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    • esuhl
    • By esuhl 13th Oct 16, 8:30 PM
    • 6,651Posts
    • 4,672Thanks
    Music files: What is MQA?
    • #1
    • 13th Oct 16, 8:30 PM
    Music files: What is MQA? 13th Oct 16 at 8:30 PM
    I was looking at buying an old CD album, and had a quick search to see if I could buy it in FLAC format. I came across this apparently legit online shop, which has FLAC downloads, as well as files in "MQA" and "MQA Studio" formats.

    Apparently MQA stands for "Master Quality Authenticated". I've looked at the promotional material and the Wikipedia page, but I'm still completely baffled as to what it is and how it works.

    It seems to be some kind of additional layer of lossy encoding that is retrospectively extracted from the individual tracks of the source recordings and applied to the originally mastered (lossy or lossless) file... I think...

    Apparently there's MQA-enabled hardware that can process the encoding accurately, but the files are also backwards-compatible with non-MQA systems and still result in a significant improvement in audio quality. Whaaaat?! How?!

    The MQA thingy is itself lossy, but can be applied to both lossy and lossless file formats (such as FLAC), so... it can improve a FLAC file...?!

    This sounds like some kind of dark-art musical wizardry to me. The more I read about it, the less I seem to understand it.

    Has anyone else of heard of this?! Can anyone explain it in simple terms?
Page 1
    • Fightsback
    • By Fightsback 13th Oct 16, 9:23 PM
    • 2,349 Posts
    • 1,337 Thanks
    • #2
    • 13th Oct 16, 9:23 PM
    • #2
    • 13th Oct 16, 9:23 PM
    Probably more audiofool technobabble. Not much use if:

    1) You are trying to hear it over wind noise and a revving engine on the M1

    2) Have spent years in nightclubs or on building sites and trashed your hearing

    3 ) Haven't spent thousands getting your listening environment perfectly arranged to avoid standing waves etc

    4) You don't believe everything an audio salesman who's better off home flogging old crud on the antiques roadshow tells you.

    5 ) Use earbuds.

    6 ) Ad infinitum

    The truth is it's probably a means of stitching up jo public to extend copyright another 50 75* years on the original audio recording by calling it a remaster.

    * thank Clifford Richard for that, add that to his crime sheet of making vomitus records.

    Sadly the Grand Master Audiophile (Sir Stanley Unwin) passed away in 2002, he'd have explained it better and been more scientifically accurate:

    Last edited by Fightsback; 14-10-2016 at 11:38 AM. Reason: speeling mistook
    Science isn't exact, it's only confidence within limits.
    • kwikbreaks
    • By kwikbreaks 14th Oct 16, 10:18 AM
    • 8,262 Posts
    • 4,087 Thanks
    • #3
    • 14th Oct 16, 10:18 AM
    • #3
    • 14th Oct 16, 10:18 AM
    You forgot to mention the 300+ special mains lead....
    • AndyPix
    • By AndyPix 14th Oct 16, 11:01 AM
    • 1,285 Posts
    • 715 Thanks
    • #4
    • 14th Oct 16, 11:01 AM
    • #4
    • 14th Oct 16, 11:01 AM
    While you at it, may aswell pick up some decent speaker cables ..

    These are a snip at a mere $45,000
    Running with scissors since 1978
    • cookie365
    • By cookie365 14th Oct 16, 8:16 PM
    • 1,513 Posts
    • 922 Thanks
    • #5
    • 14th Oct 16, 8:16 PM
    • #5
    • 14th Oct 16, 8:16 PM
    The references in the wikipedia article are clear self serving pseudoscientific shilled BS.

    I wouldn't go anywhere near a music store that's cashing in on this scam.
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