MQA: No need to worry (:

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witchdoctor

Re: MQA: No need to worry (:
« Reply #40 on: 21 Sep 2017, 12:41 am »
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!"?

So you admit you really never even listened to MQA and are this pissed off? :evil:

RandyH

Re: MQA: No need to worry (:
« Reply #41 on: 21 Sep 2017, 11:59 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? "

"Then it should sound as good or better in a LOSSLESS format, like 96/24 or 192/24."

Maybe.  Maybe not.  HD tracks has the same album for download in both of the resolutions you recommend.   The 96/24 is about $45 and the 192/24 is $65.  The MQA version from Tidal is included in my $20 monthly fee.  The pride of ownership of a digital download is not so great that I am willing to pay $65.  Regarding sound quality; the comparisons I have done between HiRes and MQA versions of the same music have (to my ears) not produced a difference that I could consistently detect. I am not saying there are no differences between the files.  Clearly from a technical point of view they are constructed differently and in theory the version with the most information should sound better.  I am not an advocate of MQA and I can certainly understand snake oil implications.  On the other hand I am not an opponent of MQA.  It may well have a place, particularly in the area of online streaming, that allows it to co-exist with other audio formats.  As consumers, we will ultimately choose our method for listening to music from a wealth of options available to us.  If MQA is a viable option so be it.  If not, so be that too. 

Cheeseboy

Re: MQA: No need to worry (:
« Reply #42 on: 21 Sep 2017, 03:19 pm »
MQA sounds fantastic. Stop it with the MP3 analogy.  Just listen to it. Do some comparisons. Free your mind and your ears will follow.

You only have to worry if you don't have it.

firedog

Re: MQA: No need to worry (:
« Reply #43 on: 21 Sep 2017, 07:07 pm »
Very difficult to compare MQA and non MQA versions, as you don't know if you are listening to the same master in both versions. Differences between masters are going to be greater than any difference made by MQA. So far, what I've heard is mixed: some cases where MQA version seems better, some where I don't hear a difference, and some where it sounds worse to me.

The other thing that scares me is that MQA has the ability for DRM built into it. If it becomes a very successful format, the record companies could decide that only MQA versions of music will be made available, and then you will have to buy MQA hardware if you want to fully decode it, and you won't be able to get a non-MQA version, even if you think it is superior. That will end the idea of users being able to get access to what is essentially the master version of a digital release, as we can in many instances today.

witchdoctor

Re: MQA: No need to worry (:
« Reply #44 on: 21 Sep 2017, 07:55 pm »
Very difficult to compare MQA and non MQA versions, as you don't know if you are listening to the same master in both versions. Differences between masters are going to be greater than any difference made by MQA. So far, what I've heard is mixed: some cases where MQA version seems better, some where I don't hear a difference, and some where it sounds worse to me.

The other thing that scares me is that MQA has the ability for DRM built into it. If it becomes a very successful format, the record companies could decide that only MQA versions of music will be made available, and then you will have to buy MQA hardware if you want to fully decode it, and you won't be able to get a non-MQA version, even if you think it is superior. That will end the idea of users being able to get access to what is essentially the master version of a digital release, as we can in many instances today.

Use the 2L test bench, they use the same master for both versions:

http://www.2l.no/hires/documentation/2L-MQA_Comparisons.pdf

firedog

Re: MQA: No need to worry (:
« Reply #45 on: 22 Sep 2017, 10:16 am »
Use the 2L test bench, they use the same master for both versions:

http://www.2l.no/hires/documentation/2L-MQA_Comparisons.pdf

Yes, I know that. But that tells you pretty much nothing about the non 2L titles around with MQA.

The 2L titles were especially and carefully done as a demonstration.

Today, the large catalogues are being mass converted to MQA with "generic", filtering/correction - not individual to the DACs and ADCs used in the recording chain - unlike the 2L demos.  And as I said, in 99% of the cases, you have no idea if your comparison is between 2 versions from the same master file.

And BTW, note this about the DRM capability built into MQA (from the patents):
Quote
"provides a controlled audio quality when played on standard players and conditional access to a lossless presentation of the original PCM signal. Using such techniques allows control over the level of degradation of the signal and also flexibility in the type information of information embedded"

In other words, if you don't have MQA HW, you get a "degraded" version of the file (read "even more lossy than a fully unfolded MQA file"); and they can control the level of how much degradation you get. In other words, even with an MQA DAC, they could charge tiered pricing levels for files which will determine how close to the original source you get in playback.

In any case, by design, even with full MQA unfolding and filtering, you will never get a lossless version of the master - that's by definition, and accounts for much of the appeal of MQA to record labels.

witchdoctor

Re: MQA: No need to worry (:
« Reply #46 on: 22 Sep 2017, 01:17 pm »
Yes, I know that. But that tells you pretty much nothing about the non 2L titles around with MQA.

The 2L titles were especially and carefully done as a demonstration.

Today, the large catalogues are being mass converted to MQA with "generic", filtering/correction - not individual to the DACs and ADCs used in the recording chain - unlike the 2L demos.  And as I said, in 99% of the cases, you have no idea if your comparison is between 2 versions from the same master file.

And BTW, note this about the DRM capability built into MQA (from the patents):
In other words, if you don't have MQA HW, you get a "degraded" version of the file (read "even more lossy than a fully unfolded MQA file"); and they can control the level of how much degradation you get. In other words, even with an MQA DAC, they could charge tiered pricing levels for files which will determine how close to the original source you get in playback.

In any case, by design, even with full MQA unfolding and filtering, you will never get a lossless version of the master - that's by definition, and accounts for much of the appeal of MQA to record labels.

As far as the warts of MQA I don't know that anything will bring back an actual live performance of the Door's but when you sit down and listen to the MQA versions it just sounds so good to my ears. The FLAC sounds good, you don't even notice that digital brittleness in a good setup until you compare it to the MQA version. The MQA version through my system just sounds more relaxed and closer to an LP. I now understand why people are attracted to tubes as a way of softening that digital hardness and why album sales are going up. I think the standard to compare MQA to isn't the master file but the album. If I can get a streaming source to get me even 80%+ of the sound of a great turntable setup I think that is pretty good.
If you don't want to use the 2L test bench why not compare tracks using a turntable and let us know? I don't own one.

witchdoctor

Re: MQA: No need to worry (:
« Reply #47 on: 22 Sep 2017, 01:46 pm »
I see the Digital Amplifier Company has a new DAC. I strongly recommend getting an MQA license for it if you want more customers. MQA will be offered offered by 3 streaming services in 2018 and more are coming. If you feel bashing MQA is your best marketing tactic good luck with that.

I use Tidal in my desktop rig and stream Spotify through my Sony UHPH1 in my HT. If Spotify goes MQA I will need a DAC for my HT and would gladly purchase one of yours if it is MQA friendly and I am sure their will be more customers like me.

firedog

Re: MQA: No need to worry (:
« Reply #48 on: 22 Sep 2017, 03:13 pm »
As far as the warts of MQA I don't know that anything will bring back an actual live performance of the Door's but when you sit down and listen to the MQA versions it just sounds so good to my ears. The FLAC sounds good, you don't even notice that digital brittleness in a good setup until you compare it to the MQA version. The MQA version through my system just sounds more relaxed and closer to an LP. I now understand why people are attracted to tubes as a way of softening that digital hardness and why album sales are going up. I think the standard to compare MQA to isn't the master file but the album. If I can get a streaming source to get me even 80%+ of the sound of a great turntable setup I think that is pretty good.
If you don't want to use the 2L test bench why not compare tracks using a turntable and let us know? I don't own one.

Maybe one difference between us is that I don't have digital brittleness in my playback - even without MQA. And why would I compare MQA using a non-digital comparison? Makes no sense. Especially as vinyl sounds inferior to my digital playback. I own a TT and vinyl, but don't use it - it simply is inferior to properly done digital playback, at least to my ears.
In my view the standard for comparison will always be the master file. An LP or any other altered version is just that, by definition - a less accurate, colored version that is less faithful to the original.

There are already people analyzing and reverse engineering MQA. One of the things they've found is that there are a set of totally conventional filters (various minimum phase filters) used to get the "MQA sound". You can upsample any CD, apply one of the filters (or a very similar one in playback software that offers various filters) and get the same sound.

You don't need MQA for that. There's no really special technology or special audio "discovery" involved. It's just a use of  a certain type of slightly lossy compression, and then decompression (unfolding) and filtering to get a certain type of sound. Don't kid yourself. The long term goal is to get the consumer to pay more for the privilege of using MQA. They'll use marketing speak and a certain type of DRM to make sure you think you can only get "that sound" by buying into MQA. At first it will be "free", but not forever.

Do you think MQA and the record labels are doing this because they are altruistic? The whole process isn't free for them - they are going to want to make money on it. Don't fall for the MQA marketing hype. Read about what it actually is and how it works.

High end audio companies work hard to develop products that they think deliver the best sound. So of course many are opposed to MQA: if you had worked hard to create a DAC that sounded just the way you thought it should (and every DAC designer chooses  some kind of filtering built into the conversion to analog stage), why would you want to pay MQA a royalty on every DAC you make for the "privilege" of using what you consider to be filtering that is at best not better, and at worst, inferior, to what you already use?

witchdoctor

Re: MQA: No need to worry (:
« Reply #49 on: 22 Sep 2017, 03:22 pm »
Maybe one difference between us is that I don't have digital brittleness in my playback - even without MQA. And why would I compare MQA using a non-digital comparison? Makes no sense. Especially as vinyl sounds inferior to my digital playback.
In my view the standard for comparison will always be the master file. An LP or any other altered version is just that, by definition - a less accurate, colored version that is less faithful to the original.

There are already people analyzing and reverse engineering MQA. One of the things they've found is that there are a set of totally conventional filters (various minimum phase filters) used to get the "MQA sound". You can upsample any CD, apply one of the filters (or a very similar one in playback software that offers various filters) and get the same sound.

You don't need MQA for that. There's no really special technology or special audio "discovery" involved. It's just a use of filtering to get a certain type of sound. Don't kid yourself. The long term goal is to get the consumer to pay more for the privilege of using MQA. They'll use marketing speak and a certain type of DRM to make sure you think you can only get "that sound" by buying into MQA. At first it will be "free", but not forever.
Do you think MQA and the record labels are doing this because they are altruistic? The whole process isn't free for them - they are going to want to make money on it. Don't fall for the MQA marketing hype. Read about what it actually is and how it works.

High end audio companies work hard to develop products that they think deliver the best sound. So of course many are opposed to MQA: if you had worked hard to create a DAC that sounded just the way you thought it should (and every DAC designer chooses  some kind of filtering built into the conversion to analog stage), why would you want to pay MQA a royalty on every DAC you make for the "privilege" of using what you consider to be filtering that is at best not better, and at worst, inferior, to what you already use?

You don't have digital brittleness in YOUR system, that's great. But what about in your car? Or through your phone? Or through your boombox? Your sysetm I would guess is not typical of the average consumer. If we can get 80% of the benefits of your non brittle system through an LG phone streaming Tidal, or a bluetooth MQA enabled speaker or a HTIB system I am good with that too. Good SQ, convenient, and inexpensive to stream is what I like about MQA.  The Bluesound products cost the same now as they did before the MQA license, no big deal.These products are reasonably priced and have licensed MQA, no big deal. :

https://audio-head.com/mqa-goes-portable-with-sony-and-lg/

Anonamemouse

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Re: MQA: No need to worry (:
« Reply #50 on: 22 Sep 2017, 03:40 pm »
So you admit you really never even listened to MQA and are this pissed off? :evil:
You have never listened to reason or reasonable arguments about what is wrong with Most Questionable Audioformat and keep trolling the entire Audiocircle forum with your completely unfounded Most Questionable Audioformat blabbering.
In all honesty I am waiting for the day someone decides to ban you.

jseymour

Re: MQA: No need to worry (:
« Reply #51 on: 22 Sep 2017, 03:45 pm »
Quote
You have never listened to reason or reasonable arguments about what is wrong with Most Questionable Audioformat and keep trolling the entire Audiocircle forum with your completely unfounded Most Questionable Audioformat blabbering.
In all honesty I am waiting for the day someone decides to ban you.

+1

witchdoctor

Re: MQA: No need to worry (:
« Reply #52 on: 22 Sep 2017, 04:16 pm »
You have never listened to reason or reasonable arguments about what is wrong with Most Questionable Audioformat and keep trolling the entire Audiocircle forum with your completely unfounded Most Questionable Audioformat blabbering.
In all honesty I am waiting for the day someone decides to ban you.

I don't think making a judgement on SQ of MQA without actually having listened to it is a reasonable argument., get over it :D

wushuliu

Re: MQA: No need to worry (:
« Reply #53 on: 22 Sep 2017, 04:30 pm »
I don't think making a judgement on SQ of MQA without actually having listened to it is a reasonable argument., get over it :D

What a great irony that a compressed format with proprietary processing has, after almost two decades of the Mp3 revolution, become a darling of the audiophile market. Now we're reading the same arguments we so vehemently railed *against* for so long, used in favor of advocacy.

wushuliu

Re: MQA: No need to worry (:
« Reply #54 on: 22 Sep 2017, 04:38 pm »
MQA sounds fantastic. Stop it with the MP3 analogy.  Just listen to it. Do some comparisons. Free your mind and your ears will follow.

You only have to worry if you don't have it.

Okay, some of you guys are just starting to sound downright creepy.

'You only have to worry if you don't have it.'?

And the Mp3 analogy is absolutely accurate. Let's not play revisionist here. There are still hordes of posts being written this very moment daring anyone to tell the difference between 320 and lossless. Fully defending streaming with less compression as pointless. There was even a time when some folks were arguing that Mp3 sounded *better*. I know - for a brief period I was one of them way back in the day.

At least mp3 has the excuse of being *necessary* for so long because the bandwidth just wasn't there. MQA doesn't even have that. MQA has no reason to exist beyond the sheer will of its advocates.

orientalexpress

Re: MQA: No need to worry (:
« Reply #55 on: 22 Sep 2017, 06:09 pm »
You have never listened to reason or reasonable arguments about what is wrong with Most Questionable Audioformat and keep trolling the entire Audiocircle forum with your completely unfounded Most Questionable Audioformat blabbering.
In all honesty I am waiting for the day someone decides to ban you.
That guy is  Troll,he basically tell US to listen MQA you have to buy a new MQA dac ,subscribe to Tidal and buy a streamer to listen to MQA  :o,HELLO

Get Real

wushuliu

Re: MQA: No need to worry (:
« Reply #56 on: 22 Sep 2017, 09:54 pm »



brother love

Re: MQA: No need to worry (:
« Reply #57 on: 22 Sep 2017, 10:04 pm »
Okay, some of you guys are just starting to sound downright creepy.

'You only have to worry if you don't have it.'?

And the Mp3 analogy is absolutely accurate. Let's not play revisionist here. There are still hordes of posts being written this very moment daring anyone to tell the difference between 320 and lossless. Fully defending streaming with less compression as pointless. There was even a time when some folks were arguing that Mp3 sounded *better*. I know - for a brief period I was one of them way back in the day.

At least mp3 has the excuse of being *necessary* for so long because the bandwidth just wasn't there. MQA doesn't even have that. MQA has no reason to exist beyond the sheer will of its advocates.

+1.  I started to post/ counter about the mp3/ flac & flac/ .wav debates of the past; but at this stage, pretty much everyone on these MQA threads are in their camp & talking over each other.  :deadhorse:

firedog

Re: MQA: No need to worry (:
« Reply #58 on: 23 Sep 2017, 07:47 am »
You don't have digital brittleness in YOUR system, that's great. But what about in your car? Or through your phone? Or through your boombox? Your sysetm I would guess is not typical of the average consumer. If we can get 80% of the benefits of your non brittle system through an LG phone streaming Tidal, or a bluetooth MQA enabled speaker or a HTIB system I am good with that too. Good SQ, convenient, and inexpensive to stream is what I like about MQA.  The Bluesound products cost the same now as they did before the MQA license, no big deal.These products are reasonably priced and have licensed MQA, no big deal. :

https://audio-head.com/mqa-goes-portable-with-sony-and-lg/

Wow, you managed to answer none of the points I made and went off a tangent about listening in a car, boombox, or phone - media that cater to people who mostly don't care about SQ (or are totally unwilling to pay extra for improved SQ). The vast majority of people using those media are listening to mp3 formats because they are "free" and couldn't give a whit about hi-res, much less CD quality. And they won't pay for the "higher quality" that they can't even hear is better in the mode they listen to.

Let me know how many people using only their phone or a boombox or bluetooth speaker are paying for the "hi-fi" CD/MQA quality stream from Tidal. I'd bet the number is totally insignificant.

To be truthful, I've got a good pair of custom IEMs for my phone and am totally happy to listen to mobile audio in mp3 - as mobile audio isn't a serious listening experience - it's about having background music or a soundtrack to what your main activity is.

MQA has the potential for being a more expensive and lower quality stream for those interested quality listening, and one that the music industry can force you into - at a price - if you want  quality above mp3.

You seem to have an inability to understand 2 things: 1) what MQA is actually designed to do; and 2) look beyond the present introductory phase. The situation you see today won't continue if MQA catches on - you will pay more for the privilege in the future. To think otherwise is to ignore the entire way the MQA ecosystem is setup and to be so naive as to think big corporations are going to provide for free a "premium" service that costs them more than the non-premium service.

Anonamemouse

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Re: MQA: No need to worry (:
« Reply #59 on: 23 Sep 2017, 01:05 pm »
This has been explained to him by various people in several different sections here on AC. His reply will be that it is free, that Tidal delivers it to his home without any additional costs, that it sounds far superior to anything he ever heard, and some more drivel...

Have fun here: http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=147797.0