When I finished my MQA/Meridian Explorer2 review a month ago, there where not that many MQA tracks available. As for today German highresaudio.de has added a few more, some more are added from Norwegian 2L, and some from Eudora Records. Now Warner Bros. one of the REAL big players in the music industry, has announced their signing of a licensing deal with MQA. Warner has approx. 15% of the market share in the US, and has artists like Prince, Clapton, Kylie, Michael Bublé, Neil Young, Seal, Stevie Nicks, Bette Midler … The list goes on and on, see more at: here. Would be nice to have some Purple MQA Rain soon.
Back to my topic, I just bought myself the album REFLECTIONS from Norwegian Trondheimsolistene found on 2L. When I hit PLAY on the track “Aria Italiana”, and even before the music starts, I can hear the room of the recording with much more genuineness and presence then when the blue MQA light is not lit.
For approx. 22 Euros you get GREAT music, and the hell of a good sound quality that makes you depended on the drug aka music and sound. Both makes a significant difference compared to non MQA files, regardless of 44.1/88/192 or whatever. And NO I have no been able to compare this album to the non MQA version (as critics brag about on the www), BUT I have compared almost any of the tracks found on: http://www.2l.no/hires/index.html? Here you can download 15 tracks for free and in almost any format, including MQA, and compare for yourself. Now THAT`S cool, nice and easy isn´t? Any critics anymore around now? I suppose not. Good, let´s continue.
The music on the REFLECTIONS really shines, and the SQ is extraordinary. Somehow I think you can compare MQA with the step from RedBook/HiRes to MQA, (that´ll be 44/96/192 or whatever and even up tp DSD) to today´s change from a normal cathode ray TV (which definitely is NOT bad, I still use one - mostly because I seldom look at moving pictures, I prefer music at any time), to a 4K HiDef screen !
As for now I am drowning in music, and now I am just waiting for Dirac to be able to pass through the MQA flag, and that goes for Amarra´s sQ+ too. The UpTone REGEN passes the test, and while waiting for the W4S RECOVERY to arrive I am curious if it can do the MQA trick too. Would really be nice, wouldn´t ?
Until then: Enjoy your music my friends, and please get yourself this fab album in the MQA quality. Even though you don´t have an MQA capable device, the MQA sound still is stunning, because remember that an MQA coded file still can play with all it´s advantages on ANY player (iPhone, computer, tablet, DAC … ). If you are lucky to have invested in a MQA capable device like a DAC with MQA then your ears will be even more happy with the result. `Nough said, I am hunching back to my good old listening chair and having a supreme HiFi evening. Until then.
PSPS Audio devices capable of MQA:
Brinkmann Audio Onkyo, Meridian, Astell&Kern, Pioneer, Mytek, HTC, Auralic ,Aurender, and Bluesound are just some few audio manufacturers I could find when I´d search on Google -> MQA + DAC. And more soon will follow. And some can even be updated with just a simple software update, so check your trusted local HiFi dealer or the internet for any news on the MQA subject.
Best Kurt Lassen May 2016