Provenance and MQA

Just to correct something here; in the case of the Coldplay album it was recorded at 32-bit float/48kHz not 24/48 as has been stated multiple times in this thread.

It was then mastered in the analogue domain and digitised again to 24/96.

Well You are aware that the number of bits only has influence on the dynamic range ? The “Everyday Life” album has a Dynamic range from 3 to 7 in the actual “songs” This Dynamic range is below what a 78 rpm record could muster in 1889 !!! Which means that the 32 bits in this case is just a matter of a standard setting their recording software.

The 48 kHz sampling rate is more interesting as this gives the possibility to record up to 24000 Hz. Not because we can actually hear those frequencies, but because that lets us use a gentler digital filter to keep out unwanted frequencies. But why upsample the signal to 96 kHz when no signal has been captured from 24001 to 48000 Hz (other than the noise from the analogue mixer)?

Just had a thought, how do You save a floating file?

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There is an interesting reply on Provenance at the end of this article.

It’s just advertorial crap.


That doesn’t answer any of the interesting points. So, I don’t agree… Happy New Year.

As has been previously stated, providence is something that MQA is geared towards providing assurances on. Be it for better, or worse…

MQA is not going to guarantee source quality. Provenance does not guarantee source quality.

It’s meant to. And that is what MQA is pushing.

Provenance just tells you the source of the music. Not the quality that source used…

MQA is tying to ‘close the circle’ where providence is concerned, by supposedly guaranteeing transfers from ‘Master Quality Authenticated’ sources.
That’s their supposed USP. So yes, MQA IS claiming to guarantee the quality of source.

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Except there is no guarantee the quality of the masters they are using, is there? Maybe the only master that exists is a copy of a copy. Oops…

Well, that’s what MQA are claiming.
Have you read the thread I’ve signposted? You seem to have a profound misunderstanding of ‘providence’.
Mobile Fidelity take the same approach to MQA in their production of vinyl and CD’s/SACD’s. They guarantee mastering from the original master tapes. Thereby supposedly guaranteeing ‘providence’, in the same way MQA are making this claim for digital.
Whether or not their claims are ‘credible’ is another debate. But taken at face-value, MQA and Mobile Fidelity do indeed provide for ‘providence’.


Jeez, Martin, it’s “provenance”, not “providence”.

Mobile Fidelity sometimes has no choice but to use non-first generation master tapes and uses different nomenclature when they do. You might want to research that a bit before you comment.

I have no trust in MQA because it is not clear what they are doing.

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Yes, I know full-well how Mobile Fidelity market their products, and when their products are mastered from the original master tapes, it clearly states so.

And if you educated yourself on what MQA are doing, you may be able to make informed statements based on judgement, rather than speculative untruths.

Whether or not you ‘trust’ MQA is an irrelevance. What is relevant, is that they provide provenance in the digital chain.

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MQA is only assuring you that they are using the source as provided by the approved source owners. That is not a guarantee that the source owner is giving MQA the best that IT has available.

MQA are relying on source owners to provide the best, but, in no way can they guarantee that is the case.


But that is MQA’s USP - to ‘guarantee’ a digital transfer that is as close to the original master as possible.
I take your point, that MQA is dependent on content providers to endure that they do indeed provide ‘master-quality’ content. But one could argue that MQA is taking provenance more seriously than anyone else at the moment.
Should they be ‘trusted’ in this notion? That’s up for the individual to decide…

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Fundamentally flawed in that it’s lossy from the outset. Additionally, the second a MQA representative’s lips move you know they’re lying.

When the first premise on which you base your value proposition is a lie, there’s no coming back because there is no basis for trust - it’s been irreversibly destroyed. It’s like putting a drug dealer in charge of a rehab program.


Whether or not the MQA stream is lossy, or lossless is irrelevant when considering provenance. And if you believe the claims MQA make, then whether it’s lossy, or lossless doesn’t make any difference, arguably.
I’m not particularly a fan of MQA. I don’t think it has a secure future, and I’m not sure how long it’s going to be around. I’ve streamed it in the past, and I think it sounds good. But I think it’s marketing/promotion is misleading, although it is the only company that seems to be taking provenance seriously.

grasping at audiophiliac straws in a desperate attempt to survive.

Maybe? Time will tell…