Hi-Res 24/94 vs Flac vs CD vs Mp3 files download comparison
Aug 8, 2016 at 1:54 AM Post #121 of 147

BartSimpson1976

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Aug 8, 2016 at 3:13 AM Post #122 of 147

gregorio

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  Because although the MQA format is compressed, it's of a completely different codec which still has more bits / resolution than the 88/24khz format

 
No, that's impossible. Firstly, even if MQA did have more bits/resolution, it wouldn't make any difference as we can't get anywhere near using even half the resolution of 24bit anyway! Secondly, if the original recording/mix was 88.2/24, re-encoding it with a different codec, any codec, cannot produce more resolution, at best only exactly the same resolution. Both of these points are irrelevant though, because MQA does not have more bits than 88.2/24, it has less!
 
  Besides from that lossless is lossless and you won't hear a difference whether it is 16/44.1-FLAC, 24/96-FLAC, WAV, ALAC or MQA.

 
That's not necessarily true with MQA, from what I understand. As I understand it so far, MQA doesn't necessarily just compress the data, as do FLAC/ALAC, it can also process the audio itself. Some form of audio compression, EQ and/or other processing is/can be automatically applied and that would effect an audible difference.
 
G
 
Aug 8, 2016 at 8:30 AM Post #123 of 147

Roseval

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What I understand is MQA can do two things:
Lossy compression of Highres recording
Compensating for time-domain errors

 
It compresses Highres audio into a 24 bit / 44.1 or 48 kHz PCM format.
As the result is PCM, it can be treated like any PCM format.
It can be contained in any lossless format like WAV, FLAC, ALAC, etc.


The lossy compression is rather complex.
It is based on the assumption that below -120 dBFS recordings contain random noise.
Compress the part above 44/48 and store this in the bits 20-24.

MQA.jpg


As this space is limited, it is a lossy compression.

As the lower bits are used to store the compressed part, you won’t have the original 24 bit dynamic range.
The result is a 24 /44.1 or 48 kHz PCM audio file.
This can be played on any DAC with any media player.

It is more or less equivalent to a 16/44.1 redbook format (CD quality).
The clever thing is that all what is stored below bit 16 appears as random noise.
 
To expand it to the original sample rate, a decoder is needed.
This can be implemented in software (media player) or in hardware (streamers).

 
The other claim is that MQA can compensate for time-domain errors of both the AD converter used to make the recording and the DA converter used for playback.
This means that a DAC must be equipped with some additional hardware processing the audio and applying a specific algorithm tailor made for this specific DAC.
It implies that for each revision of the DAC, this as to be done anew.

 
The biggest advantage of MQA is probably the substantial compression of Highres.
If you run a streaming audio service like Tidal, Qobuz, etc.  it saves on bandwidth compared with streaming Hires in its original size.

The downside is of course as it is a proprietary protocol; somebody has to pay the license.
In the end of course this will be you.
 
Sep 1, 2016 at 6:14 PM Post #124 of 147

droopy1592

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Oh, the irony of it all.
Vinyl reproduction is only inferior than digital in the area of possibility of having a lower signal to noise ratio. Much of the illnesses you attribute to vinyl is really down to the turntable/arm/cartridge and the phono stage. As far as musicality is concerned, vinyl still reigns supremely.  

Most vinyl has been made from DIGITAL masters for a good long time now. 
 
Sep 2, 2016 at 2:17 AM Post #125 of 147

gregorio

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As the lower bits are used to store the compressed part, you won’t have the original 24 bit dynamic range. The clever thing is that all what is stored below bit 16 appears as random noise.

 
I'm not sure that's really a "clever thing", except maybe in terms of marketing. There is no such thing an original 24bit dynamic range and everything stored below bit 16 is already just noise. In commercial recordings, with no exceptions as far as I'm aware, everything below about bit 10 is just noise.
 
It appears to be quite a clever marketing ploy though. Store in bits 20-24 all that info which in higher sample rates is inaudible, so it makes no audible difference how lossy that info is. And, I can't see how they propose to compensate for supposed time domain errors of converters, particularly of the ADCs used or even if they can, how that would make an audible difference either.
 
G
 
Sep 2, 2016 at 5:29 AM Post #126 of 147

Ancipital

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Oh, the irony of it all.
Vinyl reproduction is only inferior than digital in the area of possibility of having a lower signal to noise ratio. Much of the illnesses you attribute to vinyl is really down to the turntable/arm/cartridge and the phono stage. As far as musicality is concerned, vinyl still reigns supremely.  

 
Ah yes, reigns surpremely (sic), because taking a pristine digital master, forcing it through an RIAA curve, then cutting it to an archaic lossy medium that inherently suffers surface noise, restricted dynamic range and of course, has to have that RIAA curve beaten back out of it, is somehow magically superior to just playing a properly noise-shape dithered 44.1/16 digital file derived from the same source. The world is truly an amazing place!
 
Oct 18, 2016 at 6:12 PM Post #127 of 147

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Some people likes the sound of a RIAA. Probably has to do with what you grew up with. I just recently heard a real to real 1st generation copy of an analog master recording.  It sounded incredible to my ears, but when I was growing up, I also heard a lot of real to real, maybe it is in my DNA
smily_headphones1.gif
 
 
Oct 19, 2016 at 7:19 PM Post #130 of 147

old tech

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Ah yes, reigns surpremely (sic), because taking a pristine digital master, forcing it through an RIAA curve, then cutting it to an archaic lossy medium that inherently suffers surface noise, restricted dynamic range and of course, has to have that RIAA curve beaten back out of it, is somehow magically superior to just playing a properly noise-shape dithered 44.1/16 digital file derived from the same source. The world is truly an amazing place!


Yep, never ceases to amaze me that the "analog" crowd point to the vinyl record as their poster child, rather than reel to reel or the Hi Fi VCR.  It is a bit like a digital audiophile pointing to the MP3 over CD and hi res.
 
Having said that, there is nothing wrong with preferring the sound of vinyl, in particular the character that medium imparts on the sound, but is it better?  Certainly not in any way it can be measured.
 
Oct 20, 2016 at 9:46 AM Post #131 of 147

pinnahertz

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The RIAA curve itself doesn't cause problems because the record curve and play curve are complimentary, the result is flat (assuming both are accurate, which is not always the case). But since the cutting stylus has a maximum velocity based on physical dimensions of it and the groove it's cutting, the combination of that and the RIAA record curve creates a rather non-flat maximum record level which is usually responded to in mastering with peak limiting that follows the maximum level curve.

Rather significant distortions occur in playback because of a list of problems, many grouped into the tracking induced distortion.

HiFi VCRs were HiFi in terms of frequency response only, which was why they were developed over the linear tracks. But the noise in the AFM carrier system mandated a companding noise reduction system, which failed to adequately hide the head switching noise components, limiting the serious application of the technology for any real high fidelity recording. It worked best when there was picture to distract from the sound issues. Some duplication plants used additional dynamics compression in the chain in a failed attempt to hide the noise.
 
Oct 20, 2016 at 9:50 PM Post #132 of 147

old tech

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The RIAA curve itself doesn't cause problems because the record curve and play curve are complimentary, the result is flat (assuming both are accurate, which is not always the case). But since the cutting stylus has a maximum velocity based on physical dimensions of it and the groove it's cutting, the combination of that and the RIAA record curve creates a rather non-flat maximum record level which is usually responded to in mastering with peak limiting that follows the maximum level curve.

Rather significant distortions occur in playback because of a list of problems, many grouped into the tracking induced distortion.

HiFi VCRs were HiFi in terms of frequency response only, which was why they were developed over the linear tracks. But the noise in the AFM carrier system mandated a companding noise reduction system, which failed to adequately hide the head switching noise components, limiting the serious application of the technology for any real high fidelity recording. It worked best when there was picture to distract from the sound issues. Some duplication plants used additional dynamics compression in the chain in a failed attempt to hide the noise.

They also bettered any consumer reel to reel in terms of dynamic range and signal to noise.  I had a couple units back in the early 90s and the only issue I ever encountered was that some tapes recorded on one did not play back as well on another machine.  I used to record CDs to the VCR (using high quality tapes) and would struggle to hear any difference between the recording and the original CD, and that was with a young man's ears.
 
Oct 20, 2016 at 10:23 PM Post #133 of 147

pinnahertz

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  They also bettered any consumer reel to reel in terms of dynamic range and signal to noise.  

That's true for static S/N, but not for dynamic S/N...basically noise that occurs during modulation.  VCR HiFi tracks were actually worse than analog tape in that aspect, but with the right program material you might not notice.  With the wrong stuff it was awful. 
 
Oct 20, 2016 at 10:25 PM Post #134 of 147

pinnahertz

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I had a couple units back in the early 90s and the only issue I ever encountered was that some tapes recorded on one did not play back as well on another machine. 

Basic video tracking was a mess, entrance and exit guide alignment made a huge difference, but even at its best the head switch point created a sort of "click" that modulated with music.  Mistracking made it worse, and at some point the AFM signal couldn't be recovered, the deck would fall back to the linear tracks.
 
Apr 7, 2017 at 7:37 PM Post #135 of 147

christian u

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These sounds interesting;

 
http://www.analog-mastertapes.com/product/carmen-gomes-inc/
 
but it seems that they are still not available.
 
Recorded Live at MCO Hilversum on Sunday November 13 2016

Harry came up with an idea to cover the album ‘Harry Belafonte Sings The Blues’. Frans took the idea to Carmen Gomes Inc. And they started rehersing and playing the album live for a few times. On the 12 and 13th of november we came together to record the album live on tape

The members are fresh and ready for the concert. The warm vocals of Carmen is hitting the tape and there she goes gluing into the bass who’s carying the band, the sometimes dynamic bassdrum opens up the vains that give us the thrills of a ‘yeah!‘ and then the great guitar playing of Folker he’s screamin blues all over us , what a great band coming alive and on tape it is just overwhelming.

 

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