MQA: No need to worry (:

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rbbert

Re: MQA: No need to worry (:
« Reply #20 on: 21 Mar 2017, 10:45 pm »
Wouldn't accessing high resolution files cost the streaming companies more than what they pay for 16/44.1 content and then result in higher prices to end users? I would certainly think so, but you guys appear to have all the answers so I'll kindly step aside and let you continue to impress your target audience with your mic dropping performances. Good listening to all and enjoy the tunes in whatever formats you prefer!

I'm quite sure MQA isn't free to the distributors, and in fact where you can find MQA downloads for sale they cost a little bit more than the more traditional hi-res for the same album

AmpDesigner333

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Re: MQA: No need to worry (:
« Reply #21 on: 2 May 2017, 11:23 pm »
Our new Kickstarter:
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witchdoctor

Re: MQA: No need to worry (:
« Reply #22 on: 3 May 2017, 01:32 am »
We've been receiving questions about MQA recently, so I'd like to address this "new" CODEC.  I'll start out with simple "truths"....

MQA is just a CODEC (code-decode).  It's an algorithm, a.k.a. "software".  It's a "lossy" format, meaning compressed, like MP3.  It's purpose is to conserve transmission bandwidth - which is less of an issue every day.

The device (PC, streamer, transport, etc.) that drives your DAC runs software that decodes various formats and passes them along or converts them to some other format.  Ultimately, there's a hardware connection to transport the data to your DAC.  The stream being transported is typically PCM or DSD.  The "transport connection" is typically USB or SPDIF.

In the case of a PC streaming MQA, the data can be passed along to the DAC or decoded by the PC and converted to a "usable format" for your DAC.  This means your DAC doesn't need to support MQA for you to listen to MQA.

Let's take JRiver for example.  JRiver plays files (or streams), and can convert just about anything to PCM.

So, whatever you use to playback audio files or stream audio should provide a way to convert to PCM.

Here's the "controversial stuff"....  MQA is yet another "new" standard in the search of license fees, and many manufacturers are rejecting it.  There's just a lot of hype surrounding it currently, possibly due to lack of other industry news.

IMHO, Lossless high rate, high resolution PCM (not DSD, as I have discussed in other threads) remains the highest quality audio.

The DAC DAC excels at reproducing a super clean signal, uncompressed.  It takes PCM data up to 192kHz/24-bit.

Just thought I'd get the ball rolling on this subject.  More later, but please feel free to comment, but let's stick to facts, please....

- Tommy O

Please post a link to a lossless high rate high resolution PCM track you like. My issue is those tracks cost $$$ while I had 10000+ MQA tracks dropped on Tidal and I REALLY like them... a lot. If i listen to MQA for a while and then play a non MQA track it is like fingers on a chalk board. If i never heard MQA I would not miss it but now that I have I want more. If the type of recordings you prefer are worth it and the selection is available I'll bite.

witchdoctor

Re: MQA: No need to worry (:
« Reply #23 on: 3 May 2017, 01:35 am »
Thanks for your post.  Wearing "business hat"....  All this reminds me of Dolby Labs back in the 1990s.  Now THERE'S a company that did licensing right, with their hands in the pockets of the studios, equipment companies, theaters, chip makers, and video game producers....  They did this by being the standard on DVD.  Then years later, DTS comes around, tail between their legs, with an obviously better format, and cried (well, technically not crying, it sure seemed like that) until they would up on Blu-Ray....  Feels neat taking off the engineering hat....  Well, engineering drives all this, so I'll look into the cost involved, but adding hardware for something that obviously can be done in software is just inefficient and feels like I should be reading a ransom note rather than a licensing agreement.  By the way, I worked in HD Radio for years, and I'm surprised they "survived" but very similar issues there.  The lack of customer demand made it necessary to convince radio stations to buy transmitting equipment so they are "stuck holding the ball", forced to pick up the marketing on their end.  There was even the promise of a future power increase (if you have HD Radio, you'll know why this is important) that never happened, so it was like, "someday your radio won't be annoying".  I cound go on and on....

THX was another company that did licensing right and my hats off to Dolby too. How in the world did DTS take Blue Ray away from them for the most part?

AmpDesigner333

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Re: MQA: No need to worry (:
« Reply #24 on: 4 May 2017, 03:45 pm »
Please post a link to a lossless high rate high resolution PCM track you like. My issue is those tracks cost $$$ while I had 10000+ MQA tracks dropped on Tidal and I REALLY like them... a lot. If i listen to MQA for a while and then play a non MQA track it is like fingers on a chalk board. If i never heard MQA I would not miss it but now that I have I want more. If the type of recordings you prefer are worth it and the selection is available I'll bite.
I suggest ripping a track that you like from Redbook CD and playing it through a different (well respected) DAC.  Compare that to the "same" recording via MQA.  DAC DAC HS recommended for the non-MQA, of course, to assure the cleanest signal.  This eliminates the possibility that non-MQA is purposely handicapped to give MQA an advantage.  However, this also gives the non-MQA version a disadvantage since it's not high-res.  To avoid this issue, just get something from HD Tracks in high-res (96/24 recommended, since MQA starts with that format, 192/24 would be cheating).  I don't have any rights-free content worth publishing for this test, plus it's best to compare the same track, even though the MQA one is possibly re-mastered, giving it an advantage.

The other thing is, theoretically, a high res track in lossless format will not be compressed in any way post-master, but the MQA version will be compressed, so the comparison may not be all that valuable.  It also might vary greatly based on the track or tracks you pick to compare.  There are tricks one can play pre-encoding that will make a track sound better in one version, and there's no way to know if that kind of bias was inserted.  This was a "thing" back in the days of DCC.  Does anyone remember DCC?

The only really fair test is to use an MQA encoder and start with the same base file, but they won't let you do that (:

Thanks for your kind post.

-Tommy

witchdoctor

Re: MQA: No need to worry (:
« Reply #25 on: 4 May 2017, 04:03 pm »
I suggest ripping a track that you like from Redbook CD and playing it through a different (well respected) DAC.  Compare that to the "same" recording via MQA.  DAC DAC HS recommended for the non-MQA, of course, to assure the cleanest signal.  This eliminates the possibility that non-MQA is purposely handicapped to give MQA an advantage.  However, this also gives the non-MQA version a disadvantage since it's not high-res.  To avoid this issue, just get something from HD Tracks in high-res (96/24 recommended, since MQA starts with that format, 192/24 would be cheating).  I don't have any rights-free content worth publishing for this test, plus it's best to compare the same track, even though the MQA one is possibly re-mastered, giving it an advantage.

The other thing is, theoretically, a high res track in lossless format will not be compressed in any way post-master, but the MQA version will be compressed, so the comparison may not be all that valuable.  It also might vary greatly based on the track or tracks you pick to compare.  There are tricks one can play pre-encoding that will make a track sound better in one version, and there's no way to know if that kind of bias was inserted.  This was a "thing" back in the days of DCC.  Does anyone remember DCC?

The only really fair test is to use an MQA encoder and start with the same base file, but they won't let you do that (:

Thanks for your kind post.

-Tommy

Well I'll take you at your word. I did my blind test by creating a playlist in Tidal of two versions of the same album, regular and Masters. Then I just hit shuffle and see how many times in a row I could guess which version was playing. I preferred MQA.

AmpDesigner333

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Re: MQA: No need to worry (:
« Reply #26 on: 4 May 2017, 04:40 pm »
Well I'll take you at your word. I did my blind test by creating a playlist in Tidal of two versions of the same album, regular and Masters. Then I just hit shuffle and see how many times in a row I could guess which version was playing. I preferred MQA.
I remember a study that showed listeners preferring 256kbps MP3 to uncompressed 44.1/16.  This was back in the 90s.  The study seemed sound (no pun intended), but I didn't believe the results.  Then again, I've tried this, and some really poor quality recordings benefit from the "cleaning up" that MP3 can do, by rejecting less dominant frequency bins of the FFT.  This has the tendency to remove low level harmonic distortion(s).  For a while, I studied psycho-acoustics for the purpose of developing compression algorithms.  My primary interest was in voice recording applications, but I was fascinated by the modeling process (using dummy heads with ear mics, data analysis, etc.) as much as the coding process.  Also fascinating was intelligibility measurement.  I wound up applying some of this knowledge to voice enabled fire alarm testing.  Back to high-end audio....  The purist in me kind of rejects any compression aside from lossless, which is simply like a ZIP file.  The day high res audio is streamed losslessly by the big name services, MQA will have no purpose.  That, I believe, is something we'll see pretty soon.  Almost forgot....  I was discussing MQA with a customer who was borrowing a new DAC that handles MQA, and he said he likes the sound.  Turns out, he has NEVER heard uncompressed or lossless audio above 44.1/16 on his system, and his only point of comparison was through the same DAC.  He even suggested that the non-MQA "side" may be handicapped with respect to the MQA side.  He now wants a USB version of the DAC DAC.  Well, we just added a USB-to-SPDIF converter to the Maraschino product line, only available through our current Kickstarter, which ends May 12th:
http://kck.st/2p77yos

AmpDesigner333

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Re: MQA: No need to worry (:
« Reply #27 on: 27 Jul 2017, 08:57 pm »
I've been meaning to post this for a while:
https://www.audioasylum.com/forums/critics/messages/8/85718.html

The title is "Andres Koch Slams MQA as A Money Grab and a Fraud".

AmpDesigner333

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Re: MQA: No need to worry (:
« Reply #28 on: 10 Sep 2017, 05:45 pm »

AmpDesigner333

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Re: MQA: No need to worry (:
« Reply #29 on: 20 Sep 2017, 11:06 am »
Interesting article from Linn:
https://www.linn.co.uk/blog/mqa-is-bad-for-music

"MQA is bad for music...."

witchdoctor

Re: MQA: No need to worry (:
« Reply #30 on: 20 Sep 2017, 01:14 pm »
Interesting article from Linn:
https://www.linn.co.uk/blog/mqa-is-bad-for-music

"MQA is bad for music...."


Linn and Meridian are fierce competitors, did you think Linn would praise Bob Stuart? Give me a break. Linn is just pissed that it wasn't their invention along with every other vendor who is going to the bottom of the ocean. Time to wake up,all the major labels are supporting this format which can't be said for DVD-A, SACD, DSD, and so on. This is another betamax vs vhs and to the vendors throwing in with betamax good luck selling that equipment when MQA becomes the VHS of streaming. Bunch of petulant dopes.
« Last Edit: 20 Sep 2017, 03:42 pm by witchdoctor »

AmpDesigner333

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Re: MQA: No need to worry (:
« Reply #31 on: 20 Sep 2017, 03:48 pm »

Linn and Meridian are fierce competitors, did you think Linn would praise Bob Stuart? Give me a break. Linn is just pissed that it wasn't their invention along with every other vendor who is going to the bottom of the ocean. Time to wake up,all the major labels are supporting this format which can't be said for DVD-A, SACD, DSD, and so on. This is another betamax vs vhs and to the vendors throwing in with betamax good luck selling that equipment when MQA becomes the VHS of streaming. Bunch of petulant dopes.
Linn has been a respectable company for many years.  Did you read the article?  It shows the money flow.

witchdoctor

Re: MQA: No need to worry (:
« Reply #32 on: 20 Sep 2017, 04:19 pm »
Linn has been a respectable company for many years.  Did you read the article?  It shows the money flow.

Where is Linn HQ? Where is Meridian HQ? They are eating each other alive in the UK market, same target market, each defending their own brand. Nothing against Linn, but would you expect them to embrace their chief competitors IP or bash it? It is competition  :icon_twisted:

Can you imagine the irony of Linn having to pay licensing fees to their chief competitor? You can't blame them for fighting back.

zoom25

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Re: MQA: No need to worry (:
« Reply #33 on: 20 Sep 2017, 04:37 pm »
Where is Linn HQ? Where is Meridian HQ? They are eating each other alive in the UK market, same target market, each defending their own brand. Nothing against Linn, but would you expect them to embrace their chief competitors IP or bash it? It is competition  :icon_twisted:

Can you imagine the irony of Linn having to pay licensing fees to their chief competitor? You can't blame them for fighting back.

You can put all that together to refute Linn, yet can't understand (on purpose?) the flow of money with MQA that's been put together numerous times? :scratch:

witchdoctor

Re: MQA: No need to worry (:
« Reply #34 on: 20 Sep 2017, 04:41 pm »
You can put all that together to refute Linn, yet can't understand (on purpose?) the flow of money with MQA that's been put together numerous times? :scratch:

Look at the money flow in this chart and I think we both agree it SUCKS right now to be in the music industry and they need to do something:

https://blog.thecurrent.org/2014/02/40-years-of-album-sales-data-in-one-handy-chart/

RandyH

Re: MQA: No need to worry (:
« Reply #35 on: 20 Sep 2017, 04:54 pm »
Anyone listen to the new Doors "The Singles" remastered 2 CD set?  It was just released on Tidal MQA.  Sounds very very good to my ears streaming from Tidal MQA.  But what do I know? 


AmpDesigner333

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Re: MQA: No need to worry (:
« Reply #36 on: 20 Sep 2017, 07:06 pm »
Anyone listen to the new Doors "The Singles" remastered 2 CD set?  It was just released on Tidal MQA.  Sounds very very good to my ears streaming from Tidal MQA.  But what do I know?
Then it should sound as good or better in a LOSSLESS format, like 96/24 or 192/24.

Cheeseboy

Re: MQA: No need to worry (:
« Reply #37 on: 20 Sep 2017, 07:13 pm »
The proof is in listening. This is high Rez Audio you can stream today. It sounds very very good.

All the writing and opinions don't really hold water unless you listen to MQA.

I challenge each of you to go visit a retailer and just listen

Steve

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Re: MQA: No need to worry (:
« Reply #38 on: 20 Sep 2017, 07:34 pm »
The proof is in listening. This is high Rez Audio you can stream today. It sounds very very good.

All the writing and opinions don't really hold water unless you listen to MQA.

I challenge each of you to go visit a retailer and just listen

Steve
Steve,

I understand what you're getting at, but PCM is the SOURCE (input) for MQA, which is compressed.  So MQA is the lossy bandwidth reduced version of the PCM.  It's like me telling you to listen to an MP3 of a CD track, and that's it sounds really great to my ears.  Would you say "I'm not going to pass judgement until I hear the MP3 version!"?

witchdoctor

Re: MQA: No need to worry (:
« Reply #39 on: 21 Sep 2017, 12:39 am »
Anyone listen to the new Doors "The Singles" remastered 2 CD set?  It was just released on Tidal MQA.  Sounds very very good to my ears streaming from Tidal MQA.  But what do I know?

+1. Also check out the Callas Remastered MQA editions.