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About Currawong

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    Headphone Audio

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    Fukuoka, Japan

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  1. After playing around with digital filters on the iFi Pro iDSD, I noticed that the included GTO filter (which I believe was inspired to a degree by the MQA filters as it shares technical similarities) brings vocals and instruments forward. Compare this to one of the Chord DACs (Qutest/Hugo 2 or better) which, if you have instruments that would be behind the speakers, they very much are, and you get accurate soundstage depth. The iFi can be more exciting-sounding, with the instruments more forward though, so I get the appeal, even if it is less true to the original.
  2. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band has been the only album so far that seems to benefit from whatever compression or enhancement algorithm that MQA uses, as it brings the quieter sounds forward. Everything else I've tried, especially classical, sounds worse, with loss of soundstage depth, loss of atmosphere, as if the music has been compressed to an mp3. Many albums end up louder than the non-MQA versions, which possibly accounts for the illusion, along with the compression, that makes them sometimes sound more detailed. They also seem to frequently end up with more bass, lea
  3. Apple cares about simplicity and reliability over just about everything, to a fault almost. Consumers aren't clamouring for lossless Apple Music, and it doesn't benefit them to introduce it, so they wont. Back to MQA, they have been targeting Chinese manufacturers who will put absolutely anything in their products if it'll help them sell one or two more. Thus, we have the likes of the portable player manufacturers who are advertising... wait for it: MQA 8x and MQA 16x support! Yes, exactly what you think.
  4. Archimago posted the output vs. original of music processed via various filters here: http://archimago.blogspot.com/2018/01/musings-more-fun-with-digital-filters.html You can actually see the shift. This matches what I was told by a friend who does some recording and mastering. Basically, they send music to MQA for the treatment and get it back. What I'd like to do is analyse a file they get back, where the original was recorded into an ADC that doesn't have any high-frequency noise, like the one used by 2L. In your favourite FR output image from one of
  5. I have spent some time recently listening to a variety of TIDAL MQA albums, both the originals (some which required listening via Qobuz) and the MQA versions. I've also done a bit of file analysis, as I have been able to capture the digital output, or get the original TIDAL file (with help from a software developer). I haven't looked at the new MQA 16-bit files on TIDAL yet though. After a long, heated discussion with a friend, who is or was pro-MQA (he didn't know about many of the things discussed here) he discussed some of the issues brought up with friends in pro audio, and th
  6. Google, from GMail through to Youtube had some glitches in the last couple of days.
  7. I've been converting Roon playlists over to Qobuz, where possible. Found that a couple of my regular tracks has been MQA, though whether they were switched or not I'm not sure. A funny side to that is me wondering why the mastering on Miles Davis Mystery was so boomy in the bass! The non-MQA sounded much clearer! So much for "de-blurring".
  8. I was listening to the Beatles Remasters in both normal and MQA, and it seems that they had enhanced the quieter sounds in the MQA version. This worked very well with this particular album. I think some pop music works with it well, but it destroys classical, at least from what I've tested. Depth cues from instruments are removed and the notes sound artificial. I was listening to Miles Davis Mystery, from the Doo-Bop album. It never struck me as being particularly well-mastered, but I found out I'd been listening to the MQA version the whole time, and when I switched
  9. I can assure you, as having previously been an admin on the site, that they are most definitely not protecting anyone, and absolutely NOT Larry. If you want to PM me the name of the person who edited your post, I'll ask them about it.
  10. The ringing seen before and after an impulse response are the result of what is an illegal, out-of-band signal being filtered. They do not appear when an in-band signal is put through the filter. Archimago's post, buried in all the MQA threads, of the effects of the digital filters on actual in-band sine waves is more relevant. I'll edit this post if I can find it.
  11. I think that much of the problem with noisy, online "objectivist" talk is that it is based on a lack of genuine knowledge of what measurements show. I've noticed a recent trend for hyped Chinese DACs to show their low SINAD numbers, yet avoid showing the measurements of their leaky filters. The problem with both is that neither have their relation, if any, to what we actually hear explained. For example, how often do you read about the effect of digital filters on our perception of soundstage? The claims regarding the effects of distortion down to -200dB were specifically related
  12. I had the same when a set of rectifiers was burning out in a tube amp. If all gear sounds slow, even a completely different system, that may indicate something is going on in your head.
  13. I imagine it varies to a degree, but I've found that some high-res recordings, such as the 2L ones, are mostly ADC noise above 48 kHz. I.e.: If you buy above a 24/48 kHz file from them, you're paying for a lot of electrical noise. I haven't tested this with other providers of high-res music, though a quick look at a recent Chesky recording shows notes from instruments extending right up to 90 kHz. There seems to be a number of questions about the production of high-res music that need answering. For me, personally, while I used to have a preference for high-res recordings, in m
  14. It's rather scary the amount of gear that doesn't get requested to be returned. For the portable electronics, I've had to buy extra chargers to keep everything topped up so I can pull out anything at any time and test and compare. A funny story: I found my wife and daughter one day checking out cheap, portable mp3 players on Amazon, so I asked them what they were doing. My wife said that my daughter wanted something to listen to music with. I replied "Have you seen the top of my desk at all?!?"
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