MQA disappointing


I think making a well known decision in the consumers side are more than enough to determine the fate of the product. Whether this lead to legal issue is too early to tell but it seems to me nobody really care except of course, their jobs after brexist…

(Henry) #182

I have always said this will always come down to adoption of the format, and that it won’t be adoption by consumers that matters as much as the industry that produces and distributes the music. Much of the industry is happy with MQA as a concept. Less so the hardware producers but even some that reject it in public recognise in private that it is a direction they may have to take. As for paying for MQA, we paid Phillips, Sony, JVC, Pacific Microsonics etc, etc. The list goes on. Adding MQA to that is only the continued tradition of paying a few cents per unit to the people who went to the trouble of investing in a concept. Even when, as a concept there were others that were probably better but didn’t make the cut. I think Sony marketed CD as “Perfect sound forever!”. Then we discovered CD rot and realised that there were still a million ways to screw up a recording which an unscrupulous industry then proceeded to do. Did Sony lie? And the answer is no, because they had no idea what the industry would do with their concept.


I think it was Philips who said that slogan and was quickly withdrawn after the critics (analog) slammed it.

I think you are missing the point here, we already got the best PCM and DSD formats onboard, why bother going to another one to blurr the line?
Both formats have already served different segments of the market and have been around for many years. Many of us have built large collections based on these formats and enjoying in the past and now in the future. The only difference is the way we play it back!

CD doesn’t rot, it is MP3/AAC that the music industries endorsed as a way to keep their precious jewels intact and limit the quality.

We have reached to the pinnacle of sound quality especially when we come to studio mastering. For the consumers side, those who can afford good quality playback devices, it will bring one step closer to the mastering level.

(Chris ) #184

I expect the term ‘many’ in the audiphile world equates to negligible in the wider world. In truth knowbody out there (outside of the audio world) has heard of DSD and they certainly won’t have equipment to play it or the ability or will to buy it. Further, knowone is streaming it as an option for no extra cost and can one play the files on my old CD player?
Just a thought…


I think you have forgotten there is format called SACD which has been around since 1999 and you still can get SACD discs today. Probably you didn’t know SACD is based on DSD technology? I’ve been enjoying hi-res audio since I brought my first SACD player in 2000 and have collected many titles since. Do you?

(Chris ) #186

Yes I did, and I’m not sure how available these are today and how much material is going to be released further?


So why there’s is MQA CD being released today? We thought the industry is moving away from physical medium. This is not entirely true. There are small group of audiophiles who like to playback on physical medium. The same goes for LPs fanatics. They will have to deal with limited selection of titles.

(Chris ) #188

Yes, your correct, there will always be people who like a physical format and it’s great MQA is able to satisfy that demand along with Sacd and vinyl. But a globally successful format has to do much more than that across all channels which is what I see is MQA’s aim. Greater quality for all in a practical and deliverable way. Turning the tide on MP3 and it’s race to the bottom on price and quality.

Now if they have any influence on The Loudness War? That would be great as this is in my opinion a major, if not the major problem with so much recorded music.
I’d like to see the improvement in audio follow the path of recent improvements in video that knowbody asked for. But having been given it, people have quickly seen and enjoyed the benefit.
I expect this will be a long term project and to expect overnight results and adoption is unreasonable. We have a super tanker to turn around and it has to start somewhere…


Keep polishing…

(Chris ) #190

Lol, I’ll roll it in glitter :joy:


Chris you have no idea what you are talking about.

The vast majority of these people they like the physical format not because it’s physical but because they can’t find the same audio quality in something else (or that came at a greater cost both money and time, computer audio is not a very user friendly domain). I doubt that they’ll adopt MQA discs (see Bluray audio).

What’s greater quality? There are people (some on this forum) which consider up-sampling mp3 to DSD quality enough.

That race is won, blame it on uneducated customers (lot and lot of them). And MQA is nothing else than a mp3 on steroids (just a little smarter way to lobotomize the sound).

There is no MQA equivalent for the DVD. The BluRay it’s a real step up by all definitions. People have quickly seen and enjoyed the benefit because it was a real benefit. MQA is not.

There is absolutely nothing to turn around. Starting with audio cd, SACD, hi res files, DSD and so on there are plenty formats from where to chose (including mp3). MQA doesn’t bring anything new. Doesn’t solve any real life audiophile problem on the consumers side. It is just another way to require more money from us, that’s all. We can live very well with all the above formats and enjoy good music in the process.


From my perspective MQA streaming form has now mitigated my need to listen to my SACD or DVD audio collection / MQA streaming sounds as good as the physical formats that I just mentioned above on the various systems I have - this streaming format is clear winner for me and I hope it encourages the MP3 generation to appreciate audiophile quality music which now is available in streaming friendly manner which is how music is consumed by the majority - this is a paradigm shift for hi res streaming friendly form and I hope it is broadly adopted


The mp3 generation doesn’t care about the audio quality because they do not know what that is. And they don’t know what that is because they don’t care. :slight_smile:

Also, they have absolutely no idea what MQA is. In their defense, they have absolutely no idea what mp3 is about too.

There is no format in this world (physically or streaming) that can change that. Changing that is a matter of attitude (how much music I have vs. how good the sound is) and education (lot of stuf to learn). But the commercialism doesn’t what consumers with a good (healthy) attitude. As for the education…

But, if you are right and I’m wrong it will be even sadder: they’ll change the worst thing in audio for the next worst one.


As a matter of fact everything starts to make sense: from the audiophiles one way or another the industry makes a huge amount of money (cables, gear, formats, the list is very long). From the (much bigger) mp3 crowd not so much because they live at the lower end of the audio universe where everything is as cheap as it can be, with no regards for quality (audio or whatever).

Now, if in the audiophile world there is some room for expansion (based on real improvements or on the customers illiteracy), in the mp3 world not so much. There is nothing worst for the audio that the mp3 (from this point of view they’ve achieved perfection) so there isn’t much novelty to sell to this crowd. Until now: welcome MQA!

(James Heckman) #195

To enlarge on Rash’s good comment, maybe the larger benefit of MQA will be to raise the bar in popular consumer audio (mp3) (awright, awright, assuming it IS better sound). That’s the elephant in the room and the super tanker that needs changed direction. And not even mainly for the future of good audio, but for the sheer good it would do the world. Anyway… Look at CD history. Yes, it turned out to be nowhere near the initial claims, but at least it did bring the issue of better sound quality to the wide public audience, and millions who’d never thought of sound quality bought in for that reason. At a minimum it revealed a mass market interest in better sound, which you have to think is a sleeping giant still out there. Who knew? (OK, maybe that turned out to be a Pyrrhic victory if it led to mp3, but still…). Imagine if it in fact had been superior sound. What I’m saying is that the feared demise of the sound quality we all love due to the market drying up could be reversed if MQA became the mass format for recorded music and in fact brought better sound. If that happens, a small percentage of the mass market would be interested enough in improved sound quality to explore it further, and voila! a potential major expansion of the audiophile market. I realize the ardent denials of MQA sound quality and have no further comment on that issue. But to me the jury is still out on that question, and if so, the scenario in this post is not far-fetched. But (finally!) at a minimum that sleeping giant is out there, and awaits whatever format satisfies it. Since almost guaranteed sooner or later something will, the implication is that improved mass market sound quality as well as a much larger audiophile market are only a matter of time. Now THAT is a nice thought!
Jim Heckman


Wrong: the sound quality was not an issue (records, reel to reel to name just a few were then and are now at the top end of sound quality).

The issue was that in order to achieve the maximum from them one needed some real knowledge (education). For example, the mp3 equivalent of reel to reel is 3ips (or whatever the exact number is) speed. The number of people enjoying tapes recorded at that speed (instead of 7 or 15) was at the same level as is the mp3 crowd today. The quantity vs quality mentality was already in place (it may very well be in the human nature). The CD brought an acceptable level of sound quality for uneducated ears (those that even today they are considering the tape’s natural hiss and the record’s clicks and pops as a bad sound) and the main success factor: commodity!

(Reader of the Internets) #197

Better sound quality than poorly manufactured mass-market cassettes, for sure. But also smaller than LPs, more durable, ostensibly less susceptible to damage, and containing more music per disk than LPs. I think the mass market could not have cared less about the sound quality, and the audiophiles I knew back then never liked it because it had poorer sound quality than properly played vinyl or tape. Reel-to-reel, man, that’s the sound!

Hmmm, I wouldn’t have interpreted it that way.

Incidentally, I’ve been taking an informal and very uneven poll of acquaintances in the SF Bay area. Pretty much eveyone under 50 uses Youtube or Spotify on their iPhone when they want to listen to music. Haven’t run across a Tidal user yet. So is “Youtube” better or worse than MP3?


Finally, man, that’s the spirit (of truth)!

(Reader of the Internets) #199

…sounding the death knell for the likes of the hi-fi system.

On the other hand:

But then read the comments!

(Reader of the Internets) #200

My Reference 450R receiver has 3 analog inputs on the back, labelled “Tape 1”, “Tape 2”, and “Tape 3”. That’s the only thing worth considering circa 1979!