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#270521 - 2017-12-06 22:04 Analogue Requirements For MQA Playback.
Registered: 2006-07-31
Posts: 58
Locus Online content
Mostly harmless
Locus Online content
Mostly harmless

Registered: 2006-07-31
Posts: 58
Loc: London, UK
This topic has come up in passing a few times on the forum, but does not seem to have been addressed directly. Hopefully there are, or will be, many who are interested in MQA playback, of those few will have SE speakers. Most will use analogue equipment, and so this topic will be of interest to that majority. Meridian themselves do not seem to have offered any guidance in this area.

I thought it might be easiest to consider the simplest system: 'USB out from computer' into 'Explorer 2' into 'passive attenuator' into 'power amplifier' into 'analogue speakers'. The attenuator can be assumed to be transparent, inially, thus leaving the power amplifier and speakers, only, needing consideration. The question then is 'what electrical and physical parameters do those two items need to meet'?

From what I can gather it is the 'impulse response' of these items that needs to be adequate, but what exactly does that mean? VK mentioned that 'frequency response' and 'impulse response' are not the same, although I would suppose there is some relation between the two. My physics reaches its limit here. The other related problem is that manufacturers do not give any relevant information, at least as yet. Meridian, rather cryptically, only state the frequency response of the 8KSE as 'Frequency response in-room 20Hz – >32kHz ±3dB (for inputs at 44.1kHz or 48kHz)'. Not much help!

So, no answers from me, but perhaps others can offer illumination, or a picture can gradually be formed.

Locus.

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#270526 - 2017-12-06 23:52 Re: Analogue Requirements For MQA Playback. [Re: Locus]
Registered: 2009-11-10
Posts: 1,306
CMB Integrations - Bruce Online content
Meridian Partner Working on the ultimate question
CMB Integrations - Bruce Online content
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Loc: Lexington, South Carolina, USA
When it comes to MQA, once it leaves the Explorer2 it is in the analog realm so you have MQA regadless of what happens to the signal after as long as it does not receive further digital processing.


www.cmbintegrations.com

Personal System #1 Theta Digital Cassablanca 4, 218, DSP8000.2SE, DSP7200SEHC, Revel F228be, Revel B112, Monitor Audio Silver 10, ATI 200WX5 Amp, JVC RS15, Shunyata Denali 600S, Black Diamond Zero Edge screen. QNAP TS-251 3TB
Mark Levinson No515 Turntable

Crestron control and multi room audio via Meridian 258 amplifiers.
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#270528 - 2017-12-07 07:48 Re: Analogue Requirements For MQA Playback. [Re: Locus]
Registered: 2016-05-04
Posts: 171
Ogri Offline
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Ogri Offline
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Registered: 2016-05-04
Posts: 171
Loc: London, UK
+1! Having MQA is one thing, hearing the benefits another. SE speakers have high bandwidth amps and new tweeters, presumably to allow the effects of MQA to be heard. The new amp has similar electronics I believe. So the question asked sounds like - what analogue kit do you need to hear full fat MQA? What characteristics of amp, response of drivers, what does “fast” mean. I would be hugely interested in MQA if this were explicit. As nobody cares to flesh this out, and not knowing enough, my interest in MQA is minimal, SE speakers aren’t tempting at current prices with Meridian’s passing interest in this customer base. Shame really...

Anyone from Meridian reading?

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#270530 - 2017-12-07 07:58 Re: Analogue Requirements For MQA Playback. [Re: Ogri]
Registered: 2004-12-09
Posts: 6,241
ChrisLayerUK Offline
President of the Imperial Galactic Government
ChrisLayerUK Offline
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Registered: 2004-12-09
Posts: 6,241
Loc: Colchester, Essex, UK
The way I see it, with MQA decoded, you have a Studio Quality Analog input signal. (As defined by MQA)
With this, your analog system will do what it has always done. The better the system the better the sound.

The analogy I would use would be; how would your system sound with the ‘Best Turntable’ on the input?
Although this analogy immediately breaks down as the best Turntable is compromised by its own technology inherent in producing recordings on discs. Something MQA professes to overcome.

I’ll take cover now lol


No 18 in the Hall of fame smile I have simple tastes; I am content to settle for the best: GIK monster bass panels, rear wall.
MC200 500GB, QNAP TVS 471i3. Roon into 2 MS200's. Explorer 2. Bluesound Pulse 2 and Mini. 596 v1.89.2, 518, G61R, M60.2 Rosewood, M33C, M33 Rears, M1500 Sub, Foxsat HD, Sony Blu Ray, Pioneer 5090, 2 Chromecast's for LRB videos.
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#270531 - 2017-12-07 08:25 Re: Analogue Requirements For MQA Playback. [Re: ChrisLayerUK]
Registered: 2004-04-15
Posts: 12,317
VirusKiller Online content
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Registered: 2004-04-15
Posts: 12,317
Loc: nr. Milton Keynes, UK
MQA is all about adding time domain response to existing frequency domain response requirements.

Richard Hollinshead once pointed out to me that the frequency response of a loudspeaker does not guarantee time domain response of the same order (the electronics might be more limited in bandwidth than the drive units), but it's an indication that it might be so. Conversely, equipment with a published spec. of 20kHz might have a much higher time domain response, but you simply can't tell. To my knowledge, no one apart from Meridian states the time domain response of their equipment, and Meridian has only done that in a round about way ("high bandwidth electronics").

Most manufacturers of audio equipment don't care (in their specs at least) about frequency response beyond 20kHz, but that is beginning to change.

To be "MQA ready", I would look for indications that downstream equipment has at least been designed with high frequency bandwidth in mind (minimum 25kHz, but 30kHz better). I've recently bought a small set of Focal analogue active monitors for my desk which feature their inverted Beryllium tweeter and have a similar HF frequency response spec. to SE loudspeakers - I feel that this is important - and they sound remarkably clean and clear with a very open top end.


Roon Developer and ex-moderator of this Forum
I am #25 in the HH1 photo of fame.
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#270532 - 2017-12-07 08:32 Re: Analogue Requirements For MQA Playback. [Re: CMB Integrations - Bruce]
Registered: 2004-04-15
Posts: 12,317
VirusKiller Online content
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Registered: 2004-04-15
Posts: 12,317
Loc: nr. Milton Keynes, UK
Originally Posted By CMB Integrations - Bruce
once it leaves the Explorer2 it is in the analog realm so you have MQA regadless of what happens to the signal after as long as it does not receive further digital processing.
I have to disagree with this statement. If the downstream analogue electronics do not have adequate time domain impulse response and smear the audio, the MQA goodness is lost, period.


Roon Developer and ex-moderator of this Forum
I am #25 in the HH1 photo of fame.
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#270535 - 2017-12-07 10:02 Re: Analogue Requirements For MQA Playback. [Re: VirusKiller]
Registered: 2004-04-23
Posts: 2,451
Cliff. Offline
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Registered: 2004-04-23
Posts: 2,451
Loc: South Wiltshire, UK
I’m not going to pretend to understand the subtleties of MQA processing but I still don’t understand how you can get the full benefits of time smear correction without taking into account the influence of the room. Trinnov EQ makes time domain corrections for both group delay and very early reflections. Whatever they do, the sound quality (especially MC) has never been better in my room. The next generation MQA processing surely has to be integrated with state-of-the-art room correction. Until then I would choose the latter.


Main system - Sources (Kodi-HTPC, Vero 4k, FireTV, Sat) into Trinnov Altitude 32 (8-16) (+Roon), Trinnov Amplitude 8 amp & Vivid Audio (Giya G3, V1.5) and REL Stentor III speakers. Others: F80 + Raspberry Pi and other Pi systems.
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#270536 - 2017-12-07 10:26 Re: Analogue Requirements For MQA Playback. [Re: VirusKiller]
Registered: 2009-11-10
Posts: 1,306
CMB Integrations - Bruce Online content
Meridian Partner Working on the ultimate question
CMB Integrations - Bruce Online content
Meridian Partner
Working on the ultimate question

Registered: 2009-11-10
Posts: 1,306
Loc: Lexington, South Carolina, USA
So all the people who have been enjoying an Explorer2 with headphones and raving about the sound quality are all suffering from some mass delusion and have not been listening to MQA at all? And to further that point, the Ultra DAC, 808v6, 818v3 or 218 when used with an analog system won't provide real MQA unless they are paired with very specific amps and speakers? Where is this approved list? As with anything audio, the better the equipment, the better the result.


www.cmbintegrations.com

Personal System #1 Theta Digital Cassablanca 4, 218, DSP8000.2SE, DSP7200SEHC, Revel F228be, Revel B112, Monitor Audio Silver 10, ATI 200WX5 Amp, JVC RS15, Shunyata Denali 600S, Black Diamond Zero Edge screen. QNAP TS-251 3TB
Mark Levinson No515 Turntable

Crestron control and multi room audio via Meridian 258 amplifiers.
Edited by CMB Integrations - Bruce; 2017-12-07 10:42.
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#270547 - 2017-12-07 13:29 Re: Analogue Requirements For MQA Playback. [Re: CMB Integrations - Bruce]
Registered: 2016-05-04
Posts: 171
Ogri Offline
Hitchhiker
Ogri Offline
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Registered: 2016-05-04
Posts: 171
Loc: London, UK
Are we all understanding MQA? How can you hear benefits if the equipment used can’t reproduce them?

I can understand a studio master sounding great but that would be missing the point.

The approved list ( or in less passionate terms, required characteristics for amp and driver) is exactly what this topic is about, so yes please, what exactly is required, specifically?

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#270548 - 2017-12-07 13:34 Re: Analogue Requirements For MQA Playback. [Re: CMB Integrations - Bruce]
Registered: 2011-02-02
Posts: 2,233
Hector Offline
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Registered: 2011-02-02
Posts: 2,233
Loc: Midlands, UK
Originally Posted By CMB Integrations - Bruce
So all the people who have been enjoying an Explorer2 with headphones and raving about the sound quality are all suffering from some mass delusion and have not been listening to MQA at all? And to further that point, the Ultra DAC, 808v6, 818v3 or 218 when used with an analog system won't provide real MQA unless they are paired with very specific amps and speakers? Where is this approved list? As with anything audio, the better the equipment, the better the result.


Hi Bruce
Does the missing approved list include "The Prime Headphone Amp" fed from analogue out of 808v6 or 818v3. Or am I also delusional?

Of course there is no MQA indication in this case on the Prime only on the 808 in my case confused

Hector


AV: Thorens TD160B, SME, ShureV15MK2, 500, 598, 861v4, DSP7200.1LR, DSP3300HC Samsung UE55, SkyHD.
DINING: MS600, AC200, DSP5200SLLR.
STUDY 504, SB Touch, 2x MD600, C15, 808.6, 5200SE, Mac & PC, Explorer v1, Prime+PS Grado GS1000i
HORIZONTAL: M80, MS200, Red Rose Spirit + Sonus Faber Toys
A capella to Zydeco
Edited by Hector; 2017-12-07 13:38. Edit Reason: Clarity
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#270552 - 2017-12-07 20:49 Re: Analogue Requirements For MQA Playback. [Re: Hector]
Registered: 2007-07-11
Posts: 1,050
Kswanson Offline
Pan-dimensional being
Kswanson Offline
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Registered: 2007-07-11
Posts: 1,050
Loc: San Diego area, CA, USA
This is an interesting thread to me because I've wondered the same thing. Berkeley makes terrific DACs and their latest renders MQA but does not do the first unfold. What, exactly, does a DAC do when it renders? Does it add something to the electronics or speakers?

Ken


Main: G68J, 5K2s, 5Ks, HSU subs, Pio 151FD, Dish VP722, Roku, Wadia I70, Anti Mode Dual Core, Oppo 103D Vanity Lite
Office: SBT, Audience 2+2v2, Heed, JL e110, Dual Core, 218, Roon.
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#270553 - 2017-12-07 21:17 Re: Analogue Requirements For MQA Playback. [Re: Kswanson]
Registered: 2010-08-08
Posts: 431
Jeje Offline
Paranoid android
Jeje Offline
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Registered: 2010-08-08
Posts: 431
Loc: New York City, NY, USA
Interesting tread as well, as I was wondering about the required specs of the power amplifier.

I remember JOB sys (Goldmund) having a Marketing Story about how "fast" their amplifier is.


In their Specs, they had a number for "Slew rate unloaded" > 80 V/us.


Is this what Meridian was referring to, the required upgraded specs of the SE amplification?


Jerome
Music: MC200 -> MS600 -> G68D -> DSP8.2k + DSP5200HC front / DSP33 Rears
Movies: NAS -> Oppo BDP-93 -> HD621 -> G68D -> DSP8.2k + DSP5200HC front / DSP33 Rears
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