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Found 42 results

  1. I have just read a positive review in July number of Italian magazine AudioReview about this new little DAC from Project http://www.box-designs.com/main.php?prod=preboxs2digital&cat=s2-line&lang=en A very reasonable entry level price for experimenting with MQA, but apparently not at all entry level performance. Main specs from Pro-Ject infosheet: • Dual mono construction • High end ESS Sabre ESS9038 dual DAC • Proprietary clock circuity design • Organic polymer capacitors and thin film miniMELF resistors • MQA hardware decoding • DSD64, DSD128, DSD256 & DSD512 (DSD over PCM) • Up to 24bit/192kHz for optical & coax inputs • 7 selectable digital filter characteristics • 1 proprietary optimum transient digital filter • Headphone output on the front (6.3mm) • Synchronization of all internal oscillators • Jitter as low as 100 Femtoseconds! • Gold plated four layer PCB • Full alu/metal sandwich casing in silver or black SRP: € 349,00
  2. Based on the irrational comments in the "MQA Conceptualized" post, I have no choice to consider the staff at Stereophile snake oil salesmen. Many here have worked under the delusion that they would start to temper their support once all the widely available data was examined. Keep dreaming. These excerpts show they have doubled down: JIm Austin: "MQA is currently in "bootstrap" or "startup" mode. (It may graduate from that or just disappear. Only time will tell.) As a result, processes are still being worked out. But what you describe--your desire to sign off on the MQA version--is completely consistent with MQA's creators' vision; this is what the blue light (as opposed to the green light) is intended to mean" "As for MQA, a current problem is that, away from the mastering studio, artists commonly lack access to an MQA-capable DAC (and, very likely, a system capable of resolving those differences)." "You said you'd never heard MQA. When you do--when you compare MQA and non-MQA versions of your work--I think you will be surprised how similar they sound. I have never heard a piece I thought MQA made worse, but in general the change is quite subtle, IMO. (YMMV.)" Jason Victor Serinus: (Try not to laugh) "If MQA didn't audibly improve sound quality to our ears, our coverage would be minimal." "MQA's argument is that you and recording engineers are currently hostage to DAC timing errors. If MQA can truly correct those errors, does that make you a double hostage, or are you actually freer to move closer to the source?" "How would you feel if I reviewed your recording without listening to it? I ask because you have just made absolute pronouncements about something you have never heard and, admittedly, have not taken the time to read about or understand." If your answer is affirmative, you have just read what a lot of us, including a host of major sound and mastering engineers and recording label executives, have been saying. That doesn't mean that, once you listen, you have to agree. But Lord almighty, don't you hope people will come to your music with an open mind? Why not extend the same courtesy and curiosity to MQA?" Sickening . And when you are sick, the last thing you need is SNAKE OIL. https://www.stereophile.com/content/mqa-contextualized https://www.stereophile.com/content/mqa-contextualized
  3. Esoteric released firmware upgrade for N-01 with MQA Full Decoding and Spotify Connect. Since the MQA decoding occurs in the network module, only the network input and direct attached USB storage supports MQA decoding, not the other digital inputs. The firmware update comes in two parts: - The network module is updated by launching Esoteric Sound Stream app - The I/F firmware needs to be manually updated using a PC running Windows 7 or above, via the update available from: http://www.esoteric.jp/products/esoteric/usb/usb_driver_e.html Note: - MQA is currently supported by N-01 only, not N-05 (yet)

    On the Audiostream site Mr. Lavorgna states: (QUOTE)As I've been saying for years, MQA's value proposition is in streaming, not downloads. If we look at how people listen to music today, this makes sense since streaming is the predominant form of music consumption and every indication suggests this trend will continue. Well, except for vinyl ;-) Your MQA objection is rooted in the notion that non-MQA hi-rez content will be unavailable at some point in time. While this is certainly within the realm of possibilities, if you fit into the 'audiophile' demographic, I'd suggest you have nothing to worry about ;-) Read more at https://www.audiostream.com/content/mqa-drm#2VEV4LKUKH3f1M4S.99(UNQUOTE) Well, I wonder if some of the fear and loathing regarding MQA on ComputerAudiophile is misplaced? If MQA's "value proposition" is for streaming, do we have to worry about DRM, crappy sound, and other technical bugaboos? When I stream music, it is NOT for critical listening. I am exercising, cooking, washing the car, whatever...... Like the TV commercial: "I don't listen to music critically often, but when I do, I listen to vinyl"
  5. The Brinkman Ship has docked and I can report on between 8-10 hours of listening to MQA and Non MQA files (When it is FREEZING out, plenty of incentive to get cozy with music, wine, and a great system). The listening took place at a long time friend's East Side apartment. The system was beyond reproach: -MSB Reference DAC / Roon / Tidal -VPI Prime table / Audio Research PH9 -Audio Research Ref 6 Preamp -Ayre MX-R Twenty Mono Block Amplifiers Wilson Alexx speaker system Wireworld cabling for all Audience power conditioning, Symposium Acoustics isolation devices and platforms My host has a very large digital library stored on a NAS. And a decent size vinyl collection. We listened to approx. 50 albums where we confirmed there was both an MQA version, and an official 24 bit digital download and where we could confirm the mastering was the same. We listened to quite a few new releases as well. Volumes matched as close as possible. I had my host select albums play MQA streams from Tidal, then the same tracks from his NAS without telling me which was which, and we turned off the display of the DAC. We also muted the first 3 seconds of every track. We repeated the process with me selecting tracks from Tidal and his NAS. We also broke things up by playing tracks from his vinyl collection of some of the same albums. Verdict: In each an every, case, without exception, we both preferred the non MQA version. Some by a little, and some it was not even close. The MQA version created a whole in the center and an artificial Left and Right Spread, and a digital sheen that was off putting to say the least. We both concluded MQA was DESTRUCTIVE to the music. It was quite an eye opener. It sounded like what happens when you hit the "3D" or "Loudness" buttons on mid level home theater receivers. MQA was putting far too strong a stamp on the music. We even preferred his 24 bit vinyl rips to the MQA versions. MQA screws up the tonality and the soundstage. Period. Bob Stuart, John Atkinson, Michael Lavorgna, Robert Harley, Jim Austin, John Darko (did I miss anyone?).. you should all be ashamed of your selves. MQA is by far the biggest farce ever perpetrated in "high end audio". Couple this with all the data presented here, the measurements, and looking behind the curtain at the financials, the motives, and the players, it is clear MQA is a wholesale fraud.
  6. You are correct I have been amazed at the hostility toward the audio press by both audio manufacturers and audiophiles I’ve met at shows since T.H.E. Show in 2016. But I think you can say they earned it over the years. Let’s review the history of the MQA launch in the audiophile world. The first credible criticism of MQA was in December 2014. Criticism of MQA in the audiophile press was ignored in 2015 and early 2016. Late in 2016 valid criticism was noticed by the audio press but dismissed. In 2017 the audio press couldn’t ignore the criticism of MQA and started attacking the people criticizing MQA. The audio press still wasn’t willing to civilly and constructively engage those who oppose MQA so we abandoned some civility because they were going to ignore criticism of MQA until they couldn’t ignore it any more. In the spring of 2017 the audio press was still using terms like MQA is full steam ahead. Then things got less civil. Brian Lucey called Bob Stuart and Robert Harley liars at the end of Bob Stuart’s technical seminar on MQA at the Los Angeles Audio Show. This seemed to shake up the press a bit and they started to attempt to explain their support of MQA. Then later in the summer Charley Hansen attacked much of the press for their support of MQA. Soon afterward The Absolute Sound published two articles defending MQA by Andrew Quint and Robert Harley. I talked with Andrew Quint at RMAF 2017 and he was not happy about how he was attacked and seemed stunned that the two articles got so much negative response. John Atkinson in the fall noted on the Audio Asylum that Jim Austin would write and investigative series on MQA and I announced that I would award prizes to people who did the best job debunking Jim’s series (those prizes so far were donated to an Arizona Foster Care Organization, I matched them as did two other foundations that support it). In January 2018 Lee Scoggins started his series on MQA and started to disrupt threads on Steve Hoffman’s forums. He tried to do the same on Computer Audiophile and you can review the results if you wish. The audio press was allowed a year and a half to engage critics in something resembling good faith and they chose not to. So we have given the press a fair chance and we are at the stage where they are upset at the criticism and pressure being applied but they still won’t engage in any meaningful discussion of the disadvantages of MQA. We have tried to talk and reason with the audio press but they aren’t listening so criticism and pressure will continue to be applied on the audio press until MQA goes away.
  7. Does anyone have experience with MQA upgrade for Berkeley Alpha DAC MK1? How much is the sound enhancement? Is it better to buy used BADA MK2, or to work on MQA upgrade on MK1? The difference in the used MK1 and MK2 is about $ 1000 with delivery, and the price of MQA upgrade is about $ 630.
  8. I on the verge of buying myself a SOTM sMS-200 Ultra, with the intention to stream Tidal only. I have a Meridian Explorer 2 DAC which fully unfolds MQA wthat I will hook up to the sMS-200. But is it true that I can only access MQA streamed music from Tidal via either the Tidal App itself, Roon or Audirvana? The Tidal App won't serve as a method to stream to the sMS-200. Roon I know successfully streams MQA via Tidal to the sMS-200 - but I don't really want to invest in Roon 'just' to gain access to MQA! Audirvana runs from an Apple and I don't have Apple computers in the home. Is there any FREE software that allows access to MQA tagged files from Tidal which I can send on to the sMS-200, which will then subsequently be detected by the Meridian Explorer 2 for full unfolding? Thanks.
  9. MQA is already gone

    One topic here at CA claims MQA is not going away, but as evidence the OP posted a promotional piece by the TAS trade publication - about the only kind of place you can find a wholly non-critical attitude towards MQA or anything else about this hobby and industry. I am interested in, and this thread is about, your favorite reason why MQA is not going to succeed. Try to keep it to just one reason (even if you have to explain it) why MQA is going or already has failed. If you believe MQA is already a success post that in another thread please. Mine is that at the end of the day, it offers nothing of value to either the consumer or the industry itself. All of its claims of SQ improvement, end to end quality assurance, inventiveness around audio filtering and packaging - all of this and more has proved to be nothing at all, or of so little actual real improvement that even without MQA's IP/DRM baggage the consumer and even the industry is finding it simply does nothing for them substantial enough to warrant yet another format.
  10. I received Feb 2018's copy of the absolute sound - Turning to the reader's letters section, I noticed, as expected some comments re: MQA and saw the published letters. Both, in general, are negative towards MQA. However they are extremely curious. First one, I like the most, raises a point which I missed completely: MQA in addition to everything wrong with it we have discussed, also carries one more wrong: It is part of the strategy the labels would love to move to - a future with nothing but streaming. Think about it! It is positively dystopian! They want to condemn us to a future where we pay for life for access to the product! No more ownership of a release! They want to do away with that pesky first sale principle! Thanks to that writer for pointing it out - he called out TAS for helping them. HOWEVER - the writer added a somewhat inconsistent comment re: buying files. Guess what they chose to reply to - obviously to the strange comment at the end. No comment on the very smart point raised. Second letter came from a gentleman self-deprecatingly referring himself as old and extolling the romance of vinyl - I don't disagree , I am as much of a vinyl enthusiast as I am a digital enthusiast. BUT the fact that this is what they chose to publish is telling. I would bet a significant amount of money that they have received letters from experts like the ones in this group. People that solidly demolish the MQA abomination and they are prepared not only to fight it in principle but also are knowledgeable enough to fight at at the technical minutia level. I know that you fine ladies and/or gentlemen have written to TAS, Sterophile, etc. I know that they don't have a response to reason and to resolute pro-consumer positions. (and I salute you, pro-consumer warriors for that) But is obvious that TAS is trying to shape the discussion. One of their arguments is that THIS IS PROGRESS - reject MQA and you are rejecting the future. Bullcrap. I made the point on a comment on a history at "The Audiophile Blog" - and the reply did not address the point. TAS is not addressing it. We know what Sterophile is doing. I do think they are naive thinking that they can shape the conversation on their letters section. Either they forget the power of the internet or they dismiss us as crazy cranks - hope they remember that when MQA fails - once the companies stop receiving those MQA licenses - advertising will suffer. The want to make MQA the future - but a "1984" future. Let's reject that. I will shout because it needs to be shouted - REJECTING MQA IS NOT REJECTING THE FUTURE - IS THE LOGICAL STANCE OF ANYONE ON THE CONSUMER'S SIDE. thnx! v
  11. I note the extensive criticisms on engineering and business model grounds, but this is an audiophile site, so for me the real test concerns how MQA sounds to me. On the assumption I can borrow a decent compatible DAC for home demo, I've been doing some reading around in preparation. My interest is mainly classical orchestral, and I don't stream. While I don't buy in to the "vapourware" tag, what strikes me is that there does seem to be very little out there in the way of classical downloads. I count 47 titles on Onkyo Music and 134 on HiResAudio. I couldn't get into the 2l shop site, but I assume the latter include all 2l titles. Noting that these include all classical titles, not just orchestral, plus the fact that I already have some in DSD and that 2l covers fairly esoteric repertoire, my impression is that MQA, so far, is more a curiosity than a serious contender for my kind of listening. Turning to replay, I understand that there are 3 stages of "unfolding", the first occurring in the replay software prior to sending to the DAC for the remaining 2 stages. Again, there seem to be few current options here. As far as I am aware, I can't simply play an MQA file via my BDP or any of the various Win/Linux replay packages I currently use. From the MQA site it looks like I would have to use either Amarra or Audirvarna. Have I understood correctly, what is the MQA file format for example? I imagine I'll end up using the current Tidal 12 day no cc. trial instead (the BDP supports Tidal) just to satisfy my curiosity. But longer term, turning to streaming to get MQA would be, as we say, putting the cart before the horse. Am I missing something here? I also don't think the MQA site does itself any favours, I found the overview of the MQA process confusing (contradictory as to what a renderer does for example). If they really want to kickstart things, including a searcheable DB of MQA titles and a free download of replay software would get my interest.
  12. ...proves one thing: Internet 1 - Stereophile 0. They painted themselves into a corner with MQA. Now they are in defence and their game doesn't look to good so far. Reputation damage done and they seem to think that lashing out and trying to discredit internet posters somehow helps them with their credibility. Good clickbait though. Let's see in a year from now it might well be Internet 2 - Stereophile 0.
  13. https://media.ccc.de/v/34c3-9113-mqa_-_a_clever_stealth_drm-trojan Presenters give a shout out to this forum and its contributors. At around the 50 minute mark the presenters go into what DRM is, and why MQA is a good example of it. They also detail the public/private key aspects of MQA better than I have seen before. All in all a good presentation, the errors being mostly of omission, but with 60 minutes this is expected.
  14. This saturday: MQA talk at 34C3

    Hi everybody, together with my colleague Anton Schlesinger I will give a talk on MQA this Saturday at the annual conference of the German Chaos Computer Club: https://fahrplan.events.ccc.de/congress/2017/Fahrplan/events/9113.html The CCC-conferences are the biggest annual hacker-event in Europe and this year ca 15k are in attendance. The presentations are streamed live worldwide and are available online here: https://streaming.media.ccc.de/34c3 The recordings will be available here: https://media.ccc.de/c/34c3 We will have a sizeable and technically competent audience of hackers and digital-rights activists and hope to facilitate interest for a larger discussion on and research into MQA. Anton holds a Ph.D in electro-acoustics, has designed recording-studios with the Walters-Storyk Design Group and now is part of a university-team that builds acoustic-simulation models for the German Opera in Berlin. I work on crypto-policy and history and among other places was a fellow at Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society and the Oxford Internet Institute - you'll find info on both of us easily via online-search. We will present an overview on MQA and the claims made both with regards to DRM (me) as well as to the auditory characteristics and signal-theory-claims (Anton). This forum has been a great resource for information on MQA and I like to thank everybody posting here for their insights. We learned a lot from you. Please come to 34C3 Leipzig, watch the stream and feel free to shout out via any means available. Best Christoph
  15. I was just searching over internet and I have discovered that PS Audio use (MQA Certified) conversdigital module in their Bridge II. If I'm not wrong, this is the way PS Audio use to decode MQA. Not in the DAC itself but in the renderer. Does this open new possibilities to decode MQA without changing the DAC? Could they be available in the future a sort of MQA-enabled Renderer that unfold and decode the MQA file and pass it to the DAC? Regards,
  16. If you are having trouble with Tidal MQA dropouts on the BlueSound Node 2, try unplugging your optical input cable. Like some other Bluesound Node 2 users on this forum, I experience occasional dropouts with my Node 2 when playing MQA on Tidal. After confirming your network is robust enough for hi-res streaming, BlueSound tech support suggests restarting the router and Node 2, and if that doesn’t work, changing your DNS to Google ( The problem got much worse for me after the last software update: MQA files would drop out every few seconds, the player was sluggish, and the apps were returning error messages - and in the case of the desktop app, always quitting. I was ready to return the Node 2 when I found a temporary solution. I use my Node 2 as the DAC for my entire system. My HD tuner, Apple TV, and Oppo Blu-Ray player are routed through an HDMI switcher, and from the switcher an optical cable goes into the Node 2. I unplugged this cable from the Node 2 and the sluggishness was instantly gone: a “Tune In” search for the string “Modern Classical” which previously took 17 seconds and caused the desktop application to crash was now instantly returning results. MQAs are playing without dropouts. Of course, plugging in the optical cable every time my family wants to use the other sources is not a lasting option, but it’s a hack I can live with until Bluesound hopefully solves this problem with a software update.
  17. Allo USB Bridge MQA

    I have got ROON up and going, playing MQA to the Mytek Manhattan II with no issues. Roon even recognizes the Manhattan when it is connected via the USB Bridge.
  18. Not sure if this was already shared here but the mastering engineer Brian Lucey seems to have interesting comments and views on MQA. http://fairhedon.com/2017/11/05/an-interview-with-mastering-engineer-brian-lucey/ Best. Mev
  19. So Tidal has 24/96 MQA tracks now, but I'm having trouble finding much that I like from their limited catalog. Can anybody suggest some punchy happy pop/techno/electronic type tracks that they know are on there in MQA that I could listen to? Tidal's search function always has, and continues to, suck terribly. Cheers
  20. Yesterday I noticed that the Neil Young albums in MQA all had vanished. Below is how XXHighEnd has registered them earlier on (say 6 weeks ago). So these were there (for Holland at least) and the only one still listed is the Hitchhiker album (bottom left). But even that reports normal CD quality now by the decoder (notice this one was MQA 44.1 already, but today it is reported as normal 44.1). In the Tidal Desktop Player this thus still shows as MQA, but it can't be producing MQA any more (no blue light, if all is right). What I regard very fishy is that the exact same Album ID's still lead to the find of the very same albums, but that Tidal does not report them as MQA any more. This is NOT how I thought it worked. So yes, we can receive a normal "HiFi" version instead when not authorized, but I just am (other Artists are still fine). So what seems to have happened here is that Neil Young withdrew his albums in MQA version and that this for the Hitchhiker album failed halfly. Or something like that. The one next to the mouse arrow is the Harvest which has been there in MQA. The one next to the mouse arrow is the only one denoted with the "M", bit it is not that for real. Does anyone have information about this ? Do we all see the same ? Thanks, Peter
  21. I am struggling with the exclusivity option for the audio device in the Tidal app. I like it when a music app can claim exclusivity of the audio device on my MAC. I use Tidal app on MAC with MacOS High Sierra and OPPO USB DAC. In the case of JRiver, the JRiver app claims exclusivity when playing something and if one stops the music, the exclusivity is given up and other apps can use the audio device / DAC (Youtube, Chrome, Spotify, etc.). In the case of the TIDAL App on MAC, the app gives up the exclusivity automatically when another app/browser uses the audio device when launching the app and the settings in Tidal is set back to not exclusive. I have to check this setting all the time, as this happens often. Moreover, if Tidal has exclusivity it only gives the exclusivity up with closing the app and not when stopping playing the music. That is annoying. Any help to have a "JRiver" like experience with Tidal in the field of exclusivity?
  22. Hey all,Glad to be done the MQA Core vs. Hi-Res blind test series and basically end off with a summary of sorts:Part I: ProcedurePart II: Core ResultsPart III: Subgroup AnalysisPart IV: Subjective ImpressionsMQA: "Final" Thoughts... On Politics and Paradigms.Many thanks to all the folks here who participated in the testing and submission of survey results! It has been fun "work" getting this together with your help and I think over the years we can recognize that the only way to change the nature of this "hobby" is to try it ourselves. Sometimes there is a need to create a narrative that can be coherent and based on scientific and engineering principles rather than claims and vague impressions of the industry that might or might not be on the same path as consumers. I know that these thoughts may be uncomfortable for some as it intrudes into the "politics" aspect of the hobby... But I trust that if we can be gracious, communicate what we're doing and be transparent in intents, the ensuing discussions, controversies, and debates lead us to progress as we all explore the concept of value together. Whether it's in the "formats" we might prefer or the gear we buy...Cheers!
  23. Just read this article on Digital Audio Review shared by Srajen Ebaen of 6moons. Very interesting to say the least. http://www.digitalaudioreview.net/2017/07/kih-46-mqas-missing-link/ Best. Mev
  24. I went onto Tidal this evening and recordings listed as Master recordings were not loading that way. The Master indicator on the lower right of the file screen stayed on HiFi and the MQA blue light didn't come on upon my Mytek Brooklyn. I checked all my settings in the setup area of the program (which was working correctly 2 days ago) and they were correct. I also checked my other computer which has the app and MQA wasn't loading there either. I sent a note to Tidal about the problem. If you are having the same problem please do the same. Thanks.
  25. Hey guys, just wanted to drop by to let folks know that I'm running a blind test of MQA Core Decode vs. original hi-res... It's a way to compare what MQA decoding sounds like with your own DAC especially for those of you who don't have TIDAL and may be wondering about the difference between a stream that's MQA Core decoded compared to say a non-MQA 24/96 stream. After you listen, I would of course love to know your perception of differences. The tracks are randomized and "blinded". Tell me which you prefer and how much difference you perceive! Test instructions and files can be found here: INTERNET BLIND TEST: MQA Core Decoding vs. Standard Hi-Res Audio Thanks all, have fun... Arch