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  • MQA the next "perfect sound forever"?

    I had to be in sitting position for a while last night and picked up the latest TSA. I read the gushing review of the new MQA encoding and decoding scheme and thought - are we talking about the Perfect Sound Forever 2016 version?
    The article mentioned encoding 24/88 master files with MQA and playing it back via MQA DAC and the file became smaller in file size and sounding better than the original... Isn't it defying the law of physics?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Ki Choi View Post
    I had to be in sitting position for a while last night and picked up the latest TSA. I read the gushing review of the new MQA encoding and decoding scheme and thought - are we talking about the Perfect Sound Forever 2016 version?
    The article mentioned encoding 24/88 master files with MQA and playing it back via MQA DAC and the file became smaller in file size and sounding better than the original... Isn't it defying the law of physics?

    Is it DOA with streamable DSD?
    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
    ________________________________________

    -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
    -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
    -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
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    -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
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    -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
    -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
    -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

    Comment


    • #3
      Considering many file streaming companies including Tidal are signing up, it will work with streamable DSD files. The article said once the files are encoded using MQA, it becomes easier to stream due to smaller size files. However, all the files streaming companies have must be encoded with MQA...seems to be lot of work unless they can do it in batches.

      Comment


      • #4
        http://dsd.st/en/

        http://www.korg.com/us/news/2015/0122/

        I can't find the link but I had a note recently that a company in Chicago was now offering music streamed in DSD.
        Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
        Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
        ________________________________________

        -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
        -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
        -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
        -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
        -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
        -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
        -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
        -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
        -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
        -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

        Comment


        • #5
          Check out this article penned by Chris Connaker recently.
          It all started with an email on December 4, 2014. “Hi Chris, It is my great pleasure to provide details on Meridian’s breakthrough technology, MQA (Master Quality Authenticated).* The press release is pasted below. And attached is a white paper …” That seems like forever ago. In the ensuing months MQA has been growing like a snowball rolling downhill. More manufacturers getting on board, more content partners signing up, and more chatter within Computer Audiophile community (among others). Based on objective site analytics, I can easily say that since CES 2016 the interest in MQA has grown immensely here on CA. Much of the talk since MQA’s first introduction has been speculative because only a relatively small number of people have actually heard MQA music. Even those who’ve heard it, have likely not heard it in their own audio systems. That was until Meridian officially released the MQA enabling
          Brian Walsh
          ttsetup.com

          Comment


          • #6
            TAS wrote an article about MQA 2 years ago that was gushing with praise and acted like MQA was just around the corner. Fast forward 2 years and TAS writes another article about MQA that is gushing with praise and tells us MQA is just around the corner. The article Brian linked to said MQA is growing like a snowball rolling down a hill. Really? Where is that big snowball?

            The reality is that MQA has yet to enter the marketplace in a meaningful way meaning there is lots of desirable software for sale/download. Like Ki, I too wonder how the original master 24/88 digital file sounds worse than the compressed MQA file. If that isn't digital magic, I don't what is. MQA was originally touted as being exactly what the engineers/musicians heard in the studio. But now we are saying the MQA recordings aren't what was heard in the studio, they are better! Something doesn't smell right to me.
            Micro Seiki SX-8000 table with flywheel, SME 3012R arm, SME 312S arm, Lyra Etna SL and Dynavector XV-1S cartridges, 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, and Def Tech Ref subs.

            Comment


            • #7
              The other issues is that MQA didn't at the demos I went to, had a comparison between the original and MQA treated file. The Dave Brubeck cut that was played at Axpona sounded dreadful. The cymbals sounded like they were pounding away on with hammers on an anvil. The rest was teribble too. Not to mention the poeple doing the demo really weren't there to answer questions.

              Has anyone been to an event where they did the proper demo?
              Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
              Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
              ________________________________________

              -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
              -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
              -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
              -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
              -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
              -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
              -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
              -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
              -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
              -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

              Comment


              • #8
                My Pioneer XPD-100R has MQA playback support. Not sure what that means but I will have it when it gets here.
                Marty

                Comment


                • #9
                  Some manufacturers have signed a technical nondisclosure agreement with Meridian and have looked at and experimented with it. So far the MQA material is so curated that it's hard to say how much improvement you get in a more general case. The article I linked above seems to show some really small differences between MQA and high rate PCM. Even if a DAC has the processing bandwidth to do MQA some aren't promising anything at this time.
                  Brian Walsh
                  ttsetup.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Heard a Meridian dedicated demo last year at Newport. Very unimpressive. In fact they played a Sinatra cut which I own in a Capital mono on record and my record smoked it. Their cut was narrow of field and flat as a pancake. I was sitting dead center up front.
                    TW Acustic TT with Ref motor & controller; Tri-Planar Arm; Ortofon Windfeld-Ti Cartridge, Harmonix-Combak platter matte & weight; Arcam R Phono Preamp; KLAudio Ultrasonic Record Cleaner.

                    Bluesound Vault-2 Music Server & Streamer

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                    Pass Labs 150.8 Amp

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                    Acoustic Revive RR-888 Low Frequency Pulse Generator

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                    Sennheiser HDV 650 Headphone Amp; Sennheiser HD1200s Headphones.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by bpw View Post
                      Some manufacturers have signed a technical nondisclosure agreement with Meridian and have looked at and experimented with it. So far the MQA material is so curated that it's hard to say how much improvement you get in a more general case. The article I linked above seems to show some really small differences between MQA and high rate PCM. Even if a DAC has the processing bandwidth to do MQA some aren't promising anything at this time.

                      So you would say the prime interest in MQA is not sound but streaming?
                      Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                      Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                      ________________________________________

                      -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
                      -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
                      -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                      -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
                      -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                      -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                      -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                      -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                      -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                      -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Isn't MQA really primarily a way to condense info into a very small space during encoding and then expanding the info once decoded enabling recording companies to put more info on a file?
                        TW Acustic TT with Ref motor & controller; Tri-Planar Arm; Ortofon Windfeld-Ti Cartridge, Harmonix-Combak platter matte & weight; Arcam R Phono Preamp; KLAudio Ultrasonic Record Cleaner.

                        Bluesound Vault-2 Music Server & Streamer

                        VTL 6.5 preamp Series II
                        Pass Labs 150.8 Amp

                        Piega C711 Loudspeakers

                        Symposium Osiris Rack; Symposium Platforms and Roller Blocks plus grade 2.5 Balls

                        Acoustic Revive RR-888 Low Frequency Pulse Generator

                        Shunyata Hydra 8; Shunyata AC Cords; Synergistic Research Level 3 HC AC Cord and Level 3 power cord, Synergistic Carbon fiber wall plates & Blue Outlets, Furutech NCF Booster Brace, Audio Art Ref balanced ICs, MIT Oracle IC and Magnum Speaker Cables

                        Sennheiser HDV 650 Headphone Amp; Sennheiser HD1200s Headphones.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                          Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                          ________________________________________

                          -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
                          -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
                          -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                          -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
                          -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                          -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                          -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                          -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                          -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                          -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post


                            So you would say the prime interest in MQA is not sound but streaming?
                            I would venture to say that Meridian intends it to be both, but clearly the jury is out regarding sound.
                            And if the sound difference is very small or nonexistent, what's the point? But if and when there is a demonstrable improvement in most cases, perhaps there's a market.
                            Brian Walsh
                            ttsetup.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post
                              The other issues is that MQA didn't at the demos I went to, had a comparison between the original and MQA treated file.
                              Has anyone been to an event where they did the proper demo?
                              Myles, I attended the demo at last year's show in Newport (nee Irvine/Santa Ana) and departed with the same reservation.

                              -Sam

                              Vbr,

                              Sam

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