Stereophile’s May 2017 review of the Mytek Brooklyn DAC (Herb Reichert) states that “in every comparison, MQA made the original recording sound more dynamic and transparent, but only sometimes more temporaly precise.”
Seems positive, right? But the next sentence reads…
“After a while the MQA versions began to remind me of those old Loudness Contour buttons on 1960’s receivers, which used equalization to compensate for loss of treble and bass at low listening levels.”
Now for the bombshell…
“Consistently, MQA sounded as though it was tweaking the EQ in the presence region.”
“I also noticed that most of the MQA versions sounded rounded off and smoother than the originals.”
My opinion is that we gullible audiophiles have been fooled in the past by supposed new technologies, similar to what supposedly early mobile fidelity pressings did with EQ to make listeners think they were hearing an improvement.
In my mind, an alteration of the source is distortion.
Just as TV’S in stores set to torch mode are often preferred on first glance, and speakers that at first grab you with some spectacular aspect can become tiresome over time, as accuracy and neutrality become preferred as ones ear becomes more refined.
The frightening thing is that 2 major music entities have signed on, seemingly to make MQA the defacto standard of how music will made available.
While I haven’t been able to do this comparison myself, reading a highly regarded golden ear admit this in print is warning enough for me.
Just like the sugary drink that tastes so good on first experience, our advanced society knows that consuming it regularly leads to diabetes, heart disease and worse.
Does this revelation reveal MQA to be the parlor trick that it appears to be?