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"MQA has been targeting the weakest players in our world, the audiophiles."

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  • #16
    Some day we may see a retrospective on "l'affaire MQA ". It is fascinating to follow the various positions people take and the degree of their entrenchment in them. It's been great for the technocrats in the audio press because it gives them the opportunity to explain something. To the digerati it offers a sense of movement possibly even progress within their domain which is predicated on technical progress but seems trapped in bit rates and file formats. Will it turn out to be a "breakthrough", a genuine case of mistaking change for progress, or a con job? One thing the pitch and degee of success had by the CD has done is to make us (well at least me) sceptical of claims similar to 'perfect sound forever'.
    Last edited by tima; 11-22-2017, 04:08 AM.

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    • #17
      I have some articles coming out soon based on a six hour interview with Ken Forsythe from MQA. They are working on converting a few tracks of my recordings to MQA as well so I can make some really informed judgments on sound differences I am hearing.

      The thing to keep in mind with MQA is that it cuts out several revenue streams for mastering engineers so most of them are opposed. MQA essentially eliminates the need (and fees) for a separate mastering for each digital format. Lucy is also quite belligerent and has been kicked off several forums like Computer Audiophile.

      There is a lot of substance behind MQA but the process is complex and they have not done the best job of explaining it. I am going to do my best to explain some of it in plain English.

      My own experience so far has been with Mytek demos (Mehow is very involved on the technical side) and the LAAS demo with Bob Stuart and Peter McGrath. On the LAAS, I know the demo used Peter's files. I heard improvements from MQA at each event.
      Writer, Part-Time Audiophile

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      • #18
        Originally posted by tima View Post
        Some day we may see a retrospective on "l'affaire MQA ". It is fascinating to follow the various positions people take and the degree of their entrenchment in them. It's been great for the technocrats in the audio press because it gives them the opportunity to explain something. To the digerati it offers a sense of movement possibly even progress within their domain which is predicated on technical progress but seems trapped in bit rates and file formats. Will it turn out to be a "breakthrough", a genuine case of mistaking change for progress, or a con job? One thing the pitch and degee of success had by the CD has done is to make us (well at least me) sceptical of claims similar to 'perfect sound forever'.
        In some ways, MQA has already become a standard. All four major labels (Warner, Sony, Universal, Merlin) have committed to do their entire catalog in MQA. So regardless of what people think, millions of tracks are coming.

        Also, there is some misinformation out there. Each label has an encoding device so not all files have to go to MQA for processing. Also, there is no DRM involved.
        Writer, Part-Time Audiophile

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        • #19
          MQA is like a cross between a Swiss Army Knife and a laundromat. Somehow it compresses hi-rez files to get rid of that pesky extra information you paid extra for, it fixes the original converter chain, and then it goes to work folding and unfolding your laundry. Some people like their laundry completely unfolded and some only like partial unfolding. Either way, I think the authenticated light comes on no matter how much you unfold the laundry doesn't it? But if that is true, did the original mastering engineers approve the MQA file for partial unfolding or full unfolding?
          SP-10 MKII table with custom power supply designed and built by Peter Noerbaek with an SME 3012R with Dyna XV-1S cartridge, VPI Avenger table with rim drive and JMW -12-3D arrm with Lyra Etna SL cartridge, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 tape deck, Ampex 350 repros, Roon Nucleus Plus server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6 pre, ARC Ref 75 amp, JBL 4345 speakers with a pair of Def Tech Ref subs.

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          • #20
            For me it's a plus in new sound to old music like SHM , I think it's a remaster and then there special sauce added in . Having said this I make no claim to know for sure. The mytek was one I had as well. My issue is the mytek sound I never liked and owned one for years as well. As such a tough judge also the meridian I heard as well. For my brain my own dac
            connected to my own server running roon / tidal into hq player sounds best in a partial unfold scenario.
            analog stuff.
            otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 made new by soren
            otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 1/2 combo made new by soren
            sota sapphire used eminent tech ver 2 arm
            new sota nova table has magnetic levitation platter and full speed control and latest motor same arm as above
            thorens td124 sme ver 2 arm
            thorens td125 sme ver 2 arm
            kenwood direct drive sme ver 2 arm
            phono preamp Ml no 25 all re capped
            speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
            mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
            digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
            Dacs lampi various

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Alrainbow View Post
              For me it's a plus in new sound to old music like SHM , I think it's a remaster and then there special sauce added in . Having said this I make no claim to know for sure. The mytek was one I had as well. My issue is the mytek sound I never liked and owned one for years as well. As such a tough judge also the meridian I heard as well. For my brain my own dac
              connected to my own server running roon / tidal into hq player sounds best in a partial unfold scenario.
              Is that like preferring to going to ta-ta bars where the dancers don't really get naked? If the claim to fame for MQA (well, one of many) is unfolding all of the laundry in the lossy clothes hamper, why would some people only want their laundry partially unfolded? I thought there was extra goodness in the files that only come out when the laundry is completely unfolded.
              SP-10 MKII table with custom power supply designed and built by Peter Noerbaek with an SME 3012R with Dyna XV-1S cartridge, VPI Avenger table with rim drive and JMW -12-3D arrm with Lyra Etna SL cartridge, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 tape deck, Ampex 350 repros, Roon Nucleus Plus server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6 pre, ARC Ref 75 amp, JBL 4345 speakers with a pair of Def Tech Ref subs.

              Comment


              • #22
                Funny. Well since I have not heard full
                unfold ona good dac it just sounds better on mine still partially folded. My Msb has a network renderer coming so I soon might hear the massive virtues to had on my good dac lol. I did red there is some kind of filter used that’s not so cool and it is why I feel better to have my laundry left partially unfolded like my sock and underwear draws. One thing scoogans did say perked my ears up
                it was the part of non mqa remastered music the labels still have. My hope is at some point remastered non mqa dsd 256 files can be bought if I live long enough to hear one. I have asked the question of what if on archive formats used on sacd and dsd downloads from all sources.
                Imagine SHM at dsd 256 wow. Or analog prodcutions or blue coast would be great.
                As for your snide remark of all the massive up and down and streaming and how it effects the sound a very good point made.
                Closing arguments
                tidal in many cases seems to be sourcing there redbook files that seem to be much better than my cd Rips or hd tracks as well. So the question is how can it be better after all this manipulative actions????
                The short answer is it’s just 1/0 ,s
                analog stuff.
                otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 made new by soren
                otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 1/2 combo made new by soren
                sota sapphire used eminent tech ver 2 arm
                new sota nova table has magnetic levitation platter and full speed control and latest motor same arm as above
                thorens td124 sme ver 2 arm
                thorens td125 sme ver 2 arm
                kenwood direct drive sme ver 2 arm
                phono preamp Ml no 25 all re capped
                speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
                mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
                digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
                Dacs lampi various

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by mep View Post
                  MQA is like a cross between a Swiss Army Knife and a laundromat. Somehow it compresses hi-rez files to get rid of that pesky extra information you paid extra for, it fixes the original converter chain, and then it goes to work folding and unfolding your laundry. Some people like their laundry completely unfolded and some only like partial unfolding. Either way, I think the authenticated light comes on no matter how much you unfold the laundry doesn't it? But if that is true, did the original mastering engineers approve the MQA file for partial unfolding or full unfolding?
                  Hi mep! And Happy Holidays!

                  I don't think of it as compression per se...but more about folding the HF information to other bits that are below the noise floor. Then it does some digital filtering to get rid of pre and post ringing.

                  Also, my understanding is that all the folding occurs and then software playback unfolds to 24/96 and source file permitting an MQA DAC can further unfold up to 24/192 resolution.
                  Writer, Part-Time Audiophile

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                  • #24
                    Here are my thoughts on MQA and I will be doing a series of articles on it.

                    https://parttimeaudiophile.com/2018/...heir-catalogs/
                    Writer, Part-Time Audiophile

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                    • #25
                      A great read and full of truths too.
                      For me it’s a win win but I do have two questions
                      first I have one is I have yet to hear a dac that fullly unfolds that I like more than mine in partial two step unfold. I wonder why ?
                      The second one future plans for a high res mqa
                      as in 384 or even orher non pcm formats.
                      I say this for a good reason owning many SHM and anaolog productions that I ripped they are only dsd 64
                      as a wonderful as they are I wonder was there an archive of them at a higher rate
                      even some that are sourced from Pcm
                      for me as of now bliss is tidal mqa from roon steamed to hq player it’s far better than the desktop app is

                      again a great read and thanks for sharing.

                      ps most forums are not as plesant as here enjoy here hahahahha
                      analog stuff.
                      otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 made new by soren
                      otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 1/2 combo made new by soren
                      sota sapphire used eminent tech ver 2 arm
                      new sota nova table has magnetic levitation platter and full speed control and latest motor same arm as above
                      thorens td124 sme ver 2 arm
                      thorens td125 sme ver 2 arm
                      kenwood direct drive sme ver 2 arm
                      phono preamp Ml no 25 all re capped
                      speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
                      mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
                      digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
                      Dacs lampi various

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Alrainbow View Post
                        A great read and full of truths too.
                        For me it’s a win win but I do have two questions
                        first I have one is I have yet to hear a dac that fullly unfolds that I like more than mine in partial two step unfold. I wonder why ?
                        The second one future plans for a high res mqa
                        as in 384 or even orher non pcm formats.
                        I say this for a good reason owning many SHM and anaolog productions that I ripped they are only dsd 64
                        as a wonderful as they are I wonder was there an archive of them at a higher rate
                        even some that are sourced from Pcm
                        for me as of now bliss is tidal mqa from roon steamed to hq player it’s far better than the desktop app is

                        again a great read and thanks for sharing.
                        Thanks!

                        I am still exploring the technical aspects of MQA. A second article is in the works.
                        Writer, Part-Time Audiophile

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          I don't really care how MQA sounds as long as it is never the only hirez version available for any given album. Unfortunately, I suspect that will not be the case, and we as music lovers and consumers will suffer for it.
                          Modwright Oppo 205 full tube mod
                          Pass Labs INT60
                          Daedalus Audio Ulysses v.2
                          REL S3
                          Daedalus/Wywires and Acoustic Zen cables
                          Torus IS5

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by rbbert View Post
                            and we as music lovers and consumers will suffer for it.
                            I'm certainly not suffering at all by listening to my Tidal MQA recordings (fully decoded with an MQA DAC). SQ is amazing. I've never had so much fun listening to music.

                            -Tim Leinbaugh
                            -Professional RTR restoration and modification for 45 years.
                            [email protected]
                            www.MusicTechnology.com

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                            • rbbert
                              rbbert commented
                              Editing a comment
                              But it doesn't have the capability of sounding any better when there are improvements in D to A conversion and digital filtering, since both of those are "locked" into the MQA algortithms

                          • #29
                            Roon 1.5 now plays MQA both full and partial unfold wow is this cool.
                            analog stuff.
                            otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 made new by soren
                            otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 1/2 combo made new by soren
                            sota sapphire used eminent tech ver 2 arm
                            new sota nova table has magnetic levitation platter and full speed control and latest motor same arm as above
                            thorens td124 sme ver 2 arm
                            thorens td125 sme ver 2 arm
                            kenwood direct drive sme ver 2 arm
                            phono preamp Ml no 25 all re capped
                            speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
                            mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
                            digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
                            Dacs lampi various

                            Comment

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