact" can replace all 343 once common verbs denoting specific effects of one thing upon another; that "engaged in conduct" can replace any and every sort of doing something in particular; and so forth. 
The sugar-coating of actual recordings seems to me the same as the refusal to call things what they are. Vague abstraction in sound strikes me as very like vague abstraction in language. Whatever may be happening politically, what seems to be happening culturally is the realization of a Brave New [dystopic] World. I'm thinking that while vinyl may crack or pop, it never lies. I know others have the same impression, and just wondering how many.  
hickamore
“impression” or codified in dogmatic concrete belief ? The mono crowd ( still ) think the same. My three or four preferred DAC brands have chosen to not support MQA, so i have no long term impression....let alone throwing out the anchor. Have you heard a 2L PCM recording on a good DAC ?

my best to you

enjoy the music
There is a mono crowd? [Jaw drop here]. Makes sense to me that some good DACs won't mess with MQA. 2LPCM on a good DAC? Not yet. Bricasti?
impression just seemed so lightweight for a lover of some of the “788”....
I have heard a Bricasti on some Magico with Zesto preamp...it was lovely...top end air like a well setup $30 k analog setup...
but not w a 2L recording. Forgive my broken structure, thirty years at a technology centered company....everybody knows w = with... 
Having said that a Brinkmann Nyquist II does support MQA. Helmut has ears and is a great engineer, music lover......maybe, just maybe
Late entrant, steep learning curve, no simple answers. Must be why this enterprise keeps smart people engrossed. Anyhow that's the goal, convenient streaming with analog fidelity.

So MQA is part of the assault on western language, values and civilization?  Interesting, very interesting.
onhwy61
So MQA is part of the assault on western language, values and civilization?
That seems to be what we do today: Find something to dislike, then turn it into a culture war. It's just nonsense.
as fuzz said at the outset -- mqa has been discussed ad nauseum on other threads... feel free to search the digital section

search bar is above
Well this thread topic post hits a new bizarre low.
onhwy61, cleeds: you are seriously overreading and projecting as well. Absolutely nothing to do with "western" language, but English alone, and just one specific tendency in English usage common to ALL users of the language, irrespective of politico-cultural orientation. Nothing to do with Western values, which I support and feel lucky to have inherited. Not "finding something to dislike;" Orwell's famous essay was written in the 1940s and Wilson Follett's English usage guide was completed in 1961 by Jacques Barzun. Stuff that had been "found" before some or most of us were even born. 

My point is that MQA does to music what the dumbers-down of English do: it removes precision, depth, and detail, making nuanced discriminations impossible. Please explain how this has anything to do with culture wars. Unless, of course, you are acquainted with the English usage wars that exploded at the time Webster's Third was published in 1961, and the assaults on prescriptive usage by the MLA with much academic opposition. Your comments are sheer projection and wildly misguided.

jjss49, I did scan earlier threads on MQA, but nothing jumped out at me. Maybe I should have been more patient. Sorry for wasting your time. Won't make that mistake again.


op

not wasting my time... just hope you are able to find the numerous lengthy discussions on mqa that have already been had here already

certainly no paucity of strongly held opinions and experiences already expressed on the topic

cheers
i was, i am told “ hatched “ in 1961.
hickamore
cleeds: you are seriously overreading and projecting as well. Absolutely nothing to do with "western" language,
Nice, @hickamore! You've quickly elevated your discussion from MQA to culture war to ad hominem attack in just a handful of posts! Nicely done!
Post removed 
Hickamore, thanks for the clarification.  On day there will be a reckoning, but until then in vino veritas.  I know my "Tombstone".
Considering that I don't know you, and I know nothing about you, I couldn't possibly say anything bad about you character, your lineage, your necktie, or your personal hygiene -- you know, AD HOMINEM stuff.



From what I can tell, that does not stop anyone here from doing it. Quite the contrary, it is the most popular form of argument, followed closely by bandwagon fallacy, strawman, appeal to ignorance, false dichotomy, causal fallacy, and appeal to authority.  You could probably find all of those in a single thread without much effort.
gosh, even ’why mqa sucks’ for the 86th time is more interesting than this...

was it dwight eisenhower who said ’life is too short to argue endlessly with total strangers on the internet’... 🤔
The next thing you know, folks'll be making guitars with solid bodies & electronics and plugging them into amplifiers. I sure hope that never happens!
Nope. Quite the opposite. Note i am not using an MQA 2nd unfold decoder - in essence I'm getting the full resolution but none of the magic mushroom juice of the proprietary chip -- good or bad.  very hgih end system though, and Roon performing the first unfold.
When you add in that the remastered versions are almost always MQA, its a non-race.
I'm not saying that MQA is dramatically better, but it is consistently better. And clearly not less dynamic or less detailed. At least not on my system.
G
itsjustme, thanks. Need to know what components/software provide these results for you. (Roon sounds like an essential piece?). I'm not asking MQA to be dramatically better, just that it not be noticeably worse. Because you're right, remasters are almost always MQA, and I would like to enjoy them for a change.
Well, since i design gear, that’s a moving target.

But the constants: Roon, wired ethernet (no wifi); one unfold; prototypes of the amps and preamps i have designed over the decades, including current projects; cables = nothing special since i fuse everything since i’m often working with hand made prototypes. Speakers are either; Vienna Acoustics Mahlers (main music room); Sounds Exclusive towers (old! I showed with them at CES and Stereophile in 1990s); occasional players Vandersteen 3 (old) or Totems.

Now, the big question:DACs. I have a Denefrips Aires (with some minor mods); a Theta DSPro Gen2 with my own USB/clock/de-jitter/ground decoupling ("galvanic isolation"), and power supply; older MSB with the same goodies (my power power supply, smae front end as the Theta) and a Allo Revolution/USBridge/Shanti (their fancy-pants power supply which s remarkably good).

Note that I disagree with most of the digital-analog debate. despite having three outstanding turntables i almost always prefer the 16/44 equivalent. Yes, analog has its advantages, bu overall i get better dynamics, clarity and lack of the distortion from wear, tear and crap pressings. A few specialty albums aside (the curve wreckers, but do we all want to listen to Joe Smooth Direct to disk all the time?).
With digital (non streaming), I prefer a mac/bitperfect over CD SPDIF output to the same dac in the same system levels matched (why? i have my guesses but none of us "know"). I prefer ROON with upsampling and unfolding over the Mac/Bitperfect (by tiny amounts without MQA, larger with MQA). I find the difference in re-mastered records bigger than ANY of these hardware differences. Want dramatic? Listen to the remaster of Quadrophenia, 11-17-70, Proclaimers, ....What does this say? They rally messed up the original mastering, or just didn’t care ( the stories of Pete and Rodger fighting over who got "buried" are legendary).

I give this for perspective on digital, which mostly sounds like crap, but almost never in my system. Aside from 1980s, bright, got-the-de-emphasis wrong recordings of course. They are just measurably bad.
G
Got it, many thanks. Although your particular incarnation would be impossible to replicate, you have given me enough clues to work with for the near future. Will add the Quadrophenia as a reference cut, add Roon, then look to often recommended DACs such as Denafrips. At least I'm already on Ethernet and off WiFi. Actually hadn't noticed the limiting effects of MQA before using Aurender -- other streamers were perhaps less revealing. Or maybe be I just wasn't paying close attention to the right things.
i have no basis to comment specifically on the Aurender, but somewhere int he back of my engineer's mind, i'm asking "how do we separate the heoretical advantages and disadvantages of he MQA format from the specific chips that must be inserted to implement the proprietary algorithm?"
Since it is digital and part of its goal is low- jitter, and since Bob's pretty damned smart, one could assume that the MQA chips would be relatively transparent.  But i simply cant say for each implementation. Many manufacturer's kinda follow data sheets -and that can go downhill quickly if you don't truly know what you are doing. Begin WITHOUT he 2nd unfold and with a DAC you KNOW is good on red book, and capable of 24/96.  This establishes a baseline.