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MQA is Vaporware


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22 minutes ago, james45974 said:

I thought this was pretty bizarre also! :)

 

I am not one to give any attention to conspiracy theory rubbish but I wonder if AQuint's participation in this forum is not some sort of "assignment", a distraction.  He certainly doesn't give me the idea that he knows what he is talking about, something which I have given my opinion on before, and in the intervening time I have still not been convinced otherwise.  I can almost hear it: "Go over to CA and keep them busy....", you fill in the blank.  He certainly isn't offering anything of real substance.

At this point, I think it is a Trumpian, throw-it-against-the-wall-and-see-if-it-sticks approach..

 

Although to be honest, I would AQuint to have opportunity to explain exactly what he meant with respect to not wanting to "stand in the way" of younger people enjoying the full glory of MQA...

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10 hours ago, adamdea said:

The answer to this is pretty clear if each person has consistent preferences. But if they choose which is in fact chocolate one time and vanilla another time, then we draw our own conclusions.

 

But we can't read more into it than what is known. My point based on 50:50 preferences alone was simply we can't know if their choice of chocolate or Vanilla was a clear preference or random ( nor if they would flip next time asked). It could conceivably be either, therefore not wise to make conclusions. I believe Archimago agreed but added additional clarifications so all good. Such distributed tests have their limitations as Archimago mentioned but I agree with him that the whole evidence thus far is not supporting MQA as a better SQ medium. To the extent that there is doubt the burden of proof is on those promoting MQA.

Sound Minds Mind Sound

 

 

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7 hours ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

I can imagine a big market for old pre-MQA versions of products that have implemented the MQA filter on everything. 

 

7 hours ago, Teresa said:

 

I have zero interest in MQA as I actually prefer DSD to PCM.

 

However, will I still be able to listen to my high resolution uncompressed wav and dsf music files unmingled if MQA becomes the only computer format?

 

Hi Teresa,

I think the suggestion has been ( I could be wrong) that you are going to need pre-MQA files played on pre-MQA gear for PCM if you want MQA unmingled playback.

 

Can anyone answer Teresa's question about dsf files?

Sound Minds Mind Sound

 

 

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10 minutes ago, MetalNuts said:

If one prefers chocolate, he can buy equipment and cables to make the chocolate favour stands out, the same with one who prefers vanilla. 

 

Why should one let MQA to pre-favour it chocolate or vanilla with no way of turning back?  Not to mention that lossless files become lossy.

 

Agreed.

 

My avatar is still better than yours. I took a poll and 50% said yours was a distraction! I concede it could be a guess. I am planning to increase the sample size to 3 next time to get  more conclusive results ?

Sound Minds Mind Sound

 

 

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23 minutes ago, Audiophile Neuroscience said:

 

Can anyone answer Teresa's question about dsf files?

 

Actually, dsf (DSD) files might be the only way to ensure that MQA infected enabled DAC is "deafatable and ignorable".  This would be so whether your source files are in dsf format, or if you are upsampling/resampling your PCM (say using HQPlayer) in software before sending it on to the DAC.  Whatever the MQA code actually does, it would have to be done before the SDM in the DAC architecture I would think (someone will no doubt correct me if I am wrong about this).  The consumer can bypass all this by sending a 1 bit signal directly to it.  Of course the DAC would have to otherwise accept DSD of course.

 

What am I missing?

Hey MQA, if it is not all $voodoo$, show us the math!

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9 minutes ago, Audiophile Neuroscience said:

 

Agreed.

 

My avatar is still better than yours. I took a poll and 50% said yours was a distraction! I concede it could be a guess. I am planning to increase the sample size to 3 next time to get  more conclusive results ?

 

Your avatar sucks canal water, and 4 out of 5 posters surveyed said so.   You however get a perverse pleasure out of it, proving that "scientists" are as perverse and irrational as the rest of us...

Hey MQA, if it is not all $voodoo$, show us the math!

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34 minutes ago, Archimago said:

there's your formal listening test results of "how MQA actually sounds".

 

That was amazing and educational . . . and refreshed my resolved to continue avoiding TAS.

38 minutes ago, Archimago said:

30-second segments used.

 

Snippets not always the most useful way to compare but I guess that's a necessary compromise for this test. Pretty funny that they apparently neglected to make sure the DAC wasn't sending the PCM via MQA filter. I guess peer review doesn't extend to the unwashed rabble around here.

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56 minutes ago, Archimago said:

Thanks to one of the members here for letting me have a look at the McGill article. Can't put it up in its entirety for obvious reasons, but I'll summarize...

 

A good read and they certainly spent quite a bit of time getting this done. Here are the "vital stats" from the paper "A Comparison of Clarity in MQA Encoded Files vs. Their Unprocessed State...":

 

- 24/96 PCM sources. 3 pieces of music: pop "Right On Time" (Jerry Douglas & Marc Cohn), jazz "Trampolin" (Chick Corea), classical "Shostakovich 5th, 1st Movement" (Andris Nelsons & Boston SO). 24/96 PCM vs. 24/48 MQA encode by MQA themselves. 30-second segments used. Samples checked for level match of course. They didn't say if they checked that the Brooklyn DAC wasn't accidentally using MQA filters for PCM playback!

 

- Hardware: ITU-R BS. 775-1 standard room, speakers B&W 802D, headphones Sennheiser HD800. Some audio switching based on MIDI control, 2 independent laptops playing either PCM or MQA to 2 Brooklyn Mytek DACs. SM Pro PM8 passive summing box --> Crookwood C10 monitor controller for switching. Alas, switching added 500ms of silence rather than more instantaneous transition.

 

- Listeners: 3 sets of 10 subjects. The 3 sets: "Expert listeners" from McGill graduate music program, "Musicians" mostly with university level training, and "Casual listeners" (presumably some students and employees). Average age in all 3 groups in their late 20's (~25-29). Didn't mention what the men:women ratio was.

 

- Test: A/B testing, asked to choose which sample seemed "clearer" as in "all details of a performance can be clearly perceived; the opposite of 'muddy'; the subjective impression that all details of the performance can be clearly perceived". 15 trials using the headphones, 15 trials with speakers; total ~45 minutes doing the test.

 

- Results: When averaged out, the 3 groups showed nothing significant. I wish I could post Figure 5 - that's all you need to see :-). With multi-way analysis, "engineers" tended to like MQA pieces on headphones, "musicians" preferred the PCM jazz piece on speakers. Casual listeners rated MQA higher for the jazz piece on headphones and the PCM classical piece on speakers. As for individual analysis, 6 listeners tended to choose one over the other - even split of 3 preferring MQA, 3 preferring PCM (but this was before Bonferroni correction which took away the statistical significance)!

 

Bottom line: The conclusion of course addressed a few of the issues like the 500ms silence introduced in the switch... Maybe other pieces of music would have been better... Maybe something other than "clarity" needs to be assessed.

 

1. "The de-blurring processing in MQA encoding does not necessarily provide additional clarity over the original"

 

2. "MQA is successful in providing a smaller, more easily streamable copy of the source WAV file, while maintaining a very similar level of clarity"

 

No surprise, and basically my conclusions last year as well... Too bad they didn't comment if the Brooklyn DAC was stuck on the MQA filter when playing back the hi-res PCM! In fact, they didn't mention the word "filter" at all in the paper. Should have passed the paper to an audiophile familiar with all these MQA discussions to provide feedback :-).

 

No evidence of "revolution", "paradigm shifts", "birth of new worlds", etc... etc...

 

@AQuint - there's your formal listening test results of "how MQA actually sounds". Happy now that it's not just "civilian enthusiasts" talking about MQA's lack of sonic superiority?

 

 

Thanks for sharing.

Was it sighted or blinded A/B comparisons?

Did they say why they chose the sole criterion of clarity?

 

Sound Minds Mind Sound

 

 

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3 minutes ago, beetlemania said:

 

That was amazing and educational . . . and refreshed my resolved to continue avoiding TAS.

 

Snippets not always the most useful way to compare but I guess that's a necessary compromise for this test. Pretty funny that they apparently neglected to make sure the DAC wasn't sending the PCM via MQA filter. I guess peer review doesn't extend to the unwashed rabble around here.

 

Yeah... 30 second excerpts isn't much. I at least gave you guys ~2 minutes with my test ?.

 

I think only the audiophiles ogle over these impulse responses and obsess over the subtleties of those filters. On the other hand, it's good that the "civilian enthusiasts" here were not involved in any reviewing. Otherwise the audiophile "old guard" would be crying foul!

Archimago's Musings... A "more objective" audiophile blog.

Free The Music - No MQA!  :nomqa:

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2 hours ago, Archimago said:

Too bad they didn't comment if the Brooklyn DAC was stuck on the MQA filter when playing back the hi-res PCM!

 

Why not contact the authors and ask about this? AFAIK they can always publish an addendum on the AES website.

 

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1 hour ago, ARQuint said:

Well, I am happy that the focus of the discussion has turned, after so many months and web pages of fevered supposition regarding the motivations of audio writers or Bob Stuart's plans for world domination, to sound quality.

 

We all need to carefully review the McGill report when it's widely available, as the "bottom line" might be different depending on ones point of view. (For example, what does the word "necessarily" mean in Archimago's summary of the findings, and we do need to hear more about the caveats in the paper's conclusion that he alludes to.) And I don't have to tell you that some will feel that the methodology is flawed on the most basic philosophical grounds: the debate about blind A/B testing as a way of judging sound has been a topic of controversy for as long as I've been in this hobby. But it's far preferable to consider data like this than to traffic in character assassination and conspiracy. I hate to think what the discussion would be like had the McGill work shown a clear preference for MQA. We can all move forward to the next stage of analysis and—most importantly for me—some reconciliation among brethren.

Andrew Quint

 

 Please.  What does the word "necessarily" mean?  If you don't know look it up on www.dictionary.com pal.  

 

Did you go to Yale like Bill Clinton?  Is ARQ a pen name for Bill Clinton?  Has Bob Stewart paid Bill Clinton to lobby for MQA?  These are all about as pertinent to this thread as your questions about the McGill results. 

 

 

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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On 6/5/2018 at 8:43 AM, Shadders said:

... I think Norton does not understand the technology, so if he has heard MQA, then he is using his ears alone to determine the validity of MQA and challenging others. 

 

If he has not heard MQA, and does not understand the technology, then i cannot see how Norton could justify questioning others, when other peoples comments are founded in established and immutable theory.

 

Regards,

Shadders.


Interesting philosophy.  

 

I’m not here to defend Norton per se (maybe I am), but if Norton is using his ears alone to determine the validity of MQA, what is Norton's sin?  FWIW, I base everything in high-end audio using my ears alone.  After all, this is an audio-only industry, right?  And the fact that this is “high-end” audio, presumably “high-end” implies a level of audible performance over and above the mainstream, does it not?  Hence, if one cannot trust their ears in this high-end audio-only industry, what else could possibly matter?

 

Regarding your second point.  Unlike Norton, I’ve never listened to a single MQA recording.  Yet, 3.5 years ago I was among the first, maybe even the first, to rightfully call MQA an out-and-out fraud.  And possibly several years prior to some of you here.  At that time, I even went so far as to say it was impossible for MQA or any other current or future digital format to achieve performance levels even remotely close to their claims.  

 

Are my allegations, though true, now invalid because I’ve never listened to an MQA recording?  

 

I’ve no doubt I understand the technology far less than perhaps anybody here.  And though I already knew MQA could never approach their propagated performance claim, I still expressed my concerns back then about Bob playing neuroscientist with the recordings, MQA borrowing storage space below the noise floor that supposedly nobody would miss, that MQA may actually sound worse than Redbook (no slant against Redbook), and therefore MQA may well take the industry in the wrong direction performance-wise.  

 

Are you saying a technically-challenged type like myself has no right to question the logic of another’s supposed “established and immutable theory”?  Bear in mind that for at least a short time period 3.5 years ago, I’d venture the only one sharing any perceived established and immutable theory was Bob Stuart and his minions.  And at that time many thought Bob was a highly intelligent performance-oriented guy wearing a white coat.

 

Ought we not question everything we’re told?  Or are you implying we should only trust intellectual types like those with a PhD after their name?

 

Forgive my ignorance but I suppose I should ask.  What value is there in even a legitimate established and immutable theory?  It is still just a theory, right?

 

The more I dabble with extreme forms of electrical mgmt. and extreme forms of vibration mgmt., the more I’m convinced it’s all just variations of managing mechanical energy. Or was it all just variations of managing electrical energy? No, it’s all just variations of mechanical energy.

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9 hours ago, mansr said:

He probably meant censured.

Yes, that automatic spell check has a mind of its own sometimes. I don't always notice the results.

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34 minutes ago, shtf said:

Forgive my ignorance but I suppose I should ask.  What value is there in even a legitimate established and immutable theory?  It is still just a theory, right?

 

 

I guess theory allows one to prove it right or wrong, if one proposes a theory without any intention to prove it right or wrong, he should use words like "magic" or "voodoo"

MetalNuts

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1 hour ago, shtf said:

I’m not here to defend Norton per se (maybe I am), but if Norton is using his ears alone to determine the validity of MQA, what is Norton's sin?  FWIW, I base everything in high-end audio using my ears alone.  After all, this is an audio-only industry, right?  And the fact that this is “high-end” audio, presumably “high-end” implies a level of audible performance over and above the mainstream, does it not?  Hence, if one cannot trust their ears in this high-end audio-only industry, what else could possibly matter?

Hi,

My interpretation was that Norton was criticising peoples correct technical analysis and subsequent criticism of MQA, using the basis that their criticism was invalid as they had not listened to MQA. Not listening to MQA does not change the science.

 

1 hour ago, shtf said:

Ought we not question everything we’re told?  Or are you implying we should only trust intellectual types like those with a PhD after their name?

When i was younger, i always thought those with a degree, PhD etc., had the highest standards of integrity, and behaviour. I realise through experience that this is not true/correct. The misuse of ones ability is still perplexing, and quite disgraceful.

 

1 hour ago, shtf said:

Are you saying a technically-challenged type like myself has no right to question the logic of another’s supposed “established and immutable theory”? 

No, but as above, MQA has been exposed as a false solution by the engineers on this site. Everyone has the right to select which theory that they believe, but just because you like what you hear does not make those opposing technical analysis invalid. The two (subjective listening, technical analysis) are completely different aspects.

 

shtf:"Forgive my ignorance but I suppose I should ask.  What value is there in even a legitimate established and immutable theory?  It is still just a theory, right?"

I am not sure that the theory has value. One can only say that if MQA presented their equations disputing the existing theory (if that is what they are doing) then we could analyse. They (MQA) have not provided the equations on their deblurring (reversal of dispersion) so the claim that they can reverse dispersion - is still unfounded.

 

MQA will not provide encoded test tones - where any harmonic content would be apparent. Does this prove Brian Lucey's statement that the system introduces harmonics ???, which is pleasant to the ear ???

 

Regards,

Shadders.

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Regarding some of the questions you posed, some thoughts

 

2 hours ago, shtf said:


if Norton is using his ears alone to determine the validity of MQA, what is Norton's sin?  FWIW, I base everything in high-end audio using my ears alone.  After all, this is an audio-only industry, right?  And the fact that this is “high-end” audio, presumably “high-end” implies a level of audible performance over and above the mainstream, does it not?  Hence, if one cannot trust their ears in this high-end audio-only industry, what else could possibly matter?

 

Thats a whole debate right there: trust your ears or trust audio measurements. Either way can lead you astray. If the subjective experience is most important to you I agree that is all that matters.

 

Quote

 I’ve never listened to a single MQA recording.  Yet, 3.5 years ago I was among the first, maybe even the first, to rightfully call MQA an out-and-out fraud.  And possibly several years prior to some of you here.  At that time, I even went so far as to say it was impossible for MQA or any other current or future digital format to achieve performance levels even remotely close to their claims.  

 

So, you formed a theory about MQA. Your theory was based on certain observations and beliefs.all theories need to be subject to experiment to test them.

 

Quote

Are my allegations, though true, now invalid because I’ve never listened to an MQA recording?  

 

No (assuming all aspects of your theory have been tested)

 

Quote

I’ve no doubt I understand the technology far less than perhaps anybody here.  And though I already knew MQA could never approach their propagated performance claim, I still expressed my concerns back then about Bob playing neuroscientist with the recordings, MQA borrowing storage space below the noise floor that supposedly nobody would miss, that MQA may actually sound worse than Redbook (no slant against Redbook), and therefore MQA may well take the industry in the wrong direction performance-wise.  

 

All I can say is that it was a bold theory if you didn't understand the technology nor had you experienced the subject of your theory. You obviously understood enough technology to put together the theory. Doesn't make you wrong, just bold. Critics might say you were guessing, and got it right, but then again all theories are educated guess work to some extent.

 

Quote

Are you saying a technically-challenged type like myself has no right to question the logic of another’s supposed “established and immutable theory”? 

 

As said there is no such thing as an immutable theory - they change with evidence - and are mutable. You can never prove a theory, only refute it. You therefore by definition have every right to challenge existing theory irrespective of its source (except if its mine ?)

 

Quote

 

Ought we not question everything we’re told?  Or are you implying we should only trust intellectual types like those with a PhD after their name?

 

Yes to question what we are told,

 

Quote

 

Forgive my ignorance but I suppose I should ask.  What value is there in even a legitimate established and immutable theory?  It is still just a theory, right?

 

stop thinking in terms of immutable. Its still remains the most accurate method of exploring the real world, if you believe in the scientific method , that is

 

 

Quote

 

Sound Minds Mind Sound

 

 

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