Update your Tidal and get "Masters"

Discussion in 'Digital Sources' started by RamblinE, Jan 5, 2017.

  1. RamblinE

    RamblinE (╯°□°)╯彡┻━┻ Subscriber

    I updated Tidal this morning and a new section called "Masters" popped up under "What's New". The albums under masters, and there's a nice variety, are 24/48 instead of 16/44.1.

    For me, the only problem is that I need and optical out from my Mac Mini to my DAC (and a USB power supply) to unlock 24bit on my dac, which is only available through optical. So I've got some bits to buy before I can fully enjoy it. For everybody who's DAC's aren't as dumb as mine though, have at it.
     
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  2. ictwoody

    ictwoody I like vintage gear — my preamp is from 2007. Subscriber

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    Your Mac mini has optical out, it's co-located in the headphone output. You just need a mini-to-toslink cable.

    Which DAC do you have?

    The cool thing is that the new Tidal desktop app is software decoding the Tidal Master MQA files, up to 96/24. With an MQA DAC you get the full 192/24.

    The 96/24 sounds great through USB into my Schiit Bifrost Multibit.

    - Woody
     
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  3. ashok

    ashok AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I use a Bluesound Node. Using the Tidal desktop app, I mark the MQA master albums as favorites. Then, in the Bluesound app on my iPhone, I can select these albums and play them. I let the Node do the decoding and D/A conversion.

    How do you tell (in the Tidal desktop app) the bit depth and sampling rate of the master track? Thanks.
     
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  4. Johnny 007

    Johnny 007 Active Member

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    I don't know much about MQA, but from what I've read, you really do need an MQA enabled DAC to enjoy the benefits of it. And if you don't have an MQA enabled DAC, the sound is supposedly worse. At least that's what they say.
     
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  5. ictwoody

    ictwoody I like vintage gear — my preamp is from 2007. Subscriber

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    Do you have a source for "they?" Until yesterday MQA wasn't really even available outside of some demos at audio shows. A big part of the sell of MQA was the ability to software decode.

    I don't know how anyone could come to those conclusions this quickly.

    - Woody
     
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  6. Johnny 007

    Johnny 007 Active Member

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    A source for "they." Have to go back and look. I was reading a lot of different stuff, trying to figure out what the MQA thing is all about. Sounds interesting. I have Tidal, so I was trying to figure out how to listen to it.
     
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  7. Johnny 007

    Johnny 007 Active Member

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    Computer Audiophile has six or seven pages of discussion in the software forum. Look for it under Roon and Tidal.
     
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  8. ictwoody

    ictwoody I like vintage gear — my preamp is from 2007. Subscriber

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    The only way to stream it currently is through the Tidal desktop app. You have to have the premium $19.99/mo account and just make sure you update the app to the latest version. They only have the 200 albums available at the moment.

    Listening to it trough both my iMac > Tidal Desktop > Parasound ZDac v2 > Parasound ZAmp v3 > Audience ClearAudient The Ones and my main rig listed in my sig the Master albums sounds great. I can't see, after listening to it with my own ears, how it would sound worse with with software decoding than the non MQA versions.

    I feel like both my office rig (outlined above) and my main rig are very honest and revealing.

    Just try it and see what you think. I think it's clearly better than anything else out there streaming. Even with my inferior non MQA DACs.

    - Woody
     
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  9. nj pheonix

    nj pheonix AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I have the hi def subscription but i down see Masters under new. what am i missing?
     
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  10. ictwoody

    ictwoody I like vintage gear — my preamp is from 2007. Subscriber

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    Are you using the desktop app? Have you made sure you updated to the latest version? There is a tab that says masters... it's not listed under new albums.

    - Woody
     
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  11. Johnny 007

    Johnny 007 Active Member

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    I have a Tidal hi-fi subscription and can access it on my IMac. I fooled around with it the other day, but my desktop system is in disarray right now. I can listen via a Peachtree Nova and some PSB mini speakers, or, through a Halide DAC and then into a Bryston headphone amp. Anyway, I listened to a few of the Masters, and they sounded good, but then again, with that system, I might not be hearing everything anyway.
     
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  12. Johnny 007

    Johnny 007 Active Member

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    I think you have to totally close the page/app and then open it again. That should load the most recent player.
     
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  13. RamblinE

    RamblinE (╯°□°)╯彡┻━┻ Subscriber

    My dac is the dated Audioengine D1. I have been running it with USB, which is the power source for it, and allows for 16-bit. The optical input is what allows for 24-bit. I just need to use USB solely for power and plug my Mini into the optical input. I ordered the cables from Amazon yesterday and they'll be here tomorrow. Really excited as I've never had a source worthy of the 24-bit ability of the little Audioengine, therefore I've never tried it.

    So what exactly is MQA then?
     
  14. Johnny 007

    Johnny 007 Active Member

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    What exactly is MQA? From what I read, it's a proprietary way to encode music files. I guess the files are somehow "folded" so they take up less space and can be more easily streamed or stored. The files can be decoded via hardware or software.
     
  15. nj pheonix

    nj pheonix AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I'm a little confused.
    I update the desktop software. It seems now when i log in (desktop version) its its own browser, neither chrome nor IE? Is that right?
     
  16. ictwoody

    ictwoody I like vintage gear — my preamp is from 2007. Subscriber

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    The Tidal Desktop app has always been a stand alone app. Yes, you can log in in a browser... but the desktop app isn't a browser. Make sense?

    - Woody
     
  17. Johnny 007

    Johnny 007 Active Member

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    Listened to some more Masters this morning via the desktop app. Tidal > Halide Dac HD > Bryston headphone amp > Sony MDR Z7 headphones. I also listened via USB to the Peachtree Nova and then some PSB Imagine Mini speakers.

    Anyway, I couldn't find anything to complain about. It all sounded good.
     
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  18. jmathers

    jmathers AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Not displayed in the Tidal desktop app. The only way I can tell what's appearing at my non-MQA DAC is the light on the DAC changes to the appropriate bitrate color when streamed via the Tidal app - either for 24/88 or 24/96. It does not change when I'm streaming the same Masters album through Roon (which, unlike the Tidal app, does not "decode" the Masters track. Roon simply passes the 24/44 or 24/48 file through - note though these Masters remain 24 bit files in Roon).

    Hope all is well with you! And Happy New Year!
     
  19. nj pheonix

    nj pheonix AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    LOL Not really?
     
  20. RamblinE

    RamblinE (╯°□°)╯彡┻━┻ Subscriber

    I found the cables waiting for me this morning after my staff meeting. I'm trying to figure out where I can find a list of MQA enabled dacs but such a list doesn't seem to exist yet. Meridian started the MQA standard so it works with their dacs and according to MQA's website an enabled dac helps, however, you can still get better-than-CD quality sound from any dac with it. I'm just browsing the masters catalog right now and it sounds great.

    A browser is the program you'd use to access AK. Are you using the same thing to access Tidal? Or is Tidal it's own icon on your desktop that you click? If it is, in the "What's New" tab on the homepage is a "masters" that you can click. That's where the catalog resides at the moment.
     
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