MQA Review - Technical Analysis

Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by Woland, Apr 15, 2021.

  1. crenca

    crenca Friend

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    The astroturfers on the various forums (e.g. Roon's, CA, etc.) turned this direction several years back - almost from the beginning really, as did the writers at TAD, Stereophile, etc. I swim upstream to most here at SBAF, but IMO subjective snakeoil as opposed to objective (such as ASR) has more staying power and influence, and just about every shambolic product retreats there eventually.
     
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  2. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    It doesn't make sense from the server spooling reduction perspective because you can get higher fidelity from a smaller PCM file using standard processing.
     
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  3. Hrodulf

    Hrodulf Prohibited from acting as an MOT until year 2050

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    Again, I'm not debating the audio performance merits of MQA. They're dubious at best. My remark was about the value proposition to the business partners.
     
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  4. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    Hence the continuing success of the cable companies. Subjective snake oil is easy: one can make it up as you go. Or just believe the marketing blurb. No need to even remember any technical terms, let alone numbers. If I wanted a snake-oil massage (which I don't), I think I'd go subjective. Warm, cosy, feel-good.
     
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  5. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    Understood. I was talking about streaming efficiency since server spooling reduction was brought up. There is not such value.

    It cannot light up high-rez indicators on it's own since it is not a high-rez file. It is an MQA file that would light up MQA indicators.

    If it allows business partners to sell low quality audio content at higher prices, then I guess it would be a value proposition to the business partners. That is, if they are able to bamboozle customers with dubious claims.
     
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  6. Metro

    Metro Friend

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    The bamboozling comes directly from MQA, not from business partners. MQA went directly at the vulnerable, gullible audiophile community, who then ask manufacturers to support MQA. It's like pharmaceuticals that advertise on TV and tell you to "ask your doctor" about a drug. Roon has said that they added MQA unfolding because of high demand from their customers.
     
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  7. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    That's how I understand it as well.

    I don't think I would qualify that as a value proposition to anyone but to Bob Stuart and close associates.

    Still, there is no such thing as a free lunch. Bob's reputation likely will suffer consequences (I can't take any article with his name on it seriously now). And I don't see this going anywhere on the long run.

    I could go on and on about how this is not a long term success example. But don't feel that need.

    LOL! I love those "ask your doctor" adds. Too funny.
     
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    Last edited: May 8, 2021
  8. zonto

    zonto Friend

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    I found this little What Hi-Fi review snippet interesting:


    I don't place much stock in their reviews, but thought it was great they climbed out of MQA's butt for at least this one. Also Kudos to Naim for resisting (and to Naim users for not demanding).
     
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  9. Pancakes

    Pancakes Almost "Made"

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    They really set the bar high by comparing to Spotify.
     
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  10. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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  11. Elnrik

    Elnrik Super Friendly

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    Translations by Elnrik

    Responses to Specific Claims
    1. MQA did not delete his files; that accusation is false. MQA is not a rights holder nor distributor. We do not issue takedown notices to distributors or DSPs. Translation: We already have agreements in place eliminating the need to issue takedown requests.
    2. MQA has never made false claims about ‘losslessness’. MQA has been clear from the outset that our process operates in a wider frame of reference that includes the whole chain including A/D and D/A converters. [1] (and...)
    3. Provenance: MQA files are delivered losslessly and reconstruct exactly the sound that an artist, studio or label approves. Translation: The FILE is delivered losslessly, but I can't claim that the music reconstruction is lossless because that would be a lie... so I'll just phrase it in a way that idiots will think it is lossless! I R Smrt. Besides, lossless doesn't matter because the artist, studio, or label signed off on allowing the music to be streamed (probably unaware/unconcerned about which format or codec is being used so long as they get paid) which I will construe as "approval" on it's sound - even though we all know the chances of the artist having heard and approved each track on each album in their entire catalog is essentially zero.
    4. The blogger’s test failed because he submitted signals that do not resemble music to an encoder that was configured only for music works. (We actively discourage testing) Nonsense comes out. (Because simple 1kHz sine waves confuse our glorious and technically-superior-in-every-way codec.) This is like being disappointed when a F1 car struggles on an off-road race. (I used a car reference because I'm a twat.)
    5. He submitted high-rate composite files containing unsafe levels of ultrasonic signals –in places 100 times higher than in music recordings – resulting in 10x encoder overload. (See Appendix 2) (Our codec can't handle testing, so we'll just say the test was unrealistic. Edit: Also... Unsafe? For who/what? Unsafe for the capabilities of mqa? Unsafe for humans? If ultrasonics are harmful to people, why is MQA trying to kill us?)
    6. System error messages generated by the MQA encoder were ignored. [2] (Press Alt+F4 now to proceed.) (Edit: If I understand events correctly, Golden never had access to the mqa encoder. The encoder must not fall into the hands of mere mortals. Tidal/the publisher was responsible for the encoding. If error messages are being ignored for Golden, chances become quite high they're ignoring them for other submissions. How can that possibly be considered Master Authenticated?! Alternatively, if you want to go full conspiracy theory, no error messages occurred when his master files were encoded, and this is a fairy tale being fed to us by Bob.)
    7. MQA provided detailed feedback to the blogger before publication. [3] He ignored it and later dismissed our detailed guidance as ‘marketing’.
    8. MQA does not add distortion and by design, does not introduce detectable aliasing. (See Appendix 4) (... But I won't/can't prove this by allowing 3rd parties test and verify this.)
    9. MQA is different from regular PCM (No shit Sherlock?) for important reasons to do with sound quality. (And because we want to make money through Nazi-like control of the music you stream. Oh, sorry, is that word offensive? My apologies - please substitute the word 'music' for 'file'.) Compared to regular PCM, MQA can deliver higher temporal resolution and lower blur while using less data in delivery. (But we will never let you test and confirm that.)
    10. An MQA encoder can encode any signal that fits in a PCM file, but it is highly optimised for files containing information that is meaningful to human listeners. (See Appendices 3 & 4) (Go read the appendices and be amazed by our unsupported technobabble! Ta da! It's... MAGIC!)
    11. Finally, the title of the video is illogical. [4] (Because "I published music on Tidal to test mqa - mqa review" makes no sense to anyone, anywhere, unless they can think for themselves and/or speak English. Basically I just don't like the title because I'm a cunt.)
     
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    Last edited: May 20, 2021
  12. scblock

    scblock Friend

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    I believe the title of the old thread is still appropriate here.
     
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  13. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    The thing with real marketing people is that they live, breathe and eat marketing. That wasn't marketing, that was air I was breathing. Yes: marketing air. They cease knowing the difference,
     
  14. Elnrik

    Elnrik Super Friendly

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    This part got me thinking. If MQA will output nonsense whenever single sine wave frequencies (test tones) are fed to it, does that mean mqa is completely inappropriate for most electronic music? Like DJ Shadow's Three Ralphs song, where a single 20 to 30hz tone features solely in several segments of the song? Does Mr Stewart not consider electronic music to be music? Shouldn't any codec made for music also be able to handle test tones with the same accuracy in reproduction as it does with more complex music?

    Smells like bullshit. Looks like bullshit. Must be bullshit.
     
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  15. Pancakes

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    The algorithm is too smart for simple tones. They're a waste of its time. It only bothers with really complicated music material.
     
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  16. nishan99

    nishan99 Friend

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    Nope. It's just because he does not want his bullshit to be tested. Simple as that. We just have to trust him :bow:.

    [​IMG]
     
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  17. purr1n

    purr1n Building Magnis part time because it's peaceful.

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    [​IMG]
     
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  18. mimart7

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  19. wormcycle

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    That response, even without @Elnrik spot on comments, is a good indication that Bob Stuart may be getting slightly desperate. The saturation of his response with empty catch phrases, and phony arguments is unusual even for the MQA marketing drivel.
     
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  20. gepardcv

    gepardcv Almost "Made"

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    That depends on the reach this and other anti-MQA forums have in terms of sales. Does the Stereophile-reading ORFAS that (probably?) pays most of his bills give a shit about a YouTube takedown of the gear they are primed by JA to believe sounds better because it ships with an MQA light? (This is a serious question, I do not intend to sound snarky.)
     
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