McIntosh passes on MQA, calls it lossy and distorted..

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Brinkman Ship, Jun 12, 2018.

  1. Brinkman Ship

    Brinkman Ship Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York City
    "The C52’s DAC will accept PCM sample rates of 16, 24, and 32 bits, 32kHz–384kHz; DSD64, DSD128, and DSD256; and DXD 352.8kHz and DXD 384kHz. About the only standard digital format the C52 doesn’t support is Master Quality Authenticated (MQA, about which McIntosh’s engineers prefer to take a wait-and-see position, finding the format too lossy, with distortion that doesn’t meet the company’s high standards)."

    McIntosh C52 Solid-State Preamplifier
     
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  2. misterdecibel

    misterdecibel Bulbous Also Tapered

  3. Brinkman Ship

    Brinkman Ship Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York City
    Amen!
     
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  4. blair207

    blair207 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Fife, Scotland
    You tell em McIntosh
     
  5. bhazen

    bhazen Binaural-Curious

    Location:
    Newcastle, WA
    As long as they still support 'redbook', I'm fine. :)
     
  6. Brinkman Ship

    Brinkman Ship Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York City
    ..and 24 bit, and DSD, etc....yup.
     
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  7. Shawn

    Shawn Forum Resident

    Glad to see they’re not swayed by the emporer’s new clothes.
     
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  8. Brinkman Ship

    Brinkman Ship Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York City
    Exactly, along with Benchmark, Linn, Bryston, Ayre, Playback Designs, Schiit, etc.
     
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  9. Rolltide

    Rolltide Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vallejo, CA
    Something I have to say here - as a long time McIntosh owner, they're terrible at firmware. I don't just mean updates, I mean making basic stuff work right. So when I see them balk at a potential upgrade, it could very well be because they're not sold on the concept, but it could just as easily be they can't figure out how to implement it. :laugh:
     
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  10. tronds

    tronds Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Norway
    Hopefully if MQA is met with sufficient reluctance by hardware manufacturers, they'll shift to making the software decoder library generally available for developers. If I could've made foobar2000 work with MQA, proper ABX testing should also be possible.
     
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  11. Morbius

    Morbius Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brookline, MA
    Just a note, I think all of McIntosh's current onboard DACs throughout there product line support these formats. This from looking at the MA5300 integrated recently which ticks all those boxes.
     
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  12. Brinkman Ship

    Brinkman Ship Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York City
    Gotcha. I am a big fan of their integrated line.
     
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  13. Brinkman Ship

    Brinkman Ship Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York City
    I hoping for the first part..the second part won't ever happen, if you read their original marketing docs keeping control of a closed system is the end game. Their IP is all they have. There is nothing else.
     
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  14. Bubbamike

    Bubbamike Forum Resident

    One of the purposes of MQA is to keep you from getting a good copy of the music. Why would they ever allow Foobar or any other program to copy the original track and not the degraded version?
     
  15. Rolltide

    Rolltide Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vallejo, CA
    Here's what I'd have loved to hear from McIntosh/anybody: "We've already decided to not support new digital formats that haven't even been invented yet, barring absolute miracles of technology we don't expect to see. It's not about IP and licensing, it's because at some point this doesn't get any better and we're just padding empty space into big files to make ourselves feel better".
     
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  16. Brinkman Ship

    Brinkman Ship Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York City
    Um, +1000.
     
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  17. Brinkman Ship

    Brinkman Ship Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York City
    If I had the coin, I would probably buy their recent phono stage...then MQA would be of no consequence..:D..oh wait,
    we have "MQA CDs'..."MQA vinyl"????
     
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  18. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    Location:
    East TN
    I like McIntosh standing by their principles. And one of them being sound quality.
     
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  19. Brinkman Ship

    Brinkman Ship Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York City
    Yup...sound quality first...what a quaint notion..:agree:
     
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  20. Shiver

    Shiver Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    Something to restore faith in hifi nature - nice.
     
  21. Brinkman Ship

    Brinkman Ship Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York City
    Yes...and these things are few and far between.
     
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  22. Ski Bum

    Ski Bum Happy Audiophile

    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    This preamp does not have an ethernet input (or a network bridge) so streaming is through a USB port (which is how the reviewer streamed with his laptop). The preamp is not exactly optimized for the kind of hi rez streaming for which MQA is currently in use. There are certainly a lot of valid questions about MQA, such as whether a streamed MQA-encoded hi rez files sounds better or worse than the same content streamed in redbook or whether a streamed MQA-encoded hi rez files sounds better or worse than a download of the same hi rez file. But, IMO this self-serving observation by McIntosh does not advance the discussion.

    I'd rather hear comparisons about the sound quality of MQA versus non-MQA formats from Forum members who have actually listened.
     
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  23. Brinkman Ship

    Brinkman Ship Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York City
    Let's clarify..this is a FULL function preamp with built in DAC and phono. It is NOT a streamer. Which is good, because that locks you in. An outboard streamer is a much better solution.
     
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  24. Ski Bum

    Ski Bum Happy Audiophile

    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Of course it's not a streamer. But how are you going to connect your outboard streamer to the DAC in the McIntosh? The McIntosh provides only a USB port so that you have to deal with the substantial obstacles of preserving sound quality through a USB connection from your streamer to the DAC. I think that an expensive preamp/DAC combination in the current era would offer network connectivity if it was serious about being attractive to users who want to stream. The failure to include network connectivity doesn't "lock you in" - it boxes you out.

    Please tell me about your experiences in comparing the sound of MQA versus non-MQA formats. I'm genuinely interested. I've been listening and honestly haven't made up my mind yet.
     
  25. Brinkman Ship

    Brinkman Ship Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York City
    Virtually every single Streamer on the market features a USB OUTPUT, which is far superior to SPDIF. What substantial obstacles are you referring to?
    Something like the Sonore microRendu has a highly advanced carefully engineered USB output, as do many others.

    I have done extensive comparisons with MQA and non MQA. MQA sounds artificial to me. Like someone hit the fake surround button on an old AVR.
     
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