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Schiit Audio Talks MQA


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I really appreciate Schiit's willingness to take a public position regarding various technologies. Like them or not they are very transparent.

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I don't read it as stirring up things but as a clear intent and future roadmap of their products. What's wrong with that ?

 

"Schiit Audio feels that it is important to support its customers—and potential customers—by clarifying the company’s position on MQA, so that they may choose another DAC provider that

backs the format, if they feel it is important to them."

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I really appreciate Schiit's willingness to take a public position regarding various technologies. Like them or not they are very transparent.

 

They're being skeptical of tech competitors will be selling. Speaking plainly about your *own* products (which the Schiit folks have indeed done on other occasions) is transparency.

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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They're being skeptical of tech competitors will be selling. Speaking plainly about your *own* products (which the Schiit folks have indeed done on other occasions) is transparency.

 

So you are saying Schiit Audio is not being transparent in regards to their discussion of MQA?

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I don't read it as stirring up things but as a clear intent and future roadmap of their products. What's wrong with that ?

 

"Schiit Audio feels that it is important to support its customers—and potential customers—by clarifying the company’s position on MQA, so that they may choose another DAC provider that

backs the format, if they feel it is important to them."

 

Agreed. Having a board upgradable DAC (Yggy) was an important feature for me. Clearly stating their position on DSD and MQA provides valuable info. If I want DSD or MQA capabilities I probably should be looking elsewhere rather than expect this as a future option, at least in near term.

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Beats me why would "audiophiles" even want to adopt a lossy format?

 

I mean isn't that the raison d'etre for DSD?

 

How is it possible that folks having problems with Redbook and preferring DSD/vinyl over it now want MQA?

 

Truth is stranger than fiction...

Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world - Martin Luther

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So you are saying Schiit Audio is not being transparent in regards to their discussion of MQA?

 

Looks like they are taking a position on a new and newsworthy technology in order to keep on selling their current Schiit. No criticism of them whatsoever for doing so, but it's marketing, not a public service announcement.

 

The points they make may well be valid, but seem to largely repeat theoretical opinions already expressed elsewhere and they admit their stance is informed by "market factors", not sound quality.

 

I'd pay more attention if they cited that their rejection of MQA resulted from their own extensive listening and hands on exposure to the technology (and if I thought MQA had the remotest relevance to my listening).

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Looks like they are taking a position on a new and newsworthy technology in order to keep on selling their current Schiit. No criticism of them whatsoever for doing so, but it's marketing, not a public service announcement.

 

The points they make may well be valid, but seem to largely repeat theoretical opinions already expressed elsewhere and they admit their stance is informed by "market factors", not sound quality.

 

I'd pay more attention if they cited that their rejection of MQA resulted from their own extensive listening and hands on exposure to the technology (and if I thought MQA had the remotest relevance to my listening).

 

If "listening" were the criteria they would have adopted DSD a long time ago.

 

Their manufacturing, marketing, etc. simply follows the Pareto principle, go with the 80%-90% and not the 10%-20%, just the same as McDonald's and Walmart.

 

There is a market for the 10%-20% and even for the 1%-2% with the likes of dCS and MSB too.

Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world - Martin Luther

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I really appreciate Schiit's willingness to take a public position regarding various technologies. Like them or not they are very transparent.

 

MQA is creating a closed ecosystem linking all parties (from studio to content to hardware)...

 

This is contrary to the worlds greatest achievements on computer audio, which is the ability to work on open standards (such as flac, pcm, dsd) to delivery high-quality audio...

 

And I believe this is also very much against our own interest as consumers, because closed systems at the end will limit the extension on the work and innovation done on them.

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So you are saying Schiit Audio is not being transparent in regards to their discussion of MQA?

 

I'm saying that's not the correct English dictionary term for their discussion of what another company is doing. Depending on what you think you might call it frank or you might call it clever marketing on their own behalf (or it could be both at once) but transparent would simply be the wrong word. (Though as someone pointed out, it does let you know not to expect an MQA DAC from them.)

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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Beats me why would "audiophiles" even want to adopt a lossy format?

 

I mean isn't that the raison d'etre for DSD?

 

How is it possible that folks having problems with Redbook and preferring DSD/vinyl over it now want MQA?

 

Truth is stranger than fiction...

 

Depends on how you define "lossy." All DACs use filters, and all filters, as far as I know, are technically lossy, in that their operations are not mathematically reversible.

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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Beats me why would "audiophiles" even want to adopt a lossy format?

 

I mean isn't that the raison d'etre for DSD?

 

How is it possible that folks having problems with Redbook and preferring DSD/vinyl over it now want MQA?

 

Truth is stranger than fiction...

 

And if it turns out that they think MQA files sound better than the same file without MQA, why wouldn't an "audiophile" want MQA? Isn't the end result what matters most, not the process?

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and at the end if a PCM MQA files sounds as good or better than the non MQA files upsampled to DSD512 , a lot of waste in computer power will be saved :)

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... all filters, as far as I know, are technically lossy, in that their operations are not mathematically reversible.

 

Hey Jud, I'm happy to be corrected, but I believe this is wrong. 'Closed-form' filters, such as those in HQPlayer, XXHighEnd (I think) and in some DACs, are supposedly reversible.

 

Mani.

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Hey Jud, I'm happy to be corrected, but I believe this is wrong. 'Closed-form' filters, such as those in HQPlayer, XXHighEnd (I think) and in some DACs, are supposedly reversible.

 

Mani.

 

Yes, I thought of that after sending the prior comment, so it's I who's happy to be corrected by you. :) (The Arc Prediction filter is closed form??)

 

However, this means exactly nothing, since reversing the filter will get you the original digital file, whoopee. What's important is whether the filters are causing distortion, not whether they can be rendered back to what you wanted to upsample in the first place.

 

So saying MQA is "lossy" sounds bad, but doesn't get us anywhere technically. I am not defending MQA, but I'd like the critique to be something I can learn from.

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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Depends on how you define "lossy." All DACs use filters, and all filters, as far as I know, are technically lossy, in that their operations are not mathematically reversible.

 

Yes, I thought of that after sending the prior comment, so it's I who's happy to be corrected by you. :) (The Arc Prediction filter is closed form??)

 

However, this means exactly nothing, since reversing the filter will get you the original digital file, whoopee. What's important is whether the filters are causing distortion, not whether they can be rendered back to what you wanted to upsample in the first place.

 

So saying MQA is "lossy" sounds bad, but doesn't get us anywhere technically. I am not defending MQA, but I'd like the critique to be something I can learn from.

 

I meant the format itself.

 

Is High-Resolution Music Dead? | AudioStream

 

Schiitting on MQA | DAR__KO

Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world - Martin Luther

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They're being skeptical of tech competitors will be selling. Speaking plainly about your *own* products (which the Schiit folks have indeed done on other occasions) is transparency.

More info: Enjoy the Music.com High-End Audio, Hi-Res Audio (HRA) & Music Industry News

 

I fully agree with ALL the arguments Schiit is making - these arguments by Schiit are not schiit... Huh?

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And if it turns out that they think MQA files sound better than the same file without MQA, why wouldn't an "audiophile" want MQA? Isn't the end result what matters most, not the process?

 

and at the end if a PCM MQA files sounds as good or better than the non MQA files upsampled to DSD512 , a lot of waste in computer power will be saved :)

 

Can't argue with either.

 

If it indeed sounds better (and I mean way better and not marginal) then I might consider an MQA DAC for Tidal. But new music purchases and buying my over 2500 CDs in MQA ain't happening ever.

Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world - Martin Luther

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Depends on how you define "lossy." All DACs use filters, and all filters, as far as I know, are technically lossy, in that their operations are not mathematically reversible.

MQA is lossy in the same sense as mp3, just to a lesser degree.

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And if it turns out that they think MQA files sound better than the same file without MQA, why wouldn't an "audiophile" want MQA? Isn't the end result what matters most, not the process?

 

That's my way of thinking but I just can't see buying YET another version of the same song..

The Truth Is Out There

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If it works as suggested, the ADC/DAC compatibility and provenance aspect of MQA is something valuable and would be worthwhile enough for me to bother with. The time/jitter smearing & file size aspects not so much.

A listening test comparing components is valid only when you are able to instantaneously switch between components which have been properly level matched and whose identities are unknown to you.

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Since Schiit Audio has already formally said goodbye to DSD why would anybody think they would adopt MQA? Yes, there's marketing involved but I also appreciate their telling owners and prospective buyers of their products upfront that they have no intention of adding MQA capability to their DACs. This does not change any aspects of the MQA debate other than to place Schiit Audio outside of it.

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MQA is lossy in the same sense as mp3, just to a lesser degree.

 

Yes. This doesn't contradict at all what I said previously. It is just that the result of the initial stages of the MQA filtering is sitting there "frozen" as bits in a file, whereas the product of a software player's filtering in a computer or filtering in a DAC chip is comprised of bits in the form of a bitstream.

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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