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Andres Koch Slams MQA as A Money Grab and a Fraud

198.7.58.101

Posted on March 17, 2017 at 14:17:53
Isaak J. Garvey
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Posts: 914
Location: Hollywod, CA
Joined: January 7, 2016
Andreas Koch, one of the architects of modern digital, with a resume that most can dream of, says MQA is totally and utterly uneccesary, a marketing scam, and technically a fraud.

"...the new format has to be proprietary and patentable so royalties can be collected. After all that is the entire reason to do it-selfish greed. As we have seen above, there is no other good reason, no customer benefit."

Stereophile, the ultimate MQA cheerleader has lost all credibility in that it has not reported how HighResAudio.com of Germany, Jriver, and other players in the industry have rejected it, and pointed out it's obvious issues. Shameful.

And by the way, if you have any doubts about Mr. Koch, this is what Stereophile wrote about him:

"Koch's pedigree in the field of digital audio is long and impressive: working for Studer ReVox in 1982, he designed and built the world's first fully asynchronous digital audio sample-rate converter. He then designed one of the first digital audio filter banks-512 paralleled filters were employed to reduce, in the digital domain, noise in vintage recordings.

Koch then worked for Dolby Labs, where, in 1985, he built the encoder/decoder DSP system used in Dolby's first professional digital audio product, the AC-1 encoder and decoder used for TV audio transmission. In 1986 he built the hardware for the first version of what would become Dolby Digital compressed audio (originally AC-3), the default sound format of both DVD-Video and DVD-Audio formats.

Back at Studer in 1987, Koch oversaw there the development of a 48-track, 1/2" digital tape-recording format and, later, a PC-based hard-disk digital recorder. Back in the US but still working for Studer, Koch managed an engineering team that developed and launched, in 1992, Dyaxis-the hard-disk-based digital audio editing system.

In 1997, now working for Sony, Koch managed an engineering team that developed Sonoma, the world's first eight-channel system for recording, mixing, and editing in DSD, and now used in the production and postproduction of most SACD releases. Koch designed the digital components in the A/D and D/A converters used in the Sonoma, then expanded them to a single-PC, 32-channel DSD system.

Koch became an independent contract engineer in 2003, and spent the next four years designing all of the highly regarded digital audio products, both professional and consumer, for Ed Meitner's EMM Labs. In that capacity, he invented new algorithms for sample-rate conversion, a discrete D/A converter, and new digital clock-management architecture.

On ending his relationship with EMM, Koch established Playback Designs with Blue Light Audio's Jonathan Tinn, who, aside from distributing various high-performance audio lines, was EMM's vice-president of global sales and marketing. Blue Light distributes Playback gear in the US."

Michael Fremer: http://www.stereophile.com/hirezplayers/playback_designs_mps-5_sacdcd_player/#VVPtoBcEeZZg3iIJ.97

 

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RE: Andres Koch Slams MQA as A Money Grab and a Fraud, posted on March 17, 2017 at 17:34:18
Des
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Contributor
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August 2, 2000

I'd seriously avoid anything with Meridian attached to it--worst Digital experience I've ever heard.

Go Andres!

D

 

RE: Andres Koch Slams MQA as A Money Grab and a Fraud, posted on March 17, 2017 at 17:52:25
Isaak J. Garvey
Industry Professional

Posts: 914
Location: Hollywod, CA
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A local dealer, and one I know in New York, have a stack of Meridian gear dating back to 2004 they can't sell, even for pennies on the dollar. I mean stacked to the ceiling.

 

Really? Which dealers?, posted on March 17, 2017 at 18:18:21
4everyoung
Reviewer

Posts: 670
Joined: October 14, 2014
I'd love to get my hands on one of their flagship 808 players, any version. Sure would beat the pants off what I'm using now.

 

RE: Really? Which dealers?, posted on March 17, 2017 at 18:25:51
Isaak J. Garvey
Industry Professional

Posts: 914
Location: Hollywod, CA
Joined: January 7, 2016
There are a slew of excellent players at a fraction of the price that would match or beat the 808 with out breaking a sweat. Brand lust is wors than soiling a speaker. :)

 

How about a dealer name to back up your claims?, posted on March 17, 2017 at 18:54:12
4everyoung
Reviewer

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I'd call you a blowhard but that wouldn't be very nice :)

 

And I'm guessing after reading the second paragraph..., posted on March 17, 2017 at 18:57:02
Ivan303
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that NONE of the technology which he developed or worked on throughout his long career was EVER patented or licensed.

Just guessing here.






 

:-) /n, posted on March 17, 2017 at 18:58:32
Ivan303
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n



 

RE: And I'm guessing after reading the second paragraph..., posted on March 17, 2017 at 19:06:07
Isaak J. Garvey
Industry Professional

Posts: 914
Location: Hollywod, CA
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Your point? I'm going to guess there IS none.

 

RE: How about a dealer name to back up your claims?, posted on March 17, 2017 at 19:07:03
Isaak J. Garvey
Industry Professional

Posts: 914
Location: Hollywod, CA
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I'd call you a "nasty, nasty woman" but that would not be nice. :)

Google is your friend.

 

Let me know whwn you have a dealer name, posted on March 17, 2017 at 19:25:02
4everyoung
Reviewer

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Joined: October 14, 2014
I won't be holing my breath.

 

I thought Ivan's point was obvious (nt), posted on March 17, 2017 at 20:13:39
Posts: 902
Location: Orange Co., Ca
Joined: September 19, 2001
nt

 

"soiling a speaker"?..., posted on March 17, 2017 at 20:20:11
DeKay
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Posts: 3867
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Way too much personal info.

 

RE: "soiling a speaker"?..., posted on March 17, 2017 at 20:29:50
Isaak J. Garvey
Industry Professional

Posts: 914
Location: Hollywod, CA
Joined: January 7, 2016
Not my personal info. Reference to her post in another thread.

 

RE: I thought Ivan's point was obvious (nt), posted on March 17, 2017 at 20:33:02
Isaak J. Garvey
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Posts: 914
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The point is that AK has more knowledge and technical prowess in his right nut than then "Ivan" has exhibited in a lifetime.

 

Piling on... , posted on March 17, 2017 at 20:35:08
Steve O
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...a relatively recent "white paper" on the same subject. Wonder if there's an ulterior motive to all this.

 

RE: Piling on... , posted on March 17, 2017 at 20:37:08
Isaak J. Garvey
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The only motive is to expose a shameful money grab and to expose the truth...that adding proprietary post processing to digital files and telling consumers it is "better" is a marketing lie, to quote.

Notice how that white paper was not reported by Stereophile, but by Digital Audio Review.

 

Actually, the XIVERO paper I linked...I first found at Hi Fi +......, posted on March 17, 2017 at 21:00:42
Steve O
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......a "sister publication" of TAS, the biggest booster of MQA I've run across.

 

RE: Actually, the XIVERO paper I linked...I first found at Hi Fi +......, posted on March 17, 2017 at 21:24:26
Isaak J. Garvey
Industry Professional

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Actually, HiFi Plus has not whored for MQA. Searching the term "MQA" on their website turns up exactly FOUR items. Searching just the Stereophile site, exclusive of Audiostream, turns u 15 PAGES.

A quote, from the editor in a review of the Meridian Explorere2 DAC:

"OK, so let's be honest about all this. If you have a collection of well-manicured, high-performance, high-resolution PCM and DSD files, you are probably going to hear little or no difference bringing MQA to the party. I'd still argue that there is something uniquely 'right' in the time domain of MQA files that doesn't ring as true with PCM and DSD, and in that respect MQA is more like an analogue master tape in performance. But, if you are already well-dunked in the whole hi-res thing, MQA is probably not a high priority right now..."

This tone is utterly disconnected from how TAS and Stereophile has "reported".

 

Nobody is arguing THAT point..., posted on March 17, 2017 at 21:57:48
Ivan303
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That said, "proprietary and patentable so royalties can be collected" pretty much defines his life's work.





 

RE: Actually, the XIVERO paper I linked...I first found at Hi Fi +......, posted on March 18, 2017 at 02:38:56
4everyoung
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I have to agree with you that TAS has been the biggest booster of MQA. Easily more coverage than Stereophie IMO.

 

RE: Andreas Koch Slams MQA as A Money Grab and a Fraud, posted on March 18, 2017 at 05:12:14
John Atkinson
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Posts: 3695
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Joined: November 24, 2003
>Stereophile, the ultimate MQA cheerleader has lost all credibility in that
>it has not reported how HighResAudio.com of Germany, Jriver, and other
>players in the industry have rejected it, and pointed out it's obvious
>issues. Shameful.

The HiRes Audio news was reported on Stereophile's Facebook page. JRiver
CEO Jim Hillegass is quoted on the Stereophile website as saying "JRiver
has no plans to support MQA. MQA is not a lossless or open format, and it
offers no apparent benefit to consumers, in our opinion."

And as for "ultimate MQA cheerleader," we have published spectral analyses
of original files and MQA-encoded versions and performed listening comparisons
between original files and MQA-encoded versions. The phrase would be better
directed against those who have don neither of those things.

And our overall conclusion, shared by all of the reviewers who have
performed the comparisons, is that while the difference can be small,
the MQA version always sounds better, not worse.

I will read Andreas's criticism, of course. But perhaps it should be noted
that Andreas Koch is heavily invested intellectually in DSD encoding,
which is also a closed format and is completely incompatible with MQA.

>And by the way, if you have any doubts about Mr. Koch, this is what
>Stereophile wrote about him...

If you are going to quote at length for Stereophile, at minimum you should
provide the attribution (writer and issue) and the link to the original.
Not to do so merely reveals you are a dick.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

 

Last sentence made me laugh out loud, posted on March 18, 2017 at 05:33:24
mcondo
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Posts: 1337
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Didn't see it coming.

 

RE: Andreas Koch Slams MQA as A Money Grab and a Fraud, posted on March 18, 2017 at 07:08:52
Isaak J. Garvey
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Posts: 914
Location: Hollywod, CA
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Attribute to Michael Fremer amended and link provided.

You reported it on your "facebook page"? Is this a joke? Now facebook is a legitimate news outlet? Why not on YOUR webpage, just like DAR and HiFi+?

Your team was chearleadig MQA for TWO years before ANY COMPARISONS were done. You have no credibility.

You try to undermine Mr. Koch's credibility because he is "heavily invested in DSD"? Pathetic sir. Pathetic.

I will take the word of Mr. Koch over the likes of you anyday of the week.

Name calling? Really rather sad. I don't think you realize how ridiculous MQA has made Stereophile look.

 

RE: Andreas Koch Slams MQA as A Money Grab and a Fraud, posted on March 18, 2017 at 07:17:54
Isaak J. Garvey
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Posts: 914
Location: Hollywod, CA
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And why didn't you publish the Xivero analysis? You published all sorts of MQA friendly technical fluff. Superbly balanced "reporting" Mr Editor.

 

LOL!, posted on March 18, 2017 at 07:37:46
Ivan303
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That's a 'reveal' he's accomplished several time during this thread. :-)





 

RE: 'Now facebook is a legitimate news outlet?', posted on March 18, 2017 at 07:40:01
Ivan303
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Posts: 34956
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You been living under a rock of late?

Link below:



 

RE: Andreas Koch Slams MQA as A Money Grab and a Fraud, posted on March 18, 2017 at 07:57:41
John Atkinson
Reviewer

Posts: 3695
Location: New York
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>I will take the word of Mr. Koch over the likes of you anyday of the week.

I don't have a problem that, Dick.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

 

RE: Andreas Koch Slams MQA as A Money Grab and a Fraud, posted on March 18, 2017 at 08:12:50
Isaak J. Garvey
Industry Professional

Posts: 914
Location: Hollywod, CA
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Classy. If you were not a Stereophile hack, you would be banned. But I know how it works here.

When you have no defense against shilling, phoney journalism, you resort to name calling. Your manufacturer centric bias will be the downfall of your magazine.

it is obvious what you are doing here, and you have done it before. Resort to incivility to get a thread taken down, then claim you had "nothing to do with it". A clever and cowardly way to make inconvenient threads and posts evaporate.

 

RE: Andreas Koch Slams MQA as A Money Grab and a Fraud, posted on March 18, 2017 at 08:35:09
John Atkinson
Reviewer

Posts: 3695
Location: New York
Joined: November 24, 2003
>You reported it on your "facebook page"? Is this a joke?

No. Why should it be a joke?

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

 

Thanks for posting the link, posted on March 18, 2017 at 12:08:43
DAP
Audiophile

Posts: 288
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Interesting that it's on positive feedback, positive feedback isn't known for posting much of anything that isn't, well, positive.

Anyway, the points made by Andreas Koch are convincing, at least to this reader.

It would be nice if Stereophile and TAS were advocates of non-proprietary formats, which are clearly in the interest of consumers, but I don't think you have to be quite so testy about it :-)

The current (and obviously nonsensical) buzzword about digital equipment in Stereophile and TAS appears to be "future-proof". Stereophile judges the dCS Rossini Player to be "future-proof", following a paragraph that quotes dCS that they intend to support MQA in the Rossini in the future. Stereophile also judges the Chord Electronics Mojo D/A headphone amplifier to be future-proof, but this time no mention of MQA. Go figure.

Best regards,
Daniel

 

RE: Thanks for posting the link, posted on March 18, 2017 at 13:24:30
Isaak J. Garvey
Industry Professional

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Location: Hollywod, CA
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Convincing? That is the understatement of the decade.

The reason TAS and Stereophile are big fans of promoting proprietary formats that support manufacturers is because that is where there bread is buttered. Create demand, increase ad revenue potential by a considerable amount, and then when the whole thing collapses, move on on the next buzzword. Still waiting for those 10,000 DSD downloads.

"Future-Proof"? That is a good one! How about how they called the Schiit Yggy DAC "obsolete", and expressed "frustration" that the Bryston BDA-3 DAC, which measured perfectly, did not decode MQA'.

It's all a good laugh.

 

In digital, no hardware is future-proof. (NT), posted on March 18, 2017 at 13:37:40
Kal Rubinson
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Posts: 10503
Location: New York
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Indeed. And yet ..., posted on March 18, 2017 at 14:21:57
DAP
Audiophile

Posts: 288
Location: Toronto
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JA: "the Mojo is fundamentally future-proof." Dec 2016

JA: "The Rossini Player and Clock are ... future-proof" Nov 2016

Michael Lavorgna: "The nano iDSD ... is ... future-proof." Sep 2015

Michael Fremer: The Playback Designs MPS-5 SACD/CD player is a "future-proof design" Feb 2010

Jon Iverson: The Schiit BiFrost DAC is a "virtually future-proof DAC" Apr 2013

Kalman Rubinson: "the excellent and future-proof Mark Levinson No.360" Dec 1999

 

RE: Indeed. And yet ..., posted on March 18, 2017 at 15:06:00
SpotcheckBilly12345
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Contributor
  Since:
January 5, 2017
John Atkinson - really? REALLY?

How rude of you! Certainly an embarrassing set of responses from you. In your position you should be far more civil.

Your comments and retorts in this thread makes me wonder if someone pissed in your cornflakes this morning.

SB

 

That was so last century., posted on March 18, 2017 at 15:32:45
Kal Rubinson
Reviewer

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I try not to get swept away. My long commitment to Meridian hinged, in part, on that outdated hope but it has ended and confirmed my current position. Now I try to do as much as possible in software...........:-)

 

:-) I think the current position is just fine NT, posted on March 18, 2017 at 15:49:09
DAP
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Posts: 288
Location: Toronto
Joined: January 1, 2010

 

RE: Indeed. And yet ..., posted on March 18, 2017 at 18:05:08
John Atkinson
Reviewer

Posts: 3695
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Joined: November 24, 2003
>How rude of you! Certainly an embarrassing set of responses from you. In
>your position you should be far more civil.

First, the original poster wrote comments that had he done the slightest
amount of research, he would have known were either incorrect or more
nuanced than he was representing.

Second he infringed our copyright in a blatant manner. I have lost all
patience with people who do that. Instead of asking The Bored to delete
the offending material, which I do on a regular basis with other forums,
because it was indeed relevant to his argument, I thought instead I would
make fun of him. So, embarrassing? Hardly.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

 

RE: Indeed. And yet ..., posted on March 18, 2017 at 20:41:39
Isaak J. Garvey
Industry Professional

Posts: 914
Location: Hollywod, CA
Joined: January 7, 2016
Your outrage over "copyright infringement"is really moving...

Again, I remind you, of fair use:

#Uses That Are Generally Fair Uses#

#Criticism and comment -- for example, quoting or excerpting a work in a review or criticism for purposes of illustration or comment#

The only thing I forgot to do was provide a link. Which I then did at your request.

No, you were looking to get the thread deep sixed with name calling. You have done this numerous times before.

Again, Andreas Koch, and the growing momentum that exposes MQA is bad for consumers and technically a farce, that solves problems that don't exist is topic at hand. Your lack of any critical reporting is another. Own it.

 

RE: Andres Koch Slams MQA as A Money Grab and a Fraud, posted on March 19, 2017 at 05:00:43
RGA
Reviewer

Posts: 10097
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I'm a veritable Luddite clinging to Vinyl and CD and using hard drives to my computer audio DAC.

I thought this MQA was mainly about speed because streaming was taking up too much space.

I live in Hong Kong my download speed as I write this is 732.01 mbps. I have unlimited downloads/uploads at $50CaD ($35US) a month.

So I don't see the benefit of worrying about size of files. For serious listening I pick and choose what I want to play - not listening to glorified FM. And sure as poop not PAYING for glorified FM.

 

RE: Indeed. And yet ..., posted on March 19, 2017 at 05:20:08
John Atkinson
Reviewer

Posts: 3695
Location: New York
Joined: November 24, 2003
>Again, I remind you, of fair use:
>#Uses That Are Generally Fair Uses#
#Criticism and comment -- for example, quoting or excerpting a work in a
>review or criticism for purposes of illustration or comment#

Please note that under US copyright law, Fair Use is not a right but a
defense in a potential suit over infringement. Whether that defense would
be successful depends on how much of the original copyrighted work has
been quoted. If someone quotes 30 words of a 3000-word article, a Fair Use
defense would certainly succeed. If someone quotes all 3000 words, a Fair
Use defense would certainly fail. The question of where the dividing line
lies tends to be decided on a case-by-case basis, but generally favoring
the copyright owner, as far as I am aware.

In your case, while you didn't republish the entire work, you did quote
a relatively large proportion of the work, without either permission,
attribution, or a link to the original.

>The only thing I forgot to do was provide a link. Which I then did at
>your request.

And the attribution, which you also "forgot." It would have cost you
nothing either to ask for permission (which I would have given) or to
add attribution and link, yet you did neither.

>No, you were looking to get the thread deep sixed with name calling. You
>have done this numerous times before.

Really? Could you provide links to the "numerous" examples, please, Dick.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

 

RE: Indeed. And yet ..., posted on March 19, 2017 at 06:51:32
Isaak J. Garvey
Industry Professional

Posts: 914
Location: Hollywod, CA
Joined: January 7, 2016
Provide links? Disingenuous. Provide links to threads you sabotaged that have been taken down? Right.

I can understand your being flustered. Luminaries with far more credibility and brain power than you and your crew are exposing MQA for what it is, and you don't like it. You would rather hitch your horse to a charlatan like Stuart.

This is the third time you resorted to name calling in this thread.

 

RE: Indeed. And yet ..., posted on March 19, 2017 at 07:35:29
John Atkinson
Reviewer

Posts: 3695
Location: New York
Joined: November 24, 2003
>Provide links? Disingenuous. Provide links to threads you sabotaged that
>have been taken down? Right.

There are no threads that I forced to be taken down, Dick.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

 

RE: Indeed. And yet ..., posted on March 19, 2017 at 07:37:42
Isaak J. Garvey
Industry Professional

Posts: 914
Location: Hollywod, CA
Joined: January 7, 2016
4th time you resorted to name calling. You represent your publication well.

 

"...I don't see the benefit of worrying about size of files."......., posted on March 19, 2017 at 10:41:58
Steve O
Audiophile

Posts: 6646
Location: SE MI
Joined: September 6, 2001
...from what little I've been able to gather about MQA's business model, mobile streaming seems to be its raison d'Ítre. At this point most mobile devices have data speeds and data limits where compression would be useful. If this is the case, the plan might have a fatal flaw: most of the persons I'm familiar with that stream music on their mobile devices are more than satisfied with 128KB MP3 stuff. "HiRez not valued-MQA not needed.

 

RE: Indeed. And yet ..., posted on March 19, 2017 at 11:05:55
John Atkinson
Reviewer

Posts: 3695
Location: New York
Joined: November 24, 2003
>JA: "The Rossini Player and Clock are ... future-proof" Nov 2016

As the Rossini uses an FPGA for its DSP and is constructed with a
mother/daughter board topology, it should be capable of being upgraded
for future digital audio formats (if any), not just MQA. That's what I
meant by "future-proof."

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

 

RE: I thought Ivan's point was obvious (nt), posted on March 19, 2017 at 15:20:09
Posts: 902
Location: Orange Co., Ca
Joined: September 19, 2001
No the point is Ivan has a sense of irony that you obviously don't.
Andreas Koch's credentials are impressive but, as JA notes somewhere in this thread, he is inextricably linked with DSD. Would you really expect him to endorse a rival? Also, the Xivero paper you refenced is from a company with a rival technique to reduce file size who are bashing MQA to get publicity.

Your posts show an almost pathological hatred of MQA extending to Meridian and Bob Stuart himself. Your moniker is a Music Industry 'Professional' and I asked you some time ago if you had a financial stake in the success, or not, of MQA, to which you wrote 'no'. Perhaps the adoption of MQA would make your job either harder, or less important?

 

?? Really? , posted on March 19, 2017 at 16:24:20
Jim Austin
Reviewer

Posts: 1323
Location: Northern New England
Joined: November 8, 2007
I've never seen this suggested anywhere. In fact, I spoke to one person deeply involved with MQA who told me he thought mobile wasn't an interesting market because the differences aren't important on mobile devices, in typical mobile settings.

I've wondered myself about the economics, and come to think, tentatively, that it's the streaming businesses that benefit most from the compression. One way or another, they pay money for every megabit you steam.

jca

 

RE: ?? Really? , posted on March 19, 2017 at 16:55:54
bullethead
Audiophile

Posts: 7263
Location: East Coast USA
Joined: May 6, 2012
Contributor
  Since:
December 0, 0000
bandwith is very expensive.

Not working for free.

 

RE: I thought Ivan's point was obvious (nt), posted on March 19, 2017 at 17:47:17
Isaak J. Garvey
Industry Professional

Posts: 914
Location: Hollywod, CA
Joined: January 7, 2016
Ok, let's take a stab at this. To suggest that as a developer of DSD that some how Andreas Koch is compromised in his opinion of MQA is PREPOSTEROUS. He has also been deeply involved in PCM. And analog to boot! A ridiculous argument. Actually absurd.

Xivero does not in any way compete with MQA/Meridian. Another crazy assertion.

MQA has zero impact on my job. I just can;t stand back as consumer, like everybody else, and watch this sham unfold. if you think I am rough, you should hear what our staff production people think of this..brutal.

 

Really!....., posted on March 19, 2017 at 17:48:08
Steve O
Audiophile

Posts: 6646
Location: SE MI
Joined: September 6, 2001
...Mobile streaming is pretty much implied in the stuff I've read about it. I'm not an industry professional so I don't have direct access to the professional MQA promotional material so maybe there's something else.

MQA's usefulness for mobile streaming seems the only obvious application given that most stationary locations like homes and businesses have low cost unlimited broadband where the "high rez" compression aspects of MQA are of little advantage compared to what's out there now. And so we loop back to the question of whether or not the majority of mobile streamers have any interest in high rez, esp if they have to pay extra for it. At this point, I'm guessing not.

 

RE: Really!....., posted on March 19, 2017 at 17:57:45
Isaak J. Garvey
Industry Professional

Posts: 914
Location: Hollywod, CA
Joined: January 7, 2016
Ty Roberts of Universal specifically mentions mobile and 24 bit audio on phones here.

 

it should be capable of being upgraded, posted on March 19, 2017 at 23:36:49
DAP
Audiophile

Posts: 288
Location: Toronto
Joined: January 1, 2010
As you explain it, it would seem that the proofness of the future would be at the whim of dCS. I do not think that owners of earlier generation dCS Ring dacs, including myself, have found them to be future proof over a period of ten years. There were two major product revampings over that period, and the newer technologies went into the later products. I would not expect that to be different in the future.

The term "future-proof" has a marketing connotation, that an investment in a very expensive dac is made worthwhile, even for those who are not super well-heeled, because they will be happy with it forever. But I don't think that's true in the same sense that buying a very expensive amplifier might keep you happy for a very long time. In the current market, with some truly excellent less expensive dacs available, I think a less well-heeled consumer would be better served by buying one of them and putting some money aside for an eventual replacement.

That's why I think the term "future-proof" belongs in marketing literature, and not in reviews.

Thanks for reading,
Daniel

 

RE: "...I don't see the benefit of worrying about size of files."......., posted on March 20, 2017 at 05:21:16
RGA
Reviewer

Posts: 10097
Joined: August 8, 2001
By mobile devices this would presumably be phones since this is the number one mobile device and after listening the iPod 7plus which is unlistenable dredge and my Samsung S7 Edge (which is also unlistenable dredge) the bitrate of the music seems secondary to AWFUL headphone outputs and whatever cheap arse parts both of these companies are employing.

The best sounding phone on the market is apparently the LGV20 which incorporates 4 DA converters comes with B&O play and the matching earbuds ($200 so presumably better than the ones that come with Apple and Samsung) and also has a hires microphone.

So if MQA is targeted to mobile phone plans then I suppose it makes sense but then I still don't get why a person can't just download the files off their computer to their phone and save the expense. And even then - the LGV20 may be the best sounding phone but that's like saying the Tarantula is the best looking spider.

I'm buying a CD player! :)

 

RE: "...I don't see the benefit of worrying about size of files."......., posted on March 20, 2017 at 08:01:32
Dave_K
Audiophile

Posts: 1016
Joined: September 30, 2014
Contributor
  Since:
December 0, 0000
MQA's raison d'Ítre is to give Meridian control over a big chunk of music distribution so they can get rich on royalties. There is something in it for the music labels too, namely a form of DRM. I'm sure the likes of Warner, Universal, and Sony hate the fact that the only way they can sell us yet another copy of Miles Davis or Fleetwood Mac right now is to put DRM-free downloadable LPCM files on sites like HD Tracks. I don't see anything in it for the consumer though.



 

Yeah, I probably should have prefixed "raison d'Ítre" with "ostensible"..., posted on March 20, 2017 at 08:16:22
Steve O
Audiophile

Posts: 6646
Location: SE MI
Joined: September 6, 2001
...I have trouble understanding MQA's value to me as a consumer. If there is value, the controversy and MQA's inability so far to get a marketing type handle on it has obscured that value.

 

Future-proof = bullshit, posted on March 20, 2017 at 10:38:05
Doug Schneider
Reviewer

Posts: 406
Location: North America
Joined: April 16, 2005
Hi,

I saw no reason to jump into this conversation until now -- to back up what you say about it having no place in reviews. And in marketing literature, it should be ignored.

I began working in the computer industry in 1985. I was also into audio in that time. There has been no piece of computer-type electronics that should EVER have the term "future proof" attached to it. This extends beyond computers into DACs, CD players, etc.

As you correctly point out, new technologies surpass old. Simply as that.

That's not to say that I didn't fall into that nonsense. In the early 90s, I bought a Theta DAC. I don't think they used the term "future proof," but they called it fully upgradeable or something close. Well, in two years they had a new version out and the "upgrade" was to swap all the guts out and replace it with "close" to the current version -- you didn't get everything. What a load. Cost me more to do that upgrade than just buy a new one at the dealer and get a small discount.

In hi-fi, there isn't a piece of hardware that ever has or ever will qualify as future proof, unless future proofing is simply swapping for what's new.

Doug Schneider
SoundStage!

 

RE: "...I don't see the benefit of worrying about size of files."......., posted on March 20, 2017 at 14:35:42
ahendler
Audiophile

Posts: 4719
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Joined: January 24, 2003
Contributor
  Since:
January 14, 2010
Better sound?
Alan

 

RE: I thought Ivan's point was obvious (nt), posted on March 20, 2017 at 15:13:08
Posts: 902
Location: Orange Co., Ca
Joined: September 19, 2001
You know, Isaak, I heeded what seemed like your healthy skepticism over MQA (not that I am likely to purchase any licensed hardware or software).
But your skepticism has become unhealthy. As well as a lack of irony you have no nuance, which is fine, but you will convince more people of your views if you did or, at least, tried.

To suggest that there was anything other than philanthropy about the AK/PF 'interview' or the Xivero 'white paper' labels me as preposterous, ridiculous, absurd and crazy. That really swung me to your way of thinking.

You even have JA being less than completely polite. And I have read his considered replies to lots a crap thrown his way on AA. Perhaps the only thing people will take away from the MQA debates on AA is that JA called you a dick! Not really the outcome you wanted.

13DoW

 

RE: I thought Ivan's point was obvious (nt), posted on March 20, 2017 at 15:33:04
Isaak J. Garvey
Industry Professional

Posts: 914
Location: Hollywod, CA
Joined: January 7, 2016
So you don't like the messenger, but agree with the message. Your perfect right.

"Perhaps the only thing people will take away from the MQA debates on AA is that JA called you a dick!"

No, that is what YOU seem to take away.

"Not really the outcome you wanted."

I could not possibly care less. I have nothing to be embarrassed about.
It reflects a bad light on another party. I plan on hammering away.

 

RE: Future-proof = bullshit, posted on March 20, 2017 at 16:34:49
John Atkinson
Reviewer

Posts: 3695
Location: New York
Joined: November 24, 2003
>I saw no reason to jump into this conversation until now -- to back up what
>you say about it having no place in reviews.

Hi Doug, as one of the reviewers quoted in the postings to which you are
responding, I must admit I am surprised to see your comments.

I did offer an explanation why I used that phrase, an explanation that I
feel both accurate and relevant. But it is the fact you are the editor of
a competing publication that surprised me. I routinely see word usages and
text in reviews in other publications, even yours, that raise my eyebrows.
But I don't regard it as my role to publicly point them out or criticize
them. All us editors believe in what we we do, believe that we do what we
do better than our competition. How could it be otherwise. But is for our
readers to decide whether or not what we say bears up, makes sense, or is
flawed, not competing editors.

I hold you in great respect, Doug. But not on this subject.


John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

 

A quick google search of 'soundstage' and 'future-proof' ..., posted on March 20, 2017 at 17:23:44
Posts: 902
Location: Orange Co., Ca
Joined: September 19, 2001
.. shows the phrase used in reviews of digital equipment across your various sites.

Regards
13DoW

ps. As an example to prove the rule, I bought a Wadia 830 in 2000 and it came with 24/96 inputs. I didn't want that option but that's all my local dealer had. I used them for the first time recently (after 17 years lying fallow) and now I'm glad I did pay the extra!

 

RE: Future-proof = bullshit, posted on March 20, 2017 at 18:47:19
Doug Schneider
Reviewer

Posts: 406
Location: North America
Joined: April 16, 2005
Hi John,

With all due respect -- give me a break. This is a public forum and I'm a registered user. Besides, I don't see you haven't trouble posting wherever you like. Technically, I'm not the editor, Jeff Fritz is, but I don't see what that matters. This is a forum, not on your publication's board, for example -- we are users here like everyone else.

On this topic, I clearly pointed out that I didn't feel the need to add anything, but on this topic, I did, because I feel using the term is wrong.

I did do a Google search on our own sites and, indeed, I have found instances where some of our writers have used the word "future proof" with regards to digital products. Ken Kessler just did talking about a Chord DAC. I looked for my own usage, mind you, and I found one time I did use the term "future-proof" -- in regards to moving away from optical-disc-based systems to computer-based ones. It wasn't in regards to a specific piece of hardware -- because, as I'll say time and again, no piece is. If one of our writers wishes to think something's future-proof -- like Ken did -- well, he can say that even though I feel it's wrong. I might point out my thought to someone, but I'm not going to change his words.

As for you disagreeing with me on this -- well, sorry to tell you, know computer-based piece of hardware should be called future-proof ... because nothing is. Now, I also want to add that if there was an instance in the past where I did use the term "future proof" (I don't think so, but you never know), I was wrong to.

Doug Schneider
SoundStage!

 

I think you're being just a tweed bit defensive :-), posted on March 20, 2017 at 19:07:20
DAP
Audiophile

Posts: 288
Location: Toronto
Joined: January 1, 2010
Surely it's okay if two editors exchange different views about review terminology, in a forum called "Critics Corner", as long as everyone is a good sport.

From a reader,
Daniel

 

RE: I thought Ivan's point was obvious (nt), posted on March 20, 2017 at 21:46:29
Ivan303
Audiophile

Posts: 34956
Location: Cadiere d'azur FRANCE - San Francisco
Joined: February 26, 2001
"Perhaps the only thing people will take away from the MQA debates on AA is that JA called you a dick!"


I don't subscribe to Stereophile and I don't agree with JA very often when he posts here, but in this one case...



 

RE: Future-proof = bullshit, posted on March 21, 2017 at 04:13:25
John Atkinson
Reviewer

Posts: 3695
Location: New York
Joined: November 24, 2003
>With all due respect -- give me a break. This is a public forum and I'm a
>registered user. Besides, I don't see you haven't trouble posting wherever
>you like.

Of course. But if you examine my postings, I respond to comments and questions
posted about things Stereophile's writers or I have written, not other
writers or publications.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

 

RE: Future-proof = bullshit, posted on March 21, 2017 at 05:08:36
Doug Schneider
Reviewer

Posts: 406
Location: North America
Joined: April 16, 2005
Hi John,

That's your choice. But I don't see this as a forum just for that. I'm into audio like the other guys here are -- I live this stuff 24/7, as do you likely -- and this is a place for exchange information.

Doug Schneider
SoundStage!

 

Hey, you're lucky he didn't call you a dick :-) nt, posted on March 21, 2017 at 09:21:16
Rick W
Audiophile

Posts: 10364
Location: NJ
Joined: October 3, 2001
Contributor
  Since:
March 22, 2002
nt

 

I've never understood calling people names on the internet, posted on March 21, 2017 at 09:46:12
DAP
Audiophile

Posts: 288
Location: Toronto
Joined: January 1, 2010
In the school yard, if you called somebody a dick, it wasn't really about the name, but the implied threat that lay behind it. About whether the caller could beat the callee, or vice versa. If the caller was stronger and meaner, there wasn't much the callee could do other than recite the "sticks and stones" rhymes.

But on the internet, somebody calls somebody a dick, and then, what? What can anybody do? We're left with the abstraction, the name, instead of the sticks and stones. The name kind of hangs there, perhaps evocative of a more manly era, and then goes like the mist. Somebody shouts LOL!, and it's gone.

Daniel

 

You really have to earn that one (nt), posted on March 21, 2017 at 12:23:30
Posts: 902
Location: Orange Co., Ca
Joined: September 19, 2001
nt

 

As Jim Thompson might have written about AA ..., posted on March 21, 2017 at 12:43:17
DAP
Audiophile

Posts: 288
Location: Toronto
Joined: January 1, 2010
"It was the kind of place, if you hadn't been able to name call in the school yard, you could go there and do it."

 

RE: "...I don't see the benefit of worrying about size of files."......., posted on March 21, 2017 at 15:48:09
Dave_K
Audiophile

Posts: 1016
Joined: September 30, 2014
Contributor
  Since:
December 0, 0000
Which is likely to give us better sound, a hi-res PCM file losslessly compressed with FLAC, or the same file lossily compressed with MQA?

The best case for MQA is that the data it loses isn't musically important and most people in most cases can't hear the loss. But you could say the same for MP3 and any other lossy codec.

My mobile phone connection on AT&T is sufficient to handle up to 10 simultaneous streams of raw, uncompressed 24/96 PCM. And my cable connection at home is 2-3 times faster than that. And compressing with FLAC cuts the required data rate nearly in half. MQA cuts it nearly in half again, but so what?

I don't see how I as a music consumer benefit from adopting another lossy compression format when there really isn't any need to save bandwidth. Especially when it's a proprietary format that requires a licensed decoder. It's taken a long time to get past MP3 and get the labels to offer downloads and streams in open, lossless formats. I don't want to go back.

 

In point of fact, name-calling is one of the few things that might get you in trouble here..., posted on March 21, 2017 at 18:03:05
Ivan303
Audiophile

Posts: 34956
Location: Cadiere d'azur FRANCE - San Francisco
Joined: February 26, 2001
MIGHT, but apparently not in this case.

I suspect that if you or I took to calling JA a 'dick' very often we wouldn't be around for long.






 

RE: In point of fact, name-calling is one of the few things that might get you in trouble here..., posted on March 21, 2017 at 18:33:58
Isaak J. Garvey
Industry Professional

Posts: 914
Location: Hollywod, CA
Joined: January 7, 2016
As I said, in point of fact, he has done this on several occasions to get threads that were inconvenient to his publication taken down. And it worked, previously.

 

wouldn't be around for long, posted on March 21, 2017 at 18:41:27
DAP
Audiophile

Posts: 288
Location: Toronto
Joined: January 1, 2010
Yes, but if that were to happen, I would think that's fair, I'm happy to see the AA rules for civility applied. Evenly is best, but it's good that they're applied at all.

The only time I recall getting into trouble for name calling was over fifty years ago. It was a mixed race school, and the black students had taken it upon themselves to teach the white kids to be better behaved on racial matters than were their parents. Today that would be done through sensitivity classes, but back then the black kids did it with their fists.

Anyway, I was playing in the school yard, and I had some difference in opinion with one of the black kids. I remember calling him a black liar, by which I meant that he was evil, nothing more. But I saw the look on his face, and immediately knew I was in trouble, so I ran into the school and stayed in through noon break and recess. During classes I tried to explain to him that my meaning was that he was evil, that I hadn't meant anything racial, and he seemed to accept that, and as far as I could tell, we were okay. So it came as a surprise that at the end of the school day, as I left the safety of the school, he grabbed my arm and hit me three times, hard, in the stomach. With the admonition never to say that again. It seemed unfair, but at the same time I realized I had gotten off easy.

Daniel







 

to get threads ... taken down? I don't think so., posted on March 21, 2017 at 19:37:37
DAP
Audiophile

Posts: 288
Location: Toronto
Joined: January 1, 2010
I think he became annoyed when he read "Stereophile, the ultimate MQA cheerleader has lost all credibility ... ", which strictly speaking isn't true. Stereophile isn't a consumer magazine, there is no business model that would support that, the consumers don't appear to be willing to pay for that, but at the same time, it's not an industry shill either. I think most AA people are appreciative of the work that JA does. And he clearly takes his integrity and the integrity of his magazine seriously.

I do think you could make your points more effectively if you toned down the animosity.

Daniel

 

Guess it didn't work this time..., posted on March 21, 2017 at 19:40:26
Ivan303
Audiophile

Posts: 34956
Location: Cadiere d'azur FRANCE - San Francisco
Joined: February 26, 2001
Perhaps because he was right?

Just a possibility.





 

RE: to get threads ... taken down? I don't think so., posted on March 21, 2017 at 19:59:24
Isaak J. Garvey
Industry Professional

Posts: 914
Location: Hollywod, CA
Joined: January 7, 2016
Honestly, Stereophile/Audiostream's own words back this up, although to be fair and accurate Robert Harley at TAS has been just over the top. So they are the Co-Ultimate.

Exhibit A;

John Atkinson, Stereophile (link below)

"In almost 40 years of attending audio press events, only rarely have I come away feeling that I was present at the birth of a new world. In March 1979, I visited the Philips Research Center in Eindhoven, Holland and heard a prototype of what was to be later called the Compact Disc. In the summer of 1982, I visited Ron Genereux and Bob Berkovitz at Acoustic Research's lab near Boston and heard a very early example of the application of DSP to the correction of room acoustic problems. And in early December, at Meridian's New York offices, I heard Bob Stuart describe the UK company's MQA technology, followed by a demonstration that blew my socks off.

With a pair of Meridian digital active speakers being fed audio data from a laptop, Bob was playing 24-bit files with sample rates up to 192kHz, yet the data rate was not much more than the CD's 1.5Mbps! Not only that, but there was palpability to the sound, a transparency to the original event, that I have almost never heard before, which Jason Victor Serinus can testify to."

Read more at http://www.stereophile.com/content/ive-heard-future-streaming-meridians-mqa#lF0OIuTJJigsqaJA.99

"The birth of a new world"...

"Not only that, but there was palpability to the sound, a transparency to the original event, that I have almost never heard before."

Never heard before. Hmmmm.

I find it impossible to take any body seriously who prints this kind of preposterous nonsense. MQA is just as valid as the dawn of the Compact Disc? Really. Wow.

And since 2014, it has just snowballed from there. Numerous show reports where Sterephile and Audiostream writers waxed poetic about how glorious MQA was after being part of carefully controlled demos orchestrated by Meridian. Then later they were sent MQA files to evaluate on an MQA DAC with no non DSP'd files for comparison. Although I do remember Atkinson saying he had his own master files of some recordings MQA'd and was able to compare

So you see...their own words make the case.

I am not sure what you mean by saying Stereophile is not a consumer magazine. Then it is an industry magazine? It can't be both, you can server two masters. That is an eternal truth.

 

RE: to get threads ... taken down? I don't think so., posted on March 21, 2017 at 20:09:27
Isaak J. Garvey
Industry Professional

Posts: 914
Location: Hollywod, CA
Joined: January 7, 2016
It is also possible he got annoyed because an industry icon who is far, far more accomplished, and whose imprint is incredibly deep in both the recording and consumer playback world, in both digital AND analog(!) feels that Meridian is engaging in a desperate marketing lie to save it's skin.

And to claim he is biased because he is a proponent of DSD was rather pathetic.

 

And to claim he is biased because he is a proponent of DSD was rather pathetic. , posted on March 22, 2017 at 19:41:35
DAP
Audiophile

Posts: 288
Location: Toronto
Joined: January 1, 2010
If not pathetic, a sophism. I agree with that.

Daniel

 

RE: And to claim he is biased because he is a proponent of DSD was rather pathetic. , posted on March 23, 2017 at 14:57:02
Posts: 573
Location: Maine
Joined: August 16, 2011
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlZJBhUqGW8)
John and Isaak, you should watch this. I'm mad at an old friend but this made us both laugh in the past. I'm going to throw it out at him tonight and see what happens....Mark K.

 

"Even wifi can't support what's needed for hi-res audio" Bollocks, posted on March 24, 2017 at 14:56:01
Dave_K
Audiophile

Posts: 1016
Joined: September 30, 2014
Contributor
  Since:
December 0, 0000
Argh...
You would think your Chief Technology Officer would check with his engineers or just pull out a calculator before saying something stupid like that.

The raw bit rate of 24/96 PCM is 4608000/s (4.39 Mbps). If you figure about 40% savings from FLAC, the required bandwidth for lossless streaming of 24/96 is about 2.64 Mbps. Ancient old 802.11b wifi from circa 2000 sustains about 6-7 Mbps with a good signal, or half of that with a weak signal. So even the oldest wifi networks are no problem unless other users are loading the connection. These days, it's hard to find a wifi connection that isn't at least 802.11n (everything new is 802.11ac). 802.11b provides a real bandwidth of at least 20 Mbps with a weak signal, or more like 40-60 Mbps with a strong signal. So it's pretty ridiculous to claim wifi can't handle hi-res streaming.

A mobile phone from circa 2010 on an HSPA+ network could also handle a 2.64 Mbps stream with no problem. And these days, on AT&T 4G LTE, I can typically get 60-70 Mbps in most places. Bandwidth is just not a problem for streaming hi-res audio. Just look at all the people streaming 1080p video on their phones!

 

RE: "Even wifi can't support what's needed for hi-res audio" Bollocks, posted on March 24, 2017 at 15:05:42
Isaak J. Garvey
Industry Professional

Posts: 914
Location: Hollywod, CA
Joined: January 7, 2016
My answer: I know.

Yes, it is absolute bollocks. And so is MQA.

All they have left to cling to is the supposed "de-blurring" which a tiny
cabal of audio writers seem to be stoked about



 

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