Tidal stream qualities

Folks, I’ll start with my usual apology if this is already covered elsewhere, but I can’t find it so…here goes…

I notice that the latest update to the standalone Tidal app for iOS now allows streaming in Master quality, whereas this used only to be available from the desktop app.

Nonetheless in the Naim app, there’s no option to use Master, only Hifi. My experience is that Master has a real quality benefit, but streaming via the laptop is awkward by comparison.

Is this a “pending” upgrade for the Naim app? Anyone know?

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Dunno but I can stream Tidal Master quality from iPhone/iPad into the Chromecast audio that I have stuck in the back of the 272. So it does work.

Tidal Masters are MQA and Naim do not support MQA. Search the forum for MQA and you’ll find further info.

OK thanks for that, will do. Dos seem a touch odd that they don’t support the best quality stream, and clunky to use other means, but I"ll have a read.

Basically there is no agreement as to whether MQA are actually better quality than normal lossless files and anyway I believe Naim hasn’t had access to all of the technical detail they would need to implement it in their streamers. So far, Naim have not confirmed that they will ever implement it.

Yes, I can’t see how MQA can be possibly be better in terms of accuracy of original signal compared to its lossless LPCM equivalent… and in fact the laws of information entropy would indeed determine that as a fact.
However whether MQA sounds better compared to it it’s lossless equivalent on a particular piece of equipment is entirely a different matter.

Hi Jamie,
How do you connect chrome cast to 272? There’s no 3.5mm input into 272.
Looking at doing same.

Yes but only with Airplay. But it don’t works with Chromecast

Hi Gsr - Optical 3.5 to Toslink cable.

Thanks Jamie.
That means that the signal is going through the DAC inside the 272 which isn’t MQA supportive so the file will revert back to hifi, not masters!

True, but you could simply use 3.5 mm to rca…

Has anyone compared a download of 16/44 file against a 16/44 Tidal stream?

In what way? Technically obviously it’s the same media data… the way the media is despatched to the consumers host is however different. But if you use a local media proxy such as Roon Core … then as far as the streamer is concerned it’s transparent whether it’s Tidal remote source or from a local media source as far as the network and media protocols are concerned

I’m trying to understand if there is a difference in played SQ for a standard 16/44 “CD” depending on how it is sourced. A CD ripped to a Core, versus a Tidal stream, versus a file downloaded to a Core. All technically the same source, delivered through different means.

If you like an album you have streamed on Tidal, would a download then be a better option, or a CD and rip, if they are all 16/44? I’ve tried his res downloads against ripped CDs and they are better, so wondering about the more common 16/44 formats.

I think you posted on the old forum that you found some new downloads being better than ripped CDs.

Yes, that was down to the different masters… on older recordings there tends to be many masters and they can sound quite different. On a streaming service like Tidal, many of these variants are there and you can directly compare them by streaming the different variants.

As far as SQ, and when using a media server proxy/protocol break, then there is no SQ difference between the same master in different locations (data centre or NAS in the study of your house) when streamed to your device.

However the one certain benefit of purchasing media, is continued availability. You may find more niche or specialist artists, as well as specific compilation masters, or specialists recordings on some minor labels cease to be available on streaming as rights agreements are not renewed.


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