What I feel has come and gone before...
As a Streisand and Dion fan as well, I an tell you that these mini discs have only recently become a saught after collectors’ item. I remember as a kid being enamoured by how they looked.
Apparently “Offering” wasn’t the only album on 4-track as it appears “Close To You” was also on 4-track.Offering was released on 4-Track tape (I've seen it show up on eBay a couple of times). It was an early cartridge tape format, predating the 8 Track by several years. My uncle had a Muntz 4-Track player in his car back in the mid 60s.
The "Close To You" in that eBay listing is an open reel tape, and all Carpenters albums up to, and including "Passage" were available in open reel. The 4-Track tape format I was referring to was a cartridge, the precursor to the 8-track. It looked like the A&M tape in this listing:Apparently “Offering” wasn’t the only album on 4-track as it appears “Close To You” was also on 4-track.
RARE 7-1/2ips Carpenters Close To You Reel Tape Tested Guaranteed Near Mint | eBay
Really with MQA, unless you are willing to shell out the big bucks for the decoder (and finding a decoder that can decode over optical and coax) it is going to be a format that the average person is not going to be interested in.
"It depends." That's about the best response I can give. Give me some time this evening when I'm back at my desk, and I'll write it up for Collector's Corner, so it's not buried in here. I'll explain what it is, how it has been done by labels, and the pros and cons.That one is kind of one of those “on-the-fence” things as half-speed mastering, from what I’ve read, has been referred to more as a gimmick by some audio engineers, sort of like in CD’s the debate over gold vs regular aluminum vs SHM producing better sound. Does it work? Or is there any difference from a regular master?
Have you watched that video, especially the part where Techmoan discovers that one disc that keeps jumping between MQA and regular CD? Now then I’ve never heard MQA in real life, just over Youtube’s MP3 stream in that video. However, besides being compressed, there does seem to be a dynamic improvement; it reminds me of when a VHS’s Hi-Fi Track would not play properly and it kept dropping to the mono linear track. You could really tell the dynamic difference on VHS’s Hifi that way.
MQAis a sham being foisted on audiophiles, and it is highly controversial. It's like HDCD 2.0 in my opinion, and nobody asked for MQA. It's just a way for Bob Stuart (of Meridian) to make money on licensing MQA. Studio engineers have shot it down. The audiophile press was also shoving it in our faces, making us wonder what their motives were. There are some who like it, but it's really nothing more than a lossy format like MP3, WMA, AAC, etc., despite all the BS that Stuart spews in his white papers. Tidal jumped on board with MQAbut now with Qobuz offering true, lossless, uncompressed Hi-Res music for downloading and streaming (and with many audiophiles now abandoning Tidal because of it), I think MQAwill have a very short lifespan.
Been meaning to do a write-up for Collector's Corner here, but the thought of it just causes me nothing but grief. As you can guess, I'm kind of against it. My new DAC supports it, but I am not planning on ever playing that format in my system. I tried it a few times on another DAC but heard nothing that lived up to the inflated claims Stuart makes for it.
I know that with half-speed one of the claims was that by cutting at half-speed a record could have long sustained notes not sound like they were wavering, and they were hoping that more “finer” detail would be added to the recording that would otherwise be lost during a regular cutting. But from the few comparisons I’ve made, I can’t hear a difference. Of course it all comes done to how good the original master tape was."It depends." That's about the best response I can give. Give me some time this evening when I'm back at my desk, and I'll write it up for Collector's Corner, so it's not buried in here. I'll explain what it is, how it has been done by labels, and the pros and cons.
I just finished this up:I know that with half-speed one of the claims was that by cutting at half-speed a record could have long sustained notes not sound like they were wavering, and they were hoping that more “finer” detail would be added to the recording that would otherwise be lost during a regular cutting.
I've heard it in person a few times, and the effects are barely noticeable. There is just a "weirdness" about it that is hard to put a finger on, that I don't like. Stuart claims that MQA "unfolds" to true high-resolution digital, but others have easily shown that it is anything but. He also claims it does some sort of "deblurring" that makes digital sound better, yet we've had digital for over 30 years now and have never needed it, and the effects are dubious at best. (It is more digital processing "polluting" the original sound, in some listeners' opinions. Not only that, this "processing" adds a subtle boost to the volume of the signal, and in endless listening tests out there, listeners will perceive that a louder sound will always "better" than a quieter file in comparison.)Have you watched that video, especially the part where Techmoan discovers that one disc that keeps jumping between MQA and regular CD?
I think you need to watch the video, (13:29 mark in the video) as the guy has an external MQA decoder hooked up to his computer by USB and has the CD playing as the decoder switches from 352khz to 44.1khz on the one track (and he has a shot of the decoders lcd screen). The disc he’s using seems to have “rot” on the MQA layer that is causing the drop from MQA-audio to CD-audio.If anything sounds different in a YouTube video, likely someone is listening to the compressed (or in other words, sonically compromised) version of the file vs. something that has gone through the alleged "unfolding" process (basically, decoded). And that is not a comparison of what MQA actually does, and why its alleged claims of it sounding "superior" to CD-resolution digital are unfounded.