NAD/PSB Owner Lenbrook Acquires MQA

Lenbrook, the privately-owned Canadian company that owns the PSB, NAD, and Bluesound brands, today announced that it has acquired the assets of MQA Ltd., the beleaguered company that filed for bankruptcy protection in April.

Under the terms of the deal, Lenbrook will own the MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) high-resolution audio encoding technology developed by Bob Stuart, cofounder of U.K.-based Meridian Audio, and the SCL6 streaming codec (formerly MQAir) along with an “assortment of significant patents.”

Andy Dowell, who had been the head of licensing for MQA, will continue to lead business development activities under the new corporate structure. Lenbrook has also retained a core group of MQA engineers and developers as well as sales and marketing personnel.

“As one of MQA’s most significant licensees and also the owner of the award winning BluOS high-res content platform, Lenbrook is well positioned to build on what was started,” Dowell said. “Its BluOS platform work has proven that the Lenbrook team understands it takes a certain amount of neutrality to be a licensor, but it can also take a customer view when it comes to the wants and needs from a product development standpoint.”

Bluesound was an early supporter of MQA, adopting the technology for its streaming media players in 2016.

“We view this acquisition as an opportunity to ensure the technologies developed by the scientists and engineers at MQA continue to serve the industry’s interests rather than be confined to any single brand or company,” said Lenbrook CEO Gordon Simmonds, noting that “Lenbrook’s vision is of a thriving hi-fi industry where technologies that promote both consumer choice and the pursuit of the highest sound quality are deserving of investment and nurture.”

Since its founding in 2014, MQA has amassed more than 120 licensees and several content partnerships.

In the official press statement, Lenbrook stressed that the primary objective of the acquisition is to provide certainty for business and technical developments that were underway before MQA filed for bankruptcy protection.

The idea behind MQA, which was created with the support of recording artists and engineers, is to provide music creators with the means to efficiently preserve the detail and nuance of their work in a high-resolution format.

Reacting to the announcement of the acquisition, Grammy winning producer and recording engineer George Massenberg, said: “I’m so relieved that MQA and SCL6 will continue under Lenbrook. MQA's technology, with its faithful rendering of detail, complexity, and sound stage, gave us the reason to go back into the recording studio and reverse a 20-year decline in the quality of audio delivery methods.”

Lenbrook chief technology officer Greg Stidsen added: “MQA is the only technology that considers the entire audio signal chain, from studio to listening room, to assure consistent quality of reproduction. The patents and research that underlie MQA represent significant contributions to digital audio quality due to their focus on time domain issues that have not been well understood until recently.”

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Click here for more on the MQA codec and here for more on the SCL6 codec.


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trynberg's picture

That's really too bad...I thought the world would finally be done with this fraud. Apparently not.

trynberg's picture

That's really too bad...I thought the world would finally be done with this fraud. Apparently not.

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