MQA bails on Rocky Mountain Audio Fest*

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

  1. Whoopycat

    Whoopycat Forum Resident

    Location:
    Des Moines
    All I know is when I listen to a Steven Wilson CD/DVD deluxe reissue, the DVD sounds better than the CD.
     
  2. basie-fan

    basie-fan Well-Known Member

    Exactly. We cannot see gravity, magnetism, electrons or x-rays but we know they exist because can measure them using sensitive instruments (a microscope for your example of bacteria). Modern electronics and scientific instruments can "see", "taste", "smell", "hear" and "touch" much better than humans, which has allowed humanity to make great advances, but we are still limited by the biology of our senses when used unaided by technology.

    Hi-res, MQA and CD can be distinguished from each other using electronic instruments, but can the unaided human ear/brain detect a difference? The only way to know for certain is to test this experimentally. If anyone is aware of a scientific study (meaning proper scientific methodology was used) that found Hi-res (or MQA-encoded) can be distinguished from 16/44 by human listeners please post a link.
     
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  3. Higlander

    Higlander Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Florida
    Does this count?

     
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  4. Higlander

    Higlander Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Florida
    Just curious these "details" you have uncovered, what exactly are they?
    I mean to ask, are they extremely low level sounds, super high pitched sounds or what.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
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  5. Agitater

    Agitater Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    We can’t see them with the unaided eye, but they’re certainly visible with the tools cheaply available at the average hobby store. Microscopes in typical high school labs provide kids with really clear views of good and bad germs of all kinds. So we can see germs quite easily.

    I only talk about simple scientific tools the same way Bob Stuart and other engineers talk about their tools. Problem is, few people besides audiophile pundits can hear what Mr. Stuart and the Robert Harley crowd insists is better.

    Getting back to your germ analogy, MQA is a microbe so elusive that even the most powerful tools can’t seem to help us hear it. Except sometimes. Or maybe we’re just hearing something different but not better, and sometimes worse

    Or maybe one of the things that MQA does is just like what Monster used to do with its black box cable demos? You remember that demo - most people of a certain age came across the demo at shows and at some retail stores. There was a display box on the wall containing a speaker, a switch and two pieces of speaker wire. One of the wires was a very long coil of tiny-gauge junk, about 22 AWG. The other wire was a very short coil 16AWG or 14 AWG Monster cable. The resistance of the very long piece of 22 AWG wire was so high that the sound was naturally much, much softer until people doing the demo switched to the very short, large AWG Monster cable. It was a sucker punch. It helped Monster Cable sell millions of feet of its speaker wire to all those guys who dozed through electrical shop or physics class in school.

    I think that MQA is a lot like Monster was in that certain things MQA is doing are perfectly real and perfectly demonstrable - e.g., the MQA process, the algorithm, the file size changes, bit rate change. But the rest of what MQA does - the stuff we’re supposed to be able to hear and appreciate - is elusive when it exists at all. That’s not acceptable.
     
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  6. Dreams266

    Dreams266 New Member

    Location:
    NJ
    I actually CAN answer this somewhat. When comparing sources in the past, I can describe hearing what can be visually described as cilia type hair on the outer portions of the music that would be part of that "air" people discuss. Sometimes that "air" is part of what provides soundstage but it's not confined to that. I can hear it on all ranges but when I'm focusing, trying to pick the better of 2 sources (LPs, LP vs hi res, etc.), it is most notable on the upper end so I will usually focus on that portion. It's kind of like fine hair that covers the musical beast and it provides some of the beauty in Hi-Fi listening. It is a fact that a LOT of people's ears are not going to have the capability to hear some or all of that "hair" on a recording. There is nothing snobby about this, and the fact is that I'm nearing 50 and I'm starting to not be able to hear it either. Therefore, it may become less important to me as time goes on. I have had problems with my ears being clogged in past and been convinced it was my system so there is lot going on with the human instrument with all this. I can say without a shadow of a doubt though that hi -res music contains audible qualities that are not captured in lower res versions. It seems that some want to say it doesn't exist because some can't hear it. I'm sorry but whenever something comes out that really is snake oil, it doesn't revolutionize the audio world like Hi Res music has. I feel like we are arguing about global warming
     
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  7. Higlander

    Higlander Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Florida
    Fair enough!....Okay I can relate to what you say somewhat.
    My personal opinion, I was never truly certain I heard an improvement, but maybe a difference.

    I just wonder why under controlled conditions, it becomes hard to differentiate?
     
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  8. Tartifless

    Tartifless Forum Resident

    Location:
    France
    MQA is not meant to be a new music format, the goal is only to reduce size of traditional Hi-rez files with a new type of lossy compression 17bits/48khz (actually 13 of which are lossless and 4 compressed that need Mqa capable receiver for decompression).
    Apparently the decompression of the 4/48 should bring you back to a quality close to 24/96.

    The file format remains FLAC as far as i am aware.

    MQA target is not the music consumer but typically the streaming services that could hypothetically reduce bandwirth by half.

    So there would be no new physical media encoded in MQA or no new MQA masterings, just existing hi-rez masterings converted to MQA for streaming services.

    Am i understanding something wrong ?
     
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  9. Claude Benshaul

    Claude Benshaul Well-Known Member

    Possibly because the whole logic behind MQA is flawed.

    MQA supposedly let you stream Hi Res audio on the move at standard bandwidth except that it doesn't and that it's not needed.

    MQA supposedly let you enjoy better than Hi Res audio at home except that it's not able to do **** about the main problems plaguing digital audio nowadays.
     
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  10. Dreams266

    Dreams266 New Member

    Location:
    NJ
    Man, that write up in Analogue Planet was over the top praising MQA. I think he buys stock in stuff and then praises the product.
     
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  11. Tim Müller

    Tim Müller Forum Resident

    Location:
    Germany
    .. but just let fall a hammer on your toes, you feel that gravity is just an illusion.

    The sonic benefit of MQA on the opposite, is very real. Unless you really want to hear it, it just vanishes like an illusion.

    But it's not! It's only that your gear is not able to reveal the sonic benefits of MQA, or your ears are not good enough.
     
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  12. missan

    missan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Stockholm
    I have a feeling if we hear a difference our components aren't good enough.
     
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  13. Tim Müller

    Tim Müller Forum Resident

    Location:
    Germany
    Oh, it's pretty easy for me. When that blue LED-lit sign "24/96" is illuminated, I clearly hear all the better resolution of hi-res. Couldn't be easier than that.
     
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  14. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    Location:
    East TN
    MQA bailing on the RMAF is a sign that something is not on the up and up. They should be answering audiophile questions and concerns which would be the sign of a company with nothing to hide. This for me is a Red Flag, being that RMAF is a key audiophile show.
     
    No Static likes this.
  15. Dreams266

    Dreams266 New Member

    Location:
    NJ
    You should visit doctor and see if you have wax build up. If that's not it, you just weren't born with ears that hear upper frequencies or you've lost that hearing. My deepest sympathies on your hearing (if not wax build up or clogging) but my congrats to you on your highly developed sarcastic wit. I could just deny that it's good sarcasm because many people may not be able to detect your wit...but I can. I have come to grips that people can see better than me, think better than me and play tennis better than me. It appears that
    you are in a state of denial about your hearing. But you're obviously not alone!

    Btw, you don't list your audio equipment so can't see if that's your problem.
     
  16. Claude Benshaul

    Claude Benshaul Well-Known Member

    MQA Ltd has everything to lose and nothing to gain by participating in Q&A sessions and they infiltrated enough sock puppets to spread the gospel so their absence is the best strategy.
     
  17. Tim Müller

    Tim Müller Forum Resident

    Location:
    Germany
    Yes, you are right.
    Because nobody, in a true listening comparison, would hear any sonic benefits of MQA.
    Sock puppets..., you are right about that.
    See below.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
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  18. Tim Müller

    Tim Müller Forum Resident

    Location:
    Germany
    Oh, you dear boy, you are so worried about me and my hearing. Thank you very much!
    You are so carefull putting me in a defence position about defending my hearing and my equipment.
    Nice try of bullying, though.

    But, my observations are not built solely on my hearing abilities.
    83 of 83 subjects were not able to hear a difference, let alone sonic benefits of MQA, in a listening test conducted by Archimago.
    Now, you gonna tell each of them, they are deaf and should see a doctor, right?

    In the meanwhile, enjoy your "golden ears". We'll meet at a true listening blind test.
     
  19. missan

    missan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Stockholm
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  20. Dreams266

    Dreams266 New Member

    Location:
    NJ
    You are referring to MQA, I am talking about hi-res in general.
     
  21. Dreams266

    Dreams266 New Member

    Location:
    NJ
    What was used to create these files. I'm just wondering if the high-res file might not sound better if the software isn't up to the job
     
  22. SquishySounds

    SquishySounds Well-Known Member

    Location:
    New York
    Shouldn’t the improvements be obvious even with the earbuds that come with the phone?
     
  23. Bubbamike

    Bubbamike Forum Resident

    If you don't see how wonderful and magnificent the Emperor's new clothes are then you need better glasses. Look everyone else loves them. You and your glasses are the problem.
     
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  24. missan

    missan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Stockholm
    Do You prefer any of the files?
     
  25. Dreams266

    Dreams266 New Member

    Location:
    NJ
    Absolutely not
     

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