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MQA is Vaporware

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9 minutes ago, Tin said:

On another forum I used a less technical but a more logical approach to be critical about the claims that MQA makes:

 

- if MQA is designed to battle ringing effects caused by ADCs, it will break digital recordings and recordings using samples.

- you need to have access to the original recordings to be able to distinguish analogue and digital parts, effectively meaning you need to manually remaster most if not all studio recordings after 1980 (or 1930 if you start at the rhythmicon) to be sure you don't fix things that aren't broken. The amount of effort that will take means MQA cannot get a huge library.

- if MQA does have a large library, it means they just used a somewhat generic filter over an already mastered album, which will have very unreliable effects.

Bonus question:

- lossy formats have ringing effects because math tells them they should. How weird is it to introduce ringing while trying to battle ringing?

 

A marketing director of Meridian (long story) wasn't able to find faults in my reasoning, and obviously neither can I. So, does my reasoning make any sense or am I wrong?

 

Freely free to tell a long story I got 600 miles to go today and tomorrow.

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Tin   

This is the long story (which like this thread is also contaminated by a lot of opinions, including my own):

https://forums.linn.co.uk/bb/showthread.php?tid=35574

 

A slightly shorter version is that the beforementioned marketing director used a false identity to ask 'interested questions' about MQA while obviously trying to steer the answers. His problem was that he lacked the basic technical knowledge to discuss the subject, and when he was forced to reveal his true identity all that left was a somewhat sad sales guy in a room full of agitated audiophiles.

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Shadders   
11 minutes ago, Tin said:

This is the long story (which like this thread is also contaminated by a lot of opinions, including my own):

https://forums.linn.co.uk/bb/showthread.php?tid=35574

 

A slightly shorter version is that the beforementioned marketing director used a false identity to ask 'interested questions' about MQA while obviously trying to steer the answers. His problem was that he lacked the basic technical knowledge to discuss the subject, and when he was forced to reveal his true identity all that left was a somewhat sad sales guy in a room full of agitated audiophiles.

Hi,

A long read - do you have the user name of the marketing director ? Thanks.

Regards,

Shadders.

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Tin   
5 minutes ago, Shadders said:

Hi,

A long read - do you have the user name of the marketing director ? Thanks.

Regards,

Shadders.

No, if I remember correctly he was using the name Arthur, but no idea about his real name. But I really wanted to test my logic here, so could you comment on that?

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Shadders   
7 minutes ago, Tin said:

No, if I remember correctly he was using the name Arthur, but no idea about his real name. But I really wanted to test my logic here, so could you comment on that?

Hi,

Thanks - so is it ArthurDent username ?. Seems to have low number of posts.

EDIT - Page 28 is the first post from ArthurDent.

Regards,

Shadders.

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Tin   
19 minutes ago, Shadders said:

Hi,

Thanks - so is it ArthurDent username ?. Seems to have low number of posts.

EDIT - Page 28 is the first post from ArthurDent.

Regards,

Shadders.

Yes, I wasn't sure if I remembered the name correctly, but he was indeed abusing mr. Douglas creation.

 

I could have made the url more specific, but I'm very lazy and as there were requests for long reads.... ;)

Edited by Tin
explanation

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Shadders   
2 minutes ago, Tin said:

Yes, I wasn't sure if I remembered the name correctly, but he was indeed abusing mr. Douglas creation.

Hi,

Thanks for confirming. I was wondering who Mr Douglas was - then realised Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy. :D

Regards,

Shadders.

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2 hours ago, Tin said:

This is the long story (which like this thread is also contaminated by a lot of opinions, including my own):

https://forums.linn.co.uk/bb/showthread.php?tid=35574

 

A slightly shorter version is that the beforementioned marketing director used a false identity to ask 'interested questions' about MQA while obviously trying to steer the answers. His problem was that he lacked the basic technical knowledge to discuss the subject, and when he was forced to reveal his true identity all that left was a somewhat sad sales guy in a room full of agitated audiophiles.

Thanks 

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Well, Darko is at it again...another massive shill:

 

 

"The point here is that, once again, with this one album, heard via PS Audio’s glorious D/A converter, keeping one eye on Godwin’s Law, MQA sounds different. And to my ears, that difference translates to better."

 

http://www.digitalaudioreview.net/2017/07/mqa-donald-fagen-ps-audio/

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soxr   
7 hours ago, Digital Assassin said:

Well, Darko is at it again...another massive shill:

 

 

"The point here is that, once again, with this one album, heard via PS Audio’s glorious D/A converter, keeping one eye on Godwin’s Law, MQA sounds different. And to my ears, that difference translates to better."

 

http://www.digitalaudioreview.net/2017/07/mqa-donald-fagen-ps-audio/


This article again mentions that the source is corrected, but from what we've seen from archimago's/mansr's work, the source is not corrected, but the encode contains a flag, so that the renderer can post-process using one of 32 anti-ringing filters.

If the source was corrected, the waveform would be drastically different from let's say DXD vs upsampled MQA with minimum phase. I did not find evidence of pre-processing.

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Shadders   
On 19/07/2017 at 10:11 AM, Fokus said:

Hi Fokus,

Thanks. It was bugging me about the pre-ringing in a filter - and the apodizing filter description. I am new to the DSP area - also found some more information as well as your link. :

https://mrapodizer.wordpress.com/2011/08/16/technical-analysis-of-the-meridian-apodizing-filter/

https://www.stereophile.com/content/meridian-8082808i2-signature-reference-cd-playerpreamplifier-measurements

This is something i was not aware of - that a linear phase FIR filter had pre-ringing for an impulse response.

I have some catching up to do....:(

Regards,

Shadders.

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Jud   
12 minutes ago, Shadders said:

Hi Fokus,

Thanks. It was bugging me about the pre-ringing in a filter - and the apodizing filter description. I am new to the DSP area - also found some more information as well as your link. :

https://mrapodizer.wordpress.com/2011/08/16/technical-analysis-of-the-meridian-apodizing-filter/

https://www.stereophile.com/content/meridian-8082808i2-signature-reference-cd-playerpreamplifier-measurements

This is something i was not aware of - that a linear phase FIR filter had pre-ringing for an impulse response.

I have some catching up to do....:(

Regards,

Shadders.

 

I’ve always liked Mr. Apodizer’s explanations.

 

For a visual appreciation, have a look at impulse tests for the various filters at http://src.infinitewave.ca.

 

You’re going to have pre-ringing in a linear phase FIR filter.  First of all, you’re going to have ringing; the filter’s phase just tells you where the ringing will be.  You can minimize the ringing with a less steep filter, but that means more aliasing.

 

This is why there is oversampling (or hi res): more headroom in which to play with the aliasing-vs.-ringing parameters.

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Shadders   
2 minutes ago, Jud said:

 

I’ve always liked Mr. Apodizer’s explanations.

 

For a visual appreciation, have a look at impulse tests for the various filters at http://src.infinitewave.ca.

 

You’re going to have pre-ringing in a linear phase FIR filter.  First of all, you’re going to have ringing; the filter’s phase just tells you where the ringing will be.  You can minimize the ringing with a less steep filter, but that means more aliasing.

 

This is why there is oversampling (or hi res): more headroom in which to play with the aliasing-vs.-ringing parameters.

Hi Jud,

Thanks. Yes - this is all in the digital domain. I lack the experience of implementing filters in DSP as i am just starting out. I must also remember that although similar in many ways, there are differences between analogue and digital filters.

Regards,

Shadders.

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3 hours ago, soxr said:


This article again mentions that the source is corrected, but from what we've seen from archimago's/mansr's work, the source is not corrected, but the encode contains a flag, so that the renderer can post-process using one of 32 anti-ringing filters.

If the source was corrected, the waveform would be drastically different from let's say DXD vs upsampled MQA with minimum phase. I did not find evidence of pre-processing.

Yes, let these dunces continue to shill for MQA all the while we see more evidence of what it is, and what it is not.

 

What it is: Proprietary DSP masquerading as a "format", with no benefit to consumers what so ever.

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Jud   
44 minutes ago, mansr said:

The regular and MQA versions of The Nightfly on Tidal are clearly from different masters. Comparing track 2, there are a number of differences:

  • The sample rates differ, 44.1 kHz vs 48 kHz for the MQA version.
  • The MQA version is 7 seconds longer.
  • The MQA version is 2 dB louder, even clipping a few times.
  • The polarity of the MQA version is inverted.
  • The actual speeds don't quite match. In other words, they are not simply different digital downsamples from a common source.
  • The speed difference fluctuates throughout the track.

I'd be inclined to say these two versions came from different tape transfers, except it's an all-digital production.

 

To think that what got music company execs off their rear ends to allow better masters of these files was MQA!  What a waste.

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crenca   
55 minutes ago, mansr said:

The regular and MQA versions of The Nightfly on Tidal are clearly from different masters. Comparing track 2, there are a number of differences:

  • The sample rates differ, 44.1 kHz vs 48 kHz for the MQA version.
  • The MQA version is 7 seconds longer.
  • The MQA version is 2 dB louder, even clipping a few times.
  • The polarity of the MQA version is inverted.
  • The actual speeds don't quite match. In other words, they are not simply different digital downsamples from a common source.
  • The speed difference fluctuates throughout the track.

I'd be inclined to say these two versions came from different tape transfers, except it's an all-digital production.

 

What strikes me about this is that "Darko" is one of the more digitally/technically aware guys in the "audio press" (not that is saying much).  Why is he not speaking directly to this issue - that the "MQA" versions that he is using are in point of fact different remasters than what he is comparing them to?  Is he really a "shill", and if so why?  Is he just simply lazy, or does he simply not mind that MQA as a format/technology is irrelevant to the difference he is hearing - he just likes something different?

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1 hour ago, crenca said:

 

What strikes me about this is that "Darko" is one of the more digitally/technically aware guys in the "audio press" (not that is saying much).  Why is he not speaking directly to this issue - that the "MQA" versions that he is using are in point of fact different remasters than what he is comparing them to?  Is he really a "shill", and if so why?  Is he just simply lazy, or does he simply not mind that MQA as a format/technology is irrelevant to the difference he is hearing - he just likes something different?

Remember this guy until 6 months ago had an entry level system crammed into a small apartment. He moves to Berlin and starts getting expensive loaner gear and now he thinks he is a player. "Got back into vinyl" so as to not fall behind the other hipsters. :D

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2 hours ago, mansr said:

The regular and MQA versions of The Nightfly on Tidal are clearly from different masters. Comparing track 2, there are a number of differences:

  • The sample rates differ, 44.1 kHz vs 48 kHz for the MQA version.
  • The MQA version is 7 seconds longer.
  • The MQA version is 2 dB louder, even clipping a few times.
  • The polarity of the MQA version is inverted.
  • The actual speeds don't quite match. In other words, they are not simply different digital downsamples from a common source.
  • The speed difference fluctuates throughout the track.

I'd be inclined to say these two versions came from different tape transfers, except it's an all-digital production.

..and you would think as a blogger, and one that is pretty musically knowledgeable at that, would at least make an effort to provide this information to readers...

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15 hours ago, rickca said:

His writing style makes me cringe.

Here is his style:

 

Feign skepticism, move to "open minded", go whole hog right in as a true believer.


He lost me when he raved about the Audioquest Ethernet cables after comparing them to junk bulk Cat5.

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I also find this Darko article a bit puzzling. In the middle of the article , he launches into a series of questions (I counted 10) in an effort to discern why he prefers the MQA version. The questions are not answered. Then he restates his question as to why he found the MQA version to be "by far the most satisfying of the three". He then immediately precedes to qualify that claim: this is grey area and other audiophiles with different tastes/preferences would be perfectly happy with the other versions, ending by mentioning keeping one eye on Godwin's Law, meaning that he doesn't want to fall into typical audiophile hyperbole:

 

Quote

The point here is that, once again, with this one album, heard via PS Audio’s glorious D/A converter, keeping one eye on Godwin’s Law, MQA sounds different. And to my ears, that difference translates to better. PS Audio’s latest update lets Network Bridge II owners decide for themselves.

 

This is one of the most tentative-yet-convinced, subjectivised, relativised reviews I recall reading in a while. Why write it? I'm wondering if the PS Audio gear is on long term loan, and there was this MQA update, and that just gave him something to write? If John is promoting MQA, he's doing a poor job in my opinion.

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