Dr. AIX

Mark Waldrep, aka Dr. AIX, has been producing and engineering music for over 40 years. He learned electronics as a teenager from his HAM radio father while learning to play the guitar. Mark received the first doctorate in music composition from UCLA in 1986 for a "binaural" electronic music composition. Other advanced degrees include an MS in computer science, an MFA/MA in music, BM in music and a BA in art. As an engineer and producer, Mark has worked on projects for the Rolling Stones, 311, Tool, KISS, Blink 182, Blues Traveler, Britney Spears, the San Francisco Symphony, The Dover Quartet, Willie Nelson, Paul Williams, The Allman Brothers, Bad Company and many more. Dr. Waldrep has been an innovator when it comes to multimedia and music. He created the first enhanced CDs in the 90s, the first DVD-Videos released in the U.S., the first web-connected DVD, the first DVD-Audio title, the first music Blu-ray disc and the first 3D Music Album. Additionally, he launched the first High Definition Music Download site in 2007 called iTrax.com. A frequency speaker at audio events, author of numerous articles, Dr. Waldrep is currently writing a book on the production and reproduction of high-end music called, "High-End Audio: A Practical Guide to Production and Playback". The book should be completed in the fall of 2013.

18 thoughts on “Meridian MQA at CES 2015: Part II Listening

  • January 12, 2015 at 7:08 pm
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    Thanks for your reporting of the listening session, but it really tells us just about zero, nothing, nada of use. I imagine you know why I make that complaint. If you heard the file in redbook form, and then in MQA format, or hear a native hirez bit of music, then MQA it might tell us something. But you heard isolated music of unknown remastering. It means MQA doesn’t sound bad on its on. But whether it sounds better than redbook or something in between there is no basis to say. Well mastered redbook can be very good.

    Thanks for your reporting though. I don’t mean to be overly critical, just don’t know a simpler way to phrase it.

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    • January 13, 2015 at 8:19 am
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      You’re right, of course. I think Robert and his associates were very proud of the quality of the sound that they produced from sources that were, in most cases, quite old. I firmly believe that they can deliver very high quality lossless versions of analog or PCM digital sources…at substantially lower bandwidth than conventional schemes. I’ll be able to report on your issue when IU get some of my files MQA’d and can compare.

      Reply
  • January 12, 2015 at 11:16 pm
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    Best part of the story was about you walking home from Dominoes thru an early Ann Arbor morning. What were you listening to Roberta Flack on?

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    • January 13, 2015 at 8:20 am
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      We had a radio in the pizza shop…I took some poetic license because I remember those short transits home very vividly. When the sign on the band on the corner blinked -20 degrees and 3:30 in the am…I remember.

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  • January 13, 2015 at 12:27 am
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    Congratulations to you, Mark, for having listened for the first time in your life to a properly noise-shaped Upsampled MP3 track. Sure many will agree to pay for air with MQA.

    I am suggesting the solely authentic HD audio :

    * decimal word {NO quantizing error}

    * 768 kHz sample rate {NO anti-alias filter, smoothest high frequency cancellation}

    * mono {NO phase shift between the two channels}

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    • January 13, 2015 at 8:23 am
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      Did you read the post?

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      • January 14, 2015 at 2:13 am
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        Well, O.K.

        MQA = MLP 44.1/16 + 192/384 resampling + anti-aliasing filter attenuation {technique was first applied by dCS; Meridian have also used some rhetoric from neighbouring Chord Electronics}

        Then, apparently, OptimFROG 44.1/16 + 192 kHz upsampling + filter attenuation will give on much better results just in terms of file size… Period.

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        • January 14, 2015 at 7:55 am
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          MQA is not 44.1/16 with MLP applied.

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          • January 14, 2015 at 11:13 am
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            Then, which specifications does it have {if any} ?

  • January 13, 2015 at 9:21 am
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    “The MQA technology seems ideally suited to pulling the best sound out of the hundreds of thousands of aging analog master tapes and presenting them once again. Getting the best “Master Studio Quality” from those tapes is very important.”

    Man you lost me here Mark, you make it sound like MQA can make an improvement to the sound of the original tape and that’s not possible. The best we can hope for is that MQA is a completely transparent compression system that allows large digital files to be to be transported at a faster speed with no loss of fidelity.
    You need to do some honest A-B listening tests with your best recordings to determine the transparency of the system.
    The above post proved nothing except your opinions of the sound of the original recordings and told us nothing about MQA.
    Don’t mean to be disrespectful, I much appreciate the work you put into educating us with your daily blog. But I question the reason for this positive brag on MQA when there were no testing procedures to support it?

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    • January 13, 2015 at 10:22 am
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      Sal,

      If you read my previous posts on MQA, you’ll know that I don’t regard MQA as anything more than a potential streaming carrier for high-quality audio. I will get to the comparison, I simply reported on what I heard.

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      • January 13, 2015 at 4:59 pm
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        Sorry, just seems you were a bit premature in praising the sound before it had been submitted to complete A-B listening tests of a known source like your own recordings.

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        • January 13, 2015 at 5:12 pm
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          I don’t feel I’ve said anything than I heard some terrific recordings played back in the Meridian room. I’ll get to the final comparison asap.

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  • January 13, 2015 at 10:19 am
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    You said Mark: “MQA and a number of other technologies can make sure that we get the very best of these standard resolution masterpieces.”
    Let’s hope that one of those “other technologies” is the Plangent process. From what I have heard, it makes indeed a difference as far as involvement into the music.

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    • January 13, 2015 at 10:23 am
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      Plangent is a major step among many…better tape transports, electronics, and post processing like the clever trick that CAPSTAN and PLANGENT provide. However, the cost is too high think this will be done to anything bu the very best quality projects.

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  • January 13, 2015 at 11:12 am
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    I found it interesting that you thought MQA had promise with it being played using a Sooloos music server. I auditioned one a while back but was disappointed. When I heard CD rips and 24/96 PCM from an Aurender I immediately sold my Meridian CD player and have been happy since. I only mention this because as I slowly learn about music play back I’m astounded how much a difference the kit used can make. Not news to others of course. Thanks for your posts Mark, I have much to learn.

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    • January 13, 2015 at 12:23 pm
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      The recordings I heard the other day were very accurate reproductions of excellent transfers from analog tape and some high-resolution digital (PCM). It is not a requirement to spend lots of money on fancy equipment, power cords, RF Towers, and other gear. Just get a reasonable setup, a good set of speakers, and some great sounding recordings.

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      • January 14, 2015 at 2:47 am
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        The hardest thing will probably be ‘getting some great sounding recordings’.

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