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Question to Devialet regarding Roon and MQA
#31
(11-Jan-2017, 17:33)Music or sound Wrote: I just found some more explanations about MQA: http://www.audiostream.com/content/mqa-d...1ygMdCq.97

Interesting!  According to the attached, "If you play back a 24-bit/192kHz MQA-encoded file through an MQA software decoder like Tidal HiFi, Audirvana, or (soon) Roon, and you are using a regular DAC (i.e. a non-MQA DAC), you will get a 24/96 file. A software decoder does not offer the ability to 'unfold' the original file to resolutions higher than 24/96 (or 24/88.2).
If you play back a 24-bit/192kHz MQA-encoded file through an MQA-enabled DAC, you will get a 24-bit/192kHz file. If you are also using a software decoder like Tidal HiFi, Audirvana, or (soon) Roon, you can have the software decoder perform the first 'unfold'. "

My understanding is that there are two key aspects of MQA, one is the folding of a 24 bit file into a smaller file, thus allowing streaming with lower bandwidth.  The second is the 'MQA magic', that is correction of issues inherent with the original A/D conversions and similar, such as tailored time reconstruction filters. 

My question is, does software decoding, limited as stated above to 24/96, give all the other MQA stuff in full, such as the A/D conversion time corrections?
1000 Pro - KEF Blade - microRendu - Mutec MC3+USB - Pro-Ject Signature 12
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#32
(11-Jan-2017, 18:30)Confused Wrote:
(11-Jan-2017, 17:33)Music or sound Wrote: I just found some more explanations about MQA: http://www.audiostream.com/content/mqa-d...1ygMdCq.97

My question is, does software decoding, limited as stated above to 24/96, give all the other MQA stuff in full, such as the A/D conversion time corrections?

I think I read in the Darko article that it might be possible for software to do additional unfolding to the full sample rate if it knows what the DAC is capable of.  The Tidal app might have just stopped at 96 because it was easier.
Roon->RoonBridge->Air 3.02RC->Devialet 220 Pro->Transparent Super->Wilson Audio Sabrinas w/ Shunyata Denali, Rega RP8, Apheta 2, Rega Aria


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#33
Does this help?

http://www.digitalaudioreview.net/2017/0...re-we-now/

All of this goes over my head I am afraid.
Devialet 200 -- Melco N1A-- Sonus Faber Olympica 2 -- Tellurium Q Black Speaker Cable
Auralic Taurus MK2 Headphone Amp -- HifiMan HE1000 Headphones
Newcastle upon Tyne, England
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#34
(11-Jan-2017, 19:03)Dr Tone Wrote:
(11-Jan-2017, 18:30)Confused Wrote:
(11-Jan-2017, 17:33)Music or sound Wrote: I just found some more explanations about MQA: http://www.audiostream.com/content/mqa-d...1ygMdCq.97

My question is, does software decoding, limited as stated above to 24/96, give all the other MQA stuff in full, such as the A/D conversion time corrections?

I think I read in the Darko article that it might be possible for software to do additional unfolding to the full sample rate if it knows what the DAC is capable of.  The Tidal app might have just stopped at 96 because it was easier.

I'm quite sure it's possible for a software solution to do the full 'unfolding' to 24/192, assuming Meridian would allow this.  To be honest, I'm pretty sure that the difference between 24/96 and 24/192 would be miniscule to nothing, all other factors being equal.   However, that does not answer the question of if a software conversion offers the full MQA A/D conversion time corrections, and whatever else it might do.

EDIT: I have asked this question over at the Roon forum. I figure that as Roon are soon to implement their own MQA software decoding, they should be familiar with the facts. I will report back if the Roon post gets a definitive response.
1000 Pro - KEF Blade - microRendu - Mutec MC3+USB - Pro-Ject Signature 12
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#35
(11-Jan-2017, 21:33)Confused Wrote: I'm quite sure it's possible for a software solution to do the full 'unfolding' to 24/192, assuming Meridian would allow this.  To be honest, I'm pretty sure that the difference between 24/96 and 24/192 would be miniscule to nothing, all other factors being equal.   However, that does not answer the question of if a software conversion offers the full MQA A/D conversion time corrections, and whatever else it might do.

EDIT:  I have asked this question over at the Roon forum.  I figure that as Roon are soon to implement their own MQA software decoding, they should be familiar with the facts.  I will report back if the Roon post gets a definitive response.

The part that is confusing is how would they ("whomever is creating the MQA file) even be able to know what time corrections needs to be applied for a A/D stage when starting with a digital source to create the MQA?  Each instrument might have come through a different A/D converter or the music could have been created completely digitally.  I assume this is only the case when starting analog and they use a specific A/D converter?

In theory Roon would be able to apply the specific D/A enhancements if they know the DAC. In theory.
Roon->RoonBridge->Air 3.02RC->Devialet 220 Pro->Transparent Super->Wilson Audio Sabrinas w/ Shunyata Denali, Rega RP8, Apheta 2, Rega Aria


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#36
A very speedy response from Carl at Roon......

A/D conversion time correction YES as this is done when the audio is encoded.

D/A conversion time correction ... at present MQA s/w decode is using a "default" DAC profile.

To get the full correction 'de-blurring' a specific DAC profile is required ... we have not seen any example of this in the market as yet. Provide the MQA decoder s/w knows what DAC is connected and there is a profile for it ... the it can be performed.
That said I believe the very best results will only be achievable with MQA DAC hardware, as the tolerances can be tuned and managed more closely by the designer / manufacturer.
1000 Pro - KEF Blade - microRendu - Mutec MC3+USB - Pro-Ject Signature 12
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#37
(11-Jan-2017, 21:33)Confused Wrote: ....  I figure that as Roon are soon to implement their own MQA software decoding, they should be familiar with the facts.  ...

You'd think so but I sense things aren't quite as clear cut. From various quarters I get the distinct impression MQA might be following in Devialet's footsteps in terms of clarity and consistency of marketing messages vs actual reality and delivery, as well as being a bit elusive and tricky.

Maybe they'll get on like a house on fire, and we'll see MQA on Devialet really soon. Big Grin

Seriously though, beyond a select few people no one really knows how effective this DAC specific de-blurring (or whatever it is) will be.
My trials have been limited to Tidal app on my Mac pro using standard headphone socket, so not exactly high end and not hardware decided, and I can't say I got excited enough to really worry about it. It's a bit like when CDs first came out to me - better to wait and see what happens over the next few years. If it's any good, everything will support it and the technology will be cheaper. If not, it will disapear andcthe only people upset will be anyone that rushed out and bought an expensive MQA DAC and a load if expensive MQA downloads.

Roon lifetime > Mac mini > ethernet > µRendu | Paul Hynes SR3 > Intona > Curious USB link > Devialet 250 Pro > PMC fact.8
- London, UK -

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#38
When I first heard MQA at a Bluesound demo last year in Dublin I loved the natural "LP" like feel to the sound. The imaging was fantastic even though the timbre of instruments changed little. Rhythm was good too. 

On the strength of that audition I went out and bought a Meridian explorer2 MQA enabled DAC , to compare hi-res 2L tracks on Roon / AIR  to MQA versions decoded by the explorer2 (see my previous post on the matter ). Then,  I found hi-res 192/24 and explorer2 decoded MQA sounded equally good.

Now that Tidal is finally offering MQA, I have compared MQA tracks decoded in the Tidal Mac App (USB) to explorer2 decoded tracks via ROON on my D440 system. 

Each time I worked hard to match volume levels. 

I expected the hardware "fully" decoded tracks to sound best, but that is not what I found (at least on my wonderful D440 Pro [Image: smile.gif])
My clear impression is that (with the usual caveats - my ears on my system):

Tidal App decoded MQA consistently sounds the best by a margin, wonderful, "holographic" as another poster said.

then 
HiRes FLAC @ 24/192 (2L) Local ROON files via AIR/ ethernet 
and
Tidal MQA fully decoded by the explorer2                           were about equally nice.

and each is much better than 24/48 or 24/16 tracks from ROON via AIR ethernet (though these still sound excellent by any objective standard!)


I continue to be enamoured with the sound of MQA. The natural deep and wide soundstage, the tightly localised solid "body" to instruments and singers. The hi-Res PCM versions do seem initially more "lively" or "busy" with lots of sounds "in your face". No one would say it sounds bad, but the decoded MQA version pushes the music back into the sound stage, which you quickly realise is a much more natural and musical presentation. 

There is also an effect I can't quite describe that makes one want to keep listening to the end of the whole track - you are sucked into the music more. It brings more emotion to already good performances. For example I have never heard Phil Collins perform better on  "The Roof is Leaking" Face Value (2015 remaster MQA). 

The improvement is big enough that I think sooner rather than later Devialet will be obliged to include MQA decoding notwithstanding their "Not invented here" stance heretofore. 

Bob Stuart is right - MQA is an important step towards perfecting "digital" sound.
iTunes & TIDAL HiFi --> ROON on iMac --> AIR3 over Ethernet --> D440 Pro-->  ProAc  D40R floorstanding speakers (SAM)
Also:  Linn LP12/Ittok turntable Cables: Nordost Shiva power, Nordost Flatline2 speaker cable

Dublin,  Ireland
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#39
I own a Meridian Explorer2 as well and I just assumed the disparity was due to the fact that it's not a world class DAC -- far from it. It's an ok portable DAC but I assume it doesn't reclock etc. Also you will be hearing a lot more USB based rubbish on that DAC unless you've taken care to avoid it.


(12-Jan-2017, 14:00)Markpd Wrote: When I first heard MQA at a Bluesound demo last year in Dublin I loved the natural "LP" like feel to the sound. The imaging was fantastic even though the timbre of instruments changed little. Rhythm was good too. 

On the strength of that audition I went out and bought a Meridian explorer2 MQA enabled DAC , to compare hi-res 2L tracks on Roon / AIR  to MQA versions decoded by the explorer2 (see my previous post on the matter ). Then,  I found hi-res 192/24 and explorer2 decoded MQA sounded equally good.

Now that Tidal is finally offering MQA, I have compared MQA tracks decoded in the Tidal Mac App (USB) to explorer2 decoded tracks via ROON on my D440 system. 

Each time I worked hard to match volume levels. 

I expected the hardware "fully" decoded tracks to sound best, but that is not what I found (at least on my wonderful D440 Pro [Image: smile.gif])
My clear impression is that (with the usual caveats - my ears on my system):

Tidal App decoded MQA consistently sounds the best by a margin, wonderful, "holographic" as another poster said.

then 
HiRes FLAC @ 24/192 (2L) Local ROON files via AIR/ ethernet 
and
Tidal MQA fully decoded by the explorer2                           were about equally nice.

and each is much better than 24/48 or 24/16 tracks from ROON via AIR ethernet (though these still sound excellent by any objective standard!)


I continue to be enamoured with the sound of MQA. The natural deep and wide soundstage, the tightly localised solid "body" to instruments and singers. The hi-Res PCM versions do seem initially more "lively" or "busy" with lots of sounds "in your face". No one would say it sounds bad, but the decoded MQA version pushes the music back into the sound stage, which you quickly realise is a much more natural and musical presentation. 

There is also an effect I can't quite describe that makes one want to keep listening to the end of the whole track - you are sucked into the music more. It brings more emotion to already good performances. For example I have never heard Phil Collins perform better on  "The Roof is Leaking" Face Value (2015 remaster MQA). 

The improvement is big enough that I think sooner rather than later Devialet will be obliged to include MQA decoding notwithstanding their "Not invented here" stance heretofore. 

Bob Stuart is right - MQA is an important step towards perfecting "digital" sound.
SYSTEM 1:Antipodes DX running Roon Server & Ready//GRIMM LS1
SYSTEM 2: Antipodes DX Roon Server// microRendu Roon Ready // Devialet 220//German Physiks Unlimited II//German Physiks Speaker Cables
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#40
(12-Jan-2017, 14:35)AaronG Wrote: I own a Meridian Explorer2 as well and I just assumed the disparity was due to the fact that it's not a world class DAC -- far from it. It's an ok portable DAC but I assume it doesn't reclock etc. Also you will be hearing a lot more USB based rubbish on that DAC unless you've taken care to avoid it.


(12-Jan-2017, 14:00)Markpd Wrote: When I first heard MQA at a Bluesound demo last year in Dublin I loved the natural "LP" like feel to the sound. The imaging was fantastic even though the timbre of instruments changed little. Rhythm was good too. 

/ ......................................   /

The improvement is big enough that I think sooner rather than later Devialet will be obliged to include MQA decoding notwithstanding their "Not invented here" stance heretofore. 

Bob Stuart is right - MQA is an important step towards perfecting "digital" sound.

What I found encouraging was how much the sound improved on the explorer2 when fed MQA versus even hi-res 24/192 PCM - the output quality jumped up to a much higher level. This suggests to me that lower cost DACs will see an even greater benefit with MQA than the high end stuff.
iTunes & TIDAL HiFi --> ROON on iMac --> AIR3 over Ethernet --> D440 Pro-->  ProAc  D40R floorstanding speakers (SAM)
Also:  Linn LP12/Ittok turntable Cables: Nordost Shiva power, Nordost Flatline2 speaker cable

Dublin,  Ireland
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