I had the chance to listen to some Tidal MQA files via the Wadax Atlantis DAC today. It was explained to me that 1) Files that are MQA certified are authenticated to be master tape files 2) MQA is a compression technology that enables these files to be streamed effectively.
Wow, the quality of the MQA songs played were good. No, I mean exceptional. When compared with non MQA files ripped into the server, the MQA files are actually much more dynamic and with better resolution. Who would have thought that music streamed from the internet can sound so fantastic?
There have, from time to time, new technologies being proclaimed to be a game changer. Some are clearly scams, but some do provide great quality of music (for me for instance ultimate HQ CD, XRCD etc) But all these past experiences did not prepare me for the quality of the MQA files I heard today. What is ridiculous is that in the past new formats were always very costly with few titles (e.g. reel-to-reel tapes) -- this will not even be the case for MQA because MQA titles are growing at Tidal, and you can listen with a monthly fee less than the cost of a CD.
Javier should be congratulated for being the pioneer in recognising the potential of MQA. Now I must qualify that it is entirely possible that MQA sounds good only because Wadax implemented it so well. It may well be. But Wadax with MQA playback has just raised a whole new level of performance for audio playback.