MQA Discussion Group

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James Tanner

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MQA Discussion Group
« on: 30 Jun 2017, 01:10 pm »
1.http://archimago.blogspot.ca/2017/01/comparison-tidal-mqa-music-high.html

2. http://archimago.blogspot.ca/2017/02/comparison-hardware-decoded-mqa-using.html#more

3. https://opensource.com/life/16/9/whats-wrong-with-mqa


And have a look at this article as well

1.   http://www.soundstagehifi.com/index.php/opinion/954-myriad-questions-about-mqa


Also this one

1.   http://www.digitalaudioreview.net/2016/05/schiitting-on-mqa/


Another unless you are board with it all – LOL

1.   http://www.psaudio.com/pauls-posts/mqa-thoughts/


One from a recording studio:

1.   https://madmimi.com/p/0e1b59?fe=1&pact=241765-136859515-9539573972-25adbb7a2f678ab8feaf7f041ba07058daac89be

2.   http://www.realhd-audio.com/?p=5630


Here’s an interesting take:

https://www.linn.co.uk/blog/mqa-is-bad-for-music


From Germany:

https://www.sempre-audio.at/HIGHRESA...in.id.5543.htm

Little Google translate:

HIGHRESAUDIO to going to stop offering MQA.  Proprietary system solutions and licensing models are not available. MQA is not lossless, the original signal is never recovered, the value is 17 bits (reduces the sampling rate), reduces the frequency range, SNR is reduced by 3 bits, aliasing with artifacts at 18 kHz.

MQA encoding filters manipulate drastically the original source.

No analysis tools are available to verify the encoded MQA content. Therefore no quality control is possible.

Highresaudio.com stands for offering purity, original mastering source, none manipulated, tweaked or up-sampled content and codecs.

We hope that MQA will adjust all the above issues. We are truly disappointed, the way MQA has progressed in the past year. We have been mislead and blinded by trust and promises. The link to HighResAudio also provide a link to a in-depth analysis of MQA.


This group did a thorough review of the patents and available literature. In particular they present a nice graphic explaining the 'origami' - folding- approach. Figure 2, page 13.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/163618/MQA-Technical%20Analysis-Hypotheses-Paper.pdf



From my question to JRIVER re MQA support:

Hi James,

We have no plans to support MQA. 

It isn't lossless or open and it has no benefit to consumers.

Jim



Andreas Koch's thoughts on MQA:

http://positive-feedback.com/audio-discourse/questions-answers-mqa-interview-andreas-koch/



Go to 6:30 for comments on MQA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPempOn1QgY

Soundstage a year later
http://www.soundstagehifi.com/index.php/opinion/1057-mqa-one-year-later-suddenly-more-questions


FROM AURALIC:

“This pretty much means we at AURALiC are saying no to MQA. We are no longer interested in their technology. We want to keep everything open but they want to keep it closed. We are not in the same boat. I don’t believe the very High End will benefit from MQA as it only degrades sound quality, not improve it.”

“We do not use any MQA technology, this is not MQA certificated or MQA licensed. We are up-sampling the file using our algorithm, applying our own in-house developed filter, to optimize sound quality, not just for a particular DAC but all devices.”

“There is a MQA pass through function which allows you to output an untouched signal to an MQA-certificated DAC. I suggest you compare our decoding and MQA decoding but only after the final firmware release. The current version is only a test version as we are still optimizing its sound quality, especially the resampling plug-in.”


Home Theater Geeks – long but very informative.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzX_MBoz5wc



There's no free lunch

Posted by Charles Hansen (M) on May 22, 2017 at 16:57:53
In Reply to: MQA ... why bother? ... why not just use least significant bits truncation? posted by bjh on May 22, 2017 at 12:34:09:
While it is true that there is no such thing as a free lunch, the converse also holds true. While MQA discards the lower bits in the baseband of a true high-res (eg, 192/24 LPCM) source file, they are replaced with losslessly compressed bits from the dual-rate band and lossy compressed bits from the quad-rate band. Both of these "foldings" represent data that is correlated with the music. Therefore even though an MQA file is a lossy representation of the original high-res file (as information theory dictates), it does contain more information than would be by simply truncating the bits of a single-rate file. In other words, a 192/24 file fully hardware decoded by MQA will have a maximum resolution of ~192/17.

If one believes that bit depth is the most important parameter, this would not be much of an improvement over a standard Redbook (44/16) file. On the other hand if one believes that the sampling rate is more important (as do I, as it allows for much gentler, less destructive filters), then there is a benefit. However why not have your cake and eat it too? At the Munich show Qobuz announced a third tier (above Redbook FLAC Sublime) called Sublime+ that allows for full high-res streaming of files up to 192/24. An interesting note is that this costs more money. The implications is that those who set the pricing (largely the record labels and copyright holders) apparently value true high-res files more than MQA files, as the price for MQA files is the same as the price for Redbook files. Possibly a case of getting what you pay for.

MQA's argument is that the bits that are discarded (and replaced by other correlated bits) in order to reduce the file size are inaudible. That is precisely the same claim that was made regarding MP3 - sonically indistinguishable. My most recent technical analysis (with minor corrections from previous posts being noted in the paragraph beginning with "NB") is in this post:

https://www.audioasylum.com/audio/digital/messages/18/184101.html

As always my posts reflect strictly my own opinion and not that of my employer, family, or book-club members.


INTERESTING

https://www.computeraudiophile.com/forums/topic/33766-upsampling-mqa-files-to-original-resolution-with-sox-will-sound-like-the-original-resolution/

« Last Edit: 30 Jun 2017, 03:40 pm by James Tanner »

gbaby

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Re: MQA Discussion Group
« Reply #1 on: 30 Jun 2017, 02:23 pm »
Wow! :o

Philistine

Re: MQA Discussion Group
« Reply #2 on: 30 Jun 2017, 03:18 pm »
Stereophile seem to eulogize constantly over MQA enabled DAC's:

https://www.stereophile.com/content/meridian-audio-ultra-dac-da-processor
https://www.stereophile.com/content/mytek-hifi-brooklyn-da-processor%C2%96headphone-amplifier-page-2

They also love Bryston gear - rightly so.

As Stereophile use a combination of hearing tests and measurements to draw their conclusions/recommendations then you have to conclude they should have a rounded opinion on what they test.  If they love MQA, and are completely wrong, then the conclusion is that they've also got it wrong for Bryston, and any other,  gear they recommend?

It's clear the industry isn't happy about MQA gaining traction, too many agendas involved, and the industry is throwing theoretical wrenches into the mix to try and stop it.  I bought the Meridian Explore MQA DAC out of curiosity to see what MQA is all about - and pleasantly surprised how good MQA sounds when streamed from Tidal.  I haven't done an AB test to compare it so this is just anecdotal, MQA maybe the garbage that the 'experts' claim it to be.

Rather than post agenda driven bashings about it why not have Bryston trial it themselves and find out?  We consumers, who contribute to the industry players paychecks, would appreciate having a responsible and credible manufacturer enlighten us.  Or should we conclude that the 'experts' are right in their assessments and Stereophile, TAS etc are just shills?  You can't have you cake and eat it...


witchdoctor

Re: MQA Discussion Group
« Reply #3 on: 30 Jun 2017, 04:32 pm »
Wasn't this thread buried in the bin?

To anybody interested you cannot evaluate MQA with your eyes  :o
You must use your ears (surprise surprise) :duh:

Read to your hearts content then get a FREE trial to Tidal and check it out. I find after listening to MQA tracks for 30 min or so when I go back to CD tracks it just sounds wrong. That is just with the Tidal unfold.

When you get an MQA streamer or DAC it just gets better.

BTW, all of the MQA tracks were dropped on Tidal basically free, I didn't pay a dime more than what I was already paying, all good.

From the first link James posted:

Bottom line: "TIDAL/MQA streaming does sound like the equivalent 24/96 downloads based on what I have heard and the test results..."

As far as all the links James posted from vendors they are basically bogus. What else can vendors do except complain about about the competition, every one has to shell their wares right? (but not you James)



Xinon

Re: MQA Discussion Group
« Reply #4 on: 30 Jun 2017, 07:35 pm »
I think most of the people use they're ears, thats why many people find something not right with MQA, myself included.
Nice to see it backed up with science.

witchdoctor

Re: MQA Discussion Group
« Reply #5 on: 30 Jun 2017, 07:46 pm »
I think most of the people use they're ears, thats why many people find something not right with MQA, myself included.
Nice to see it backed up with science.

Fair enough, this stuff is pretty subjective. Many people actually like MQA too:

http://www.digitalaudioreview.net/2016/06/an-inconvenient-truth-mqa-sounds-better/

gbaby

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Re: MQA Discussion Group
« Reply #6 on: 30 Jun 2017, 09:17 pm »
People like ATMOS, too, but not me; seem too gimmicky.

witchdoctor

Re: MQA Discussion Group
« Reply #7 on: 30 Jun 2017, 09:49 pm »
People like ATMOS, too, but not me; seem too gimmicky.

Try Auro 3D, the upmixer works great. Atmos is great for movies and with music it is hit or miss.

gbaby

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Re: MQA Discussion Group
« Reply #8 on: 1 Jul 2017, 04:16 am »
Try Auro 3D, the upmixer works great. Atmos is great for movies and with music it is hit or miss.

I have heard others say they preferred Auro 3D to Atmos. But, I am more into note integrity rather than a codec. I get this from my SP3 using legacy 7.1. Its immersive too, but only when necessary. You want a natural accurate sonic presentation that promotes sonic integrity over a codec. When I heard Atmos, there was object based sound that in the real world would have been omnipresent. The object based was forced to entertain Atmos heads. That makes it a gimmick to my ears.

gbaby

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Re: MQA Discussion Group
« Reply #9 on: 1 Jul 2017, 04:21 am »
Sorry for the digression. This is a MQA Thread. :duh: :)

witchdoctor

Re: MQA Discussion Group
« Reply #10 on: 1 Jul 2017, 08:21 pm »
Sorry for the digression. This is a MQA Thread. :duh: :)

100% pure ear candy in MQA, "go crazy": :thumb:

#NowPlaying "Purple Rain Deluxe (Expanded Edition)" by Prince in @TIDALHiFi https://tidal.com/album/75206892 https://tidal.com/album/75206892

Larry Dickman

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Re: MQA Discussion Group
« Reply #11 on: 9 Aug 2017, 12:57 am »
Can someone answer me this,

I have a BDP-pi. If I pair it with a DAC that decodes MQA, will that work, or does the digital player itself, and its accompanying software like Manic Moose, also have to be able to pass an MQA signal? I'm interested in Tidal MQA streaming.

CanadianMaestro

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Re: MQA Discussion Group
« Reply #12 on: 9 Aug 2017, 10:14 am »
As long as the DAC is MQA, should be fine.


R. Daneel

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Re: MQA Discussion Group
« Reply #13 on: 9 Aug 2017, 11:27 am »
Hi!

I read all of this before.

I spent a fair share of words on this on other threads so I am not going tp do it here but Meridian is a camouflage operator. Licensing is the most expensive thing in industry. It takes smarts yes, but it also takes the least financial resources and brings the most benefits. Dolby made a name for itself that way. Creative made a name for itself that way. The only thing we're talking about here is "stamping". Free or not, you WILL pay for it.

If a manufacturer of electronics is going to allow for MQA, he will have to pay the license fee. To allow for it in the technical sense takes but a programming code that's added to the DSP that's already inside the device. It doesn't cost a damn thing. But to add it, the manufacturer pays the fee to Meridian and parties involved. Every friggin' legal document has to be in-line with this licensing or they risk a law suit from Meridian. This is how Creative Labs became world famous. They sued a small company for stealing their technology which is now known to be a blatant lie and then applied their entire army of lawyers to destroy that company. Creative later bought the company for a nickle along with their patents and just like that, they acquired Aureal 3D audio technology that put them on the world map. Every software company that makes PC games would have to pay for the license from then on to eternity.

You will buy an AV receiver, a pocket streaming radio or whatever, with an MQA certification and by doing so, you will afford the fellas at Meridian a newer model of Ferrari. The device will cost you more because of that certification.

All of that would be tolerable if it had a benefit. It does not. After numerous tests of comparing the 2L recordings, MQA did not sound equal in any of those trials.

But I understand the attraction. It has a nice logo, it's developed by a reputable company with a nice memorable name. As one famous economist would say "If the customer wants it, you better take his money before he hurts himself with it".

Cheers!
Antun

CanadianMaestro

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Re: MQA Discussion Group
« Reply #14 on: 9 Aug 2017, 10:58 pm »
Antun,

Mine wasn't meant as a compliment to MQA.

Rupret

Re: MQA Discussion Group
« Reply #15 on: 10 Aug 2017, 12:19 am »
Came back from a business trip today and my Lumin S1 updated to full MQA.  To my ears MQA sounds really good ... second only to DSD in the digital realm.

The hardware path is Lumin S1 - Bryston BP26 - Bryston 7BSST2 - Magico S5's

I don't know anything about the science or politics behind MQA

witchdoctor

Re: MQA Discussion Group
« Reply #16 on: 10 Aug 2017, 01:21 am »
Came back from a business trip today and my Lumin S1 updated to full MQA.  To my ears MQA sounds really good ... second only to DSD in the digital realm.

The hardware path is Lumin S1 - Bryston BP26 - Bryston 7BSST2 - Magico S5's

I don't know anything about the science or politics behind MQA


What a nice surprise after a business trip. :D Checkout the remastered David Bowie and Led Zeppelin catalogs in MQA for sure and then check some of the curated MQA playlists. New stuff is being released all the time.

R. Daneel

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Re: MQA Discussion Group
« Reply #17 on: 10 Aug 2017, 08:11 pm »
Antun,

Mine wasn't meant as a compliment to MQA.

Oh, no, no worries mate, I wasn't really referring to anyone's post here. I apologise if it seemed I was.

I was thinking just how unfair some aspects of life are and the day before that, I was reading about yet another political corruption scandal and it almost seemed as though the bunch at Meridian were the sort of people that would be perfect as MPs in some corrupt Eastern or Southern European country: "Let's get rich over night and not even get out of the bed".

A bunch of eczema over at Meridian.

stonedeaf

Re: MQA Discussion Group
« Reply #18 on: 10 Aug 2017, 11:02 pm »
Interesting article by Paul Miller in the current  (Jul7 2017) issue of HiFi News and RR review on testing MQA. Miller has some serious chops as a test engineer to apply to this project.

CanadianMaestro

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Re: MQA Discussion Group
« Reply #19 on: 11 Aug 2017, 12:45 am »
Oh, no, no worries mate, I wasn't really referring to anyone's post here. I apologise if it seemed I was.

I was thinking just how unfair some aspects of life are and the day before that, I was reading about yet another political corruption scandal and it almost seemed as though the bunch at Meridian were the sort of people that would be perfect as MPs in some corrupt Eastern or Southern European country: "Let's get rich over night and not even get out of the bed".

A bunch of eczema over at Meridian.

No worries, Antun, all in good spirits.

This part of our world may have bigger worries now, with potential missiles flying over the Pacific. Fingers crossed.  :roll: