Analog Corner #265: Notes from the Road (Hi-Fi Shows & MQA)

At audio events held by the Los Angeles and Orange County Audio Society, I'm usually called on to speechify about one thing or another, or to roast an honoree at one of the Society's December Galas. But at the spring 2017 Los Angeles Audio Show, Bob Levi, the Society's president, quipped, "This is one awards dinner where you won't have to entertain—so relax and enjoy!"

After the dinner and the speechifying, and my roast of Chad Kassem, founder of Analogue Productions, Acoustic Sounds, Quality Record Pressing, and Blue Heaven Studios. came the show's 23 Alfie awards, in three categories—Best Personal Electronics, Best Speakers, and Best Electronics—the winners selected by teams of judges led by Roger Skoff, founder of XLO Electric Co., Inc., and VP at Large of the Los Angeles and Orange County Audio Society; Chuck Bruce, VP of Public Relations for LAAS; John G. Williams, VP of Hospitality for LAAS; and Mary Cardas, VP Gala producer for LAAS. Joining them were EveAnna Manley, of Manley Labs, and Part-Time Audiophile contributor Lee Scoggins.


Recipient of an "Alfie" award, Vandersteen's System Nine was also John Atkinson's best sound at the 2017 LAAS. (Photo: John Atkinson)

A few well-deserved Alfies went to such usual suspects as Wilson Audio Specialties (for the Alexx speaker), Dan D'Agostino Master Audio Systems (for the Progression preamplifier), Vandersteen Audio (for the System Nine, which adds a pair of Sub Nine subwoofers to the Vandersteen Model Seven II speakers and HPA amplifiers), as well as bigger players such as Sony and AudioQuest. But what the ceremony lacked in drama was more than made up for by diversity of products and manufacturers, many of the awards going to newer, smaller companies—eg, Starke Sound, Ryan Speakers, Vinnie Rossi, Vanatoo, and EchoBox. Hopefully, next year's awards dinner will feature better stagecraft: musical intro and outro cues, envelope opening, nip slippage. . .

Although it wasn't in the script, at the end of the evening Bob Levi asked me to make some closing remarks, so I took the stage and began "streaming" about the audio industry, about LAAS, and about what an amazing time this is for audio, particularly on the software side. I talked about how, for first time ever, you can now get music recorded at the highest sound quality, in whatever format you prefer. Still want CDs? You can have them. Vinyl? There's more worth buying than any one person can ever consume. Reel-to-reel tape? The offerings are still small, but will only grow as labels drop their fear of bootlegs and open their vaults—after all, they're happy to sell 24-bit/192kHz files, which are far more easily copied and distributed than are reel-to-reel tapes. You can even get some new music on cassette. Light poles and car bumpers festooned with 1/8" tape may make a comeback!

High-resolution PCM and DSD downloads and MQA streams provide master sound quality at the push of a few buttons. Who could have imagined this 10 or 15 years ago, when it seemed the world was downrezzing to MP3 quality and enjoying it, because it was "indistinguishable" from Red Book CD?

For some, a generation or two of headphone-crazy young people consuming dumbed-down MP3s on iPods and smartphones seemed to spell the end of high-performance audio. The week Stereophile featured an iPod on the cover, I was thrown out of a well-known New York City audio salon. "Get out!" the owner yelled at me. "I don't sell iPods! I don't want you in here!"

Others, though, sensed an opening. They began producing better headphones and headphone amplifiers, some of them tubed, and as exotic and high-performance as anything built to drive loudspeakers. Grado Labs hit the jackpot. When cartridge manufacturing seemed about to bite the dust for good, Joe Grado and his nephew John Grado moved into headphones, probably never imagining that they'd tap into a key trend in Millennial-generation consumer electronics—nor could they have imagined that the cartridge business would again become a growth industry.

Portable music players followed that could store what most consumers would consider an entire music library of hi-rez files. The built-in audience for such products had to simply plug in and listen. And guess what—they show up at shows like AXPONA, LAAS, and the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, driving down the age demographic to well below grandpa level.

Easy access means that younger people finally get to hear what we knew to be true, and that they'd been told was audiophile foolery. Headphones and LPs became the gateway drugs to high-performance home audio.


MQA's Bob Stuart performed MQA-vs-MQA comparisons in one of the Sunny Components rooms at the 2017 LAAS. (Photo: John Atkinson)

At LAAS, MQA Ltd.'s Bob Stuart gave convincing demonstrations of MQA vs non–MQA-encoded files, as well as MQA's hi-rez "unpacking" capabilities, in one of the Sunny Components rooms, using Wilson Alexx speakers driven by T+A electronics (footnote 1). MQA-encoded files go through a careful preview process in the mastering studio that sonically optimizes them for various playback situations (no decoding, MQA Core, or Full Decode), with appropriate filters correcting "de-ringing."

Fortunately, the differences in sound spoke louder than did Stuart, who tended to get tangled in his own thoughts. I was told that Stuart's seminar, which I didn't attend, was far more effective at explaining MQA, while the in-room demos were far more effective at demonstrating it, less so at explaining it.


Rick Rubin (far right) and Michael Fremer (second right) audition MQA and non-MQA versions of Steely Dan's "Hey Nineteen." (Photo: Peter McGrath)

At the demo, which I attended with record producer Rick Rubin, founder of American Recordings, Stuart's opening remarks assumed that the audience was well aware of what MQA was, which I think was not the case. If that describes you as well, see Stuart's Q&A on the subject. In any case, for lovers of LPs and haters of CDs such as I, what Stuart says and plays in his demos totally vindicates our long-held, often ridiculed contention that, spatially, CD sound produces no there there, and is therefore unlistenable. MQA-encoded "Red Book" CDs can contain hi-rez (24/192 and higher) files that can be "unpacked" by an MQA decoder.

As Stuart writes in his Stereophile piece, "Temporal acuity manifests a survival characteristic, one with origins that must reach back to much earlier in the mammalian timeline than the emergence of Homo sapiens."

I've long contended that, for whatever reason or reasons, CD sound makes people not want to listen to recorded music to the exclusion of all else—the way it was done by entire generations in the vinyl-rich 1960s and '70s. It's why listening to music became a background activity, something to do while doing something else: driving, working out, or whatever.

While CD apologists blamed the disconnect on too many choices of entertainment, including video games and home theater, I and others remained convinced that it was CD sound itself that produced a brain alarm that screamed to the subconscious "Get out of here and do something else! I've lost track of time and space! I don't know where the tiger's coming from!" Or, in my case, "Put on an LP and turn off that digital crap, you knucklehead!"

Footnote 1: You can find John Atkinson's and Jason Victor Serinus's reactions to these comparisons here.

rt66indierock's picture

Bob Stuart making a poor impression at his seminar. Meeting him afterward and asking him questions he couldn’t answer. Herding MQA supporters into the Wilson room. Spreading information by telling people John Atkinson doesn’t want you to know this.

All while acting as the perfect host to attendees and vendors as member of the LAOCAS.

Good times thanks.

Archimago's picture

Interesting reviewing this 2017 article from the vantage point in 2022!

I doubt these days there will be many people defending MQA and its claimed time-domain performance. "Hi-rez MQA" of course would not "kill" vinyl - in the 24-bit form, it barely has benefits over plain 'ol CD.

Funny though that Fremer in one breath would say "CD sound produces no there there, and is therefore unlistenable" and then in the next breath parrots the idea that "MQA-encoded "Red Book" CDs can contain hi-rez (24/192 and higher)" as if there's any truth in that; obvious example of how he doesn't understand the basics of the technology and the impossibility of these claims!

Anyhow... Kudos to Rick Rubin for recognizing "Yet to Rubin's ears, the MQA version sounded "processed" in some way" - indeed, fooling around with bit-depth reduction and using questionably "leaky", low quality filters as MQA did (its "rendering" process) will do this sort of thing to music reproduction. For a man who claims he can easily identify the reduction in resolution on a CD, it would have been nice if Fremer himself could have detected these anomalies on MQA to really prove that he possesses some "golden ears".

Good luck at TAS and Tracking Angle.

Michael Fremer's picture

MQA CDs can unpack 192/24 so good luck to you! No one has “golden ears” nor have I ever claimed them. You are both disagreeable and ignorant.

Rinky Dink's picture

MQA CANNOT, and NEVER has been capable of 192 kHz resolution.


Educate your self. Your total cluelessness about digital is amusing.

Michael Fremer's picture

You are amusing. And so angry.

Rinky Dink's picture

..I may be angry but your are still utterly clueless and incapable of understanding.

DH's picture

You haven't figured this out yet Michael?
MQA encoding, by definition and design, discards anything above 24/96 (48Khz frequency) and encodes it in a compressed lossy format essentially equivalent to 17/96.
The unpacking to so called 24/192 is simply upsampling of the 17/96 to 24/192.
Sorry, the ignorance here is yours.
Try to actually check the facts instead of reading misleading MQA marketing speak and assuming it's

mieswall's picture

Wrong DH. It doesn't discard content above 48 Khz, it is exactly the opposite. And the encoding to 17 bits (that I suspect it is just an average, and already gives you more dynamic headroom than most audio components can handle) is free of noise -all noise is shaped below those 17 bits-, making it *better* than PCM formats with high bitrates.

But the main issue here is that you are trying to compare MQA to a plain standard PCM,-know-nothing-about-its-data, that must asume the whole encoding space is useful, which in the case of music is not true. MQA adresses instead modern sampling techniques, specifically to "limited-rate-of-innovation" encoding, because exactly that is what happens with music, that -by laws of physics- can't fully occupy the whole encoding space. Instead of wasting that space, MQA makes better use of it: extending the spectrum of much gentler anti-aliasing filters that allows a significantly better time-response (avoiding ringing); and also to build a data-channel buried below noise, that holds the origami folds as well as specific instructions for your DAC delivered in real time. That data channel (that no other PCM format can have, by design)is associated with the music content, and allows to link the behavior of your DAC with the parameters of the ADC encoding used in the production of the master, thus delivering beautiful sound, completely free of ringing. Just like analog.

As it is obvious that the space above music and below the noise threshold is used in a completely different fashion, it is absurd to try a bit perfect comparison with a standard PCM. But that is exactly what some tests have done.

If you don't understand these basic facts, you are comparing pears with apples, or trying to test a formula one racecar in an off-road track. Which, btw, it is exactly what those shameful, completely ignorant tests of Archimago and GoldenSound did. And in my view, they were purposely designed to mislead their audiences feeding the algorithm with tones they knew the automated process (which is a small fraction of the whole algorithm) they used was not designed to handle (and they were warned about it). But now here Archimago insists in playing the fool, without a minimum respect for world-class engineers and audiophiles. What a shame!

Rinky Dink's picture

this entire post is complete and utter rubbish and clearly you are an MQA operative regurgitating the marketing speak that has proven time and again to be lies.

Archimago the fool? Laughable. Look in the mirror.

DH's picture

That you wrte such a long post and you don't know what you are talking about. Everything I wrote has been extensively studied and confirmed. Even Bob Stuart has confirmed, when specifically asked, about the limit of 17/96.
There are no specific instructions for your DAC.There are a set of filters that are used on all DACs. One or two companies, like dCs, have written their own filters. Every other MQA DAC has the same filters.

You quote MQA marketing, but try reading and understanding the the actual patents and technical data.

mieswall's picture

I've had a good time reading every patent on MQA and most related ones, as well as most articles and papers about it published. It’s a fascinating subject, from an intelectual point of view, trying to understand what some clever minds are able to conceive.

17 bits is probably an average. If you read those documents, you would know MQA does extensive noise shaping, explicitly to gain (in critical audible bands) a higher headroom of 102 db those 17 bits achieve (already a SNR higher than almost any amplifier or listening environment can provide). But the issue here is those data bits are pure meaningful signal- free of noise-; given that noise is shaped in those other 7 bits (on average), along with MQA's buried data channel.

When you say 17/96 you are trying to install the belief that this is the whole space the format is working with (including noise and blank space), inexplicably throwing away 30% of the encoding space, which is simply not true. An open pit mine is not seized by the ballast they move but instead for the minerals aimed to extract; a *music* storage format should be seized on how it handles the music, not the empty space above it or the brownian motion noise below it. Instead of handling that waste untouched (as Archimago pretends, according to his tests), MQA has designed a better use of that space instead. And when they “fold” supra-aural data below the noise threshold, they store there real data, not noise, nor silence. That’s how IT IS possible to have up to 24/352 file in a 24/48 container.

All of that may still be of little importance for many. But the true breakthrough of MQA is a much better time domain response. So, regarding DAC filters: afaik DAC chips have programable interfaces to customize additional functions besides their standard filters, which is what I think MQA does in its buried data channel running along with the music, thus adapting their behavior to that content or what was done in ADC in the recording (unlike other PCM’s, this is an end-to-end process). There are also technical reasons why you need a MQA-enabled DAC and not a standard unit to unfold the full process. It is an unmistakable fact that the DAC IS receiving customized instructions stored in the MQA file.

But yes... I get your idea: why should I trust in a couple of world-renowned mathematicians, one of them (the late Michael Gerzon) a recognized genius and one of the very few AES Gold medalists ever; both having patented or written some of the most cited papers in signal processing; the other (Peter Craven) a consultant of international astronomy consortiums in data processing; when we have instead ... let's see... which illuminati to amend those brilliant mathematicians?... Archimago? GoldenSound? Do you even know their real names?

And no, I have absolutely no relation with MQA.

DH's picture

Two world renowned people...who have a giant monetary interest. This isn't some pure science research.

MQA DACs (about 99% of them) have a standard set of 8 filters. Same on every DAC. Nothing customized. This has been proven.
Upsampling from the the first unfold is what is going on, with standard MQA filters. No special per DAC instructions. And no special filters with anything particular to recommend them, at that.
The whole smearing/time domain improvment MQA claims: never actually defined or proven. In fact, MQA processing has been shown to make time domain performance worse in some cases.
You think MQA does all sorts of stuff, but you don't actually know.

It's interesting that people like Archimago have published stuff about MQA and MQA has never specifically contradicted them or shown that what they've written in factually/technically incorrect. Just ad hominem attacks (like yours) and more marketing speak blah-blah that isn't proof of anything.

MQA has never allowed proper objective outside testing of their product and if it does what's claimed. I wonder why that is?

mieswall's picture

I don't know about Archimago, but regarding GoldenSound, here it is:
Read specially the four appendixes, that of course GoldenSound didn't dare to publish.

DH's picture

MQA has never specifically and factually disputed Archi's and other's technical findings about MQA. Just responded with general blah-blah and ad-hominem attacks.

As far as "Bob Speaks", I didn't go through it all, b/c as in everything BS writes about MQA it's full of lies and/or obfuscations.
Here's examples from the opening of your link:

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.

This is an out an out lie. They proclaimed it as "lossless" and even had matching graphics, till Archi and others called them on it. Then they retreated to "perceptually lossless"; but still sometimes forget to include the modifier and just say lossless. - MQA lossless graphic. But they never made false claims about lossless, right?
So they lied, and lie about the lie.

Provenance: MQA files are delivered losslessly and reconstruct exactly the sound that an artist, studio or label approves.

So what? My mp3 files are also "delivered losslessly". It's just another attempt to fool people into thinking MQA is lossless.

Other points of Bob's talk (e.g. aliasing) have also been shown to be false. Bob declaring something is true doesn't count as proof.

Typical lying and BS from Bob and his fanboys.

mieswall's picture

DH: "MQA doesn't answer complaints"
MW: "here is the answer"
DH: "no, I don't read the answer... because it was written by MQA".

The answer is not a "declaration" by Bob, is a technical refutal, lab tests included that btw, show for example that MQA -the studio process, not the "light" one GS used- is able to reconstruct a square wave of GS tests in with a precision probably no other PCM format can achieve.

And, btw, Michael Gerzon didn't profit from MQA since he died some 10 yrs before the company was even born. And his papers, in partnership with Craven were purely academic, as they made them as the main members of the sound department of the Oxford university. Peter Craven, that I understand makes his living with astronomy, also isn't a partner in MQA Ltd. A company, btw, of tiny financial weight afaik that hardly would made a millionaire any of their collaborators.

Regarding your cites of Stuart: if you can't switch your prejudices, you won't be able to understand them, because you are not dealing with the context they are made.
Enough answers from myself: read what you dare to criticize (ie: don't do the same you falsely accuse others of doing), before making more embarrasing comments.

Rinky Dink's picture

You are an absolute liar. Or a useful idiot.

Peter Craven indeed was and probably still is a shareholder in MQA and his name is on the patents.

Now take your shilling elsehwere.

You spread misinformation and twist facts.

mieswall's picture

If you keep spreading fud, you force me to keep answering:

It was you who said Gerson and Craven wrote their papers and patents because of their "huge financial interest". Besides MQA specific patent, all of Craven and Gerzon patents were made before MQA existed, and as members of the Oxford University (do you know that institution, right?) . Gerzon even died before MQA existed. And of course Craven is cited in those patents, that's the whole point of this discussion!

I have just looked the financial staments of MQA (available online). Craven is not a member of their staff, nor a director. If he is a stakeholder (of some of the grand total of 14.000 shares, with an overall book value of ... 14K pounds), it must not be a big one, since it is not listed in any financial report.

The company has lost over 4 million pounds in their two last financial periods (may be GoldenSound could be proud of that), and their cash has shrinked 80% just in the last year, to just over a million pounds in total. Negative balance sheet. So hardly any stakeholder interest could be worth something in this context. Certainly not a "huge" financial interest.

Even if Craven was at any past time (I doubt it) part of the only 7 officers of the company, the whole expenditure in officer's salaries is about 700.000 pounds per year. That's 100K pounds per person. Again, hardly a "huge" financial interest. I'm pretty sure Craven has obtained more of those "huge" financial rewards working for the competitors of Meridian (the "father" company of MQA), like B&W, for example...

Now, who is the liar or the idiot here?

ps: As a service to you efforts to the audiophile community, I'll provide you some of the names of the less than 50 Gold medalist ever given by AES ( the worlds's oldest and most prestigious society of audio engineers): Shannon, Dolby, Studer, Senheisser, Neumann, Massenburg, Van Gelder, Floyd Tool... and Michael Gerzon. Perhaps those names may provide you some sense of humility regarding what you criticize.

Rinky Dink's picture

More garbage. More diversion.

So we went to Craven having NO stake, to "if he does it is not much"

You are a weasel, and far far too interested in MQA..and how bout your 50+ posts on ASR defending it. Lots of free to time to devote?

Dunning Kruger personified.

mieswall's picture

The only point is: Craven has no position in MQA company, and if he eventually has some shares (neither you or I have any information to deny or corroborate it, which is exactly what DH suggested), they are completely insubstantial, both in percentage of ownership and in the financial interest it may provide him.

So the "garbage"or "diversion" is not suggesting that a mathematician's papers and patents are wrong or dishonest because they theoretically may have a financial interests in a *future* company (now it seems it has to be a kind of Nostradamus the man); but instead because I can't prove (but neither can DH too) that may or may not have a tiny percentage, in either way irrelevant ownership in the company. And it is much more likely he doesn't.

The only matter of this subject was that the patents won in the 90's at 00's by these guys had nothing to do with any financial interest on a company that didn't even exist at that time. So here is the issue: when arguments fade away, MQA pundits always switch to diverging matters. That also prove to be fud. And yet, the remaining unsolved issue here is that the test of Archimago and GoldenSound were either ignorant (they didn't know what the algorithm is aimed to do), or maliciously conceived, as the answer of MQA to their tests clearly demonstrates.

As Fremer said, I'm just sorry for you. Have you ever properly listened a good MQA file?

DH's picture

MQA has never specifically and factually disputed Archi's and other's technical findings about MQA. Just responded with general blah-blah and ad-hominem attacks.

As far as "Bob Speaks", I didn't go through it all, b/c as in everything BS writes about MQA it's full of lies and/or obfuscations.
Here's examples from the opening of your link:

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.

This is an out an out lie. They proclaimed it as "lossless" and even had matching graphics, till Archi and others called them on it. Then they retreated to "perceptually lossless"; but still sometimes forget to include the modifier and just say lossless. - MQA lossless graphic. But they never made false claims about lossless, right?
So they lied, and lie about the lie.

Provenance: MQA files are delivered losslessly and reconstruct exactly the sound that an artist, studio or label approves.

So what? My mp3 files are also "delivered losslessly". It's just another attempt to fool people into thinking MQA is lossless.

Other points of Bob's talk (e.g. aliasing) have also been shown to be false. Bob declaring something is true doesn't count as proof.

Typical lying and BS from Bob and his fanboys.

Michael Fremer's picture

And it lead you to this.

Rinky Dink's picture

You are a has been, and clearly a napoleanic clown.

DH's picture

Nothing angry about my post.
But as a professional in the field, if you write about MQA, you should write facts.
There is no such thing as an actual unfolded 24/192 MQA file. It's just an upsample from the first MQA unfold, which is 17/96.

That's how MQA encoding and decoding works.

Why do you have a problem about accurately writing about it?

teched58's picture

So this is where we are in the beginning of the fall season: Your two most popular writers, highlighted on the front page of this site, don't even work here anymore. I'm referring to this old Fremer piece (he has left and gone to TAS and "coming summer 2022" tracking angle) and John Atkinson, who is former EIC and now technical editor, which I would guess is a freelance position as opposed to FTE.

Engagement on these old articles seems to be better than on much of your new stuff, which means I guess that you can run all old stuff from now on and save on your edit budget.

The way you guys are going, you may wake up one day and see you only have two commenters left: sharp, verbose "beweiving in wistening" Jack L and cranky, pointlessly nasty (since you guys don't seem to have the money to fix this mess) me.

Anton's picture

Step by step, bit by bit....

I have MQA on my Tidal through my Mac Book into a Meridian Explorer 2 and I like the way it sounds. It sounds better than their "CD" resolution.

You may freak out, but even using my iPhone into some 'wireless' speakers that aren't MQA, MQA still sounds better than standard.

I only use Tidal for my bedroom system, really, but why does it make people so upset? It's a perfectly fine streaming feature.

Now, I do consider it just a streaming toy, so maybe I don't hate it enough to satisfy some. And, I do recall the crazy (excess?) hype it received in the press - at the time, it seemed like the biggest Hi Fi event since the Elcaset, maybe even the Mini-Disc.

Glotz's picture

MQA has it's place and its excellence is realized in the real world time and again. MQA on Tidal was never a disappointment, musically.

Arguing their point about lossy imperfection is moot. It's a product that will or die on its own merits, not from 2 frothing-at-the-mouth lunatics like these miscreants. Sadly, they will try as they must to 'cancel' the product, productive to consumers or not.

I find it no coincidence that the MQA-haters are fringe, raging Fox News lovers as well. If there was a valid demographic poll taken on MQA-haters, the results would be astonishing. (Yes, it's conjecture- obviously.)

While the truth is always welcome from multiple sources, allowing for everyone's voices requires gentle sarcasm and not hateful rage language in communicating.

I think the real result of Rinky and DH's belligerence here is that more online comments section in posts like this will soon disappear.

Rinky Dink's picture

You sad pathetic sycophant. You don't have a clue what you are talking about. There is no debate about "the truth"..there is one truth. Master Quack Audio is lossy, distorted, and had DRM. It is an butchering of the original mastered file. If you had a scintilla of knowledge about digital audio you would know this. But your lords and masters in the audio "press" tell you something and you kneel like little puppy.

And for the record, I am a card carrying Lefty. So yet again, you are clueless. Don't bother posting again, you will just continue to make a fool of your self.

Glotz's picture

I think it's time you were banned... again. Keep on topic, and lose the bs insults.

Get your own magazine to rant like a child on.

You are most certainly a fascist, no one can disagree with you or even bring up an alternative viewpoint. Leftist.. funny.

Glotz's picture

But you are rather unhinged about MQA... obviously. I have read many of the studies since MQA's inception and you have no record of that or really anything regarding readers here. In fact, there is no discussion with anyone here- just your input matters. Proof of that is above in your dismissal and trite 'sycophant' remarks towards other posters like Mieswall, who you also insulted for their opinion.

You misstated Anton's perceptions of MQA as well. Clearly, by your definition of Anton's statements, you only attack those that disagree with you.... again that is proof of your fascist thinking and behavior. I take Anton seriously, I do not take you seriously.

Michael's system, without question, is vastly better than whatever system you possess and 'listen' through. 1.5 Million dollars plus invested means it's a tool for verifiable first-hand experience. That is valid, whereas your lack of proof of your system is suspect.

I trust the writers here as they actually have the authority here vs. an anonymous poster in you. JA finds MQA rewarding as do all of the other writers here. Manufacturers also find value in MQA. You are not a professional nor a manufacturer so that negatively impacts your statements.

You simply don't have the visibility nor the expertise for anyone to trust you.

Glotz's picture

I've also listened through MQA for long hours... anybody that has a respectable stereo system can too.

It's not some elitist privilege as you assume. Not sure what knowledge or authority you have... you seem like a typical troll tbh.

Fireboy1968's picture

I stream through a Bluesound Node into an external DAC that does all of the MQA unfolding. It is verry quickly obvious the shear volume of Masters recordings that are CD quality enfolded into MQA. It appears that Tidal Masters has the same amount of actual High Def recordings as Amazon. Also Amason sounds better. So go ahead and pay twice as much for a bait and switch. Just like you used to pay twice as much for Tidal lossless when you streamed through BlueTooth DAC.