This one is most ridiculous:

"He hadn’t researched how MQA works and padded the video with a litany of alternative facts previously debunked many times by MQA and others"
I can't believe he actually used the term, "alternative facts." That's gross.
 

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
I can't believe he actually used the term, "alternative facts." That's gross.
Yeah and I also note the use of the word "debunked", which has been widely used in describing MQA. Apparently Bob thinks he's clever in returning fire with verbiage that perfectly describes his own garbage "technology".

He would have been better off saying nothing, I'm shocked thats the best he could do after 35 days of thinking about it, pathetic.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
This is the one that gets me:

"MQA is different from regular PCM for important reasons to do with sound quality. Compared to regular PCM, MQA can deliver higher temporal resolution and lower blur while using less data in delivery."


That is pure marketing hinkiness. That magical file, most likely originally recorded in PCM, somehow gained resolution from the time it was initially recorded. I know Bob swears there's some time domain damage in the ADC/DAC handoffs but nothing backs that up except for him using words like 'blurring'.
 

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
This is the one that gets me:

"MQA is different from regular PCM for important reasons to do with sound quality. Compared to regular PCM, MQA can deliver higher temporal resolution and lower blur while using less data in delivery."


That is pure marketing hinkiness. That magical file, most likely originally recorded in PCM, somehow gained resolution from the time it was initially recorded. I know Bob swears there's some time domain damage in the ADC/DAC handoffs but nothing backs that up except for him using words like 'blurring'.
Add to that there are actually measurements by Archimago and others that show the exact opposite is true, that MQA can only degrade the so-called temporal resolution and add "blur," though by all accounts that difference would be tiny enough as to be inaudible.

The McGill University blind listening study would tend to back that up, no preference for MQA existed at all among that test group, rather, there was a small but insignificant preference for straight PCM in that controlled study using the same source/mastering, with one track MQA encoded/decoded, and the other not.
 

JP

Junior Member
Even today we still have utter bullshit such as this being spread around on top of the temporal resolution fallacy:

In digital audio recordings, sample rate is analogous to the framerate in video. The more sound data (samples) gathered per period of time, the closer to the original analog sound the captured data becomes.

The bit depth determines how much information can be stored. A sampling with 24-bit depth can store more nuances and hence, more precise than a sampling with 16-bit depth.

We know that the higher the sample rate and bit depth, the more similar our digital signal will be to the original analog signal.

- Understanding Sample Rate, Bit Depth, and Bit Rate.

Ironic that he cites Monty later on in the article.

Easy pickings for the hucksters.
 

Thermionics

Post Whore In Training
I think the Haven is being monitored.

I have never had this as pop up on my Facebook feed before.

View attachment 36541
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
The GoldenSound response to the recent Bob Talks "rebuttal":

A very reasoned and detailed response, so, the exact opposite of the almost comically defensive and threatening MQA respose. The MQA response to the original video made them look even worse in my eyes. The tone of this Goldensound person does not display any of the agenda MQA insinuates. It's pretty embarrassing for them and honestly I'm ashamed that I've defended that at times before here and elsewhere, prior to really doing a deeper dive into what and who they are.
 

JoeThePop

Known member
A very reasoned and detailed response, so, the exact opposite of the almost comically defensive and threatening MQA respose. The MQA response to the original video made them look even worse in my eyes. The tone of this Goldensound person does not display any of the agenda MQA insinuates. It's pretty embarrassing for them and honestly I'm ashamed that I've defended that at times before here and elsewhere, prior to really doing a deeper dive into what and who they are.

The thing is, MQA has been ducking and dodging for at least 5 years. Doug Schneider of the Soundstage! websites did what an audio journalist should do when an audio manufacturer or service makes unsubstantiated claims; he asked some reasonable questions. This was in April of 2016 and I remember reading it then, and how it reinforced my feelings that many audio "journalists" seem to be no more than fanboys of audio manufacturers and service providers. (Journalism is the production and distribution of reports on current events based on facts and supported with proof or evidence.)

SoundStage! Hi-Fi | SoundStageHiFi.com - Myriad Questions About MQA

He wrote more a year later where he revealed that he offered original digital recordings and digital masters to Bob Stuart to encode and send the MQA files back so a true apples-to-apples comparison could be made. He got no response.

SoundStage! Hi-Fi | SoundStageHiFi.com - MQA One Year Later -- Suddenly, More Questions

So for 5 years it has been the same story. If MQA feels their encoded files sound better (whether lossless or not) then why not allow for a true comparison? As it is, I don't have any reason to believe a subjective opinion that MQA sounds better than an original lossless file.
 

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
This was in April of 2016 and I remember reading it then, and how it reinforced my feelings that many audio "journalists" seem to be no more than fanboys of audio manufacturers and service providers. (Journalism is the production and distribution of reports on current events based on facts and supported with proof or evidence.)
Absolutely, and so with the likes of TAS, Stereophile, and others, thats not really journalism per se but a trade publication, their customer is not the reader so much as it is the advertisers. It's been that way for a long time, and while there was still information to be gleaned as a reader, you always had to take the reviews with more than a grain of salt.

He wrote more a year later where he revealed that he offered original digital recordings and digital masters to Bob Stuart to encode and send the MQA files back so a true apples-to-apples comparison could be made. He got no response.
I remember that and others did the same (Dr. AIX?), a smoking gun if there ever were one.

So for 5 years it has been the same story. If MQA feels their encoded files sound better (whether lossless or not) then why not allow for a true comparison? As it is, I don't have any reason to believe a subjective opinion that MQA sounds better than an original lossless file.
Exactly, with the encoder under lock and key, and only MQA's unfounded claims of "deblurring" and greater "temporal resolution" by means of correcting for all flaws in every ADC ever produced, and the emperor simply has no clothes despite what various manufacturers, the trade press, and Bob Stuart might hope you will believe.

As time goes by the claims become more and more outrageous/desperate... "better than lossless", "blows up Nyquist-Shannon sampling theory" etc...

On that note I'll be listing a bridge I own as for sale soon in the Emporium, great traffic, toll revenue, ideal location, serious offers only:

BrooklynBridge.jpg
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
I wasn’t bothered by MQA early on as it really wasn’t something that I ran across much. There were some albums on Tidal in it, and they sounded fine. Some sounded really good if not markedly different compared to their 16/44 counterparts when fully unfolded. I always thought their end to end claim was total BS because anybody who’s ever been in a studio knows you’re not getting the original engineer from a 1970s album and if you get an engineer from a 90s album the likelihood he or anybody else is going to remember exactly what ADC was in use is hilarious, not to mention what Goldensound brings up- the sheer numbers of conversions in a recording not to mention all the other digital manipulation going on. Does MQA correct for every plugin in protools, too?

So you listen to the spiel and it’s basically every questionable late night infomercial you’ve ever seen. But it didn’t bother me until I didn’t have a choice. When Tidal almost overnight was saturated with MQA albums and the non MQA albums went away, it became a thing I had to think about as Tidal was my main digital source. And by then I was using a non MQA DAC and I don’t like how it sounds 1/2 unfolded at all.

long winded but it didn’t annoy, then gradually annoyed, then became something so sketchy and ran by a person I am so put off by, Bob Stuart, that I cancelled tidal and now use Qobuz.

And the thing that pushed me over the edge was listening to Bob talk about it. That pseudo intellectual “I know more than you” while spewing a bunch of marketing truthiness that means nothing just gets me every time. Not that he’s the only one in this hobby infested with people preying on people thinking everybody has their best interest in mind...
 

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
But it didn’t bother me until I didn’t have a choice. When Tidal almost overnight was saturated with MQA albums and the non MQA albums went away, it became a thing I had to think about as Tidal was my main digital source.
And that really is the threat to the music buying (renting?) consumer, Jbara's buddies at Warner Music Group have followed through with the big 3 label's publicly stated goal of "one deliverable" in removing Redbook PCM on TIDAL, where you can now only get MQA. If the other labels follow suit, or worse yet the same were force fed to the other streaming services, then all consumers lose, not just those subscribing to TIDAL.

I will be really interested to see what happens with TIDAL's price/subscription tier split of "Masters" from "HiFi" in Australia, and whether that gets rolled out to other regions. It really looks like TIDAL is now trying to decide if the all-in strategy with MQA is wise at this juncture, if Aussie subscribers drop "Masters" and save $5AUD/mo. en masse, I think that will tell TIDAL all they need to know, the gig is up, time to cut bait.

Also interesting that GoldenSound alluded to that recent mention by Roon that they are billed directly by MQA on a per stream basis. They too appear to be forced now to reconsider the economics of MQA, as the disingenuous move to delete all WMG label Redbook PCM albums from TIDAL has effectively jacked their costs by eliminating that customer choice. How do you ensure more MQA streams to bill for? You simply eliminate those previously available non-MQA streams, thats how.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
I would think Spotify, Amazon, and Apple could tell any label where to stick MQA. Which is perhaps why Tidal was where it ended up. A guise of Artists First covering for a labels first file format (I’ve soured on Tidal as well FWIW).

And my thoughts on reviewers, because nobody asked...

They and a club of “in” manufactures are interested in seeing the continuation of their shared world. This chimera of the high end. They’re in it for each other, not the consumer. One hand washes the other. You see the upper tier of reviewers at shows and they’re all buddy buddy with the retailers and some manufacturers, which is not uncommon in an industry (don’t get me started on the skeeziness of advertising awards, the reviews of my line of work). But it’s not about a fair look at what’s out there that can make a great system for any given person. It’s a self fulfilling cycle. The press enables and promotes the charade of wholesale goofiness that has turned being an audiophile into a punchline, and the industry survives another day to keep the boondoggle rolling. Meanwhile the most sincere manufacturers lose out unless they play along or work the judges, and the consumers lose out with them.
 
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