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MQA is Vaporware


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12 minutes ago, 4est said:

 

 

Magneplanar !

 AND AUDIO RESEARCH!!!!

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On 3/31/2017 at 2:03 PM, 4est said:

 

 

What did ARC have to do with 3M?

They are both from Minneapolis :D

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What I want to see, is a third party double blind test, which demonstrates that MQA is superior and not just different. This would go along way, but Meridian being involved makes all the listening tests suspect. Also, it would be nice to know WHERE the files are coming from and that they are from the same master (a guarantee as it were).

 

MQA, as others have stated could be the linch pin, where they can add watermarking etc. into the file. That is not what I want, because that starts their control over where and what I can play. FLAC cannot be watermarked as that is why it was designed - Free Lossless Audio Compression and hence why I use it.

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9 minutes ago, Distinctive said:

Meridian does not develop and deliver MQA. MQA do.

Meridian developed it and spun it off into a wholly owned subsidiary.

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Article on MQA

 

I haven't gone through all the posts but I wonder if the above link has been posted. MQA is explained in theory. After reading the article, I really want to ask, do we really NEED MQA at all?

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21 minutes ago, MarkS said:

 

Give it a listen, then you can decide. I am only certain of one thing. Opinions will differ :)

 

I have heard some  and they sounded like, I will be scientific here, CRAP! That is part of the reason why I am so skeptical.

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9 hours ago, Jud said:

 

Well, um, that kind of undercuts your calls for third party blind tests (you said double blind, but I don't think you actually meant double blind as correctly defined) for anyone wanting to say they like MQA, doesn't it?  :)

I do want to do a double blind test - because then you won't know which file is which. This is a common scientific testing method to rule out as many possible causes of bias as possible. If I don't know which file is MQA, one can't prejudge now, can they.

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2 minutes ago, miguelito said:

I listened to MQA in March 2015 at Meridian in NYC. Long story short, MQA files sounded a lot better than the purported non-MQA files. The issue with all of these demos is it is unclear whether MQA is sounding better because of a remastering from the original source, or whether there's really a technological advantage in MQA. So I don't really know what A/B means in this case. 

Well, actually the problem is when Meridian does these demos, they talk about the file (I am assuming like going to hear, for example a demo of a new speaker being introduced by the manufacturer). This adds in a basic bias and your brain EXPECTS the files to sound better. If it doesn't then you brain fills in the information - it is all psycho-acoustics.

 

psychoacoustics

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1 hour ago, miguelito said:

The differences between the files was massive - no psychoacoustics required to explain them. Most brutal case was a 24/192 file followed by what was purportedly just an MQA encoding decoded to 24/192. But the difference was so stark that there's no way it was just the original file run through MQA encode/decode, it was surely a file that was poorly mastered in it's original 24/192 version and was remastered to MQA. If one would have remastered to a standard 24/192 and then run MQA encode/decode that would be a valid comparison. The staff was particularly dodgy about answering questions on all of this.

 

Joni Mitchel's "Blue", which I have in many forms, sounds to me ever so slightly better in MQA decoded by TIDAL to 24/96 than the HDTracks 24/192 file. But this is quite marginal, nothing like the difference I heard in MQA demos.

 

It is still psychoacoustics, no matter what. You cannot divorce bias from that type of listening.

 

It is not what I consider critical listening.

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5 hours ago, Fitzcaraldo215 said:

But, his statement is qualified - "all the information in the file that relates to music content" and "everything in the triangle on the Origami diagrams".

Like this whole technology, what these qualifications truly mean might be highly debatable.

 

I am not his attorney or representative, but I believe the "lossless" issue is a red herring brought up by those wishing to lynch Stuart and MQA.  I do not think losslessness is ever relevant except in discussing digital signal transmission, such as simple compression/decompression schemes.  MQA contains compression/decompression, but purports to do much more than that.

 

Something cannot not be both strictly lossless and provide a sonic improvement over the original at the same time.  Insisting that it be lossless in the strictest sense would make it just a different way of transmitting the same sound we have now. We don't need that. 

 

When I route digital signal from my NAS to PC though a calibrated DSP room correction app to DAC, it achieves a major sonic improvement.  Yes, I want each leg of the transmission to be digitally lossless in the strictest sense, but the DSP process alters the content of the original file in a controlled, but proprietary way using a calibration and EQ tool I have chosen and purchased.  The proprietary inner details of that tool are not fully disclosed, nor do I claim to fully understand them.  But, white papers and commentaries are available suggesting there is much thought and valid theory applied to the process.

 

However, the overall process from the original file to DAC is not lossless. Meanwhile, there is no question that it sounds better to my ears based on careful listening.  Hence, proprietary details, losslessness, etc. are really irrelevant in my listening evaluation of the DSP EQ tool.  Personally, I take the same stance with regard to MQA.

 

 

 

There is a huge difference between a  DSP that is calibrated for YOUR room and this debluring filter. One is specific and one is not. I don't even know that digital files need to be 'deblured'. Where is the data to show this is a big deal?

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5 hours ago, Norton said:

 

I was  quoting from the Sonore sub-forum on this site, not the claims of MQA. I presume that if the Ultra Rendu delivers 24/96 on first unfold (subject presumably to 96kHz MQA source  file)  then other initial software decoders do the same. For example,  XX High End clearly shows 24/96 input too.  Am I wrong?

 

We can't. Since the MQA encoding threw away bits to do the 'folding' process. This is the problem.  Also, how do we know the original file was 96/24? We only have MQA's word that the master file was 96/24. At least with FLAC, ALAC, or APE you can test your files to know if they come from an actual 96/24 master, you cannot with MQA.

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Upsampling DOES NOT make the file high res. I mean I can do that with my TEAC UD-501, with CD quality FLAC's or CD's. That does not make them high res.

 

 

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Just now, Fair Hedon said:

:x

 

But it is so much easier to make stuff up and have no idea what you are talking about...beats actually UNDERSTANDING basic concepts...:o

 

I am a scientist by training - a PhD biochemist. So understanding things and how things work is a natural process to me.

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3 minutes ago, Fair Hedon said:

To you...not to Lee Scoggins and the Audio Press. They believe in the wonderful world of magic.

 I know - just giving my reasons :D

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We are having this same discussion on Audiokarma. It seems people really don't want to understand or have been sold a bill of goods as to how good MQA is and believe it. Kind of sad really.

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2 hours ago, adamdea said:

By the way, while I'm at it "Tabula rosa" has no meaning I'm aware of. If it meant anything it would be "pink slate".  Tabula rasa on the other hand...

It means absence of preconceived notions or goals.

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1 hour ago, Brinkman Ship said:

What is inaccurate about this? MQA is simply PCM with proprietary filtering.

No it is not. If you actually read articles by Benchmark and others, who actually went through the Patents on MQA, if is NOT just PCM with proprietary filters. 

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2 hours ago, firedog said:

It throws away anything over 17bits and 48K. E.g., 24/192 files are turned into 17/96 files. When you play it back in full unfold, it is upsampled from 17/96 to 24.192. 

 

Sorry no. Lossy means you NEVER can get what was removed back. The file will be 17 bit period, you will not have a 192/24. just because they use an up-sampling filter, does not mean if will go back to 192/24 - that is nonsense.

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1 hour ago, Brinkman Ship said:

Thank you for the summary.

 

So if take at face value all of the information above is correct, why have I not read about any of this in Stereophile or The Absolute Sound, or DAR, or Audiostream?

 

And why have they all consistently said it sounded *better* than the master file?

 

They are getting paid to hawk it. It is as plain as the nose on your face. I mean Stereophile did testing and their graphs show what people have been saying in this thread (it is not exact as the original, etc) and then they say, "See they are the same", when anyone with any background in looking at data can see they are not.

 

 

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22 hours ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

Hi Guys - Just an update from me on MQA. I've reached out to a couple people to write MQA articles for CA and so far the response has been positive. Christoph is working on a series of articles for publication on the front page, as is another person who has done many measurements and has offered several technical explanations about MQA. I won't name him yet.

 

Perhaps I've finally had enough of the fact that MQA has been relegated to the "back page" when anything negative or questioning the technology is brought up. 

 

I can't wait, myself, to read the articles. Thanks for doing this.

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1 minute ago, HalSF said:

I don’t think this has been mentioned earlier in the thread, but David Denby, a writer for The New Yorker, contributed an online article about hi-fi gear last month and included a section about MQA that seemed to credulously cite all of the MQA marketing bullet points together with his own enthusiastic endorsement as a listener, with not a word about any controversy or dissent from the pitch that MQA is a revolutionary technical innovation in sound quality. This may be the most notable example of uncritical MQA coverage in a non-audiophile publication to date.

 

 

 

I read that. It was not a great piece of writing. I mean, the way he waxed poetic was a little sickening. BUT, and this is the big thing, it wasn't a review but a report on the audiophile hobby.

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48 minutes ago, Ralf11 said:

 

 

you have obviously never spent time in Monkeyside Hts.

 

Don't even know where it is? :D  Is it near Gorillasides?

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