Archimago’s Musings: MQA: “Final” thoughts… On Politics & Paradigms. – Archimago’s Musings

It’s just odd to think that some in the media are so apparently taken with what amounts to faith in a DSP algorithm. And when others come along and try to demonstrate why it may be deserving of criticism, a grand conflict threatening the very foundations of scientific thinking gets invoked! We might as well drag Heaven and Hell, or virtue and sin into this earth-shaking dialogue. Is it any wonder that audiophiles sense this gross dissociation? Is it also not fair to ask why is it that folks who could benefit from industry incentives (not just financial incentives) seem to be so supportive of this “technology”? To not question these so-called “experts” who provide mere opinion would be obviously foolish!

To end off, I think it’s important to remember what’s happening here with MQA. In an unregulated free enterprise system, the arguments, tests, debates are necessary. The consumer is trying to figure out whether what is being sold to us has merit. In an age of free speech with online forums and blogs, the consumer has a powerful platform to express itself; much different from the landscape of years ago when magazines can print whatever they wanted with consumer discontentment expressed in the short “Letters to the Editor” section. It really doesn’t help when the press – especially a publication like this one – appears so grossly one-sided and out of touch. As I have said before, I believe that the press should really be independent and aligned with consumer interests in mind. If in this day and age the audiophile press is nothing more than the advertising arm of an industry, then let’s be transparent about that as well.

Archimago is a science-based audiophile, who has carried out extensive testing on a number of audiophile devices, and, in particular, the new MQA codec, which is supposed to somehow sound better than high-resolution files, while taking up less space. It’s a combination of lossy and lossless compression algorithms, along with some wishy-washy explanations of vague ideas that don’t quite make sense.

It’s about influence, control, and money. MQA is a business, it needs to generate revenue, and to do so it must gain adoption of course. In contrast, the average audiophile when presented with another “new format” cares about the utilitarian aspects of what is presented (actual sound quality potential) and value from the purchase if adopted. The frustration I think this new file type brings is a result of this dissociation.

Indeed. Follow the money.

See the results of a blind test he organized, where the results – asking people to determine which file sounded better – were roughly the same as if everyone guessed. That article links to previous articles presenting the test protocol, and discussing the results.

Source: Archimago’s Musings: MQA: “Final” thoughts… On Politics & Paradigms.