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mcgillroy

The fact that Atkinson showed up here

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1 hour ago, mav52 said:

Very odd, some attack the magazine but seem to have moved or missed the point to question the stance Stereophile has on MQA.   I could careless about their advertising, the column lines, adds per page, ,marketing.  copyrighted content etc.. its about their position on MQA that should be identified with facts if that's what this thread is supposed to be about, maybe I missed the slight of hand change of direction notice,.  Carry on. Just noticed, it appears the thread is back on track. .

I agree completely.

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1 hour ago, Mordikai said:

Hey JA- I don't really care about all this advertising talk. I am however a paid subscriber to Stereophile and find it disturbing that no one who has issues with MQA has had an article published in your magazine. Does no one on your staff have a negative outlook on MQA? If not I would suggest you do some hiring. I believe a lively debate within an organization is healthy and if Stereophile does not have that a lot of the audiophile community(me) is being neglected.

Even if every Stereophile writer thinks MQA is Audio Jesus (even with the totally uncontrolled and flawed comparisons).  NO opinions from outside industry experts? That really is startling.

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4 hours ago, Tony Lauck said:

...  The optimum filter for playback of 44.1 recordings is going to vary according to the filter used for recording ...

 

Fixed it for you. :)

 

...  It is not possible to have a system that has full frequency range (e.g. up to 20 kHz), is free of ringing, and does not create spurious frequencies due to aliasing.

 

That's true. But does the "ringing" make an audible difference in practice?

First, ignore what a Dirac pulse shows when passed through the reconstruction filter. That's an invalid scenario that should never occur in practice. (I will grant that heavy handed digital processing during production can cause such signals, but I trust no-one here thinks such mangling has any relevance to hi-fi.)

 

Measure the amplitude of the sum of the >20 KHz components of real world music compared to the critical mid-band. Pass the music through a sharp cut-off 22 KHz low pass filter.  If you can hear the resulting 22 KHz "ringing" over the masking of the mid-band signal, you may have some bat in your ancestry.

 


"People hear what they see." - Doris Day

The forum would be a much better place if everyone were less convinced of how right they were.

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3 hours ago, fas42 said:

... MQA? All it does is alter the music data so that often the playback chain is adding less unpleasantness to the subjective experience - "making it better". ...

Can you elaborate on how this might work?


Current system: MacMini/PC  >> Schiit Eitr (with Uptone Audio LPS-1, for 5V USB power) >>  RME ADI-2 DAC (with Zerozone 12V linear power supply) >>  Xkitz Electronics XOVER-2, 100Hz active crossover (with Zerozone 17.5V linear power supply + LDOVR LT3045-A, ultra-low noise 15V voltage regulator) >> Schiit Vidar stereo power amp to KEF LS50 speakers + Sunfire HRS12/HRS8 active subwoofer. Cables used: Canare star quad speaker cables; AQ Cinnamon USB; AQ Big Sur & Schiit Pyst RCA; Supra CAT8 ethernet cable (with JSSG) for low voltage DC power; unknown coaxial cables; standard mains power cables (with Airlink BPS1502EU, 1500VA, balanced, mains isolation transformer).

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13 hours ago, Mordikai said:

JA- really, why no dissenting opinion among Stereophile staff? Everyone thinks MQA is great? That seems unlikely.

 

The Stereophile writers who have auditioned decoded MQA files and compared them with the PCM originals (where the provenance is known) have found that there is an improvement in sound quality. Sometimes the improvement is small, sometimes not so small, but there is never a degradation.

 

Now it is always possible that we are hearing the absence of PCM artefacts and have not yet learned the sonic signature imposed by MQA encoding. Just as when they first heard CD, many listeners were impressed by the absence of LP's sonic artefacts - CD's pitch stability on piano recordings, for example - and hadn't yet learned to hear CD's failings. But for now we are reporting what we hear, just as we do with anything else we audition.

 

BTW, if you read the Web reprint of my "As We See It" in the January 2018 issue, I do provide links to criticisms of MQA. And in the forthcoming February issue, I examine an issue with MQA that has nothing to do with sound quality but does, in my opinion, explain so much of the antagonism expressed.

 

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

 

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 I love my class A and tube sound and if an album is produced with a distinct retro sound I'm fine with that. But if the record labels wanted to apply this very pleasing distortion to the entire catolog I'd be totally against it. I like some ECM recordings they have a distinct house sound but I would not want all my music to go through processing to sound like ECM recordings. 

It seems with the giant increase in storage and streaming capabilities we are on the verge of saying good bye to MP3, I'm not ready to jump into another defacto standard. 

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27 minutes ago, Mordikai said:

you seemed to think it was the second coming and gave it a ringing endorsement immediately.

 

If you are referring to my December 2014 report on MQA, I don't think I have anything to apologize for. It was a report on the technology and its implications for consumers and the recorded music industry.

 

Quote

 

 

I guess I'm looking for a more journalistic approach where big claims are questioned and research is done to verify.

 

That is what Jim Austin's ongoing series of articles in Stereophile is doing. Note, BTW, that in my not-uninformed opinion, much of the criticisms made of MQA made on this and other forums are simply wrong. I don't see it as part of Stereophile's role to spread such misinformation.

 

Quote

 

as a subscriber to Stereophile I would prefer a more cautious approach to MQA or at least a little more diversity of opinion. If it's not available within your staff I'm sure there are many industry professionals who could contribute a reasonable skepticism of MQA. 

 

Manufacturers who have been critical are not necessarily disinterested observers. Jim Austin examines this in the March 2018 issue.  And as you are a  Stereophile subscriber - for which thanks -  you will have noted in our report from the 2017 AXPONA that it is actually difficult to get people to go on the record for Stereophile on MQA. (Again, see my "As We See It" in the current issue.) For example, I have been having email exchanges with two respected engineers who are critical of MQA, particularly regarding what happens when an MQA file is decoded without any unfolding. But both have shared their opinions with me on the condition that I would not publish them in the magazine.

 

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

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2 minutes ago, John_Atkinson said:

If you are referring to my December 2014 report on MQA, I don't think I have anything to apologize for. It was a report on the technology and its implications.

 

 

That is what Jim Austin's ongoing series of articles in Stereophile is doing. Note, BTW, that in my not-uninformed opinion, much of the criticisms made of MQA made on this and other forums are simply wrong. I don't see it as part of Stereophile's role to spread such misinformation.

 

 

Manufacturers who have been critical are not disinterested observers. Jim Austin examines this in the March 2018 issue.  And as you are a  Stereophile subscriber - for which thanks -  you will have noted in our report from the 2017 AXPONA that it is actually difficult to get people to go on the record for Stereophile on MQA. (Again, see my "As We See It" in the current issue.) For example, I have been having mail exchanges with two respected engineers who are critical of MQA, particularly regarding what happens when an MQA file is decoded without any unfolding. But both have shared their opinions with me on the condition that I would not publish them in the magazine.

 

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

 

JA- I'm not asking for apologies or making any demands, just stating my opinions. When speaking publicly (or privately for that matter) I don't make wild accusations or typically assume the worst of someone. I can understand why you would not want unsupported wild accusations in your magazine. I would also not like having premature enthusiastic support for unsupported claims of a company with a giant financial stake in a product(software) in the magazine.

thanks for the response, I've said my peace.

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25 minutes ago, John_Atkinson said:

If you are referring to my December 2014 report on MQA, I don't think I have anything to apologize for. It was a report on the technology and its implications.

 

 

That is what Jim Austin's ongoing series of articles in Stereophile is doing. Note, BTW, that in my not-uninformed opinion, much of the criticisms made of MQA made on this and other forums are simply wrong. I don't see it as part of Stereophile's role to spread such misinformation.

 

 

Manufacturers who have been critical are not disinterested observers. Jim Austin examines this in the March 2018 issue.  And as you are a  Stereophile subscriber - for which thanks -  you will have noted in our report from the 2017 AXPONA that it is actually difficult to get people to go on the record for Stereophile on MQA. (Again, see my "As We See It" in the current issue.) For example, I have been having mail exchanges with two respected engineers who are critical of MQA, particularly regarding what happens when an MQA file is decoded without any unfolding. But both have shared their opinions with me on the condition that I would not publish them in the magazine.

 

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

Hi,

As above highlighted, can you state which criticisms you (and your other colleagues) deem to be incorrect ?. Thank you.

 

With regards to the two respected engineers, have they confirmed that deblurring (dispersion) cannot be corrected, or have they confirmed that deblurring can be corrected, and they understand the full mathematical derivation on how it is done, and implement such deblurring in a simulation package such as Matlab, proving that deblurring actually works (100%), and the MQA claims are therefore perfectly implementable resulting in absolutely no blurring (dispersion) in any audio file ?. Thank you.

 

If not one criticism of MQA on this forum is included in the report on MQA in the past or the future, then do your team  know what they are doing ?. A simple example - are the filters which cause aliasing, a problem ?

 

Thanks and regards,

Shadders.

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5 minutes ago, Shadders said:

As above highlighted, can you state which criticisms you (and your other colleagues) deem to be incorrect ?. Thank you.

 

You will need to read the coverage in Stereophile for answers to your questions. If you are not a subscriber, that coverage will also subsequently be posted to the Stereophile website.

 

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

 

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15 minutes ago, John_Atkinson said:

 

You will need to read the coverage in Stereophile for answers to your questions. If you are not a subscriber, that coverage will also subsequently be posted to the Stereophile website.

 

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

 

Hi John,

My questions are asking you whether you and your team have the capability to understand and independently validate MQA.

I could read the information posted by Stereophile, but that does not answer the questions.

Failure to answer these questions, then may mean that Stereophile are just publishing MQA approved statements.

If there is no investigation and deep critical mathematical analysis of MQA, then under what basis does Stereophile claim to be an authority ? (essentially it cannot make any claim that statements by Stereophile are valid). I assume any article on MQA is objective - engineering and mathematical based. Or is it a subjective analysis of MQA, and if so, does it state this in every article, to make this clear ?.

Thanks and regards,

Shadders.

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17 hours ago, Don Hills said:

Measure the amplitude of the sum of the >20 KHz components of real world music compared to the critical mid-band. Pass the music through a sharp cut-off 22 KHz low pass filter.  If you can hear the resulting 22 KHz "ringing" over the masking of the mid-band signal, you may have some bat in your ancestry.

 

No bats.  Just a non-linear mechanism, my ears.  Not to mention non-linearity in the DAC, amp, speakers and air.

 

Take a non-clipped waveform with energy close to 22 kHz and with peaks close to 0 dBFs.  Now put this waveform through a steep filter (or just about any low pass filter for that matter).  You will now have a waveform that has peaks above 0 dBFs if you do the calculations in floating point or otherwise with headroom.  Now, when you put the result out in a regular PCM format without a gain reduction you will get clipping, and this will often result in audible distortion.  (This is something that mastering engineers know about, it's called "inter-sample peaks".)

 

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1 hour ago, crenca said:

Why don't you publish an opinion piece as to what it is about "the industry" that leads to this very thing (e.g. its calamatis sales decline, its blame game of this on "piracy", its (false) belief that an emulation of an DRM supply chain found in video is part of the solution to these problems, etc. etc.), or are YOU also not willing to risk bucking the industry?

 

Please read my "As We See It" in the February 2018 issue of Stereophile. And please note that I did mention the benefit to a record industry suffering from an erosion of its business model in the December 2014 report of mine that you condemn. Perhaps you didn't read it, in which please take a look at

http://babylonbee.com/news/supreme-court-oks-death-penalty-commenting-articles-without-reading/

 

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

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8 hours ago, John_Atkinson said:

 

 

BTW, if you read the Web reprint of my "As We See It" in the January 2018 issue, I do provide links to criticisms of MQA. And in the forthcoming February issue, I examine an issue with MQA that has nothing to do with sound quality but does, in my opinion, explain so much of the antagonism expressed.

 

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

 

 

 

DRM? The MQA salesman and sales people? 

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