Parasound announced this week that it has hired well-regarded audio engineer Darren Myers to its team. An expansion of the company’s engineering group, it struck me immediately that with this announcement new owner David Sheriff was already delivering on his promise to expand the company’s product design and engineering team.
MQA Finale: Both Anti- and Pro- Forces Have Their Successes and Failures
Part 4 Finale – A Summation That Doesn’t Always Add Up
STRATA-GEE – This is the fourth and final installment of our contemplation on the controversy swirling around MQA. I want to start by thanking Bill Leebens for the many, many…MANY hours he spent interviewing, speaking with his editor (me), writing, and rewriting these pieces. It was a lot of work that for him, I’m afraid, will largely be thankless, as one side or the other will decry his work. At the same time, Bill and I end up in a slightly different place and you can see some of my thoughts at the end of his piece. But none of that takes away from the herculean effort this topic represented and I am eternally grateful to Bill Leebens for his thoughtful approach.
See where we end up after weeks of study on MQA[Read more…] about MQA Finale: Both Anti- and Pro- Forces Have Their Successes and Failures
MQA – The Praise from Proponents
Part 3 – Bill Leebens Interviews MQA Founder Bob Stuart & Speaks with Other Supporters Who Remain Loyal
STRATA-GEE: This is the third installment of our series on the controversy engulfing MQA conducted in partnership with guest poster Bill Leebens. You can see Part 1 introduction, MQA Controversy – A True Audio Breakthrough? Or a Marketing Scam?; and Part 2, MQA – Voices Arise in Harmony with a Video Critique from ‘GoldenSound.’ In this post, we hear from proponents of MQA, most of whom remain steadfast in their support for the technology or the company (or both) – even in the face of often blistering criticism. Leebens scored an interview with no less than MQA founder Bob Stuart who calmly answered all of his questions in an interview that lasted more than two hours.
Read the praise from proponents of MQA[Read more…] about MQA – The Praise from Proponents
MQA – Voices Arise in Harmony with a Video Critique from ‘GoldenSound’
Part 2 – We Go Deep into the World of Those Opposed to MQA & Bill Leebens Speaks with GoldenSound
STRATA-GEE: This is the second installment of our series on the controversy engulfing MQA, conducted in partnership with guest poster Bill Leebens. In this post, you will learn more about those who are critical of MQA, with some going on the record for the first time for this story. MQA has been controversial almost from the beginning – with an intense opposition that ebbs and flows over time. But as we told you in our introductory installment (see MQA Controversy – A True Audio Breakthrough? Or a Marketing Scam?), a recent YouTube video critique from an audiophile not involved in the audio industry, has spurred a huge resurgence of interest (that video had over 267,000 views!), in part because of the perhaps naive but seemingly earnest reasonableness of “GoldenSound” and the heavy-handed backslap from MQA.
Learn more on why some oppose MQA[Read more…] about MQA – Voices Arise in Harmony with a Video Critique from ‘GoldenSound’
MQA Controversy – A True Audio Breakthrough? Or a Marketing Scam?
Part 1 – A Bill Leebens Guest Post
STRATA-GEE: For some time now, I have been hearing rumbles throughout the audio community, particularly the high-end audio community, about controversy surrounding MQA (Master Quality Authentication) – a U.K. company that claims to have created a proprietary technology that allows for the delivery of “better than lossless” audio via certain streaming services. At first, it seemed like the Holy Grail of audio – delivering music that is identical to the original master recording into your earbuds via streaming services such as Tidal. Then the whispers started – “It sounds like it is too good to be true because it IS too good to be true.“
Recently, a YouTube video appeared that blew the doors of MQA dissent wide open and seems to show that MQA technology is NOT doing what the company claims and leaves many to conclude that MQA is little more than a thinly veiled marketing scam. The company pushed back…hard. I asked Bill Leebens to investigate the swirling whirlwind of controversy now engulfing MQA.
See more on our investigation into MQA…[Read more…] about MQA Controversy – A True Audio Breakthrough? Or a Marketing Scam?
2020 Audio Shows Were a COVID Bust; Here’s the Status of 2021 Shows
Compiled by Bill Leebens
UPDATED – All Dates and Status Info Updated – For the most part, when it comes to audio shows, either trade or consumer, 2020 has been a bust. Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, with one exception – the Florida Audio Expo in Tampa, FL in February – all other events were cancelled. So what does that mean for 2021? Guest poster Bill Leebens has compiled a list of top audio shows for 2021 showing their current status…
See today’s status for 2021 shows…[Read more…] about 2020 Audio Shows Were a COVID Bust; Here’s the Status of 2021 Shows
Theme Song for 2021 Audio Shows? Maybe ‘The Sound of Silence’
A Bill Leebens Guest Post
We may have been aware of every agonizing second of Plague Year 2020 as they slowly ticked by, but as far as audio shows go—2020 was literally a no-show. In the US, February’s Florida Audio Expo in Tampa was the first and last audio-only show of the year. Since then, show after show has been delayed or cancelled—in several instances, delayed, and THEN cancelled.
What does 2021 Hold for Audio Shows?…[Read more…] about Theme Song for 2021 Audio Shows? Maybe ‘The Sound of Silence’
Audio Research: Alone Again (Naturally)
A Guest Post on the Saga of an American Brand
Of all the success stories of the ‘70s high end audio boom, none was more unlikely than that of Audio Research Corporation (ARC). Based in Minnesota’s Twin Cities, historically a fly-over region for hi-fi, led by a balding, bearlike founder, and offering electronics based around vacuum tubes – considered obsolete for a decade – ARC somehow survived and thrived.
Learn more on the saga of Audio Research…[Read more…] about Audio Research: Alone Again (Naturally)
High-End Faces A Matter of Survival in Pandemic’s Wake; Here’s What We Should Do Now
In This GUEST POST, Bill Leebens Takes You on a Journey from ‘Me’ to ‘We’ & Proposes a New Industry Association
A few months ago, I unexpectedly became unemployed. There had been occasions in my career when it was clear that I needed to get the hell out of Dodge —but this wasn’t one of them.
A new job would not appear overnight; that was obvious. I was up to my ears in fearful self-absorption.
Then things changed…and the world was in upheaval.
This changed everything…[Read more…] about High-End Faces A Matter of Survival in Pandemic’s Wake; Here’s What We Should Do Now
Finding Purpose in Life During Wartime
A Guest Post
My parents were newlyweds at the outbreak of World War II. As the war progressed, Dad became an officer in the Navy, and Mom worked as a newspaper ad copywriter (until “the boys” came home – but that’s a story for another time).
I grew up with their stories of the constant tension of that time, the uncertainty, the loneliness and despair, the shortages, the rationing, the periodic outbursts of anger and insanity— alongside acts of selflessness, kindness, and a strong sense of community.