Meaningful MQA Comparisons

To Doug Schneider,

I just finished reading your article on MQA and I think all the points you made are valid. There’s a set of tracks you can download for free from 2L ( that includes MQA-encoded files as well as PCM and DSD copies at various sampling rates/bit depths, as well as the original digital “master.” Now you know the provenance of each file and can compare to the original. The Meridian Explorer2 I had on hand could only unfold up to 192kHz, whereas most (if not all) the digital masters are at DXD bitrates. I ended up using the 24/192 PCM transfers for comparison purposes. I found that MQA sounded decent, but it certainly wasn’t the same as the PCM version. Vocals had a thinned-out quality and there seemed to be less bass and midrange warmth present. I put down my thoughts on my blog, if you’d like to read them.

I’m glad there's somebody in the audio press that’s doing some critical thinking about MQA.

Kind regards,
United States

I checked out your article and found your comparisons and conclusions interesting. A couple days before the article was published, I talked to Bob Stuart about my article and MQA. He thought that they should send me an Explorer2 to hear MQA for myself. I hope they do send one so I can do some comparisons of my own. From what you wrote, the Explorer2 seems limited, but at least it is a start.

By the way, I am also surprised that more writers aren’t asking questions about how MQA works or demanding proper comparisons. Perhaps some meaningful discussions can finally get started. . . . Doug Schneider