Home  |  Audio Reviews  Show Reports   Partner Mags News 

 

Enjoy the Music.com
Australian Hi-Fi Magazine
September / October 2018
Editor's Lead In
Why Cheat On A Listening Test?

Editorial By Greg Borrowman

 

Australian Hi-Fi Magazine September / October 2018

 

  It is more than four years since I published an editorial in which I explained why most of the so-called 'hi-res' music available is not 'hi-res' at all, but rather a complete waste of your money and Internet bandwidth. I don't want to re-hash that editorial here, that's what the Internet is for, so you can read it at this link if you've forgotten it or didn't read it in the first place. What I'd like to say in this editorial is that, rather disappointingly, nothing has changed in the intervening years: The fact remains that most of the music being sold as 'hi-res' was not recorded at high resolution in the first place, so can have no information in it at all that was beyond the capability of the original recording instrument to capture. The fact also remains that pretty-much all of the so-called 'pure' DSD recordings available spent a considerable amount of their life in PCM format, so anyone who claims that DSD sounds 'better' than PCM is basing that claim on music that was 'degraded' to PCM before being re-encoded as DSD... and in this case you really can't put humpty together again.

Then there's the case of the mistaken comparison. I was recently demo'ed what was purported to be an 'MQA vs. CD' shoot-out, using two identical music samples... except that one was MQA and the other wasn't. I say 'purported' because the MQA version sounded so bad that it wasn't a shoot-out at all, but a massacre, because the MQA version sounded truly awful. So awful, in fact, that I don't think that it was MQA to blame at all for the bad sound. I think we were listening to two completely different mixes. Maybe one had been mixed for vinyl, and the other for CD (or for 'hi-res')... I really don't know. But if you're offered a similar shoot-out at a hi-fi show, take a salt-shaker in with you. But the demo did get me thinking about Mark Waldrep, a.k.a. 'Dr Aix', the owner of Aix Records, who is an outspoken critic of MQA.

 

Australian Hi-Fi Magazine September / October 2018

 

According to him Bob Stuart, the inventor of the MQA format, offered to MQA-process several of Waldrep's own high-resolution recordings (and Aix recordings really are hi-res) so Waldrep could compare for himself. It has been many years since that offer was made and despite many reminders by Waldrep, MQA versions of his tracks are no-where to be heard. Which makes me think that if MQA is so good, why is Stuart so reluctant to make good on his original offer? I thought I'd check for the most recent news about this on Waldrep's website and discovered that's just concluded a survey to see if visitors to his site could hear the difference between a high-resolution file and one at standard CD quality.

His initial results were very intriguing. There were two versions of six tracks and of the first 70 people who responded, only 2 got all six correct. This would seem to suggest that no-one could tell the difference but it doesn't, because apparently 17 people got 0 correct, 10 people got 5 of the six correct and 18 people got only 2 correct. This is statistically significant because it suggests that these people could hear a difference, they just weren't sure about which one was the hi-res and which was the CD standard. Waldrep himself says the results are not a rigorous study and the sample size is certainly very small, but his initial results indicate that a large-scale study would be worth someone's while.

 

--- Greg Borrowman

 

 

Australian Hi-Fi Magazine

Subscribe To Australian Hi-Fi Magazine

Get this issue of Australian Hi-Fi Magazine by clicking here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
Quick Links


Audiophile Review Magazine
High-End Audio Equipment Reviews

Equipment Review Archives
Turntables, Cartridges, Etc
Digital Source
Do It Yourself (DIY)
Preamplifiers
Amplifiers
Cables, Wires, Etc
Loudspeakers/ Monitors
Headphones, IEMs, Tweaks, Etc

Superior Audio Archives
Ultra High-End Audio Reviews

Videos
Enjoy the Music.TV

Columns
Editorials By Tom Lyle
Viewpoint By Roger Skoff
Viewpoint By Steven R. Rochlin
Various Think Pieces
Manufacturer Articles


Show Reports
Capital Audiofest 2018 Report
Australian Hi-Fi & AV Show 2018
Rocky Mountain Audio Fest RMAF 2018
CanJam 2018 Denver RMAF
KL International AV 2018 Show Report
High End Munich 2018 Show Report
AXPONA 2018 Show Report
CanJam SoCal 2018 Show Report
CanJam NYC 2018 Show Report
Click here for previous shows.

Other
Audiophile Contests
Cool Free Stuff For You
Tweaks For Your System
Vinyl Logos For LP Lovers
Lust Pages Visual Beauty

Resources And Information
Music Definitions
Hi-Fi Definitions
High-End Audio Manufacture Links

 


Daily Industry News

High-End Audio News & Information

Partner Magazines
Australian Hi-Fi Magazine
NOVO (CANADA HiFi)
hi-fi+ Magazine
HIFICRITIC
HiFi Media
Hi-Fi World
Sound Practices
VALVE Magazine

For The Press & Industry
About Us
Press Releases
Official Site Graphics

Contests & Join Our Mailing List

Our free newsletter for monthly updates & enter our contests!

Our Social Media & Video Channel
      

 

 

       

Home  |  Sitemap  |  Industry News  |  Equipment / Music Reviews  |  Press Releases  |  About Us  |  Contact Us

 

All contents copyright  1995 - 2018  Enjoy the Music.com
May not be copied or reproduced without permission.  All rights reserved.