prime minister

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Well, there's a lot of specifically worded copywriting in there. I can point out a few examples after a littany of zoom calls....

It's not so much overt BS, as it is pretty standard hinky marketing stuff, some puffery, and a lot of insinuation in place of actual claims.
To be fair to them, I don't often recognize the stuff that I have written after the legal reviews are done. Its a constant battle of me trying to say something, while they try to make sure I don't say anything.
 

JohnVF

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Q: Is MQA lossless A: Yes

MQA comes in a lossless (FLAC) file from the music label, so you get exactly what the creators intended. Not according to Neil Young, and probably lots of others too.
Just in this one example, they could say that because of how it's worded. Who do you think 'the creators' are? And who do -they - mean the creators are. That's the question. They could simply mean the creators of the file...despite insinuating something else.
 

JohnVF

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To be fair to them, I don't often recognize the stuff that I have written after the legal reviews are done. Its a constant battle of me trying to say something, while they try to make sure I don't say anything.
I don't disagree, I've had legal go nuts on my copy. But its usually a case of the more dubious the claim, the more its apparent in the wording of the copy that legal has pushed back. Also, its kind of a rarity in audio for legal to be so on it, it shows they're wary of the push back and know people are looking. So responsible on their part but also maybe telling. There's a LOT of stuff in audio marketing that would collapse if somebody called them on it. But usually nobody does so they get away with it, or only fear a cease and desist. "Oops, sorry, we'll stop running this ad that we already ran."
 

MikeyFresh

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Just in this one example, they could say that because of how it's worded. Who do you think 'the creators' are? And who do -they - mean the creators are. That's the question. They could simply mean the creators of the file...despite insinuating something else.
Thats true, so I'll call it willfully deceptive in a premeditated fashion.
 

airdronian

Radar Member
When I first started listening to MQA via Tidal, I looked at it as technology being applied in an attempt to improve the sound quality of streaming music files.

So to me it doesn't make any sense when they apply MQA to freshly remastered albums available for download. Case in point is the recent release from Warner Classics: Beethoven Symphonies No. 1 in C Major, No. 3 in E-Flat Major "Eroica" performed by the Wiener Philharmoniker and conducted by Wilhelm Furtwangler. This is a new offering at ProStudiomasters.

The album info reports this was remastered in 24/192 from original tapes. Download options are 24/96 and 24/192 in both AIFF and FLAC. MQA is offered at 24/48. An LP is going to be offered from the remaster as well. Why would we need the MQA release ? Testing to see if the consumers are attracted to it ? Or are they required to in some agreement with MQA ?

They can't say it more closely reflects the original - Furtwangler died in 1954 and so has been unavailable. ;)


Screenshot 2021-04-19 11.48.53.png
 

JohnVF

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While I see exactly what you mean, it is my own opinion that the following are simply false:

Q: Is MQA lossless A: Yes

MQA comes in a lossless (FLAC) file from the music label, so you get exactly what the creators intended. Not according to Neil Young, and probably lots of others too.

Inside the file, MQA is very different: the audio data is higher resolution... False.

MQA delivers clearer sound: our encoders remove the audible ‘digital blur’ that builds up in studio production. False, the opposite has been demonstrated, though it may very well be inaudible.

The decoder authenticates the file, to guarantee that nobody changed it... False, you can remove 30% of the music data and the "authentication" light will still be lit.

MQA is more efficient: it puts the full sound into the container without wasting or losing data. False, lossy compression means data is lost, and it is not more efficient than FLAC (see Miska and Benchmark analysis).

Is it better than lossless? Yes... I'm not even sure how to comment on this one except to say the page quoted is titled "Is MQA Lossless?" but this claim goes a step beyond that, it's now better than lossless.

I guess that last one is a prime example of what you are talking about John, they don't say better in what way, they just say better. I still say false.
Here's the questions I want to ask, looking at those claims:

MQA comes in a lossless (FLAC) file from the music label, so you get exactly what the creators intended.

Who do you mean when you say "creators?" The artist and mastering engineer, or the creators of the file?

Inside the file, MQA is very different: the audio data is higher resolution...

Higher resolution than what? Than itself in its compressed form?

MQA delivers clearer sound: our encoders remove the audible ‘digital blur’ that builds up in studio production.

What does "clearer sound" mean, because it certainly isn't measurable. What is digital blur and can you give me an example? If not, then describe what you do in measurable terms instead of proprietary terms that you get to define.

The decoder authenticates the file, to guarantee that nobody changed it...

Does "changed" mean that it looks for new, added, information by a 3rd party, and not deleted information? (given that in the video the guy deleted 30%)

MQA is more efficient: it puts the full sound into the container without wasting or losing data.

What exactly do you mean by efficient, and more efficient than what exactly? Also, what exactly to you mean by 'the full sound' as that's a very odd choice of words that insinuates lossless without saying it.

Is it better than lossless? Yes...

Did you write this while drinking at a coffee shop with "The worlds best coffee!" on a sign in the window?

Basically my reaction to it all is skepticism. There isn't a single claim there that really says anything, and every one of the claims has a way that I can see they could wiggle out of being pinned down to it by how its worded. The claims are all very vague. They sound specific until you really look at them. I just WANT more specific explanation and claims. They put this cloud of mystery around it that I find to be off-putting. But a lot of audiophiles eat that stuff up so?
 
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JohnVF

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Found an interesting Interview. I'm only a few minutes into it, but it's right from the horses mouth.

I'm giving it a chance but not 4 minutes in and there's already things that I just don't understand. I'm not questioning his motives, just the reality of the end product.

So, for example, he agrees with the interviewer when he says, "In the end, the story is, you get what is recorded in the studio..that's what you get at home.""Yeah." "That's the simple version of it." 'Exactly"


The studio is recording and outputting in either high resolution PCM or DSD. Master files are in either high resolution PCM or DSD. Both of those formats came be played at home, in the resolution they are using in the studio. You can, quite literally, hear exactly what the mastering engineer played back over the monitors in his or her studio, at least with high res digital. (If they mastered to tape, you'll have a generational loss.)

So what exactly is MQA solving for?
 

JP

Junior Member
I made it about 15 minutes. Don't believe I heard him actually answer a single question but did hear him obscure of a lot of fact.
 

Audionut

Next Round Is On Me
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I'm giving it a chance but not 4 minutes in and there's already things that I just don't understand. I'm not questioning his motives, just the reality of the end product.

So, for example, he agrees with the interviewer when he says, "In the end, the story is, you get what is recorded in the studio..that's what you get at home.""Yeah." "That's the simple version of it." 'Exactly"


The studio is recording and outputting in either high resolution PCM or DSD. Master files are in either high resolution PCM or DSD. Both of those formats came be played at home, in the resolution they are using in the studio. You can, quite literally, hear exactly what the mastering engineer played back over the monitors in his or her studio, at least with high res digital. (If they mastered to tape, you'll have a generational loss.)

So what exactly is MQA solving for?
It sounds like MQA was made by a lover of origami? Or by someone who was dared; I bet you can’t fold a file on itself then unfold it and sell it as “better” audio to the masses?
 

JoeThePop

Known member
I'm giving it a chance but not 4 minutes in and there's already things that I just don't understand. I'm not questioning his motives, just the reality of the end product.

So, for example, he agrees with the interviewer when he says, "In the end, the story is, you get what is recorded in the studio..that's what you get at home.""Yeah." "That's the simple version of it." 'Exactly"


The studio is recording and outputting in either high resolution PCM or DSD. Master files are in either high resolution PCM or DSD. Both of those formats came be played at home, in the resolution they are using in the studio. You can, quite literally, hear exactly what the mastering engineer played back over the monitors in his or her studio, at least with high res digital. (If they mastered to tape, you'll have a generational loss.)

So what exactly is MQA solving for?

Is it better than lossless? Yes...
 

JohnVF

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So I watched the whole Bob Stuart video. I believe he thinks he's curing something, without believing what he's selling as the cure. That, and I believe he's made an attempt at a solution to a problem that doesn't exist either at all or outside of his own noggin. He says a lot of things about digital as if they're accepted fact, when as far as I can tell they're only things that have ever been talked about in MQA's marketing.

Also, random fact. Did you know that snake oil, the original snake oil that the phrase comes from, actually did work to an extent, for some ailments like inflammation, because the particular water snake in question had high Omega-3 levels in its fat content?
 

Olson_jr

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Also, random fact. Did you know that snake oil, the original snake oil that the phrase comes from, actually did work to an extent, for some ailments like inflammation, because the particular water snake in question had high Omega-3 levels in its fat content?

This might be the most interesting thing I have read today. Off to research it.
 

JohnVF

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Did somebody post this already? This is the most reasoned take on it I've heard from anybody. I know there's a thread on PS Audio's great videos elsewhere...this is one on MQA. Includes my quote of the day, "Man we have bandwidth out the butt!" Also interesting to me personally, he says he hears something missing when listening to MQA. Which is what MQA started to feel like to me. Like its not all there, and not in a lossy digital way. Like musically something is just.... off.


 

JoeThePop

Known member
So I watched the whole Bob Stuart video. I believe he thinks he's curing something, without believing what he's selling as the cure. That, and I believe he's made an attempt at a solution to a problem that doesn't exist either at all or outside of his own noggin. He says a lot of things about digital as if they're accepted fact, when as far as I can tell they're only things that have ever been talked about in MQA's marketing.

Also, random fact. Did you know that snake oil, the original snake oil that the phrase comes from, actually did work to an extent, for some ailments like inflammation, because the particular water snake in question had high Omega-3 levels in its fat content?

I made it to about the 19 minute mark. Maybe I'll finish tomorrow, but I don't think I'll learn anything. The way he's answering the questions is either way beyond my comprehension (which is entirely possible) or he is purposely being evasive. "Is it lossy or lossless?" "It's both."
I tend to believe he's being evasive based on how he and his company have responded to legitimate measurements, and the questions that arise from those measurements.
 

mhardy6647

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Both of those sites kind of exist as the bumpers in bumper bowling to me. If your hitting them often you’re not doing it right...best to kinda stay in the middle while appreciating why they’re there.
That was a labored metaphor.
Hardly a 7-10 split of a metaphor, ol' son -- I'd say it was right in the pocket.
:smoke

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prime minister

Site Owner
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And Stereophile has done a number of articles on MQA. The following includes links to 5 more:

 

prime minister

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Btw, out of curiosity, who here has tried MQA encoded cds running through a high quality MQA dac? I can't say that I have.
 

JohnVF

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The first link was interesting but one persons opinion. I’m getting old snd crotchety and don’t understand why one persons subjective opinion should persuade me of anything over my own subjective opinion which I’ve already formed doing my own comparisons over time. I sincerely don’t like MQA anymore. It sounds falsely exaggerated to me. Like when you are watching somebody else’s TV and they have that motion smoothing effect on that gives everything a strangely fake look. And once I got that in my head I couldn’t shake it.
 
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