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Rt66indierock

MQA is Vaporware

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49 minutes ago, Paul R said:

Well said, but this is not entirely true.  In some cases, an amp will produce notably better sound if you filter out the supersonic signal information. This is an example of removing the same kind of information without hard to, and actual improvement to the sound coming out of the speakers. 

 

Note: I am not saying that MQA necessarily improve the sound this way, just that it is in theory possible. I think the other factors, such as aliasing noise, would also be factors. 

 

 

Once again: One of the bedrock principles of MQA is "no blurring" (ringing).  A filter that cuts causes ringing.  So one of the things that identifies MQA is filters that hardly cut.  This is exactly why there is aliasing and imaging - the low ultrasonic frequencies that cause them aren't filtered out.  (Note that neither is any ringing caused by the ADC.)

 

You could have better filtering and much less aliasing, imaging and measurable distortion - but then you would not have MQA.  You'd have a signal with less intermodulation and harmonic distortion that had gone through lossy compression.


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, A+ -> microRendu -> USPCB -> ISO Regen (powered by LPS-1) -> Ghent JSSG360 USB cable -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC ->

Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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4 hours ago, Samuel T Cogley said:

 

Aja has been a bit of a white whale for me for decades.  So much that I've been able to track the tape dropout in the words "you were high" in Black Cow in masterings from the original LP to all the masterings since (the tape dropout is more pronounced with each successive pass).

 

I haven't heard the MQA CD as I have no way to decode it.  And besides, I thought MQA CD has mathematically less resolution than Redbook CD (is this incorrect?).

 

From what I understand, yes the MQA CDs are lossy, just like MQA, more broadly. Unfortunately, it’s not a dual-layer situation, where there’s a redbook layer and an MQA layer. You can rip the CD in XLD, but the result is an MQA FLAC. All you do is change the filename extension to make it “unfold” in Audirvana, for example. 

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Just now, FredericV said:


For me the holy grail is Archimago's intermediate phase:

http://archimago.blogspot.com/2018/01/musings-more-fun-with-digital-filters.html
 

 

It varies with people and systems.  I've always thought my Vandersteens (which have linear phase crossovers, and are designed to be time/phase-aligned) sound best with linear phase filters.  Obviously different speakers could change that.


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, A+ -> microRendu -> USPCB -> ISO Regen (powered by LPS-1) -> Ghent JSSG360 USB cable -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC ->

Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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21 minutes ago, Jud said:

 

It varies with people and systems.  I've always thought my Vandersteens (which have linear phase crossovers, and are designed to be time/phase-aligned) sound best with linear phase filters.  Obviously different speakers could change that.

This is an *interesting* discussion to me (about linear phase/minimum phase/etc filters.)  One reason is that the 'ringing' associated with truncating the spectrurm isn't quite the same manifestation as true ringing.  Think about this -- run a sine frequency sweep on a linear/minimum/etc phase FIR filter -- what is the result? (as long as it is desinged to be flat with a cutoff) -- it is flat!!!   Run the same test with a filter that  has true ringing -- it is NOT flat (or has been weirdly compensated -- usually ignore that situation.)  I mention this below -- but going to head off some comments about the mechanism -- SOME OF THE MATH IS SIMILAR, but Gibbs is due to 'waves not cancelling anymore', and 'ringing' is due to resonance.

 

The 'Gibbs effect' ringing is actually a mirage in a way -- the 'ringing' resulting from an LPF  filter is not due to resonance, but is due to residual pseudo-sine waves not being mathematically cancelled due to missing higher frequency components.  IF you don't have a coherent square wave, and remove the higher frequency components, you'd probably not even notice the frequency cutoff (other than the missing higher frequency information and an imponderable difference in the peak value.)  Of course, changing the frequency response changes the peak amplitude of a signal -- in fact, a low pass filter can definitely & counterintuitively  increase or decrease the peak signal level.  The peak level depends on many things, including the relative phase of the components.

 

Where is the 'ringing' coming from then? -- it results from the removal of frequency components where there are residual components left over because the higher frequencies no longer add-in to compensate for the remaining lower frequency components.  This phenomenon is called the 'Gibbs effect' and isn't really ringing due to a peak and resonance.  (Some of the math can be similar, but the actual process is different.)

 

So, what is the difference between the left over residual frequency components moving from different places in the square wave?  It is beause the phase vs frequency is varied, so the apparent locations of the residuals move around.  The energy hasn't changed.  The timing difference is due to a phase difference.  In the case of linear phase, all of the constituent frequencies are delayed the same.  With different kidns of filters, the delays are skewed vs frequency.  In processing of audio -- linear phase filters can be a godsend, because the delay is totally fixed from the lowest to the highest frequency.  This is MUCH nicer than the good old linear filters, IIR, and other kinds of filters which require work to avoid/manage that phase shift (various kinds of things like group delay.)  The BAD thing about linear phase filters is that they have long delays -- minimum phase filters have variable delays, but can be much shorter.  All kinds of FIR filters are also much more CPU intensive than an IIR (e.g. analog filter emulation or magical filter unrealizable in HW) which can get by with a much lower filter order, and much less CPU.

 

What about this thing called a 'square wave', how do you get 'ringing' with the square wave, but there is no peak or resonance?  As I explained above, the 'ringiing' (which it really isn't) is just a left over residual of missing higher frequency components not cancelling the residual away.

 

Why should we care about how the residual components manifest?   I don't know -- I won't make judgements about what someone else hears, but one thing for sure -- electronics acts differently with differing peak signal levels.

 

John

 

 

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does the Fourier decomposition effect sound the same as a 'resonance' ??


"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

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I apologize right from the bat for this two-year old video short ...

 

 

I would like to ask the same question today to the same group of audiophiles. 

 

Methinks that if it measures less than perfect I might as well keep listening to my jazz vinyls. But if it sounds good to my damaged old years and makes me enjoying the music then I certainly won't object. That, is from the audiophile in me, my own style.

 

Strictly business point of view speaking, the world is yours. Take it all and make of it whatever makes you love everything in it more...your wife, children, family, friends, surroundings, toys, cars, boats, planes, e . v . e . r . y . t . h . i . n . g in this life and not before and not in the afterlife. 

 

It almost amuses me that some folks audio scientist engineers recording music are so entrenched that they take life way too serious and cannot remain calm and cannot control their power trip ego maniacal dysfunctional dictatorial paralysis. 

 

This thread is the perfect example of everything happening real bad in all other audio forums of the world. It's not just here I tell you that, it's freaking everywhere. 

 

Live and let live. Fight for your rights in peace, in elegance, in diplomacy, in respect. 

The greatest respect you show for others is the respect you have for yourself. 

Way way more important than all that MQA, Tidal, Qobuz, Roon pizzazz is the jazz album you are spinning in your analog turntable. Some people know that, but the majority live in the fake digital age of measures and laws and miss the entire essence; listening to music in the now with full joy. And no matter what format and resolution and mastering. 

 

It is human nature to complicate life and go to war. When man finally frees himself of all this unimportant aspect of our galaxy that'll be the day. 

 

 

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28 minutes ago, Rt66indierock said:

 

Then let there be darkness. 

It looks like your pal Art Dudley drank the MQA Kool Aid:

 

"I used the ND5 XS 2's front-panel USB port to play files from a number of thumb drives, including one supplied to me by John Atkinson. On it were two versions of Part I of Keith Jarrett's The Köln Concert (ECM): a 24/48 MQA file and a 24/96 non-MQA file. I spent a fair amount of time comparing these through the ND5 XS 2, and came away preferring the 48kHz MQA version, despite the Naim's lack of MQA decoding: Not only did the piano sound meatier in a way that lent the frilliest improvisations a bit more gravitas—even at its best, the piano sound in this recording is subpar—but in the 48kHz version, even the note decays in the air surrounding the instrument were more substantial, pleasantly and realistically so.

 

Another MQA-encoded piano recording, of Robert Silverman playing Beethoven's Piano Sonata 30 in E, Op.109 (24/44.1 FLAC, Audio High), sounded even better, also despite the lack of MQA unfolding."

 

https://www.stereophile.com/content/naim-nd5-xs-2-media-player-page-2#dJFrQB4PBrpCZPDu.99

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1 minute ago, Ishmael Slapowitz said:

It looks like your pal Art Dudley drank the MQA Kool Aid:

 

"I used the ND5 XS 2's front-panel USB port to play files from a number of thumb drives, including one supplied to me by John Atkinson. On it were two versions of Part I of Keith Jarrett's The Köln Concert (ECM): a 24/48 MQA file and a 24/96 non-MQA file. I spent a fair amount of time comparing these through the ND5 XS 2, and came away preferring the 48kHz MQA version, despite the Naim's lack of MQA decoding: Not only did the piano sound meatier in a way that lent the frilliest improvisations a bit more gravitas—even at its best, the piano sound in this recording is subpar—but in the 48kHz version, even the note decays in the air surrounding the instrument were more substantial, pleasantly and realistically so.

 

Another MQA-encoded piano recording, of Robert Silverman playing Beethoven's Piano Sonata 30 in E, Op.109 (24/44.1 FLAC, Audio High), sounded even better, also despite the lack of MQA unfolding."

 

https://www.stereophile.com/content/naim-nd5-xs-2-media-player-page-2#dJFrQB4PBrpCZPDu.99

 

Add a little reverb and a do some other remastering, some people like it but it isn't new stuff.

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11 minutes ago, Siltech817 said:

 

You mean not a physical MQA-CD, which is not the same thing as a CD.

 

Yes, but a MQA-CD is the same thing as a regular CD in terms of format. You can actually RIP it as you would any other CD. Might not sound all the good, but that might be true if you play it back without a MQA decoder anyway. 

 

-Paul 

 


Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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3 minutes ago, Paul R said:

Yes, but a MQA-CD is the same thing as a regular CD in terms of format.

 

I see, so it's the same as Redbook specification, and can playback at 16-bit resolution on a Compact Disc player?

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12 hours ago, Paul R said:

I think this is a debatable point, as MQA can definitely support higher resolution than CD, but at the expense of some high frequency (very high frequency) information, additional alias products to deal with, and perhaps, some limits on dynamic range. Still better than CD,

 

Isn't that a contradiction?

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3 minutes ago, Currawong said:

 

Isn't that a contradiction?

 

No,why would you think it is? Or possibly are you thinking a slightly decimated 24/96k file is worse than a CD? 

I can see where that might be possible, but I do not think it is the case here.  Open to alternate speculation/opinions though. 

 

-Paul

 


Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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1 minute ago, Paul R said:

 

No,why would you think it is? Or possibly are you thinking a slightly decimated 24/96k file is worse than a CD? 

I can see where that might be possible, but I do not think it is the case here.  Open to alternate speculation/opinions though. 

 

-Paul

 

 

If that is all it was, but given they have obviously applied some form of DSP to it (at least with the TIDAL tracks I've compared), in some cases adding high-frequency aliases of the music, I'm not particularly convinced.

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1 minute ago, Currawong said:

 

If that is all it was, but given they have obviously applied some form of DSP to it (at least with the TIDAL tracks I've compared), in some cases adding high-frequency aliases of the music, I'm not particularly convinced.

 

Well yes, they have to apply DSP to de-convole the information that they convolved into it when they did their MQA hoo-doo. 

That is *supposed* to make no effect on the CD sound, but I don't know anyone who actually believes that anymore. Some people like the 

sound better, at least on some material. But as other people have pointed out, that may just be a temporary reaction to the processed file being or appearing to be louder. 

 

-Paul 

 


Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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3 hours ago, firedog said:

Means nothing except for his personal preference for the sound of the unfolded or first unfold (lossy) formats. Apparently he prefers that. It would be interesting to hear him explain why he thinks he prefers the sound of lossy audio. Unless of course, it's all based on sighted bias.

 

Though it's a fair point that the silence from the major audio mags is pretty deafening about any MQA technical disadvantages.  Are there any counter examples to Mr. Dudley?


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, A+ -> microRendu -> USPCB -> ISO Regen (powered by LPS-1) -> Ghent JSSG360 USB cable -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC ->

Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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3 minutes ago, Jud said:

 

Though it's a fair point that the silence from the major audio mags is pretty deafening about any MQA technical disadvantages.  Are there any counter examples to Mr. Dudley?

I haven't read anyone in the big mags saying they generally don't like MQA or don't think it adds anything. Our friend Mr. Quint who posts here seems to have mixed feelings about it. He certainly hasn't promoted it as having generally superior SQ. 


Main listening (small home office):

Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS >SOtM Lan Isolator>Bricasti M5 Network Player >Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.
 

Secondary Listening: CAPS Pipeline>IFi iOne DAC>Schiit Freya>Kii Three . Also 2 SBT and an SB Boom. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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Just now, firedog said:

I haven't read anyone in the big mags saying they generally don't like MQA or don't think it adds anything. Our friend Mr. Quint who posts here seems to have mixed feelings about it. He certainly hasn't promoted it as having generally superior SQ. 

Doug Schneider and Paul Miller have been critical, though I don't think they've mentioned it much at all lately.

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