MQA bails on Rocky Mountain Audio Fest*

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by ls35a, Oct 7, 2017.

  1. ls35a

    ls35a Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Eagle, Idaho
  2. DaleClark

    DaleClark Forum Resident

    Bexley, Ohio
    for being over 3 years in, not a lot of MQA components or mqa music outside of Tidal ( limited selection there as well).
  3. Ron Scubadiver

    Ron Scubadiver Forum Resident

    Houston TX
    MQA is smoke and mirrors.
    art, dmckean, slovell and 1 other person like this.
  4. MichaelXX2

    MichaelXX2 Forum Resident

    United States
    Hi-res audio itself is snake oil, and all MQA is doing is adding bigger file sizes to the mix. Trust me, I wanted to believe in SACD and 24/96 downloads same as anyone else, but I realized that vanilla redbook 16/44.1 audio is simply more than enough to carry all the information PCM will ever need to tell you. This is not up for debate, it's scientific fact. The real improvements to be made with digital audio lie with improving ADC and DAC technology - but that doesn't sell hardware as fast as coming up with some ridiculous new garbage to muddy the hi-fi audio community with. I say CDs sound really damn good!
  5. ThorensSme

    ThorensSme Forum Resident

    As a personal rule, I almost never trust someone who says “trust me”. Haven’t heard MQA, and I don’t really have any interest, but your statements about high res audio are needlessly general. And that’s coming from a Vinyl nerd.
    jerico, nosliw, russk and 10 others like this.
  6. Claude Benshaul

    Claude Benshaul Forum Resident

  7. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    Marysville, WA
    Posts deleted. Thread title changed. Back on-topic, please.
    BrokenByAudio likes this.
  8. Tim Müller

    Tim Müller Forum Resident

    I think it's logical they bailed out.
    What they have to offer to the audiophile is nothing to little.
    The claimed audible sonic improvements are very hard to demonstrate, because they are so subtle or not existant at all.
    It adds Digital Rights Management (DRM), that's a benefit for the music industry, not for the customer.

    I think, the digital chain (A/D, or D/A converters), or electronic gear (amps, music players [disc players]) have reached a level of engineering and manufacturing perfection, that real improvements are very hard to make and only very subtle, if at all.

    What is more important, as I see it, are loudspeakers and their interaction with the acoustics of the living room. I think, in this area there is so much room for improvements.
    russk, harmonica98, McLover and 8 others like this.
  9. Mr Bass

    Mr Bass Chevelle Ma Belle

    Mid Atlantic
    I had some indirect email conversations through a middleman with the MQA folks in response to a few technical questions I had. They did respond in a reasonable way.

    I feel as with any new technology that independent test and evaluation is required. The proponent should have all necessary input to the way the test is conducted but should not be in charge of the test. If that can't be arranged then the difference has to be so overwhelming such as color vs B&W that none can dispute it.
  10. Kyhl

    Kyhl formerly known

    MQA needing to be in charge of the testing reminds me of the Bose demos from a couple decades back where no one was allowed to play their own music at an audition.

    MQA keeps failing every smell test, and logic.
  11. Tim Müller

    Tim Müller Forum Resident

    The previous poster clearly declared that MQA ("the proponent") should not be in charge of the test.

    But, if the claimed benefits can only be "demonstrated" when MQA is in charge of the test, than the BOSE analogy is valid.

    MQA really smells like snakeoil.

    The shills and claqueres for MQA on various forums and blogspots (like Archimago's) don't do much to change that smell.
    art and showtaper like this.
  12. Tim Müller

    Tim Müller Forum Resident

    Now, what do you need to market Snakeoil?
    * Have your claqueres, fanboys and shills ready to do the guerilla marketing for you.
    * Make your Snakeoil into a self-contained system of faith and believe of a cult sect of golden ears.
    * Have your shills name-drop famous records of the target audience.
    * Have some magical pixie dust required for your snakeoil, like "end-to-end" or "autenticated", or whatever B/S buzzword phrase.
    * Whenever someone tests or tastes your snakeoil, have your shills and fanboys cry out,"it's invalid! There was no pixie dust applied. There was no "end-to-autenticiated" applied!"
    * Bully at those who don't buy every snakeoil B/S.
    * Attact at person, and ignore facts, reason and arguments.

    It's the same old pattern.

    Now, that is the art of the trade of company shills.

    Never answer to questions in forums, but take the discussion away from the topic. The topic was, "does MQA do any benefits to sound quality?" The answer from Archimago's blind test is, "No".

    What the shills now is talking about, is albums from the 70s, presented in "hi-res", available through Tindal on MQA, billed as a benefit of MQA, the availability of classical albums.

    Yes, that's the skill of the company shills to de-focus the topics, to blurr the topics away from the question. The question is, "does MQA do any benefits to sound quality?"

    Their blurring and de-focussing strategy works by:

    * Simply introducing some other controversal topic.
    * Personally attack people who participate in the discussion.
    * Try to make opponents look ridiculous.
    * Strawman-arguments. Disprove arguments the other side never has made.
    * Lengthy pointless talk about personal feelings.
    * Name-dropping. Drop names of "famous" sound engineers, or artists. Even, if you just listen to their records.
    * Statement of firm fanatical faith: "I believe the propriaty technology of MQA... blablabla..."

    I would say, by this pattern, the company is not serious.
    Because, very likely, their product does not hold any water.
  13. Bubbamike

    Bubbamike Forum Resident

    I love how any discussion of MQA with a proponent comes down to "What equipment do you have? It may not be revealing enough to allow you to hear the difference." If I have to have Magico speakers and Lamm electronics to hear the difference then it isn't worthwhile to me. I'm not going to buy it because there really isn't any difference and you're selling me lies.
    Blank Frank, ggjjr, basie-fan and 2 others like this.
  14. saturdayboy

    saturdayboy Forum Resident

    Don’t agree that hi-res is snake oil, but pretty much agree that redbook is more than enough
  15. saturdayboy

    saturdayboy Forum Resident

    How does something not being affordable make it a lie?
  16. Bubbamike

    Bubbamike Forum Resident

    If I can't hear it with Naim and Harbeth then there is nothing really there to hear.
    Coricama likes this.
  17. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host

    Some of us work in the Hi-Rez world, mixing and mastering classic music and have done so for years. Do you think we are all stupid?

    (MQA, don't know, don't care.)
  18. Brother_Rael

    Brother_Rael Forum Resident

    Scottish Borders
  19. oxenholme

    oxenholme High Quality Posts™ a speciality

    Have Boothroyd Stuart fallen out?

    In the early days I found their equipment to be pretty good. MCD, MCD PRO, 208, 602-603. Their MLP seemed to work fine in DVD-Audio.
  20. Brother_Rael

    Brother_Rael Forum Resident

    Scottish Borders
    Bob Stuart has apparently cut his ties with Meridian to devote all his time to MQA. Banging his head off the nearest table hopefully...

    Meridian gear is good alright. MQA isn't Bob's finest moment however.
  21. Claude Benshaul

    Claude Benshaul Forum Resident

    That's a pity because people will remember him as the father of MQA and will forget he was one of the founders of Meridian.

    I see from the list that Onkyo and Pioneer portable players are mentioned as being MQA enabled. I find this a bit misleading because, as the owner of a Pioneer XDP-100P - the first Pioneer player to receive the MQA firmware update, I know that it's only a software update to the player app. Basically it will only provide the same level of decoding as TIDAL. I wonder what Esoteric, Moon and Mark Levinson are going to show as proof of concept and more telling: Have they set a rotating schedule between them in order to share the usual old white men and their folding chairs?
  22. Tim Müller

    Tim Müller Forum Resident

    The speakers and amps and interconnects that make the MQA difference audible simply are yet to be invented. MQA is way ahead of the audio industry.
  23. DaleClark

    DaleClark Forum Resident

    Bexley, Ohio
  24. missan

    missan Forum Resident

    This might come as a shock; personally I am quite sure 24bits are better than 16bits.
    Anonamemouse, art and jmrife like this.
  25. Richard Austen

    Richard Austen Forum Resident

    Hong Kong
    I understand why LP sales are breaking records (pun intended). Seriously people - use the glorified radio for radio but get a very good redbook CD replay system and a turntable to play for serious music listening. The MQA turning your filet mignon into ground beef equivalent of music will not yield better music reproduction.
    I was hoping you might weigh in on MQA:

    Here is a post by Charles Hansen who owns Ayre Acoustics one of the better Solid State companies. His thoughts on MQA are somewhat scary and not out of the realm of possibility.

    >> If this little bit of "DRM", if that's what it is, is all it took to unlock the vaults, then I'm all for it. <<

    Be careful what you wish for. If MQA is widely adopted, I can assure you that "this little bit of DRM" will grow to unrecognizable proportions.

    As publicly held companies, the legal mandate of the record labels is to maximize their profits. Look what they did with vinyl in 1989 - at that time there were dozens of independent record labels. And even though LP constituted 1/3 of all sales (cassette was 1/3 and CD was also 1/3), they were able to do an under-the-table collusion to pull the plug on LP. All vinyl was gone. The only reason they are reintroducing it now is because people will pay $30 a pop and it is "pirate-proof".

    It's not hard to see that if MQA ever becomes established that the labels will drop both high-res *and* CD, both of which can be pirated. In that scenario you will not only need to replace your hardware with MQA-compatible equipment, but they will stop selling discs altogether and only allow streaming (renting). There will be no limits to the prices they charge, and there will be no limits to how much undecoded MQA files are degraded. Just look at the MQA patent applications to understand their true intentions.

    If they did it all at once, it would be instantly rejected by everybody. But if they sneak it in, piece-by-piece (first under the guise of "improved sound quality for no increase in your rental fees"), they can slowly screw the consumer once it is established.


    When CD came out, they got fat and lazy and forgot how to do their job. The job of a record label is to discover, develop, and promote new talent. But when CD came out, they found it far more profitable to simply re-release their back-catalog in the new format at 8x the profit margin and with zero expense for A&R, studio time, promotion, or anything at all.

    Now they have no A&R departments, no studios, no promotional departments, and no good new music.

    Next they allowed Apple to sell every song on an album separately for 1/12 the price of the entire album. Customers weren't stupid and just bought the best one or two songs - which is all of the good ones most albums had due to the poor quality of the producers left.

    RE: Well apparently ... - Charles Hansen - Critic's Corner

    I worry when many companies feel the pressure of adding MQA (which replaces their own DA processing) because if they don't they will lose sales to the machines that have MQA. MQA supposedly makes "better masters" and this is the bit I hoped Steve could look into because they are trying to suggest that their compression scheme makes the sound better. Of course they bail on any debate which makes sense when you want to make millions getting companies to sign on.

    I remember HDCD which everyone went ape over as being better but I believe it was discovered that all that was done with HDCD was an adjustment to the dB level (louder).

    Anyway - I just bought the Audio Note DAC 0.1X stone age non oversampling no filter DAC that does Redbook. LOL For $1450 it is idiotically good. My Hi-Res 32/192 khz ESS Sabre 9016 DAC at $1800 will be shown the door. The AN DAC downconverts and sounds better than the high res dac doing high res natively! And to be blunt it's not particularly close. So I have gone in the absolute opposite direction of MQA - :)
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2017

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