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Launch of Pono Studio Headphones
Old 18th April 2014
  #3241
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
well our modern-day salesmen have an easier task. They only have to try to convince people that, for example, Pono is "as good as vinyl"!

Edison had to try to convince people that his phonograph was as good as a live concert.
heh


It's easier now, since the concerts already sound like a record.
Old 18th April 2014
  #3242
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Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by j_j View Post
Everything depends on the instructions and the expectations of the listener.

For an untrained person with low expectations, being able to understand what Caruso was singing would be "the same".
This strikes me as one of the more important statements.
Old 18th April 2014
  #3243
I think this 1st person account from someone who has actually heard Pono ranks up there too :
Quote:
Originally Posted by ellisr63 View Post
...I do have to say though that the recordings we heard on the Pono sounded better than any recordings I have ever heard.
I'm so enjoying the way this thread is going.
Old 18th April 2014
  #3244
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Stone View Post
I think this 1st person account from someone who has actually heard Pono ranks up there too :I'm so enjoying the way this thread is going.
Yep, I quite like that one, too. heh
Old 18th April 2014
  #3245
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3rd Degree's Avatar
 

Funny how the first person who has experienced it has the same good feedback everyone is crying out is BS without hearing it. I am not even speaking on this 109 page thread, more so all the tech bloggers that instantly embrace what makes sense to them or discount what does not. I still consider myself one with little to no bias here, I don't know if it's going to be important or not, again, I think a format change does nothing negative in the long run and if early adapters are happy paying, so be it, it will level out over time.
Old 18th April 2014
  #3246
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Stone View Post
I think this 1st person account from someone who has actually heard Pono ranks up there too :
Quote:
Originally Posted by ellisr63 View Post
...I do have to say though that the recordings we heard on the Pono sounded better than any recordings I have ever heard.
I'm so enjoying the way this thread is going.
Nice bit of selective quoting. You missed this bit:
Quote:
Originally Posted by ellisr63 View Post
... Now to be fair we did not have the same recordings for both players. ...
Old 18th April 2014
  #3247
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Hills View Post
Nice bit of selective quoting. You missed this bit:
I think the "better than any recordings I have ever heard" bit might sort of make that redundant in some way though......
Old 18th April 2014
  #3248
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
I think the "better than any recordings I have ever heard" bit might sort of make that redundant in some way though......
Totally - AFAIC it doesn't really matter what comparisons are drawn...the main point is that it sounds outstanding.

I appreciate some people will absolutely hate that (and they've made their feelings known earlier in the thread) but they are not being forced to buy Pono or listen to it.
Old 18th April 2014
  #3249
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Stone View Post
Totally - AFAIC it doesn't really matter what comparisons are drawn...the main point is that it sounds outstanding.

I appreciate some people will absolutely hate that (and they've made their feelings known earlier in the thread) but they are not being forced to buy Pono or listen to it.
The mere possibility of it sounding outstanding could quickly make this thread look like the Indiana Jones scene with the bad guy doing a long-ish bull whip display, looking mean....and then no words, just gun out and BANG.
Old 18th April 2014
  #3250
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
The mere possibility of it sounding outstanding could quickly make this thread look like the Indiana Jones scene with the bad guy doing a long-ish bull whip display, looking mean....and then no words, just gun out and BANG.
Lol. I was quite suprised at the strength of feeling expressed by some against Pono...in fact I've never seen so much mud thrown at any device on GS ever...even the B-word; I'm sure most reasonable people will welcome anything that improves the enjoyment of music.
Old 18th April 2014
  #3251
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bandpass's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Stone View Post
Totally - AFAIC it doesn't really matter what comparisons are drawn...the main point is that it sounds outstanding.
It seemed to matter to the Pono people—why else did they make people listen to some (in all likelihood) lo-fi stuff first?

Simply sounding outstanding isn't convincing; sounding outstanding compared to iPhone and Fiio with the same material, would be.
Old 18th April 2014
  #3252
Quote:
Originally Posted by bandpass View Post
It seemed to matter to the Pono people—why else did they make people listen to some (in all likelihood) lo-fi stuff first?
The proof is in the pudding
Old 18th April 2014
  #3253
Airwindows
 
chrisj's Avatar
Indeed. I can listen to mp3s on whatever, and it's not going to sound outstanding. I can make more high-resolution files (or do my best at cranking up the bit rate and feeding the encoder with 24 bit dithered source material designed to get the most out of it) and it will sound better if not outstanding. If I listen to stuff on my iPhone the envelope of its performance is going to be different from plugging into my Lavry, and so on. If I pick up an acoustic guitar and play notes on that, it's going to be more immediate and 'high fidelity' than any of the other things, all day long, unambiguously (being an acoustic instrument in free air, less than thirty inches from my ears).

When I got my NS10s, I went 'oh, now I get it'. Though they have flaws of their own, lots of choices that I made in mixing stood revealed in unflattering obviousness, all day long.

From people's reports, and from what I know of how they're using the 192K they're so proud of, I can see how Pono would be like that. Give me one of those and I'll be playing music more than I currently am. Right now it's a lot more convenient to play mp3s from a bunch of different sources, and none of them end up all that engaging, and I haven't really put together much of a hi-res collection. If I was set up to play vinyl through my digital audio's monitoring I'd be doing more of that. Pono apparently equals any of vinyl's appealing qualities while removing its faults.

That's good. About time we had a playback format that exceeded expectations in every way.
Old 18th April 2014
  #3254
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Indeed, something that sounds truly engaging shouldn't be underestimated in what it would do to inspire people and what in turn they might do. All this talk about 'good enough' and 'people don't care about sound quality' is so bereft. Give them easy access to a sound that fully engages them and we'll see what happens.

And yes, yes please to that.
Old 18th April 2014
  #3255
mixmixmix
Guest
Resolution does not engage the listener. Performance does.
Old 18th April 2014
  #3256
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
... Give them easy access to a sound that fully engages them and we'll see what happens. ...
I share your hope, but not the likelihood that it will happen. What engages me is well written music, well recorded / mixed / mastered. I can listen to it all day, even in MP3 or CD resolution. But "Loudness war" casualties, even at 24/96, leave me cold. That needs fixing first. Releasing more of the same in 24/96 is like putting lipstick on a pig. I can hope that the focus that Pono puts on quality does result in better produced music, but I'm not going to hold my breath. I think we're too small a market segment for the record labels to pay more than lip service to us and I don't think there will be the takeup among the bulk of the market that you think there will be. Hence my saying that I hope I'm wrong but fear I'm right.
Old 18th April 2014
  #3257
Airwindows
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mixmixmix View Post
Resolution does not engage the listener. Performance does.
Let's look at it from the other angle. Severe lack of resolution (like 96K mp3?) drastically impedes performance cues. Since it's more difficult to pick out serious frequency response anomalies in correctly designed digital audio (lossy coding can even put out comparable high frequency levels even while butchering it), the ruining of performance information is sometimes the only 'tell' that bad digital audio is present. Bad digital can mess with performance in a number of ways, blurring timing information, obscuring subtleties of phrasing, and generally making a hashy mess.

Performance engages the listener, and resolution in excess of anything humans need is what CONVEYS the performance to be experienced. Fail to do that, and it's just as if the performance was compromised.

Yeah, you gotta have the performance, but the thing is there are many popular musicians who aren't absolute virtuosi and get by through conveying a human experience, human emotion. An emotion needn't be the pinnacle of sophisticated artistry to be undermined by bad digital. All expression, coarse or fine, is undermined exactly the same way by, say, 96k bit mp3 (audibly compromised).

It's just a continuum between that unarguably compromised example, and whatever is totally beyond necessary. I think Pono will easily manage 'far beyond necessary', hence it'll express whatever you like, undiminished. (whether CDs diminish is somewhere in the middle, and largely the topic of this thread, but Pono is completely beyond that)
Old 18th April 2014
  #3258
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisj View Post
Yeah, you gotta have the performance, but the thing is there are many popular musicians who aren't absolute virtuosi and get by through conveying a human experience, human emotion. An emotion needn't be the pinnacle of sophisticated artistry to be undermined by bad digital. All expression, coarse or fine, is undermined exactly the same way by, say, 96k bit mp3 (audibly compromised).
this "bad digital", is it bad implementation you refer to? if not, isn't that akin to saying the paint or brush is bad because a person is unable to paint well?

what is this "coarse and fine" expression you mention? wouldn't the destruction of dynamic range be a much more reasonable reason why music would lose its emotional impact (unless it is some wall of sound production with the intention of having little dynamic range)? why is it that i can listen to a cd recorded outside of the need to compete in the loudness war and be emotionally moved to tears by the artistry of both the performance and the recording? where exactly is my experience being undermined due to the limit of sample rate and bit depth?

it seems like pono marketing avoids the elephant in the room. blame the low sample rate for the mistakes made in mastering and record label agendas. don't own up to the loudness war robbing music of its emotional appeal and impact, but instead conjure up a technical reason that seems to go against all available science.
Old 18th April 2014
  #3259
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the pono/vinyl comparison is interesting. i've attached the DR database of the dynamic range of Daft Punk's "Random Access Memories". look at the dynamic range of the mastered for vinyl releases as compared to cd, high-res albeit with questionable high-res competence, mastered for i-tunes, etc. 4-5 dB of difference. i wonder if the pono listening experience was more to do with the dynamic range of the compared recordings rather than the sample rate. without having any information on the comparative tracks used in the promo videos, how can i know? would not that be a more likely reason for people saying it sounds like vinyl? more dynamic range and not some possible ripple artefacts in the outer limits of the human hearing range.
Attached Thumbnails
Launch of Pono-screen-shot-2014-04-18-5.27.21-pm.jpg  
Old 18th April 2014
  #3260
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Sounds Great's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mixmixmix View Post
Resolution does not engage the listener. Performance does.
Both engage me. Sound quality does make a huge difference in my enjoyment of listening to music.

Lately I've noticed radio is playing almost all MP3's now and, while it is ok for background music, I can't enjoy cranking that up and really listening. It actually becomes painful to hear.
Old 18th April 2014
  #3261
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paul brown View Post
the pono/vinyl comparison is interesting. i've attached the DR database of the dynamic range of Daft Punk's "Random Access Memories". look at the dynamic range of the mastered for vinyl releases as compared to cd, high-res albeit with questionable high-res competence, mastered for i-tunes, etc. 4-5 dB of difference. i wonder if the pono listening experience was more to do with the dynamic range of the compared recordings rather than the sample rate. without having any information on the comparative tracks used in the promo videos, how can i know? would not that be a more likely reason for people saying it sounds like vinyl? more dynamic range and not some possible ripple artefacts in the outer limits of the human hearing range.
No, it isn't about dynamic range. Vinyl, CD, and higher resolution digital all have more than adequate dynamic range capability for the music we listen to with most systems in most listening environment.
Old 18th April 2014
  #3262
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
No, it isn't about dynamic range. Vinyl, CD, and higher resolution digital all have more than adequate dynamic range capability for the music we listen to with most systems in most listening environment.
It seems that Paul's point went completely over your head.
Old 18th April 2014
  #3263
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Stone View Post
Totally - AFAIC it doesn't really matter what comparisons are drawn...the main point is that it sounds outstanding.

I appreciate some people will absolutely hate that (and they've made their feelings known earlier in the thread) but they are not being forced to buy Pono or listen to it.
It sounds outstanding.


That's the main point for Arthur.

He got that item of absolute truth from a second hand account in a highly contentious bulletin board thread with NO evidentiary support, without listening, without getting even a second opinion from some other stranger.

But, it sounds outstanding.

That's Gospel, right, Arthur Stone?
Old 18th April 2014
  #3264
Quote:
Originally Posted by paul brown View Post
the pono/vinyl comparison is interesting. i've attached the DR database of the dynamic range of Daft Punk's "Random Access Memories". look at the dynamic range of the mastered for vinyl releases as compared to cd, high-res albeit with questionable high-res competence, mastered for i-tunes, etc. 4-5 dB of difference. i wonder if the pono listening experience was more to do with the dynamic range of the compared recordings rather than the sample rate. without having any information on the comparative tracks used in the promo videos, how can i know? would not that be a more likely reason for people saying it sounds like vinyl? more dynamic range and not some possible ripple artefacts in the outer limits of the human hearing range.
Vinyl has far less dynamic range than CD, of course. I really don't understand what you're saying. And, with re the Gibbs Effect, I think a lot of folks are grasping at proverbial straws again, looking for the 'loophole' that will finally reveal digital to somehow be the sham they always 'knew' it to be. It's pretty amusing but far from enlightening.
Old 18th April 2014
  #3265
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Stone View Post
Lol. I was quite suprised at the strength of feeling expressed by some against Pono...in fact I've never seen so much mud thrown at any device on GS ever...even the B-word; I'm sure most reasonable people will welcome anything that improves the enjoyment of music.
I can't speak for anyone but myself but I've got nothing against the device. I hope it will prove to be a good device.

But the MARKETING of this device is an insult to rational people who actually understand the technologies and perceptual science involved -- and a shameless victimization of those who don't.
Old 18th April 2014
  #3266
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
It sounds outstanding.


That's the main point for Arthur.

He got that item of absolute truth from a second hand account in a highly contentious bulletin board thread with NO evidentiary support, without listening, without getting even a second opinion from some other stranger.

But, it sounds outstanding.

That's Gospel, right, Arthur Stone?
And if that poster said he/she heard it and it didnt sound any better, they'd dismiss it as cynicism, bad hearing, etc.
Old 18th April 2014
  #3267
Quote:
Originally Posted by TREMORS View Post
And if that poster said he/she heard it and it didnt sound any better, they'd dismiss it as cynicism, bad hearing, etc.
To be fair, we should probably wait and see. heh
Old 18th April 2014
  #3268
Airwindows
 
chrisj's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
But the MARKETING of this device is an insult to rational people who actually understand the technologies and perceptual science involved -- and a shameless victimization of those who don't.
If people mix and master correctly for this, and do not do so for CD, and thus the people who buy Pono stuff get better sound and people who buy CDs and mp3s get worse, who is really being victimized and how?

You're saying vinyl has worse dynamic range than CD, but all of my sympathy is with Paul Brown here because in practice people do not USE CD as if it had dynamic range, quite the opposite. I know from my own measurements that the great vinyl records of the past gave you upwards of 30 db of crest factor versus the 9 db and under of commercially produced CDs. That's all loudness war, not the medium. It is impossible to do on vinyl because of the limitations of the format.

If the Pono people claim grossly superior sound on the grounds of 192K, but deliver it on the basis of exceptional resolution and better mastering—and the 'victimized' people, unable to hear 96K tones, get better sound anyhow and attribute it to the wrong cause, what exactly is victimized? You're assuming they care why the sound is better. You might consider the marketing a smokescreen over what's really happening (a different approach to reconstruction leveraging redundant samples). In a sense, it's even true as they are making use of the added information.

And anybody can mix and master in defiance of the loudness war and call it 'for Pono' now. That's a huge gift.

I don't see the 'victimized' here. They could say '192K helps make everything better' and be about as accurate, but it seems likely that they can deliver on 'better' from all accounts (which are pretty thin on the ground so far, but this is not rocket science. It's overdesigned. It SHOULD clear all bars for subjective and objective listening, possibly excepting the filter, and I'm still not convinced the simple filter will produce unwanted results)
Old 18th April 2014
  #3269
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O.F.F.'s Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
Vinyl has far less dynamic range than CD, of course. I really don't understand what you're saying. And, with re the Gibbs Effect, I think a lot of folks are grasping at proverbial straws again, looking for the 'loophole' that will finally reveal digital to somehow be the sham they always 'knew' it to be. It's pretty amusing but far from enlightening.
Vinyl as a medium clearly has less of dynamic range than cd but that doesn't mean that we are using cd's DR right now.
Pauls point is that we have no idea how the stuff they heard on pono was mastered. It may well have been less dynamically compressed, just like some current vinyl and HD releases are less compressed than their cd siblings.
Old 18th April 2014
  #3270
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
To be fair, we should probably wait and see. heh
No ****. But that's not what this thread is about, right?
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