Why Doesn't Massdrop offer any DACs capable of rendering MQA files?
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Especially for those of us who subscribe to TIDAL Masters, it would be nice to have an MQA option. For those who think MQA is snake-oil, fine, you don't have to buy it. But for those of us who believe MQA offers real benefits, it would be nice if Massdrop provided one or two MQA rendering DACs among the several dozen DACs it offers.
thumb_upjaxtrauma, Gonzoflex1, and 8 others
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GuitarStruck
21
Aug 14, 2019
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Tip: If you don't have a DAC that natively decodes MQA, then consider switching to a good Android device for the digital stream. The TIDAL app on my Galaxy S10+ unpacks MQA to 192 kbps. It's double the bitrate that I'm getting from TIDAL MQA on my Mac and PC.
Aug 14, 2019
jaxtrauma
132
Aug 13, 2019
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Excellent questions Cycling
Aug 13, 2019
Fayne
619
Jul 25, 2019
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Ignoring all of the snake oil and DRM comments (yes, I know they're valid, I just don't care), a major reason MD wouldn't do a MQA DAC is licensing. When you use MQA, it ain't free. There are also likely a whole bunch of requirements set by Meridian, and I'm sure those aren't cheap, especially when you consider the volume of product sold. That said, I'd happily pay the extra price for a cheap balanced DAC with both MQA decode and render. I don't mind MQA, especially seeing most all of the MQA tracks are new masters and sound cleaner.
Jul 25, 2019
jaxtrauma
132
Aug 14, 2019
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Absolutely we need measurements and standards which are empirical and easily proven. I guess I was saying that some folks delude themselves into blindly (or deafly) believing whatever a stereo manufacturer says about the specs. Trust, but verify as the famous snake oil prez said. Independent verification is totally the way to go. Read reviews. Audition, audition, audition (where possible). Ultimately you have to go by what your ears (all of us) and one's wallet (most of us) dictates. I've heard systems that had monster specs and sounded like a cheap one and heard cheap ones sound like a goliath. I'm shocked I paid $700 for 'little speakers' (Audioengine HD6)
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but after burn-in they sound better than many tower speakers I've heard costing a lot more. They would completely fill any size room. Frequency response 50Hz-22kHz +/-1.5dB; 50 Watts RMS; THD+N <0.05% at all power settings. I used to think a 50 Watt amp was wimpy. Not when using honest measurements. Analog dual-class A/B monolithic amplifier (custom). They sound huge and crystal clear, analog or digital. Bought a sub to go with them but don't need it for music, really just for movies and gaming, or maybe if disco comes back. I don't know how they can get such loud and clear sound from a small box (< 12" tall) ? But I can assure you they do. Technology has always fascinated me and I can appreciate what went into the design and quality of materials and construction. I was totally amazed at the difference in the sound once I got them off the desk and on the stands, they really opened up then. The crazy thing is, there are $50,000 headphones (Sennheiser electrostatic), so you just know there's a $60,000 speaker somewhere. Trust your ears, you know what you like. My philosophy is I should spend more on speakers/headphones because that's what your ears actually hear. A $2,000 amp will sound like crap if you run it through crap speakers, the converse is also true. And... if it sounds good, enjoy it. EDIT: BTW great discussion, thanks EDIT 2: FWIW I listed the specs for the HD6 as an example of a product that clearly out-performs those specs (to my ear), including price
(Edited)
Aug 14, 2019
JJayJJ
455
Aug 14, 2019
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Fully agreed
Aug 14, 2019
kevinhb
130
Jul 19, 2019
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I don't know that I would say MQA is snake-oil... although the lack of detail I've been able to easily find about how the codec works vs other public-domain codecs does give me some pause and makes it hard for me to decide one way or the other. But I think that the many words that have been said about its impact on the industry, and the level of control MQA is required to exert over the production chain for their proprietary format to work are hard to interpret in any light that is positive. Personally, I can get access to actually lossless versions of the music I want to listen to easily enough, and storage space is cheap enough, that I don't think those risks are even close to worthwhile. I can understand if others disagree for various reasons, but... for my part, I honestly want MQA to fail, so I'm gonna keep on cheering on all the DACs that refuse to go through the necessary licensing rigmarole to be able to be MQA-compatible. Hell, it keeps the price down for me!
Jul 19, 2019
ElectronicVices
2006
Aug 14, 2019
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Good start... both high yield devices. Spent a lot of time/money trying to find a sub $200 IEM to compete with $500+... they don't exist IMO
Aug 14, 2019
jaxtrauma
132
Aug 14, 2019
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Thanks bud. I have to agree with you, I haven't heard any yet. The QDC blows my socks off, for a cool half - grand (but worth it to me for the sound, don't know how they do it with three BA's). The Cardas is dynamic and super bass dominant and it started at $475, (and six years later) now its $150 on Drop . The sub $100 market is burgeoning but still has a long way to go. The 'diamond-like' graphene dynamics (like the BLON 03) are intriguing, but a little weak on the highs. The balanced armature usually doesn't possess enough bass punch. The Tin HiFi T3 is a nice combination of the two for $60 but its really a weak sister, sound-wise. Haven't heard good things about the Tin P1 planar at $200, either. Going to put more acquisitions on hold for a little while to actually spend some time listening to good music and enjoying what I have. Time enough to upgrade later. Now if I can stick to it...
(Edited)
Aug 14, 2019
MatR
4
Jun 27, 2019
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Yeah, you just wrote what i think of since a while. A good, even balanced DAC for a price to beat, is hard to find.
Jun 27, 2019
ElectronicVices
2006
Aug 13, 2019
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Too much hype on balanced these days... do you have a long run?.... do you have extremely power hungry headphones? The only inherent benefit to balanced (for short interconnect runs) comes from the halving the slew rate when a dual mono amplification design is employed.
Aug 13, 2019
MatR
4
Aug 14, 2019
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Well, running all balanced ( STAX on Mjolnir etc. ) makes no sense to put something unbalanced in front of it.
Aug 14, 2019