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MQA: Revelation, or Bullshit?

Discussion in 'Digital Bits' started by Rudy, Mar 18, 2017.

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How do you feel about MQA?

  1. Bullshit!

    1 vote(s)
    100.0%
  2. Revelation

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Undecided

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Rudy

    Rudy ♪♫♪♫♫♪♪♫♪♪ Staff Member

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    MQA is the controversial new streaming "format" that claims to offer high-resolution sound. Some (especially the audio press) are all excited about this new format. Others, especially the wiser audiophiles with more brains than money, see it as another push towards a proprietary format that requires expensive hardware with licensed technology to decode it.

    We can debate this all in-thread here. We don't mind a little controversy to get things going. So, here is a poll. Let's show the rest of the Internet what us end users really think! While it won't stop the well-heeled from spending money on this, at least we can share our opinions, post some facts and dispel some rumors, and give our impressions of what it actually sounds like.

    Vote now! Keep in mind that you may change your vote later, should you choose to.

    Not a member? Join up now! It only takes a few minutes. :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2017
  2. Rudy

    Rudy ♪♫♪♫♫♪♪♫♪♪ Staff Member

    Location:
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    A little opinion piece to start with.

    Part of my problem with MQA is the terminology. There is talk of "unfolding" and "unblurring." MQA is at core a lossy technology, and operates on the basic premise of, "You won't miss what you couldn't hear anyway." Does that sound familiar? That is the same basic argument Sony made when they introduced ATRAC compression for MiniDisc, and MP3 also touted that as well.

    Hiding the "lossy" issue of MQA behind confusing terminology seems like a good way to pass off lossy files on the fussy, well-heeled audiophiles out there.

    One other thing that bothers me is the company behind it. It's becoming more evident as you read various writings on the Internet is that this is a licensing money-grab. Meridian pushed hard to put down DSD and SACDs. But, why? Because DVD-Audio used Meridian Lossless Packing to compress the data format for DVD-Audio. With that revenue stream having been dead for a decade or more now, it's a great opportunity for a company to introduce another proprietary technology they can license for a profit. And since streaming audio is a hot topic, it's the perfect target for it.

    Finally, have I heard MQA? Only through Tidal. And doing a direct comparison using the same source device through the same DAC, I have to admit it sounds good, but something is a bit off compared to a 24/192 album I used in comparison. It could be the Tidal implementation of it. However, I'm not foolish enough to fall for the blustery praise and dump a ton of money into a DAC just to play this silly format.
     

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