Newbie's Thoughts on MQA Discussion

A possibly uninformed addition to the ongoing debates about MQA blue light/green light differences. If it is just another repetition of previous posts, please accept my apologies and skip over it.

Once more unto the breach:

Even non-re-mastered green light MQA files benefit from reduced file size with quality that is virtually indistinguishable on non-MQA playback systems from non-MQA versions. If played back on MQA-licensed hardware they still offer increased fidelity by hardware/software reduction of “time smearing.” They obviously cannot just add musical information that was not on the original recording.

But the lossy/lossless debate in connection with MQA “Studio” recordings seems to me to miss the mark. The central frequency range of human hearing is recorded as undisturbed lossless (with the caveat that all recorded/played back audio is “disturbed” by the nature of electronic playback systems).

“Equalizing” recorded music to match studio settings in the recording system is highly desirable, and, to the extent MQA accomplishes this, I think it is a feature, not a bug. Audio signals must transit so many technical frontiers to reach listeners, that I think what MQA does is not adding noise to a pristine audio signal, but is an attempt to restore some degree of integrity to the signal.

To the e extent this is true, MQA is just doing what every recording system must do – it is using electrical engineering techniques to move the musical signal from process to process: microphones, tape heads, mixing tables, pre-amps, amps, mechanical and electronic devices, transmission devices, wired and wireless transmission on home systems, and then, after all that, moving the result through all the remaining home devices that “purify” the signal with additional noise “mitigation” and then further move it through our listening environment to be again processed by our highly individual/non-standard biological apparatus.

When I bought my subwoofer I asked the manufacturer if their internal amp was of the same quality as my integrated amp, they told me the subwoofer’s principal need is air-moving power, and that internal subwoofer amplifier requirements were less demanding considering the limited frequency range of the sub.

In my mind, this raised the seemingly unrelated question of whether there was any reason to get a second subwoofer since deep bass was non- (or omni-) directional. The answer to that question might have application by analogy to the value of MQA’s “lossy” signal of folded bass.

As with dark energy and dark matter, we lack the facility to directly observe the thing itself. But we can detect – to our benefit – the effects of dual subwoofers through the resonance and interference of their output.

MQA’s folded (and lossy) musical information is not, IMHO adding artificial noise to the musical signal, it is just an effort to return some integrity to the already highly processed music we are aiming to hear.



Oh Gene, you’ve opened up a can of worms :upside_down_face: Run a search on here and you will find endless regurgitation of this topic.

Oops - thanks, Raj