[ I posted this on Stereophile’s recent Axpona video on MQA support, but have had no responses. ]
Based on what I’ve read (too much, I suppose), the provenance and authentication is based on “sign off” by either the artist, recording engineer or producer. This is the “thumbs up” that we are listening to the real McCoy, or at least that’s what is being delivered.
Is that really happening? Did they get the artist (engineer, producer) back in the studio to listen to the MQA encoded and decoded audio to certify that it was exactly what was on the master tape? Or did they set up someone with a rubber stamp? Even if closer to the former, do they compare the master tape with the MQA version to assure they are I-dentical? I’m just as skeptical about this as I am the other, more technical bits, but those have been explored to death, a fair amount of which is conjecture or based on flawed listening experiences. (This is no criticism of anyone that shares their honest opinion.)
How is the authentication part actually done?