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Launch of Pono Studio Headphones
Old 23rd April 2014
  #3661
Lives for gear
 
doorknocker's Avatar
Just a question while the participants in this here meandering discussion reload on popcorn (or maybe meds):

Has anybody actually HEARD Pono in action? Like -ehm - actually listening to music being played back on it? Like - with your own ears? Is that too much to ask?

THAT is what I'm interested in and that's where the love-fest of so many celebs will be put to the test.

Old 23rd April 2014
  #3662
Gear Maniac
 

Once you guys manage to get your heads round the fact that simply op-sampling makes no audible difference you are going to face another, even more formidable, obstacle.

The hoary old canard that it's the 'superior analogue output stage' that makes the difference. It shouldn't and I'll explain why.

Every DAC SoC currently on the market is at least 1 order of magnitude better than the human auditory system's ability to discriminate. Most sensible people now accept this as fact but many still insist there is a difference they can hear in different implementations. do to the supporting circuits.

However the suppliers of these sophisticated devices supply a reference circuit design. If you follow the design you get the published results. If not they would be returned as not up to spec.

So if there is an audible difference at all it means the OEM has not followed the reference design. Whatever the marketing bumf insists they must have economised in some way.

Now can you believe that these massive multinational organisations which are capable of such sophisticated electronic engineering are going to fall down on such basic, inexpensive electrical wiring? The reason the 'boutique' hi end manufacturers bang on about output circuits, power supplies and gold plated plugs etc etc is because that's all they have the skills and ability to do anything about. Messing with the chips is well beyond them. Something Charles Hanson made very clear when he turned the $500 Oppo into a $10,000 Ayre. The Oppo had the best parts. All they could do anything about was the box, power supply and internal wiring.

So all DACs now sound exactly the same unless at least one of them has been cheaply implemented not to spec.

That's not the end of the painful reality either. The next problem to address will be that it is pointless sampling a 2" 15ips master tape at anything higher than 16/44 because the resolution is less than 12 bits equivalent anyway. But lets leave that for another day.
Old 23rd April 2014
  #3663
Gear Head
 
sickie's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
Just about every interface you can buy now offers 192khz...
There are other uses of professional recording interfaces beside recording music, for example recording whales for research purposes.
Old 23rd April 2014
  #3664
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisj View Post
...I totally sympathize with the objections to the 1/8" minijack, but get real. How many people have any form of music system that works on a STEREO XLR connector? I could see RCA jacks (and a breakout connector is going to be obligatory here as people will be driving amps and speakers with these) but the 1/8" is going to be sturdier, and you can't get around the practicality issue. It's sad that it has to be a headphone jack, but… it has to be a headphone jack. That's not even debatable.
I did read somewhere that the extra finance they're seeking is for new models with proper connections...could be gossip but it makes sense they'd do that at some point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by doorknocker View Post
Just a question while the participants in this here meandering discussion reload on popcorn (or maybe meds):

Has anybody actually HEARD Pono in action? Like -ehm - actually listening to music being played back on it? Like - with your own ears? Is that too much to ask?

THAT is what I'm interested in and that's where the love-fest of so many celebs will be put to the test.

ellisr63 is the only poster to have heard it; he was heavily criticised for freely expressing his opinion:
Quote:
I had the oportunity to listen to a Pono a couple of weeks ago on some JTR speakers at 124db and it sounded better than any recording I had ever heard. I used to have some high end equipment, and had always liked vinyl over digital but this changed my mind.

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.

... AIR the sound was the most lifelike I have ever heard in a recording. You could hear every little nuance that was in the recording... As an example, there were comments made as to what type of damping was used on the kick drum as it was so very distinct. Vocals sounded like the singer was standing in front of you singing, and some of the participants knew the artists and made comments that it sounded exactly like they did in real life. Soundstage depth and realism was right on the money IMO. It really was the best I have ever heard next to a live session. I wish that I would have taken notes at the time but I was too busy enjoying the performance.
Old 23rd April 2014
  #3665
Gear Head
 
bandpass's Avatar
 

A great recording was played at great volume through great speakers: it sounded great—no great surprise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Stone View Post
he was heavily criticised for freely expressing his opinion:
Nonsense. On the, as we know now incorrect, assumption that he was an AE, surprise was expressed that he didn't question some of the (apparent) BS that was given out by the Pono people (having to make inferior mixes to cater for the limitations of CD or some such).
Old 23rd April 2014
  #3666
FWIW, I was the one who had initially suggested that the fellow who actually heard a Pono demonstration didn't seem to know what he was talking about, since he'd rather muddled what he was saying with some poor use of technical terms/craft jargon. (I did say that I didn't mean to sound mean, but, understood, once you've said someone doesn't seem to now what he's talking about, there's only so much walking back one can do.)

But when he caught up with my post he assured me he wasn't trying to present himself as any sort of expert and wasn't an RE and I think he and I are all good on that now. Seems like a nice guy who simply wanted to offer his first hand experience and stepped into this slo-mo hornet's nest.

Old 23rd April 2014
  #3667
Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
FWIW, I was the one who had initially suggested that the fellow who actually heard a Pono demonstration didn't seem to know what he was talking about, since he'd rather muddled what he was saying with some poor use of technical terms/craft jargon. (I did say that I didn't mean to sound mean, but, understood, once you've said someone doesn't seem to now what he's talking about, there's only so much walking back one can do.)

But when he caught up with my post he assured me he wasn't trying to present himself as any sort of expert and wasn't an RE and I think he and I are all good on that now. Seems like a nice guy who simply wanted to offer his first hand experience and stepped into this slo-mo hornet's nest.

He's got ears, got an opinion and he's heard Pono...the kinda qualifies him to post. AFAIK there isn't some forum rule about 'audio engineers only.'
We can learn more by asking him why he likes Pono than criticising his right to post here.
Old 23rd April 2014
  #3668
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Stone View Post
He's got ears, got an opinion and he's heard Pono...the kinda qualifies him to post. AFAIK there isn't some forum rule about 'audio engineers only.'
We can learn more by asking him why he likes Pono than criticising his right to post here.
I agree his opinion is "valid".
I disagree that we can "learn" very much from asking him why he likes Pono.

His experience is less "useful" to the rest of us, because we ARE recording engineers and we have specific questions - questions that of course we were unable to ask him in advance to check out for us! That is certainly not his fault!

But the fact that he listened only to Pono, with no comparison to other players, on a system that was presumably new to him means that his "opinion of Pono" entitled as he certainly is to it, is all mixed up with his "opinion of the system" he was hearing for the first time.

The fact that he said he was listening at 125 dB (!) kind of throws yet another rather odd variable in. In the end, my feeling is to just add him onto the list of the 'civilians' in the Pono video. They "like" it too. They also cannot provide us with the type of information we would like to have.

If a few of us had a Pono for a week each, let's say ...
Old 23rd April 2014
  #3669
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Stone View Post
...Subtle doesn't necessarily mean that it won't have an exponential effect on the quality of the listeners experience though.

What could be 'revolutionary' is the audio ecosystem; if Pono music is really as heard in the studio then that would represent a paradigm shift. The answer is in the listening.
that's exactly the kind of pie-in-the-sky baloney I am talking about!

Pinning the starry-eyed "hope" for a revolutionary audio ecosystem on a product!

Our own experiences with high sample-rates, the studies conducted with high-sample rates, the information from knowledgeable people about high sample rates have all but KILLED any realistic belief in the "underwater" metaphor of sound quality shown in the video. The predatory practices of record labels looking for yet another way to sell their back catalogs one more time casts an ugly shadow over the whole enterprise.

What is left? Only the 'idea' that some hip player will lure The Kids away from video games! Didn't we just hear about this revolution in the 'ecosystem' when the Beats headphones became a "thing"? Oh it's not just a fad, it's not just a status symbol. People are going to listen to music in a "different way" now.

Funny how the definition of that "different way" of listening to music always turns be the SAME WAY that we Old Guys used to listen to music!!
Old 23rd April 2014
  #3670
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Stone View Post
He's got ears, got an opinion and he's heard Pono...the kinda qualifies him to post. AFAIK there isn't some forum rule about 'audio engineers only.'
We can learn more by asking him why he likes Pono than criticising his right to post here.
I most certainly did not criticize his right to post here, Arthur. I did call into question his expertise but when I realized he wasn't claiming any, that point was moot. And, as I said, I think he and I appear to be all sorted. If HE is unhappy, and I have no reason to think he is, I hope he contacts me and we can work it out from there. But, again, I don't think he is.

Since you were not involved in the interchange between between him and me, and I've pointed out that I didn't criticise his right to be here, I think you and I are have discussed everything there is for us to discuss about this issue.
Old 23rd April 2014
  #3671
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
I agree his opinion is "valid".
I disagree that we can "learn" very much from asking him why he likes Pono.

His experience is less "useful" to the rest of us, because we ARE recording engineers and we have specific questions - questions that of course we were unable to ask him in advance to check out for us! That is certainly not his fault!

But the fact that he listened only to Pono, with no comparison to other players, on a system that was presumably new to him means that his "opinion of Pono" entitled as he certainly is to it, is all mixed up with his "opinion of the system" he was hearing for the first time.

The fact that he said he was listening at 125 dB (!) kind of throws yet another rather odd variable in. In the end, my feeling is to just add him onto the list of the 'civilians' in the Pono video. They "like" it too. They also cannot provide us with the type of information we would like to have.

If a few of us had a Pono for a week each, let's say ...
Your post implies there is some unwritten rule that everyone's opinion should be 'scientifically-based' - besides, scientists gather qualitative and quantitative information. A first-hand account of a listeners experience can provide valid insights, science or not...perhaps the Ponophobes were keen to dismiss it as it was positive?
Old 23rd April 2014
  #3672
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
that's exactly the kind of pie-in-the-sky baloney I am talking about!

Pinning the starry-eyed "hope" for a revolutionary audio ecosystem on a product!
All I'm suggesting is that we won't know either way until we (and others) have heard and used it - you seem to have reached a conclusion without hearing Pono or analysing it's ('ecosystem') operation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
...Our own experiences with high sample-rates, the studies conducted with high-sample rates, the information from knowledgeable people about high sample rates have all but KILLED any realistic belief in the "underwater" metaphor of sound quality shown in the video.
It's just a BS marketing metaphor...just like every other BS marketing metaphor...is it evil, unethical, predatory? Not in my opinion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
...The predatory practices of record labels looking for yet another way to sell their back catalogs one more time casts an ugly shadow over the whole enterprise.
Yes, but is that Pono's fault - perhaps it's necessary in order to move to higher-quality. I don't agree with restrictive business practices (or cartels); I think market forces will determine what is acceptable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
...What is left? Only the 'idea' that some hip player will lure The Kids away from video games! Didn't we just hear about this revolution in the 'ecosystem' when the Beats headphones became a "thing"? Oh it's not just a fad, it's not just a status symbol. People are going to listen to music in a "different way" now.
Well we won't know 'til we hear it will we?

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
...Funny how the definition of that "different way" of listening to music always turns be the SAME WAY that we Old Guys used to listen to music!!
It was always better back in the day
Old 23rd April 2014
  #3673
Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
I most certainly did not criticize his right to post here, Arthur. I did call into question his expertise but when I realized he wasn't claiming any, that point was moot. And, as I said, I think he and I appear to be all sorted. If HE is unhappy, and I have no reason to think he is, I hope he contacts me and we can work it out from there. But, again, I don't think he is.

Since you were not involved in the interchange between between him and me, and I've pointed out that I didn't criticise his right to be here, I think you and I are have discussed everything there is for us to discuss about this issue.
You actually criticised me for quoting him:
Quote:
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?
This what you said to ellisr63 later:

Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
You're very gracious. In retrospect, I'm afraid I was far too blunt, even with the disclaimer.

Thanks for what I'm sure was a sincere and honest input from your personal experience.
Old 23rd April 2014
  #3674
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paul brown's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Stone View Post
perhaps it's necessary in order to move to higher-quality. I don't agree with restrictive business practices (or cartels); I think market forces will determine what is acceptable.
like the cartel of three...the labels. like market forces have determined that the loudness war was acceptable. and now they clutch at high-res straws using the artists themselves to sell the illusion that this re-release/format will give audio nirvana. just one more purchase music lovers. it seems one can really fool most of the people most of the time. they use the emotion of music cynically. for profit. making more for old talent and shareholder profit than they do investing in new talent. and this pono under the sea metaphor is acceptable marketing BS? how can someone passionate about music not take offense? especially when the science has been understood.

it will not be the establishment of three and their back catalogue that brings a revolution in music appreciation, even if a bunch of artists wave a funky portable player in awe. i can't believe that the artists are not on strike demanding dynamic range back. that'll be nearer the sound in the studio they nostalgically yearn for.

peace!
Old 23rd April 2014
  #3675
Quote:
Originally Posted by paul brown View Post
like the cartel of three...the labels. like market forces have determined that the loudness war was acceptable. and now they clutch at high-res straws using the artists themselves to sell the illusion that this re-release/format will give audio nirvana. just one more purchase music lovers. it seems one can really fool most of the people most of the time. they use the emotion of music cynically. for profit. making more for old talent and shareholder profit than they do investing in new talent. and this pono under the sea metaphor is acceptable marketing BS? how can someone passionate about music not take offense? especially when the science has been understood...
So the science has been understood but no-one (apart from ellisr63) has actually heard it yet? That's a tough test for 'science' - 'Pono cannot sound as good as they say because science says it cannot' ...well how do we determine that? Do we disregard user reports as too qualitative? Will the interpretation of the data trump the users subjective impression of quality? I'm interested to find out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by paul brown View Post
...it will not be the establishment of three and their back catalogue that bring a revolution in music appreciation, even if a bunch of artists wave a funky portable player in awe. i can't believe that the artists are not on strike demanding dynamic range back. that'll be nearer the sound in the studio they nostalgically yearn for.
Ah - industrial action...well it hasn't happened yet so I suppose Pono will have to do.
Old 23rd April 2014
  #3676
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Stone View Post
Your post implies there is some unwritten rule that everyone's opinion should be 'scientifically-based' - besides, scientists gather qualitative and quantitative information. A first-hand account of a listeners experience can provide valid insights, science or not...perhaps the Ponophobes were keen to dismiss it as it was positive?
perhaps "they" were, but "I" would have dismissed it regardless of the thumbs-up or thumbs-down polarity. Basically because it is no different from the "testimonials" in the video.

In short we already have PLENTY of 'anecdotes' and what we are all hungry for is some hard information and some rigorous comparison. If there was an emotional component to the reaction to his experience it was based more on frustration than anything else! Finally someone actually had one in his hands, and it did not even occur to him to close his eyes and compare it to another format on the same playback system? Not blaming him, but that's what I would have done, that's what I would have asked him to do if I knew he was going!


Come to think of it, why didn't the person presenting Pono to him offer that comparison? Was the guy a Pono representative, by any chance?

Of course not EVERY first-hand report needs to be science-based! But don't you think it's a little... um... "odd", that NONE of the first-hand reports are science-based? Not even a drop of science, not even a nod to a shootout - never mind a double-blind ABX.

Come on! How about one guy even closing his eyes?
Old 23rd April 2014
  #3677
j_j
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Stone View Post
So the science has been understood but no-one (apart from ellisr63) has actually heard it yet? That's a tough test for 'science' - 'Pono cannot sound as good as they say because science says it cannot' ...well how do we determine that? Do we disregard user reports as too qualitative? Will the interpretation of the data trump the users subjective impression of quality? I'm interested to find out.
I would suggest that you study both the "straw man" fallacy and the "fallacy of the excluded middle", you've just exercised both to put words in someone else's lap that they did not write.

What's more, you don't mean "qualitative" with user reports, I think, you mean anecdotal. Finally, you've completely commingled two different things, "interpretation of the data" (without antecedent for "data", giving you the ability to try a magicians force if someone argues some kind of data), and "subjective impression".

People get to prefer what they prefer, for any reason they establish the preference.

But one does not get to make up arguments and tell the other guy he said something he didn't.

Oh, and a note about market forces: The current situation proves absolutely that market forces have no effect on a cartel, and that's where we are right now.
Old 23rd April 2014
  #3678
Quote:
Originally Posted by j_j View Post
I would suggest that you study both the "straw man" fallacy and the "fallacy of the excluded middle", you've just exercised both to put words in someone else's lap that they did not write.
I was responding to this comment from Paul Brown:
Quote:
...how can someone passionate about music not take offense? especially when the science has been understood.
He is implying that Pono cannot sound as good as claimed because the science says so; first-hand accounts of Pono claim it does sound very good. There's the point in question. Not a straw man: I'm not misrepresenting Paul's position nor is anyone following the thread unaware of his position.

The difference between the position that Pono cannot do as claimed because scientific data is interpreted as showing that vs subjective impression of listening, is not a false dichotomy - it's been prevalent throughout the thread, so I reject the 'false dilemma' label too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by j_j View Post
....What's more, you don't mean "qualitative" with user reports, I think, you mean anecdotal...
No I literally mean 'qualitative.'

Quote:
Originally Posted by j_j View Post
...Finally, you've completely commingled two different things, "interpretation of the data" (without antecedent for "data", giving you the ability to try a magicians force if someone argues some kind of data), and "subjective impression".
Yes, I added the 'interpretation of' because the data (if correctly gathered) doesn't lie but it can be mistakenly interpreted. Now the magicians force comment is a straw man.

Quote:
Originally Posted by j_j View Post
...But one does not get to make up arguments and tell the other guy he said something he didn't.
That's the implication of what he wrote though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by j_j View Post
...Oh, and a note about market forces: The current situation proves absolutely that market forces have no effect on a cartel, and that's where we are right now.
I didn't mean to suggest that they did...I was referring to market forces determining whether Pono gains traction or not.
Old 23rd April 2014
  #3679
Lives for gear
 
3rd Degree's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
perhaps "they" were, but "I" would have dismissed it regardless of the thumbs-up or thumbs-down polarity. Basically because it is no different from the "testimonials" in the video.

In short we already have PLENTY of 'anecdotes' and what we are all hungry for is some hard information and some rigorous comparison. If there was an emotional component to the reaction to his experience it was based more on frustration than anything else! Finally someone actually had one in his hands, and it did not even occur to him to close his eyes and compare it to another format on the same playback system? Not blaming him, but that's what I would have done, that's what I would have asked him to do if I knew he was going!


Come to think of it, why didn't the person presenting Pono to him offer that comparison? Was the guy a Pono representative, by any chance?

Of course not EVERY first-hand report needs to be science-based! But don't you think it's a little... um... "odd", that NONE of the first-hand reports are science-based? Not even a drop of science, not even a nod to a shootout - never mind a double-blind ABX.

Come on! How about one guy even closing his eyes?
If I recall correctly, I believe it was his friend involved and he just got to hear it.

Now I did say previously that it was a bit ironic that the only person who heard it liked it but I do agree that one opinion isn't going to convince me. It has nothing to do with the guys in the video, one opinion will rarely sway me with something like this.

I actually think that the consumer electronic market's opinion, in some funny way, should actually hold more weight because many of use are not only much more familiar with "high resolution audio" by the nature of what we do but have also heard plenty of masters done in a similar format, if not the same. The only difference among us is how important the master was and how good that master sounded compared to other masters.

I hate to single out any member and say the opinion is unimportant, it's not that his opinion isn't important and it was good to hear, we just need more of them. I also don't want to sound like that guy flip flopping (though I am not), but I did use him as an example of "I am not exactly surprised to hear this opinion" but that doesn't mean I assign a lot of weight to it either.
Old 23rd April 2014
  #3680
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3rd Degree View Post

I actually think that the consumer electronic market's opinion, in some funny way, should actually hold more weight because many of use are not only much more familiar with "high resolution audio" by the nature of what we do but have also heard plenty of masters done in a similar format, if not the same.
I agree. Pono can live or die based on popularity. I think Gearslutz members are only commenting for or against as it is a matter of interesting discussion.
The evidence i would cite (against Pono) is that the most popular music format is lower quality (mp3) and the trend is away from dedicated players and towards 1) streaming or 2) combined entertainment devices such as smart phones and tablets.
As such my feeling is the Pono team are offering a solution to a problem that doesn't exist for most consumers.
Old 23rd April 2014
  #3681
j_j
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Stone View Post
I was responding to this comment from Paul Brown: He is implying that Pono cannot sound as good as claimed because the science says so; first-hand accounts of Pono claim it does sound very good. There's the point in question. Not a straw man: I'm not misrepresenting Paul's position nor is anyone following the thread unaware of his position.
You're clearly misrepresenting what he said, and the rest follows. Furthermore, you have evaded the suggestion that "data" needs to be produced, leaving your attempt at a whipsaw open.

You like to play "tricky debate", and you probably get away with confusing a lot of people.

You're not confusing me.

And what happens to Pono will depend in great part on what the cartel does. Market forces my (*&*(. Cartels are not market forces, they are market manipulators.
Old 23rd April 2014
  #3682
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
perhaps "they" were, but "I" would have dismissed it regardless of the thumbs-up or thumbs-down polarity. Basically because it is no different from the "testimonials" in the video.
...but perhaps Pono actually sounds that good? Perhaps the reason the testimonials concur is that they are a true account.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
In short we already have PLENTY of 'anecdotes'
I disagree - we've only heard from the commentators in the Pono video and ellisr63....I'd like to hear what 1000's of people think about Pono.
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
...and what we are all hungry for is some hard information and some rigorous comparison. If there was an emotional component to the reaction to his experience it was based more on frustration than anything else! Finally someone actually had one in his hands, and it did not even occur to him to close his eyes and compare it to another format on the same playback system? Not blaming him, but that's what I would have done, that's what I would have asked him to do if I knew he was going!
Yes lack of tests must be frustrating for some but I don't think anecdotes are a 'bad thing.' I'm sure you would have sought some kind of scientific test angle had you been at the demo and hopefully you will get that opportunity - I will be genuinely interested in your opinion/findings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
....Come to think of it, why didn't the person presenting Pono to him offer that comparison? Was the guy a Pono representative, by any chance?
I imagine he must have been some kind of representative/beta-tester/PR. What would they test it against though?
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
...Of course[/I] not EVERY first-hand report needs to be science-based! But don't you think it's a little... um... "odd", that NONE of the first-hand reports are science-based? Not even a drop of science, not even a nod to a shootout - never mind a double-blind ABX.

Come on! How about one guy even closing his eyes?
I get it totally...if Pono is as good as claimed then it should be significant in tests. I'm interested. I guess the question is why Pono are not currently offering comparisons: is it usual for this type of product?
Old 23rd April 2014
  #3683
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Stone View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1

I most certainly did not criticize his right to post here, Arthur. I did call into question his expertise but when I realized he wasn't claiming any, that point was moot. And, as I said, I think he and I appear to be all sorted. If HE is unhappy, and I have no reason to think he is, I hope he contacts me and we can work it out from there. But, again, I don't think he is.

Since you were not involved in the interchange between between him and me, and I've pointed out that I didn't criticise his right to be here, I think you and I are have discussed everything there is for us to discuss about this issue.
You actually criticised me for quoting him:
Quote:
Quote: Originally Posted by theblue1
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?
This what you said to ellisr63 later:

Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
You're very gracious. In retrospect, I'm afraid I was far too blunt, even with the disclaimer.

Thanks for what I'm sure was a sincere and honest input from your personal experience.
No, I criticized you for making what I took as a statement that the device sounded outstanding -- even though you hadn't heard it and were basing that statement of supposed fact on the opinion of a third party. If I misunderstood what you were saying in some way, we can talk about that. If not, then let's put it to rest.


With regard to ellis63, himself, I stand by what I said, I was too blunt about what I took as a lack of fundamental knowledge of our craft -- but, of course, he wasn't claiming any. My bad. And he does seem to be a very gracious guy.
Old 23rd April 2014
  #3684
Quote:
Originally Posted by j_j View Post
You're clearly misrepresenting what he said, and the rest follows.
OK - how would you interpret the words:
Quote:
...especially when the science has been understood...
?

Quote:
Originally Posted by j_j View Post
...Furthermore, you have evaded the suggestion that "data" needs to be produced, leaving your attempt at a whipsaw open....
I'm sorry, I don't follow you here?

Quote:
Originally Posted by j_j View Post
You like to play "tricky debate", and you probably get away with confusing a lot of people.

You're not confusing me.
Nor you me. The thread is full of tricky debate and worse.

Quote:
Originally Posted by j_j View Post
...And what happens to Pono will depend in great part on what the cartel does. Market forces my (*&*(. Cartels are not market forces, they are market manipulators.
I don't doubt that but customers will still need to buy Pono for it to be a success.
Old 24th April 2014
  #3685
Lives for gear
 
Ephi82's Avatar
 

I am not going to call out, or insult, any particular posters in this thread, because we all have opinions and positions that we believe in.

However, I am someone who stands somewhere between a music lover/musician/ and consumer of recorded music and equipment

AND

a pro audio recordist, who has some experience and technical know how

What strikes me is

1) how poorly some audio pro posters understand how todays consumers listen to music, compared to how the pro audio posters do (which is naturally at the highest quality level, but of course because "we are vaunted audio pros and only have the best stuff")

2) How these same posters seemingly assume that the average consumer isnt quite smart enough to know that when they hear music playback that sounds " the best they ever heard" it's bull **** and a product of dastardly marketing.

This of course, has discouraged me about GEARSLUTZ to a great degree.

However, there are still many members of this forum who are brilliant audio pros who freely share with others in all threads, and who I look forward to learning further from in the future. It's clear, however, its not happenong in the thread!
Old 24th April 2014
  #3686
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Stone View Post
...but perhaps Pono actually sounds that good? Perhaps the reason the testimonials concur is that they are a true account.
Or perhaps the reason the testimonials concur is that no one is given an opportunity to compare Pono head-to-head with other formats without bias being present. A lot of people have put up their money to pre-order one without even this most rudimentary level of due diligence.

Not only have the kickstart participants not heard it for themselves, the people whose word they are taking have not heard it blind either.

Quote:
I don't think anecdotes are a 'bad thing.
Be serious for once! When anecdotes are the ONLY thing, that in itself is a 'bad thing'.

Quote:
I guess the question is why Pono are not currently offering comparisons: is it usual for this type of product?
Even manufacturers of soft drinks are willing to put their product to a blind test. It's as if Pepsi put up a stand that had only samples of Pepsi in the cups, and consumers came up, had a sip and said "mmmm....that's the best cola I have ever tasted"!

And yet, if I want a Coke with my slice of pizza and they only have Pepsi, I say: "sure, whatever". There's a difference - and it even a 'real' difference, I suppose - but not one I am willing to walk an extra block to some other pizza place for.
Old 24th April 2014
  #3687
^^ This is often done through focus groups, and the outcomes are usually confidential. But it would certainly be very interesting to be a fly on the wall at a Pono focus group session. Say if the participants were played audio from a variety of players - CD player, iPhone and Pono, and asked to rate their experience.
Also, what they would rank as important aspects of their music consuming experience - say between cost, convenience, audio quality.
Old 24th April 2014
  #3688
Lives for gear
 
bogosort's Avatar
Funny thing happened to me today. I was working on a project and had to solder several hundred points, which is a repetitive, mindless task, the kind of thing that gets you in a zone. The Pixies' Surfer Rosa was on loud, and I was in the zone, efficiently soldering away. The music sounded great; it was the perfect soundtrack for my task at hand.

Later on I was looking through my music library and noticed that Surfer Rosa was in mp3 format, at 128 kbps in fact. I loaded up "Where is my mind" and listened like an audio engineer: instantly I heard artifacts from the acoustic guitar. As the song played on, the hash from the hi-hats and cymbal crashes were so bad I had to stop the playback. Only an hour before I was smiling ear-to-ear listening to this same song, yet now I couldn't even let it finish.

This is why I don't think quality audio will ever matter to the general public: music for them is a life-soundtrack; they don't listen critically like AEs do. For the average listener, convenience is -- and always will be I'm, afraid -- the name of the game.
Old 24th April 2014
  #3689
The point was already proven by 8 track cartridges and cassette.
In fact FM radio can be terrible quality as i drive around my area (white noise, drop outs and a loud hum from overhead power cables).
Old 24th April 2014
  #3690
Lives for gear
 
3rd Degree's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bogosort View Post
This is why I don't think quality audio will ever matter to the general public: music for them is a life-soundtrack; they don't listen critically like AEs do. For the average listener, convenience is -- and always will be I'm, afraid -- the name of the game.
I agree and disagree. A great song will always sound great and a great experience while listening to a song will always be remembered. On the contrary, it seems like there is some sort of high end stereo crazy in every generation. Many didn't sound good, from factory Bose systems to Beats headphones in my generation but they were a step above and the people really enjoyed/enjoy them. In some ways, even the iPhone/iPad craze showed people were serious about investing in music, even without quality, the quality of the device is what sold many initially. It does contribute to the experience, IMO.

The only difference between someone who mixes music, and someone who listens to music is the listener doesn't care about the details, they don't care about specifics, they just want a great song that hopefully sounds good. Well before I every started creating music, much less mixing music, there were stand out albums I loved for the sound quality, I wasn't alone on this. However, I would listen on tapes because CD's skipped, it didn't detract.

In some ways, I think it's absolutely amazing how some of my favorite sounding albums still sound amazing to me now that I know the technical side. Then, I wasn't listening to the details but I don't even want to think about what I was actually listening to the songs with. Usually a very horrible tape player or a CD player with a tape adapter into a 91 Honda Accord system. Funny my friends did similar and still talk about how good such and such record was, and then comment on the how good it sounds. We comment on how good it sounds, then we think about the content of the music.

My point is the consumer can hear, or at least my peers could, my parents and their peers could, it's just in a different context and capacity. We keep using the mp3 as an example of people not caring but then we keep using it as an example that the differences between an mp3 and CD are really not very big. Honestly, there was a time where I had some sub 128kbs songs I really liked but just couldn't stand listening to them that I didn't, just like some tapes I had were damaged and though I liked them and knew I likely could never find them again, I tossed them because it bothered me, as a young consumer with not very much money and just a love of music.
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