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Old 31st August 2017 | Show parent
Gear Head
Originally Posted by lucey ➡️
Please do ... a concise list would be helpful

Can you add to this list everyone you have seen who is on the CON list?

PS Audio

AK Designs (DACs & software)
Ayre (Hifi)
Benchmark (DACs)
Klinktbetter (Hifi software)
Linn (Hifi)
Shiit (Hifi)
Xivero (Studio software)
AK Designs is Andreas Koch who worked with Ed Meitner to build the early DSD recorders/players for Sony/Philips. His current hardware company is called Playback Design. First-rate digital engineer.

Not that it affects the way its pronounced, but the correct spelling is Schiit (with a "c" between the "s" and "h"). The digital designer there is Mike Moffat, who co-founded Theta Digital, who (arguably) made the first external DAC for CD players.

Others include:

MBL (Hi-Fi) is based in Berlin and builds everything from DACs to loudspeakers. Their digital engineer is Juergen Reis, another first-rate digital designer, also anti-MQA.

Exogal (DACs and power amps) is based in Wisconsin and is a descendant of Wadia (another early Hi-Fi DAC manufacturer). Their digital engineer is Jim Kinne

Naim (Hi-Fi) is a UK-based company similar to Linn. They have many different digital engineers (large company) and are also anti-MQA.

Chord Electronics (Hi-Fi) is a UK-based company. Their digital engineer is Rob Watts and he is anti-MQA.

In general it seems that there is a line that divides the pro-MQA camp from the anti-MQA camp when it comes to hardware manufacturers:

1) Those who have the technical skills and abilities to design their own custom digital filters, using either FPGAs or DSP chips. This group has pretty much zero interest in MQA, with the possible exception of dCS (UK).

2) Those who have no clue about designing digital filters and just use whatever is built into the DAC chip they purchase. This group tends to be pretty much all on board.

I believe the reason for this difference simply boils down to the technical chops of the digital engineer. If they are smart enough to design their own digital filter, they realize that MQA is promising free lunches, and there ain't no such thing. Plus once you know how to build a digital filter, there is zero reason to pay licensing and royalty fees to some greedy third party that wants to create a monopoly.

The companies that don't know how to build digital filters are happy to pay MQA a license and royalty to get a digital filter that likely sounds better than the one that comes for free with the DAC chip. It's not like the DAC chip makers sit around and listen to different digital filters to see what sounds best... That explains the manufacturer's interest (or lack thereof).

There is some small benefit to the streaming companies because the file size is reduced about 20% from a 96/24 FLAC. A bigger deal for the lossless streaming companies is the fact that they have to have three copies of every file - one in lossy for the low-priced tier, and then two in lossless - ALAC for Apple and FLAC for Windows. With MQA they would only have to store one file, sending out the "16-bit" version for the entry level (only 13 bits of actual resolution!) and then the "24-bit" version for the premium tier (only 17 bits of actual resolution). This could all change soon as there are a lot of rumors that Apple will finally wake up and include FLAC decoding in iOS 11.

Which leaves the record labels. It appears that the main benefit for the record labels is the fact that MQA allows them to sneak in DRM. This would perfectly explain the post in this thread:


I think DAH hit the nail on the head with this one.

I'll work on both a revised version of the MQA document and also a condensed one. Have fun in Colorado!