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RE: But what about...?

>> But to make it to designers or people who know better then not be willing to show one bit of evidence to prove what you're saying -- even though it would be very easy to -- then that's another. If they did prove that, I'd be much happier. Till then... <<

It would seem that they are relying on listening tests to "prove what they're saying". The difficulty is it appears that none of these are true apples-to-apples comparisons. Specifically the MQA files are always played back through the MQA slow-rolloff minimum phase digital filter, while all other files are played through a different digital filter - almost always the stock one found in the DAC chip.

There are quite a few manufacturers who have taken the trouble to learn how to design and implement custom digital filters. The reason to spend the required time, resources, and increased parts cost is because those manufacturers believe they can build a better-sounding digital filter than the stock ones found in DAC chips.

The main conclusion one could reach of those that prefer the sound of MQA files would seem to be that MQA has created a digital filter that sounds better than the stock digital filters found in DAC chips. Which simply supports the notion that manufacturers that use custom digital filters also have the opportunity to create better sounding products.

I suppose that it would also be possible to implement a custom digital filter that sounds *worse* than found in a typical DAC chip. This would also imply that various custom digital filter implementations have varying degrees of sonic performance. Since the MQA digital filter is a custom (ie, not off-the-shelf) digital filter, it would be logical to conclude that some custom digital filters sound worse than MQA's solution and that some custom digital filters sound better than MQA's solution.

If one accepts this premise, then it becomes clear that it is possible (and possibly likely) that there are DACs that will play back true high-res files and sound better than MQA files, as the original high-res file will *always* contain more musical information (better source material) which is then fed through a superior-sounding custom digital filter. An obvious bonus of this scheme is that if one purchases a DAC with a superior-sounding custom digital filter that it will sound better with *all* digital files and sources, and not just the small number of titles that have been encoded in MQA (which activates the MQA custom digital filter).

As always, my postings here reflect only my opinion and not necessarily that of my employer or the currently hottest pop star.

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