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Why We Don’t Need MQA

shadders

Well-known member
Nov 19, 2009
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18,670
Hi,

Do we really need MQA ?. The following article explains some aspects.

http://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/beyond-high-resolution/

All that will be known from an MQA recording will be that the audio has been processed, and it cannot guarantee that every part of the chain affected, has been reversed.

MQA is a mathematical process, that has been used in many other parts of the technology industry, and we should not require a third party to implement this, and charge a fee to every part of the audio chain, which includes CD manufacturing.

The studios should be implementing a similar MQA process as standard, since this a known process of reversing the affects of a filter (for example).

Studios may already be implementing MQA aspects already, and stated MQA gains of processing may be minimal – a single filter will not affect the sound (see reference above page 3 – temporal blur).

Every piece of domestic DAC hardware will need to implement the MQA process solution – else you will not be notified that the recording is MQA approved.

What has been stated is that the effects of filtering is cumulative (see link – page 3 temporal blur), and as such, as single filter which is the final link in the chain, which is your DAC does NOT need to be MQA approved – i.e. you can use your existing DAC with negligible impact.

Remastering of CD’s as we have seen are available, may already include this process to some extent – so no requirement to purchase again.

People state that they cannot hear above 20kHz, and as such MQA process is of no benefit to them.

The current high sample rate processing may negate the benefits of MQA since the filters (stated to be the issue), may not impact the sound in the frequency range of hearing. That is, current DSD, Pure Audio, DVD-A products are sufficient and MQA offers no benefit.

The stated implementation of MQA on CD’s whereby the 3 LSB’s are used to provide the upper frequencies above 20kHz, should not be used or encouraged, given many people cannot hear above 20kHz, and this reduction of usable bits for the normal recording to 13bits falls significantly below the red book standard.

In addition, it has not been shown that an MQA encoded CD does NOT impact the sound.

The use of any other processing in the audio chain in the domestic environment may negate any MQA gains, and as such, the extra fees applied to the recording for MQA Ltd costs and anticipated benefits, may be fruitless.

To summarise, MQA recordings will increase the costs of recordings to the user, people will be encouraged to buy new equipment (which is NOT required), and it has not been proven to be beneficial over existing high sample rate formats. The MQA process should be implemented by the recording studios anyway – and their failure to implement the mathematical process (which is not patentable – anyone can do it), is something that should be questioned.

There is an alternative. The audio file is just data, and an MQA file is a processed file. There is nothing to stop the recording industry from implementing this themselves.

Here is an example. The studios implements a filter that can be used by one of the readily available audio processing suites as a plug in. Each plug in is specific to the audio file you have – that is the album. All you then need to do is process the album using the plugin, and you have restored any detrimental effects by the recording chain. You may also be able to get the filter for your DAC – so full reverse processing.

There should be no need for any third party that increases the costs of audio files, and the studios can reap the full reward of the sale of the filters, at a much reduced cost to the user – no need to purchase an entire album, just the filter for that album you already own.

There are so many opportunities, where a startup could offer filters based on albums known recording equipment. Many albums list the recording equipment used – so the filter should be easily obtainable.

This is all predicated on whether MQA offers significant benefits, and if it doesn’t over existing high sample rate recordings, or existing CD’s, then you can try the filter modifications for minimal outlay, without purchasing the entire recording again.

Regards,

Shadders.

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shadders

Well-known member
Nov 19, 2009
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manicm said:
MQA may be a mathematical process, but Meridian/MQA has patented it, and nobody can use the algorithm without it being licensed.
Hi,

The patent may refer to the end to end process (doubtful) or the compression for streaming, but you CANNOT patent the inverse function of any system, which is essentially what it does to achieve the stated improvements.

Regards,

Shadders.
 

manicm

Well-known member
May 1, 2008
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MQA may be a mathematical process, but Meridian/MQA has patented it, and nobody can use the algorithm without it being licensed. And you're getting most of your info from a Linn engineer blog who's anti-MQA?

The absolutesound link you provide is rather complimentary of MQA.

I'm neither here nor there about MQA, but I dislike the anti-MQA zealousness over at Linn. They're a very Catholic bunch.
 

manicm

Well-known member
May 1, 2008
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18,970
To implement the inverse you would have to know the original algorithm, to my logic. So how would one reverse engineer MQA without having the MQA application/encoding knowledge?

For example, in the programming world one can take a Microsoft .Net compiled program, and using free tools, one can reverse engineer this program to reveal the code. But therein lies the rub - Microsoft provides the .Net compiler for free to anyone, and this is why it's possible.

If Meridian haven't revealed their encoding process and tools, I don't see how it can be done. Those lunatics at Linn are argumentative, and are not completely correct from my knowledge.
 

insider9

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Sep 20, 2016
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I'm a big fan of MQA. That doesn't mean I would support hifi enthusiast being robbed blind for the privilege.

In my opinion MQA has a bright future. That is unless something better overshadows it but there's nothing that could compete at this point. The fact it is backwards compatible is the first reason why I believe it will do well. Having listened on a non MQA DAC I can tell differences are significant and in favour of MQA.

But for me the promise of authentication is the biggest benefit. As long as the recording has been done once there can only be one MQA file. Not millions of remasters, deluxe editions, 24 bit high res files that are up sampled from CD and all other nonsense. It's like having the first pressing as a comparison to vinyl but because it's digital it can never wear off.

This until the actual masters are made available (which is probably never) is as close as we're going to get to what was heard in a studio.
 

shadders

Well-known member
Nov 19, 2009
152
88
18,670
manicm said:
To implement the inverse you would have to know the original algorithm, to my logic. So how would one reverse engineer MQA without having the MQA application/encoding knowledge?

For example, in the programming world one can take a Microsoft .Net compiled program, and using free tools, one can reverse engineer this program to reveal the code. But therein lies the rub - Microsoft provides the .Net compiler for free to anyone, and this is why it's possible.

If Meridian haven't revealed their encoding process and tools, I don't see how it can be done. Those lunatics at Linn are argumentative, and are not completely correct from my knowledge.
Hi,

The information I have stated is not from the Linn site. If it is commensurate, then that is just coincidence.

MQA is the reversal of the functions of the equipment used to record and process (mastering), that was used in the recording studio. That process in the recording studio is not patented. It is just the "errors" are being reversed.

MQA Ltd do not own the rights or any other IP on the equipment in the recording studio. Anyone can reverse the effects of the recording equipment with the relevant software.

Regards,

Shadders.
 

shadders

Well-known member
Nov 19, 2009
152
88
18,670
insider9 said:
I'm a big fan of MQA. That doesn't mean I would support hifi enthusiast being robbed blind for the privilege.

In my opinion MQA has a bright future. That is unless something better overshadows it but there's nothing that could compete at this point. The fact it is backwards compatible is the first reason why I believe it will do well. Having listened on a non MQA DAC I can tell differences are significant and in favour of MQA.

But for me the promise of authentication is the biggest benefit. As long as the recording has been done once there can only be one MQA file. Not millions of remasters, deluxe editions, 24 bit high res files that are up sampled from CD and all other nonsense. It's like having the first pressing as a comparison to vinyl but because it's digital it can never wear off.

This until the actual masters are made available (which is probably never) is as close as we're going to get to what was heard in a studio.
Hi,

The backwards compatibility for CD is at the expense of the 3 LSB's of the CD 16bit samples. I don't think that MQA should ever be implemented on CD's.

Regards,

Shadders.
 

bubobubo

New member
Nov 9, 2016
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shadders said:
Hi,

Do we really need MQA ?.
i dont need MQA but if other people just want to spend "new" money for another format, that is their stuff. myselft i am more than happy with my cd and my rip cd´s AND VERY FEW TRACKS that i have in 24-bit/44.1kHz FLAC i had heard tha the mqa rematered buena vista social club is the best out there? the cd was more than enough, but if it were i homepage there i can buy some few single mqa tracks i maybe can compare, but i dont need nothing above 44 khz or at least 48 khz and i dont need something that you must have like a mqa dac and a mqa so and so
 

DougK

Well-known member
Dec 8, 2013
772
462
11,270
Personally I see all this regurgitated (MQA) malarkey is just another way to squeeze more cash out of the punter to purchase another album that they already have in their collection umpteen times over. I fell foul of the hi-rez download and remaster trap, never again! Total waste of money as far as I'm concerned.
 

manicm

Well-known member
May 1, 2008
603
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18,970
insider9 said:
I'm a big fan of MQA. That doesn't mean I would support hifi enthusiast being robbed blind for the privilege.

In my opinion MQA has a bright future. That is unless something better overshadows it but there's nothing that could compete at this point. The fact it is backwards compatible is the first reason why I believe it will do well. Having listened on a non MQA DAC I can tell differences are significant and in favour of MQA.

But for me the promise of authentication is the biggest benefit. As long as the recording has been done once there can only be one MQA file. Not millions of remasters, deluxe editions, 24 bit high res files that are up sampled from CD and all other nonsense. It's like having the first pressing as a comparison to vinyl but because it's digital it can never wear off.

This until the actual masters are made available (which is probably never) is as close as we're going to get to what was heard in a studio.
Apart from the possibility of the authentication bit being used as real DRM, I do like the idea, especially since HD Tracks has proved to be dodgy sometimes.
 

manicm

Well-known member
May 1, 2008
603
70
18,970
DougK said:
Personally I see all this regurgitated (MQA) malarkey is just another way to squeeze more cash out of the punter to purchase another album that they already have in their collection umpteen times over. I fell foul of the hi-rez download and remaster trap, never again! Total waste of money as far as I'm concerned.
I like the idea of MQA, but the licensing system appears hazy, and it remains to be seen if it's accepted in the mainstream. I think it's fair to give it another two years to see how things unfold.
 

manicm

Well-known member
May 1, 2008
603
70
18,970
shadders said:
MQA is the reversal of the functions of the equipment used to record and process (mastering), that was used in the recording studio.

Shadders.
Please substantiate this. If MQA haven't stated this then I have to dismiss it is false. I think you've been drinking Tin's kool aid over at Linn.

If MQA is simply a 'reversal' there must be some MQA white paper that says so. And surely MQA would have recognised their own goal? A third party could display a purple light and ensure the 'MQA' audio has been decoded. They'd have to call it something else obviously.
 

shadders

Well-known member
Nov 19, 2009
152
88
18,670
manicm said:
shadders said:
MQA is the reversal of the functions of the equipment used to record and process (mastering), that was used in the recording studio.

Shadders.
Please substantiate this. If MQA haven't stated this then I have to dismiss it is false. I think you've been drinking Tin's kool aid over at Linn.

If MQA is simply a 'reversal' there must be some MQA white paper that says so. And surely MQA would have recognised their own goal? A third party could display a purple light and ensure the 'MQA' audio has been decoded. They'd have to call it something else obviously.
Hi,

If you read the referenced link, then you will be able to determine that it is the reversal of the processing of the recording/mastering, causes the smearing in the time domain.

Regards,

Shadders.
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
740
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Agreed, MQA isn't to be implemented that way. My comment in regards to backwards compatibility was rather relating to playback on non MQA DACs.
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
740
301
5,270
manicm said:
insider9 said:
I'm a big fan of MQA. That doesn't mean I would support hifi enthusiast being robbed blind for the privilege.

In my opinion MQA has a bright future. That is unless something better overshadows it but there's nothing that could compete at this point. The fact it is backwards compatible is the first reason why I believe it will do well. Having listened on a non MQA DAC I can tell differences are significant and in favour of MQA.

But for me the promise of authentication is the biggest benefit. As long as the recording has been done once there can only be one MQA file. Not millions of remasters, deluxe editions, 24 bit high res files that are up sampled from CD and all other nonsense. It's like having the first pressing as a comparison to vinyl but because it's digital it can never wear off.

This until the actual masters are made available (which is probably never) is as close as we're going to get to what was heard in a studio.
Apart from the possibility of the authentication bit being used as real DRM, I do like the idea, especially since HD Tracks has proved to be dodgy sometimes.
I'm against DRM but in this instance I doesn't exactly prohibit playback or sharing of ownership. It's used to tell the end user that there's not been any interference along the way which can only be a good thing.

I'm not sure how else this could've been implemented.
 

shadders

Well-known member
Nov 19, 2009
152
88
18,670
manicm said:
insider9 said:
I'm a big fan of MQA. That doesn't mean I would support hifi enthusiast being robbed blind for the privilege.

In my opinion MQA has a bright future. That is unless something better overshadows it but there's nothing that could compete at this point. The fact it is backwards compatible is the first reason why I believe it will do well. Having listened on a non MQA DAC I can tell differences are significant and in favour of MQA.

But for me the promise of authentication is the biggest benefit. As long as the recording has been done once there can only be one MQA file. Not millions of remasters, deluxe editions, 24 bit high res files that are up sampled from CD and all other nonsense. It's like having the first pressing as a comparison to vinyl but because it's digital it can never wear off.

This until the actual masters are made available (which is probably never) is as close as we're going to get to what was heard in a studio.
Apart from the possibility of the authentication bit being used as real DRM, I do like the idea, especially since HD Tracks has proved to be dodgy sometimes.
Hi,

That is all that MQA guarantee, that the album has been put through the MQA process.

What if they get it wrong? You will still get the light indicating it is MQA.

What if they miss the most important element in the recording/mastering chain that has the most effect? You will still get the light on saying MQA.

What if they don't know the entire recording/mastering chain, and they have to estimate what equipment was used? You still get the light on stating it is MQA.

MQA only guarantees the process, not the quality. It may sound different to high resolution, but does that make it better? Or just different?

Will you always believe MQA is better because you have been told so?

Regards,

Shadders.
 

manicm

Well-known member
May 1, 2008
603
70
18,970
shadders said:
manicm said:
shadders said:
MQA is the reversal of the functions of the equipment used to record and process (mastering), that was used in the recording studio.

Shadders.
Please substantiate this. If MQA haven't stated this then I have to dismiss it is false. I think you've been drinking Tin's kool aid over at Linn.

If MQA is simply a 'reversal' there must be some MQA white paper that says so. And surely MQA would have recognised their own goal? A third party could display a purple light and ensure the 'MQA' audio has been decoded. They'd have to call it something else obviously.
Hi,

If you read the referenced link, then you will be able to determine that it is the reversal of the processing of the recording/mastering, causes the smearing in the time domain.

Regards,

Shadders.
I've read that link again, there's not a single sentence that alludes to a reversal. The word 'reversal' does not even appear in any of the 4 pages. Please paste the extract which corresponds to your claim.
 

shadders

Well-known member
Nov 19, 2009
152
88
18,670
manicm said:
shadders said:
manicm said:
shadders said:
MQA is the reversal of the functions of the equipment used to record and process (mastering), that was used in the recording studio.

Shadders.
Please substantiate this. If MQA haven't stated this then I have to dismiss it is false. I think you've been drinking Tin's kool aid over at Linn.

If MQA is simply a 'reversal' there must be some MQA white paper that says so. And surely MQA would have recognised their own goal? A third party could display a purple light and ensure the 'MQA' audio has been decoded. They'd have to call it something else obviously.
Hi,

If you read the referenced link, then you will be able to determine that it is the reversal of the processing of the recording/mastering, causes the smearing in the time domain.

Regards,

Shadders.
I've read that link again, there's not a single sentence that alludes to a reversal. The word 'reversal' does not even appear in any of the 4 pages. Please paste the extract which corresponds to your claim.
Hi,

Do you have any knowledge of DSP or systems analysis of linear time invariant systems, Fourier, laplace, etc?

Regards,

Shadders.
 

manicm

Well-known member
May 1, 2008
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Shadders, no I don't, but I suspecting you're twisting the piece to suit your belief. I ask you again to extract a piece or two from the absolutesound piece to back up your claim, or at least state the page - there are only 4 pages.

That can't be too hard, can it?
 

Frank Harvey

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Jun 27, 2008
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shadders said:
davidf said:
This is a general recommendation - just have a listen... :)
Hi,

Did you compare to a high resolution download or a DSD of the same album?

Regards,

Shadders.
I've compared a few different ones to either the non MQA stream, the CD, or hi-res file. Some don't even need comparison to another format.
 

shadders

Well-known member
Nov 19, 2009
152
88
18,670
manicm said:
Shadders, no I don't, but I suspecting you're twisting the piece to suit your belief. I ask you again to extract a piece or two from the absolutesound piece to back up your claim, or at least the page - there are only 4 pages.

That can't be too hard, can it?
Hi,

Page 3 states that the temporal blur is the issue, and that this is caused by filters, where they reference 8 filters in the entire audio chain. For an existing album, they need to reverse this effect, hence they cannot record the album again, they will have to know which filters have been used so as to reverse the smearing effect.

Regards,

Shadders.
 

manicm

Well-known member
May 1, 2008
603
70
18,970
shadders said:
manicm said:
Shadders, no I don't, but I suspecting you're twisting the piece to suit your belief. I ask you again to extract a piece or two from the absolutesound piece to back up your claim, or at least the page - there are only 4 pages.

That can't be too hard, can it?
Hi,

Page 3 states that the temporal blur is the issue, and that this is caused by filters, where they reference 8 filters in the entire audio chain. For an existing album, they need to reverse this effect, hence they cannot record the album again, they will have to know which filters have been used so as to reverse the smearing effect.

Regards,

Shadders.
So you're assuming then, according to your logic, where it doesn't really back up your claim. One of the Linn posters provided the white paper, where MQA actually applies dithering to the encoding process. So you're still guessing...

'MQA addresses this disparity by losslessly (or virtually) dividing the audio into octave-wide sub-bands, conceptually coding each with a lower sampling rate than the ensemble. MQA is truly hierarchical, and although the example here is 192kHz, sample rates of 384, 768, or higher are accommodated. In fact, the mathematics includes infinite sampling (analog) since that is the real target.'

I've read page 3 again, and it still doesn't back up your claim. They may be removing that blur, but the HOW doesn't equate to any form of 'reversal', or reverse engineering of the audio in the strictest sense.
 

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