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Found 53 results

  1. https://www.stereophile.com/content/mqa-drm-and-other-four-letter-words
  2. 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.
  3. 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,
  4. The recording industry panel on MQA at the upcoming Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (RMAF) in Denver has been canceled. Apparently, the MQA folks decided against participating. Quite an interesting discussion on all of this among the recording and mastering engineers over at the Gear Slutz Forum. https://www.gearslutz.com/board/mastering-forum/1171365-mqa-discussion-denver-rmaf-4.html
  5. Mastering engineer Brian Lucey recently solicited info on the pro's & con's for an upcoming panel on MQA at Rocky Mountain Audio Fest. Besides six times Grammy winner Lucey MQA representative Mike Jbara and an engineer from Mytek was supposed to be on stage. Today the panel was cancelled. More info here: https://www.gearslutz.com/board/12847173-post86.html Good job MQA, reputation one up!
  6. mcgillroy

    another vendor speaks up on MQA

    Short but damming read on MQA by an anonymous audio-vendor: http://6moons.com/industryfeatures/mqa/1.html Confirms most of the points Shiit and Linn have raised. Their argument about the benefits of MQA for cheap DACs are interesting.
  7. ROON and MQA news updates for Lumin Universal Audiophile Network Players and Systems. ROON is now part of the upgrade to Lumin <8.0> for all products D1, A1, T1, S1, U1. (The only thing left to do will be the L1 media library as a upnp device!). Roon is working well on our end with LUMIN products natively (not going through airplay). To use: 1. Have a computer running Roon core 2. Computer and LUMIN are on the same network 3. Roon app installed on the iPad 4. LUMIN/Roon running firmware 8.00+ It should work fine if all these are "yes". MQA: MQA ON LUMIN AS OF FEB. 23, 2017 1x = 16/44.1 Via Airplay bit perfect. Also: MQA at 24bit 48kHz is active In development for firmware updates. (Dates TBD but should be done by Q2/Q3 2017). 2x = 24/88.2 or 24/96 4x = 24/176 or 24/192 8x = 24/352 or 24/384 2x (or maximum 4x) is all that is really required from a technical point of view. Universal Music Group has now signed on with MQA, and their labels include: *** ECM, Interscope, Geffen, A&M, Capitol, Island, Def Jam, Decca, Verve, Blue Note, Virgin, and EMI *** Re: MQA now on Tidal For those using Lumin app, there should now be a Masters category under Tidal. If you don't see it, please kill the app and retry. You can also ‘tag’ MQA but does not yet give you the full MQA resolution (it down samples it to 24bit/48kHz for now), which is still an improvement over 16bit/44.1kHz . Lumin has full MQA support in the works, so we should see that in the near future. Additionally, MQA also plays bit perfect via airplay at 16bit/44.1. Lumin app for iPad, iPhone and Android tablets available at: http://www.luminmusic.com/lumin‐app.html Click here to visit the full lineup of Lumin Music Players To start your free Roon trial click here Click here for the latest information on MQA
  8. hertzberg

    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.
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. I have just contacted Bryston asking them whether they plan to implement MQA in their products (DACs) and this is what they replied: "We have no plans to implement a signal changing type feature in Bryston products. We will leave that to other audio companies. [...] Brian." Too bad. I really like their products and I was contemplating buying their BDA-3.
  14. mjb

    iFi audio now with MQA

    iFi audio have released new MQA firmware (v5.3) with MQA rendering support. Supported Products: Retro Stereo 50 micro iDAC2 micro iDSD Black Label & micro iDSD nano iDSD Black Label, nano iDSD LE and nano iDSD nano iOne See the Press Release for details. MQA seems to be infiltrating everything these days...
  15. I want to experiment with a Roon Ready endpoint MQA enabled network streamer to listen to MQA selections from Tidal with Roon. MQA has been so hotly debated I want to pick up some gear and listen for myself rather than read endless online debates. I'm not interested in portable DACs or music fed directly from a computer. So, I'm inclined to shy away from the Meridian Explorer 2, Dragonfly Red or iFi Nano BL. I suspect that using the iFi Micro BL on a desktop is a waste of much of what that device has to offer. But perhaps I'm thinking of this the wrong way. Since Roon can now handle the decoding, I realize a renderer is all that I need, however, I don't feel compelled to ignore solutions that offer decoding and rendering. This particular system is very simple. It's a Naim Uniti Atom driving ProAc Tablette 10 speakers. The analog input is available. I've been pleased with the Allo USBRidge that I've deployed on one of my low budget systems and was thinking that pairing that device with a Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 would do the trick for about $580. An alternative would be the Bluesound Node 2 at about $500. I suspect that the USBRidge/Pro-Ject combo would yield better sound. However, the Bluesound would tie things up nicely with a single box. I'm not interested in any of the other features offer by Bluesound. Are there other alternatives you might suggest? How would you think about the two options I've mentioned? Just to put boundaries on this experiment, let's keep the budget below $750. Thanks, -- Rich
  16. The Computer Audiophile

    Your Chance To Ask Bob Stuart Anything About MQA

    Your Chance To Ask Bob Stuart Anything About MQA Hi Guys - I know there is a lot of confusion surrounding MQA. The MQA at CES thread has over 30,000 views and tons of speculation. In an effort to help get to the facts and educate people about MQA, Bob Stuart has agreed to answer questions from the CA Community. This includes questions from complete beginner level to how ever advanced you want to take it. Here's how this will work: The CA Community will post questions in this thread. I will curate the thread to keep it on track, removing non-questions and off-topic comments. I won't remove any questions. After a period of time I will collect the questions and send them to Bob Stuart. Bob will answer the questions, and I will publish what I receive from Bob as a Q&A on the front page of CA. I believe crowdsourcing these questions will be much more beneficial than a simple interview or article about MQA. This is a great opportunity to get answers direct from the source. Please keep your questions as succinct as possible. I realize some questions may need a bit of background or subjective/objective data as a preface, and that's OK as well. After this, there's no saying, "I wish someone would ask ..." This is your chance :~)
  17. miguelito

    A word on Roon: Amazing.

    A word of congrats to Roon and committing to work done right. I want to celebrate here that they truly listen to their customers and produce truly amazing software - head and shoulders above all else in my opinion. The particular reason for such praise is their new MQA implementation: They fought tooth and nail to get something that would live up to the Roon standards and finally they did. You might or might not like MQA - I am not advocating it at all. What I am pointing out is Roon's commitment to doing it in line with their design and not destroying user experience. Quite amazing to see such a robust product. Some power users might prefer JRiver for some use cases - in a few better than Roon's. That's very good software as well.
  18. ...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.


    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"
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. sphinxsix

    Music from Outer Space.

    NASA telescope has revealed largest batch of seven Earth-size, habitable-zone planets around single star! https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/02/170222130941.htm I'm asking myself just one question - what music and audio gear do they have there.? Well, maybe just one more - what would they think about MQA.?
  23. NoisyNarrowBandDevice

    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
  24. 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.
  25. 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