(This post was last modified: 08-Jan-2017, 22:28 by Hifi_swlon.)
Haven't got a decent setup from a computer where I can use the Tidal app software MQA decoding.
Will just wait to see if Roon add it and then try. No rush here, the catalog will hopefully grow meanwhile.
Sounds (from early adopters) like there's a chance software decoding will be better than expected, which is good for Devialet owners and people that use EQ as those are likely to be confused areas in the MQA short term.
If ultimately it works well with Tidal and turns out to live up to the hype, then that will be the first time I'll have been really pleased with paying for Tidal - since they've included it with the hifi service it's a free upgrade. And it's one-upmanship on Qobuz.
Roon lifetime > Mac mini > AIR ethernet (finally!!! After 2 years!!!!) > Devialet 250 Pro > PMC fact.8
- London, UK -
(This post was last modified: 09-Jan-2017, 08:26 by muski.)
Love it—fabulous! It's right up there with the best technical epiphanies I've experienced in my lifetime.
I bought a Mytek Brooklyn DAC a year ago as my office headphone rig. I have a couple of 2L albums which certainly sounded great, but the performances weren't of the calibre that are now available in the Warner catalog.
I've been listening all weekend (TIDAL/Roon->µRendu->Mytek Brooklyn). As someone else said it's a huge leap forward for recorded music. HUGE kudos to Warner for doing an incredible job lovingly remastering such diverse and beautiful music. Whoever at Warner managed this project clearly LOVES music.
Detail and timing cues are breathtaking. The 192/24 recordings are esp stunning: Modern Jazz Quartet, Van Morrison, Roberta Flack, Ella as I've never heard them before. Listening to the Doobie Brothers was like audio time travel—I could hear 1978.
Makes me massively sad that I can't listen on my D800/Watt Puppies...
(This post was last modified: 11-Jan-2017, 11:18 by Markpd.)
So, I got to spend a few hours listening, enjoying and carefully comparing TIDAL MQA unfolded and deblurred in the Tidal app (USB) versus doing the MQA decoding in hardware on a Meridian Explorer2 into a line input on my D440 Expert Pro/ ProAcD40R system.
I hoped that the explorer2 would sound better than the Tidal app decoding, since I much prefer to use Roon to manage my music listening. I listened to a range of the latest Tidal Warner MQA releases - Madonna, David Bowie, Pictures at an Exhibition (Simon Rattle), The Doors, Alanis Morissette’s excellent MTV Unplugged and of course Van Morrison.
It was a close run thing but I was surprised to hear for me a clear advantage to Tidal app MQA decoding. I heard more of the MQA "magic" via the Tidal desktop app. This is so even though the app apparently only performs single stage unfolding to offer 88/96 kBit/s sample rates. I imagine the shear quality of the D440 doing the D/A conversion is more important to the sound than the explorer2 being able to do full 2 stage unfolding up to 384k bit/s, but handicapped by its' cheaper DAC.
Another factor that may be at play is that probably the TIDAL app software decoder has a generic replay DAC debleurring profile which further improves the sound of the D440 when fed PCM directly.
Nevertheless the difference is not so great to outweigh the shear convenience of being able to control Roon on my Apple iMac upstairs rather than having to keep a laptop in my living room near the D440. So I am impatient for Roon to add software MQA decoding ( I assume some time in the next few months).
I am even more excited by the prospect of full MQA decoding directly on the D440. I think even the previous generation D200 already has the MIPS to do it ( there is a “spare” 400MHz SHARC processor with around 1600 MFLOPS sustained and 2MByte RAM - considerably greater than the Explorer 2’s XMOS chip with 1000MIPS and 128kB RAM ). My hunch is that listeners will be so seduced by the beauty and natural " analogue" sound of MQA that Devialet will have to reconsider their MQA "not invented here" scepticism.
Ever since I heard Bluesound MQA demos at Cloney Audio in Dublin last year I have been convinced that MQA is a desirable step forwarded in digital sound reproduction.
MQA improves the soundstage focus on each instrument and especially lead vocals, but also seems to have some innate musicality that makes you want to listen to the whole track and then the whole album. The presentation is less showy and even perhaps seems more "subdued" but instruments have more "body" and three dimensionality.
In my search for better sound, I have, like many people, spent a fair amount of hard earned money on high-sample-rate versions of cherished favourite albums, which do sound better, but still not as good as MQA versions IMO (I have not tried 384). And now I can get MQA’d albums at no extra cost from Tidal. That is a win win in my book :-)
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