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Tidal Masters?

Discussion in 'Digital Sources' started by GP Hill, Oct 18, 2018.

  1. GP Hill

    GP Hill AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Anyone streaming Tidal Masters? I pay for Tidal hifi and can get the masters recordings, however I think I need a computer to be able to stream masters, instead of using my iPad. Is there a big difference? My new preamp is a McIntosh C47 which has a really nice dac and is capable of things that are probably not commercially available yet. My question is should I pick up a laptop for music?
     

     

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  2. CKDC

    CKDC AK Subscriber Subscriber

    I would suggest getting a streaming device and use your ipad to control it. (I use a Bluesound Node 2.)
     
  3. GP Hill

    GP Hill AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Thanks for the reply. I’m still not sure if that would allow me to stream the Tidal masters recordings. I’m not interested in doing anything wirelessly. I’m using a usb cable with a camera adapter right now.
     
  4. GP Hill

    GP Hill AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    After a little more research I think that i definitely need a computer to get the masters. The best I can do now with my ipad is 16 bit 44.1khz. With a computer it could be 24 bit 96 kHz. I guess my question still would be how much better quality would there be?
     
  5. E-Stat

    E-Stat AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    You're going to get different opinions. Me, I've heard it through a PC in the office system which is admittedly not as good as the music systems, but I find little appreciable improvement. I just stream Tidal HIFI via my LMS arrangement to two different endpoints. I find the concept of "lossy high resolution" an oxymoron. At its very best, it "unfolds" to 96/17 but what most of us hear is 48/13 unless we have an MQA licensed DAC.

    Some folks like Bob Carver find it to be an utter sham at best and ultimately intrusive at worst. Click here for his observations. Read the bottom section to understand what is done with the bottom seven bits. :)
     
    Alobar likes this.
  6. E.Auer

    E.Auer Super Member

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    I use Tidal on a laptop in my office.

    USB to DAC. I prefer masters over Hi-fi when avaliable.

    Eric
     

     

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  7. AlTinkster92

    AlTinkster92 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Tried Masters on my rig and couldn't tell any difference. Seems as the Masters stuff is geared towards the younger crowd, lots of artists I've never heard of...
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2018
  8. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier

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    More folks than just Bob Carver... ;)

    For the record, since a C47 was mentioned above, McIntosh disparaged mqa back in June this year:

    The C52’s DAC will accept PCM sample rates of 16, 24, and 32 bits, 32kHz–384kHz; DSD64, DSD128, and DSD256; and DXD 352.8kHz and DXD 384kHz. About the only standard digital format the C52 doesn’t support is Master Quality Authenticated (MQA, about which McIntosh’s engineers prefer to take a wait-and-see position, finding the format too lossy, with distortion that doesn’t meet the company’s high standards).

    http://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/mcintosh-c52-solid-state-preamplifier/?page=3

    In short, I don't lose sleep over not having mqa built into my equipment, nor do I want it. It won't last. Thankfully. :)
     
  9. E.Auer

    E.Auer Super Member

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  10. GP Hill

    GP Hill AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    I’m still not clear on streaming Tidal masters. If I buy an Apple laptop and use that to stream Tidal through the dac in my preamp am I going to be able to get the higher resolution music?
     
  11. E.Auer

    E.Auer Super Member

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  12. E-Stat

    E-Stat AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    No, only the first unfolding. You still need to purchase an MQA licensed DAC to get the 96/17 results.
     
  13. GP Hill

    GP Hill AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Thanks. Guess I’ll wait for technology to come around. My new preamp is really nice sounding just streaming hifi. I’m like a lot of folks on AK though, looking for just a bit better.
     
  14. GChief

    GChief Not well known, super member or other silliness Subscriber

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    I read somewhere (maybe here) that master will only work from a PC desktop. Not sure about that but that’s is how it’s working for me. I can from my laptop but none of my tablets of phones.
     
  15. Erik Tracy

    Erik Tracy Super Member

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    There are two aspects of MQA to "get the higher resolution music"
    1. Unfolding to full sample rate
    2. The real 'secret sauce' of MQA is their claim of deblurring/time correction/filtering

    Both of which can only be done via a licensed MQA DAC.

    If you are only using a laptop, then you are only getting a partial unfolding and none of the claimed 'secret sauce'.

    Now, whether that makes any sonic difference is what the debate is about.
     
  16. E-Stat

    E-Stat AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    That's just it - the technology is already here. Bandwidth is such there's no reason for lossy content any more.

    Had this compression scheme arrived ten years ago, it would have made sense. Claims of *deblurring* the original master just seem like BS to me (and others).

    MQA is a revenue model, not a technology model especially with its deep rooted DRM.
     
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  17. CKDC

    CKDC AK Subscriber Subscriber


    How much "research" did you do?

    https://www.bluesound.com/products/node-2/
     
  18. GP Hill

    GP Hill AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,280
    Location:
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    I looked at this. I’m not interested in wireless. What I am interested in is the highest quality sound. My system is a McIntosh C452 amp, a C47 preamp, Aerial 7t speakers, a Thorens TD 124 turntable with an AT Art 9 cartridge on a SME M2-9 arm. One of the reasons I bought the C47 was the quality of the onboard dac which is capable of playing digital music at the highest level.
     
  19. grey

    grey AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    There may be some misinterpretation surrounding what the bluesound hardware is. It's a streaming source/appliance and there is a variety of devices that Tidal supports. wi-fi is only a feature of the device. You can wire it up with an ethernet cable(preferred method) from your internet provider's hardware. Tidal has a list of MQA partners that you can find here.

    The only PC software partner that I know of is Roon(starting with v1.5). You can find Roon's price schedule here. Be aware that there are some caveats to using a PC as a streaming source with a goal of hi-fi. They can be overcome, but it isn't as simple as picking a random laptop. Read up on internal noise, jitter, and optimizing the operating system for audio.
     
  20. grey

    grey AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    I'm with you on this. I can't find a single instance of an improvement for the consumer experience or for fidelity over current standards. I want to be clear that I'm not supporting MQA in any way. While Japan is rolling out DSD streaming, I'm presented with this.
     

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