I don’t have a lot of time this morning, but I did want to provide a quick report on the second day of the show. First the most exciting news of the day — the YARRA 3DX won an award for “superior technological achievement in combination with audiophile performance!” Roger Skoff headed a group of “blue ribbon” audiophile judges that visited the nominated vendors and auditioned their products. Here’s what John Williams, one of the judges, said when he announced the win for Comhear’s YARRA 3DX sound projector:
“Chuck and I, in the mezzanine area, came across the Comhear YARRA 3DX. We kind of looked at each and went “WHAT?” So we sat down — and you experience 5.1, 3D sound without headphones from just this small, little rectangular shaped piece of equipment. And the sound you get is full 3D 5.1 surround. I don’t know how they do it? But it blew us both away. And we want to recognize them as well.”
I have to share that everyone that came by and listened to the prototype had the same experience. I’ll be posting some video testimonials over the next few days but I can assure you that the product was a huge hit. Neil Gader of The Absolute Sound called it, “really, realy impressive! A real no brainer!” And my friend Russ Stratton of the LAOC Audiophile Society waved his arms around his head and said, “the way it was able to wrap around my head and localize the channels was stunning!”
It’s so nice to know my peers and industry professional recognize the importance of this revolutionary technology. Robert Harley, John Atkinson, Neil Gader, and Scott Wilkinson all reveled in the immersive “binaural” surround music that CEO Perry Teevens shared with them and attendees. And my hats off to Perry because he never stopped demoing…he even skipped lunch to make sure everyone had adequate time to experience the demo.
The other memorable moment of the day for me occurred at the end of Robert Stuart’s seminar on MQA. I’ll dig into more details when I have more time but one of the first questions came from a local mastering engineer name Brian Lucey. He runs Magic Garden Mastering, a prominent studio in Los Angeles that has garnered more than few Grammys for his clients. He wanted to know why the MQA versions of his projects don’t sound as he wants them to. They aren’t the “masters” — in his words.
I reached out to him and he sent me the following email response:
“My concern is telling people that MQA is equal to or better than mastered files I print here. That’s a lie.
I do pop and rock and alternative. Loud records, processed a ton. I use the Pacific Microsonics AD and even 24/44.1 that I print here (I like 44.1 for the density) was a bad result after MQA. I can only imagine it’s worse with higher math, or maybe it’s better, I wouldn’t know.
Don’t care if Bob Ludwig or Massenberg disagree. I have a lot of Bob’s former clients and I don’t fancy the Massenberg EQ or his ear.
The math is solid, no doubt, and no pre-ring is great…yet don’t lie to people and insult my work and my clients work. A master is what it is. I do not ‘authenticate’ MQA.”
Of course, he wasn’t well received by the rest of the audience. They seem willing to let the MQA train keep rolling without listening to the contrary opinions from professionals at all stages of the production chain. I spoke to an audiophile friend at the end of the first day and he was all about how MQA was the next big thing. He’s wrong.
I also happened to discuss MQA with a former Meridian insider. Very interesting to hear the evolution of MLP and the ambitions for the technology in the streaming world. More later…