My new article series on MQA.

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by LeeS, Jan 9, 2018.

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  1. Brother_Rael

    Brother_Rael Forum Resident

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    Scottish Borders
    Bottom line, different isn't necessarily better. The jury is well out on this still.
     
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  2. rednedtugent

    rednedtugent Forum Resident

    Location:
    Funk, Ohio
    I can see it now
    "MQA Free source!"
     
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  3. Erik Tracy

    Erik Tracy Meet me at the Green Dragon for an ale

    Location:
    San Diego, CA, USA
    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.
     
  4. Dr Tone

    Dr Tone Forum Resident

    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    I hope it never gets the point where I'm looking for just that.
     
  5. Dr Tone

    Dr Tone Forum Resident

    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    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.
     
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  6. rednedtugent

    rednedtugent Forum Resident

    Location:
    Funk, Ohio
    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.

     
  7. Hymie the Robot

    Hymie the Robot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    An undefeatable DSP. It can't be turned off because the files are lossy. DRM disguised as filters.
     
  8. Freebird

    Freebird how bizarre

    Location:
    Indiana
    I said it's better. Nothing anyone says will change that. I don't need a jury.
     
  9. 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.
     
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  10. testikoff

    testikoff Seasoned n00b

    Quoting myself here: ;)
     
    tmtomh likes this.
  11. Erik Tracy

    Erik Tracy Meet me at the Green Dragon for an ale

    Location:
    San Diego, CA, USA
    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).
     
  12. Mel Harris

    Mel Harris Audiophile since 1970!

    Location:
    Petaluma, CA
    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.
     
  13. Brother_Rael

    Brother_Rael Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scottish Borders
    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.
     
  14. LeeS

    LeeS Blue Note Fan Thread Starter

    Location:
    Atlanta
    If MQA was only sold as DSP, we would not benefit from all the big labels issuing their entire catalog on hirez.
     
  15. LeeS

    LeeS Blue Note Fan Thread Starter

    Location:
    Atlanta
    This has not been my experience. It's pretty easy to hear the impact of a minimum phase filter.
     
  16. LeeS

    LeeS Blue Note Fan Thread Starter

    Location:
    Atlanta
    My understanding is that Benchmark is changing their view on MQA.
     
  17. LeeS

    LeeS Blue Note Fan Thread Starter

    Location:
    Atlanta
    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.
     
  18. LeeS

    LeeS Blue Note Fan Thread Starter

    Location:
    Atlanta
    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.
     
  19. LeeS

    LeeS Blue Note Fan Thread Starter

    Location:
    Atlanta
    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.
     
  20. LeeS

    LeeS Blue Note Fan Thread Starter

    Location:
    Atlanta
    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).
     
  21. Dr Tone

    Dr Tone Forum Resident

    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    So without MQA they won't? Why is that?
     
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  22. Dr Tone

    Dr Tone Forum Resident

    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    I have an AudioQuest Red. My non MQA DAC sounds allot better playing all content.
     
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  23. rednedtugent

    rednedtugent Forum Resident

    Location:
    Funk, Ohio
    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.
     
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  24. LeeS

    LeeS Blue Note Fan Thread Starter

    Location:
    Atlanta
    Think about the history of hirez. It was a very, very limited number of titles they released during the SACD/DVD-Audio era.
     
  25. LeeS

    LeeS Blue Note Fan Thread Starter

    Location:
    Atlanta
    You are ignoring the benefit of higher sampling rates.
     
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