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Index » Radio Paradise/General » About RP » MQA Stream Coming to BLUOS Page: Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next
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jwwindy

jwwindy Avatar

Location: Indianapolis, IN


Posted: May 14, 2021 - 9:09am

Although a 20+ year streamer of RP, I'm just one month or so into streaming RP via Bluesound Node 2i utilizing a Schiit Modi 3+ external DAC.  Admittedly, I'm not an audiophile and I know little about the technicalities of music, thus my qualification to comment is limited to generic terms.  However, friends who are in the music industry, performing and broadcasting, describe me as a critical listener.  To my listening, in an A/B comparison, the MQA stream sounds "fuller" than the FLAC stream that I have streamed for several years.
Dan888

Dan888 Avatar

Location: United Kingdom - South
Gender: Male


Posted: May 13, 2021 - 10:09am

 NeilBlanchard wrote:
I am not seeing the FLAC as an option on my Bluesound Node 2i, which I am using the S/PDIF coax output to a Schiit Audio Bifrost 2. I would prefer the FLAC stream. I only recently got the Node, because I can sign into my RP account and listen to My Favorites, as well as the other four streams. This isn't possible on the Raspberry Pi4 Volumio unit I had earlier.


I think it's called "CD" in the BlueOS app

NeilBlanchard

NeilBlanchard Avatar

Location: Greater Boston area, Massachusetts Eaarth
Gender: Male


Posted: May 7, 2021 - 10:16pm

 ronald.dejong726 wrote:

Dear Bill,

firstly many thanks for your ongoing innovation! 
I have listened to the MQA stream for some days now and switched back to the FLAC stream .
I have the Bluesound Node 2i already for a year or so. I use this in conjunction with the DAC chord Qutest.
So I use the digital signal via Coax from the Bluesound into the DAC.
I have this set up because I have found the DAC of the Node 2i okay but not exceptional.
The chord Qutest DAC is a level up. So with this I have the MQA stream with its first unfolding step according to the MQA info I could find.
It is different but to my ears the FLAC sounds more coherent.. I also compared the MQA stream directly via the bluesound node RCA output ( this has the complete unfolding step)  with the FLAC via the Qutest..
Still the original FLAC does it for me. Off course it would be briljant if in the future you would send out the original Hi Res files!
anyway I thought I give the feedback, thanks again for all the great music!
Ronald




I am not seeing the FLAC as an option on my Bluesound Node 2i, which I am using the S/PDIF coax output to a Schiit Audio Bifrost 2. I would prefer the FLAC stream. I only recently got the Node, because I can sign into my RP account and listen to My Favorites, as well as the other four streams. This isn't possible on the Raspberry Pi4 Volumio unit I had earlier.

I just watched the GoldenSound video, and he is quite conclusive - the MQA is a problem, and is not as good as true high resolution FLAC. And the file size is larger than the equivalent resolution FLAC. They just upsample things, much of the time.
nickt1

nickt1 Avatar

Location: Methven NewZealand
Gender: Male


Posted: May 4, 2021 - 12:25am

 david8 wrote:


The video I was pointing to is interesting because it looks at why some people prefer MQA whilst others do not like it. The author created his own master recording and uploaded it to Tidal so he could then analyse/measure the differences between his master and the MQA stream version. The differences are measurable/indisputable but what I find fascinating is why the MQA process alters the sound in a way that makes it more palatable to some ears. Nothing wrong with that as we have been doing it for years with slope filters, treble and bass controls. Even volume level affects our perception of how music sounds - ask my wife when I turn it up! Some people love free form Jazz whilst others reach for the off switch and you can say the same for Blues, C&W, Metal, Psych, Classical etc. The whole recording process and post production is tuned to the ears of the producer and not necessarily the intended audience. Then someone with different ears comes along and re-masters the music - see/hear the MFSL Beatles collection with the smiley face equalisation.

I don't have access to MQA (so no pony in this race) but I am interested as to the quantifiable perceptions of those that do.






Thank You Bill for constantly innovating for no other reason than-you can!
MQA sounds fantastic by combining what were previously mutually exclusive qualities-Organic analogue, natural sound and hi resolution.
Yes yes I hear the if you can't measure it you cant hear it brigade say Hi Res DSD etc. is better- well it may be but are you going to re record the last 50 years of music and then stream it to a phone? not going to happen. For this reason I feel MQA is the biggest format upgrade since CD and finally delivers what CD promised.
Here is a great explanation of MQA by one of its inventors, Bob Stuart, who has been involved in developing digital audio over the past 30 years:


david8

david8 Avatar



Posted: May 3, 2021 - 5:27am

 BillG wrote:


That's not a debate I'm interested in participating in. We're not presenting MQA as anything other than "something we think sounds great".

As I've said before, the only thing that matters is each listener's personal opinion about which RP option sounds better. If your ears prefer MQA, listen to that. If not, then don't. 

The video I was pointing to is interesting because it looks at why some people prefer MQA whilst others do not like it. The author created his own master recording and uploaded it to Tidal so he could then analyse/measure the differences between his master and the MQA stream version. The differences are measurable/indisputable but what I find fascinating is why the MQA process alters the sound in a way that makes it more palatable to some ears. Nothing wrong with that as we have been doing it for years with slope filters, treble and bass controls. Even volume level affects our perception of how music sounds - ask my wife when I turn it up! Some people love free form Jazz whilst others reach for the off switch and you can say the same for Blues, C&W, Metal, Psych, Classical etc. The whole recording process and post production is tuned to the ears of the producer and not necessarily the intended audience. Then someone with different ears comes along and re-masters the music - see/hear the MFSL Beatles collection with the smiley face equalisation.

I don't have access to MQA (so no pony in this race) but I am interested as to the quantifiable perceptions of those that do.




Listen!



Posted: May 2, 2021 - 1:06am

Thanks for offering MQA - it sounds fantastic, I agree 100% with your listening experiences at RP.   

We expected only subtle improvements when we first listened to RP via MQA, but what we heard was quite striking. We could hear new sonic details in songs we'd heard hundreds of times, and the listening experience — particularly on good headphones — was immersive and captivating.

QUESTION: Will these RP release MQA streams for ROON users in the (near) future as well?   This would be even better!

Cheerr!
Steely_D

Steely_D Avatar

Location: Biscayne Bay
Gender: Male


Posted: Apr 30, 2021 - 11:35am

 DoctorK wrote:

Listening right now to the BluOS feed via my new NAD AVR and am really blown away!  Keep staying ahead of the curve Bill



Got a new NAD 758 myself. Wish it broadcasted to my HomePods, tho. I enjoy sitting in the Good Room to listen to tunes, but can't always be sitting in there.

black321

black321 Avatar

Location: An earth without maps
Gender: Male


Posted: Apr 30, 2021 - 10:27am

I've found that an MQA stream fed into a non-MQA DAC results in an inferior playback.  The sound is more forward, and harsh.

Through a MQA DAC, I notice a similar forward effect particularly for vocals, but less harshness from the MQA stream. Still don't know if I prefer one over the other....but that's a moot point as i prefer my Bel Canto DAC over the DAC in the Bluos Node 2i.




BillG

BillG Avatar

Location: Left Coast
Gender: Male


Posted: Apr 30, 2021 - 10:12am

 david8 wrote:

This article and associated video debunks the whole MQA myth:

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/mqa-deep-dive-i-published-music-on-tidal-to-test-mqa.22549/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRjsu9-Vznc



That's not a debate I'm interested in participating in. We're not presenting MQA as anything other than "something we think sounds great".

As I've said before, the only thing that matters is each listener's personal opinion about which RP option sounds better. If your ears prefer MQA, listen to that. If not, then don't. 
david8

david8 Avatar



Posted: Apr 30, 2021 - 8:47am

This article and associated video debunks the whole MQA myth:

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/mqa-deep-dive-i-published-music-on-tidal-to-test-mqa.22549/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRjsu9-Vznc
DoctorK

DoctorK Avatar

Location: Rockland, MA


Posted: Apr 28, 2021 - 2:27pm

Listening right now to the BluOS feed via my new NAD AVR and am really blown away!  Keep staying ahead of the curve Bill
BillG

BillG Avatar

Location: Left Coast
Gender: Male


Posted: Apr 23, 2021 - 3:37pm

 Cebolla wrote:

FLAC is after all lossless but compressed PCM!

Right you are, of course. Lossless is the correct term. 


black321

black321 Avatar

Location: An earth without maps
Gender: Male


Posted: Apr 23, 2021 - 12:58pm

 Steely_D wrote:

New NAD with BluOS showing up in a few hours. Very excited to fire that up and see what the fuss is about.



Congrats.
I always get a bit giddy when procuring a new piece.
NAD has put out some good product the last few years...enjoy.
Steely_D

Steely_D Avatar

Location: Biscayne Bay
Gender: Male


Posted: Apr 23, 2021 - 12:47pm

New NAD with BluOS showing up in a few hours. Very excited to fire that up and see what the fuss is about.
Cebolla



Posted: Apr 23, 2021 - 6:52am

 ronald.dejong726 wrote:

Still the original FLAC does it for me. Off course it would be briljant if in the future you would send out the original Hi Res files!



Bill has already confirmed that:
 BillG wrote:
Here’s how it will work in the future: we assemble blocks of programming as 24/96 FLAC files, from uncompressed (non-MQA) masters of the highest available bitrate — 24/192, 24/96, 24/48, or 16/44.1 — that are then encoded, with folding, into a 16/44.1 MQA bitstream. They will also be available as uncompressed 24/96

However, I assume Bill used 'uncompressed' a bit figuratively to distinguish the proposed non-MQA hi-res 24bit/96kHz FLAC streams from the hi-res MQA ones (which Bill later corrected to be folded to 24bit/48kHz rather than the 16bit/44.1kHz mentioned in the quote) - FLAC is after all lossless but compressed PCM!




ronald.dejong726

ronald.dejong726 Avatar



Posted: Apr 21, 2021 - 3:57am

Dear Bill,

firstly many thanks for your ongoing innovation! 
I have listened to the MQA stream for some days now and switched back to the FLAC stream .
I have the Bluesound Node 2i already for a year or so. I use this in conjunction with the DAC chord Qutest.
So I use the digital signal via Coax from the Bluesound into the DAC.
I have this set up because I have found the DAC of the Node 2i okay but not exceptional.
The chord Qutest DAC is a level up. So with this I have the MQA stream with its first unfolding step according to the MQA info I could find.
It is different but to my ears the FLAC sounds more coherent.. I also compared the MQA stream directly via the bluesound node RCA output ( this has the complete unfolding step)  with the FLAC via the Qutest..
Still the original FLAC does it for me. Off course it would be briljant if in the future you would send out the original Hi Res files!
anyway I thought I give the feedback, thanks again for all the great music!
Ronald
kd4ylq

kd4ylq Avatar

Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Gender: Male


Posted: Apr 17, 2021 - 7:02am

 stevesancarlos wrote:

I'm about 12 hours in to owning the Bluesound Node 2i. To me, Radio Paradise via an MQA stream doesn't provide revelatory sound, but it is quite sweet, and the difference to these ears - noticeable. I had a hankering to sample the Bluesound Node 2i. RP provided me yet another excuse. And as Bill says, the user has the option within BLUOS to listen to the MQA stream or the existing CD stream.

What I'm loving about this experience is all the other 'doodads' that come with the Bluesound experience. And this is coming from a somewhat long-term Sonos customer with four rooms worth of 'stuff.'




I only discovered the MQA stream was available on Radio Paradise yesterday, and gave it some careful listening for the first time last evening (on one of my Node 2i systems). I agree with you and find the sound difference both "noticeable and sweet".  I heartily applaud RP for making MQA an easily accessible option alongside FLAC - it's a technical tour de force and example for other Internet radio stations to follow IMHO. If only RP would create a Jazz stream (like ABC Jazz AU), sigh, I would have much more program material to use as reference standards and I'd likely never have to change stations.
scoots_mcgoo

scoots_mcgoo Avatar

Location: Portland, OR


Posted: Apr 15, 2021 - 3:41pm

 BillG wrote:

In a post below I detailed how we encode the MQA stream. Please read that. Many of your assumptions here are incorrect. 

There are a lot of strong opinions about MQA, but — as I've stated elsewhere — all that really counts is whether you enjoy RP more via MQA or via our existing FLAC stream. 


Pick the one you like and listen to that. 



I suggest the DJ gets an actual stereo before slagging MQA, which is brilliant.
stevesancarlos

stevesancarlos Avatar



Posted: Apr 15, 2021 - 11:19am

I'm about 12 hours in to owning the Bluesound Node 2i. To me, Radio Paradise via an MQA stream doesn't provide revelatory sound, but it is quite sweet, and the difference to these ears - noticeable. I had a hankering to sample the Bluesound Node 2i. RP provided me yet another excuse. And as Bill says, the user has the option within BLUOS to listen to the MQA stream or the existing CD stream.

What I'm loving about this experience is all the other 'doodads' that come with the Bluesound experience. And this is coming from a somewhat long-term Sonos customer with four rooms worth of 'stuff.'


stevesancarlos

stevesancarlos Avatar



Posted: Apr 13, 2021 - 11:13pm

 black321 wrote:


I'm a fan/recommend.


And I did. Today. Should be interesting to side-by-side it with the Sonos Port. It won't be apples-to-apples as I use my receiver's DACs for the Port and will use the Bluesound Node 2i DAC.
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