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eltech

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About eltech

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  1. eltech

    Archimago blog on MQA (guess what, he's not a fan )

    It's not surprising to find differences of interpretation. I think where we differ has more to do with our playback hardware. Great DACs don't sound "digital" or have "glare" if driven by a very low jitter transport.
  2. eltech

    Archimago blog on MQA (guess what, he's not a fan )

    To answer your question requires me to perhaps provide some credentials of hearing acuity. A few years ago I was interested in an amplifier made by a famous Australian amplifier manufacturer in Victoria who specifically designs transistor amplifiers to sound like a valve amp. I went to his house for an audition. He started out by playing me some music on his lowest price amplifier. I said, its nice, but I can hear the second order distortion. It sounds a lot like a valve amp. Its not my cup of tea. He then plugged in his more expensive model and we had a listen, and I said, that's better, but I can still hear that second order distortion. So, he put on his most expensive amplifier and it did have much lower audible second order distortion, so I took that one home for a “home demo”. In a week he rang me to ask what I thought, and I told him that though I thought it was the best of the lot, with an obviously clean signal path, the second order distortion was still too high for my liking and I preferred my existing amplifier because of its lower audible distortion. He told me that I was pretty much the only person he knew who was able to pick it out, and hear the difference in distortion between amplifiers. I recently obtained a linear tracking turntable. Fortunately it uses a Audio Technica cartridge which allowed me to install my AT150Mlx stylus onto the P-mount cartridge. I had a listen and was immediately pleased to hear a marked noticeable reduction in tracing distortion which had always annoyed me with pivoting tonearms. What I hear with a pivoting tonearm is a change in the distortion spectrum as the pivoting tonearm traverses the playing area of the record. The best way for me to describe it is to say that the tone of instruments change throughout a side. Its probably most noticeable with high hats, but violins suffer from it too. Second order distortion also blunts the attack of the high hat, and second order distortion seems to spread out the sound and slow the attack. You'll have to forgive my use of language here because English has very few words to accurately describe sound. There is a “creamyness” to second order distortion which is audible to me. To explain, low distortion is like drinking clean fresh water, and second order distortion is like drinking pouring cream. I do apologise for this flowery language but I'm struggling to convey in a meaningful way what I hear, only that I hear it, and its obvious to me. When I listed to the first track on the 2L website I listened through one speaker only. I was using a professional USB DAC. I listened to the 16/44 version and heard the violin sounding prominent, I heard the bow on the strings, and extended high frequencies, and the female vocalist was clear and prominent. When I then listened to the same track which was encoded with MQA I heard a perceived lessening of amplitude of the high frequencies, it sounded like someone had used EQ to lower the highs. Weird!. I then noticed that the violin seemed also like it had sunk into the mix, and the attack on the violin was no longer present - no bow on string sound. I then listened to the non-MQA high res version and found that it sounded much closer to the 44/16 version than the MQA version. My preference was for either version not encoded with MQA. Things that are audible to me with MQA is a change of tone, a change of attack, and inexplicable perception of a softening of the mid and top end, and all of this together gave me a strong perception of a huge loss in clarity and involvement with the music. The files @rmpfyf gave me dont have exactly the same effect, with his minimum phase file I found a slight dulling of attack, and an excessively soft presentation to the mid and highs, and there was a creaminess to the female vocal. I suppose I could say it sounded a bit smeared, however his files didn't exactly lose the clarity in the same way I perceived the MQA files to have lost clarity. I can imagine that some people would subjectively enjoy the minimum phase file sent to me by @rmpfyf but the obvious loss of cleanliness and clarity is too much for me to enjoy. I much preferred the 44.1 file. I hope this reply gives you some insight into how I hear things.
  3. eltech

    Archimago blog on MQA (guess what, he's not a fan )

    I'm not Inferring, I'm saying outright I hear the time delay. No, it not a crackle, or "noise", that's not the sort of distortion I'm taking about. I am taking about the audible and obvious phase distortion of the minimum phase filter which is blatantly audibly obvious to ME! I think it sounds awful! It's distorting the sound! It is a HUGE problem!
  4. eltech

    Archimago blog on MQA (guess what, he's not a fan )

    So, that causes the delay, and since it's in the passband, it's audible, right? Well, that's what I'm hearing
  5. eltech

    Archimago blog on MQA (guess what, he's not a fan )

    Hmm, well when @rmpfyf sent me his upsampled 192khz files I was able to hear the minimum phase filter at work. I hope I haven't taken your quote out of context, but yes I can hear the minimum phase filter.
  6. eltech

    Archimago blog on MQA (guess what, he's not a fan )

    When I look at his simulations and explanation it appears to explain why I hear a difference in the mid/high frequencies with MQA. I find it very audible and not in a good way.
  7. eltech

    Archimago blog on MQA (guess what, he's not a fan )

    @davewantsmoore Thanks for explaining that the minimum phase filter causes the delay. I the meantime I was hunting around trying to find more information and came across this thread http://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/pre-and-post-effin-ringing-and-shit-like-that.2627/ Would you like to comment about the post made halfway down by the person called "ultrabike" who shows simulations of minimum phase filters. He wrote "As you can see the phase in the minimum phase filter is not linear in the passband. Frequencies will not be in phase with each other and input and output data will not match up. High frequencies will be affected the most. This affects signal below fs/2."
  8. eltech

    Archimago blog on MQA (guess what, he's not a fan )

    Perhaps just provide your own guess instead? But what else can cause such a delay in the high frequencies? A guess?
  9. eltech

    Archimago blog on MQA (guess what, he's not a fan )

    What are you observing?
  10. eltech

    Archimago blog on MQA (guess what, he's not a fan )

    Much earlier on, I suggested listening to an mqa file in mono or with only one speaker playing.
  11. eltech

    Archimago blog on MQA (guess what, he's not a fan )

    I found an interesting quote from here https://www.prosoundweb.com/topics/studio/r_e_p_best_threads_understanding_pre_ringing_the_gibbs_phenomenon_intersamp/5/ "Reply by bruno putzeys Pre-ringing is not cumulative. A long string of linear-phase brick-wall filters is still a brick-wall filter. The impulse response remains a sin(x)/x function. That said, inband ripple does cumulate, which is why skimping on inband ripple specs is a bad ideal."
  12. eltech

    Archimago blog on MQA (guess what, he's not a fan )

    You may have to define "high quality system" for me. Perhaps a list of minimum equipment that qualifies? For thoroughness please list DACs, amps and speakers. Thanks!
  13. eltech

    Archimago blog on MQA (guess what, he's not a fan )

    Can you elaborate?
  14. eltech

    Archimago blog on MQA (guess what, he's not a fan )

    Ok, so it was just meaningless waffle. A statement of the obvious. Ok. Fair call.
  15. eltech

    Archimago blog on MQA (guess what, he's not a fan )

    Geez. That goes against their claims, doesn't it? People have said the same sorts of things about valve amps and non oversampling DACs. So, this doesn't say much at all. This is contradictory, isn't it? I think it's weird to say there is a difference, and then to say when listening off axis a bit, those differences go away. He doesn't make sense. (Or does he? See my hypothesis below) You can say this about any listening test. I don't need anyone elses opinion to know that what I heard of mqa was a step backwards in the presentation of the music. I've done my own recordings and found that PCM does not cause any issues with timing, the recordings sound just like the original. However the mqa samples I heard do not sound like the original. I believe mqa changes and negatively affects the sound. I suspect mqa is using FIR filtering within the audible frequencies because of the time delay in the high frequencies measured by archimago. You can time align speakers and correct their phase response and frequency magnitude, but those corrections are only applicable to one location (where the test microphone is located). Once you change the listening distance or angle, the frequency response is then not flat. I suspect this delay introduced by the mqa process makes assumptions about listening distance. This is a hypothesis which I don't have the means to test or prove. I could be wrong. But there is no doubt mqa does something to the sound.
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