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Too many assumptions...

Hi John,

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.

Doug Schneider

Edits: 04/06/17 04/06/17

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