MQA is tearing us apart Lisa!

Hey there! As many of you are aware; the current climate surrounding MQA has become a gross cesspool of accusations and profound nastiness. Having just watched TheHonestAudiophile go after Goldensound and claiming some pretty serious things like doctoring and general skullduggery in his testing. I want to put this out there. Has anyone gone out and put together a potential round table with MQA engineers and the youtubers/reviewers to get to the bottom of all this?

If this were to be treated “hypothetically” as a court of law; then both sides would need to produce evidence to support their case. I have seen a ton of data gathered against MQA, so why have they as a company not come out and just given any public retort? I hate how this stuff is tearing our community apart all to entertain these multi-million dollar companies?

I feel like the dscussion has become whether you enjoy MQA rather than is it providing what they claim it is to the end user? Its a matter of false advertising and taking advantage of consumers trust. People of the community can we all just agree that MQA could clear this all up with a third party test and show the results publicly?

I dont care if you like MQA. I just want my regular snakeoil back because this stuff tastes like lies to me.


Probably the smart way to go about it imo, as a business. Ignore it until it goes away.

If they wanted to provide more insight into their product, they would have done it already way before this scandal. But it’s probably not in their benefit and some youtuber is not going to be what makes them do it.
They will probably reply eventually if this goes on for too long and see some potential loss of revenue, but expect some more marketing mumbo jumbo and gaslighting.

I don’t have a problem with MQA, I couldn’t care less about it, but goldensound is showing that it’s not lossless, and it adds noise to music, and it’s not actually the master, so that makes them rather disingenuous. And tidal is their accomplice in all this.


Well Square have bought onto Tidal in a big way and according to this article, there is a chance that they could eventually close Tidal down.
Since they seem to be the main proponent of MQA I can see the whole issue just fading away.

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Well, i think one of the most important things that TheHonestAudiophile got out, is addressing the toxicity. And one of the major causes of toxicity IMO is, that people aren’t being honest anymore. Therefore, they have to be honest to themselves. I hereby admit, that i didn’t really understand what goldensound was doing and didn’t question his findings. I admit i just liked the MQA bashing and took many things goldensound stated as granted. What put me off was TIDAL not playing true hi-res-streams anymore without MQA.

And again, i didn’t verify it, didn’t even understand half of what was tested, i just took the results for granted and enjoyed the bashing. It is this kind of behaviour that leads to more and more toxicity. Now what’s causing this behaviour? It might be, that many of us, or many in the audio hobby are just f… up. What i mean is, that many of us don’t care enough about meeting their emotional needs. Just like so many, i’m a sad, sad motherf… Or at least i am, if i’m not currently engaged in bashing others or companies or trying other ways to gather attention on the internet. Those likes are pure dopamine, man. See? I’m doing it again. Adjusting my writing to make a statement that hopefully many people will read and like. Give me those likes, babyyy!! The thing is: this is a very, very, very widespread desease in society and is one of the key reasons why younger people are so addicted to their phones. Actually, i feel like i was ahead of its time in this, since i’m doing this in forums on the pc for over 20 years now lol

Many of us do that in one way or the other and it is one reason, why things get toxic, amplify polarization and tear a (so-called) “community” apart. (Whatever is considered to be “the community”).

The least everybody can do, is trying to detach himself from these urges, these cravings, this addiction. In other words: upgrade your portable gear and go outside more often lol Do that, before blindly writing senseless stuff on the internet. Try to keep a certain level of integrity.

If not, exactly things like MQA are prone to failure, even if there really might be some benefits, we don’t understand or don’t want to understand. The setup of MQA is what instantly raises suspicion, criticiscm and skepticism. It tries (or it advertizes to try…) to establish a new audio format, just like SACD, HDCD, DSD etc. did - but in a digital world, were people don’t even need to buy physically different media anymore. Given these circumstances, they actually achieved quite a lot lol … but what if there is some truth in it…? I.e. i can’t quite put my mind off the idea, that you just get a different “version” of the song, not mastered and compressed to sound best on radios or cheap household hifi-devices. I would really congratulate the meridian guys, if the main motivation for MQA was, to get license money from hifi companies, TIDAL and their customers, to be able to buy the distribution rights for the lesser compressed master versions. And the whole technology-thing, stupid lights and stuff is actually just a hoax to get there lol… If that’s the case, i would applaude them,go back to TIDAL, sell my Yggi and get an MQA-capable DAC…


Having recently ditched Tidal and moving to Qobuz specifically because I can take advantage of high res media without having to have MQA… I can specifically confirm that 1) some 16/44 files are now encoded with MQA. 2) There are albums now showing up as MQA that I cannot find ANYWHERE else as high res. Sus AF if you ask me.

The whole point against MQA is that it is not needed and it’s being used as a remedy for a non existent problem, Let’s face it, the main use of MQA is anti piracy, because there isn’t a single reason to use it beyond that.


From what I’ve seen, people only start bashing Tidal and MQA after these kinds of videos, not because they hear or find any discrepancies themselves. So I think the “stay quiet until the flame dies out” strategy is a pretty good one to use. Eventually people will move on and since they don’t really hear the problem themselves, everything will continue as normal, or at least that’s my opinion.


Without reference and without making an attempt in earnest to hear differences, they will never be heard. TBH, paying for tidal after a year and a half, I was happy with it. But I find their recent choice to do away with non MQA versions of albums because they “created” an MQA version of it is whack.


I don’t know about you, but I can clearly hear differences between MQA and non-MQA, and differences between Tidal and Qobuz. Both cases, Qobuz is the clear winner. It just sounds better all around.

I’ve had Tidal since they came out, and have had Qobuz for a little over a year now, and think I’ll be ditching Tidal sooner rather than later. The only advantage I see with Tidal is in the very rare occasion that I can’t find something on Qobuz and Tidal may have it, but again, that’s rare.


Personally, I’ve only used Tidal for a month last year when I saw the free trial ads. At that time I noticed something different with Tidal right away. I thought it’s because Tidal had a different mastering version. Now that people have done their research, maybe MQA was the culprit for the difference that I heard.

What made me having that conclusion was because I see quite often ppl saying that they’re cancelling their Tidal subscription because they watched the vid. If they truly heard the difference, wouldn’t they do what I did, not having a subscription for Tidal? That’s what I find kinda weird.


There’s never a 100% correct answer for everyone. I still maintain that most people wouldn’t hear a difference and then there’s the UI, the desktop integration, the genres the various platforms are better than the others in. People have to make their own decisions. I’m just glad that the market in general is recognizing that there is NO benefit whatsoever to MQA over unadulterated Hi-Res. It’s all marketing and copy protection regardless of the marketing efforts.

When you think about it, adding cost to HW to solve a problem that didn’t exist in the first place. Brilliant.


There is an interesting take from Paul from PSAudio that he released a few months ago.
PSAudio are a licensee of MQA, Paul didn’t think much of it, and certainly strongly implied the only reason they added it to their DAC’s was consumer pressure, from customers who had subscribed to Tidal.
I watched the Golden sound video, he proved it’s not lossless, which I don’t think they ever actually claimed. I’m not sure how much of the rest of the analysis is relevant, any sort of lossy compression is going to concentrate on encoding music using a model of how we hear, not on reproducing test tones.

I’m not an MQA fan, a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist, and another way to get a hidden license fee from consumers.


This was a great video. It made me check out some of his other videos, and I’m a fan. This video is the reason I’m demoing Qobuz as I type this


Let me ask you a stupid question.
If I have a Dac that doesn’t support MQA then in the end it is irrelevant or not?
The next high definition file would logically be Hi-res.
I assume Tidal will still offer that?

Next question would be what happens if you listen to the whole thing with Audirvana?
I use Tidal with Audirvana mainly in 32/96 and if the file supports Mqa, there is a green circle :green_circle: next to the resolution on the bottom left.

Do I hear differences? Minimal, purely from the impression I would say yes but I can’t definitely confirm it.

I could at most take Qubozz as a trial subscription and compare it in Audirvana to see if there are any differences, but probably not more.

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Almost all Tidal files are MQA. If you don’t have an MQA DAC or are streaming through Audirvana, Tidal will give you an MQA basterdized PCM (16/44) version. In Golden’s video you can see the effects MQA has on files it serves when MQA DAC is not available.

I had this exact scenario - Audirvana + non-MQA DAC - when I tried Tidal. It sounded wrong to me so I switched to Qobuz. The video shed some light on why I didn’t like it. A lot of people say they can’t hear the difference between Tidal and Qobuz but it was clear to me. Tidal just sounded wrong somehow.


It wasn’t just that. The thing that really turned me off from Tidal after seeing this video was that they were identifying tracks as masters without necessarily having masters to build the mqa off of. Shady stuff all around.


Hmmm okay,
I’ll activate Qubozz in the trial subscription.
I used to have Qubozz but the recordings were mostly bad at the time, but I didn’t know Audirvana yet.
Hopefully this will work better and also in mobile use.

What I always notice a bit is that some songs sometimes start to hiss slightly, especially in the high-frequency range.
But since everything in the audio chain is normal and correct, I put it down to the recording.
That would probably explain what you are saying.
I have noticed that this happens more often with planar headphones than with dynamic drivers.

And it could really be an explanation.
I’d have to write down the tracks where it obviously occurs and cross-reference them with Qubozz when I’ve collected some.
To be able to confirm if this theory is true.


It’s pretty eye opening how many bad recordings there are. That’s the problem with high fidelity - you hear all the crap.


Anybody buy dsd music and should get some?

Me being an Amazon HD dude…