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MQA is Vaporware


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11 hours ago, Cebolla said:

Please define (any 'secrecy agreement' permitting) 'quite different' if it's something you know/suspect to be audible.

 

10 hours ago, fas42 said:

In what way, different, Peter?

 

11 hours ago, Cebolla said:

it only takes the MQA 'bit' that holds the (bogus parameter warning🙂) original sample rate to actually have a different original sample rate value to make make all of the MQA audio 'different'!

 

1. Of course I did not take into account the header; of course I match the two files;

2. "Of course" (now between quotes) I took into account that the MQA daemon is all over the place. But it is not that.

 

It is almost impossible to show because it would require a complete video lecture (same as we can't show FFT's really and it requires live vision to see it all).

 

It is like the one file is downsampled from 96000 while the other was downsampled to 192000. Mind you, each of them ending up in 48000 because that is what I look at (undecoded MQA).

 

image.thumb.png.f1df899d99990976427aa1c502e31bc3.png

 

Apart from a few mm these align (read: the scroll resolution won't allow better alignment for visuals). You will recognize it easily.

Also notice that I have been doing these things a 1000 times, and when "you" never did, it will lack the experience looking at this "per sample" level.

 

So the individual samples are just *all* different, and these are the native files (read: no reconstruction filtering or otherwise has been applied).

 

The "mysterious" part as how I see it, lies in the fact that the level from sample to sample does not match. I mean, the one "peak" is smaller in the one, while the other peak is smaller in the other (I hope I am clear somewhat, but just look and compare and you will find this plot).

 

Since there is no way that we see the existence of a 2nd (or even 3rd) unfold, we must be looking at different DSP to both. Thus:

Both are surely the same sampling rate in the file prior to the first unfold (they are 48KHz), and we can confidently conclude that the first unfold - for both files ending up as 96KHz - will end up similarly different as what we see now.

 

My expectation bias always told me that with a first unfold available only in my chain, it would make no sense to listen to both 96 and 192 and compare. However, when I did after all, some kind of other (big number) bias told me that 192 sounded better.

And only now we see that the both are different ...

 

Because no 2nd unfold exists, it has to be so that other deliberate trickery has been applied to let both sound different (and the 192 should logically sound better than the 96).

 

We should not forget the filters which should be applied in consistency (whether MQA DAC, self-SoXed, or e.g. my own).

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33 minutes ago, PeterSt said:

The "mysterious" part as how I see it, lies in the fact that the level from sample to sample does not match. I mean, the one "peak" is smaller in the one, while the other peak is smaller in the other (I hope I am clear somewhat, but just look and compare and you will find this plot).


24/96 = one unfold
24/192 = one unfold + extra upsample step (MQA renderer to use their lingo) with their leaky minimum phase filter with one cycle of postringing

We did a lot of research into these upsample filters, and they all change the sound in positive or negative ways. Some aspects of the sound get better while others get worse. It is very difficult to create a filter for which all aspects are improved.

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6 hours ago, FredericV said:


24/96 = one unfold
24/192 = one unfold + extra upsample step (MQA renderer to use their lingo) with their leaky minimum phase filter with one cycle of postringing

We did a lot of research into these upsample filters, and they all change the sound in positive or negative ways. Some aspects of the sound get better while others get worse. It is very difficult to create a filter for which all aspects are improved.

 

With respect to an MQA renderer, such as the Dragonfly DAC, all the renderer does in this case is select the MQA filter; there is no upsampling from 24/96 to 24/192.  Putting that aside, is there ever really an upsampling from 24/48 to 24/96?  Or is it a "perceptual" (to use Bob's words) upsampling?

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52 minutes ago, lucretius said:

Putting that aside, is there ever really an upsampling from 24/48 to 24/96? 

 

What I understood from an other developer, is that by standard all is upsampled 2x. Thus also the new 44.1's should be played as 88.2 ? This can be checked in Roon, if nothing has changed regarding this.

I myself can not check this, as I do not comply to this rule (this is what it is) of always upsampling.

 

54 minutes ago, lucretius said:

there is no upsampling from 24/96 to 24/192.

 

There should be, or else the MQA-DAC-Decoder would not be able to play at a rate of 192 (or 352.8 for that matter). And they really do.

 

It is the most crucial that "we" (people) can see what is actually what for real. For example, I always play in 705.6 (768) so all what's preceding that in the chain, should be made visible. I do that and so it is quite easy to learn these ins and outs.

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1 hour ago, lucretius said:

With respect to an MQA renderer, such as the Dragonfly DAC, all the renderer does in this case is select the MQA filter; there is no upsampling from 24/96 to 24/192.

 

49 minutes ago, PeterSt said:

There should be, or else the MQA-DAC-Decoder would not be able to play at a rate of 192 (or 352.8 for that matter). And they really do.

 

The Dragonfly DAC doesn't have the capability of playing 24/192.

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2 hours ago, lucretius said:

Putting that aside, is there ever really an upsampling from 24/48 to 24/96?  Or is it a "perceptual" (to use Bob's words) upsampling?

 

1 hour ago, PeterSt said:

What I understood from an other developer, is that by standard all is upsampled 2x. Thus also the new 44.1's should be played as 88.2 ? This can be checked in Roon, if nothing has changed regarding this.

I myself can not check this, as I do not comply to this rule (this is what it is) of always upsampling.

 

You are right about Roon.  If the audio device is setup as "No MQA Support" in Roon, then Roon's "MQA Core Decoder" kicks in and does in fact upsample to 24/96:

 

Picture1.jpg.f896dc3e4866f2bdcfaae8c4ddd363e8.jpg

 

 

OTH, if Roon's MQA Core decoder is turned off, and the file is sent bit perfect to the DAC, I'm not certain whether an MQA enabled (decoder and renderer) DAC does the upsampling*. Sure, you get the fake hires number on the display:

 

Picture2.jpg.9953de9da3d794a1d8805e504e7cd63b.jpg

 

 

 

*In this case, what would be the point of the upsampling?  We already have the fake hi-res sample rate displayed on the DAC and the upsampling is not going to change the sound. I.e., the consumer already has his placebo!

 

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44 minutes ago, lucretius said:

OTH, if Roon's MQA Core decoder is turned off, and the file is sent bit perfect to the DAC, I'm not certain whether an MQA enabled (decoder and renderer) DAC does the upsampling*. Sure, you get the fake hires number on the display:

 

Picture2.jpg.9953de9da3d794a1d8805e504e7cd63b.jpg

 

 

 

*In this case, what would be the point of the upsampling?  We already have the fake hi-res sample rate displayed on the DAC and the upsampling is not going to change the sound. I.e., the consumer already has his placebo!

 

 

When I send a PCM 24/96 file to my DAC and then stop play, the DAC still reads 24/94.  However, when I send an MQA 192 file to my DAC, during play the DAC reads 24/192 but as soon as I stop play, the DAC reads 24/48.  This leads me to believe that there is no upsampling done within the hardware. (Although, I could be wrong.)

 

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2 minutes ago, lucretius said:

 

When I send a PCM 24/96 file to my DAC and then stop play, the DAC still reads 24/94.  However, when I send an MQA 192 file to my DAC, during play the DAC reads 24/192 but as soon as I stop play, the DAC reads 24/48.  This leads me to believe that there is no upsampling done within the hardware. (Although, I could be wrong.)

 

It's a 24/48 file that the hardware is instructed to upsample by MQA indicators inside the file. 

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3 minutes ago, lucretius said:

I don't know -- you are probably right.

There certainly are limits for such items like the DragonFly and the power it has to upsample and supported sample rates, but for the most part I believe a DAC must just look at the selected filter and final sample rate specified in the file and use it. Such a convoluted way of doing things. 

 

 

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11 minutes ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

There certainly are limits for such items like the DragonFly and the power it has to upsample and supported sample rates, but for the most part I believe a DAC must just look at the selected filter and final sample rate specified in the file and use it. Such a convoluted way of doing things. 

 

 

 

In regards to the Dragonfly, MQA Limited has this to say:

"An MQA Renderer will indicate ‘stream lock’ but is not able to decode an MQA stream or Authenticate it.

This type of device is available for portable applications (such as active headphones or portable amplifiers) and for silicon integration.  MQA Renderers provide analog output only through their managed D/A conversion."

 

Perhaps the phrase "managed D/A conversion" is meant to cover the limitations for such items like the Dragonfly?

 

 

 

 

 

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37 minutes ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

Perhaps because only four people would buy it. 
 

Someday MQA will go away because no technology is around forever. Who wants to be stuck with crippled music? 

Let’s hope your right,  but the train is still not off the  rails and has gathered speed again with no sign of stopping at the moment, will be interested to see what the next filed accounts look like 

 

 

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2 hours ago, UkPhil said:

Let’s hope your right,  but the train is still not off the  rails and has gathered speed again with no sign of stopping at the moment, will be interested to see what the next filed accounts look like 

 

 

 

It looked like MQA was going to die a natural death.  But Warner and MQA's financial backers seem intent on ramming the scheme down the music consumer's throats.

They're intent on forcing the contaminated brandy on the music consumer.

Boycott Warner

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7 hours ago, lucretius said:

Why aren't the labels releasing MQA 192 and MQA 96 (and MQA 88.2) files directly to the consumer and not just to streaming services?

 

6 hours ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

Perhaps because only four people would buy it. 

 

And yet they thought it was wise to release MQA-CD cds to the consumer (at least in Japan).

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9 hours ago, lucretius said:

I know the theory 🙂.  But how can I be certain the DAC is really doing the upsampling?

 

You could say "because I say so" (I developed one). But obviously up to the DAC's capabilities (in my case it was about 384).

Remember that you can have

or software decode and no MQA DAC activity

or no software decode and the MQA DAC decoding plus upsampling.

 

And then the best combination is this:

software decode and no MQA DAC activity, the software also doing the upsampling (because now you are in control of the upsampling means / quality). This is in the end what I do. This is not what MQA prescribes of course, but it just works as it is normal operation these days.

 

9 hours ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

MQA certification mandates the DAC upsample doesn't it?

 

Indeed,

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11 hours ago, lucretius said:

*In this case, what would be the point of the upsampling?  We already have the fake hi-res sample rate displayed on the DAC and the upsampling is not going to change the sound. I.e., the consumer already has his placebo!

 

Here you missed a very crucial point:

Upsampling is about 100% determining the sound, although to what degree really (that 100%) depends on what the DAC inherently does. For a NOS/filterless DAC this is nothing. In this latter case no reconstruction would be happening (back in the old NOS days people just accepted that because net it still sounded better to them).

 

Along with the upsampling (no matter from what and to what sampling rate), filtering is applied. And it is this what determines the sound.

 

For the MQA DAC this is not different. And notice that the MQA DAC *must* apply filtering because nothing in advance of it (like software) can do it. Why ?

Because it would break the MQA encoding and the MQA DAC would not render anything (no first unfold, nothing).

 

Lastly, a first unfold to 88.2 or 96 actually does not require reconstruction (this is part of the encoded material - it is "hires" already).

The implied claim that a 192 (or 352.8) is also part of the encoding is BS as no 2nd or 3rd unfold exists. So when your MQA DAC plays 192 or 352.8, it is upsampled from 96 or 88.2 by the DAC. Don't ask me what the MQA DAC does with the now flooding 44.1's. But NOW refer to the forced upsampling x2 the software these days has to to (MQA guidelines), like you saw it in Roon. Most probably you won't see the difference at the endpoint (the DAC) and it will nicely show the 96 Roon outputted. But it will not make 192 of that, because the MQA file does not tell the DAC to do that.

 

With software, you just set the output sampling rate (like in my case always 705.6 (768)) and it does not matter what the input is. It can be 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192, 352.8 (and beyond). And whether this is MQA 44.1 or MQA 96 does not matter a thing. If it is MQA 192 it again does not matter a thing because in reality it is MQA 96. In all cases the software upsamples to 705.6 (or whatever it is set to) anyway.

 

Having an MQA DAC just holds back from everything. But it requires software MQA decoding first (like Roon, Audirvana, XXHE) plus decent upsampling/filtering means.

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24 minutes ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

Let me correct that, “And yet they thought it would make money to release MQA-CD cds to the consumer ...”

I think the Japanese like formats, it was one of Bob’s earliest ventures in selling MQA and getting them on board with the tech but it’s stalling no doubt not seen many new releases of late 

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3 hours ago, KeenObserver said:

Wow!  All those albums were AUTHENTICATED!

MQA must have spent tens of thousands  or hundreds of thousands of hours AUTHENTICATING that music!

Before  the studio gave the master to MQA it wasn't AUTHENTICATED.  MQA blessed the master, burned incense, and performed a ceremony officiated by his Holiness, Bob Stuart.  The master was then born into AUTHENTICATION!

 

Blessed be MQA!  For until you give yourself up to MQA,  You cannot enter into AUTHENTICATION!

Most of them are not Studio just conversions from what’s on file (green dot) nothing to fold so we are locking them away in a proprietary system in readiness to distribute beyond Tidal no doubt 

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