Experience MQA and Qobuz at AXPONA, Get Educated and Win Freebies!

Experience MQA and Qobuz at AXPONA, Get Educated and Win Freebies!

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(April 5, 2019) Today, we have AXPONA news from two different camps that share Hi-Res roots: Qobuz and MQA. And to kick things off, we’ll check in with Qobuz. Despite being only two months old, Qobuz has been quick to make inroads in the Hi-Res streaming and download space by operating in eleven European markets and the United States. Currently, the subscription-based service offers users access to more than 40-million music tracks spanning an array of genres, millions of which are streamed in 24-bit/192 kHz Hi-Res audio, and exclusive editorial content that’s independently curated by industry experts.

In an effort to further increase its public profile, Qobuz will be used to stream music in more than 190 listening rooms at AXPONA 2019. That’s a massive number for a first-time exhibitor. In addition, “Chief Hi-Res Evangelist” David Solomon is scheduled to host numerous flash DJ sessions and presentations (times and locations are noted below).

Next up, we have the ever present and certainly polarizing audio codec, MQA, which is scheduled to arrive at AXPONA for a Master Class series paired with support for various partners, including AV NIRVANA favorite NAD. Show goers will have an opportunity to experience the latest in MQA compatible gear from the likes of Esoteric, Technics, Aurender, iFi Audio, and EMM Labs. In addition, attendees can hear MQA in action by visiting: Astell&Kern (Ear Gear Booth 8301), AudioQuest (Music Direct in Record Fair 9322), Bel Canto (Room 501), Bluesound (Room 8321), Cary Audio (Room 706), dCS (Room 8328, plus Paragon & Quintessence Audio), eXaSound (Room 658), Hegel (1- Schaumburg D), Krell (Room 558), Lumin (Room 1221), Mark Levinson (Room 1234), MOON by Simaudio (at Quintessence Audio), MSB (Room 430), and Mytek (Expo Hall 9112).

MQA says it plans to offer attendees some “exclusive streaming and download promotions,” including vouchers for TIDAL HiFi (60 days free), Onkyo Music (free album download), and nugs.net (90 days free).

According to Mike Jbara (MQA CEO): “We are delighted to support our extensive partner base at North America’s largest high-end audio show. Our commitment is to deliver the master recording all the way through to the consumer, and there will be a wealth of hardware partners and services providing opportunities to learn about and experience MQA music at AXPONA.”



Qobuz Schedule of Activities
Friday, April 12

  • 11:30 am: Auralic (FlashDJ) (Schaumburg H)
  • 1pm: Legacy (FlashDJ) Utopia A
  • 2-2:45pm: Qobuz and Hi-Res Streaming, Introduction to Qobuz
  • 3-4pm: Luxman (FlashDJ) 580-582
Saturday, April 13
  • 10:30-11:30am: CH Precision Breakfast w/ Qobuz. (FlashDJ) 1644
  • 12-12:30pm: The Future of High-Resolution Audio (Seminar)
  • 1:30-2:30pm: Luxman (FlashDJ) 580-582
  • 3-4pm: Legacy (FlashDJ) Utopia A
Sunday, April 14
  • 10:30-11:30am: CH Precision Breakfast w/ Qobuz. (FlashDJ) 1644
  • 12:00pm - 1:00pm: What's New with Audio Streaming? (Seminar w Chris Connaker)
  • 1:00pm - 1:45pm: Audiophile Trivia Face Off


MQA Schedule of Activities
Friday, April 12

  • 3:00-3:45pm: Master Class, MQA’s CEO Mike Jbara will present a session on Achieving Authentic Studio Quality Sound. Attendees will learn about MQA’s end-to-end solution, which makes it possible to enjoy the authenticated sound of the studio master in the home or on the go.
Saturday, April 13
  • 12:00-12:45pm: Mike Jbara will join MQA partner NAD’s CTO, Greg Stidsen, among other distinguished panellists, in The Future of High-Resolution Audiodiscussion. Moderated by Besflores Nievara Jr., Brand Ambassador, Music Direct, the session will explore the future for high resolution audio, and the trends driving market and consumer sentiments.
Sunday, April 14
  • 1:00-1:45pm: MQA’s Ken Forsythe will host the Audiophile Trivia Face Off, where teams of industry experts and AXPONA attendees will compete for a chance to win the illustrious ‘NAD Sherlock Ohms Award’.
 

Comments

Matthew J Poes

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This is all pretty exciting! I’ve talked with many of these folks for a few years by email but never met them in person. Can’t wait to talk with all these guys and learn more. I’ve been testing Qobuz for the last month or so and would love to talk to them.
 

Todd Anderson

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Are you receiving it through iPhone and using AirPlay to your gear?
 

Matthew J Poes

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Are you receiving it through iPhone and using AirPlay to your gear?
No of course not. That won’t give you the high resolution. I’m using the laptop app and a DAC or HDMI connection.

For the phone I used a camera kit and dac but it’s not convenient.
 

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No of course not. That won’t give you the high resolution. I’m using the laptop app and a DAC or HDMI connection.

For the phone I used a camera kit and dac but it’s not convenient.
I'm currently playing MQA through my MacMini over HDMI to my Oppo 105D, but am looking for something that does MQA and Quad DSD, based on what you saw at the show, do guys have any suggestions? I'd appreciate any direction. Thanks.
 

Matthew J Poes

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I'm currently playing MQA through my MacMini over HDMI to my Oppo 105D, but am looking for something that does MQA and Quad DSD, based on what you saw at the show, do guys have any suggestions? I'd appreciate any direction. Thanks.
I vaguely recall getting a room sheet on a product that might meet your needs. Obviously there was a ton of high priced gear that could do this, but I don’t imagine your budget was 6 figures for this DAC. Let me see what I found and I’ll pass on the information. I haven’t had a chance to really dig through the product sheets yet.
 

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I vaguely recall getting a room sheet on a product that might meet your needs. Obviously there was a ton of high priced gear that could do this, but I don’t imagine your budget was 6 figures for this DAC. Let me see what I found and I’ll pass on the information. I haven’t had a chance to really dig through the product sheets yet.
I'd really appreciate that.
 

Isaac Sykes

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Matthew J Poes

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Isaac Sykes

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SI BLACK DIAMOND ZERO EDGE 110
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CARY DMS-500, BLUESOUND VAULT(2)
https://www.underwoodhifi.com/products/pure-audio-labs

This was the product I remembered. I’ve been impressed over multiple listening events of the products sold by Underwood and this DAC is pretty feature packed for the price.

If you were looking for a lower price point than that, I would have to look and see if anything else I saw or heard meets that requirement.
This is awesome! Thank you! Since you mentioned it, however I am intrested in seeing anything that you found at a lower price point than this.
 

Isaac Sykes

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EPSON UB6040
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SI BLACK DIAMOND ZERO EDGE 110
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CARY DMS-500, BLUESOUND VAULT(2)
https://www.underwoodhifi.com/products/pure-audio-labs

This was the product I remembered. I’ve been impressed over multiple listening events of the products sold by Underwood and this DAC is pretty feature packed for the price.

If you were looking for a lower price point than that, I would have to look and see if anything else I saw or heard meets that requirement.
I'm curious, has anyone heard of a company called NativSound and their products, particularly the Vita?
 

Matthew J Poes

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This is awesome! Thank you! Since you mentioned it, however I am intrested in seeing anything that you found at a lower price point than this.
https://ifi-audio.com/

Check these guys out. Many of their products have specs that meet your requirements for under $500. They had products on display for headphones at AXPONA and I so I can’t say a lot about sound. The products seem to be pretty solid for the money.
 

Matthew J Poes

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Well guys I have to be honest. Qobuz was a dud at AXPONA. Nearly every room I went to on Friday had Qobuz problems. Supposedly it was internet issues, but many were using other services fine. A few rooms never tried Qobuz again. I’ve been using it anyway, so it wasn’t like I missed out, but they sponsored the show as the official streaming service and I found it in use in very few rooms.
 

Todd Anderson

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SVS Ultra Towers
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SVS Ultra Center
Surround Speakers
SVS Ultra Surround
Surround Back Speakers
SVS Ultra Bookshelf
Front Height Speakers
SVS Prime Elevation
Rear Height Speakers
SVS Prime Elevation
Subwoofers
dual SVS SB16s + dual PSA XS30s
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Well that stinks. Honestly, tho... could you have heard a difference between Tidal or Qobuz if you didn’t know what the room was playing?
 

Matthew J Poes

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Well that stinks. Honestly, tho... could you have heard a difference between Tidal or Qobuz if you didn’t know what the room was playing?
Oh I don’t think there is any great sound difference. Just that Qobuz made a big thing about being the official streaming service and it didn’t work out so great for them it seems.

I like when they use Qobuz or Tidal because I can ask for specific songs. You know how it is Todd, unfamiliar room, unfamiliar equipment, and unfamiliar music. The only way I can evaluate anything is if I can at least choose music I know.
 

Todd Anderson

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dual SVS SB16s + dual PSA XS30s
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JVC RS520
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Carada Cine-White 0 gain
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LG Electronics 65-inch B6 OLED, OPPO Sonica
Wasn't questioning your logic, btw. Just curious.

Definitely understand.

I wonder what the hiccup was. Perhaps the hotel's network couldn't handle the data flow?
 

Kerry Armes

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I'm curious, has anyone heard of a company called NativSound and their products, particularly the Vita?
Hi Issac,

We had the Vita with the 2TB hard drive at AXPONA. We used it to store all of our personal music as well as stream Tidal. It is a good solution if you have a mix of both and overall didn't have any major issues with it. We only had it for a brief period to play with it so it's probably a lot more capable than what we used it for.

The build quality seemed very good. The case was milled out of aluminum and it had a lot of weight to it. Same thing with the remote, although I thought the remote didn't add a lot of functionality. You couldn't use the remote for Tidal, only on the hard drive music.
 

Matthew J Poes

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Wasn't questioning your logic, btw. Just curious.

Definitely understand.

I wonder what the hiccup was. Perhaps the hotel's network couldn't handle the data flow?
Well I think there were two issues: Qobuz seems more dependent on bandwidth than Tidal. I have more issues myself, and I have pretty good internet.

Second, it’s new, technically still Beta, and a bit glitchy. Beyond the glitchiness of their own software and apps, I think manufacturers embedding it were even worse off. I know one company that had issues had problems with Tidal last year. I think their software development team is small and harder to implement well. I bet they is true for a lot of the more esoteric brands offering connected solutions.

Don’t get me wrong, I like Qobuz. It certainly isn’t just another Tidal by a different name. They have a far larger selection of HD music and in some ways I like their interface better. I can’t wait to test out a more polished product.
 

Isaac Sykes

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My AV System  
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EMOTIVA XPR 5
Other Amp
SUNFIRE 7404
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
OPPO 103 , OPPO 105, OPPO 205
Front Speakers
GOLDEN EAR TRITON REFERENCE
Center Channel Speaker
GOLDEN EAR SUPER CENTER XXL
Surround Speakers
GOLDEN EAR INVISA 7000'S
Surround Back Speakers
GOLDEN EAR INVISA 7000'S
Front Height Speakers
GOLDEN EAR INVISA 650'S
Rear Height Speakers
GOLDEN EAR INVISA 650'S
Subwoofers
GOLDEN EAR SUPER SUB X (2)
Other Speakers or Equipment
DEFINITIVE TECHNOLOGY MYTHOS ST-L, INTEGRA DRC-R1
Video Display Device
EPSON UB6040
Screen
SI BLACK DIAMOND ZERO EDGE 110
Other Equipment
CARY DMS-500, BLUESOUND VAULT(2)
Hi Issac,

We had the Vita with the 2TB hard drive at AXPONA. We used it to store all of our personal music as well as stream Tidal. It is a good solution if you have a mix of both and overall didn't have any major issues with it. We only had it for a brief period to play with it so it's probably a lot more capable than what we used it for.

The build quality seemed very good. The case was milled out of aluminum and it had a lot of weight to it. Same thing with the remote, although I thought the remote didn't add a lot of functionality. You couldn't use the remote for Tidal, only on the hard drive music.
I know this is a few days late, however, thank you for the breakdown of your experience with the VITA. I've been looking at it online, and think it looks beautiful, but I put sound and function above everything, and have been trying to gather as much information on it as possible before making a purchasing decision.
 
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