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Computer Audiophile


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  1. MQA is Vaporware

    I believe It's quite common to publish listening reports in audiophile media. Have I missed Chris's?
  2. Alexander Lazarev

  3. MQA is Vaporware

    In that case, how about a MQA listening report?
  4. Alexander Lazarev

    Just "discovered" this conductor via Tidal, in particular the Rachmaninov symphonies on Exton. I thought these were outstanding RBCD recordings, but wasn't aware of him before. I have some Exton SACDs (Wagner, Elgar) and while I guess it would be classified as an audiophile label, it didn't really stand out for me either, until now. Anyone else know this conductor, or indeed have any other recommendations on Exton label?
  5. Why does consumer audio SUCK?

    But isn't the OP's point precisely that despite the economic advantages of large manufacturers, by and large they don't have a track record of producing SOTA for less? I imagine it's more about carrying through with a singular vision vs corporate culture.
  6. Why does consumer audio SUCK?

    Not sure where you are getting that from (about me that is). I'm not aware of ever dismissing anything on price alone. What I actually look for is maximum VFM within what I'm prepared to spend. I imagine I'm not alone in this.
  7. Why does consumer audio SUCK?

    While this is clearly a blatant opportunity for you to use your favourite word, I understand the sentiment. I've often thought that it should be possible to produce SOTA kit sub £2k, maybe even sub£1k with the right design and economies of scale. But as you indicate, it's never happened. Maybe companies like Schitt, NVA or Job get closest?
  8. MQA is Vaporware

    I take your point, but is anyone really suggesting that the initial decode gives less than CD quality? I can understand (and maybe hear) that this may be the case with the undecoded stream.
  9. MQA is Vaporware

    I was quoting from the Sonore sub-forum on this site, not the claims of MQA. I presume that if the Ultra Rendu delivers 24/96 on first unfold (subject presumably to 96kHz MQA source file) then other initial software decoders do the same. For example, XX High End clearly shows 24/96 input too. Am I wrong?
  10. MQA is Vaporware

    I guess that hangs on what you mean by a "device". Providing you are using software that does the initial decode, then you can enjoy up to 96kHz sent to your existing DAC. For example, as Barrows has confirmed in the Ultra Rendu thread "To be clear, the files start as 24/96, and the "first unfold" delivers all of the resolution of the original files". While it's true that 24/96 doesn't set the world on fire these days, it's not the case that you'll be getting < CD quality. My own listening using XXHighEnd to feed MQA to my non-MQA DAC confirms this. Of course, if others are right about DRM, maybe this is a loophole that will be closed one day.
  11. MQA is Vaporware

    Judging by the exemplary resolution of low level detail I'm hearing, the sound of their filters and artefacts must be quite something...
  12. My take on the MQA debate, if debate is the appropriate word, is that many of the issues raised are much wider and long standing, rather than confined to MQA. For example, while MQA's declared mission does add a certain level of irony to the matter, concerns about the provenance of masters and the music we listen to could equally be raised for non-MQA music distribution over the last 3 decades at least. Some labels are better than others, but even when attempted, explanations are often opaque and open to interpretation. Rather like an elaboration of the DDD, ADD of the CD era, why not simply require all music distribution of any format, including streaming, to adopt a labelling system showing the format, bit depth and resolution of the 1. original recording, 2. master and 3. distributed product? In addition, stages could be colour-coded shown in green or red to indicate whether or not additional processing was involved. Thus 3 green "24/96"s would indicate music recorded, mastered and distributed at 24/96 with no intermediary resampling, transcoding etc. If the middle 24/96 was in red, this would indicate that the master hadn't been prepared directly from the original recording. If the final 24/96 was red this would indicate that the current distribution didn't come directly from the master ( e.g. maybe that the original distribution was at 16:44 and the current distribution is simply an upsample of that). Some DSD downloads might be labelled "DSD256", "DXD", "DSD64". Some analogue tape transfers might be "A", "DSD256", "24/96" etc etc. Seems a practical and relatively simple way to quality assure our listening.
  13. MQA is Vaporware

    Thanks, I seem to see different statements on different parts of their website, with various asterisked caveats. It would be good to hear from someone with this package who can comment on what is currently available, what labels etc. As someone who couldn't see the point of streaming, I'm rapidly being converted. I'm mistrustful of "credit card" trials though.
  14. MQA is Vaporware

    Again, we are not really discussing MQA, we are talking objective v. subjective or theory vs. lived experience. I'm on this site because I love high quality music replay. I'm currently listening to Gergiev Mahler2 via MQA (just a lowly 48kHz MQA source file). Inter alia, the thing you describe as "not a solution" seems to be providing me, right now, with some of the best digital reply I've heard.
  15. MQA is Vaporware

    You may be correct from a theoretical point of view, but that's no practical use to today's listener. To repeat my previous question, other than Tidal/MQA, who is actually offering 96 kHz classical music streaming today? I looked at Qobuz for example, as far as I can see from their site, the implication at least is that anything beyond RBCD is only offered as a purchased download. The 2l site shows that a MQA a file is c. half the size of 24/96, presumably that has something to do with it's "stream-ability" ? I am coming at this from the assumption that, in the particular situation where both the MQA source file and the original non-MQA music release are at 96khz and the MQA stream decodes at 96kHz to my non-MQA DAC, then what I am getting is no less than what a (theoretical) non-MQA streaming service or a 24/96 download would offer at the same resolution.