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Thread: Can audio component sales personnel play tricks on customers?

  1. #1
    Join Date: May 2010

    Location: Vancouver, Canada

    Posts: 1,845
    I'm Alex.

    Default Can audio component sales personnel play tricks on customers?

    I've been on few occasions in the position where some high end audio store was demoing some systems/components to me, and the back-and-forth switching almost always made for an extremely impressive experience. Like "here is configuration A, give it a good listen; now, here is configuration B -- ta-da!!!"

    Those stunts always made me think in the back of my head -- "there must be a trick to this..."

    My latest impression: MQA. Listened to John Coltrane "Giant Steps" in MQA format. Sounded bloody awesome! I could easily follow every Coltrane's nuance on the tenor sax, things I've never heard before because of the blinding speed of his playing.

    Then listened to the same track in red book format -- the music just collapsed. Everything else remaining equal -- same volume, same configuration. Simply going from MQA to CD the music just died.

    How's that possible? Is there a trick to it, or is it really such a genuine improvement?
    Don't you just hate it when you cannot detect where the post ends and a signature line begins?

    Alex.

  2. #2
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

    Posts: 28,567
    I'm Geoff.

    Default

    I thought MQA was just a 'luxury' version of MP3?
    Mr. Tact!

    Main system: MMs/ADCs/Low output MC's/One rare Japanese SUT/One scarce British phono stage/various tonearms/hefty Japanese DD TT and hefty Japanese BD TT and small British BD TT. 4 CD players/2 jitter buster/2 DACs/Valve buffer. TVC stepped attenuator or valve pre-amp or solid state pre-amp. Current dumping power-amp or either of two Class A SS power-amp or Class A EL34 valve monos or big Japanese (part Class A) integrated. Big dual concentric speakers/Smaller dual concentric speakers/Two way British compacts and full range speakers, amongst others. And too much more to list!

  3. #3
    Join Date: May 2010

    Location: Vancouver, Canada

    Posts: 1,845
    I'm Alex.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by walpurgis View Post
    I thought MQA was just a 'luxury' version of MP3?
    I thought FLAC was a luxury version of mp3.
    Don't you just hate it when you cannot detect where the post ends and a signature line begins?

    Alex.

  4. #4
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

    Posts: 28,567
    I'm Geoff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by magiccarpetride View Post
    I thought FLAC was a luxury version of mp3.
    Dunno. I was just asking the question. Digital files interest me little. I don't use them (yet).
    Mr. Tact!

    Main system: MMs/ADCs/Low output MC's/One rare Japanese SUT/One scarce British phono stage/various tonearms/hefty Japanese DD TT and hefty Japanese BD TT and small British BD TT. 4 CD players/2 jitter buster/2 DACs/Valve buffer. TVC stepped attenuator or valve pre-amp or solid state pre-amp. Current dumping power-amp or either of two Class A SS power-amp or Class A EL34 valve monos or big Japanese (part Class A) integrated. Big dual concentric speakers/Smaller dual concentric speakers/Two way British compacts and full range speakers, amongst others. And too much more to list!

  5. #5
    Join Date: May 2010

    Location: Vancouver, Canada

    Posts: 1,845
    I'm Alex.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by walpurgis View Post
    Dunno. I was just asking the question. Digital files interest me little. I don't use them (yet).
    I've all but given up on digital sound, but after hearing the MQA demo today, I got mighty intrigued. If there was no weird trickery, the MQA playback was really impressive, and sounded absolutely superior to the CD playback.
    Don't you just hate it when you cannot detect where the post ends and a signature line begins?

    Alex.

  6. #6
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

    Posts: 28,567
    I'm Geoff.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by magiccarpetride View Post
    MQA playback was really impressive, and sounded absolutely superior to the CD playback.
    That would not surprise me. Bob Stuart and Meridian have always been to the forefront of good digital sound. I don't do 'computer music' so far, but no doubt the day may come.
    Mr. Tact!

    Main system: MMs/ADCs/Low output MC's/One rare Japanese SUT/One scarce British phono stage/various tonearms/hefty Japanese DD TT and hefty Japanese BD TT and small British BD TT. 4 CD players/2 jitter buster/2 DACs/Valve buffer. TVC stepped attenuator or valve pre-amp or solid state pre-amp. Current dumping power-amp or either of two Class A SS power-amp or Class A EL34 valve monos or big Japanese (part Class A) integrated. Big dual concentric speakers/Smaller dual concentric speakers/Two way British compacts and full range speakers, amongst others. And too much more to list!

  7. #7
    Join Date: Feb 2013

    Location: W Lothian

    Posts: 36,583
    I'm Grant.

    Default

    Thought it was a sort of equalisation Plenty tricks can be used of course too
    Regards,
    Grant ....

    I've said it before and I'll say it again: democracy simply-doesn't-work
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  8. #8
    Join Date: Sep 2011

    Location: Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, Scotland

    Posts: 294
    I'm stuart.

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    I've got different versions of the same cd, both red book, one sounds shit and one sounds amazing. Shoddy mastering is normally the source of the problem. I'm not saying categorically that's the issue here but I'd want to know the versions of both songs used.

  9. #9
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Staffordshire, England

    Posts: 17,840
    I'm Martin.

    Default

    Giant Steps is from 1959 so there would be no benefit from presenting it in a 'high resolution' package, therefore there can only be 2 explanations - different mastering, or some form EQ in the secret MQA processing.

    Yes, audio sales people and manufacturers will pull all sorts of tricks in order to sell you. No different from any other industry, much as we would like it to be.
    Martin



    Current Lash Up:

    Sony X505ES CD Player * NVA P90SA passive pre / Krell KSA50S Power amp * JM Lab Electra 926 loudspeakers *



    "I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me." - Hunter S Thompson

  10. #10
    Join Date: Mar 2008

    Location: Dunfermline, Scotland, UK

    Posts: 12,247
    I'm inthescottishmafia.

    Default

    It would be if it was a high res copy of the master tape.
    There are times when you canít do the sensible thing, when you canít act like a responsible adult at all; you just have to do whatever insane thing comes into your head. When bad people do it they end up murderers, when good people do it they end up heroes, and when the rest of us do it we end up looking like total idiots. But whenís that ever stopped us?

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