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MQA is Vaporware

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On 7/9/2018 at 6:53 PM, Odd Magnus Bjerkvik said:

MQA cassettes anyone?

 

That is actually quite unsmart: the relatively high levels of ultrasonics, especially with 44k1 MQA, will dynamically overbias the tape during recording.

Further, as they cannot be captured on tape they will play dirty games with Dolby.

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On 7/12/2018 at 3:24 AM, Odd Magnus Bjerkvik said:

We had to make HDCD compatible with this standard. Yet the goal of HDCD was to achieve a vastly higher level of fidelity—a level of fidelity directly comparable to the finest recording technology available—ie, first-generation analog master tape or direct-to-disc by record lathe. To do this, the HDCD process had to be a conjugate system. By that, we mean a system where all aspects of the recording and the playback decoding had to be controlled as much as possible. For that reason, the HDCD process wraps around both the A/D conversion and D/A conversion. 

Holey Smoley,  When was that written, and who wrote it.

Sounds exactly like Bob Stuart might have released it last week.

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8 minutes ago, Sal1950 said:

Holey Smoley,  When was that written, and who wrote it.

Robert Harley, 1995.

 

8 minutes ago, Sal1950 said:

Sounds exactly like Bob Stuart might have released it last week.

Indeed it does.

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On 7/12/2018 at 10:23 AM, Brinkman Ship said:

You are on to something! I was thinking the same when I saw that old article posted.

 

Except this was an actual step forward in SQ, even if not for the reasons claimed. From Charles Hansen:

Quote

The next question is why was HDCD so enthusiastically received by the audio press and many mastering studios? Again the answer is quite simple - it sounded far better than the competing Sony unit. *Not* because of the HDCD features but simply because it was designed to a far higher "audiophile" standard by Keith Johnson, an extremely talented designer.

 

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1 hour ago, beetlemania said:

 

Except this was an actual step forward in SQ, even if not for the reasons claimed. From Charles Hansen:

 

Certainly....HDCD also did not share any of the nefarious traits of MQA..in the end it is a footnote.

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On 7/14/2018 at 1:57 AM, Brinkman Ship said:

Certainly....HDCD also did not share any of the nefarious traits of MQA..in the end it is a footnote.

Actually it did share some - Jim Lesuf has written about this - first the dynamic expansion was supposed to give greater than 16 bit performance but in fact meant that even though it was supposed to be compatible it meant that on non HDCD machines you were running the risk of reduced dynamic range or even dynamic peak compression. [I'm not sure MQA does the latter]

http://www.audiomisc.co.uk/HFN/HDCD/Enigma.html

Second there was a promise of adaptive filters but there is considerable doubt as to whether the feature was ever used. I checked with Cambridge audio and linn engineers who resigned hdcd machines and they seemed to think it never was. In this regard it might be better than MQA which seems to have actually delivered on the dodgy filters.

The interesting point is that there was virtually no proper examination of the implementation, just a load of cheerleading.  Very familiar.

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11 minutes ago, adamdea said:

Actually it did share some - Jim Lesuf has written about this - first the dynamic expansion was supposed to give greater than 16 bit performance but in fact meant that even though it was supposed to be compatible it meant that on non HDCD machines you were running the risk of reduced dynamic range or even dynamic peak compression. [I'm not sure MQA does the latter]

MQA has something that looks a lot like peak extension.

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21 minutes ago, adamdea said:

Actually it did share some - Jim Lesuf has written about this - first the dynamic expansion was supposed to give greater than 16 bit performance but in fact meant that even though it was supposed to be compatible it meant that on non HDCD machines you were running the risk of reduced dynamic range or even dynamic peak compression. [I'm not sure MQA does the latter]

http://www.audiomisc.co.uk/HFN/HDCD/Enigma.html

Second there was a promise of adaptive filters but there is considerable doubt as to whether the feature was ever used. I checked with Cambridge audio and linn engineers who resigned hdcd machines and they seemed to think it never was. In this regard it might be better than MQA which seems to have actually delivered on the dodgy filters.

The interesting point is that there was virtually no proper examination of the implementation, just a load of cheerleading.  Very familiar.

I was actually not referring to the technical aspects..more so other implications.

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18 hours ago, Brinkman Ship said:

I was actually not referring to the technical aspects..more so other implications.

Ah yes- right you are. I dare say the original founders were hoping to get a royalty from chip manufacturers and the music industry. But it didn't seem so sinister as a land grab and didn't have the same drm issues. I spose it could have threatened the availability of proper redbook if it had become the universal standard.

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MQA Ltd update

 

Peter Craven sold more of his stock in 2017. Craig Kallman CEO of Atlantic Records now owns 55 shares and Herman Siegfried Jorg Mohaupt also now owns 55 shares. Small numbers but Peter has sold 231 shares of his original 880 shares of MQA Ltd stock.

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45 minutes ago, Rt66indierock said:

MQA Ltd update

 

Peter Craven sold more of his stock in 2017. Craig Kallman CEO of Atlantic Records now owns 55 shares and Herman Siegfried Jorg Mohaupt also now owns 55 shares. Small numbers but Peter has sold 231 shares of his original 880 shares of MQA Ltd stock.

Good. The beginning of the end...

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On 7/23/2018 at 11:56 AM, Rt66indierock said:

 

The series series one and two are still prized for studio work today.

 

@manisandher had one that he sold to a French studio, IIRC. 

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Just now, Jud said:

 

@manisandher had one that he sold to a French studio, IIRC. 

 

I understand why the French studio wanted it. The model one and a good DAW is why you and I disagree a bit over the value of true high resolution audio the 24/88 and higher stuff.

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On 7/23/2018 at 1:32 PM, sullis02 said:

The only actual benefit of HDCD, if any, was the relative (for its time) high quality of Pacific Microsonics (Johnson and Pflaumer)'s ADC.   Which itself isn't anything that could not have been done by others.

 

The rest was really all unnecessary marketing nonsense.  And if you didn't have an HDCD decoder  for the discs, it was potentially bad (if peak-extension was used) unnecessary marketing nonsense.   16-bit  CD already had ~96 dB of dynamic range available to it, and mastering engineers already weren't utilizing it.  

 

I agree with you on this. I do wonder, however, if HDCD had gained momentum and/or not been bought up by Microsoft, if it could have created major benefits for audiophiles from the early 2000s to the present. Of course Peak Extension is silly and unnecessary in an ideal world - but with the Loudness Wars ramping up at more or less the moment HDCD was declining into oblivion, it could've been a great lifeline to see a bunch of HDCD Peak Extend titles come out that would allow those of us with HDCD equipment to play more fully dynamic versions. Without HDCD (or something like it) as a mainstream technology, we're often stuck with no available dynamic mastering of recent music.

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4 minutes ago, tmtomh said:

 

I agree with you on this. I do wonder, however, if HDCD had gained momentum and/or not been bought up by Microsoft, if it could have created major benefits for audiophiles from the early 2000s to the present. Of course Peak Extension is silly and unnecessary in an ideal world - but with the Loudness Wars ramping up at more or less the moment HDCD was declining into oblivion, it could've been a great lifeline to see a bunch of HDCD Peak Extend titles come out that would allow those of us with HDCD equipment to play more fully dynamic versions. Without HDCD (or something like it) as a mainstream technology, we're often stuck with no available dynamic mastering of recent music.

 

True but the demand for uncompressed music can be met with existing technology. I don't see the demand for it anyplace in the United States.

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8 minutes ago, Rt66indierock said:

 

True but the demand for uncompressed music can be met with existing technology. I don't see the demand for it anyplace in the United States.

 

No disagreement - but my point is that HDCD Peak Extend would enable the provision of uncompressed music without there needing to be much demand, because an HDCD with Peak Extend is two CDs in one - a peak-limited version and a non-peak-limited version. Production distribution, and marketing costs are the same as for a regular CD. And in my admittedly optimistic hypothetical scenario, at this point in time there would just be a software plugin to do the encoding, making the added cost just whatever the mastering studio would have to absorb in order to pay for the software license for the plugin. Even if the license were a few thousand dollars a year, for prominent mastering operations that did frequent work for major label releases, the cost would not be a barrier.

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19 minutes ago, Rt66indierock said:

 

I understand why the French studio wanted it. The model one and a good DAW is why you and I disagree a bit over the value of true high resolution audio the 24/88 and higher stuff.

 

Vive la différence, eh? 😉 

 

What I see as the possible value is not the high resolution itself, but the potential for fewer conversions/decimations done by filters that may not be the best.

 

Certainly this leaves plenty of room for bad hi res and good RedBook.

 

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1 hour ago, Rt66indierock said:

MQA Ltd update

 

Peter Craven sold more of his stock in 2017. Craig Kallman CEO of Atlantic Records now owns 55 shares and Herman Siegfried Jorg Mohaupt also now owns 55 shares. Small numbers but Peter has sold 231 shares of his original 880 shares of MQA Ltd stock.

I wonder who has bought the shares?

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1 hour ago, Jud said:

 

@manisandher had one that he sold to a French studio, IIRC. 

 

Yep. A well-healed mastering studio in Paris. They tested a bunch of ADCs, including a Model One on loan. They loved it so much that they went on the hunt for one. They finally found a Pacific Microsonics in Europe 😉. I was happy to let it go to a good home - it was total over-kill for the needle drops I was using it for.

 

1 hour ago, Rt66indierock said:

I understand why the French studio wanted it. The model one and a good DAW is why you and I disagree a bit over the value of true high resolution audio the 24/88 and higher stuff.

 

Mine was a Model Two. I preferred the way it sounded at 24/176.4 and 24/192 (no over-sampling involved at these rates).

 

Mani.

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Does anyone think that the benefits of HDCD (sans AAD) on existing CDs are great enough to re-rip them with some special decoder, instead of sticking with the Redbook type rip?

 

(leaving aside the difficulty of finding those CDs in the shifting junk pile of old CDs, car parts, etc. in my garage)

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5 minutes ago, Rt66indierock said:

 

They are in my post.

Not all 231 are accounted for?  Also, for context, does anyone know the value of one share?

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