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    Headphone Audio

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  1. More troublesome about "high-end" USB cables is many of them wont have the correct 90 Ohm characteristic impedance required for USB to function correctly. That will result in signal reflections and a degraded signal.
  2. Sorry for the double post, but a followup: Likewise, the above URL came from facebook, and you can see the ?fbclid part which is the facebook tracking id. If you remove that and everything after it, the URL will still work and wont pass on FB tracking data. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/music-ally-china-digital-summit-in-association-with-mqa-tickets-165239073517
  3. How to remove the tracking crap from URLs: Basically, everything separated by a "/" is part of a url. It used to refer to physical directory structure on a web server, but is generated virtually now, for the most part. After that, if data info is included in a url, it is indicated by a "?" and variables chained together with "&". So, the actual url is: https://www.whathifi.com/features/the-tech-endangered-list-are-these-devices-and-formats-the-next-to-go and everything else is just stuff showing that it came from an email campaign and the details so the site can see how effective their email lists are.
  4. I have a suspicion that Apple's announcements this month might include it in their new phones and Airpods.
  5. The person who holds the most blame is Gavin, IMO. He is the one who turned a $300 Geek Pulse into a $1200 product with more perks than anyone could sanely managed to build and distribute. My impression (going by things relayed to me that I can't share) is that he essentially shafted Larry. He obviously knew that the Wave could never be made and bailed out, leaving Larry with an impossible mess, and presumably no money other than his own, and no-one willing to touch LHLabs with a 10 foot barge pole. It seems Larry then found the odd company that had no idea what had gone on with LHLabs and managed to strike deals with them, until they found out the history and ran as fast as they could. I once PM'ed a guy who was talking up LHLabs, back in about 2014 or 2015, telling that person about major red flags with the company, but not realising how buddy-buddy they were with the company. Next thing I know, at a CanJam I get veiled threats from Larry about what I'd said, while in the same conversation he's talking about how he had made $12m that year. IANAL but someone needs to focus on that payment LHLabs requested for shipping for the Wave, as surely it counts as wire fraud, given they never shipped anything.
  6. 1. Even if your recordings can be MQA encoded because of the noise floor, recordings such as those done by 2L cannot, as they have a large amount of SD noise above ~50kHz. This is the case with many SD ADCs, as Dan Lavry pointed out what must be a decade or more ago. So, what you write is mostly moot for the majority of recorded music. Even so, if, as you say, 18 bits is enough to encode even your recording, then, as Archimago showed, you could just encoding music as 18/176.2 and you wouldn't need MQA at all to get the now-admitted useless bandwidth savings. The 3D-ish effect applied (to more recent titles) can by done inside headphones these days. 2. That MQA can't be compressed as much as a regular music file into a FLAC container is one of the reasons that MQA's claims about smaller-size high-res files is false, wouldn't you agree? That, along with the fact that the original reported resolution is false, for reasons in #1 above. 3. Maybe you felt that there was a sound improvement with your files, but as I've pointed out time and time again, and you've ignored, the batch processing of older music clearly degrades the sound quality. FFS please go and listen to Miles Davis Doo Bop and hear how the bass has been bloated and the resolution reduced. It's shockingly bad. Other classics such as Getz & Gilberto are just as bad. 4. I don't know where to begin with "deblurring", but at this stage you're no different to someone telling me that the Earth is flat, given all the technical and other analysis done that shows that it's a load of BS. 5. You can't sell a benefit when there isn't any. Heck, to make it worse, a lot of the music is watermarked, so it has been corrupted regardless. Now that would be a good complaint to file against TIDAL in the countries it is active in, that they can't claim their music is lossless, as the watermarks applied to a lot of it renders it otherwise. Lastly, what JA said about the original music in his latest article, but switch Apple Music for MQA.
  7. Yet you've ignored the mountain of other information presented about false claims, technical aspects that contradict each other and the issues that have come up with batch processing, which likely isn't the same as what was done to your files. Have you even forgotten how you proved yourself that the output of an MQA DAC is distorted? Do you consider that to be "technically elegant"?
  8. Bold emphasis mine, but I observed that it seems to be DSP processing for the sake of enhancing instrument notes while sacrificing low-level atmospheric sounds. Depending on the music, it's rather like a kind of compression. This isn't bad for The Beatles, but screws up concert-hall classical. The atmosphere is part of the music, after all. Musical transients don't "ring" unless there is out-of-band frequencies that haven't been filtered out, which means the filter is leaky or insufficient in some other respect. As well "perfect impulse response" (assuming here you're talking about a single-sample pulse) is useless, as it doesn't exist in music. If it were, we'd all be listening with NOS DACs, and we know that they have horrendous distortion (even if they are enjoyable to listen with). I'm confused why you seem to have this backwards, still. More aliasing on an impulse response (a single-sample signal, so clearly out-of-band) = the filter is doing its job better and will do a better job with in-band frequencies. If I'm wrong on this, I'm happy to be corrected, but I can clearly hear the mutilation of the musical image between speakers when short filters are used. They push the instruments forward, towards the listener, which can be enjoyable, but the soundstage is not at all real. I'm sure with your connections you could borrow one from someone whom already owns one. They also churn out headphone amps the same, which may be fine with a 1kHz sine wave, but as soon as you plug a headphone load with varying impedance in to them, the distortion goes shooting up. I had a Chord DAVE here for a month, after which, those "$200 will easily satisfy" DACs, as well as quite a bit more decent ones, sounded like mud. So, maybe not in the low-end of things so much, or even around the $400-700 mark, but after spending some time with considerably better gear, even if I haven't listened to music for a few days, I can still clearly notice I'm not getting the level of reproduction with the cheaper gear. I can't un-hear it now. More of the same as what I said in my first reply above. Thanks for finding that. It's rather the audio equivalent of the "unsharp mask" filter in Photoshop which enhances the edges of things in photos.
  9. John, recently I've had the opportunity to spend some time with a Chord DAVE and MScaler, a set-up that, if I recall correctly, you've experienced as well. What was apparent to me was that the effect of the MScaler was the opposite of what I had expected in that, instead of the instruments becoming more separate and individual in the acoustic space, you ended up with more of a sense of the actual space and how the sounds of instruments bounce off their surroundings, including the other instruments! I have observed, like you, that MQA'ed versions of classical music tended to lower the amount of noise and bring clarity to the individual instruments. However, unlike you, I realise that this is actually unnatural and does not represent the reality of the acoustics of the venue. If anything, this processing -- a kind of sharpening of the acoustic image -- can seem impressive at first, but is no more real than applying sharpening to an actual image -- it more so alters it to be more like what you imagine is, or was, there. However, the main issue with MQA processing is not so much what you, and other audio writers experienced when MQA was demonstrated to you, but how it compares to what is going on with the batch processing at TIDAL. How do you know that the average TIDAL user who listens to an MQA-processed album, is experiencing the same processing as you had done to the files you offered MQA? The answer is: You don't. In fact, it is clear from listening to a variety of processed music that the effect applied to different albums can change radically, and not for the better. What is more, your "birth of a new world" comment has issue in that not only is the processing that MQA is doing to music likely to be nothing a great deal more than some clever DSP work (for which, there is no issue if declared as such) but the technical aspects they have claimed at various stages have are any of a: impossible, b: contradict other claims, or c: flat out untrue. Is this "new world" one where the truth is whatever one imagines it to be, regardless of the reality?
  10. The original file, on Qobuz, will be 24/192. What happens on TIDAL is that the file is down-sampled (in effect) to 24/94, then "folded" using the MQA scheme, after some form of usually automated DSP processing (which, to me, sounds like the effects of a 3D plug-in, depending on the music type). However, the file is reported as being 24/192 by TIDAL, even though it is no longer. Depending on the DAC you use, it or Audirvana does the "first unfold" back to 24/96, then, if your DAC can "render" MQA, it up-samples it back to 24/192 using a form of minimum phase filter.
  11. Personally, I'd not mess around. I'd return it (the address should be on the box or you can just ask them for their address) via a trackable, signed method and insist on a refund. Depending on your bank, you may have to give them a certain time frame in which to give you the refund before you can initiate a chargeback.
  12. The iFi Zen Stream seems to be a decent solution for $399. It can output both USB and S/PDIF. It's based around VolumeIO. I have one in for testing at the moment and I feel that it's at least better than USB direct from one of my Mac Minis to my Yggdrasil.
  13. It wouldn't surprise me if they tell the investors that TIDAL is a major streaming service and is now all MQA, suggesting that they have made major progress when they've succeeded in taking over what is indeed a fraction of a percent of the market. To me, it was more telling that they used to have someone from Dolby on their board, who left years ago, and now Dolby has gone to Apple... they knew it would have zero traction unless they captured Spotify and/or Apple, and I'm sure both, years ago, said that high-res was a waste of time even before the idea of trying to convince consumers to buy into it.
  14. I captured the output of the Qobuz version of track 1, and it looks like MQA, with a band of noise above 16 kHz, so very possibly not. Ignore the extra at the end of the track, it continued to track 2 before I stopped it. If they did their "white glove" treatment of it, then it might be ok.
  15. Interesting that there is only one, 4-second video about the Wave on their channel. I still believe that they never planned to complete it.
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