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Launch of Pono Studio Headphones
Old 18th April 2014
  #3271
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TREMORS's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
To be fair, we should probably wait and see. heh
You are right.

I cant prove it, but it's my belief that that's what would happen.

Oddly enough, I am sympathetic to the "skeptical of math" point of view when it comes to, of all things, sports or god forbid, performance reviews from an employer where the only factor is measurables.

If one of my peers makes 2 more widgets an hour than I do, but misses every third monday while I make fewer but more conistently and never take time off, who's the "better" employee?

ahhh the cognitive dissonance
it hurts
Old 18th April 2014
  #3272
Quote:
Originally Posted by TREMORS View Post
You are right.

I cant prove it, but it's my belief that that's what would happen.

Oddly enough, I am sympathetic to the "skeptical of math" point of view when it comes to, of all things, sports or god forbid, performance reviews from an employer where the only factor is measurables.

If one of my peers makes 2 more widgets an hour than I do, but misses every third monday while I make fewer but more conistently and never take time off, who's the "better" employee?

ahhh the cognitive dissonance
it hurts
heh

I'm not skeptical of math -- math is math -- but I'm highly skeptical of attempts to oversimplify its application to extremely complex situations.
Old 18th April 2014
  #3273
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Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisj View Post
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?

.......

And anybody can mix and master in defiance of the loudness war and call it 'for Pono' now. That's a huge gift.
Old 18th April 2014
  #3274
And sell their "HD" tracks via already existing stores, too, including the very artist-friendly Bandcamp.
Old 18th April 2014
  #3275
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TREMORS's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisj View Post

And anybody can mix and master in defiance of the loudness war and call it 'for Pono' now.
Why do they have to call it "for Pono"?

They can do this already.

Or the inverse, they could smash the heck out of it and realese it on Pono.

Or does the Pono campaign require a certain dynamic range or similar before they will accept it in there store?
I'm curious.
Old 18th April 2014
  #3276
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
And sell their "HD" tracks via already existing stores, too, including the very artist-friendly Bandcamp.
You just love it, don't you.
Old 18th April 2014
  #3277
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paul brown'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.
you miss my point, which surprises me! you are usually on the ball! mastered for vinyl has a better dynamic range than any other release format in the particular example i posted. it is not a question of digital, vinyl, tape. it is a question of mastering and allowing the dynamic range to be part of the music listening experience. vinyl listeners could well be getting a better listening experience (based on dynamic range only). i was just wondering if the differences of listening experiences witnessed in the pono marketing campaign could have been differences in dynamic range, not sample rate as is being pushed/marketed. just an idea!
Old 18th April 2014
  #3278
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paul brown View Post
you miss my point, which surprises me! you are usually on the ball! mastered for vinyl has a better dynamic range than any other release format in the particular example i posted. it is not a question of digital, vinyl, tape. it is a question of mastering and allowing the dynamic range to be part of the music listening experience. vinyl listeners could well be getting a better listening experience (based on dynamic range only). i was just wondering if the differences of listening experiences witnessed in the pono marketing campaign could have been differences in dynamic range, not sample rate as is being pushed/marketed. just an idea!
Well, if that was the case, and it was sold in conjunction with a particularly well sounding player, all the better. Then folks will get confronted with the antithesis of the loudness war and react to THAT....and seemingly like it. How would THAT not be great?
Old 18th April 2014
  #3279
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Plush's Avatar
Thank you all for bringing out the absolute worst side of GS.

This is the most ignorant and dogmatic thread in recent memory.
Old 18th April 2014
  #3280
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
Thank you all for bringing out the absolute worst side of GS.

This is the most ignorant and dogmatic thread in recent memory.
i'm not sure that you are right. there are some very clever contributors in this thread and i have learned some very interesting stuff. there is also a whole load of horses*^t, but that is a forum for you. i have witnessed dogma slowly being diluted in some individuals which i always find to be a positive step.

maybe you are just being ironic in your comment. it is quite a dogmatic comment and i'm sure that the clever people who have taken time to try and educate others might find your dismissal of their efforts somewhat ignorant!
Old 18th April 2014
  #3281
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
Well, if that was the case, and it was sold in conjunction with a particularly well sounding player, all the better. Then folks will get confronted with the antithesis of the loudness war and react to THAT....and seemingly like it. How would THAT not be great?
Karloff, i think you are right. any method to counter the loudness war of the last two decades is a positive step. it is just a shame that it takes a possible mistruth covering up a mistake to make amends! but yes, give me back my volume control!
Old 18th April 2014
  #3282
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
You just love it, don't you.
Kinda. All my current content is 'lowly' 44.1 but I'm definitely going to be refreshing my tracks there to go 24 bit. Not that I think it will make a noticeable difference in the output sound for anyone -- my tracks don't have huge dynamic range, we're not talking Sacre du Printemps here, but, well, why not release the original mixes in FLAC? They certainly don't sound worse.
Old 18th April 2014
  #3283
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paul brown View Post
give me back my volume control!
That is a perfect slogan for the dynamic revolution !
Old 18th April 2014
  #3284
Quote:
Originally Posted by paul brown View Post
you miss my point, which surprises me! you are usually on the ball! mastered for vinyl has a better dynamic range than any other release format in the particular example i posted. it is not a question of digital, vinyl, tape. it is a question of mastering and allowing the dynamic range to be part of the music listening experience. vinyl listeners could well be getting a better listening experience (based on dynamic range only). i was just wondering if the differences of listening experiences witnessed in the pono marketing campaign could have been differences in dynamic range, not sample rate as is being pushed/marketed. just an idea!
Ah, sorry. I get what you're saying now.

I thought you had been making a general comment about vinyl. (And, for sure, my mistaken read on that didn't sound 'like you.' )

I did look at the DR chart and note that those particular releases had preserved more averaged program dynamic range, so I get it now -- and now realize you were just talking about the one album and set of releases. Sorry to distract!

(Great service from DR, by the way. )
Old 18th April 2014
  #3285
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UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3rd Degree View Post
Funny how the first person who has experienced it has the same good feedback everyone is crying out is BS without hearing it.
Funny how the first person who has experienced it has confirmed the biggest BS in the Pono listening demos: Different masters being used.

Alistair
Old 18th April 2014
  #3286
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post
Funny how the first person who has experienced it has confirmed the biggest BS in the Pono listening demos: Different masters being used.

Alistair
Sorry, I may be wrong on this but don't want to spend 15 minutes finding the comment in this long thread. I believe he was comparing it to other commercially released masters on his other player. Meaning, the same masters the consumer would get if they didn't have Pono. So, how can these new masters be so much better. They either are not, or the device is able to deliver a quality that another device is more capable of. It's not like all commercial music before this device has terrible masters so it's a super unfair comparison. Either the device is superior, or these masters are incredibly better than what other devices can reasonably play back, unless I am missing something. Obviously, I am talking about another persons experience here, not my own, just saying.
Old 18th April 2014
  #3287
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UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bandpass View Post
Simply sounding outstanding isn't convincing; sounding outstanding compared to iPhone and Fiio with the same material, would be.
The "Pono Hi-Rez" versions sounding outstanding on the Pono player compared to the same material converted with a high-quality SRC like yours played back on the same Pono player would be even more convincing. (Especially if the material is converted back to the higher-sample rates so that we can exclude the converters performing poorly at the base sample rates).

I am more than willing to believe the player sounds good if it has built in high quality converters with high quality analogue stages, clocks, power supplies etc but then it is just a well designed player. All the rest of the marketing is what bothers most of us of course.

Alistair
Old 18th April 2014
  #3288
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UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3rd Degree View Post
Sorry, I may be wrong on this but don't want to spend 15 minutes finding the comment in this long thread.
Here you go, 2 seconds.

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/10039363-post3220.html

Quote:
So, how can these new masters be so much better. They either are not, or the device is able to deliver a quality that another device is more capable of.
This sentence doesn't make sense to me. What do you mean?

To me this makes sense: The masters are either so much better(, not hard to believe in these days of loudness wars,) or they are not and the player is the difference. Is that what you meant?

Quote:
It's not like all commercial music before this device has terrible masters so it's a super unfair comparison.
It depends what the OP is used to listening to and/or comparing to. There are plenty of bad masters out there... loudness wars galore...

Quote:
Either the device is superior, or these masters are incredibly better than what other devices can reasonably play back, unless I am missing something. Obviously, I am talking about another persons experience here, not my own, just saying.
It could be a combination. Better masters and good converters, analogue stages, clocks etc. If this is a well designed player then good for them! It is all the under water and " hi-rez" marketing non-sense that people are objecting to.

Alistair
Old 18th April 2014
  #3289
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Karloff70's Avatar
 

Alistair, can't you see that whether the player or the masters are better (or both), in either case there is a possible win here for all of us?

One could say especially if better masters are the main difference those people are reacting to, as then this little toblerone is going to make for normal people getting a hunger for dynamic, unmashed up by limiting-sounding music.

Can you please explain to me how this is bad?
Old 18th April 2014
  #3290
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paul brown's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post
All the rest of the marketing is what bothers most of us of course.

Alistair
maybe this is what Plush was getting at. this is a site for audio engineers. it should be a bastion against marketing mistruths when it comes to audio. audio recording and reproduction is science. it developed due to developments in the scientific world. the performance is art. the emotion. pono marketing, as it stands, is all smoke and mirrors contradicting known science. the loss of dynamic range in recordings is a fact. personally, i think that more dynamic range gives a better emotional listening experience. kickstart that change! better portable players. that'll just be better manufacturing and design.
Attached Thumbnails
Launch of Pono-dr_vs_year.jpg  
Old 18th April 2014
  #3291
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UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
Alistair, can't you see that whether the player or the masters are better (or both), in either case there is a possible win here for all of us?
Or the road to hell is paved with good intentions?

I really don't believe in trying the improve the world (of audio) by bull****ting people (intentionally or not). I don't see that working at all in the long run.

But I do see that you are optimistic. That in itself is nice. (I really mean that). I wish I could share your enthusiasm.

Quote:
One could say especially if better masters are the main difference those people are reacting to, as then this little toblerone is going to make for normal people getting a hunger for dynamic, unmashed up by limiting-sounding music.

Can you please explain to me how this is bad?
Neil Young could have achieved all this by getting all these artists behind him and just promoting better masters. (Through a new Pono shop as a vehicle to selling these better masters for it to be financially interesting). MORE people would have direct access to the better masters including people that can not afford the player but can afford to buy a few releases to check out what all the hype is about. THAT would be an uncompromised campaign and I think (nearly[1]) everyone would have supported and promoted it. Instead we have what we have. See how the marketing BS could actually be hurting his cause?

[1] There are always a few loonies and/or contrarians out there whatever happens...

Alistair
Old 18th April 2014
  #3292
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3rd Degree's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post
Here you go, 2 seconds.

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/10039363-post3220.html



This sentence doesn't make sense to me. What do you mean?

To me this makes sense: The masters are either so much better(, not hard to believe in these days of loudness wars,) or they are not and the player is the difference. Is that what you meant?




It depends what the OP is used to listening to and/or comparing to. There are plenty of bad masters out there... loudness wars galore...



It could be a combination. Better masters and good converters, analogue stages, clocks etc. If this is a well designed player then good for them! It is all the under water and " hi-rez" marketing non-sense that people are objecting to.

Alistair
Either the masters sound better (which means the device is capable of playing a better master), or the device sounds really good.


I don't get why high resolution audio is non sense. There is absolutely no downside to it, as stated many times.


I am not even sure if I would personally buy this and I am not on either side. I know I can hear a difference between an MP3 and a 24 bit wave file. I don't know if it's important enough for myself to spend money on. I wouldn't pay more money for a better format, and I think most would not but if every other format change is an indication of the future, the price hike will be short lived. As for this player, if it's the player that makes the difference, even better because I would love if consumer audio market became more quality oriented instead of a fashion oriented like it is right now.
Old 18th April 2014
  #3293
Gear Guru
 
UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3rd Degree View Post
Either the masters sound better (which means the device is capable of playing a better master), or the device sounds really good.
Or the placebo effect is still real. Or the Pono player has better headphones amps and just plays louder than the other players compared. There really is so much that could be biasing the listening experience of listeners. There are too many if's or maybe's.

In short: We know nothing about anything Pono. And that includes the people that heard it!

Quote:
I don't get why high resolution audio is non sense. There is absolutely no downside to it, as stated many times.
*sigh* Just re-read the whole thread carefully.

Quote:
As for this player, if it's the player that makes the difference, even better because I would love if consumer audio market became more quality oriented instead of a fashion oriented like it is right now.
Maybe the Pono player will just be another passing fashion fad. We know nothing yet. Let's regroup in two or three years.

Alistair
Old 18th April 2014
  #3294
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post
Or the road to hell is paved with good intentions?

I really don't believe in trying the improve the world (of audio) by bull****ting people (intentionally or not). I don't see that working at all in the long run.

But I do see that you are optimistic. That in itself is nice. (I really mean that). I wish I could share your enthusiasm.



Neil Young could have achieved all this by getting all these artists behind him and just promoting better masters. (Through a new Pono shop as a vehicle to selling these better masters for it to be financially interesting). MORE people would have direct access to the better masters including people that can not afford the player but can afford to buy a few releases to check out what all the hype is about. THAT would be an uncompromised campaign and I think (nearly[1]) everyone would have supported and promoted it. Instead we have what we have. See how the marketing BS could actually be hurting his cause?

[1] There are always a few loonies and/or contrarians out there whatever happens...

Alistair
I don't much like bull**** marketing either, but in this case I remain unsure which exact parts and how much is bull****.

What seems to be happening to people that hear it could be masters, could be the player quality or both. I'd like it to be both, let's see how it turns out.

What is definite is that that little toblerone is an access device that no other high quality campaign had before, and if it really delivers that connection when hearing stuff from it, regardless if they are specially made masters (or even better if they are, as then people HAVE to mix for it), so the whole thing kind of NEEDS to be a combination of the handy little player and the files (and maybe special masters).

If it was just files, as many have pointed out, that has been done and went nowhere. Add a funky little player that sounds better than anything punter has heard and he just might consider dragging it around and filling it with special files, if it sounds amazing.

That marketing campaign is basically NECESSARY to put the thing on the map. As otherwise it is dead in the water all round. And at this point we DON'T know that it doesn't actually sound amazing. It may!! All everyone is doing is looking for holes and poking at it. Bereft, man, bereft.
Old 18th April 2014
  #3295
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Sounds Great's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post
Or the placebo effect is still real. Or the Pono player has better headphones amps and just plays louder than the other players compared. There really is so much that could be biasing the listening experience of listeners. There are too many if's or maybe's.

In short:
lol

Yup, too many if's, it must be a trick!
Old 18th April 2014
  #3296
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UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
I don't much like bull**** marketing either, but in this case I remain unsure which exact parts and how much is bull****.

What seems to be happening to people that hear it could be masters, could be the player quality or both. I'd like it to be both, let's see how it turns out.

What is definite is that that little toblerone is an access device that no other high quality campaign had before, and if it really delivers that connection when hearing stuff from it, regardless if they are specially made masters (or even better if they are, as then people HAVE to mix for it), so the whole thing kind of NEEDS to be a combination of the handy little player and the files (and maybe special masters).

If it was just files, as many have pointed out, that has been done and went nowhere. Add a funky little player that sounds better than anything punter has heard and he just might consider dragging it around and filling it with special files, if it sounds amazing.

That marketing campaign is basically NECESSARY to put the thing on the map. As otherwise it is dead in the water all round. And at this point we DON'T know that it doesn't actually sound amazing. It may!! All everyone is doing is looking for holes and poking at it. Bereft, man, bereft.
I'm not convinced the player is needed. I think the Pono shop would be sufficient (they get the same control over the masters they sell through the shop). This would give access to more people. (And they could have used an existing HQ player to demonstrate the difference. Just use level matched crushed and non-crushed files and play them to people using another HQ player).

More importantly, I think the main thing this campaign has that other campaigns didn't have is the verbose support from so many prominent mainstream artists!

Or maybe you are showing us an unusual (for you) dose of cynicism and believe that Neil Young wouldn't have had the support of all those artists if they couldn't benefit from the sale of signature versions of the player?

But again, I don't have an issue with a high-quality player in itself. It is the marketing surrounding it that I have issue with.

Anyway, I started working some time yesterday morning and it is now 10 pm. (Crazy projects getting out of hand). So I'll go and consume and enjoy some music now. Have a nice evening everyone!

Alistair
Old 18th April 2014
  #3297
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3rd Degree's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post
Or the placebo effect is still real. Or the Pono player has better headphones amps and just plays louder than the other players compared. There really is so much that could be biasing the listening experience of listeners. There are too many if's or maybe's.
Sorry, I guess I struggle with the idea that any positive praise about this, or high resolution audio is either real, or placebo effect when we all do the same thing. We upgrade our converters and speakers, is that "real" or "placebo"? Only a fraction of us actually judge equipment in any scientific way, we use our experience to draw conclusions. We often use other peoples opinions to choose that equipment.

I have never seen another product come to the market that people will discount it's potential merits based off of possible placebo effects. Maybe I am the only one but I do believe that a high quality portable digital audio device can exceed what we have at our disposal now. To me, it's really that simple. We all will have opinions, I just think it is very possible that this could be a lot better and there is no reason to conclude it is all some placebo effect stuff going, or the possibility of it (at least more so than any other audio playback device, set of headphones, set of speakers, etc). Even when scientifically tested, you cannot deny preference.

Again, as for high resolution audio, I can hear the difference and have proven it to myself. It's subtle but there. Unless converters and speakers are at their absolute peak and cannot be improved upon, I think it's just as nonsensical to think high resolution audio has no advantage as just about anything else people claim to be nonsense.
Old 18th April 2014
  #3298
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?
What you have written is incorrect: please have the decency to stick to facts.

I was commenting on a first-hand report from ellisr63:

Quote:
Originally Posted by ellisr63 View Post
I don't think anyone has actually received one yet... I had the pleasure though to listen to a demo at another forum members house given by Pono. We listened to various music that were FLAC recordings and then also the music that was on the Pono. I thought the FLAC recordings sounded great but the recordings we heard on the Pono were outstanding... Now to be fair we did not have the same recordings for both players. I do have to say though that the recordings we heard on the Pono sounded better than any recordings I have ever heard.
(My bold).

ellisr63 posted that he heard Pono & said it sounded outstanding; a first-hand account.

You may have an issue with that; I don't. This isn't the Spanish Inquisition...it's an internet forum.
Old 18th April 2014
  #3299
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Sounds Great's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bogosort View Post

They kept that test brief because they were listening to the noise floor (no signal) turned way up. Talk about fatiguing! In any case, it's not surprising that the 16-bit noise floor could be heard first -- this is exactly what one would expect. How does this demonstrate bias?
Apparently you (conveniently) missed the part about NOTICING inaccuracies on the CD level encoding at higher volumes. And instead decided to focus on the noise floor part.

You seem to be fumbling, as I am only quoting the descriptions from your testers, I'm agreeing with them. This is the same thing I've been noticing for thirty years. I've noticed the smoothness when listening to vinyl as you turn UP the volume. When ever a record is playing I find myself wanting to turn it up, but in the case of CD's I find it not as enjoyable as I turn it loud and more often I find myself wanting to turn it down. Matches what your testers found. Of course they are trying to candy coat it calling it "innaccuracies", when they should just call it what it is, harsh.



Quote:
Originally Posted by bogosort View Post

Quote:
"virtually all of the SACD and
DVD-A recordings sounded better than most CDs—"
Their wording is not entirely clear, but I take it that they're referring to different masters.
Of course you do.

Except I thought the whole point was that there is only ONE source and the CD degradation was injected into the stream. You seem to be confused.
Old 18th April 2014
  #3300
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Stephen Bennett's Avatar
 

The first thing we could do as responsible engineers is stop calling 24/96kHz 'high resolution' audio. It's nothing if the sort and confuses and obfuscates.

It's high sample rate audio - let's call a cat a cat. The term 'High resolution' implies some kind of analogy with the effect of increasing the pixel density of video or images, which is patently wrong.

Stephen
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