MQA Review - Technical Analysis

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

  1. Pancakes

    Pancakes Friend

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    I don't see anything wrong with that. Amir isn't nearly the moron as those that follow him.
     
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  2. wormcycle

    wormcycle Friend

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    He seems to be taking it very personally. It is fun to read like this high priest of " Objectivity and measurements" is suddenly throwing the terms like "perceptually lossless" and "preserving fidelity", right from Bob Stuart's vocabulary, adding another layer of garbage on already sky high pile of MQA claims that are being discredited.
    Amir is feeling somethin that probably never before happened to him, not on his platform.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  3. earnmyturns

    earnmyturns Smartest friend

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    This bugs me so much... Human perception is highly variable and so is source material, so this is a statistical label, not a mathematical one. Lossless has always meant mathematically exact reconstruction of band-limited signals via the Nyquist theorem. Now, it's perfectly reasonable to argue that a mathematically lossy codec might be better than a lossless encoding relative to some useful criteria, including perceptual ones, but misusing "lossless" is beyond the pale..
     
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  4. bboris77

    bboris77 Friend

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    The thing about the ASR forums and the main reason I participate on them is the fact that there are many very knowledgeable enthusiasts as well as audio engineers that post there. When you have a bunch of intelligent and engaged people in one spot, you can be sure that they will point out inconsistencies and question the hell out of everything. These types of people are not into following any authority blindly. That is why I have been saying for a while that the cultish phase of that forum is on its inevitable and welcome way out. There is still a vocal group, but a relatively minor one, that is exhibiting a more ideological approach to the cult of measurements and personality. They have been overwhelmed by the previously silent majority that is reasonable and logical.
     
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  5. Elnrik

    Elnrik Super Friendly

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    Huh? I mean, if that's what you think... well, ok, I guess.

    The cult isn't dead until the leader is out, the censorship ends, and the bullying of opinions that don't fit the Amir narrative stops. If you think for a second they're going to somehow vote Amir and his mods off his own forum then (and take this with a grain of salt) I believe you're delusional. I hate to phrase it that bluntly, I just can't think of another word for it.
     
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  6. Scubadude

    Scubadude Almost "Made"

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    Isn't it ironic that Amir accuses participants of sucking the joy out of audio ... That's exactly what he's been doing for years. Pot kettle black.
     
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    Last edited: May 29, 2021
  7. chakku

    chakku Friend

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    If it wasn't already obvious enough that ASR exists purely as a breeding ground for Amir's cult following, this thread should be very eye opening. The way he personally antagonizes anyone who disagrees with him and the way his followers will 'randomly' chime in to lick his boots is astonishingly transparent.
     
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  8. Thad E Ginathom

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    Frankly, if we remove audiophool bias, there is perceptually lossless music that has been perceptually just fine, for a long, long time. There is nothing new about it. MP3 only got such a bad name because most of its users employed very low bit rates to get huge amounts of data onto small storage devices (hundreds of songs on one CD) or for very low-bandwidth internet broadcasting. Rightly, music lovers ran a mile from this. I recall listening to some spoken word stuff, and realising a very peculiar lossy-compression artefact: yes, I could hear the words, but the jokes weren't funny! But turn that bit rate way up: listen to good music and appreciate the genius of those who went far beyond simple frequency limiting in their lossy-compression algorithms.

    I don't know, because I don't have the knowledge/uderstanding, and I don't know because I haven't listened and compared, it's beyond my hearing now to do so usefully, but if I just doubt that the intellect and ability of BS, Amir and co come anywhere near the developers of MP3, or the Xiph folk
    I've been loosing my grip on the concept of high fidelity for years, but still think it argues against that.
    Probably downright illegal in most of the world, if it's being charged for.
    Back in my reading-hydrogenaudio days, and after my encounter with Amir then, I seem to remember that there was a period when he was banned from his own site. But I don't recall the why and wherefor.
     
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  9. bboris77

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    Don't worry, I am not gonna take it personally. I totally see where you are coming from. I prefer "idealistic" and "optimistic" rather than delusional lol. Only time will tell what happens. Since my comment last night, a few disciples have come out of the woodwork defending "the Professor" which, unfortunately, supports your theory.

    And as for Amir, I don't really see him as an intentionally manipulative leader anymore. He believes what he believes in, and he seems to be passionate about it. I actually respect that more than if he was telling people what they wanted to hear just to get their support. In other words, I prefer a genuine but flawed person, rather than a fake perfect one. Like any human being, he makes mistakes all the time, sometimes hilarious ones (spelling etc). His responses in that MQA thread have revealed a lot more about his personality than we knew before.

    The real problem are the people that ignore his flaws and mistakes and turn them into some kind of gospel, like he can do no wrong. That is what religion does. It is just ironic to see this kind of behaviour in a science forum where people should just focus on facts and observable things. What I believe is that the vast majority of people in this hobby are not irrational and dogmatic, including most ASR members. It is just that the other group tends to be more vocal so they are over-represented.
     
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    Last edited: May 29, 2021
  10. Raimei Templar

    Raimei Templar Friend

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    Seems unbelievable that the hardcore objectivist camp would be defending MQA, actually cant understand that at all.

    As far as I know the general position they take is that a high quality MP3 is "good enough" and anything else is a waste of space. I certainly dont understand why they would be fluffing something that they think has no audible benefit yet adds costs to the consumer. Makes zero sense.

    It annoys me how much the plot has been lost, the whole point of being a "objectivist skeptic" is to try to defend consumers from the snake oil horseshit that dominates the audio industry (of which there absolutely is a lot). But instead of "hey just buy a apple dongle and a magni", they are pushing 500 dollar amps and dacs along with a overpriced file format that you cant even play unless you bought the special magic expensive dac.

    Even if MQA actually did sound so damn good you needed a change of pants after every listen, its still anti-consumer DRM bullshit at its core and thus anyone claiming to be a consumer advocate should be critical of it.
     
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  11. earnmyturns

    earnmyturns Smartest friend

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    Indeed. Perceptual coding was based on some amazing psychophysics research at Bell Labs and elsewhere, and brilliant algorithm design. I had the good fortune of meeting and learning from some of those folks when I worked at Bell Labs. However, they would be the first to explain the limitations of their methods. Some of them were trained musicians as well, and they could hear some of the subtler effects of their codecs, for example in some guitar recordings. My wife, who has much better hearing than me and some musical training, could hear some of the differences too, which is one reason I eventually re-ripped all of our CDs into lossless format as we moved from CD players to bits on disk drives.
     
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  12. Scubadude

    Scubadude Almost "Made"

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    I recall a hi-fi show in the early days of computer audio where the demo used 320kbps sneakily synched to a high-end CD player. It fooled everyone. Suppose that is perceptually perfect sound then.

    What bothers me with the concept of perceptually lossless is that there is no absolute yardstick. It is a little like Martin Colloms who famously adopted the IEC-based sound quality rating scale operating from 0 to 10. Zero represented nil fidelity while 10 was assigned to essentially (perceptually?) perfect reproduction. But what if something better came along than something that improved on another that scored a perfect 10 before? Easy .. remove the top end of the scale. And then he goes on to explain that an item that scores 45 is 50%, not 150%, better than one that scored a three times perfect 30. This same scale now extends past 400 when I last checked.

    Perceptually lossless is the same kind of slippery slope.
     
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  13. crenca

    crenca Friend

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    This distinction is important, but lost on most consumers. BS understood this of course. MQA is first of all a marketing play (to put it in neutral terms that I don't think it deserves), or more accurately a confidence play based on his perceived authority. ORFAS mouthpieces like Stereophile/TAD and most "audiophiles" fell for it completely.
     
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  14. nishan99

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    Actually if you look at that thread you will see the early responses are almost all positive and supporting GoldenOne efforts. Aside from some legit criticism of his method everything else was positively received.
    It's was until their shaman Amir dipped his dick then you started to see some of the cultist comments. Even then it was not the majority but when they "busted" GoldenOne shit talking Amir they took it personally to their dogma, understandable but not professional or "scientific" at all.

    Even now I don't think it's the majority or even half of the members reading that thread support Amir stance about MQA.
    I really hate Amir because he is a really bad person but not ASR members, they tend to be naive but not that stupid or malicious to support Amir MQA defense.
     
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  15. Thad E Ginathom

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    I don't think this matters, because it is what it is. Its biggest claim would be that all that has been removed is sounds that you wouldn't hear anyway, ie frequencies beyond the bounds the 18+ ears, and sounds that are masked by other sounds. But it was never represented as being better than the original. Even half deaf, I wouldn't dream of converting my modest music collection from FLAC to MP3 or OGG, but I'm fine with it on my phone.

    I didn't mean to suggest that critical listening can't make out the difference. Have to admit that my last post reads a bit like I did.

    But, I wouldn't see it as a slippery slope: it is just fine for some people in some circumstances.

    The slippery slope is when people start claiming better than the original.

    He's full of shit. He's completely incapable of seeing or admitting that he's full of shit. He is completely incapable of accepting anything other than his own shit, and very very voluble as he tosses around every possible illogicality. Want a straw man shoved up your arse*? Amir will oblige.

    Best avoided.



    *This is the only graphic logical fallacy that occurs to me just now.
     
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    Last edited: May 29, 2021
  16. gepardcv

    gepardcv Almost "Made"

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    I noticed that, too. If I understand recent posts correctly (always an iffy proposition, considering his sloppy writing), he just loves codecs. The love dates back to his days dealing with WMA at MS. He’s just personally offended that GoldenOne broke the MQA codec by feeding it inputs on which it choked.
     
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  17. Metro

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    For the most part, that is not the case at ASR, where the majority of members are very anti-MQA and frequently challenge Amir and others on the topic.
     
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  18. purr1n

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    ASR mods are scary as f***. The plebs are nothing compared to the mods. Outwardly they may seem rational; but secretly, they embrace concepts such as doublespeak, doublethink, thoughtcrime, groupthink, etc. Basically everything in Orwell's 1984. I swear, I think the mods would actually be willing to take a bullet for Amir. Seriously, those guys are nuts.
     
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    Last edited: May 29, 2021
  19. Raimei Templar

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    That is good to hear, it is looking like Amirs strange posts aren't getting many likes so maybe people are getting wary of this sort of thing. I also think most of the people there are just looking to protect consumers from what they are convinced is bullshit. It is just infuriating to see their good intentions redirected to push nonsense.

    I am still disappointed ASR didn't devote more energy to taking on MQA as I think it is one of the most anti consumer things happening in the audio industry right now. Why does some dude saying he thinks his dac sounds better than others get a more hostile reaction than a company actively trying to stick drm on all of your music files, force you to buy a magic special dac, and then having the gall to charge you for doing so? All so you can listen to your music at a lower quality than what you already had. What a deal!

    I am happy Apple and Amazon are so aggressively putting their foot in MQA's ass, hopefully it is enough to bury it for good.
     
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  20. mtristand

    mtristand Rando

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    Just posting to let it be known somewhere that Amir indeed banned me after my last post there.
     
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