Do You Think MQA Offers an Audible Benefit? - Page 3 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
View Poll Results: Do You Think MQA Offers an Audible Benefit Versus CD Quality Audio?
MQA sounds better than CD quality audio 56 36.84%
MQA sounds the same as CD quality audio 67 44.08%
MQA sounds worse than CD quality audio 29 19.08%
Voters: 152. You may not vote on this poll

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post #61 of 301 Old 02-09-2018, 11:22 AM
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many people vote on opinion and not experience or forgot to implement the dac on direct and ran it though the room correction of thier avr invalidating the mqa chain. so always consider the source
.
I have heard the difference of mqa fully unfolded without any other dac reprocessing it and I vote accordingly

also consider the source of who the creator is and what he has done for the audio world so far: the first audiophile CD player, and the first digital surround processor in addition to inventing MLP (Meridian Lossless Packing) audio coding—the basis for Dolby TrueHD

if someone want to call bs on this guy, they have to be more then a random science geek with a youtube channel to convince me - just sayin-

Read more at https://www.soundandvision.com/conte...I1YAYo80a02.99

he is a very accomplished individual and has my respect for his accolades
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post #62 of 301 Old 02-09-2018, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by littlefoott View Post
many people vote on opinion and not experience or forgot to implement the dac on direct and ran it though the room correction of thier avr invalidating the mqa chain. so always consider the source
.
I have heard the difference of mqa fully unfolded without any other dac reprocessing it and I vote accordingly

also consider the source of who the creator is and what he has done for the audio world so far: the first audiophile CD player, and the first digital surround processor in addition to inventing MLP (Meridian Lossless Packing) audio coding—the basis for Dolby TrueHD

if someone want to call bs on this guy, they have to be more then a random science geek with a youtube channel to convince me - just sayin-

Read more at https://www.soundandvision.com/conte...I1YAYo80a02.99

he is a very accomplished individual and has my respect for his accolades
well said and I agree

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post #63 of 301 Old 02-09-2018, 12:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by littlefoott View Post
many people vote on opinion and not experience or forgot to implement the dac on direct and ran it though the room correction of thier avr invalidating the mqa chain. so always consider the source
.
I have heard the difference of mqa fully unfolded without any other dac reprocessing it and I vote accordingly

also consider the source of who the creator is and what he has done for the audio world so far: the first audiophile CD player, and the first digital surround processor in addition to inventing MLP (Meridian Lossless Packing) audio coding—the basis for Dolby TrueHD

if someone want to call bs on this guy, they have to be more then a random science geek with a youtube channel to convince me - just sayin-

Read more at https://www.soundandvision.com/conte...I1YAYo80a02.99

he is a very accomplished individual and has my respect for his accolades
So he created "the first audiophile CD player". Well there you have it. He's been selling snake oil for a long time. As to the puff piece in Sound and Vision, keep in mind that since that publication became a corporate cousin to Stereophile, their editorial policy has gone full on audiophile woo woo.
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post #64 of 301 Old 02-09-2018, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by littlefoott View Post
many people vote on opinion and not experience or forgot to implement the dac on direct and ran it though the room correction of thier avr invalidating the mqa chain. so always consider the source
.
I have heard the difference of mqa fully unfolded without any other dac reprocessing it and I vote accordingly

also consider the source of who the creator is and what he has done for the audio world so far: the first audiophile CD player, and the first digital surround processor in addition to inventing MLP (Meridian Lossless Packing) audio coding—the basis for Dolby TrueHD

if someone want to call bs on this guy, they have to be more then a random science geek with a youtube channel to convince me - just sayin-

Read more at https://www.soundandvision.com/conte...I1YAYo80a02.99

he is a very accomplished individual and has my respect for his accolades
There is a lot more out there than just Archimago's findings, all you have to do is google it. Calling him a "random science geek" doesn't in any way dismiss his findings. I trust his findings a lot more than saying MQA is great because Bob Stuart is a good guy and then linking to an article with hard hitting questions like "MQA sounds like a no-brainer. You have this technology that allows you to increase sound quality across the board. It’s sort of like why wouldn’t you...". Jim Collinson of Linn, Andreas Koch, the people at Schiit, Jriver, Bryston, Emotiva and many others are not fans of MQA.

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post #65 of 301 Old 02-09-2018, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by JDEATON View Post
I’m old, 64 next month and a life long audiophile. In the 80’s when CD’s arrived and were touted as “perfect sound forever”, I wanted to love digital audio, but found CD’s to be harsh, thin and cold sounding, the opposite of warm, lush and engaging. I found myself not listening to a whole CD.

Over time CD audio improved some, better players, better A/D converters I suspect, but 16/44 CD quality Digital audio never provided me the engaging experience of analog.

Then SACD, and DVD-audio arrived. Big improvement for me. Hi-res discs we much more satisfying than CD’s. I jumped in with both feet. I loved the 5.1 surround capability and purchased as many surround DVD-audio and SACD discs as I could afford. Then, they were pretty much gone.

Next up was HDTracks with Hi-res downloads. I was intrigued enough to buy a Meridian Director DAC and purchased a few HDTrack albums. Hmmm… I liked what I heard. Much more analog like than CD for me. However, purchasing HDTracks albums gets expensive quickly.

Finally along comes, MQA, Tidal, and Roon. I think the concept of being able to stream thousands of Hi-res quality albums for only a $20 monthly Tidal subscription is a wonderful thing. Now I own a Mytek Brooklyn (MQA capable) DAC. My Hi-res audio library has gone from hundreds to thousands. There are now nearly 10,000 MQA titles available with many more coming.

Check out this link: http://www.meridianunplugged.com/ubb...&Number=268318

Yes, I think MQA sounds better than CD.
What type of testing did you use when you came to this conclusion?
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post #66 of 301 Old 02-09-2018, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by hogues View Post
There is a lot more out there than just Archimago's findings, all you have to do is google it. Calling him a "random science geek" doesn't in any way dismiss his findings. I trust his findings a lot more than saying MQA is great because Bob Stuart is a good guy and then linking to an article with hard hitting questions like "MQA sounds like a no-brainer. You have this technology that allows you to increase sound quality across the board. It’s sort of like why wouldn’t you...". Jim Collinson of Linn, Andreas Koch, the people at Schiit, Jriver, Bryston, Emotiva and many others are not fans of MQA.
I was't referring to any specific video or website

and the reasons why they don't like it are what? many like shiit don't like the licencing politics , they also said they want to see where it goes before investing in new technology, this is a hot topic as it is relatively new and there are some good presenters on both sides of the equation, But we also need to separate business politics from audio performance

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post #67 of 301 Old 02-09-2018, 02:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by littlefoott View Post
many people vote on opinion and not experience or forgot to implement the dac on direct and ran it though the room correction of thier avr invalidating the mqa chain. so always consider the source
.
I have heard the difference of mqa fully unfolded without any other dac reprocessing it and I vote accordingly

also consider the source of who the creator is and what he has done for the audio world so far: the first audiophile CD player, and the first digital surround processor in addition to inventing MLP (Meridian Lossless Packing) audio coding—the basis for Dolby TrueHD

if someone want to call bs on this guy, they have to be more then a random science geek with a youtube channel to convince me - just sayin-

Read more at https://www.soundandvision.com/conte...I1YAYo80a02.99

he is a very accomplished individual and has my respect for his accolades

He wouldn't be the first very accomplished individual leaving with a dent in his reputation. In this case the MQA marketing bs coming from Mr. Stuart is rather uncharacteristic for the man in question especially considering his earlier accomplishments.
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post #68 of 301 Old 02-09-2018, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by jsrtheta View Post
Some of the early CDs sounded lousy for a very good reason - engineers applying preemphasis because they falsely believed the high frequency rolloff they were used to with analog tape was also a problem. But it wasn't. And they didn't always expressly call it preemphasis. It was more like habit. (As late as 2000 I still saw engineers goosing the HF out of habit.) Hence, the early problems.

Not all were that way - Sting hopped onto digital early, and his CDs always read "DDD," not "AAD" or even "ADD." And they were all beautifully recorded.

Nonetheless, the people like me that I knew, who had lived with LPs for all their lives, jumped for joy when we heard our first CDs. Most began the process of creating a duplicate library of their albums, but now on CD.

There is no contest between the two formats for accuracy, frequency extension and reliability.
Keep in mind too that there were just as many engineers who weren't jacking up the highs, because the capsules of most microphones already had (and those models still have) a "presence" bump up there where tape really starts to roll off. Maybe with '57's on snares and guitar cabs (or the guitar buss), but largely not with most other mics which were already pretty hot.

Neumann U87, AKG C414, and a whole host of other industry staples were designed with this tape roll off in consideration. More modern designs like those from Blue, Royer, etc. not so much, but you're still more likely than not to walk into a studio and see a U87 in the booth, or 414's over the kit. They're great mics and are what engineers and producers are familiar with using.

I personally have probably tracked 100 times with 414's overhead.

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post #69 of 301 Old 02-09-2018, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Out-Of-Phase View Post
What type of testing did you use when you came to this conclusion?
A listening test.

I can provide no charts, graphs, lines, arrows dots or other visual aids other than perhaps a smiley face depicting me listening to MQA encoded music.
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post #70 of 301 Old 02-09-2018, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by littlefoott View Post
I was't referring to any specific video or website

and the reasons why they don't like it are what? many like shiit don't like the licencing politics , they also said they want to see where it goes before investing in new technology, this is a hot topic as it is relatively new and there are some good presenters on both sides of the equation, But we also need to separate business politics from audio performance

So we have very good audio performance with flac and 24bit 48kHz already. 24bit 48kHz containing MQA encoding isn't delivering better audio performance. Same download bitrate so there isn't an advantage there either.


Flac can deliver multichannel, MQA does not.
Transparant dsp processing with lpcm. Troublesome with MQA.

Stereo is simply Multichannel light.
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post #71 of 301 Old 02-09-2018, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by HiRez24 View Post
J, I don't presume to know you or your experience in audio but a quick glance at your last 10 post have asked different people to produce test results.

While I don't have test results to share with you I am sure I could find 10 that support what I say and you could find 10 that say something to the contrary. I think I will skip all of that and let guys who are much more passionate than I take it on.

I did the whole ab ABX double triple blind tests in my 20s and 30s in my 40s I just kind of like to enjoy my setup and listen to music.


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Not to beat this to death, but when people claim to hear a "difference," I will ask on what basis. If you really learned from your prior ABX experiences, you know that claims from sighted listening are bogus.

And I do have a larger point: A lot of people come here to learn. It's best they learn right.

Keep enjoying your music!
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Originally Posted by adrummingdude View Post
Keep in mind too that there were just as many engineers who weren't jacking up the highs, because the capsules of most microphones already had (and those models still have) a "presence" bump up there where tape really starts to roll off. Maybe with '57's on snares and guitar cabs (or the guitar buss), but largely not with most other mics which were already pretty hot.

Neumann U87, AKG C414, and a whole host of other industry staples were designed with this tape roll off in consideration. More modern designs like those from Blue, Royer, etc. not so much, but you're still more likely than not to walk into a studio and see a U87 in the booth, or 414's over the kit. They're great mics and are what engineers and producers are familiar with using.

I personally have probably tracked 100 times with 414's overhead.
Thanks1 Informative post!
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post #73 of 301 Old 02-09-2018, 03:04 PM
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gobbledygook?

How can anyone intelligently comment on whether MQA offers an audible benefit, when we don't know what that benefit is supposed to be?

The original material about MQA did a magnificent job of not really explaining anything. Part of it -- such as getting the timing right (that is, avoiding either an abrupt anti-aliasing rolloff, or using non-causal filtration) sort-of made sense. But nothing else did. I've yet to see a coherent explanation that begins at the beginning (whatever that might be), continues to the end, then stops.

The problem with calling this system "Master Quality Authenticated", then claiming "better" sound quality, is that the claim contradicts itself. The original recording -- however it was made -- is the master. Period.

Minimizing or removing its problems -- to produce more-accurate sound that's closer to what impinged the mics (which is the only justification for messing around with the recording) -- means that what you hear is no longer the "master".

I'd be happy to discuss MQA with Bob Stewart, and help him develop a coherent and comprehensible explanation. Without such an explanation, MQA will continue to be debated, ad infinitum, to no particular point.
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post #74 of 301 Old 02-09-2018, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by GrizzledGeezer View Post
How can anyone intelligently comment on whether MQA offers an audible benefit, when we don't know what that benefit is supposed to be?

The original material about MQA did a magnificent job of not really explaining anything. Part of it -- such as getting the timing right (that is, avoiding either an abrupt anti-aliasing rolloff, or using non-causal filtration) sort-of made sense. But nothing else did. I've yet to see a coherent explanation that begins at the beginning (whatever that might be), continues to the end, then stops.

The problem with calling this system "Master Quality Authenticated", then claiming "better" sound quality, is that the claim contradicts itself. The original recording -- however it was made -- is the master. Period.

Minimizing or removing its problems -- to produce more-accurate sound that's closer to what impinged the mics (which is the only justification for messing around with the recording) -- means that what you hear is no longer the "master".

I'd be happy to discuss MQA with Bob Stewart, and help him develop a coherent and comprehensible explanation. Without such an explanation, MQA will continue to be debated, ad infinitum, to no particular point.
the MQA white glove treatment means when possible they run test tones and "fingerprint" the ADC and compensate for its added effect on the audio stream. to get closer to what was "in studio"

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post #75 of 301 Old 02-09-2018, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by littlefoott View Post

and the reasons why they don't like it are what?
They are varied, from performance issues, questionable claims by Meridian and their marketing of MQA, the proprietary nature of the container and DRM among others.

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Originally Posted by littlefoott View Post
many like shiit don't like the licencing politics , they also said they want to see where it goes before investing in new technology, this is a hot topic as it is relatively new and there are some good presenters on both sides of the equation
That's not the whole story with Schiit. From their announcement:

Mike Moffat concurred, saying, “In addition to the market questions outlined by my partner, there are many performance questions (about MQA) that cause great concern. Actual decoded bit depth for both MQA and non-MQA DACs, claims of ‘lossless,...’


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I was't referring to any specific video or website

But we also need to separate business politics from audio performance
And that's where actual analysis of the container come in. Archimagio has several entries about it on his site with a ton of information. Others have done the same.

There have been some heated threads on hoffman and computer audiophile with Lee Scoggins pf Part Time Audiophile. The hoffman thread was taken down but the other one is still up. Lee didn't fare too well in either.

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Originally Posted by nerdkiller View Post
Sorry, no. DXD (Digital eXtreme Definition) is just a fancy name for 24-352.8 HiRes PCM. DXD is not a container. The container is FLAC.

In this case, 2L recorded the music directly to DXD (PCM). It was never recorded in DSD so there is no DSD noise in these recordings. Here is a quote directly from 2L:

"Our 2L music store combines HiRes audio files and physical products in one shop. All our albums originally recorded in DXD are now available in a wide range of resolutions, including DXD, DSD64 and DSD128"

As you can see, 2L records this music directly into DXD (PCM) using their very fancy DXD capable mixer. They then use these ultra pristine, noiseless files to create all the other versions you can download such as DSD64, DSD128, MQA, etc.

I hope this clarifies the DXD issue.

As for MQA, a few of my friends and I have heard MQA demonstrated on two occasions at audio shows and each time we all thought the sound was either identical or slightly worse than the equivalent CD. Personally, I have no interest in MQA since it adds cost with no clear audible advantage. Lossless 16-44 FLAC is good enough for me.

Fully agree that DXD is in fact lpcm on steroids and me calling it a container is a bad choice of wording leading to confusion. My point is that the DXD file can originate from a variety of recording formats.


As for the 2L statement. "All our albums originally recorded in DXD " doesn't mean "All our albums are recorded in DXD". Some of them are and others (probably) originate from DSD64.
For example look at Ståle Kleiberg: Eat! Drink!
from opera-oratoria "David and Bathsheba"
Trondheim Symphony Orchestra / Kaljuste"
This title has only one DSD(64) download available and list it as "original source DXD". Same goes for several other titles.
I visited this list a couple of years ago and downloaded all the demo's back then. The available DSD sources back then were all DSD64 stereo and/or DSD multichannel only.


The first entries in the current list didn't exist then and these must be more recent (titles not in my L2 demo directory on my NAS). Listed as DXD and having DSD128 and DSD256 files available for download leads me to the conclusion that these may be actual DXD recordings as they stated.

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post #77 of 301 Old 02-09-2018, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by rnsound View Post
So he created "the first audiophile CD player". Well there you have it. He's been selling snake oil for a long time.
Plus Meridian didn't even make the MCD and MCD-PRO CD player machines. What they did is buy an early Philips CD player [not just the laser and transport mind you; I mean the entire machine] and then proceeded to add a few inconsequential tweaks including supposedly faster laser servos and replaced the perfectly adequate capacitors in the power supply and other boards with "audiophile-approved" ones for, you know, "better sound stage, DTB (deeper tighter bass), etc." according to the sighted magazine reviews.

They had nothing to do with designing nor did they substitute the critical TDA1540 D/A chip used by Philips which was known to have sub-par, audibly distinguishable 14-bit performance instead of most players' 16-bit performance as tested by people who actually did proper double blind testing after careful level matching.[The only kind that matters in my book.]

Philips CD players distributed in the US in the early years were called Magnavox, BTW.
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so I looked up this Archimago fella and read some of his musings,
what i get from it are, there are differences and a lot of people can hear it ,but measurements show them to be minor

and he compared 24 bit hires to mqa ..not 16 bit redbook

so nothing mind blowing in there. but some solid research even if his gear was limited to 24/192 and couldn't fully realize the resolutions of the files, it was a solid (and expensive) choice.

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the MQA white glove treatment means when possible they run test tones and "fingerprint" the ADC and compensate for its added effect on the audio stream. to get closer to what was "in studio"
Okay. But that can be done without invoking MQA (just as the Dynagroove pre-distortion system can be applied without using other Dynagroove elements). The question remains -- what, exactly, is MQA? As Dr Floyd said about the monolith... "...its origin and purpose, a mystery".
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post #80 of 301 Old 02-09-2018, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by littlefoott View Post
the MQA white glove treatment means when possible they run test tones and "fingerprint" the ADC and compensate for its added effect on the audio stream. to get closer to what was "in studio"

I can see how such a marketing claim may appeal to the audiophile crowd.
And how is this scheme going to actually in practice for the hundreds if not thousands different models and makes of adc over the last couple of decades and the ten's of thousands of masters.
And what of the masters of recordings with direct digital feeds from instruments mixed with channels with adc at input?


If by adc fingerprint is meant adc non linearity then there is really no need for any compensation. A typical adc used for audio has such low non linearity that it is not an issue at all.
Any audible effect of adc fingerprint (if any) would be swamped by applied eq and layering of effects during the mixing and mastering stage.
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post #81 of 301 Old 02-09-2018, 04:43 PM
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I've never heard MQA (and probably never will), but everything about its marketing sets off all my BS alarm bells.

I dove in a few months ago with Tidal and a MQA DAC and really really wanted to like it. Its been great for discovering music I didn't have and for convenience. For the budget system in the LR that although sounds great for what it is, doesn't resolve very well so sounds fine. Downstairs where its time and place for more critical listening, I found that I wasn't listening to anything all the way through. Over time MQA has bugged me more and more. I don't really know what there is about it, but I'm not as thrilled as I hoped I would be.

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post #82 of 301 Old 02-09-2018, 05:00 PM
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I can see how such a marketing claim may appeal to the audiophile crowd.
And how is this scheme going to actually in practice for the hundreds if not thousands different models and makes of adc over the last couple of decades and the ten's of thousands of masters.
And what of the masters of recordings with direct digital feeds from instruments mixed with channels with adc at input?


If by adc fingerprint is meant adc non linearity then there is really no need for any compensation. A typical adc used for audio has such low non linearity that it is not an issue at all.
Any audible effect of adc fingerprint (if any) would be swamped by applied eq and layering of effects during the mixing and mastering stage.
here is an article describing the "white glove" process
for newer recordings, if the studio signs up, it is just a software plugin

http://bobtalks.co.uk/uncategorized/...n-piano-music/

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If by adc fingerprint is meant adc non linearity then there is really no need for any compensation. A typical adc used for audio has such low non linearity that it is not an issue at all.
Any audible effect of adc fingerprint (if any) would be swamped by applied eq and layering of effects during the mixing and mastering stage.
As someone who went from Presonus adcs, to MOTU adcs, to Appogee adcs in a working studio, I can confidently say that not only are all converters not created equal, but when tracks and effects start piling up is exactly WHEN the differences between them are most pronounced.
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There is a lot more out there than just Archimago's findings, all you have to do is google it. Calling him a "random science geek" doesn't in any way dismiss his findings. I trust his findings a lot more than saying MQA is great because Bob Stuart is a good guy and then linking to an article with hard hitting questions like "MQA sounds like a no-brainer. You have this technology that allows you to increase sound quality across the board. It’s sort of like why wouldn’t you...". Jim Collinson of Linn, Andreas Koch, the people at Schiit, Jriver, Bryston, Emotiva and many others are not fans of MQA.
Add to your list of "not fans" Mark Waldrup the head of AIX records and Real HD-Audio:

". . . the only people that will benefit from MQA are the principals at MQA, their investors, audiophile writers (they have something new to write about), and content companies that will be able to resell their catalogs once again at premium prices."

Also read at this same link, above, the part about how MQA representatives declined to participate in a public discussion at RMAF including prior attempts and the stance some engineers are taking about participation.

"One pair of electrical engineers and designers, “…sent thoughtful individual messages declining because they don’t want to dignify MQA with their presence. They both think it is a total scam and their positions are already on record.”

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Couldn't care less about the tech. Just got suckered in by the tight white t-shirt.
Good one Mark.
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post #87 of 301 Old 02-10-2018, 10:04 AM
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I'm a fan of MQA as the sound in my system is superior to all other source files.
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post #88 of 301 Old 02-10-2018, 10:38 AM
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My results,

I Tried Tidal MQA @96/24 decoding in my Sony ES AVR with dual 32 bit DSP and dual burr brown DAC's vs Tidal 16 bit and clean 16 bit mixes and 24/41 /24/44 mixes from my media drives ,the MQA didn't hold up as superior here on a sighted evaluation actually I thought it was worse .

We know the lower nyquist rate of 16 /44 is 22.5 KHZ is more than we can hear. I used 20Khz speakers w/and without the subwoofer and 25 and 27 Khz phones .

A couple of years ago I did a lot of Hirez vs 16 bit ABX testing with the Foobar blind comparator plug in and hires vs 16 bit both on a same mix with verified prominence was a null . Source was a windows 10 PC with HDMI audio data .

I belive AIX records also provided verified provenance hi res vs 16 bit test files to download at that time as well ,my result was a null with those also.

I read somewhere we knew what we can hear in 1950.

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post #89 of 301 Old 02-10-2018, 10:56 AM
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I guess I don't understand how the DAC does the conversion from bits to analog yet a tube pre amp limits the resolution. Even if it does, when I used the Brooklyn as a pre amp connected directly to the MF amps, I could discern a difference on most MQA vs standard recordings.
Because we express practical resolution based on "analog" measurements of the DAC's analog output, mainly dynamic range and THD both which expressed in DBs. Analog equipment's always fall below a competent DAC's measured performance especially tube gear, and speakers fall way further still, and than there is the room, which in most cases will be just as influential of the final sound as the speakers themselves, and they have less than ideal noise floor robbing of all the "advantages" of the so called "HIRES" files super low noise floor and higher dynamic range. In other words the weakest chain of the link. Whatever you hear with your sources is whatever you hear, and I certainly won't try to tell you otherwise, but the science of sound is often very "inconvenient " when it comes to "audiophilia"
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post #90 of 301 Old 02-10-2018, 11:09 AM
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There have been some heated threads on hoffman and computer audiophile with Lee Scoggins pf Part Time Audiophile. The hoffman thread was taken down but the other one is still up. Lee didn't fare too well in either.
oh boy I remember Lee from HTF well over a decade ago he's always been the typical cheerleader of audiophillia, the funny thing is he championed at the time SACD over DVD-A the later of course being Bob Stuart's creation [MLP] and now he backs Stuart's MQA. Good ole' Lee.

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