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John Atkinson reviews the Chord DAVE (it's already online) and faults it for not offering MQA.
Chord's approach is incompatible with MQA.
This exposes the evil of MQA. If MQA becomes a standard, other approaches are cut off, including those that can improve the sound of the redbook CDs and high rez files a person already owns.
Nice try, Chord. But you can't include MQA. (The Byrston BDA-3 was given the same finger wag...nearly 9 months ago, that reviewer was "disappointed" that Bryston did not buy in to MQA..what a farce..)
Is Chord supposed to toss aside more than two decades of their own digital development and pay royalties to Bob Stuart?
From what I hear --DIRECTLY--, based on a recent trip to Europe, manufacturers are seething over Stereophile's shilling for MQA. That includes several noteworthy British manufacturers.
Why is MQA mentioned no less than half a dozen times in a review of a DAC that will decode 99.999999999% of all digital music out there?
Edits: 05/22/17Follow Ups:
The main and biggest flaw is the fact it is 'proprietary'.
The reason Cd succeeded was it had international standards, and everyone agreed to it from day one.
HDCD was a fail (I own a DAC with HDCD, and maybe five HDCD discs. LOL)
SACD was a fail (Sony COULD have just made every single CD in their entire catalog dual CD/SACD. Did they. no. FAIL FAIL FAIL.)
MQA is also a fail.
Until some fool makes something better that is also an international standard most folks agree upon.. all these stopgaps and pigs in a poke are gonna go belly up PERIOD.
Please though, waste your money on them... Maybe someday someone will actually succeed
CD succeeded because the masses could easily see that it was demonstrably different. The masses respond to paradigm shifts, not incremental changes. Think 78-> LP; Tube-> SS; LP-> cassette; VHS-> DVD; TV box-> flat panel.
Everything else represents differences at the margin of demand, not wholesale changes in the medium or product area.
MQA will likely fail, or remain on the periphery of the market because it is proprietary (as you correctly point out), and its benefit(s) may or may not be real. In fact we don't really know anything about it except that the process manipulates digital data, and you have to pay to play.....and it may provide more content control in a streaming world.
We must continue to wonder why the audiophile press has not in any way addressed the issues you brought up. Not ONCE.
> John Atkinson reviews the Chord DAVE (it's already online) and faults it
> for not offering MQA.
I think you missed the word "if" in what I wrote: "There are two unanswered
questions, however...The other concerns MQA. If that format gains in
acceptance, then the DAVE will never be able to get the best from it:
MQA's and Rob Watts's ideas on filter design are incompatible."
> Is Chord supposed to toss aside more than two decades of their own
> digital development and pay royalties to Bob Stuart?
If there is a pull from the market for MQA, then Chord will have to make
a decision. But as MQA-compatible processors from Mytek and Meridian
offer a choice between the MQA filter and one or more conventional filters
for playback of non-MQA recordings, that is a strategy they could explore.
> Why is MQA mentioned no less than half a dozen times in a review of a
> DAC that will decode 99.999999999% of all digital music out there?
My primary reference for the Chord review was the MQA-enabled Meridian
UltraDAC that I had reviewed in the previous issue. I thought it relevant,
therefore, to compare the sound of the Chord decoding MQA files streamed
from Tidal with the app doing the first unfold to PCM with the Meridian
doing the complete MQA unfolding.
I may be hallucinating, but didn't you buy the PS Audio DirectStream DAC?
If so, it would boggle the mind why that would not be used as a comparison reference....
Nope, it seems I still still cling to some semblance of reality:
"I had purchased our original review sample of this processor following Art Dudley's favorable review in September 2014, and I had upgraded it, in the summer of 2015, to the Yale operating system, which I prefer to the earlier Pikes Peak and v.1.2.1 versions."
Read more at https://www.stereophile.com/content/ps-audio-perfectwave-directstream-da-processor-more-torreys#LY467jYxs2fd4x8e.99
Hmmm.... that would have been a more fair comparison (PS Audio vs Chord) based on cost and formats.
I am betting the Meridian DAC will be a long term loan/reference, so that MQA gets to be mentioned in every DAC review for the near future.
Chord will not have to make any decisions about MQA. Just like Schiit audio made no concessions to DSD and most of their DAC models are back ordered.
Judging digital components based on unicorn "formats" is absurd.
Still waiting for the DSD downloads.
You're not trying very hard...!
680 DSD64 downloads on superhirez.com, the largest vendor. Under 200 rock and pop.
680 since the "big announcement" in 2013.
For esoteric genres there is more available elsewhere, and they are expensive.
Pretty much all classical and supposedly sourced from DSD masters (not converted).
Not that I have any skin in the DSD game as my Multi-Bit DAC doesn't do DSD.
0.001% of available content. ;)
THAT'S the question. ;-)
I know very well that there are probably several thousand classical DSD downloads available..vintage analog converted, and numerous pure direct to DSD recordings.
Classical music is less than 1% of the music market. Unless you have a significant number of popular titles, a revolution it does not make.
I posted numerous times before that if you listen mainly to classical and esoteric genres, you will have lots of DSD albums to play as long as you are willing to spend a lot of money.
One issue with MQA is that its use mandates that all DACs use the MQA digital filter. This would lead to all DACs using this filter to sound more and more similar to each other.
If the MQA digital filter is the very best in the known universe, many might consider this to be a good thing. To those who have developed their own custom digital filters, this might be a reason not to use MQA.
As usual, all postings reflect strictly my own opinions and not necessarily those of my employer, siblings, or competitors.
"To those who have developed their own custom digital filters, this might be a reason not to use MQA."
As usual, ultra diplomatic!
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