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Topic: MQA (at least on Tidal Masters) sounds "muddy" to me. Am I nuts? (Read 1055 times) previous topic - next topic
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MQA (at least on Tidal Masters) sounds "muddy" to me. Am I nuts?

I'm new here and NOT a sophisticated audio guy, but I do appreciate (what I non-scientifically think is) good sound. I've played around with "Tidal Masters" vs "Tidal Hi-Fi" (regular lossless) for hours on both my LG V30 and Dragonfly red (via a PC) through very good earbuds (AKG-K3003) and in my car through a great speaker system (using the V30), and MQA always sounds compressed and muddy (or weirdly distorted) to me while "regular" Tidal Hi-Fi sounds clean and terrific. Yet all the on-line reviews I read about MQA talk about how great it sounds, with most of the complaints having to do with its "commercial" aspects.

Am I nuts, or is MQA not only "an emperor with no clothes" but "an emperor with UGLY clothes"?

Thanks!

Re: MQA (at least on Tidal Masters) sounds "muddy" to me. Am I nuts?

Reply #1
Maybe your smearing filters are inverted
Loudspeaker manufacturer

Re: MQA (at least on Tidal Masters) sounds "muddy" to me. Am I nuts?

Reply #2
From what I understand, MQA encoding/decoding does alter the "data".   But, I'd be surprised if it has any affect on the sound (in a proper blind listening test).

I'd guess these recordings are mixed/mastered by someone with different taste than you.   And of course they are listening on a different system, on studio monitors in a treated room.

Of course it's useless to compare different recordings and even if you have the exact same recording in two different formats, they could be mastered differently.

Re: MQA (at least on Tidal Masters) sounds "muddy" to me. Am I nuts?

Reply #3
Guess i have read the MQA versions are the typical +0.2dB louder as the non MQA to please on first listen but i don't think its non linear filtering does create muddy sound.
Is troll-adiposity coming from feederism?
With 24bit music you can listen to silence much louder!

Re: MQA (at least on Tidal Masters) sounds "muddy" to me. Am I nuts?

Reply #4
a format only dictates the upper limit for quality. it doesn't dictate a lower limit.
they could publish a really crappy version of audio in any format, and it would not follow that the format is therefore bad.
for example I can add some noise and then encode into any format and it will sound bad because it has a lot of added noise.

MQA though is pointless as it doesn't solve anything that was not solved before, but creates some artificial issues (AFAIK it's a closed and patented format).
There's already FLAC for lossless coding and Opus for lossy coding and MQA is worse than any of these: it's not lossless, and it's less efficient than Opus on the lossy coding merits.

> Yet all the on-line reviews I read about MQA talk about how great it sounds

Oh of course there will be those reviews.
Keep calm and opusenc --bitrate 128

Re: MQA (at least on Tidal Masters) sounds "muddy" to me. Am I nuts?

Reply #5
We had a long thread already about the MQA nonsense.
The only attempt for a fair comparison i know between MQA and non MQA was organized by Archimago at his blog. MQA sounding muddy was surely not the outcome.
At Tidal i doubt you can do comparisons easily because almost certainly the MQA versions are different masters and even if they come from the same nobody knows what things were exactly done to the MQA version.

Many glorifying reports on forums are coming from shills being part of fossilized gangs of the audio business hoping to make money like in the good old times.
I don't remember this video was linked here already:
RMAF 2018 - MQA: The Truth Lies Somewhere in the Middle
Is troll-adiposity coming from feederism?
With 24bit music you can listen to silence much louder!

Re: MQA (at least on Tidal Masters) sounds "muddy" to me. Am I nuts?

Reply #6
But these fossils are believed since they have long and successful careers in the industry. Of course being a fossil guarantees a loss of the ability to hear high frequencies, those frequencies being the cornerstone of the technology. There’s also the attempt to fix an unknown problem, and surely other things I’ve missed.
Is 24-bit/192kHz good enough for your lo-fi vinyl, or do you need 32/384?

Re: MQA (at least on Tidal Masters) sounds "muddy" to me. Am I nuts?

Reply #7
Speaking again on fossils, does anybody remember the pono promo video of Neil Young driving around in his convertible with other washed up artists all looking to resell their catalogs?  I can’t think of a better environment to hear the subtle nuances that make music come alive.
Is 24-bit/192kHz good enough for your lo-fi vinyl, or do you need 32/384?

Re: MQA (at least on Tidal Masters) sounds "muddy" to me. Am I nuts?

Reply #8
As an addendum, does anybody remember the promo piece of Neil Young demonstrating pono by carting around other washed up artists looking to resell their catalog in his convertible?  I can’t find a better environment to hear the subtle nuances that make music come alive.
 
 Not to mention most, if not all of them, having their ageing auditory systems plagued by tinnitus didn't exactly qualify them to be as "golden earred" as they wanted whoever was dumb enought to fall for that crap to believe.
Listen to the music, not the media.
Qualidade em MP3


Re: MQA (at least on Tidal Masters) sounds "muddy" to me. Am I nuts?

Reply #10
I'm new here and NOT a sophisticated audio guy, but I do appreciate (what I non-scientifically think is) good sound. I've played around with "Tidal Masters" vs "Tidal Hi-Fi" (regular lossless) for hours on both my LG V30 and Dragonfly red (via a PC) through very good earbuds (AKG-K3003) and in my car through a great speaker system (using the V30), and MQA always sounds compressed and muddy (or weirdly distorted) to me while "regular" Tidal Hi-Fi sounds clean and terrific. Yet all the on-line reviews I read about MQA talk about how great it sounds, with most of the complaints having to do with its "commercial" aspects.

Am I nuts, or is MQA not only "an emperor with no clothes" but "an emperor with UGLY clothes"?

Thanks!

Not nuts, but probably wrong.  Not about MQA per se, but about the reasons for whatever differences you claim to hear.  

Re: MQA (at least on Tidal Masters) sounds "muddy" to me. Am I nuts?

Reply #11
Has anyone checked whether the actual titles on Tidal are from the same mixing/mastering?  (I'd be careful about using the phrase "same mastering" here.)
High Voltage socket-nose-avatar

Re: MQA (at least on Tidal Masters) sounds "muddy" to me. Am I nuts?

Reply #12
Too difficult to put flac files on dvd's. 🤔

Re: MQA (at least on Tidal Masters) sounds "muddy" to me. Am I nuts?

Reply #13
Speaking again on fossils, does anybody remember the pono promo video of Neil Young driving around in his convertible with other washed up artists all looking to resell their catalogs?  I can’t think of a better environment to hear the subtle nuances that make music come alive.

I remember that video.  It really made me want to try hi-res music.  One ABX test later and I was sorely disappointed.  There's a reason Pono went out of business.

Re: MQA (at least on Tidal Masters) sounds "muddy" to me. Am I nuts?

Reply #14
Doesn't MQA require an MQA DAC to do their "unfolding" BS?  Is Tidal "unfolding" the audio using software?

I guess there is no way to answer that, since every technical detail about MQA is hidden under NDA agreements.


 

Re: MQA (at least on Tidal Masters) sounds "muddy" to me. Am I nuts?

Reply #16
Tidal has an MQA decoder, but it requires that you pass the digital audio to an internal or USB attached DAC, and not through S/PDIF or similar digital output.

 
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