Tidal and MQA (oh no, not again)

MQA listing Naim as supporting MQA on their website is intentional, and slimy. It is the oldest marketing trick in the world.
They know full well Naim doesn’t support MQA. But, by posting that Naim does support MQA, they know that Naim users will ask Naim about it. The more users ask Naim about MQA, the more chance that Naim adopts MQA. MQA can always claim it was an honest mistake, but it is not.
It is more evidence of MQA’s desperation.


Couldn’t agree more!


I have written to Tidal to tell them that Naim does not support MQA. I am curious if I will get an answer.

From that same page:
“While you can listen to Master Quality audio on any device, the partners below provide full MQA playback through TIDAL:” (Naim is on the list).


“Please contact your device manufacturer to request the development of MQA capabilities with TIDAL.”


Interesting, looking at this list, who else does not support MQA?

If I stream Tidal through my iPhone and then cast to my Nova, will Tidal on the phone app decode the MQA info? From what little I know, the answer would be no with ChromeCast because ChromeCast technology simply redirects the stream from the phone directly to the Nova. But I wonder about AirPlay.

I am not promoting this; just wondering if that’s how Tidal might rationalize its claim.

No, I think:

Currently the masters section is only applicable for MQA enabled devices. There is no first unfold offered by the system and the TIDAL servers pick 16/44.1 equivalents. If this is important then the Qobuz offering of full fat hidef might be a better option to consider.

From Stevesky at:

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I would expect Naim, whether @Naim.Marketing or a colleague, to object to Tidal making false statements about them.

MQA is the primary reason why I quit Tidal.


Not even if I ask nicely, @Naim.Marketing? For me as a Tidal subscriber, that would be rather disappointing. Or are Naim of the opinion that the 44.1 kHz, 16 bits version always sounds better than the MQA version? (in keeping with Naim’s philosophy of “Every Naim product is conceived, designed and engineered entirely in service of the sound, revealing a pure experience of music that is as close as possible to its original live source.”)

We’ve always said if we got overwhelming demand, we’d consider it, but we just haven’t had that. In the meantime, we offer full high-resolution streaming from Qobuz (plus of course your own, local files - up to 32bit/284kHz), and continue to explore the other new high-resolution streaming service options.


Same here. I’m not even sure if the decision has a basis in sound quality, but from the uncertainty, confusion, closed nature etc of MQA I didn’t feel right giving them my money. Qobuz for me, family account too, been very happy with it.

And exactly that has happened with Auralic and the Auralic forum.

I don’t subscribe to Tidal or intend to do so, but I am concerned that if MQA really takes off, we will all, not just Tidal subscribers, end up paying more for our music and perhaps our hifi as at least some commentators are indicating. Actually I wouldn’t mind paying more if I was convinced that the extra would go to the artists, recording engineers etc. But I don’t see that happening. Rather, my worry is that it will go to big corporations yet again.


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And 1st unfolding MQA via Roon

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Might be something of a chicken-and-egg problem, though. It’s certainly not stopping other manufacturers from getting their streamers MQA certified.

There’s more to Tidal than just streaming MQA to one’s home hifi. They also offer music in Dolby Atmos and 360 Reality Audio, and since both my phone and my tablet support Dolby Atmos, and I have a pair of Sony headphones tuned for 360°, those are available to me when not at home.

Subscribing to Qobuz (as well), or even Roon (which wouldn’t work on the road, and needs additional hardware) just because my Naim at home doesn’t support Tidal MQA seems excessive.

Just one person’s vote, obviously, so far from overwhelming, but please reconsider your position on MQA.

[I’ll leave the diatribe on the relative (de)merits of MQA to others.]

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…then there are some who own Naim systems and have no interest in MQA and hope that development resources are not allocated.

If you want MQA use TIDAL and purchase the hardware from one of the manufactures who are heading down that road. There is something for everyone out there and we do not all need to be drinking from the same trough.


Simple as pie, you can have your cake and eat it to…


There has been some discussion here in the past of how optimising a DAC to process MQA could compromise its performance with regular lossless streams. Not good if you also stream from a local library, Qobuz, etc.


I would be interested to know what Glevethan or @Dunc thinks of MQA, as they have both the Rossini streamers who decode MQA.

On the rossini with clock it sounded fine, but didn’t really think it was better than hi res from qobuz.
The fact qobuz was cheaper, had a much bigger catalogue in hi res compared to tidal mqa (this was some time ago, so things might have changed now) also now throw in direct downloads from qobuz to the melco, then I have no intension of going back to tidal.
Only really used tidal as that’s all the nds could do and once I got the rossini I switched, but did have both for about a month.

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With Roon doing the first unfold I generally find the Hires version better and more natural sounding. Occasionally the MQA is slightly preferred but usually on compressed or low dynamic range material.

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Not better but on same level? If yes, MQA sound very good and better than 16/44 files.
So for those preferring Tidal catalog, it would be interesting to decode MQA, not?