Provenance and MQA

“Digital inside” - I like that. So it works like that: the recording is digitized in let’s say 24/192. Then comes MQA and creates a file that, even in your enlightened opinion, looses some of the information from the original digital file. Then the magic happens: the analog output from MQA does not only contain all the information in the original file but it sounds better. Why stop there? You can digitize this better signal into 24/192, go through this MQA magic again and… it should sound even better.
My question is: if MQA has friends like you, why does it need any enemies?

1 Like

Congratulations, thank you for repeating it here without even putting any effort to understand it.


Exactly. And I said some people think that’s more important than listening to good music. I don’t.

… unless that processing corrects for known defects in the analogue to digital conversion chain, in which case you may have different bits, but they are a better representation of the original signal from the mic preamp…

Could you bring yourself to concede that this might even be a good idea?

(and I’m making no claims that mqa succeeds in achieving this… )

Fair enough. But provenance might help you find that good music…

Reminds me of the time when I was a freshman in college and sent my girlfriend (now wife of 51 years) a letter I typed. She got mad because it wasn’t handwritten.

1 Like

Yep. I guess that’s a provenance issue…

But, I didn’t even type it in MQA, but I did fold it a couple times to put in the envelope for mailing.

1 Like

From a purely practical point of view…

I think there are seven versions of Sketches of Spain on Tidal - do I have to listen to all of them to decide which is best?

(Yeah, I know, the answer is ‘yes’… )


Perhaps you would like to help me understand what you think I don’t know?

1 Like

Oh so you are saying that no analog recording can sound exactly right until we digitize it, and then apply the MQA magic by manipulating, first removing, original samples, and then playing it using MQA DAC.
It is a splendid idea, but does it sound reasonable to you?
You understand that it can be done in a repetitive way, each time improving on the quality of analog recording. Does that sound reasonable to you as well?
Well if you can believe that I rest my case

Err… no?

And I’m sure you know that’s not what I said.

1 Like

And this statement is incorrect; you simply don’t know what people think. Music is paramount.

When I walk into the National Gallery I soak up the art. I’ll hone in on a piece that connects with me on that occasions and I want to know more about it. Is it the “original” or an earlier study or copy? Then I look at the work more closely; I like to see how the artist used the medium.

Take the Hay Wain. I prefer an earlier study by Constable that may be seen at the V&A.

Provenance isn’t only about the media. It’s about the presentation and the history, and the contextual and circumstantial information of the original.

1 Like

I just found two Blackie and the Rodeo Kings singles in MQA studio, having met Stephen Fearing of the band and seen him perform twice in the home of Roy Gandy (Founder of Rega and a truly analog man)
I’ll trust the provenance here whilst appreciating the irony with delight.

The upshot is, they sound great to my ears :joy:

Unfortunately many on this thread have devolved the topic into the technical intricacies of analog and digital systems, or their passionate aversion/love for specific formats, etc. But the provenance that really matters, as @Martin_Webster has tried to point out in several posts, is not about that and more about understanding the origin and context of the music which really should be treated for what it is: art. And once you’ve heard music that you found uplifting, engrossing, or simply wonderful wouldn’t you be interested in knowing how to find it again? Also, knowing a bit more about the origin, the artists involved,and the production process might let you find other music that was created in a similar way or by the same artists. Wouldn’t this be a better path for discovery of more great music? That’s what provenance is about in my book and what I hope we can focus on this thread.


What makes you think you need MQA for that? Why not extend the metadata to include this information, and use keyless digital authentication of a file?


Agreed. But, that is not what MQA’s provenance means. All the blue light means is that MQA,can guarantee that they have processed the files given to them by Source Owner ( or Artist) and were told by Source Owner (or Artist) that they were told that it was the best “mastering” available. (Although once again “best mastering” is debatable, in corporate speak it means “the latest version they are trying to sell”).

Really, that actually doesn’t provide the information I seek. Now, whether MQA has additional info and doesn’t present it, is a different question; which is the one I think Danny was originally speaking towards.


I agree too …

I’m interested in what may be possible and how Roon could present the information we seek.

1 Like

You don’t. And I don’t think anyone is claiming that you do.

Why not indeed. But who is going to do it? And would you trust them?

As @Rugby and @Martin_Webster remind us, Roon and MQA might yet be able to present useful information. I look forward to it…