Ok, this is getting RIDICULOUS. "MQA CDs"

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Digital Vinyl Infidel, Mar 16, 2017.

  1. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    San Francisco
    I thought most of that went away by the time the single-bit converters rolled around, so late '80s wasn't it?
    crooner likes this.
  2. HiFi Guy 008

    HiFi Guy 008 Forum Resident

    I'm still puzzled how something called "lossy" is better sounding.
    Is it only the "folded" that's considered lossy?
    And the "unfolded" is unlossy?


    My main trouble with digital is the limiting applied to some recordings.
    Does this get rid of that?
  3. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    San Francisco
  4. Kyhl

    Kyhl formerly known

    If by limiting here you mean compression, then no. If their plan is to batch process current masters of hi-res content, they will be the compressed to hell crap that they are pushing today. The difference will be they will be "official" and "certified" compressed versions or whatever the MQA term is.
    sunspot42 likes this.
  5. Whoopycat

    Whoopycat Forum Resident

    Des Moines
    Interesting note from the Archimago article linked to above:

    "As you can see, below around 60kHz in the spectral frequency plot, there's really very little difference! What this tells us is as I described last time, indeed, MQA "works" as advertised by creating high-resolution output from the MQA file to a certain extent. Even more interesting is that the amplitude of the difference between the actual DXD playback and the software MQA decode is averaging around -70dB RMS right off the bat! Folks this level of difference is low especially considering that most of it is just the ultrasonic noise above 60kHz!"

    This is in comparison to a 24/352 file. The author is saying they are virtually identical after MQA origami occurs. So much for the "MQA is lossy" argument.

    As for the DRM argument, you realize the music industry could implement (or re-implement) DRM tomorrow if they wanted to, right? And on any format of their choosing?
    FJosh likes this.
  6. ecoutez

    ecoutez Forum Resident

    London, UK
    I have listened to quite a bit of MQA (through Tidal to Meridian 818 to Meridian DSP8000SE). Without getting in to the snake oil/lossy/industry greed arguments, nor the technical aspects, there is a noticeable sound difference with Redbook CDs (the bulk of my collection). Moreover, I prefer the sound most of the time - but not always - as MQA versus Redbook (which already sounds excellent): I pick up more detail, greater separation of instruments and familiar songs have a freshness to them. My wife agrees (and she is normally cynical about hearing improvements just because I want to!) So, for me, there is an apparent benefit in MQA.

    That said, I have not yet done proper listening tests on high-resolution format versus MQA. I have recently managed to hook up a Raspberry Pi to the system and will stream ripped DSD files to the Meridian. Looking forward to comparing some of The Band in DSD versus MQA.

    Also, I would not be receptive to music moving towards a streaming only model. I continue to buy a significant amount of the hard product and want to reserve the right to do so.
  7. Fastnbulbous

    Fastnbulbous Forum Resident

    Washington DC USA
    The Bugatti Veyron can go 250 mph. But unless you live in Germany or Italy you might as well have a Beemer. And you can by 50 of them for what the Veyron costs.
  8. Erik Tracy

    Erik Tracy Meet me at the Green Dragon for an ale

    San Diego, CA, USA
    I'm interested in what folks here post during their own MQA listening tests, but it would be more complete if you all would describe *how* you are doing MQA decoding.

    Just using the app (which only does the origami 'unfolding')?

    Or using an MQA licensed DAC (which does both the origami 'unfolding', time domain 'deblurring', and achieving max bit rate)?
  9. delmonaco

    delmonaco Forum Resident

    Sofia, Bulgaria
    Don't know anything about MQA, but is there a danger that the term "deblurring" replaces the already discredited "no-noising"?
  10. showtaper

    showtaper Forum Resident

    No, just appalled at what empty promise schemes people launch in the name of capitalism. I find it funny
    that a great deal of the hi-res platforms are created by people with age related hearing degradation and aimed
    at the same demographic....... :D
    basie-fan, sunspot42 and audiomixer like this.
  11. Kal Rubinson

    Kal Rubinson Forum Resident

    I am guessing it will be in the May issue.
  12. showtaper

    showtaper Forum Resident

    They discovered that it was too small of a market segment to pursue. Return on investment ratio
    did not work. Gotta keep those shareholders happy.........
  13. Tullman

    Tullman I prefer analog

    Boston MA
    Exactly, and since most new recordings are hi-res digital PCM. The best we could expect would be a hi-res download, a nice DVD or Blu-ray like the Steven Wilson projects or a nice vinyl pressing. The download, DVD and Blu-ray could be exact clones of the master file. Why would we want to MQA any of those. Not to mention, I believe HD Radio could broadcast hi-res in the future as long as everyone involved has the right hardware. Imagine radio with up to 4 channels per station all broadcasting 24/96 files right from the masters, with no monthly fees. Who needs MQA?
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2017
  14. TarnishedEars

    TarnishedEars Forum Resident

    Seattle, WA
    I'm not advocating this idea. It just seems to me that this is probably not very far from the mark in terms of what MQA genuinely represents. Otherwise how could MQA encoding of high res source material sound "better" than original high res files? And if this is correct, then there should be no need for the MQA CODEC at all. You could just post process to achieve similar results (assuming that you like MQA sound).
    Tullman likes this.
  15. brimuchmuze

    brimuchmuze Forum Resident

    Virtually identical is still lossy.
    sunspot42, showtaper and HanowarHAIL like this.
  16. brimuchmuze

    brimuchmuze Forum Resident

    "Better sounding" is completely subjective. You could take any recording and process it and make it subjectively sound "better" to some target audience.
    sunspot42 likes this.
  17. Tullman

    Tullman I prefer analog

    Boston MA
    That should be up to the artist and producer/engineers of a recording.
  18. brimuchmuze

    brimuchmuze Forum Resident

    Agree. I would rather not have something "better" baked into a proprietary codec.
    sunspot42 likes this.
  19. bhazen

    bhazen I Me Mine

    Newcastle, WA
    Truthfully, I don't know. I do recall reading about apodizing filters just a few years back ... ironically, being developed by Meridian.
  20. Merrick

    Merrick The return of the Thin White Duke

    First, if the results are virtually identical, why bother with an unnecessary extra step? FLAC already can handle all that data completely transparently and using an open source codec.

    As for DRM, while the record companies could try to implement it on existing file formats, it would be really easy to simply avoid the outlets that are buying the DRM files in favor of ones that sell the same files without DRM. The record companies know that openly implementing DRM pisses off consumers, they've tried it before multiple ways and it always blows up in their faces, which is why they wrapped the DRM on MQA up in a mix of esoteric mumbo jumbo and marketing hype about better sound. And some people, including many here, are falling for it.

    Additionally, the record companies absolutely cannot implement DRM on files you've already purchased that don't have DRM on them. Not sure if you were implying they could or not, but I thought it was worth mentioning.

    What I find especially funny is that a lot of the people embracing MQA were very down on Pono, when Pono sold only DRM-free FLAC files and had no proprietary file system at all.
    sunspot42 and Kyhl like this.
  21. LitHum05

    LitHum05 Dungeon Resident

    Probably because without strong opinions (which can always be changed, challenged, corrected, etc.) the world would be a very boring place. What's the point of just saying to each his/her own and being done with it? I think it's in keeping with the spirit of the forum that we start out with an assertion and/or question and move from there. Where we arrive is up to each member to decide. No problem there.:wave:
  22. LitHum05

    LitHum05 Dungeon Resident

    This is the only way one could possibly explain reverb machines from the 80s! Have you ever heard those things?
  23. Digital Vinyl Infidel

    Digital Vinyl Infidel Forum Resident Thread Starter

    North America
  24. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    San Francisco
    Except there's no "apparent" benefit to MQA, since you have no idea whether the masters used for the MQA versions are the same as the masters used for your old Redbook CDs.
  25. TonyCzar

    TonyCzar Forum Resident

    PhIladelphia, PA
    You mean people older than about 25?

    The Mosquito - Wikipedia
    basie-fan likes this.

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