MQA Discussion Group

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witchdoctor

Re: MQA Discussion Group
« Reply #200 on: 21 Sep 2017, 04:43 pm »
Also I am always concerned when I read things like " I was blown away with the difference" - quality audio gear tends to differ in subtle ways relative to one another. The same holds true for well produced digital music files in my experience. 

james

To me marketing hyperbole in all industries can be over blown some time, granted.
So did you hear any subtle differences when you compared files you downloaded from the test bench?

James Tanner

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Re: MQA Discussion Group
« Reply #201 on: 21 Sep 2017, 04:46 pm »
To me marketing hyperbole in all industries can be over blown some time, granted.
So did you hear any subtle differences when you compared files you downloaded from the test bench?

In a blind test I had trouble distinguishing differences.

james

zoom25

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Re: MQA Discussion Group
« Reply #202 on: 21 Sep 2017, 05:27 pm »
Hi Witchdoctor,


Any attached 44.1 file from my BDP-2 player sounds much better to my ears than any streaming service I have heard.   So the comparison for me would be a quality lossless file compared to the MQA file from the same Master and so far no demonstration I have been to or heard about offers that comparison.

So for me the jury's still out based on sound quality and the more I learn about the technology and the vested interest groups the more I waver.

james

Hi James,

How do you find the sound quality of Roon vs. MPD flash drives? I'm very curious.

James Tanner

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Re: MQA Discussion Group
« Reply #203 on: 21 Sep 2017, 06:03 pm »
Hi James,

How do you find the sound quality of Roon vs. MPD flash drives? I'm very curious.

Hi

I still like the MPD version with Flash Drives but its been a while since I have done a direct blind A/B.

james

zoom25

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Re: MQA Discussion Group
« Reply #204 on: 21 Sep 2017, 06:09 pm »
Hi

I still like the MPD version with Flash Drives but its been a while since I have done a direct blind A/B.

james

Thanks, James. Do you remember how your Roon setup was connected?

James Tanner

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Re: MQA Discussion Group
« Reply #205 on: 21 Sep 2017, 07:09 pm »
Thanks, James. Do you remember how your Roon setup was connected?

Hi

Yes I tried it direct from the MAC computer laptop USB output to our BDA-3 DAC  USB input ... vs ... MPD direct through USB from our BDP-3 Player to the USB input on the BDA3 DAC.

james

zoom25

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Re: MQA Discussion Group
« Reply #206 on: 21 Sep 2017, 08:01 pm »
Hi

Yes I tried it direct from the MAC computer laptop USB output to our BDA-3 DAC  USB input ... vs ... MPD direct through USB from our BDP-3 Player to the USB input on the BDA3 DAC.

james

Thanks for the reply, James.

In my testing with Roon and MPD, I was able to put the BDP-1 and my iMac into the same zone and toggle instantaneously between them to see how they differed.

I found the Roon USB from the computer was good, but not what I was used to from MPD with flash drives.

Roon via ethernet connection into BDP-1 however ranged a bit for me. With the Roon Powerline feeding BDP-1, that was the worst. I've detailed some of this on the Roon thread and lot more on the Roon community forum. However, after doing some testing, I was able to match MPD, and perhaps even surpass it with Roon and ethernet.

I'm personally not looking for a solution, so I don't have anything to gain here. However, I don't think you've heard Roon at it's best. This is a compliment to your BDP players! What I am about to say will match Roon's own suggestion listed here: https://kb.roonlabs.com/Sound_Quality
They also do not suggest a direct connection between DAC and computer, and I can see why. The background isn't as black and the transients suffer a bit.

If I respectfully may, I would suggest you to try an experiment. You might be surprised by the results. Best of all, you already have most of the stuff needed for it.

Connect both your laptop/computer running Roon Core and BDP-1 to a network switch via ethernet cables. Normal Cat6. Nothing fancy required. Nothing else on the switch, except for the router which is required to assign IP addresses. In fact, once Roon recognizes the BDP-1, you can unplug the router from the switch if you want to.

Based on my discussions with the Roon guys, an unmanaged switch is the best. However, not much consensus for a LPS for the switch. Some recommend it, others don't see the point.

So I will not recommend you to buy an linear power supply. However, if you try out the switch I recommend, you can actually use the BDP's own linear power to power the switch as it takes a mini USB for its input. So you can take an ordinary USB to USB Mini cable to power the switch.

https://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833127324

In one of the side pictures, you can see the mini USB input. At other places like Canada Computers or BestBuy, it is available for $35.

I'd definitely recommend buying one to try out. You should be able to return it. At the worst, you are out $35 and have a spare switch to use around the office. No need to buy the LPS either, which I think is absolutely crucial to the sound. It's the most risk free way I can think of.

That's all you need. Make sure nothing else is connected to the BDP's USB input except for the switch. Only Roon Ready enabled from Services.

The merit of the ethernet connection is supported by Roon quite extensively on their website. However, the LPS for the switch can be fulfilled for free with this particular switch. I know you've previously bought $100+ Corsair flash drives on suggestions, so this shouldn't be a problem and at the very least, you'll still have a useful switch.

(I'd also like to mention that I do have a Jitterbug connected to the BDP-1's USB input where the USB cable for the switch is coming in. I won't say to buy a Jitterbug unless you like what the switch does in the first place with the BDP powering it. Although, if you do like it, the Jitterbug may or may not be preferred.)

It still didn't fully make sense to me as ethernet should be isolating it, but here we are. John Swenson had a lot more to say on this, so I will not speculate on it.

If Roon improves this way, you may want to try Tidal as well via this method and see if that improves. With this particular switch, you can target 3 things at once for the price of one: No external LPS, Roon and Tidal improvement.

$35 - Just a suggestion. Have a great day James. :thumb:

CanadianMaestro

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Re: MQA Discussion Group
« Reply #207 on: 22 Sep 2017, 12:17 am »
Music recorded in an anechoic chamber. Will be interesting to see how this pans out.

http://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/live-vs-hi-fi-do-you-hear-the-difference/


witchdoctor

Re: MQA Discussion Group
« Reply #208 on: 23 Sep 2017, 03:42 pm »
In a blind test I had trouble distinguishing differences.

james

Interesting article comparing WAV file to MQA:

http://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/synthax-japans-rme-premium-recordings-release-mqa-music/

jhm731


CanadianMaestro

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Re: MQA Discussion Group
« Reply #210 on: 23 Sep 2017, 06:22 pm »
^ 50/50 coin toss. Nice.  :thumb:

Much Ado About Nothing.   :roll:

witchdoctor

Re: MQA Discussion Group
« Reply #211 on: 23 Sep 2017, 08:53 pm »
http://archimago.blogspot.com/2017/09/mqa-core-vs-hi-res-blind-test-part-ii.html

Very interesting that most people in this survey can't tell the difference between hirez PCM and MQA based on listening tests. Since SQ is basically the same I guess the choice consumers face is if they want to buy hirez at $20+ a pop or just stream it for an extra $10 a month.


orientalexpress

Re: MQA Discussion Group
« Reply #212 on: 23 Sep 2017, 09:35 pm »
Very interesting that most people in this survey can't tell the difference between hirez PCM and MQA based on listening tests. Since SQ is basically the same I guess the choice consumers face is if they want to buy hirez at $20+ a pop or just stream it for an extra $10 a month.
You forgot one thing,A new MQA dac cost money $1000 plus Tidal cost money $30.00 per month ,wireless streamer cost money $700.00 plus
 :duh: :o



jhm731

Re: MQA Discussion Group
« Reply #213 on: 23 Sep 2017, 10:12 pm »
You forgot one thing,A new MQA dac cost money $1000 plus Tidal cost money $30.00 per month ,wireless streamer cost money $700.00 plus
 :duh: :o

An Audioquest DragonFly Black is $99., Tidal HiFi is $19.99/month.


skunark

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Re: MQA Discussion Group
« Reply #214 on: 24 Sep 2017, 12:00 am »
Very interesting that most people in this survey can't tell the difference between hirez PCM and MQA based on listening tests. Since SQ is basically the same I guess the choice consumers face is if they want to buy hirez at $20+ a pop or just stream it for an extra $10 a month.

https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2015/05/high-res-digital-audio/index.htm

In other news Qobuz seems like an interesting streaming service with up to 24/192 flac for what seems be around the same prices as other streaming services.   They also offer permanent downloads for the same price as an MP3 and all DRM free.   Too bad they haven't made it here in the US yet.


skunark

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Re: MQA Discussion Group
« Reply #216 on: 24 Sep 2017, 02:40 am »
I've always enjoyed articles that point to science data, lots of references but no real scientific experiment to back up their new claim.   
xiph.org:
Quote
"192kHz considered harmful

192kHz digital music files offer no benefits. They're not quite neutral either; practical fidelity is slightly worse. The ultrasonics are a liability during playback.

Neither audio transducers nor power amplifiers are free of distortion, and distortion tends to increase rapidly at the lowest and highest frequencies."

It makes me believe that the author is confusing 192kHz with the 20-20kHz audible range and with those two sentences you can discount that entire article.   It's like saying I can correctly pick the audio format four times out of seven, why wasn't there an eight attempt or dozens of other folks involved in this study?  Announcing it as substantially newsworthy is arrogant at best...

Since a studio master (24/192, 24/48) is used to generate MQA (DRM lossy), 16/44.1 and even MP3s (lossy), I will always assume 24/192 PCM is technically better.    I will also recognize those formats will sound the same in some playback settings and not in others.  Like a CPU, every DAC is optimized for a given market with feature that might cater towards better quality, lower power, or features for a given price point.     Keep in mind that a CD lost information from the studio master and in a way it's lossy...    Like a CPU, every DAC is optimized for a given market with feature that might cater towards better quality, lower power, or certain features for a given price point.    Adaptive and synchronous USB DACs are two great examples for catering for a price point and it's possible that a 16/44.1 file could sound better than a 24/192 if software had to down-convert the file for playback.  Likewise, it is also very possible to have a MQA optimize DAC make PCM sound worse as they try to hit a certain price point to make room for the DRM and extra signal processing.    Maybe MQA is a firmware upgrade for most DACs, or perhaps it's nothing at all but a license.

After several years of HiRez being offered it hasn't taken off nor has 16/44.1 streaming and MQA has a very long and steep road to travel on.   Maybe MQA could survive for the mobile, bandwidth or financially limited audiophile if they perceive it as a reasonable format and don't mind the DRM, but that's a pretty low market for music studios to really support and could easily end up like HDCD.   They will need more than Tidal to survive, my guess the larger streaming services won't use a licensed format other than their own.

Jim

witchdoctor

Re: MQA Discussion Group
« Reply #217 on: 24 Sep 2017, 02:31 pm »
Previous formats like SACD, DVD-A, HDCD and HIREZ downloads that were targeted squarely at audiophiles have crashed and burned. Anal retentive audiophiles are a piss poor market for vendors selling formats, period. You know why those formats flamed out? They are a PIA to implement and CRAZY expensive. The same anal retentive audience that pushed those formats over the cliff now wants to add to the pile with MQA. What a sad state of affairs :roll:

There is 0 SQ difference between hirez PCM and MQA no matter how much "audiophiles" protest. Suck it up buttercups. Go find another way to burn your cash reserves. I'll gladly pay an extra $10 a month for all the MQA I can handle with more albums being released almost daily.


zoom25

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Re: MQA Discussion Group
« Reply #218 on: 24 Sep 2017, 04:26 pm »
If there is 0 SQ difference between hirez PCM and MQA, then we should be pushing for streaming of high res PCM, not MQA. High res PCM doesn't cost additional except for more bandwidth. On the other hand, MQA costs more at each step.

skunark

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Re: MQA Discussion Group
« Reply #219 on: 24 Sep 2017, 05:42 pm »
Previous formats like SACD, DVD-A, HDCD and HIREZ downloads that were targeted squarely at audiophiles have crashed and burned. Anal retentive audiophiles are a piss poor market for vendors selling formats, period. You know why those formats flamed out? They are a PIA to implement and CRAZY expensive. The same anal retentive audience that pushed those formats over the cliff now wants to add to the pile with MQA. What a sad state of affairs :roll:

There is 0 SQ difference between hirez PCM and MQA no matter how much "audiophiles" protest. Suck it up buttercups. Go find another way to burn your cash reserves. I'll gladly pay an extra $10 a month for all the MQA I can handle with more albums being released almost daily.

Slowdown buckeroo, the only format that has crashed and burned is HDCD and MQA is more like HDCD than any other format out there.  SACD has become DSD,  DVD-A has become Blu-ray Audio, and last i checked there are several sites with HiRez downloads.   You can say they are struggling with consumer adaption sure, but that's about it sweet cheeks.

Keep in mind playing MQA on a non-MQA DAC is effectively play a 13-bit file, so it's technically has less information than a CD for about twice the file size, oh and don't forget the extra noise it causes.   There's just no upside to the format, as most folks can't tell the difference from DSD, 24-bit Hires and 16-bit CD quality files and your can even toss in other lossy formats.  Even if you had  MQA DAC, it's equivalent of a 17-bit file, so no it's not the same as a 24-bit Hires file.  Since you agree that you can't hear a difference, I don't really understand your push for the format, it's just an unnecessary extra expense if you claim there's no difference.

One key issue I have with hires download sites is with the content, they don't offer any current music and the bulk of it is remastered.  Well i take that back, i found one current artist offered at 24-bit 192khz, but also noticed several artist being offered at 16-bit for the same price as hires, shame on that website we all know about.   BTW,  on that same site some of those remasters were from inferior sources and they were caught selling that products and others were heavily compressed (loudness wars) and sold as 'remastered'.  Itjust seems the studios are after reselling a old devalued products again as long as they have breathing customers wiling to buy it.  Maybe Tidal will change the game if they get a current music to jump on board, but they have a long hard battle and with their financial struggles, it's not looking good. 

Buttercups