New Meridian audio format creating quite a buzz

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Apesbrain, Dec 5, 2014.

  1. Apesbrain

    Apesbrain Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    East Coast, USA
  2. ElvisCaprice

    ElvisCaprice Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Jaco, Costa Rica
    Sounds similar to the Pono pump.
     
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  3. Scott222C

    Scott222C Forum Resident

    Location:
    Europe
    MQA - More Quack Audiocy
     
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  4. Apesbrain

    Apesbrain Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    East Coast, USA
    I would label myself a skeptic on this sort of thing but it makes for very interesting reading and I hope to have the chance to hear it. Not at all the same as Pono. Good luck to them!
     
  5. Scott222C

    Scott222C Forum Resident

    Location:
    Europe
    The sound of MQA, reproduced through a pair of Meridian DSP7200 loudspeakers, was simply stunning in every way. I heard a wide range of music, from full-scale orchestral to voices to a very quiet piece by the Modern Jazz Quartet from the 1950s. I can still vividly recall the delicacy, ease, and resolution of the cymbals in the MJQ piece. I was also struck by the precision of their placement and how they appeared to float in the air against a completely silent background. The treble was totally unlike any other digital I’d heard, completely free from the metallic hardness and artifacts we assume are part-and-parcel of digital audio. Instrumental timbres were so naturally rendered to be almost eerie in their realism. Voices had a stunning palpability and immediacy that were all the more realistic for their compact image size and the sense that they were surrounded by a natural acoustic. It’s interesting that, as I recall the experience, my sonic impressions were so striking that they are still vivid nearly a year later—yet I can’t remember any other demo I heard at the show. Robert Harley


    :nyah:
     
  6. gloomrider

    gloomrider Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hollywood, CA, USA
    Thanks for posting this. I like the idea that it can be encoded into PCM. In that regard, it's similar to HDCD. I would like to demo this tech myself.
     
  7. Apesbrain

    Apesbrain Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    East Coast, USA
    You're welcome. Has the potential to make all that came before a dunsel. (Sorry for the hype but your avatar, right?)
     
  8. tomd

    tomd Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brighton,Colorado
    Great! Now wake me up when we get some actual TITLES besides the same half dozen (Elton John-Goodby Yellow Brick Road,Who-Who's Next,Clapton-Layla,Allmans) we've been blessed with on EVERY single Hirez format in the last 15 years!
     
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  9. dkmonroe

    dkmonroe A completely self-taught idiot

    Location:
    Atlanta
    Oh great, another new audio format for people to ridicule and dismiss before ever having heard it. When will they learn that the CD can't be topped?
     
  10. gloomrider

    gloomrider Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hollywood, CA, USA
    Yes, but that's Captain Dunsel to you. :)
     
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  11. eddiel

    eddiel Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    I agree it's not like the Pono at all. What Meridian is saying they've been able to do, in a nutshell, is capture hi-res audio but in a smaller file size which can be streamed easily compared to hi-res audio & in existing file containers (FLAC, ALAC,WAV).

    (And yes I tend to be a skeptic too)
     
  12. Amateurish

    Amateurish Member

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    Some say that MQA was supposed to be part of Pono. Given the descriptions from Neil that would make some sense. Because if Pono content isn't merely the same hi res files that you can get from other outlets, then what is it?
     
  13. gloomrider

    gloomrider Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hollywood, CA, USA
    Ah, so Pono originally partnered with Meridian then moved to Ayre. Perhaps Pono wasn't optimistic about MQA?
     
  14. Amateurish

    Amateurish Member

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    I'd love to know what happened here but I'm sure that those in the know have legal reasons not to divulge. This video has a man from Warner Music saying we will hear from artists, and retailers who have adopted MQA in 2015. Meridian is supposed to announce more details at CES 2015 in Jan.

     
  15. Brother_Rael

    Brother_Rael Forum Resident

    Or rather, oh God, not another audio format because it's not as if there's not enough to chose from already...

    End results? A fragmented marketplace and dwindling sales.
     
  16. At 1:29 in the video the dude has the Audeze headphones on backwards. :laugh:

    I'm as excited about this new format as I am about DSD. :shh: :nyah:

    If this ends up like HDCD where you get compromised sound if it's not decoded then I'm not interested at all. Been there done that. Do not want. Look what we've got with HDCD. No modern DAC chips supporting it any more. We're relying on hacked and reverse engineered software decoding of questionable legality. Either this new format is fully open where others can implement and have guaranteed compatible decoding 20 years in the future. Or no go.
     
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  17. dkmonroe

    dkmonroe A completely self-taught idiot

    Location:
    Atlanta
    But it's already been established that new formats will fail because nobody cares. See: Pono debate.
     
  18. MonkeyMan

    MonkeyMan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Denver, CO, USA
    Another format... Sweet!
     
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  19. Diver110

    Diver110 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Baltimore
    The audiophile percentage of the market is tiny and could never drive market-wide changes. What has mostly driven the music market is convenience, from LP to cassette to CD to MP3. If audiophiles ran the show, we would probably still be on LPs, which contain the most sonic info. I could maybe see it working if (1) it really is better sound and (2) sounds better to the average Joe for the same money as MP3. MP3's sound so bad that even regular people sometimes notice.
     
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  20. Amateurish

    Amateurish Member

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    My understanding is that a non-MQA DAC will see a PCM stream

    http://www.ultrahighendreview.com/uploads/documents/Meridian_MQA.pdf
     
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  21. Grant

    Grant A Musical Free-Spirit

    Location:
    Arizona
    It is inaccurate to call MQA a format. It is an encoder/decoder.

    If there was a way to implement this technology without any action by the end-user, and it can be implemented in software and hardware, it will be a winner.

    It is clear to me that this industry-wide effort to up the quality of recorded music is huge, and will eventually render present-day loddy formats obsolete. A lot of this depends on how hard the industry is willing to push for a change, and what Apple will do. They are the current king of lossy, downloaded music. I'm all ready to disable my iTunes account and uninstall the program as soon as Pono is opened to the masses, not that I ever really use iTunes, anyway....

    Anyway, I look forward to experiencing my favorite music decoded with MQA. We have Plangent, and now this. With hi-rez and lossless music, the future looks bright for music!
     
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  22. Brother_Rael

    Brother_Rael Forum Resident

    Saw the debate, but think this is Meridian out to plug some new gear of theirs that'll loop this new format in. Or vice versa. either way, it's another format, niche appeal, not going to do anything that'll clear the already overcrowded format decks.
     
  23. Brother_Rael

    Brother_Rael Forum Resident

    Disagree. Poorly recorded files on mp3 will sound bad, in the same way that excellent recordings will sound excellent. It's not the file format that's a problem, it's the underlying recording/production/mastering.
     
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  24. tmtomh

    tmtomh Forum Resident

    The key seems to be digital sampling via what they call the "MQA encapsulation process." Everything else appears to be old hat - going back to the original master tapes, making the digital file available in various formats, etc.

    So the question is, is MQA encapsulation a new, third sampling method different from PCM and DSD, or is it some kind of tweaked version of one of them?
     
  25. Thanks for that. The PDF gives a little bit more background and info. Still much more on the press release style of info rather than technical info. We'll likely have to wait for technical details.

    I'm going to be very pessimistic though about a new format if it isn't open. I've had to deal with the after-effects of HDCD as a closed format that is now obsolete. Once bitten, twice shy. I don't want to go down that road again.
     
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