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Launch of Pono Studio Headphones
Old 13th March 2014
  #271
Quote:
$1.88 million in 27 hrs.
Doomed...
Clawing in $2m+ in less than a couple of days isn't to be sniffed at for sure.

All the same my guess is there's a bunch of people who are enthusiastic about *the idea of hi def* and will put a little money where there mouth is, and Pono is the only place, right here, right now to do that. But the way I see it the nagging deficiencies will kill this thing, perhaps after a brief moment in the sun and then a slow inevitable decline.

Hi def consumer audio may well have a future, but I doubt Pono is it.
Old 13th March 2014
  #272
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia View Post
Being that my issue is with the video, allow me to take it testimonial by testimonial:

1. Marc Ford - Black Crowes - "Blown away by the sound. I've never heard music like that before."

So, apparently he was never in the studio to hear any of the masters on his record? He just heard the final cd?

2. David Crosby - "Might be the best sound I ever heard. Ever in my life".

Also, never heard his original analog masters?

3. Gillian Welch - "We just heard some of the best digital music we ever heard".

Again. This playback device seems to surpass the original recordings.

4. Arcade Fire - "When you switch from 192 to CD you're like Whoa!!! It lops the low end off"

5. Flea - "Listen to the CD and it sounds like someone twanging on a rubber band compared to the full scope of what music is"

6. Taylor Hawkins "Sound has gotten so bad. Drums don't sound like drums anymore. And this sounds like you got a record player in your car."

I'm glad that the drums sound like drums again.

7. Chris Robinson - "It's starting to sound like a really amazing warm analog recording."

8. Bruce Springsteen - "What he's done is create something with a warm analog sound that takes even your digital records, gives them a certain sort of bottom, certain sort of glue, and more than anything else, a closeness. an intimacy. That digital recording can lose very easily."

9. Jackson Brown - "The difference is so easy to hear. Everyone should check this out."

10. "The Highs were like butter and everything was in it's place"

11. "It's unbelievable. You're right in the middle of this amazing thing".

I think you get the idea.
Old 13th March 2014
  #273
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Whether we support this project or not force is to recognize the need of a high quality music player the same way we have high definition TVs.
If you have not listened to a vinyl lately, I encourage you to do so and then listen to the same tune on your IPod. It was really a "ha ha" moment for me. For practical reasons and because of the way we buy music through internet there is no going back to vinyl but the gap must be filled somehow.
Old 13th March 2014
  #274
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tekis's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by diggo View Post
What, another nearly deaf rock star who ascribes the success of a famous studio entirely to it's console?
Look out, another anonymous poster shoots from the hip on the internet!
Old 13th March 2014
  #275
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nuthinupmysleeve's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by numero6 View Post
Whether we support this project or not force is to recognize the need of a high quality music player the same way we have high definition TVs.
Most people can reliably pick out the difference between an HD vs SD video, especially on larger screens. That is not a good analogy.
Old 13th March 2014
  #276
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billcarroll View Post
If ever a product was destined to bomb ... Pono.

They are solving a problem more than 80% of consumers care nothing about. Do I care? Yes. I'd love everything on 192kHz/24 bit, but the guy on the Subway with Beats and an iPhone doesn't give a damn.
I disagree, "they" will care, they just need to be programmed to. Once Dre and the CEO of apple tell him 192/24bit matters, he will have to have it. Just like his beats and iphone. Also don't forget peer reinforcement, if everyone else has it, he will need it to.
Old 13th March 2014
  #277
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nuthinupmysleeve's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia View Post
It's PR. He hired a firm and they told him to do this so it would seem grass roots.
I'm a little uncomfortable with you saying something like this without proof... or at least the disclaimer "I think"... unless you really do have proof? I did some googling around and I didn't see any admission it was a PR move. Did you find that somewhere you can point me?

BTW... what you say is certainly plausible.
Old 13th March 2014
  #278
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spurratic View Post
Because he parks the car when they listen. Because the engine is likely turned off. Because Neil Probably has a pretty kick ass system installed in that bad boy.
Kick ass? Why, are Neil's speakers are pointed at your knees instead of at your shins? Come on. It's a car.

Quote:
Because it is basically just for A/B'ing purposes so he can play you an mp3 and then a Pono.
I don't have to listen to mp3s in my car, because like lots of other cars, my car has a CD player. The big objection here is the deliberate blurring of the two comparisons: Pono vs mp3 and Pono vs uncompressed .wav. They keep talking about it as if Pono vs mp3 proves something about Pono vs CD. It's a thumb on the scale. That dishonesty alone is enough to set off my bull**** detector. They now have a much higher hill to climb, IMO.

Quote:
Because the car allows him to go to where musicians are hanging out at shows or at studios rather than expecting them to come to him.
seriously? The musicians are "hanging out at the studio" but somehow the control room speakers are not even considered for an A/B comparison? "nah, let's listen in your car"?? You are grasping at straws.

Quote:
Because he can control the environment in his car rather than mailing musicians a Pono and hoping they will know how to do a proper A/B test
Are you even reading what you just wrote? A "proper A/B test"? in a car? vs an mp3? With Neil right there and the cameras rolling? Geez, what's the poor guy going to say?

Quote:
Because there's something special about sitting in your car with someone and listening to tunes....
yes there is something special about sitting in your car with someone listening to tunes. It's special in a personal/emotional/nostalgic way, not in an audio/listening/evaluating, speakers-pointed-at-your-ears kind of way. It is hardly the environment for a "proper A/B test".

There is also something special sitting in a control room listening to tunes, you know at the studio, where the musicians are "already hanging out".... You are the one 'missing the point' if you think you have successfully come up with even a single justification for doing the A/B test in a car. I am sure everything is volume-matched within .1dB, too!
Old 13th March 2014
  #279
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tekis's Avatar
Why couldn't a car be scenario for a good A/B test. Many of us grew up listening to music in cars. For me, if I could hear the difference on a car's system, that would actually be better than in a control room. After all, mixes should sound good on a variety of systems. Btw, I'm not taking sides, I still have to hear it for myself.
Old 13th March 2014
  #280
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Michael E's Avatar
So basically they compared a typical iPod + mp3 & high quality DAC (which Pono is) + flac?
No doubt the difference is huge.
Old 13th March 2014
  #281
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Sanchez's Avatar
Can't face the video again but above and beyond anything, we know little beyond (I believe) it was a 192 mp3 .... encoded from what? The same source material? Using what? Dithered? Direct to 192 or.... who knows. Anyway, you see where I'm going.
Really, who even listens to 192 now? I doubt anyone interested in this thing anyway so in some way it seems to be taking advantage of one party's indifference/lack of info/environment to leverage sales to another. That and the possibly-invested friends pumped up by a ride in Neil Young's uber-tweaked-for-pono-mobile.....who's going to get out and say 'sorry neil, it's kinda meh, y'know?'

I'm absolutely all for better sound everywhere, who isn't, just that the marketing seems naive and could be misinterpreted as disingenuous and I'm sure that's the absolute antithesis of what Mr Young is honestly about.
Old 13th March 2014
  #282
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To be honest, i don't see the advantage of the device except when it should have a top level convertor and headphone amp. But then it will be too expensive for most and become an elite product. 400$ can't cover that cost.

I can play 24bit .wav files trough vlc from my 150€ nokia mobile with WP8, only the storage is to small (i believe max 16GB SD card is supported), the convertor is decent, and with a good headphone it does everything it need for a mobile player. I don't need no 192kHz or even 96kHz files, because the headphones (even full scale hi end ones like Gradp's) used with this kind of devices is not precise enough to give that extra resolution. An Ipod can do the same but with more storage (and i say this as an mac hater)

The pono shop could be an advantage, because real lossless uncompressed formats of music are hard to find (so i buy the vinyl or cd for that if possible and rip it myself) but for the rest i think it's a miss
Old 13th March 2014
  #283
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weezul's Avatar
Unless the device comes with some form of ReplayGain or whatever they want to call it... I don't see how it's going to work. A 192/24 smashed to **** master is still smashed to ****. The best thing about high-res masters is the lack of smashing that ****. This might just move the loudness war to FLACs!!
Old 13th March 2014
  #284
I didn't hear any of the musicians say what song they were listening to... was it something appropriately iconic? 1812 overture?
Old 13th March 2014
  #285
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Old 13th March 2014
  #286
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Neil wasn't going to let me get high with him unless I said nice things about Pono.
Old 13th March 2014
  #287
, a thousand times !
Old 13th March 2014
  #288
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia View Post
They were all played different songs.

I believe Marc Ford listened to a song called "Blown away by the sound. I've never heard music like that before."

While David Crosby heard "Might be the best sound I ever heard. Ever in my life".

And Gillian Welch heard a song titled "We just heard some of the best digital music we ever heard".

So I think it varied. heh
Someone mentioned Respect by Aretha and Dylan blowing a harp on an un named tune. Also out side the car in one scene it sounded like "Are you ready for the country" playing.
Old 13th March 2014
  #289
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nuthinupmysleeve View Post
It promises an amazing night and day experience according to Neil and the people in the video. It doesn't deliver that.

I really feel sorry for them. Maybe they were just being nice to Neil because they like him. I do too, BTW... seems like a great dude and we know he's an awesome musician.
So, you've done the demo also? If not, how can you say it does not deliver if you have not heard it?
Old 13th March 2014
  #290
7281 backers; $2,371,367 pledged; 33 days to go.
Old 13th March 2014
  #291
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia View Post
Why do you assume malice?

It sounds to me like he thinks CD audio sounds like trash.

Why would I make that up? I was shocked at all of these testimonials.


The difference between CD audio and 192kHz 24bit is subtle. It's not even debatable. Especially from the consumer's side.

And what makes you think anyone played them anything?

Couldn't they be talking about their experiences in the studio and hearing the finished CD?

Being that it's such a difference, they wouldn't need this device to point it out to them. Right?
So, all the comments are not related to what they just heard on the Pono demo? I would give you a face palm but you seem to have gotten your share of these in this thread...
Old 13th March 2014
  #292
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Like almost everyone else here, I watched that first video a couple times and came away wondering how all those people who really should know better were drinking the Kool Aid to that degree. And they really are blown away by what they've heard -- they can't all be that good an actor.

I think I might know why.

Up to this point everyone's been assuming that the CD vs. Pono test is basically apples to apples. But what if it's not? What if it's way not?

What if Steven Stills, say, is riding shotgun in Neil's Caddy, and first Neil plays a song from a CSNY CD. That song has gone from the original mix 1/4" to, at the very least, a limiter, an EQ, probably a de-esser, maybe a little narrowing so as to not upset the lathe, then another 1/4", then in the 80's to a 1630… you get the idea. And if it's been "newly remastered" ( loudness war-ized) it's got more compression and a few digital overs as well.

Then Neil fires up the Pono version of the song. But this version is straight from the original 1/4" mix to a very nicely converted 24/192 file. None of the garbage listed above. So, not counting the digitalness, it's exactly what Stills remembers hearing in the studio (assuming Stills remembers anything) 45 years ago.

Now it all makes sense.

And it's not apples to apples, or even apples to oranges. It's like apples to watermelons.
Old 13th March 2014
  #293
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I like watermelons.
Old 13th March 2014
  #294
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia View Post
What's not possible or improbable is that the reaction to what they're hearing is based on the resolution of the file.

It's either:

1. A different mix
2. A different volume
3. or the Pono unit just sounds incredible.

#3 being something that we don't know as we haven't heard it but I'm skeptical because they don't mention that in the video. They seem to push the idea that it's the resolution that is the difference. If the unit itself is amazing sounding, it should be just as amazing at 44.1 16 bit. Or damn close.
A good demo would be comparing players. Compare the same mp3 on an ipod and then on the Pono. Supposedly it has better converters and a better amp.
Old 13th March 2014
  #295
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia View Post
That's my theory as well. It's not the same mix. Which would be incredibly misleading because what they are experiencing won't be possible with all music.

Just releasing 192kHz files won't give you the same experience.
True. If my scenario is close to accurate the differences would be greater with older AAA back catalogue than with newer stuff, especially in the loudness war era. But if Pono catches on, people might start printing "Pono mixes" either to tape or to 24/192 with an unsmashed mix bus before they move on to the CD version. I'd be all for that.
Old 13th March 2014
  #296
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Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
But if Pono catches on, people might start printing "Pono mixes" either to tape or to 24/192 with an unsmashed mix bus before they move on to the CD version. I'd be all for that.
Exactly! And that as a new reality is a little harder (or dumber) to take the piss out of, isn't it?
Old 13th March 2014
  #297
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Me
But if Pono catches on, people might start printing "Pono mixes" either to tape or to 24/192 with an unsmashed mix bus before they move on to the CD version. I'd be all for that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
Exactly! And that as a new reality is a little harder (or dumber) to take the piss out of, isn't it?
And the record labels will have a way to re-re-re-resell their back catalogue that I, for once, will enthuse about. Bill Inglot's gonna get very, very dusty.
Old 13th March 2014
  #298
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia View Post
... tying this concept to piece of hardware ...
You know... maybe the unit is coated with some kind of film that gives you a contact high.

Didn't everyone in the video look sort of... glazed?
Old 13th March 2014
  #299
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia View Post
Sure. Me too. Although a lot of modern mixes are produced to sound the way they do. Not much point to an uncompressed Katy Perry or Kesha record.
True. You don't see anyone like that in the video. But I'd be curious to hear a Katy Perry song minus all the mastering compression, or at least minus the intentional overs.
Old 13th March 2014
  #300
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joelpatterson View Post
You know... maybe the unit is coated with some kind of film that gives you a contact high.

Didn't everyone in the video look sort of... glazed?
They should have built a pipe into it.
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