My new article series on MQA.

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

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. BSC

    BSC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow, Scotland
    I'm taking my hat off to LeeS for surviving the bombardment he's taking.........not sure he's a 100% correct but at the end of the day I still think MQA isn't being given a rational chance by some.....their minds are made up already.
     
    cdash99, billnunan and LeeS like this.
  2. LeeS

    LeeS Blue Note Fan Thread Starter

    Location:
    Atlanta
    Haha, I suit up in Kevlar for MQA threads. :D
     
  3. rednedtugent

    rednedtugent Forum Resident

    Location:
    Funk, Ohio
    Hi Lee,

    no I'm not. I just didn't want to go there. In my small sample size a great remaster done by say
    Steve Hoffman beats a higher sample rate every time. It's been true for HDCD, SACD, and hi-rez for me.
    I have no dog in this fight. It sounds to me like a big dog just moved in next door however.

    If you want to get my attention, why don't you run these brick walled "remastered" files
    thru MQA? If it fixes those, we might be on to something. How do the good people at
    MQA know they are getting the best possible source. (purely self interest here)
     
    Brother_Rael likes this.
  4. Dr Tone

    Dr Tone Forum Resident

    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    No, my question is why do they now jump aboard with MQA? What about MQA do they like?

    We know it's not size savings, that's been proven wrong over and over. Sound Quality is subjective. What advantage does it have after that?
     
    Kyhl likes this.
  5. LeeS

    LeeS Blue Note Fan Thread Starter

    Location:
    Atlanta
    I would not disagree on the importance of mastering quality. Indeed, I am sure that is something 90% of us here on Hoffman have learned via buying better CDs.

    But it's not a fair fight to use different masterings. You have to hold the condition stable to test the impact of MQA encoding. That is one reason why Peter's demos for Wilson have so much power. He does almost no editing/EQ and the MQA files of Peter's 24/88 or 24/96 (it varies) remain 100% unchanged except for the MQA encoding from Spence's team.
     
  6. LeeS

    LeeS Blue Note Fan Thread Starter

    Location:
    Atlanta
    You are just speculating here. Without any of us being in the meetings decision makers, none of use know the answer. It could be sound quality, it could be branding, it could be a whole host of things.
     
  7. LeeS

    LeeS Blue Note Fan Thread Starter

    Location:
    Atlanta
     
    rednedtugent likes this.
  8. rischa

    rischa Forum Resident

    Location:
    Madison, WI
    Huh? You're writing a 3 article series on MQA and you don't have an answer--or even an opinion--on why labels would adopt it as their go-to digital source for streaming and downloads? This seems like a pretty fundamental question to have an answer to if you're advocating for the format.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
    Kyhl and rbbert like this.
  9. LeeS

    LeeS Blue Note Fan Thread Starter

    Location:
    Atlanta
    There is no possible way to know exactly why the labels chose to go with MQA. That would only be possible if I knew the decision makers personally and assumes they would share the information.

    My guess is a combination of belief in streaming as their future, investment opportunity, sound quality, and branding.
     
  10. rbbert

    rbbert Forum Resident

    Location:
    Reno, NV, USA
    More likely seeing it as a way to control content and distribution. It’s well known that the music and film industries would prefer to have the customer pay some type of usage fee for each listening and viewing, and MQA and it’s available DRM (even if it’s not being used currently) offer that possibility. Also appealing is the inherent lossiness, meaning that they (the labels) have the only true “hi-rez” versions.

    So I’m wondering again what this articles and the subsequent ones in this series bring out in useful information that hasn’t already been pounded into us? How exactly is putting all hi-rez audio content into a proprietary format helpful to the hardware industry or the consumer (how it helps MQA/Meridian and the record labels is pretty clear)?

    And back to one of my as yet unanswered questions; whither FLAC? To make an MQA version of an album, a traditional PCM master needs to be prepared first. So far, all of those are also being sold as FLAC, and that might continue, but I suspect the labels will try to find a way to discontinue that practice, even though it makes them money in the short run (since it costs them nothing to do it, even if sales are small it is profitable)
     
    j7n, gd0 and Kyhl like this.
  11. rednedtugent

    rednedtugent Forum Resident

    Location:
    Funk, Ohio
    A-Ha!
    "I do professional classical recordings, mostly string ensembles but some orchestral. If you record strings, hirez is needed to get the sweet tone of a violin. I have never heard that duplicated in 16/44, even using the best converters. I also find the soundstage recreation to be wider/deeper in hirez and instrument separation to be better."

    I've unloaded 50-100 classical recordings on vinyl and have very few on SACD. My wife just doesn't go for it so...
    I do listen to solo piano ect. on headphones.

    So I bow to your experience and experiences at higher sample rates.

    "To make an MQA version of an album, a traditional PCM master needs to be prepared first."
    Not sure where you are getting this rbbert?

    oh and if Benchmark is on board w/ MQA there must be some business arrangement...
    why else for the 180 degrees in a years time or so.
     
  12. hvbias

    hvbias Forum Resident

    Location:
    Northeast
    Considering the majors have been water marking even the hi-res downloads, I can't get annoyed about any sort of MQA DRM. They shot themself in the foot long ago.

    I will simply stick with CD since I have never been able to successfully blind test a hi-res file down sampled to 16/44 with any statistical significance.
     
    fatwad666 and ribonucleic like this.
  13. Brother_Rael

    Brother_Rael Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scottish Borders
    Because in no way has that ever been done before, as any Rumours fan will tell you...
     
  14. tootull

    tootull John Norman

    Location:
    Canada
  15. rbbert

    rbbert Forum Resident

    Location:
    Reno, NV, USA
    How do you think an MQA recording is made? Magic? MQA is PCM, just compressed and filtered in a special way.
     
  16. ralf11

    ralf11 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Earth
    MQA's folding is ignoring the benefit of higher sampling rates.
     
  17. MaestroDavros

    MaestroDavros Forum Resident

    Location:
    D.C. Metro Area
    MQA doesn't appeal to me personally as I love tinkering with music files; mostly for my own amusement (and personal "remastering" to my own tastes). MQA encoded files wouldn't allow me to do that.
     
    j7n and rbbert like this.
  18. rednedtugent

    rednedtugent Forum Resident

    Location:
    Funk, Ohio
    I only know what I read. I guess we will have to wait for article 2. :)
    Do you think they are up sampling rbbert? MQA is 17 bits of data
    after it comes out of the black box.

     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
  19. LeeS

    LeeS Blue Note Fan Thread Starter

    Location:
    Atlanta
    You are wasting your time on this FLAC dream as the labels already decided on MQA so game over there.
     
  20. LeeS

    LeeS Blue Note Fan Thread Starter

    Location:
    Atlanta
    Huh? Unfolding enables the higher sampling rates to be heard.
     
    rbbert likes this.
  21. I owe Lee a beer or an espresso next time we meet for taking this on. Not that I fully agree that MQA is good for audiophiledom. We can discuss that over the beer or coffee.
     
    Billy Budapest and LeeS like this.
  22. gd0

    gd0 Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies

    Location:
    Golden Gate
    The sh1t-disturber in me is considering posting this quote over and over and over as this thread continues.
     
  23. tomd

    tomd Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brighton,Colorado
    Most of these threads on MQA are about Audiophile technical aspects of it (whether it is/is not what it claims).What I want to know is where are the pop/Rock titles on 1. Universal? and 2. Sony? I see most from Warners and blanket statements the other two labels are “on board”.What the hell does that mean EXACTLY?
     
  24. LeeS

    LeeS Blue Note Fan Thread Starter

    Location:
    Atlanta
    There are 10K and rising on Tidal. More coming on HDMusicStreaming.

    They have been encoding for a year or so and I believe the first million tracks are due up soon. Each label has an encoder and the mastering engneers have been trained.

    Now if you read my article you will find out that each label has signed a contract that obligates them to release their entire catalog.

    Each label owns equity in MQA so they are VERY committed.
     
  25. rbbert

    rbbert Forum Resident

    Location:
    Reno, NV, USA
    Statements like this do make it sound as if you are an MQA shill.

    Let me explain this to you. The first step in making an MQA album (or file, or whatever you want to call it) is to create a hi-rez PCM master. In many cases, this already exists as the album "studio master". Up to this point, at least, all or virtually all of the albums available in MQA on Tidal from the major labels (primarily Warners, so far, but Sony has recently started jumping in) have also been available for sale in hi-rez PCM (i.e., FLAC) from HDTracks, Prostudiomasters, etc. So "decided on MQA" certainly does not remove FLAC as a format for hi-rez, in fact it is still the only significant way hi-rez downloads are sold (don't let those other "options", such as WAV, ALAC, etc deceive you; they are all delivered to your computer as FLAC, and the downloading program then converts them into your desired format). If in fact hi-rez PCM disappears, it would be extremely unfortunate. I hope that somehow you understand that? Even John Atkinson acknowledges this in his latest editorial, and he has been a strong proponent for MQA (in print, at least).
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page