Tidal adds hi-res audio streams with 'Tidal Masters' (with MQA)

Discussion in 'General Audio Gear Discussion' started by weldp, Jan 5, 2017.

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  1. weldp

    weldp Rando

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  2. Deep Funk

    Deep Funk Deep thoughts - Friend

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    So is a dynamic range tag/indication included so you can check whether the added value of the "master quality" is even slightly there?

    If not, this is B.S. marketing...
     
  3. Comzee

    Comzee Acquaintance

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    I find it funny they edited in a breathing sound to that video, to make it sound hifi...
     
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  4. Derf

    Derf Acquaintance

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    Huh, would be curious to see if I could hear a difference or if it's all just a bunch of hooey. Unfortunately (or not?) I have a Schiit DAC. Not worried about it. I'm glad they're not charging extra for it though.
     
  5. Torq

    Torq Prob should liquidate and live on a sailboat

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    It'll be interesting to see how this plays out in Roon ... the next version of which (1.3 ... due this month) is supposed to have a proper dynamic-range analysis function.
     
  6. Torq

    Torq Prob should liquidate and live on a sailboat

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    Outside the economic factors, two things will be really interesting here ...

    The first, obviously, is whether there's a useful, consistent, improvement in quality for MQA encoded material.

    The second is how fast it propagates across the catalog and how deeply it permeates.

    I'm very skeptical about the whole thing ... but the only way I know to resolve that is to try it. So now, in addition to a major vinyl rig upgrade, I shall be looking to see what MQA DAC options exist that'd be worth picking up for evaluation purposes. Don't take this as me currently thinking MQA is going to do anything other than crater, and hard, but I'm perpetually curious and it'll give me something to fiddle with in between turntable auditions!
     
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  7. rott

    rott Secretly hates other millenials - Friend

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    Wonder how much longer Tidal will be around. It may have to be bought out in order to survive as a service.
     
  8. Serious

    Serious Immature child

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    Looks like you can't go back from Master quality to Hifi for the albums that are now available in Master. I don't want Meridian forcing their stuff on me, so that's not very nice. Gonna have to compare MQA with software decoding vs the CD files that I have on my computer for some of the albums.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2017
  9. zonto

    zonto Friend

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    Now if only they'd stop pausing streams when a user streams on two devices simultaneously.
     
  10. weldp

    weldp Rando

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    It looks like Tidal is doing software decoding. You can select optional MQA stream passthrough in the settings for your output.

    -Chris
     
  11. meloman

    meloman Acquaintance

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    Are these actually new never released to hi-res masters? Or they just took existing hi-res PCM and compressed it to MQA?
     
  12. Merrick

    Merrick Friend

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    Well the Tidal iOS app hasn't updated and I use Audirvana on my computer, not Tidal's standalone app, and I'm guessing that hasn't updated either.

    This isn't even audible without an MQA capable DAC, right?

    Edit: I see from the announcement that this is only available on Tidal's desktop app for now.
     
  13. weldp

    weldp Rando

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    The original redbook versions are still there. Look at Enya "Dark Sky Island". You can play that and see HIFI displayed or you can play Enya "Dark Sky Island (Deluxe)" and see MASTER displayed.
     
  14. Torq

    Torq Prob should liquidate and live on a sailboat

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    Hard to say.

    The most likely scenario for catalog material is that they're existing masters that have been run the the MQA process with knowledge of the source ADC, so that it can apply it's various corrections/compensations.
     
  15. drfindley

    drfindley Secretly lives in the Analog Room - Friend

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    At least seeing bands like Beyonce, Coldplay, Bowie, Coltrane, Joni Mitchell, Led Zeppelin and Sturgill Simpson is a huge step forward in bringing out a new format. Managed to do what DSD failed at it seems.
     
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  16. Serious

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    You're right. There seems to be a regular version for all of the MQA albums, at least that was the case for the few that I checked. And there actually seem to be more MQA albums than shown in the MQA Albums tab. For example there seem to be 2 MQA versions for Coldplay's X&Y, or MQA versions for the Muse studio albums. All of this seems a little confusing, especially since it can essentially double the albums per artist and clutter the albums tab (same thing for some of the singles).
     
  17. msommers

    msommers Friend

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    Just tested that album as well and can confirm there are two versions available. How to differentiate them or know which ones are 'Master' I can't tell on the desktop app.

    Not sure what's happening in the background but I can say that my lowly Fulla 2 plays both 'Hifi' and 'Master'.
     
  18. TheIceman93

    TheIceman93 Friend

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    You can only tell when the it says Master in the lower right corner when you click play. Kind of annoying. They should but "Master" next to the album title. For now, I'm making a separate folder for master albums that I'm pulling directly off the "whats new" section.
     
  19. Torq

    Torq Prob should liquidate and live on a sailboat

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    Ordered a little Meridian Explorer 2 DAC so I can do a MQA-enabled DAC to software decoded comparison (you can disable MQA passthrough in Tidal so that you only get the software-decoded version). Should have it on Monday. Maybe first comparisons on Tuesday.
     
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  20. TheIceman93

    TheIceman93 Friend

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    Where is that option? I don't see it anywhere.

    Edit: Nevermind, I found it. What does this option do? I don't have an MQA DAC, which option should I select?
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2017

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