My new article series on MQA.

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

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  1. Ski Bum

    Ski Bum Happy Audiophile

    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    I fully understand your skepticism (indeed, it is part of the reason that I was stunned). I have simply tried to describe what I heard, what I was told and by whom. I have heard it alleged that there were changes in the EQ, but that does not explain the improvements that I heard in clarity and imaging.
     
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  2. Brother_Rael

    Brother_Rael Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scottish Borders
    Er, I think you find that some audiophiles use Spotify at work quite happily...!
     
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  3. Brother_Rael

    Brother_Rael Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scottish Borders
    We are through the looking glass I see...
     
  4. rednedtugent

    rednedtugent Forum Resident

    Location:
    Funk, Ohio
    In Stereophile Vol.41 No.1
    John Atkinson writes;
    "this time-domain compensation correlates with the always-superb sound quality
    we have heard from decoded MQA files."

    I also remember reading that someone at the mag said they had to train themselves
    as to what to listen for, but I can't find the quote to pull.

    Good enough for me. MQA decoded files will always sound good to me. Next issue.
    Despite claims that anyone who questions MQA is nasty, I am only seeking the truth.
     
  5. russk

    russk Forum Resident

    Location:
    Syracuse NY
    I totally get your point. People are to personally invested in sides and not facts. Sad state of affairs for both subjects.
     
  6. So far, I am agnostic as it comes to MQA. I haven’t heard enough of it yet to have any pronouncements about its sound quality. 2L’s test bench is filled with unfamiliar recordings, and I am having trouble differentiating among the many different versions of each track available for comparison, including but not limited to the MQA versions.

    At Onkyo Music, an album I know intimately well, Station to Station, is available in MQA form. I am thinking about buying it to conduct comparisons to see once and for all if MQA will be useful to me (i.e., if I like its sound quality). Of course, that would require me to purchase the album again (and again, because I will want the non-MQA’ed hi res version for comparison) for the umpteenth time. It is a really f***king incredible album and it might be worth shelling out $30 (again).

    I’ve also never purchased anything from them, and the thought of getting put on another music-related mailing list puts shivers down my spine. We’ll see.

    Hi Res Music Downloads | HD Audio Store | Onkyo Music
     
  7. LeeS

    LeeS Blue Note Fan Thread Starter

    Location:
    Atlanta
    At LAAS, Peter played 24/88 and 24/96 files of his own work and then the MQA encoded versions on a nice Wilson Alexx system. I verified with Wilson that Peter’s original files were unaltered. The MQA version had more presence and clarity to my ears and sounded more natural.
     
  8. russk

    russk Forum Resident

    Location:
    Syracuse NY
  9. marcob1963

    marcob1963 Forum Resident

    Sounds very interesting.
     
  10. ralf11

    ralf11 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Earth
    I wonder if Ayre has anything on it? Charles had strong technical opinions on MQA...
     
  11. rednedtugent

    rednedtugent Forum Resident

    Location:
    Funk, Ohio
    LeeS,

    Even if your MQA (AKA HDCD with DR) statement is true, the target audience in your own article is the mobil earbud listener.

    "At LAAS, Peter played 24/88 and 24/96 files of his own work and then the MQA encoded versions on a nice Wilson Alexx system. I verified with Wilson that Peter’s original files were unaltered. The MQA version had more presence and clarity to my ears and sounded more natural."
     
  12. russk

    russk Forum Resident

    Location:
    Syracuse NY
    McGill University is actually doing a study on MQA and the results of will be released this year.

    secure.aes.org/forum/pubs/ebriefs/?ID=685

    Anyone have a current AES membership? The brief isn't open and my access expired last year. The results when released should make for an interesting read.

    Personally I think MQA, in practice, will be bad, for the end consumer. Anytime one group or individual gets that much control in a market place it isn't good for the consumer. Sound wise I'll reserve my opinion till I can try it out personally with an MQA certified DAC and read the McGill paper.
     
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  13. Higlander

    Higlander Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Florida, Central
    Fair enough!
    Well, it is decidedly tough to do a comparison, with other changes taking place at the same time.
    True the Eq changes may not be the actual reason for your impressive audition, but me being into experimenting with EQ and other effects, can take a decent good recording and easily elevate it to another level.
    Not saying that was your reason, but just something to consider.
     
  14. Higlander

    Higlander Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Florida, Central
    Media/Format bashing is taken to such an extreme, in an attempt to bolster one's opinion, one would think virtually nothing is listenable nor offers good quality sound.
     
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  15. Freebird

    Freebird Forum Resident

    Location:
    Indiana
    Thank you. Bottom line - MQA sounds better.
     
  16. rbbert

    rbbert Forum Resident

    Location:
    Reno, NV, USA
    Bottom line, that doesn't matter, and how it sounds isn't really the problem. If it didn't sound good, the whole problem would simply disappear.
     
  17. russk

    russk Forum Resident

    Location:
    Syracuse NY
    Not true. 128kbps and 256kbps MP3 don't sound good and they are ubiquitous. It also looks like the studios might have their own agenda behind this push.
     
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  18. Claude Benshaul

    Claude Benshaul Forum Resident

    I found that when shredding papers at the office, the sound is much more pleasant and harmonious when the word MQA is printed on the pages. So there might be something about this format after all.
     
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  19. rbbert

    rbbert Forum Resident

    Location:
    Reno, NV, USA
    You are right; I think I meant the problem might disappear for audiophiles.
     
  20. riddlemay

    riddlemay Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    One possible benefit of MQA (setting sound quality to one side, just for the moment) is that labels will have an incentive to dive even deeper into their catalogs than they did in the CD boom. CD resulted in tons of older music getting re-released that had been out of print for years. Yet not everything of value got re-released. If MQA makes it attractive to the label holding companies to encode and make available even more treasures from the past (not a foregone conclusion by any means, but conceivable), that will be a good thing.
     
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  21. Dr Tone

    Dr Tone Forum Resident

    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    MP3 solved an actual problem when it was introduced, reached such a critical mass it won't go away now.

    The studio and Bob Stuart have the most to gain from MQA. The studios keep control over there precious master by only releasing lossy MQA to listeners. Bob Stuart has nothing but money to be gained. If MQA becomes the only format for digital delivery the consumer has lost.

    How is Vinyl sourced from MQA going to go over?
     
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  22. russk

    russk Forum Resident

    Location:
    Syracuse NY
    Well fortunately for me 80% of what listen to is available now. No MQA involved.
     
  23. rbbert

    rbbert Forum Resident

    Location:
    Reno, NV, USA
    It's easy to see why Stuart, MQA and Meridian want this obvious fact ignored; it's much less clear (to me) why the audiophile press, including LeeS, does.
     
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  24. Dr Tone

    Dr Tone Forum Resident

    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    Audiophile press needs hardware sales and advertising of this hardware to stay alive. It's the same reason there is never a bad review of hardware, sure sometimes a minor issue with something but never a bad review.

    MQA requires new hardware to reach it's full upsampled potential.
     
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  25. rbbert

    rbbert Forum Resident

    Location:
    Reno, NV, USA
    It also needs readers to justify ad rates and sales...
     
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