Quobuz subscription

Hi I've recently joined Quobuz to try-out few tracks. 

The ones released on 70's and 80's Japanese jazz vinyls sound really muffled. Thought they would sound better vs. YouTube streaming channel of Terminal Passage that actually mostly plays its digitized vinyl collection, but quality is too far away from even YouTube.

I checked the quality and all of them are CD 44.1kHz, but the sound quality is so far away from CD 44.1kHz.

So what's there to check? Is only major-popular recording industry albums sound good there.

I checked that via my Mytek DAC and via my cheap DAC and both DACs show nearly-same differences on the playback vs. YouTube.

So far Tidal actually gets my best grading on items outside of RR hall of fame or outside of recording industry standards.

It really seems to me that Quobuz is over-advertised.



Your DAC is probably a-bit more advanced than mine to show actual processing, but in my case, on these non-pop albums the sound is muffled as if I would be listening to MP96 or lower format while the material on re-issued CDs or ripped from vinyl sound a LOT more superior. Try YouTube vs. Quobuz on those and free YouTube tracks will simply humiliate Quobuz. 

Long story short, I've stopped the service and trying to enjoy the rest of free month to see if I find anything good there to listen to.

I'm happy with Qobuz and have experienced different quality from tracks but put it off to the actual recording process when it was made. 

@czarivey I just sampled several of Masayoshi Takanaki’s albums on both Qobuz and Tidal. They all sound very compressed, even (especially) the Hirez (Qobuz) and MQA (Tidal) versions of The Guitar Man. Just horrible.

Some of his titles fair a little better but the only one I sampled with sound quality I found acceptable was Saudade and the Tidal version sounded significantly better than the Qobuz version. Both are 16/44.

You are correct about the selections both providers make as to which genres, labels, and titles they select to “upgrade” resolutions. Most true audiophile labels (for example Reference Recordings) are the original 16/44 versions found on CDs. Usually they sound very good. I find Tidal’s overwhelming bias towards selecting Rap and HipHop over Jazz, Blues, and, especially, classical titles particularly frustrating.

My Meitner MA-3 streamer/DAC streams and plays resolutions up to 24/352.8 (DoP) and supports the full 3 level unfold of MQA. The highest I have found on Qobuz is 24/192 while there are several titles on Tidal that play at 24/352.8, per the display on the front of the Meitner. The stated resolution rates sometimes do not have any relationship to sound quality for either provider. Actual sound quality is primarily a function of the quality of the original recording and, if available as Hi-rez or MQA, the quality of the remastering by whomever Tidal or Qobuz used to perform such for that title.

My experience is about 50/50 between Qobuz and Tidal for best sound quality on any given title. MQA gets a bad rap but can sound excellent on a unit that does the full MQA unfold well like the Meitner.

If using android phone to cast blue tooth the gustard r26 (maybe others) 

make sure in the blue tooth setting for the gustard you enable the hires/ldac.. otherwise the playto will be limited to 44.1..  even highres qobuz “source” seems limited to 96.. at least according to the gustard.. I still haven’t gotten “lan” to work yet as I’ve no streamer on that network. On order though..

Tidal does sound better.. at least when it can get through an entire track..(my rural internet, dedicated t-mobile hotspot 5g, sux for tidal)

Hi dicockrum,

Agree 100% with your findings. A more modest DAC, MF M6x plus Innuos Pulse, previously TEAC nt505& 701n all full MQA unfold and 352.8 capable. I have settled with Qobuz as more consistent sq although tidal at its best can equal it. There are many 24/192 tracks on my playlists plus several regular cd ones that are better mastered than the hi res version to my ears. One of my Tidal 24/352.8 unfold favourites was an audiophile album by Norwegian label 2L. Mozart violin concerto first track - superb. Play the same on Qobuz and the MQA studio led lights up and the res led says 24/352.8. MQA on Qobuz? Snuck that one in.

nb. Even the better BluetoothLDAC compressed the bit rate to @ 990, so about 10% of full 24/192's 9126. You pays your money....Bluetooth does a job but not as well as the real thing.