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What's most striking to me ...

... is that all these subjectivist audiophiles, including folks who don't hesitate to publish (eg) cable and power cord reviews claiming big changes with no technical evidence--not even a convincing theoretical rationale--suddenly crave objective evidence and rigorous testing. Was that power cord review double-blind? Please explain your level-matching scheme for that preamp review. Were levels matched within 0.1dB? 0.5? Can you prove it? I've got a strong technical bent but I'm a subjectivist reviewer. This is the world we live in.

For what it's worth, I've studied MQA quite intensively and read many of the theoretical critiques. I've engaged in long discussions with digital designers and come to understand their criticisms. I'm not going to waste all that work by posting detailed conclusions here--but I will say that it all convinced me, tentatively, that MQA is valid tech, an interesting thing to try.

I DO suspect that much of the improvement I've heard in, eg, MQA streams on Tidal has to do with the fact that the MQA files are derived directly from "master" files; who knows where those CD-resolution files came from? "Mastered for iTunes" maybe? Compare a 24/96 stream instead (if it existed) and probably the differences would be more subtle. So on the one hand that validates Doug's comments about the problem with direct comparison--but on the other it's an example of MQA delivering on its most basic promise.


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