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Launch of Pono Studio Headphones
Old 13th March 2014
  #331
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Silver Sonya's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bogosort View Post
But what is tiring is the marketing BS.
I don't find it remotely tiring or BS-y, I find it passionate and refreshing and NOT DORKY.

Audiophile initiatives have always been dorky before.

Someone has finally figured out a way to move us forward without it feeling all nerdy and anal-retentive. I think that's genius.

- c

p.s. On day 3, we are nearing the third million dollars!
Old 13th March 2014
  #332
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bambamboom View Post
I don't get it.

First of all, it's a $400 Tobelrone bar. I don't want that in my pocket, unless the 1990's baggy pants make a comeback!
So anything good in life has to be pocket sized?

Second, iTunes has been increasingly adding content on "iTunes Plus" which is 256Kbps AAC format, which is good enough for my needs in a portable player (comparable to 320Kbps MP3, which people can't typically differentiate from CD)
If it's good enough for your needs that's cool. Often it's good enough for my "needs" too, like learning tunes or checking out a band. But why would we want to limit our important listening to an inferior sound?

iTunes Store: iTunes Plus Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Given the price premium for iTunes Plus music is not much (29c more on average) and the content is DRM free, what would be the incentive to pay $399 (seriously!?!?!) for yet another thing to carry around, and have to buy music at a higher price?

I'm for paying the higher price if MUSICIANS benefit - hopefully they will. Maybe this will help counter the fact that mp3s are basically free to anyone and musicians make very little from their recordings.

Ask yourself, if Neil Young wasn't involved and they weren't trying to line up a string of "name" artists to endorse/support it and give you the warm fuzzies under the whole mantra of "artistic integrity" and giving you the quality you deserve blah blah blah, does the tech really seem compelling? If it said Samsung or Acer or LG on the side and was announced at CES, would this thing even be on your radar?
Neil Young does NOT need the money from some start up project. When Neil talks I listen. And when an analog purist like Gillian Welch loves it I REALLY listen.

This whole thing (especially the kickstarter part) is a marketing exercise, building something out of people's misinformed perception of a need when in fact there are options (iTunes Plus, HDTracks etc) already in existence for audio enthusiasts who care about quality. You really think Neil Young couldn't come up with the 800K himself or with a few private investors? Nonsense, the kickstarter campaign is largely a marketing ploy.
Time will tell but why the intense negativity? I say let it play out. MP3s are not the future.

Nothing personal against Neil, but I'm not interested. At all.
Old 13th March 2014
  #333
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Sonya View Post
Like all of you, I have not heard Pono. However, I wil say this.



If Pono is anything like DSD in the Blue Room of the Magic Shop, I'm psyched.

I guess I'll find out a month from now. I'm one of the people who contributed to their current $3 million dollar draw. I bought a black Pono player.

I'm excited to hear it!



- c
Huh??? How would ANY playback device sound like 1/2" masters in The Blue Room. You just admitted a rarified listening Environment. Gee... If my VW Beetle is anything like a Lambourgini on the Autobahn, I'm psyched....
Old 13th March 2014
  #334
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Gillian Welch's presence and testimony is pretty damn convincing.

I mean, she's Gillian Welch. She's pretty devoted to good sound and artisanal analog recording/delivery.

Just look at her face in that video. She looks... relieved.

Dismiss it if you will. I'm not gonna.

- c
Old 13th March 2014
  #335
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blindjoni View Post
Huh??? How would ANY playback device sound like 1/2" masters in The Blue Room. You just admitted a rarified listening Environment. Gee... If my VW Beetle is anything like a Lambourgini on the Autobahn, I'm psyched....
I think that's precisely why Neil chose a car as a demonstration environment. Because it's a fundamentally impure, regular scenario we all know: the lowly car stereo.

- c
Old 13th March 2014
  #336
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Sonya View Post
Neil has been obsessed with this since CDs started.

Even as he was selling tons of CD's he was frank about how much he loathed them and how much despair he felt that we'd settled at 16/44 for no reason.

- c
I listened to Harvest on cd. That needs 24/192 to sound good in a car?? Really??
Old 13th March 2014
  #337
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Sonya View Post
I don't find it remotely tiring or BS-y, I find it passionate and refreshing and NOT DORKY.
I find it comparable to Stanley Kubrick hocking a re-release run of his movies with a special "wide bandwidth" projector: "You haven't seen my films until you've seen them in ultra-violet!"
Old 13th March 2014
  #338
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bogosort View Post
I find it comparable to Stanley Kubrick hocking a re-release run of his movies with a special "wide bandwidth" projector: "You haven't seen my films until you've seen them in ultra-violet!"
We feel differently.

- c
Old 13th March 2014
  #339
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Karloff70's Avatar
 

Really rather interesting to watch, this thread.

And disappointing in its cynical stomping. Makes for exactly the kind of world where something like this initiative is needed badly. Before everything is just cynical murmurs and 'who cares?', 'they only want to scam you!' and whatnot. Sad.

Let the bloody sunshine in, guys, ffs.
Old 13th March 2014
  #340
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Sonya View Post
Pono detractors: Aren't you excited about the prospect of a format that encourages an ordinary, average music listener --- repeat: ordinary, average listener --- to listen more closely? To care about what we do? The reasons why you chose an optical compressor for that channel vs. a vari-mu?

To stop saying "anybody can do it" or "it doesn't matter" or "it has no value" or "nobody will hear the details" etc.

Aren't you tired of hearing that? Aren't you a little bit excited for the slight cultural shift in the discussion? Aren't you excited for people to begin to understand why you bought that crazy, beautiful, expensive thing you worked so hard to afford?

Pono is not trying to take over the world. It's just trying to present a legit, stylish, exciting alternative for a niche market of passionate listeners. Kinda like vinyl.

Why hate it?

- c
It's not a format. It's a store and a device.

How does it encourage the ordinary, average listener to listen more closely? Because a bunch of old guys he doesn't care about (if he even heard of them) suggest he pay $400 for a Toblerone-shaped portable that doesn't take apps or plugins or any of the other modern value-adds that contemporary consumers expect? How is this going to engage today's consumers.

But, hey, I'm already engaged.

I'm someone who has been fascinated and in love with music, sound and sound technology since the beginning of the 1960s. I'm truly excited by real advances.
But this is just a marketing ploy hooked up to a niche product that seems unlikely to find a viable market.

Again... I don't hate the product. I hate the hype and the marketing BS which is not just disreputable but rather offensive.


You know what would excite me?

If some of the 'passionate' people around her showed a little more passion for learning the science behind their craft.
Old 13th March 2014
  #341
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blindjoni View Post
I listened to Harvest on cd. That needs 24/192 to sound good in a car?? Really??
It's a pretty rich and punchy recording, that album. There may be a lot of air in it that the CD does not reflect. Who knows? I don't.

I dunno. I didn't make Pono. I haven't even heard it.

Apparently Neil feels so. Very much, obviously. Enough to take his time to champion this cause.

- c
Old 13th March 2014
  #342
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
How does it encourage the ordinary, average listener to listen more closely?
To the tune of apparently one million dollars a day, people are getting excited about hearing it. And the very first thing they're gonna do when they get it is LISTEN HARD.

I think it's incredibly nerdy to deny this.

- c
Old 13th March 2014
  #343
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Michael E's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by blindjoni View Post
Kinda like...what's better...2 airbags or 24? When 8 is all you would ever need.
Well.
About hour ago, I listened to some songs in FLAC format, first time in my life, and I'm quite impressed actually.
The difference is like between 192 kbps and 320 kbps MP3.

So what's your point? Is FLAC overkill?
I don't think so, it sounds much better than my 256 kbps iTunes music.
And if I can hear the difference, on my cheap prosumer audio card and ATH-50, so any average kid with proper player and fancy Beats headphones will hear it as well.

And by the way, the hardware price, is not so shocking to be honest.
Top tier portable FLAC players cost up to one thousand bucks: HifiMan Electronics HM-901

So anyway, I really like this Pono project, and I hope it will push the industry standards much further.
Old 13th March 2014
  #344
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Quote:
Originally Posted by earshotaudio View Post

Does anyone out there use Amarra to playback their digital files instead of iTunes?
Can you hear the difference? If not, stop reading (if you haven’t already) and go listen to your MP3s through your iPhone with your $10 earbuds and enjoy.
Here's one of the problems with this kind of discussion. If we can't hear the dubious benefits of Amarra's supposed improved audio engine, we might as well be listening on $10 earbuds? Let's stop trying to claim that subtle differences are "night and day" and focus on the things that provide real benefits like not squashing the life out of music and calling it "mastering".
Old 13th March 2014
  #345
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Sonya View Post
Gillian Welch's presence and testimony is pretty damn convincing.

I mean, she's Gillian Welch. She's pretty devoted to good sound and artisanal analog recording/delivery.

Just look at her face in that video. She looks... relieved.

Dismiss it if you will. I'm not gonna.

- c
Fill me in. The 24/192 files gets turned to analog by a device that stores, plays and coverts the files to analog plus powers a headphone amp....for $400...and that's better than ALL the delivery systems available in 2014? This is COMPLETELY marketing because anyone can already choose a delivery system with the same capabilities. I agree that better quality is desirable at all levels of music creation and presentation, but has not everyone read the scientific papers on the negative...and logical I might add...results of playing back 192K files on equipments that can in no way accurately reproduce those frequencies?
Old 13th March 2014
  #346
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Sonya View Post
To the tune of apparently one million dollars a day, people are getting excited about hearing it. And the very first thing they're gonna do when they get it is LISTEN HARD.

I think it's incredibly nerdy to deny this.

- c
I don't think selectively quoting theblue1 is the best way to go about it. A rhetorical way of looking at it is totally fair and I agree with theblue1. There is too much wrong with this from the get go. If I spend $400 I want it to be as slim as my iPod nano, which is a few generations old at this point, and I want it to do slightly more than play 30 specific songs in my collection, because trust me, people are gonna get tired of rebuying their music very quickly

Also this things quality is skeptical. If I'm spending thousands on a Burl DAC, what makes you think I'll be content with a $400 DAC and a probably crappy headphone amp
Old 13th March 2014
  #347
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Sonya View Post
It's a pretty rich and punchy recording, that album. There may be a lot of air in it that the CD does not reflect. Who knows? I don't.

I dunno. I didn't make Pono. I haven't even heard it.

Apparently Neil feels so. Very much, obviously. Enough to take his time to champion this cause.

- c
That's my point... If the 16/44.1 CD with its associated dynamic range and frequency response doesn't reflect it, how the hell is a car stereo going to do it?
Old 13th March 2014
  #348
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I hope radio stations start running the music through Pono before beaming it to my car. I'm ready for some high quality FM.
Old 13th March 2014
  #349
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sam guaiana View Post
Also this things quality is skeptical. If I'm spending thousands on a Burl DAC, what makes you think I'll be content with a $400 DAC and a probably crappy headphone amp
I'm unclear, are you saying you think it's not expensive enough?

- c
Old 13th March 2014
  #350
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael E View Post
Well.
About hour ago, I listened to some songs in FLAC format, first time in my life, and I'm quite impressed actually.
The difference is like between 192 kbps and 320 kbps MP3.

So what's your point? Is FLAC overkill?
I don't think so, it sounds much better than my 256 kbps iTunes music.
And if I can hear the difference, on my cheap prosumer audio card and ATH-50, so any average kid with proper player and fancy Beats headphones will hear it as well.

And by the way, the hardware price, is not so shocking to be honest.
Top tier portable FLAC players cost up to one thousand bucks: HifiMan Electronics HM-901

So anyway, I really like this Pono project, and I hope it will push the industry standards much further.
Your observation is that the FLAC stored audio is better than 256K iTunes audio?Amazing revelation?
Old 13th March 2014
  #351
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blindjoni View Post
That's my point... If the 16/44.1 CD with its associated dynamic range and frequency response doesn't reflect it, how the hell is a car stereo going to do it?
Watch the video again. People --- lots of people, including Bruce Botnick! --- are repeatedly saying "I could hear the difference. It was stunning. Even in a car!"

Again: I don't work for Pono. I don't care if anybody at GS likes it [although I'm surprised there is so much negativity towards it.]

I'm just excited about it and what it means for the future of our profession, culturally speaking.

As more people [predictably: Trent Reznors and Brian Enos and Peter Gabriels etc.] come on board, I think a lot of people will be curious.

And that's exciting to me.

That's why I bought one.

- c
Old 13th March 2014
  #352
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by steveswisher View Post
I hope radio stations start running the music through Pono before beaming it to my car. I'm ready for some high quality FM.
Lol!!!
Old 13th March 2014
  #353
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Again: I only ever record at 24/88 at the highest.

That's not the point to me. The point is a cultural shift.

- c
Old 13th March 2014
  #354
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Sonya View Post
Watch the video again. People are repeatedly saying "I could hear the difference. It was stunning. Even in a car!"

Again: I don't work for Pono. I don't care if anybody at GS likes it [although I'm surprised there is so much negativity towards it.]

I'm just excited about it and what it means for the future of our profession, culturally speaking.

As more people [predictably: Trent Reznors and Brian Enos and Peter Gabriels etc.] come on board, I think a lot of people will be curious.

And that's exciting to me.

That's why I bought one.

- c
Hear the difference between what and what? We all know a 1db difference in level can affect a persons opinion of playback quality pretty much 100% of the time. We have NO idea what anyone heard...THAT'S why many are leery. A marketing expert once told me... Testimonials prove one thing...that not everyone agrees about something. If its a fact, you don't need testimonials.
Gee... Everyday I hear people say all kinds of stuff... They are wrong about 90% of the time by my calculations. This is stupid.... With all due respect, I am glad you...or any of the testifiers are not my doctor.
Old 13th March 2014
  #355
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Sonya View Post
I'm unclear, are you saying you think it's not expensive enough?

- c


People who don't understand manufacturing scale issues often have a hard time seeing why short run products tend to have high cost/value relationships. A third generation product from an established, profitable manufacturer might be able to bring a heck of a product to market for the same money, but a startup with short product runs and high startup costs is going to face considerable challenges at bringing bang for buck.
Old 13th March 2014
  #356
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No question about that.

- c
Old 13th March 2014
  #357
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael E View Post
Well.
About hour ago, I listened to some songs in FLAC format, first time in my life, and I'm quite impressed actually.
The difference is like between 192 kbps and 320 kbps MP3.

[...]
It better sound OK. It's lossless. That means it contains the same data as the original CD audio.



I feel uncharitability creeping over me. I'm going to go do something else before I blurt out what I'm thinking again.
Old 13th March 2014
  #358
... so here's all these artists, who are supposedly totally familiar with hi-end recording, being these recording artists, now totally baffled
by the 'new and uncompromizing clear sound of high bitrate' ????
... kind of insulting from my point of view.
Old 13th March 2014
  #359
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
I feel uncharitability creeping over me. I'm going to go do something else before I blurt out what I'm thinking again.
Heh. Sad, isn't it.

I picture a Venn diagram with two circles slightly overlapping; in one circle are the scientist types, in the other the artsy types. Ideally audio engineers represent the union of the two, a well-suited marriage of technical competence and aesthetic sensibility. We're supposed to be audio engineers, after all.
Old 13th March 2014
  #360
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I very clearly and comprehensively described my empirical observations about hi-res audio.

Empirical is a science word.

- c
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