What is MQA?


Why MQA  What is MQA  33bowls Remastered  The Art of Listening  The Technical details  Clearing up misinfo


MQA is systemic paradigm shift rather than just incremental evolution in digital audio.

MQA is indeed more than just another standard or format for audio: an efficiently done, non-brickwall sampling, backwards compatible, verifiable, end to end matching conjugate filtering system with low modulation noise, sufficiently low time smear, and sufficiently high time and amplitude resolution to be truly transparent.

As mentioned earlier, trying to nit pick or second guess or outsmart Bob Stuart and the team that developed MQA is as futile as trying to out punch Mike Tyson, or out listen Bob Ludwig; they did a _LOT_ of research about the pitfalls of brickwall digital audio, and what can be done to vastly improve digital audio efficiently within existing infrastructure, not just incrementally, but with a true paradigm shift. They have demonstrated in numerous studios, salons and shows what the MQA process can and does do, including DXD files raw, MQA processed, and MQA folded and unfolded. MQA folded and unfolded has been indistinguishable from the high bit rate MQA "treated" or de-blurred files, and both are superior to the raw files.

I have been at a demo of Peter McGrath's excellent high bit rate master recordings, raw and MQA. The MQA version sounded surprisingly better than the already excellent raw "hi-res" files. Similarly, MQA re-mastering improved the already excellent (if I may say so myself) sonics of 33 Bowls recordings. MQA re-mastering also provides considerable sonic improvement to even early digital redbook 44.1 masters. There is more to it than just throwing more bits at it; there is more than just frequency response.

One of many facets of MQA is authentication, a verification that the "pipeline" is clean from the studio to your listening room or head. How do you know, how can you verify that a "hi-res" nyquist PCM audio file is actually sampled, digitized at the sample rate claimed, and not just a redbook 44.1/16 master that has been oversampled, to market as "hi-res"; or worse, upsampled from an mp3 file? How do you verify that any digital audio file, streamed or downloaded, has not been compromised along the way? Unless it is MQA, you don't. MQA uniquely provides a two tiered authentication of the source and master file.

ESS Tech, a pioneering manufacturer who makes high performance D/A chips that incorporate MQA rendering has this to say about MQA:

"...Using pioneering scientific research into how people hear, the MQA team has created a technology that captures the sound of the original studio performance. The master MQA file is fully authenticated and small enough to stream, while also being backward compatible, so you can play MQA music on any device. MQA’s award-winning technology is licensed by labels, music services and hardware manufacturers worldwide, and is certified by the RIAA..."


That's what.




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Deep Gratitude to countless generations of Artisans
who listened to the Grand Muse; who practiced,
even mastered the Art of expressing the resonance
and coherence of the Universal Aum;
who crafted these and other Singing Bowls.


Your memory lives on.