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In Reply to: RE: Although the article itself contains at least one patently absurd statement ... posted by John Atkinson on April 06, 2017 at 04:22:26
So, here we go again...
Mark Waldrep was another, who I mentioned in the article.
That said, "To my personal knowledge" and stuff like that doesn't guarantee they were.
I talked to many manufacturers about this and could no find one that could get proper A/B demo material to assess whether or not MQA is doing what they claim. Rich Maez, of Boulder Amps, said this publicly on Facebook the other week. He also added that they could tell that when there were A/B demos done (not for them, but elsewhere), they weren't likely using the same masters. When I talked to various DAC designers -- about a dozen now -- about MQA's apparent unwillingness to supply such material, that's where they became suspicious too. Just go talk to John Siau at Benchmark -- he's not afraid to talk about it. In fact, he's written about it. Bryston's James Tanner is not a designer, but he's followed this closely -- ask him if he can get proper comparison material.
I've talked to your own Jim Austin about this, mostly online, but also in person, and I've always gotten the impression that he was never supplied such material. I could be wrong -- but please go check since you added his name. But he's never mention to me that he's had A/B files sourced from the same masters.
As for the rest, I haven't found a single writer, other than you, who had material that they could guarantee was from the same master. Now, again, I could be wrong and perhaps there is someone out there; but everything I've found was in comparison to CD, some high-res release, etc. -- but no one could tell me that the MQA file and whatever they were comparing it to were from the exact same sources. Look at that article from CES 2016 on your site -- Michael Fremer talked about the MQA sound of a track in comparison to some CD. What the heck is that? The only other exception is that 2L has made some recordings in multiple formats, so perhaps those were what was used. But, please, show me the TRUE comparisons with verified source material.
The exception is, of course, you, which is why I referenced your experiment in my article. It was the first time I'd seen that -- and it's what should've been done long, long ago.
I have done a lot of comparisons at the 2L site.
What I can say is that the MQA files sound as good as the 24/192 files which is quite an accomplishment. And you are comparing the same Masters on this site
It doesn't surprise me that much that they're getting it to sound indistinguishable. They have a pretty clever compression algorithm that packs a high-res file into a very small one. On the other hand, does it matter? I mean, why do we need to save the space? For streaming over a phone, yes, perhaps -- for now. But for the home -- not me.
More important is what I was reading from numerous writers -- that, sonically, this is far beyond anything we've heard before. Is it? Compressing a file to much smaller and having it be sonically indistinguishable from its larger-sized counterpart doesn't seem like anything that I should be running out to buy.
If MQA sounds "as good" as the 24/192 files, then remind me again why need it? Why is sounding as good "an accomplishment"?
They press hype machine has stated unequivocally it sounds BETTER.
What exactly does MQA bring to the table that an OPEN codec like FLAC does not?
Even if we buy into the ridiculous claim that MQA fixes issues with the ADC AFTER the fact, 2L recordings are purist, with minimal if any post production, unlike the vast majority of commercially available music, which can use up to ten ADC's in the project.
To get 24/192 files you have to buy downloads which are not cheap. I can now get them from Tidal which I was already paying for and using a Meridian Explorer dac I got for $199. . That is an accomplishment
You can't have your cake an eat it too, sorry.
If you believe the MQA files on Tidal are the equal of the original approved 24/192 files, then so be it.
I can tell you first hand they are not.
We all like to think we are getting the keys to the kingdom for $20 a month.
Your opinion. Not mine
By the whey, I understand you work for UMG. Is this true? How come UMG is going to supply MQA files to Tidal?
Ka-Ching. To extract every last dollar from early adapters.
That way I can buy another Ferrari next year. :)
Maybe you're the one who should lose his job.
Pretty funny from someone who got shit canned from TAS and told they were
not good enough by John Atkinson!
Have a great day.
I actually left TAS on my own volition when Robert Harley informed me, that after 10 years of writing for TAS, I would now have to find my own equipment to review. I never contacted him again after that, nor did he contact me. I had already been feeling the rumbles of discontent by one of the big buck advertisers who run the show over there, so I should not have been surprised. Pretty easy to guess the identity of the big buck advertiser I am referring to. Starts with an M.
As for John Atkinson, he's entitled to his opinion. I disagree of course, but give him credit for being honest about how he feels.
I have family living on the west coast and will be headed that way this summer. Are you anywhere near Thousand Oaks?
Can't possibly guess who that advertiser was/is...hmmm
Well, I appreciate your openness.
Sure, everyone is entitled to their opinion. But I think, (in other words, in MY opinion) there is no way he thought your writing was sub par, it was strictly cronyism.
I live near Hollywood. This summer I will be logging the miles between the U.K. and New York. If someone does not blow up an airport that is.
Actually, I don't give him credit for that. Lots of credit for other things, but not that. There was no call for him posting his thoughts about that on a public forum.
I've grown a much thicker skin since that email exchange and it really doesn't bother me anymore. Besides, I'm the one who brought it up again years later and JA had the right to defend himself and let the inmates decide for themselves.
> That said, "To my personal knowledge" and stuff like that doesn't
> guarantee they were.
I am not saying anything other than the poster's statement that that I was
the only one who had been given authenticated files for comparison purposes
> I've talked to your own Jim Austin about this, mostly online, but also in
> person, and I've always gotten the impression that he was never supplied
> such material.
As well as the comparison material sourced from MQA, I gave Jim the original
recordings of mine along with the MQA versions.
> > As well as the comparison material sourced from MQA, I gave Jim the original
recordings of mine along with the MQA versions. < <
This is correct. It's true I didn't mention it to Doug.
I would certainly assume (at least hope) that they provided comparative demo material to more than only you.
However, if they are providing demo material, it's to way too few. Not a single manufacturer I talked to got that kind of material-- which made them all very suspicious. In fact, when I brought this up with Benchmark's John Siau, he replied, "That should tell you all you need to know."
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