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Launch of Pono Studio Headphones
Old 25th April 2014
  #3781
Airwindows
 
chrisj's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by j_j View Post
Ok, if you say so. But you're the one who keeps defending it against obvious problems, and making magical claims for it HERE.

Do you want me to just ask Charles what he does? It may be proprietary, it probably should be proprietary, and I wouldn't necessary encourage him to spill his secret sauce, of course, but whatever he's talking about, it's not likely simple filter of 'n' taps of value 1/n, standing alone, I'm pretty sure. Of course, it could be, because many people might interpret the rolloff positively. The only way we will find out about that is to stuck an allpass signal into something and just measure it.

And, of course, the SNR gain of 3dB for 96 to 48 or 6dB for 192 to 48 is probably not what's happening either, but that's what you're PRESENTING.

That's what you're PRESENTING, and that's what there is here to reply to.
If you can do that, I'd love to hear the answer. I think this is probably as frustrating for me as it is for you.

I quite agree that many people would interpret a well behaved gentle rolloff positively, and I could easily be one of them as a pleasure listener. From my point of view, industry technologists have been pushing 16/44.1 for decades and screaming that it is perfection and I have just had it with that point of view. This product represents the cheapest path I've yet seen to bringing really impressive audio performance to the general public, and I see people railing against it when the same factors that upset technologists, seem to me like they're marketing necessities.

You cannot sell a larger, bulkier iPod for $400 that can 'probably not be mistaken for a $50 mp3 player, most of the time'. People's experience of CD quality is similarly compromised a lot of the time for myriad reasons, which is why there's the vinyl nostalgia; a few qualities of vinyl perform really well, and people don't really LIKE getting hit with lots of 20K, it's unnatural and fatiguing. Vinyl didn't give you 20K very comfortably.

I think getting this thing going would be a good leverage point for many other useful changes, such as repudiating the loudness war, and encouraging attentive listening by making it worth listening to. Guess I get just as emotionally engaged as the other side, but for different reasons.
Old 25th April 2014
  #3782
Lives for gear
 
paul brown's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
If you wanna be a stickler for accuracy, stop tarring the entire recording industry with the same brush. It's extremely clear Pono is a marginal project supported by a minority of artists and record companies.
It's like having a bad meal and saying you have a general disdain for catering.
hence "business". the boardroom decisions. the strategists. the financiers. the marketers. the pr.

it is like me trying a new trend in cuisine. it tastes bad. i'll avoid that trend. i'll eat where i trust the chef and the hygiene. i don't trust the record business, especially when it is a cartel. especially when i can read their marketing strategy. especially when i can study the science.

music, like food, i'm passionate about quality. i have the utmost respect for artists and engineers striving towards their goals of capturing emotion in a recording. then the labels stamp on it. homogenises it. that is the part i am tarring and feathering!
Old 25th April 2014
  #3783
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nuthinupmysleeve's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
Wait, did you just say anti-science? I thought the term was anti-scientific?
Any attention is good attention, I guess...

Did you do the simple computer based a/b/x test, just for kicks?
Old 25th April 2014
  #3784
Quote:
Originally Posted by paul brown View Post
then the labels stamp on it. homogenises it. that is the part i am tarring and feathering!
Yeah, but the sad thing is you are an absolute stickler for accuracy and detail, and yet you can't help yourself but criticise a non-existent collective - 'the labels'.
The labels who? Nonesuch, ECM, Blind Pig?

Unfortunately it betrays a cynical bias in some of the posters that goes beyond Pono, it's minority of backers and it's minority target customer base.
Old 25th April 2014
  #3785
Quote:
Originally Posted by nuthinupmysleeve View Post
Yes, I didn't quote a source so you can consider that an opinion, albeit one shared by many.
It would be more palatable if you heaped the same amount of scorn on Apple for planning 96khz downloads. I haven't seen a word from you, Don Hills, or Paul Brown, presumably because it's only 'the labels' that can sell a sample rate no one needs.
Old 25th April 2014
  #3786
j_j
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by paul brown View Post
i am quite open about my disdain of the record 'business'. they were getting their hooks into me with this high-res malarkey. distracting me from my dynamic range cries of foul! i'm back on track! if they want music to be more emotional, more appealing, more valued, then give us back dynamic range. the ear is very good at processing it. it seems so obvious.
Oh my heavens yes. It's not really fodder for this thread, but I just did a talk on dynamic range for our local AES chapter. The deck for the talk is up at (phoey, not it isn't).

How about letting us attach powerpoint files here, powers that be? (trying to convert to pdf now) also .m files would be handy.

These are calculated with a simple loudness model (ala zwicker). It's not perfect, but it's not bad, either. That's calculated by octave, which is a freeware version of matlab, using the following script:

(I had to pull the script out, it confused the board mechanism somehow, so it's added as a pdf now)

Oh, and I see that the url for the stuff is not yet posted, so that's why I couldn't find it.

The Plot.pdf file explains what the plots mean.

Having some actual dynamic range, in perceptual terms, is where Pono could win. Of course, we could do that inside of Redbook, or MP3, too.

Perhaps this should move to its own thread? Does somebody know the management? I don't.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf dynrange.pdf (1.17 MB, 121 views) File Type: pdf Plot.pdf (96.6 KB, 134 views) File Type: txt script text version.txt (2.1 KB, 104 views)
Old 25th April 2014
  #3787
Lives for gear
 
paul brown's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
Yeah, but the sad thing is you are an absolute stickler for accuracy and detail, and yet you can't help yourself but criticise a non-existent collective - 'the labels'.
The labels who? Nonesuch, ECM, Blind Pig?

Unfortunately it betrays a cynical bias in some of the posters that goes beyond Pono, it's minority of backers and it's minority target customer base.
okay, chrisso. these labels:

the French-owned Universal Music Group, the Japanese-owned Sony Music Entertainment, and the US-owned Warner Music Group.

selling high sample rate is not a minority target customer base if it is being discussed as a strategy at the highest levels in these three companies. links have been provided for you to authenticate this.

i'd hope i'm humble enough to admit my mistakes. i made some at the start of this thread!
Old 25th April 2014
  #3788
j_j
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
Yeah, but the sad thing is you are an absolute stickler for accuracy and detail, and yet you can't help yourself but criticise a non-existent collective - 'the labels'.
First, the question has been answered in this thread. Again, either you have failed diligence or you are simply playing to the crowd.

Second, "the labels" is something most anyone in the recording or audio business knows offhand, it doesn't mean "all the labels" it means "the majors" and I frankly doubt you were unclear for even a second, if you ARE in the audio business.

I'm NOT. I work in research, not in the business itself, and I knew who he was referring to immediately.
Old 25th April 2014
  #3789
j_j
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
It would be more palatable if you heaped the same amount of scorn on Apple for planning 96khz downloads. I haven't seen a word from you, Don Hills, or Paul Brown, presumably because it's only 'the labels' that can sell a sample rate no one needs.
Let's see, now, why is Apple doing that? Would you care to speculate?
Old 25th April 2014
  #3790
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paul brown's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
It would be more palatable if you heaped the same amount of scorn on Apple for planning 96khz downloads. I haven't seen a word from you, Don Hills, or Paul Brown, presumably because it's only 'the labels' that can sell a sample rate no one needs.
its a pono thread. they asked for it! the major labels, the content holders, they'll suck music dry to get a profit from it.
Old 25th April 2014
  #3791
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nuthinupmysleeve's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
It would be more palatable if you heaped the same amount of scorn on Apple for planning 96khz downloads. I haven't seen a word from you, Don Hills, or Paul Brown, presumably because it's only 'the labels' that can sell a sample rate no one needs.
? You haven't heard me say anything lately about world peace either, but I guess I should have talked about that as well? Sheesh.

The same thing applies with apple or anyone else. Now and in perpetuity. That work for you? Anything else I can clear up for you?
Old 25th April 2014
  #3792
Quote:
Originally Posted by j_j View Post

Second, "the labels" is something most anyone in the recording or audio business knows offhand, it doesn't mean "all the labels" it means "the majors" and I frankly doubt you were unclear for even a second, if you ARE in the audio business.
I disagree.
Firstly, 'the labels' is a generic catch-all. In addition, the phrase 'the music industry' has also been used in a derogatory way.
Secondly, no it's just not ok to lambast others in the debate for being inaccurate, unscientific and disingenuous, then accept sweeping generalisations as 'the labels' and 'the music industry'.
Truth is, there are a mass of artists and labels… a majority, that have no interest or involvement with Pono.
Old 25th April 2014
  #3793
Quote:
Originally Posted by nuthinupmysleeve View Post
? You haven't heard me say anything lately about world peace either, but I guess I should have talked about that as well? Sheesh.
Yeah, but the main discussion in the thread is selling the public a higher sample rate they don't need. then when everyone jumps on the anti-label bandwagon, the silence on Apple/iTunes is deafening.
Old 25th April 2014
  #3794
Quote:
Originally Posted by j_j View Post
Let's see, now, why is Apple doing that? Would you care to speculate?
Because they think they can make some money from it. Pure and simple.
Apple care less about music than any label as it happens.
Apple make the lion share of it's income from selling iPhones, iMacs and iPads.
Selling music (or any content) is the sweetener.
Record labels sell music. That IS their product.
Old 25th April 2014
  #3795
Quote:
Originally Posted by paul brown View Post
its a pono thread. they asked for it! the major labels, the content holders, they'll suck music dry to get a profit from it.
Some will. Some will.
I wouldn't mind so much if you and a few others had been general and opinionated for the whole thread. But the irony is you've pounced on anyone who had an unsubstantiated opinion. Until it started to be about the labels.
Old 25th April 2014
  #3796
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nuthinupmysleeve's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
Yeah, but the main discussion in the thread is selling the public a higher sample rate they don't need. then when everyone jumps on the anti-label bandwagon, the silence on Apple/iTunes is deafening.
Um. Apple hasn't announced anything yet... ahem.

Pono is all over the news. There is SOMETHING deafening here.
Old 25th April 2014
  #3797
Quote:
Originally Posted by paul brown View Post
okay, chrisso. these labels:

the French-owned Universal Music Group, the Japanese-owned Sony Music Entertainment, and the US-owned Warner Music Group.
Thanks you.
Three corporations don't make an entire music industry.
Old 25th April 2014
  #3798
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paul brown's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
I disagree.
Firstly, 'the labels' is a generic catch-all. In addition, the phrase 'the music industry' has also been used in a derogatory way.
Secondly, no it's just not ok to lambast others in the debate for being inaccurate, unscientific and disingenuous, then accept sweeping generalisations as 'the labels' and 'the music industry'.
Truth is, there are a mass of artists and labels… a majority, that have no interest or involvement with Pono.
fair enough. as soon as you made me aware of your confusion about my terminology, i gave you my definitions.

there are lots of little food shops but who controls food prices? the big supermarkets. to use your food example again.
Old 25th April 2014
  #3799
Quote:
Originally Posted by nuthinupmysleeve View Post
Um. Apple hasn't announced anything yet... ahem.

Pono is all over the news. There is SOMETHING deafening here.
Is PONO for sale yet?
We'll see then, but even the prospect of iTunes offering 96khz has barely raised a negative comment in the entire thread. In fact I can't think of one, except maybe my own.
Old 25th April 2014
  #3800
Quote:
Originally Posted by paul brown View Post
fair enough. as soon as you made me aware of your confusion about my terminology, i gave you my definitions.
Oh man.
Don't put it back on me.
It's not 'my confusion'.
If you want to pick on people for not being accurate and for passing opinion off as fact, don't make general criticisms yourself that encompass a huge amount of labels and artists that have absolutely nothing to do with PONO.
Next you'll be criticising Nokia for the fact your iPhone has a short battery life.
Old 25th April 2014
  #3801
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisj View Post
The underwater metaphor makes sense to people who've heard washy cymbals on bad mp3
the underwater metaphor makes sense to people who are highly suggestible and have never made a blind comparison of the sample rates themselves. To anyone else it is obvious baloney. 96k is STILL "underwater"? When people have had their Ponos for a while, the suggestions will start wear off. One day they will be listening to their iPhone "by mistake" and think it's the Pono because it "sounds so good". Oops!

Quote:
they listen to Pono over cheap boutique headphones like Beats, the Pono drives the inaccurate but euphonic headphones very well, they attribute all the improvement in sound from remastering and better hardware to the hardware alone or maybe the sampling rate alone
Yes, because Pono is also a "Store" where you will be able to re-buy all your favorite records AGAIN, but this time at "higher quality" - it is the sampling rate alone that is the part being pushed.

Better headphone amp? Better phones? Sit down to listen instead of listening while you do 'something else'? All of a sudden your existing library sounds damn good.

if these^ (non-sample rate) playback factors are true basis of the "new ecosystem", fine - but then WE DON'T NEED PONO! Pono is at best an excuse and at worst a diversion. We don't need an excuse to upgrade our heaphones and we certainly don't need a diversion.

Quote:
and become obsessed with finding new sorts of music that can do what the old dinosaur recordings can do.
If the better headphone amp etc. is the Real Reason Pono sounds "good", people can seek out this music NOW. They can demand un-squashed masters NOW. They largely have not made this effort. The idea that this player will make that happen when nothing else has, is absurd.

Quote:
The revolution comes, and it's televised and commoditized, but once again people have something to think about and aspire to, and music you can bathe in and get excited about.
the excitability of the music comes from the Musicians first and foremost. It is a truism that people will rather hear a poor recording of a great piece of music than vice versa. It is a truism because it is always true.

Secondarily excitement might come from the engineering decisions (including perhaps the decision to leave some crest factor in the mastering!)

Running a distant and rather pathetic third, hours after the police barricades have been put away and the race officials have long gone home, the excitement created by the release Format comes limping in. Back in the bad old days, I owned a few favorite albums on CD and on cassette. I never said: "oh this format sucks. I only enjoy listening to this album on the other format"!

Quote:
My fantasy's just as plausible as your totally nihilistic fantasy.
I don't have a fantasy of my own. I just don't believe in yours. It is not plausible at all! There is nothing "nihilistic" about my refusal to buy into your Pollyanna-ism. There are a number of things I think would be "great to see": Better sounding masters released by the labels -i.e. serving some god other than Loudness. The adoption of better sounding speakers and headphones by the music-consuming public. A return to longer attention-spans and "sit down" listening of music. People PAYING for the music they consume!

But you are correct, these are a "fantasy". People didn't stop sitting down to listen to music because CDs don't have a high enough sample rate! The world changed and people changed. The millennial generation did not develop short attention spans because 16/44 does not have "enough resolution". . Hell, we are not even using all the resolution we have. As any classical fan can tell you, a CD has way more dynamic range possible than tape or vinyl. As for bandwidth, you said yourself to roll off the top end to make it sound 'more like vinyl'.

To make a fantasy real, you need to look at the situation on the ground as it really IS. You are not doing that. Pono will not change Human Nature. The louder record will still "sound better" to most people.

I am not a nihilist, I too hope for a better world, but IMO, you are investing your "hopes" for a Better World in a Toy. That's all it is, a product, a Toy. I am sorry if you think it is "Nihilistic" to point that out but I see it as the truth, not as some kind of spoiler.

I believe getting rid of unrealistic fantasies is the quickest way to focus in on what is truly possible and actually do-able and get something done.
Old 25th April 2014
  #3802
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post

I believe getting rid of unrealistic fantasies is the quickest way to focus in on what is truly possible and actually do-able and get something done.
+1

That is my number one criticism of PONO.
Old 25th April 2014
  #3803
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nuthinupmysleeve's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
Is PONO for sale yet?
We'll see then, but even the prospect of iTunes offering 96khz has barely raised a negative comment in the entire thread. In fact I can't think of one, except maybe my own.
Chrisso, this is the last post I make on this illogical tangent.

iTunes 96k downloads (which are ONLY RUMORS at this point) are a REACTION to Pono (which is all over the news and full of over the top hype).

Pono is trying to revitalize a dead format... the 96/24 or 192/24 download that has received very little traction in spite of it being available in numerous places.

This is a completely false equivalency.
Old 25th April 2014
  #3804
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nuthinupmysleeve's Avatar
 

(nevermind)
Old 25th April 2014
  #3805
Quote:
Originally Posted by nuthinupmysleeve View Post
iTunes 96k downloads (which are ONLY RUMORS at this point) are a REACTION to Pono (which is all over the news and full of over the top hype).
First I highly doubt that.
Secondly, you are guessing and have no proof.
Thirdly, higher quality audio has been available on several mainstream music retail sites for years (Beatport for example) and it's more logical to assume Apple are looking for an easy way to value add iTunes, entice customers to spend a little more, and rather illogical to assume Apple are reacting to a Kickstarter product that hasn't shown any worth as yet.
Old 25th April 2014
  #3806
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bogosort's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by j_j View Post
Oh my heavens yes. It's not really fodder for this thread, but I just did a talk on dynamic range for our local AES chapter.
JJ, thanks for the excellent slides on dynamic range and the distinction between analytical DR and perceptual DR (as well as the corresponding difficulties of nailing down each). Really good insight there. The loudness histogram is an interesting approach; do you think there's value in the probability distribution moments (e.g., variance, kurtosis, skew, etc.) as perceptual DR indicators? One would think that a few numbers that describe the shape of the histogram would be a better gauge of a song's perceived DR than a simple dB (rms to noise? max to min?) figure.

Also, thanks for posting the script. FYI: I had to change "hann(len)" to "hanning(len)" to get it to run in my version of Octave (3.6.4). I'm going through my music library and checking out their histograms; pretty cool!
Old 25th April 2014
  #3807
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nuthinupmysleeve's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
First I highly doubt that.
Secondly, you are guessing and have no proof.
Yes, it's a guess. Obviously I don't know that.

Apple's history is building together stuff people want into a great experience. They don't invent stuff. This would be another example. But, yes it's a guess. If there is a market there they will exploit it.
Old 25th April 2014
  #3808
Sure. We agree.
They also sell you the idea you need something, when you don't - like a new phone every 12 months.
A business model that persuades you you need something when you probably don't, is the criticism being levelled at Young and Pono.
Old 25th April 2014
  #3809
Gear Guru
 
Sounds Great's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nuthinupmysleeve View Post
Any attention is good attention, I guess...

Did you do the simple computer based a/b/x test, just for kicks?
No, but just by chance I found some old files I saved when I archived some master tapes years ago, I never listened to them since then, about 1998. They were done at 24/96. Also at 44.1/16 which I have listened to on CD ever since. I listened to them first, and then was able to set up a perfect ABX for myself, assuming my computer is decoding the higher bit files properly. The results were not quite what I thought they might be.
Old 25th April 2014
  #3810
j_j
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
I disagree.
Firstly, 'the labels' is a generic catch-all.
Perhaps to someone far outside the business, that's true.

If so, why are you so concerned?
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