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MQA is Vaporware


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16 hours ago, The Computer Audiophile said:


If you don’t like AS, you are free to leave at anytime. 

Er... ok. Thank you for informing me about this fact, I guess.

 

Other than the link annoyance it's mostly fine, though.

 

But I get the message. I will refrain from expressing my opinion on the link switcheroo in the future.

 

16 hours ago, Ishmael Slapowitz said:

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

See! This is the quality content I visit this forum for. What's not to like?

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Just now, danadam said:

Er... ok. Thank you for informing me about this fact, I guess.

 

Other than the link annoyance it's mostly fine, though.

 

But I get the message. I will refrain from expressing my opinion on the link switcheroo in the future.

 

See! This is the quality content I visit this forum for. What's not to like?

 

You do know why I had to disable links, right?

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7 hours ago, JoeWhip said:

John, do you not think that the differences you heard could be created in settings in playback software?

I don't think so. Also, peak levels were matched.

 

When a manufacturer visited a while back (pre-pandemic) we were talking about MQA so I asked him if he would mind taking part in a single-blind listening test. He agreed, so with peak levels matched I played him the original 24/88.2k files and the MQA-encoded 24/44.1k versions unfolded to 88.2k with Roon. I didn't identify what he was listening to until afterwards. And as I was sitting behind the manufacturer and to the side, he couldn't see my face and my body language would not influence the results.

 

I played A-B, B-A, etc, so the usual fact that the second time the file is played will be preferred was not a factor.

 

He consistently preferred the unfolded MQA files, and described the difference in the same terms that I have written about in the magazine. See

 

John Atkinson

Technical Editor, Stereophile

 

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Not sure you understood my point JA. It is that I can use filters and settings in software like Sox etc. to end up with the same sonic signature on a given mqa file. Hence, we do not need Mqa. 

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6 minutes ago, JoeWhip said:

Not sure you understood my point JA. It is that I can use filters and settings in software like Sox etc. to end up with the same sonic signature on a given mqa file. Hence, we do not need Mqa. 

Plus, there all kinds of plugins that can add ultrasonic noise, smear transients, and remove a few bits. 

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1 hour ago, John_Atkinson said:

I don't think so. Also, peak levels were matched.

 

When a manufacturer visited a while back (pre-pandemic) we were talking about MQA so I asked him if he would mind taking part in a single-blind listening test. He agreed, so with peak levels matched I played him the original 24/88.2k files and the MQA-encoded 24/44.1k versions unfolded to 88.2k with Roon. I didn't identify what he was listening to until afterwards. And as I was sitting behind the manufacturer and to the side, he couldn't see my face and my body language would not influence the results.

 

I played A-B, B-A, etc, so the usual fact that the second time the file is played will be preferred was not a factor.

 

He consistently preferred the unfolded MQA files, and described the difference in the same terms that I have written about in the magazine. See

 

John Atkinson

Technical Editor, Stereophile

 

This is a classic fallback reviewers have used for decades...anonymous listening buddies/panels/manufacturers who "confirm" subjective listening impressions. It was old then and old now.

 

Be a mensch, post WAV or AIFF clips of your master file and the Master Quack versions. Don't hide behind copyright excuses.

 

60 seconds is all that is needed.  We are waiting. 😗

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1 hour ago, Archimago said:

Madrona Digital distributes for many brands I believe, so who knows if MQA capability is present in some of the lineup and whether this affects his thinking. Anyone know which brands the company deals in?


Berkeley as mentioned by Amir himself in his review of a Alpha prototype.

Roon Rock->Auralic Aria G2->Schiit Yggdrasil A2->McIntosh C47->McIntosh MC301 Monos->Wilson Audio Sabrinas

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1 hour ago, Archimago said:

 

Well said @Samuel T Cogley.

 

I respect what Amir does with the test gear that he has but I've generally been a bit cold to his personality and the idiosyncrasies we can see in the way he talks and how he claims certain things. Inconsistencies have been present for quite awhile and one can sense a significant level of self-interest. Who knows, maybe he would like to take over from JA as the technical editor of Stereophile or something...

 

Knowledge can be learned, but a man's personality is a much harder thing to change.

 

Madrona Digital distributes for many brands I believe, so who knows if MQA capability is present in some of the lineup and whether this affects his thinking. Anyone know which brands the company deals in?

I have tell you Arch, there is overwhelming evidence that Madrona Digital is a sham or shell company.  They have the most generic cut and paste website with stock photos. They list employees that have not been there for years. The job titles are laughably absurd. And under "Careers" even more absurd, like an "opening" for "Journeyman Technician" lol..

 

The last social media entry on any platform, was from 2015. 

 

Amir at one point claimed to have a walk in store, which he closed, not surprising, since anyone with half a brain figured out he is a charlatan, dishonest, and a pathological liar.

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21 minutes ago, Dr Tone said:


Berkeley as mentioned by Amir himself in his review of a Alpha prototype.

Thanks.

 

I see that the latest Berkeley Series 3 DACs have incorporated MQA. 

 

Obviously, I hope reviewers can recognize that a product like a DAC can still be excellent despite MQA. Sometimes reading these reviews it's almost like the reviewer somehow needs to kowtow to MQA and make a point about how beneficial this is. I like Roon despite the MQA software decoding 🙄.

 

The problem is that paying money on an MQA product probably also means that one has subsidized the company; which sucks. 🤢

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

Free The Music - No MQA!  :nomqa:

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16 minutes ago, Ishmael Slapowitz said:

I have tell you Arch, there is overwhelming evidence that Madrona Digital is a sham or shell company.  They have the most generic cut and paste website with stock photos. They list employees that have not been there for years. The job titles are laughably absurd. And under "Careers" even more absurd, like an "opening" for "Journeyman Technician" lol..

 

The last social media entry on any platform, was from 2015. 

 

Amir at one point claimed to have a walk in store, which he closed, not surprising, since anyone with half a brain figured out he is a charlatan, dishonest, and a pathological liar.


Here’s some info on it. 
 

https://opengovwa.com/labor-industries-contractor/MADROD*877JR

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28 minutes ago, Ishmael Slapowitz said:

I have tell you Arch, there is overwhelming evidence that Madrona Digital is a sham or shell company.  They have the most generic cut and paste website with stock photos. They list employees that have not been there for years. The job titles are laughably absurd. And under "Careers" even more absurd, like an "opening" for "Journeyman Technician" lol..

 

The last social media entry on any platform, was from 2015. 

 

Amir at one point claimed to have a walk in store, which he closed, not surprising, since anyone with half a brain figured out he is a charlatan, dishonest, and a pathological liar.

 

Interesting angle Ishmael.

 

Dunno, but will keep an eye on this. I have a buddy in Bellevue I can visit when the borders open so if there is a store front, I can show up at some point 😉. I see what you mean about the generic website. Hard to know exactly what the company is about; a bit of everything...

 

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

Free The Music - No MQA!  :nomqa:

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3 hours ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

Interesting, if that information remains up-to-date, it would appear their license to operate in WA was suspended in August 2019?

 

2 hours ago, JoshM said:

 

Perhaps calls into question under what circumstances they were approved by B of A for a PPP loan in the amount of $180,000 just this past March 2nd. That might also raise the question of what other (if any) PPP loans were previously granted, and just how many employees' jobs were supposedly sustained by those loan(s).

 

I guess it's also possible if the loans are not in the category of "forgivable", that makes little difference when the business in question subsequently closes their doors for good.

no-mqa-sm.jpg

Boycott Radio Paradise

Boycott TIDAL

Boycott Warner Music Group

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9 hours ago, John_Atkinson said:

I don't think so. Also, peak levels were matched.

 

When a manufacturer visited a while back (pre-pandemic) we were talking about MQA so I asked him if he would mind taking part in a single-blind listening test. He agreed, so with peak levels matched I played him the original 24/88.2k files and the MQA-encoded 24/44.1k versions unfolded to 88.2k with Roon. I didn't identify what he was listening to until afterwards. And as I was sitting behind the manufacturer and to the side, he couldn't see my face and my body language would not influence the results.

 

I played A-B, B-A, etc, so the usual fact that the second time the file is played will be preferred was not a factor.

 

He consistently preferred the unfolded MQA files, and described the difference in the same terms that I have written about in the magazine. See

 

John Atkinson

Technical Editor, Stereophile

 

 

It'd be interesting to get your impressions on some of the music I've been comparing lately, between the Qobuz hi-res original, and the TIDAL MQA versions as a comparison to your experiences with your own music. The classical I've tried seems to have been de-noised and has lost the sense of atmosphere in the music after MQA processing. Jazz music, such as Miles Davis, seems to have an odd bass boost and a loss of detail. 

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@GoldenOne at first many thangs for your article “I published music on Tidal to test MQA”

I heard from a HiFi dealer that the MQA story is even worse. According to him one of his “Manufacturers” claimed that they are forced to have the MQA decoder chip in the digital path when playing non MQA encoded music. 
Of course, this doesn’t have to be a problem, but he also told me the MQA decoder chip isn’t lossless when “processing” non MQA encoded music. And this would make an honest comparison with the same dac impossible. 
This delayed there version of a DAC supporting MQA regarding high demands from customers in Asia.
I don’t know if he was referring to the filtering like you mention talking about the ifi GTO filter or something else.

In My opinion we must be able to check this as a community by capturing the digital I2S stream from the MQA decoder chip to the actual DAC chip. This way we can also recover the decoded MQA stream in the true digital format. 
Please share us your thoughts on this.
 

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12 hours ago, JoeWhip said:

Not sure you understood my point JA. It is that I can use filters and settings in software like Sox etc. to end up with the same sonic signature on a given mqa file. Hence, we do not need Mqa. 

 

As I was comparing a hi-rez file with an MQA version of the same file, use of plugins would have been a confusing variable.

 

And I have no idea if the audible improvement in sound quality that I reported finding with MQA could be duplicated with plugins.

 

John Atkinson

Technical Editor, Stereophile

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14 hours ago, Archimago said:

 

...

 

Madrona Digital distributes for many brands I believe, so who knows if MQA capability is present in some of the lineup and whether this affects his thinking. Anyone know which brands the company deals in?

 

Harman is the big one...anything that falls under that umbrella.  He mentions it for every product he reviews that is distributed by Harman (JBL, etc..).

QNAP TS453Pro w/QLMS->Netgear Switch->Netgear R7800 Router->Ethernet (50 ft)->Netgear switch->SBT->iFi xDSD->Linn Majik-IL (preamp)->Linn 2250->Linn Keilidh; Control Points: Squeeze Commander (DroidX) & iPeng (iPad Air); Also: Rega P3-24 w/ DV 10x5; OPPO 103; PC Playback: Foobar2000 & JRiver; Portable: Sony NWZ_ZX1 & ZX2 w/ PHA-3; SMSL IQ, Fiio Q5, iFi Nano iDSD BL; Garage: Edifier S1000DB Active Speakers  Wish List: New DAC,  SBT replacement; Dream system: Linn EXACT or ATC Active or Big Tubes (KR or Nagra or Shindo or ...)

 

My goal is to use appliances and take home PC out of the chain...

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13 minutes ago, jcbenten said:

 

Harman is the big one...anything that falls under that umbrella.  He mentions it for every product he reviews that is distributed by Harman (JBL, etc..).

I don't really see why it is a big deal. He explicitly mentions he is a dealer in every such review. So any reader is free to interpret the resulting review in light of that. There have been cases where he has unfavorably reviewed a Harman product. 

No different than lots of reviewers who get "long term" loans of equipment or free or accommodation pricing. They generally never mention it in their reviews, which is worse, IMO.

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: RPi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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5 minutes ago, firedog said:

I don't really see why it is a big deal. He explicitly mentions he is a dealer in every such review. So any reader is free to interpret the resulting review in light of that. There have been cases where he has unfavorably reviewed a Harman product. 

No different than lots of reviewers who get "long term" loans of equipment or free or accommodation pricing. They generally never mention it in their reviews, which is worse, IMO.

I do not think it is a big deal....I was only responding to the question of what Madrona distributes...

QNAP TS453Pro w/QLMS->Netgear Switch->Netgear R7800 Router->Ethernet (50 ft)->Netgear switch->SBT->iFi xDSD->Linn Majik-IL (preamp)->Linn 2250->Linn Keilidh; Control Points: Squeeze Commander (DroidX) & iPeng (iPad Air); Also: Rega P3-24 w/ DV 10x5; OPPO 103; PC Playback: Foobar2000 & JRiver; Portable: Sony NWZ_ZX1 & ZX2 w/ PHA-3; SMSL IQ, Fiio Q5, iFi Nano iDSD BL; Garage: Edifier S1000DB Active Speakers  Wish List: New DAC,  SBT replacement; Dream system: Linn EXACT or ATC Active or Big Tubes (KR or Nagra or Shindo or ...)

 

My goal is to use appliances and take home PC out of the chain...

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