MQA from Meridian
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pwiles1968

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This is interesting, the thread started by bigshot was locked in the science forum for being in the wrong area, hope this is a more appropriate area -
 http://www.musicischanging.com/#homePage
 
A series of daily articles here -
http://www.realhd-audio.com/?p=3843
 http://www.realhd-audio.com/?p=3851
http://www.realhd-audio.com/?p=3857
http://www.realhd-audio.com/?p=3861
 
A couple of interesting quotes from the articles not my quotes but thought they may be helpful.
 
"Another critically important factor (and one that I’ve failed to acknowledge in previous posts) is the resolution of human hearing in the time domain. There is new information that accuracy in the time domain is multiple times more important than the frequency domain. I’m not sure where the cutoff is for this level of accuracy but I’ve read and heard that 5 to 10 microseconds is the range. This requires a sampling rate of 192 kHz…according to this new information 96 kHz/24-bits is not sufficient."
 
" as important as this new technology is…it doesn’t make any changes to the original signal. It’s doesn’t reveal any additional nuances or fidelity in the original recording"


"you decide whether this new methodology is a codec or not.


But it very certainly is a technique for maintaining the benefits of high sample rate audio within a much smaller container. And the container can be a traditional PCM or FLAC file infused with metadata that allows for the expansion of the smaller file back to the original 192 kHz source file…the decoding side of the process.

Just how this works and the magnitude of improvement in terms of bandwidth and storage capacity is described in the AES paper, “A Hierarchical Approach to Archiving and Distribution”"

 
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lamode

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This is just another lossless compression format. Hardly a revolution.
 
From the first RealHD link:
The masses can’t tell the difference between a good quality MP3 files (at 320 kbps) and a CD, so I don’t understand what the fuss is about. The world doesn’t really need 25 million CD rips streaming to your home system or portable device. What we really need is better sounding recordings in any format.
 
Exactly! And no-one can tell the difference between CD and higher resolution formats in a double-blind test, not even under ideal conditions. The world absolutely does not need a better format, we need better recordings! Most modern recordings are so awful that even CD quality is wasted on them.
 
And that promo video on the Meridian website was a joke. Just a lot of people at Meridian saying how great Meridian is...  It looked like guests were listening to high quality recordings on high-end headphones like Audeze LCD-X or some electrostatics. The looks of wonder were probably about the recording and the headphone sound quality, which is beyond what most people have ever heard. There would have been the same reaction if people had listened to the same music and headphones but on CD.... because there would have been no audible difference.
 

 
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CES 2015: Tidal to launch high-res streaming service using Meridian MQA
 
http://www.whathifi.com/news/ces-2015-tidal-to-launch-high-res-streaming-service-using-meridian-mqa
 
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pwiles1968

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On and off I hear some very High end audio and while it is good it is rare that I hear a setup that really fo WoW, I have listened to and MQA enabled Meridian system on several occasions and every time it has wowed me, and for me that is enough, we will see how well this is adopted by other companies, but it looks like a lot of manufacturers are already interested pi putting this in to their electronics, and as the Tidal announcement shows the music side has already started adopting this.
 
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That's quite promising and I hope that could be more or less like Crystal Disc for the masses
 
http://www.crystaldisc.jp/eng.html
 
http://www.jvcmusic.co.jp/flair/e/k2hd/k2hd_plus.html
 
http://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/the-2000-cd-made-from-glass-1
 

 
We just didn't really have the toys to show off the true potential of plain old Red Book format IMHO
 
http://www.head-fi.org/t/730313/new-nagra-hd-dac/60#post_11131227
 
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  On and off I hear some very High end audio and while it is good it is rare that I hear a setup that really fo WoW, I have listened to and MQA enabled Meridian system on several occasions and every time it has wowed me, and for me that is enough, we will see how well this is adopted by other companies, but it looks like a lot of manufacturers are already interested pi putting this in to their electronics, and as the Tidal announcement shows the music side has already started adopting this.
 
Almost certainly because of the quality of the recordings, not the resolution of MQA
 
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Almost certainly because of the quality of the recordings, not the resolution of MQA
 
This is what it's all about, IMO.
 
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pwiles1968

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Almost certainly because of the quality of the recordings, not the resolution of MQA

That is possible but I don't know anyone that plays poor quality recordings at demos.

This is one where time and wider access to the technology will tell.
 
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FYI - some impressions from Mark Waldrep and Mark Henninger below
 
http://www.realhd-audio.com/?p=4033
 
http://www.avsforum.com/forum/173-2-channel-audio/1844737-revisiting-meridian-mqa-ces-2015-a.html
 
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Just to re-iterate - MQA is just a lossless compression algorithm. It has no sound of its own, just as a FLAC file sounds identical to a WAV file.
The only advantage of MQA is that you can stream high-res audio much more easily online (or use less hard disk storage to store your library).
But as no-one on earth can hear a difference between CD and high-res, this is also moot.
These companies are grasping at straws to get people to open their wallets, and 24/192 is only of the best examples of marketing type (e.g. Pono)
 
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This is a great way to stream HQ audio without an associated bandwidth penalty. Personally I love the ingenuity of thought that went into this. By default the increase to 24-bit is already going to yield a nice improvement. Whether you can experience or hear anything depends on the individual, but if your system is capable at least the information is there.
 
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Stereophile seems to like it.
 
http://www.stereophile.com/content/meridians-mqa-one-listeners-impression
 
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A couple of interesting quotes from the articles not my quotes but thought they may be helpful.
 
"Another critically important factor (and one that I’ve failed to acknowledge in previous posts) is the resolution of human hearing in the time domain. There is new information that accuracy in the time domain is multiple times more important than the frequency domain. I’m not sure where the cutoff is for this level of accuracy but I’ve read and heard that 5 to 10 microseconds is the range. This requires a sampling rate of 192 kHz…according to this new information 96 kHz/24-bits is not sufficient."
 
 
I've never understood the contradictory logic here. The only thing that 192kHz is adding over 44.1kHz is extra frequencies beyond 22kHz, and I have yet to find people who can (with their ears at least) discern tones above 20kHz. So if people can hear these magic time-domain artifacts in the 5μs range, then they should be able to hear these higher frequencies in 192kHz files; but they don't! And it's not like there's some magic 3rd parameter* in a PCM specification: you can only change the bit-depth and sampling rate.
 
*ignoring things like endianess and error-checking
 
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I've never understood the contradictory logic here. The only thing that 192kHz is adding over 44.1kHz is extra frequencies beyond 22kHz, and I have yet to find people who can (with their ears at least) discern tones above 20kHz. So if people can hear these magic time-domain artifacts in the 5μs range, then they should be able to hear these higher frequencies in 192kHz files; but they don't! And it's not like there's some magic 3rd parameter* in a PCM specification: you can only change the bit-depth and sampling rate.
 
*ignoring things like endianess and error-checking
 
That is what I find great about MQA, even if you don't want the high end decoding you still as a minimum get 24-bit and 48KHz which already a nice improvement in resolution over standard redbook. The rest is encoded in the noise floor.
 
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That is what I find great about MQA, even if you don't want the high end decoding you still as a minimum get 24-bit and 48KHz which already a nice improvement in resolution over standard redbook. The rest is encoded in the noise floor.
 
It's not an audible improvement, though. 48kHz gets you less than 1 whole note above 44.1, and you already can't hear the upper tones it can provide. 24bits is nice if I want to do processing on the file, but for listening it has no benefit over 16bits. And still, the stuff about time vs. frequency domain still sounds like made up stuff for marketing. But yes, if you believe in hi-res then of course you'll want the slimmest possible delivery.
 
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