Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by LeeS, Jan 9, 2018.
Bottom line, different isn't necessarily better. The jury is well out on this still.
I can see it now
"MQA Free source!"
I'm agnostic to the MQA debate as well -have been trying to keep up with the topic and sifting thru the chaff and noise.
Meanwhile...Stereophile's Jim Atkinson has published two articles on MQA Testing.
The first part was kinda interesting and addressed the time domain behavior of MQA vs non-MQA DACs
MQA Tested, Part 1
My takeaway was it's all about the filtering in regards to optimizing time domain measurements.
I hope it never gets the point where I'm looking for just that.
If MQA was sold as a DSP, which is all it really is, this debate wouldn't be going on. But Bob's goals aren't about providing the sound some people like it's about taking control, licensing that control and that's why allot of people have burrs in their saddle.
yeah, they gave Benchmark a poke in the eye. Pre and post ringing problems!
I'll be the first to admit Benchmarks DAC isn't the best thing going out there.
To just chuck all of their R&D for MQA... I can see them having a problem w/ it.
An undefeatable DSP. It can't be turned off because the files are lossy. DRM disguised as filters.
I said it's better. Nothing anyone says will change that. I don't need a jury.
Benchmark’s position is that pre- and post-ringing are inaudible while the frequency domain trade offs incurred to eliminate pre- and post-ringing are audible.
Personally, in testing work for two different companies, I have had a chance to evaluate steep, slow, and minimum phase filters within the same circuit and I have not been able to hear ANY differences among them. This leads me to believe that circuit design—and especially the design of the analog portion of the D/A circuits—has far more effect on sound than the choice of digital filters or particular DAC chip. As far as *measurements*, those can and will differ. However, differences in sound due to different digital filters have not been borne out by the testing I have been involved with.
Quoting myself here:
See that's the interesting question that needs substantiation - can the measurements correlate to any claims of audible difference.
On paper, the time domain performance for the impulse response sure *looks* better using MQA filtering (even with a non-MQA encoded file; hence my comment that the 'secret sauce' is the filtering, not the encoding per se).
I've learned quite a bit about the audibility of various digital filters by experimenting with HQPlayer. I encourage others to try this as well.
Good for you. Colour me delighted. You put your opinion out on a public forum and got a comment on it. Nothing's going to change that either.
If MQA was only sold as DSP, we would not benefit from all the big labels issuing their entire catalog on hirez.
This has not been my experience. It's pretty easy to hear the impact of a minimum phase filter.
My understanding is that Benchmark is changing their view on MQA.
If the labels are encoding their entire catalogs in (assuming for argument's sake) 18 bit/96khz as claimed by Benchmark in 2016, why is that alone not a win for the hirez community?
The difference between 18/96 and 24/96 is very small and perhaps inaudible.
Again, this would be the same situation with any new format introduction so you are holding MQA to a rather impossible standard.
And besides, who cares? Spend $200 and get an Audioquest Red for MQA files. It sounds terrific.
Also, the first unfold helps too and getting there is just a software upgrade for Amarra, etc.
Bingo. The key point I was trying to make in my article. Thank you.
I would love to have all these catalogs available in high rate DSD and issued on SACD but that ain't gonna happen. Streaming provided a vehicle for getting labels interested enough to commit to releasing literally millions of tracks in the near future.
You are confusing things...I am not saying the mobile user will subscribe to the hirez streaming with Tidal or HDMusicStreaming (CES announced that Chesky was introducing a music streaming service of all MQA files).
Streaming is what convinced the labels to encode their catalog. Audiophile users, the smaller market, benefit as a result.
Of course, some labels could decide to ride the price-volume curve out on volume and make the MQA a smaller additional fee instead of the established $10 per month for CD quality and $20 per month for MQA quality (Tidal, Chesky pricing not announced).
So without MQA they won't? Why is that?
I have an AudioQuest Red. My non MQA DAC sounds allot better playing all content.
Well here we are again. If the difference between 24bit vs 18bit is small as you say, the difference between 18 bit and likely 16 bit is nonexistent.
Thus there is no need for MQA. Oops, DR.
Why don't they just be up front about it.
Think about the history of hirez. It was a very, very limited number of titles they released during the SACD/DVD-Audio era.
You are ignoring the benefit of higher sampling rates.
Separate names with a comma.