UNAMAS, the Japanese hi-res music label run by award-winning recording engineer, Mick Sawaguchi, has selected ten albums from its catalogue for encoding in MQA. The recordings, ranging from Schubert’s “Death and the Maiden” performed by the Unamas String Quintet, to Hiroshi Fukamizu’s “Everything for Drums”, will be available from 15 July 2016 on music download service, e-onkyo music, priced at ¥3.000 ($29 / £19) each.
MQA delivers master quality audio in a file small enough to stream or download. In 2015, Sawaguchi first listened to his own UNAMAS masters encoded in MQA, as he felt this was the best way to properly evaluate MQA’s qualities. “I found that MQA has two major advantages: firstly the excellent results in the time domain which are the key factor in reproducing the timbres of musical instruments; and secondly, the beautiful balance between low transfer rate and high quality sound,” he commented. “While we’re blessed with high-speed networks in Japan, this isn’t the case elsewhere in the world, so MQA means music lovers everywhere can enjoy high quality sound with lower bandwidth speeds.”
Bob Stuart, founder of MQA, said, “Mick’s recordings are technically superb and his technique captures the clarity and naturalness of live sound. It is a privilege to bring these superb UNAMAS recordings fully to life in MQA.”
e-onkyo music’s director, Taku Kurosawa, added, “Mick-san is one of Japan’s leading recording engineers, and listening to these UNAMAS albums will surely convince you of the ultra-high quality of his recordings. It was inevitable that Mick-san would have a keen interest in MQA, given his eagerness to try any new technical approach to further refine his recordings. The ongoing quest by Mick-san and his UNAMAS label, enhanced by the epoch-making technology MQA invented by Bob Stuart, has yet again raised the bar for high quality sound.”
MQA music is now available from the following stores: HIGHRESAUDIO, onkyo music, e-onkyo music, 7digital and 2L, and MQA will continue to expand to more streaming platforms and download stores worldwide.