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MQA is Vaporware

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3 hours ago, Allan F said:

 

Did Harry particularly have the late Julian Hirsch of Stereo Review in mind when he wrote the above passage? :)

 

Probably, though Julian Hirsch was close to 80 when the TAS article cited above was written. Hirsch's contemporary Hans Fantel, who wrote about consumer electronics for the NY Times, also got a lot of flak from nascent subjectivist audio circles in those days.

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13 minutes ago, Odd Magnus Bjerkvik said:

TAS really has a thing for SR. 

Any objective reviews of products from SR?

81262238_10221481779652012_635753836681625600_o.jpg

 

Wow. Ted Denney's "The Man"; a truly gifted audio designer extraordinaire!

 

Presumably the 516 comments were complimentary before admin closed it? BTW I can't seem to find this post on Facebook... Anyone got a link?

 


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

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14 hours ago, ARQuint said:

 

With all due respect, I think you're quite wrong about that. I knew Harry very well—I consider him my mentor—and listened to music with him at Sea Cliff on dozens of occasions. He was open-minded and his acceptance of different technologies (e.g. digital) evolved over time but his belief in the primacy of listening, when it came to the evaluation of audio equipment, never wavered. When the magazine was new, Harry wrote an article entitled "How To Read The Absolute Sound" and an update was published in Issue 129. Unfortunately, there's no link to that piece but if you save old issues (Ha!) you should take a look. Harry's lasting contribution to this hobby was that he understood that the sound of music provided an "absolute" and that "descriptions of variations from that absolute are not based in subjectivity, but rather upon observation. That is to say, the basic description of any component's 'sound', if scrupulously attended, will be objective, based on perceivable data, rather than that originating from 'taste' or 'subjectivity'."


 

More than anyone else, Harry developed the language with which an experienced observer could communicate what he or she was hearing in a review. Five years after Harry passed, eight years since he last appeared in these pages, that approach to reporting on gear remains central at TAS—most of the equipment reviewers currently on the masthead  knew and admired the man. To be sure, there are other ways of assessing audio components and consumers are welcome to utilize reviews with different emphases. But ours continues to be very useful to many audiophiles.

 

 

In that article, Harry wrote this, as well:

 

 

"The editor knew, when this magazine began, that a set of measurements had not been devised to correlate with everything people were hearing in audio gear. And even today, with a vastly improved measuring technology, there remains an all-too-wide gulf between what is measured and what is perceived - it is a 'gulf' because of a lack of communication between those we call measurers and those we call listeners. [my emphasis]. Those who are measurement-oriented tend toward certain dogmatic subjective assumptions about the listening process (e.g. components that measure the same - using the numeric assumptions - sound the same) without being the least skeptical about their own assumptions."

 

Over decades, Harry brought in people with a wide variety of backgrounds to write for the magazine. There were recording professionals but also doctors, lawyers, a mystery writer, a military expert, psychologists, a math professor, film and political journalists, and quite a few other "day jobs" have been represented over the years. He felt he could tell easily who'd be  "qualified" to review audio gear for TAS—an engineering background wasn't devalued but it didn't obviate the need for the listening and writing skills he prized.

 

I guess it's out of admiration for Harry's singular devotion to searching out ways to describe the ineffable that I keep returning here for more punishment. I'd like for the "gulf" he described to be bridged as much as possible.

 

Andy Quint

 

 

none of that verbiage has anything at all to do with my comment (tho I agree he attempted to find terms in written English to describe aural phenomena, and did rather well)

 

again, HP would be appalled at TAS these days, it is a mere industry ad sheet with no comparisons (much less measurements)

 

I won't comment at all on your "describe the ineffable" claim.

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42 minutes ago, Archimago said:

 

Wow. Ted Denney's "The Man"; a truly gifted audio designer extraordinaire!

 

Presumably the 516 comments were complimentary before admin closed it? BTW I can't seem to find this post on Facebook... Anyone got a link?

 

Here for example:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/audiophilesnorthamerica/search/?query=editor awards&epa=SEARCH_BOX

 

It har also been shared in another group. (Audio Subjective which CEO of SR and the chief of marketing are admins.......)

I think also 5 similar awards have been given from Positive Feedback. 

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1 hour ago, mansr said:

I'd like to see you chop up an aluminium rod and sell the pieces for $200 each.

 

Exactly... As I said, the man is truly gifted! He has insights and deep awareness into the heart and soul of those he's selling those aluminum pieces to. How I wish to possess even a modicum of that level of perception, knowledge or of course aluminum-chopping ability. 😥


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

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59 minutes ago, Racerxnet said:

People buy shit on a shingle all the time. Take LH for example.

 

MAK

 

Light Harmonic - now that's a sad chapter. Given how they were perpetually "doubling down" with products and incentives without much to show, disappointment looked inevitable.


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

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I was just musing the fact that the lossage of undecoded MQA, as long as they continue to sell feralA recordings, can be mitigated to some extent by doing decoding with a DolbyA or DolbyA equivalent.   Doing DolbyA decoding gives approx 1 to 1.5 additional bits of noise reduction (is it accuracy?  Not sure.)   (assuming that the entire 10-15dB NR can be achieved.)    DolbyA decoding (esp the DHNRDS decoder) is not very sensitive to added signal defects as long as the defects don't have major impact on the dynamics or signal level.  (One nice thing about cheaply made feralA recordings is that they appear to maintain relative signal levels on each cut on an album, and also seem to maintain the 0dB reference to some extent -- makes the -12.44dB (approx) calibration very consistent...  I HATE normalization of each song on an album!!!)

 

John

 

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11 minutes ago, John Dyson said:

I was just musing the fact that the lossage of undecoded MQA, as long as they continue to sell feralA recordings, can be mitigated to some extent by doing decoding with a DolbyA or DolbyA equivalent.

Do you mean if a Dolby A recording is MQA-encoded, the Dolby A decoder will remove some of the MQA noise?

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4 minutes ago, mansr said:

Do you mean if a Dolby A recording is MQA-encoded, the Dolby A decoder will remove some of the MQA noise?

Yes, to some extent, the DolbyA tends to be good at removing noise with random (white or even pink) statistics.  It works in a lot of applications other than tape.  It can work in studio-transmitter links, vinyl, film recordings, etc.    One big advantage of DolbyA over DolbyB/C is that it is very active in the lower frequency bands also (including below 100Hz.)  The disadvantage is that DolbyA is a bit more egregious about what it does to the signal.  (I'd suspect that the modulation effects of B/C would be less impactful than DolbyA, for example.)   DolbyB/C were actually fairly 'smart' ideas doing the frequency response modification instead of pure compression.  SR is a more complex mix of a combo of what DolbyA does and DolbyB/C does.

 

The key for reasonably practical-to-decode feralA recording are:  no extra dynamic range compression, keep the signal levels consistent between album tracks, hopefully keep the 0dB reference level from the source.   DolbyA is even good at dealing with relatively large amounts of hiss -- because of the bands that Mr Genius, R Dolby chose, the modulation of the tape/whatever hiss is pretty much hidden.   The bad news about DolbyA is that it has relatively limited NR and even the precise design concept is limited in how much NR can be achieved (just tuning up the DolbyA design won't really help much with NR.)   More radical approaches are needed for more NR -- the Telcom C4 takes the DolbyA concept for the band choice and compression up to the limit, but also has tradeoffs like generation loss.

 

John

 

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4 hours ago, John Dyson said:

Yes, to some extent, the DolbyA tends to be good at removing noise with random (white or even pink) statistics.  It works in a lot of applications other than tape.  It can work in studio-transmitter links, vinyl, film recordings, etc.    One big advantage of DolbyA over DolbyB/C is that it is very active in the lower frequency bands also (including below 100Hz.)  The disadvantage is that DolbyA is a bit more egregious about what it does to the signal.  (I'd suspect that the modulation effects of B/C would be less impactful than DolbyA, for example.)   DolbyB/C were actually fairly 'smart' ideas doing the frequency response modification instead of pure compression.  SR is a more complex mix of a combo of what DolbyA does and DolbyB/C does.

 

The key for reasonably practical-to-decode feralA recording are:  no extra dynamic range compression, keep the signal levels consistent between album tracks, hopefully keep the 0dB reference level from the source.   DolbyA is even good at dealing with relatively large amounts of hiss -- because of the bands that Mr Genius, R Dolby chose, the modulation of the tape/whatever hiss is pretty much hidden.   The bad news about DolbyA is that it has relatively limited NR and even the precise design concept is limited in how much NR can be achieved (just tuning up the DolbyA design won't really help much with NR.)   More radical approaches are needed for more NR -- the Telcom C4 takes the DolbyA concept for the band choice and compression up to the limit, but also has tradeoffs like generation loss.

 

John

 

Careful Mr. Dyson, we'll end up with MQA DolbyA. 


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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7 minutes ago, lucretius said:

 

It will be hard to tell the difference between you and the invisible man.


or this:

 

 

 

 

 


Windows 10 PC, Roon, HQPlayer, SOtM sMS-200Ultra, tX-USBultra, Paul Hynes SR4 (x2), Mutec REF10, Mutec MC3+USB, Devialet 1000Pro, KEF Blade.  Plus Pro-Ject Signature 12 TT for playing my 'legacy' vinyl collection.

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On 1/20/2020 at 8:07 AM, FredericV said:


MQA distribtion files are 24 bit per sample, so how can they bury data below -144dB ?
[snip]

This is the same mistake as Hans Beekhuizen. There is no coding space for the grey marked area inside a 24 bit file.

 

Coming from my background as a software developer, and from reading the MQA patents, I would imagine a process whereby an internal 32-bit coding space is used to perform the "fold". Then, using subtractive dither (their words), the 32-bit coding space is transformed into a 24-bit one. If the dither can be reversed (which MQA claim), then the process can be reversed to construct a 32-bit/48Khz dataset, from which something resembling the input signal can be constructed.

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4 minutes ago, abrxx said:

 

Coming from my background as a software developer, and from reading the MQA patents, I would imagine a process whereby an internal 32-bit coding space is used to perform the "fold". Then, using subtractive dither (their words), the 32-bit coding space is transformed into a 24-bit one. If the dither can be reversed (which MQA claim), then the process can be reversed to construct a 32-bit/48Khz dataset, from which something resembling the input signal can be constructed.

That sounds interesting.

 

Do anyone else have anything to add on this topic?


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