• If you ever spot Spam (either in the forums, or received via forum direct message) please use the Report button at the bottom of each post to make sure a Moderator can handle it quickly. Thanks for your help in keeping things running smoothly!

Question Qobuz quality

al

Well-known member
Sep 18, 2014
5
1
10,525
I have just stepped into the world of streaming! Previously I have used a NAS to stream my own files, but thought it was about time I tried one of the subscription services.
Anyway, I am somewhat surprised at the quality, as in not as good as I had hoped. However I suspect this may be due to my system so thought I would ask for advice/opinions here.
I have a Pioneer N50, which does not have native support for any streaming service, and therefore am playing via Airplay using a mini ipad. Am I correct in thinking that Airplay can only handle CD bitrate? If so it would explain why Hi-Res doesn't sound any better.

What surprises me most however, is that comparing the same tracks vs my Rega RP3, with Limetree phono stage there is just no comparision, the Rega wins hands down. I was comparing a Dire Straits album and the difference in quality is huge. This really shouldn't be, as the LP is a digital one, so shouldn't win.

I have also compared the same tracks against those on my NAS and feel the NAS wins over Qobuz too, so my guess is its down to Airplay.
Do those of you who play Qobuz (or Tidal) directly through their setup notice a difference (better/worse) compared to other mediums?
 

tsaoandy

Well-known member
Apr 15, 2020
11
5
525
Hi
I don't have a turntable so I can't give you a proper comparison, however I have heard my friend's vinyl player but he streams a lot as well, he's got a beefy ATC integrated amp driving a pair of Harbeth, I was very impressed with the sound but that was awhile ago.
I understand the vinyl sound(when set up properly) that it sounds more involved, and more raw in terms of timbre and tonality. I'd love to get into vinyl but never got around to it, but after listening to my friends' systems, I tend to build up mine towards the analogue sound as possible.
In order to sound similar to vinyl, I think a lot of it is down to DAC, in today's market so many budget DAC is made with powerful chip, so in terms of resolution and details, they are decent, however I believe the analogue output of DAC or CD player is quite crucial to get that analogous sound, R2R DAC like Denafrips had some positive reviews, as R2R design seems to sound more like analogue, so I would explore in that area.
At the moment I am using Esoteric SA50 CD/SACD player, for CD and USB in for streaming, it was manufactured 12 years ago, so the DAC chip is outdated but to me it still sounds great.
I have tried Tidal, Spotify and Qobuz. For me Qobuz sounds the best on my system. It has more body and better dynamics, I must say Spotify tunes the sound to be quite analogue despite it's only MP3 files. Tidal for me is very clear but I find it a bit flat comparing to other servers, I feel like I have to crank it up to enjoy the sound better, but with Qobuz low volume listening is already nice. So it is all relative, imagined you haven't experienced your turntable then you would have enjoyed your streaming experience more, probably?
Good luck
Andy
 

millennia_one

Well-known member
Sep 1, 2014
849
406
11,270
Hi
I don't have a turntable so I can't give you a proper comparison, however I have heard my friend's vinyl player but he streams a lot as well, he's got a beefy ATC integrated amp driving a pair of Harbeth, I was very impressed with the sound but that was awhile ago.
I understand the vinyl sound(when set up properly) that it sounds more involved, and more raw in terms of timbre and tonality. I'd love to get into vinyl but never got around to it, but after listening to my friends' systems, I tend to build up mine towards the analogue sound as possible.
In order to sound similar to vinyl, I think a lot of it is down to DAC, in today's market so many budget DAC is made with powerful chip, so in terms of resolution and details, they are decent, however I believe the analogue output of DAC or CD player is quite crucial to get that analogous sound, R2R DAC like Denafrips had some positive reviews, as R2R design seems to sound more like analogue, so I would explore in that area.
At the moment I am using Esoteric SA50 CD/SACD player, for CD and USB in for streaming, it was manufactured 12 years ago, so the DAC chip is outdated but to me it still sounds great.
I have tried Tidal, Spotify and Qobuz. For me Qobuz sounds the best on my system. It has more body and better dynamics, I must say Spotify tunes the sound to be quite analogue despite it's only MP3 files. Tidal for me is very clear but I find it a bit flat comparing to other servers, I feel like I have to crank it up to enjoy the sound better, but with Qobuz low volume listening is already nice. So it is all relative, imagined you haven't experienced your turntable then you would have enjoyed your streaming experience more, probably?
Good luck
Andy
I bet that chip is still used today, it's not the chip, its that OP is using airplay rather than optical/USB/COAX the step up should very noticeable once hard wired.
 

bartrik

Active member
Jun 4, 2021
12
7
25
I used to stream to my Hegel via Airplay for a while.
Sounded decent, but not as good as my CD player.
Adding a good streamer took things to a (much) higher level.
I could now clearly differentiate hi-res Qobuz files from their CD counterpart.

What you also have as advantage with streaming services is that you can find recent remasters, which often beat the older CD versions.
My extensive CD collection is gathering dust now, except my multichannel SACDs.

I ran Tidal together with Qobuz for 18 months.
I then dumped Tidal, because Qobuz offers more of what I like (jazz, world & classical) with better sound. You also get the booklets, which Tidal doesn't include.
 

Tinman1952

Well-known member
May 19, 2021
139
74
170
Your limiting factor is airplay,

Use the USB from you computer/tablet/phone straight into the pioneer
Agreed. Airplay is convenient and obviously better than Bluetooth but it is being converted to ALAC before streaming and maximum is 16/48 🙂
If you use your iPad mini as source, you will need the Apple CCK connection cable. 👍
 
Last edited:

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
1,060
538
6,070
This thread made me think I can be in a unique position soon. I've released a song, as it stands on SoundCloud, that's heading for major streaming services release. I've recorded and mixed it so know exactly how it sounds at 24/96.

I've had amazing feedback so far so I will go back to make some changes in mix and mastering will be done again but I will be able to reviews streaming services for you all. I know what master file I will be providing. Very curious myself

If you fancy a listen here it is. Hope this makes you smile

Listen to Some of That Lovin by insider9 on #SoundCloud
 

stereoman

Well-known member
Mar 22, 2016
146
13
10,595
Nothing is better than Spotify - even when other services are streaming lossless. Actually the high bitrate from Spotify does not spoil the fun of analytical listening. It is not pure but still , a great service. The intefrace is second to none.
 

millennia_one

Well-known member
Sep 1, 2014
849
406
11,270
It will be kind of mute point when all the streaming services will pumping out at least cd quality master. The limited factor will be the ham strung connivance streaming protocols. I suspect Apple has something up there sleeve considering as it stands nothing in there products catalog will able to play back there up coming lossless music service.

It’s an interesting time for streaming services at the moment with big shake ups on the horizon. Status quo’s will change and some may disappear.
 

MUSICRAFT

Well-known member
R2R DAC like Denafrips, as R2R design seems to sound more like analogue
Just to add Denafrips DAC's are not chips based R2R DAC's but discrete ladder DAC's which depending on the model use banks of hundreds or thousands of ultra precise resistors for digital to analogue conversion.

denafrips r2r pic close up 3.jpg

And yes, so far we've found the Denafrips DAC's to have an analogue like presentation which like I've said before is very reminiscent of R2R tape decks.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: insider9

bartrik

Active member
Jun 4, 2021
12
7
25
Nothing is better than Spotify - even when other services are streaming lossless. Actually the high bitrate from Spotify does not spoil the fun of analytical listening. It is not pure but still , a great service. The intefrace is second to none.
I respectfully disagree.
There is a huge difference between Spotify and Qobuz, at least on a reasonably decent system.
We can compare it on our quite resolving system, as our daughter is a Spotify subscriber, and we listen to Qobuz.
When she plays some tunes, my wife immediately says: "Oh that sounds really artificial".
 

RoA

Well-known member
Feb 11, 2021
189
85
170
Nothing is better than Spotify - even when other services are streaming lossless. Actually the high bitrate from Spotify does not spoil the fun of analytical listening. It is not pure but still , a great service. The intefrace is second to none.
What high bitrate?
 
  • Like
Reactions: DougK

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS

Latest posts