MQA disappointing

(Steven Beckhardt) #685

I don’t disagree that what I described could be called remastering. On the other hand, we make two releases from the exact same master file. One release is bit for bit identical. The other is lossy plus some added information in the form of a filter selection value. The latter release (which we happen to call MQA) is closer to what the microphone heard but is produced from the same master file as the other release. Aren’t we splitting hairs by calling it “remastering”?

(Mark) #686

I don’t think so as in the example you gave you are ascribing DSP-like capabilites to MQA that aren’t in the codec.

(Steven Beckhardt) #687

Fair enough. I’m really just making the point that some people start and end the discussion with the word “lossy” and I think using “lossy” to halt deeper discussion may obscure the reality of what’s going on here. I think there is no doubt that MQA is lossy in the digital domain (i.e. in the codec), but may be adding some information that results in more accurate reproduction by some definitions of “more accurate”. I have no problem viewing this as similar to remastering.

(Jeff) #688

Well it is lossy and DSPed, those are facts. Saying it is closer to the analog sound is pure marketing and subjective opinion, not fact

The discussion ends there. There is no middle ground on it.

(Music and Shawarma Lover) #689

Somehow I expect it won’t.


Neil - you absolutely correct , in that, one cannot debate qualitative observations made when it comes to listening - I respect your position. My opinion is different to yours and could be my sound system, environment, music choice or my ears are vastly different to yours and therefore my conclusion based on my subjective observations is different to your experience. And I am not a audiophile expert or critique, I simply go with what feels good to me in terms of the overall listening experience - no different picking the right cut of steak with what is an appropriate wine that matches - I think adds little or no value debating someone’s view on their listening experience other than accepting and that position respectfully and maybe we all can learn from each other from as to why that could be case - I am a fan of this streaming form via Tidal/ Roon but I am equally open to critique and other forms of music being delivered in the streaming space. But I do agree some MQA versions are equal to non-MQA - I find the differences more pronounced on the older recordings in my system.


First, MQA is not based on psychacoustic modelling like MP3/AAC but it is data reducing DSP modelling. The ADC outputs raw PCM and MQA does it but reducing the amount of data needs to transmit. They do this by putting the first 16 bit from 0-22.05k and 8 bit from 22.05-44.1k. The overall is 24 bit output data but the distribution of dynamic range is just 16 bit in the audio range. The remaining 8 bit together unfolding to MQA core decoder can roughly reconstruct some ultra-sonic components to some accuracy.

The whole process is done on a DSP level where information gets manipulated and changed. You can’t get the exact data out from MQA DAC when compared to the ADC output. It just doesn’t add up, Chris.

As for no music information is being lost, this is hard to access without any form of mathematical modelling because the data has been manipulated and changed so drastically. The only way to access this is through subjective listening but it has its downsides.

(Chris ) #692

So you say, but MQA people disagree and they would know more about this.


No matter how many times you state it’s lossless, MQA is not lossless, it discards content.

(Chris ) #694

Well, we have to disagree on this point.


Correct, that it’s lossy is fact, that it’s lossless is fiction.

(Jeff) #697


They just keep quiet or repeat the same BS marketing. They certainly don’t publicly disagree. That’s very telling to me.

Any legitimate company would put the patents in place and then prove all the sceptics wrong. Instead MQA just slithers in.

(Steven Beckhardt) #698

As I pointed out above, being lossy in the digital domain is not the be all and end all of the discussion. If it loses inaudible information but adds information in the form of correction factors then it may produce a more accurate result.

(Mark) #699

Lossy is OK as long as the acolytes say it’s OK. Welcome to your post-truth world in 2019.


That depends what you mean by lossless and lossy. Words mean different things to different people. Not a very interesting argument in my view. For me it’s about the music.

Topics like these seem mainly a venue for anti MQA people to drone on and on, continuing a campaign. Dull content really.


They don’t have varying definitions to suite the meaning of the messenger. But you’re right, it is rather dull listening to the constant drone of misinformation. Liking the resultant sound is one thing, calling it lossless is quite another. Just stick to the facts and nobody will correct you.

(Jeremy) #702

I think anyone who has even a little knowledge about video and audio compression for consumer digital distribution will know what lossy or lossless means, and the difference.

Since you are all about the music, I suggest you avoid technical discussions that you find dull and focus on those threads discussing music.

(Steven Beckhardt) #703

I think the point being made is, lossy or lossless refers to the codec or the transmission system. Lossless means that the bits that go into the codec (or the digital transmission system) come out exactly the same on the other side.

But the end to end system is never lossless. The analog waves that go into the microphone are not identical to the analog signal coming out of the playback system. Damn close but not identical. And 99% of these type of discussions on audiophile forums focuses on the micro differences between damn close and identical.


Didn’t your mum teach you manners?

(Music and Shawarma Lover) #705

Well, you did say

So I’d call it even.