A+ Technology in Daniel Hertz's Master Class software and future of highend audio

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by windowsx, Jan 19, 2017.
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  1. WindowsX
    Yesterday I had lunch with Mr. Mark Levison. Now he found his forth company after Mark Levison, Cello, and Red Rose Music. What piqued my interest is his A+ algorithm in Master Class software. It seems to be remastering tool using applied technology from Cello Audio Palette. You can read more about A+ technology and test with sample files from website below.
    He claimed it will improve sound quality by filling the gap between digital block with the original data for more analog sound. It sounds like dithering to me but his engineer told me it's not dithering. I wonder how A+ works and will it provide any benefit measurable with scientific data.
    I also discussed with his engineer about Master Class software and its potential to bring A+ technology into other platforms and possibly DAC/Network Player. Companies like Weiss and Meridian also started to promote digital filter features in their products like DAC501 and MQA. I wonder if future of highend audio will revolve around digital filter from audio mastering solutions to consumer audio products.
    ev13wt likes this.
  2. bfreedma
    This is the second sentence on the page you linked to:
    "For the first time in audio history, listeners can have the sound and feeling of SACD and the best analog master tapes from PCM digital sources including CD and compressed music downloads"
    I stopped there, though I did take a quick scan to see if they had any validation of that claim.  Didn't see any tests indicating that it's possible to differentiate between the same master on CD and SACD, so don't see the point other than a good EQ solution (nothing wrong with that).  I can achieve that for far less than the $650 for Master Class though.
    I wonder what an SACD "feels like"....?
    chaos215bar2 likes this.
  3. WindowsX
    You can get used Emm Labs SACD Player and hear how authentic SACD sounds like. You can insert hybrid CD/SACD disc and use mode switch to compare between CD/SACD. Models like CDSA is around $2-3k which isn't as expensive as before.
  4. bfreedma

    You missed my point. I've had multiple players capable of playing SACD since a few years after they became commercially available and have a moderate collection of SACDs, mostly bought because of the 5.1 content.

    Assuming the same master and same number of discreet channels, I've never felt anything different regardless of the format of the shiny disc.

    Am I supposed to feel warm and tingly with SACD and cold and numb from a CD? Happy with one and morose with the other?
  5. WindowsX
    For your information, Emm Labs is one of early adopters of DSD with collaboration from EMI. I don't know which SACD players you have but Emm Labs is the only SACD player I trust. I compared between CD/SACD layer in hybrid disc and result was clear to me. Though this point is a bit off-topic with A+ feature itself.
  6. watchnerd
    I can't even parse that sentence.  It's not even comprehensible English.
  7. watchnerd
    What gap?
    Redbook PCM can perfectly reproduce an analog waveform that lies within its Nyquist range.
  8. watchnerd
    So it's a $600 software-based 6-band equalizer.
    Why is this exciting?  Or even good?
    Avid ProTools includes full PEQ which goes waaaay beyond this in terms of capabilties.
  9. WindowsX

    That's what he claimed. I'm just posting to see opinions.
    Well, his Cello Audio Palette used to cost $6500 so 10 times cheaper software solutions may appeal to some old Cello fans.
  10. watchnerd
    Why don't you ask the maker?
  11. castleofargh Contributor

    can't find any evidence of anything on the link. the weird description made me think of oversampling with a twist but even that I can't say for sure.
    instructions about SACD and PCM unclear I ripped my hard disc http://img-9gag-fun.9cache.com/photo/ajqQ98x_460sv.mp4
    so as always when we have a lot of nothing mixed into nothing, assume null hypothesis: it doesn't improve anything.
    and wait for evidence to disprove the null hypothesis.
  12. WindowsX
    I did ask the engineer who is the maker. Read the first post again.
    Thank you. How about evaluating sample files? It should be possible to download individual files for measurements.
  13. watchnerd
    Then why are you asking us?
  14. gregorio
    1. No it doesn't, it seems to be a 6 band graphic equaliser.
    2. He claims "Master Class also offers A+, an algorithm that fills in the spaces of the PCM step function waveform to obtain a more analog-like listening experience from all PCM digital audio formats." - A. This is of course complete nonsense as PCM does not have a "step function"! B. There are times when "analog-like" distortions are desirable (tape saturation, etc.). Of course other times, that's about the last thing which is desired! Processors which model analog distortions have been commercially available for about 15 years or so, so nothing innovative about that.
    3. Why on earth would that sound like dithering to you? Again, it sounds like a 6 band graphic equaliser with maybe some analog tape modelling. However there's no mention or indication there's anything as sophisticated as analog modelling going on, just simple 6 band graphic EQ.
    4. Why do you wonder if commercial digital audio will revolve around the same things it's always revolved around?
    Instead of just trolling a silly audiophile product, why not at very least compare it with similar products. For example, let's take the TDR Nova: The 110dB dynamic range of the A+ is far poorer than the 144dB dynamic range of TDR Nova. 6 bands of graphic EQ with the A+, the Nova has 4 bands of fully parametric EQ plus 2 filter bands. A+ has unlimited presets, so does the Nova. The Nova parallel processes each band, which eliminates any crossover distortion/issues, the A+ can't. The Nova has switchable, configurable dynamic processing for each PEQ band, the A+, nada. The Nova is available in different coding formats and for different platforms, the A+ is mac only. So, the Nova is far superior to the A+ in every respect except one, where it's identical. And lastly, the A+ is $600 and the Nova is $0, completely free!!
    The Levinson marketing material is packed full of lies and mis-information, he can't even get the history of EQ right! How is it possible you didn't notice ANY of this? All the time you've spent in this science forum and you seem just as ignorant of digital audio and just as gullible and susceptible to marketing BS as when you started. How is that even possible? Is there any possible conclusion other than that you're trolling?
  15. WindowsX
    Because he doesn't answer with real technical information. So I hope to find some clues here.
    I believe A+ and EQ are separated features. But it could be some sort of equalization with A+. The engineer told me A+ will fill the "original data" into sample to make the block closer to perfect sine wave. I think his explanation is similar to dithering where you fill noise to improve sine wave form.
    Your explanation is interesting. I'll give more time to read in details later. Thanks.
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