Tidal the winnner? Qobuz no. 7? This is ridiculous. I guess you swapped the positions.
I have been examining for almost 2 years what mqa actually is and it's a complete joke.
Even a 24 bit mqa isn't even 24 bit, its only 15 bit !!!
- 8 bits are used to store frequencies between 24 and 48kHz
- 1 bit is needed to show "mqa" on the dac + the sample rate of the track - BEFORE - it was compressed *
The file is 24 bit so 24 - 8 - 1 = 15.
And it has been shown - and I tested this myself and can confirm - that when leaving out every third byte of a 24 bit mqa - to make it 16 bit, it will still play, the dac will still show "mqa" and a sample rate number, and even a studio dot, however it can no longer "unfold". What is playing? Those 15 bits + 1 bit of noise (the mqa signal)
I own an audiophile system and I can hear details in Qobuz tracks that are no longer there in the Tidal mqa version. Mqa also adds unwanted bass making it look like another loudness format.
Maybe the writer of this article has been comparing mqa from Tidal with pcm ... also from Tidal and not from Qobuz??? If he did he should be aware that most of the pcms on Tidal are still mqa, but downsampled to 16/44, to make mqa sound better then pcm (read : downsampled mqa).
I had Tidal for 2 years, then I heard Qobuz for a week and I ditched Tidal after that week as I couldn't believe what I had been missing all that time.
Tidal offers lossy versions of masters. Qobuz offers those masters. That's all we need to know!
Ah, and I forgot to mention this :
On qobuz you can see when some tracks are missing because they show them greyed out.
1, 2, (3), 4, 5, (6), 7
On tidal tracks are also missing, but they just don't show them and they even renumber the remaining tracks so no one would notice tracks are missing.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Maybe this is why the author thinks Qobuz has more gaps?