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MQA is Vaporware


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2 hours ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

He has to. He told me, “We’ve spent millions of dollars on this.” As if I should just go with it because his investors have lost a lot of money so far. 

 

This is all I can think of...

 

Flushing Money GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

Current:  Daphile on an AMD A10-9500 with 16 GB RAM

DAC - TEAC UD-501 DAC 

Pre-amp - Rotel RC-1590

Amplification - Benchmark AHB2 amplifier

Speakers - Revel M126Be with 2 REL 7/ti subwoofers

Cables - Tara Labs RSC Reference and Blue Jean Cable Balanced Interconnects

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4 hours ago, Currawong said:

 

What I believe, still, to be the case, is that JA and others were genuinely wowed by whatever the MQA group presented back then. I believe that, at the time, the MQA group were taking JA's recordings, and others, and using whatever actual process they had invented based on the AES paper. That processing may have, indeed, resulted in music that sounds wonderful. According to one, albeit university student who has analysed it, the maths in the paper is correct, even if I consider trying to de-blur an impulse response to be a load of BS.

 

Anyhow, very often Stereophile writers were handing over music directly to the MQA group for processing, and, in cases where it was analysed, receiving it back without it having gone through the origami compression, and thus still showing completely intact content when a spectrum was posted. If I'm wrong, @John_Atkinson can correct me.

 

However, after spending millions in developing this system, MQA realised that if they just started with new recordings, it'd be forever before they got a return on their investment. So, they decided to make an "MQA Lite" of sorts to batch process pre-MQA music. Since they must have been aware that the compression system alone wouldn't make enough of an audible difference to end users, they must have decided to deliberately process old music in a way that would make the average person think it sounded better. Thus, the bass-boost-EQ'ing of older music, and consequent loss of detail.  That leaves them a huge catalog of what they can call 'MQA' and get the name out there, even if it essentially junks the music and the result contradicts the original claims about the format.

 

The new stuff... MQA music I've tried that went through the actual process sounds very weird through an Yggdrasil, and like it has been put through some kind of 3D plug-in on low settings. It'd be interesting for a highly experienced mastering engineer to analyse the before an after of actual albums and figure out if they are really doing what they claim in the AES paper or not.

The facts, and JA's own words point to the scenario that they through "journalism" out the window, and provided zero critical thinking to the snake oil that was being peddled. It also clearly showed that Atkinson and his cohorts had their interests aligned with the industry, and not the consumer.

 

Let's re-examine a few beauties....if we may..  Many more can be found.

 

"I believe that this time-domain behavior is responsible for the superb sound quality I heard at the Meridian dem. As I wrote, I have sent Bob some of my own hi-rez files for MQA mastering, so that I will be able to compare the sound of the MQA version both with the original files and with the "Red Book" baseband version on a non-MQA DAC."

 

"As MQA needs to be applied at the mastering stage in a recording's production, it doesn't improve the sound quality of your existing CD collection. It is really only relevant to downloads."

 

"...the impulse response of the complete system, from ADC to DAC, had been adjusted to be of the order of the sensitivity of the human ear-brain"

 

He DID get one thing right!!

 

This is conjecture on my part but there is a huge commercial benefit for the record industry with MQA that is not true about FLAC etc: the record company will no longer be selling a duplicate of their master.."

 

All above from the comments section of his infamous post where he heard "the birth of a new world".

 

https://www.stereophile.com/content/ive-heard-future-streaming-meridians-mqa

 

 

 

 

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On 4/20/2021 at 7:33 PM, GoldenOne said:

The fact that amir has suddenly 180'd from his usual stance that gear can be evaluated solely using steady state signals and ideal test conditions, to now saying that this testing is invalid because it doesn't represent music, is rather odd.....

Did you infer that, for some reason, from what he said about testing lossy codecs? Or did he actually said this about testing gear? Got any links to that?

 

On 4/20/2021 at 8:51 PM, Dr Tone said:

He's been an MQA fanboy for a while.  He sells a few high dollar MQA pieces through his business, bashing MQA wouldn't be good for that business.

Is it still the same "fanboyism" that charlesphoto was talking about:

 

Or does not bashing equal being a fanboy nowadays?

 

On 4/20/2021 at 11:04 PM, Samuel T Cogley said:

I call shenanigans!!!  We know a lot about the performance of CODECs such as MP3 and AAC because..... TEST SIGNALS!!!

Do you have any examples? All I'm aware of are only listening tests on hydrogenaud.io but they use music samples.

 

Apparently there are some AES papers about testing codecs, but they also use music samples:

https://www.audiosciencereview_AUDIOPHILESTYLE_IS_CHILDISH.com/forum/index.php?threads/mqa-deep-dive-i-published-music-on-tidal-to-test-mqa.22549/post-753835

Unfortunately it is amirm's post, so it probably doesn't count on this forum.

 

18 hours ago, Currawong said:

This is how hate-forums start: They pick a manufacturer they don't like, and then fanatically go on and on about how everything about that manufacturer's products are bad.

It's funny that you wrote that in this thread in particular :)

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46 minutes ago, danadam said:

Did you infer that, for some reason, from what he said about testing lossy codecs? Or did he actually said this about testing gear? Got any links to that?

 

Is it still the same "fanboyism" that charlesphoto was talking about:

 

Or does not bashing equal being a fanboy nowadays?

 

Do you have any examples? All I'm aware of are only listening tests on hydrogenaud.io but they use music samples.

 

Apparently there are some AES papers about testing codecs, but they also use music samples:

https://www.audiosciencereview_AUDIOPHILESTYLE_IS_CHILDISH.com/forum/index.php?threads/mqa-deep-dive-i-published-music-on-tidal-to-test-mqa.22549/post-753835

Unfortunately it is amirm's post, so it probably doesn't count on this forum.

 

It's funny that you wrote that in this thread in particular :)

 

What color are your ASR knee pads? Do they have the ASR logo on them?😅

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9 hours ago, Ishmael Slapowitz said:

The facts, and JA's own words point to the scenario that they through "journalism" out the window, and provided zero critical thinking to the snake oil that was being peddled. It also clearly showed that Atkinson and his cohorts had their interests aligned with the industry, and not the consumer.

 

Let's re-examine a few beauties....if we may..  Many more can be found.

 

"I believe that this time-domain behavior is responsible for the superb sound quality I heard at the Meridian dem. As I wrote, I have sent Bob some of my own hi-rez files for MQA mastering, so that I will be able to compare the sound of the MQA version both with the original files and with the "Red Book" baseband version on a non-MQA DAC."

 

"As MQA needs to be applied at the mastering stage in a recording's production, it doesn't improve the sound quality of your existing CD collection. It is really only relevant to downloads."

 

"...the impulse response of the complete system, from ADC to DAC, had been adjusted to be of the order of the sensitivity of the human ear-brain"

 

He DID get one thing right!!

 

This is conjecture on my part but there is a huge commercial benefit for the record industry with MQA that is not true about FLAC etc: the record company will no longer be selling a duplicate of their master.."

 

All above from the comments section of his infamous post where he heard "the birth of a new world".

 

https://www.stereophile.com/content/ive-heard-future-streaming-meridians-mqa

 

 

 

 


Did JA ever get the files back? Was that comparison ever written up?

 

I’m still just struggling to understand how anyone believed processing existing PCM into MQA was going to create something better than the input file. 

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22 hours ago, Currawong said:

Very often Stereophile writers were handing over music directly to the MQA group for processing, and, in cases where it was analysed, receiving it back without it having gone through the origami compression, and thus still showing completely intact content when a spectrum was posted. If I'm wrong, @John_Atkinson can correct me.

That's not correct. The MQA-encoded files were all 24/44.1k.

 

John Atkinson

Technical Editor, Stereophile

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3 hours ago, Norton said:

What a coincidence that you and banned member Brinkman Ship should share such a distinctive turn of phrase...

 

Seems like if anyone touches a nerve and comes too close to the truth about MQA it is implied that they are banned member Brinkmanship.

Mr. Quint implied that I was Brinkmanship.

Boycott Warner

Boycott Tidal

Boycott Roon

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2 hours ago, John_Atkinson said:

That's not correct. The MQA-encoded files were all 24/44.1k.

 

John Atkinson

Technical Editor, Stereophile

John, do you not think that the differences you heard could be created in settings in playback software? That is one of my beefs with MQA. I want to hear the original file. If I want something that sounds better to my ears, I can do that with software or even a graphic equalizer or something like the Schiit Loki. 

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