MQA Data Falsification Highlighted and Lossless Claims Retracted

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The audio industry is filled with people who will tell you what you should like based upon what they know sounds best. In general, there may not be anything wrong with this. After all, isn’t that, aside from the entertainment value, why we read audiophile magazines? But, there are many areas where disagreements between what you hear and what you are told you should be hearing may naturally arise and discussions can become heated when someone is trying to sell you their product.

Do you prefer the sound of files altered by MQA? If so, you shouldn’t let anyone convince you that MQA isn’t all it’s cracked up to be even if critical analysis of the technology and MQA’s revision of their marketing seems to indicate, to some degree, that may be true. But, until new digital recordings are graded on the amount of “blurring” they contain, and there’s a data-backed analysis of what blurring is and how it’s measured, skepticism may remain.

What might be nice for the audiophile consumer is if there were a rational discussion that addressed the points brought up in these videos. Instead, the response from the industry has been dialogue that resembles something much closer to a political disagreement, and we all know, if you think the 2020 election was stolen, no amount of evidence will convince you otherwise.

GoldenSound (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJ0oW8D5z_IiFc7w46JJEuA) recently uploaded the following videos detailing their analysis of MQA.

I listened to this second (below) YouTube talk all the way through after seeing a link for it in Roon’s regular ([Roon Labs Community] Summary) emailing.
Will MQA and its music industry backing weather this storm of critical analysis? And is this likely to be the last criticism we hear? There was certainly a fair amount of squaking at the beginning of MQA’s introduction, though most of it seemed to be successfully shouted down or ignored, all the while costs to the consumer increased to cover MQAs implementation in a wide array of products and audiophile magazines sold more copy defending and debating the criticisms of MQA. Just remember, you’re being entertained.

Attachments area

Preview YouTube video I published music on Tidal to test MQA – MQA Review

Preview YouTube video MQA Deep Dive Part 2 – MQA’s Response

A deep dive into MQA, and its problems. Testing starts at 5:45
Come chat on discord: https://www.thegoldenone.co.uk
Support me on patreon and join the private telegram chat: https://www.patreon.com/goldensound (or subscribestar) https://www.subscribestar.com/goldens…
How to test MQA’s leaky filter: https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/to…
2018 RMAF MQA talk by Chris Connaker: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSv0l…
Archimago’s MQA article: https://audiophilestyle.com/ca/review…
Neil Young removes albums from TIDAL: https://neilyoungarchives.com/news/1/…
Further reading on MQA: GTO filter analysis: https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/to…
Benchmark Audio’s statement about MQA transient shifting: https://www.theabsolutesound.com/arti…
RealHD stops supporting MQA: https://www.realhd-audio.com/?p=7218
Archimago on transient smearing https://archimago.blogspot.com/2018/0…
Rob Watts on digital filters: https://www.head-fi.org/threads/watts…
Meridian has doctored tests of hi-res in the past: https://audioinvestigations.blogspot….
Filter ringing (with a link to Mans/troll audio) https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/to…
Music aliasing distortion example: https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/to…
Linear phase vs. Minimum phase: https://troll-audio.com/articles/line…
Sox settings to duplicate an MQA filter: https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/to…
JA’s post showing signal aliasing: https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/to…
mansr’s original Dragonfly DAC analysis: https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/to…
Why MQA’s digital filters blur the music: https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/to…
A Survey of Musical Instrument Spectra to 102.4 KHz https://www.cco.caltech.edu/~boyk/spe…
Bob Stuart wanted to censor AS: https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/to…
References in MQA’s response: [1] ‘A Hierarchical Approach for Audio Archive and Distribution’, JAES Volume 67 Issue 5 pp. 258-277; May 2019. http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?e… [2] ‘The Gentle Art of Dithering’, JAES Volume 67 Issue 5 pp. 278-299; May 2019. http://www.aes.org/e‐lib/browse.cfm?e… [3] MQA Q&A Sidebar 1: https://www.stereophile.com/content/m… example‐nielsen‐2l‐120‐track‐1 [4] MQA Q&A Sidebar 2: https://www.stereophile.com/content/m… example‐portland‐state‐chamber‐choir [5] MQA Sidebar 3: https://www.stereophile.com/content/m… portland‐state‐amazing‐grace‐audibility‐analysis [6] Bobtalks: MQA CD https://bobtalks.co.uk/blog/mqaplayba… 0:00
Intro 1:15 – Summary of topics 1:47 – Pre-video clarifications 3:44 – What is MQA? 5:41 – How I got test files encoded in MQA 6:57 – MQA 44.1khz vs Native 44.1khz 8:14 – MQA HiRes vs Native 88.2khz 11:11 – Reduced Dynamic Range 11:47 – Does unfolding work? (Many MQA releases are just upsampled 44.1khz) 12:41 – No Lossless on tidal if track is MQA 13:47 – MQA “Authentication” means nothing 14:30 – MQA Upsampling filter is leaky 15:33 – Filter attenuation analysis 16:54 – HiRes unfolding analysis 18:53 – Full decode analysis 19:54 – Conclusion 21:19 – My Opinion, and testing cables 25:46 – Why are manufacturers supporting MQA? 27:13 – Best way to play MQA files 27:44 – ifi GTO filter is MQA 28:56 – MQA’s response 37:02 – Credits/Thank you
The GoldenSound youtube channel, and all content is created and owned by GoldenSound LTD
San Francisco Audiophile Society

San Francisco Audiophile Society