EXOGAL. The Minnesotan manufacturer of the popular Comet DAC has announced the discontinuation of their support for MQA, citing a lack of customer demand (flying in the face of the audiophile press’ “breathless hype”), a lack of available content and the performance of their existing products – that don’t support MQA but apparently already focus on time domain accuracy – outstripping the (test) versions that featured Bob Stuart and Peter Craven’s code.
On this, EXOGAL CEO Jeff Haagenstad says (via press release – see below), “Suffice it [sic] to say we were never able to achieve the advertised level of performance using the MQA technology and thus it does not meet our standards for inclusion in our products.”
According to Haagenstad’s release, non-disclosure agreements with MQA (the company) prevent him from elaborating further.
Except it isn’t, since nobody has ever been able to come up with any evidence (PS, your anecdotes are not evidence) that passes statistical muster that people can differentiate lossless from a 256kb/s mp3.
Well, there are as many ears as twice the number of the persons and nobody will ever make all of them to listen instead of hearing. Personally I’ve never found a real practical use of mp3 enough to make me ignore the poor audio quality, including mobile or car (and this is not anecdotical, it is experience, and a very long one, since the beginning of mp3). But I agree that most of the people enjoy it, good for them. It is just that the ones that do not learn from the history are at risk to repeat it…
I always find it interesting when people complain about lossy audio formats but do not care that the images they are looking at in their browers are jpeg files which are lossy as well. Just kidding.
Personally I think in the end everyone has different priorities be it audio, video, clothing whatever. So what’s important for one person is totally uninteresting for another.
Here the vendors come into play. If enough users have the same priorities there will be a market and vendors will start offering products.
This has and will always be the case, the customer’s voice will speak. If the demand for MQA grows and it becomes a required feature for the majority of users the vendors will adapt their product portfolio, if there is no high demand for it some of them might because they see a valid business case or it will die all along.
Let’s see what will happen with MQA in this regard.
I think right now a lot of vendors are looking at this as well and are waiting how the market reacts.
Ha ha ha, you know me from somewhere? It just happen that I’m a hobbyist photographer so… you really want to go jpg vs tiff vs raw or phone camera vs DSLR? (JUST KIDDING BACK)
That is my concern too, the fact that the market will go in the high demand direction (capitalism 101) and, AGAIN, the statistically insignificant “for high quality sound” crowd will be left with no other choice that to pay AGAIN, the premium price.
The issue what most manufacturers encountered is they can’t test performance of MQA on their products without a MQA encoder to generate test signals. The only one that own this is MQA Ltd themselves!
All PCM and DSD test signals can be easily generated so all DACs based on this specifications can be properly tested to the highest performance. Even Stereophile admitted it is virtually impossible to test MQA to gauge its performance specifications.
Until MQA release it’s own software encoder to generate test signals, it is not possible to test performance of MQA specifications. Then we have relied all the BS ‘claims’ whether you like it or not.
“Mediocre Quality Music” … that’s a laugh, have you listened? It’s so far off from MP3 (which is mediocre quality) as to make that statement ridiculous wether your a fan or not.
A high tech DAC manufacturer says they can do the MQA thing without MQA is great. It means MQA are doing things right by concentrating on timing issues for everyone. Low cost DACs, mobile phone users etc.
Timing is not everything; aliasing artifacts and distortion in the audio range can dramatically affect the tonality of the music. There’s no perfect solution here. I would prefer virtually no artifacts distortion in the music contents than having good timing.
What is significant about this is that this is not an outsider who was rejected MQA from the start on any number of principles but someone who has tried it and rejected it purely on performance grounds. That has got to sting.