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Launch of Pono Studio Headphones
Old 29th April 2014
  #4321
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mixmixmix View Post
I have nothing against you. I respect your viewpoint.

I would love to keep this thread about Pono. If you can refrain from getting into judging personalities of participants would be great.
Indeed would be great and I apologise for slipping into the area of even bringing behaviours into it (again...), as I feel wrong about it too, so my apologies.

But in fairness some of you here make it pretty hard to keep that out completely, as the cynical angle is so closed, in the end all I can see is someone's behaviour, as all the cynicism and made up minds about Pono and its participants being charlatans or idiots, massive producers not being able to tell good sound when they hear it, and the whole thing definitely being a con is pretty bereft. All while none of us know what this thing sounds like yet.
Old 29th April 2014
  #4322
Quote:
Originally Posted by mixmixmix View Post
I have nothing against you. I respect your viewpoint.
Well said.

The video to me is about selling Pono to the public.
The public don't know any mastering engineers.
Mastering engineers endorsing Pono would be interesting… and a bonus (for Neil). It wouldn't mean anything to the Pono buying public..
Mastering engineers aren't the top tier in the music industry however. Artists and producers are. Recording and mastering engineers work for artists and producers. It is true to say that mastering engineers do have to have a discerning ear.
Old 29th April 2014
  #4323
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
Do what you like.
In the end, the product will have to prove it's worth.
For me the jury is out.
At this stage I couldn't say it was a silver bullet or a total con.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mixmixmix View Post
QOUTE "this was the worst possible advertisement to anybody who actually thinks a little."

+1
It wouldn't be the first good product to have bad marketing and sales. We can start counting with life insurance, double glazing and go on and on and on.

Assuming, of course, that it is a good product. Sadly, though, that will not decide whether it sells or not. The audiophiles are already salivating everytime someone says high resolution or high definition, regardless of the fact that those terms are actually pretty meaningless. The manufacturers are already plastering that on the boxes. Soon there'll be high-resolution digital cables... I'm sure everybody can see how it goes. But still, even though Neil and friends didn't notice, it is nothing like the first "HR" player, and they have to persuade people it sounds better than the others.
Old 29th April 2014
  #4324
Have they said 'game changer' at any point yet?
Old 29th April 2014
  #4325
Lives for gear
Putting all arguments about science and marketing aside, it is still the sad truth that anything that might encourage productions aimed at musicality rather than the competition to see who can cower in the most snivelling fear of the emotional power and sexuality of dynamics, moronically called the "loudness war", is already a win.

If anodizing the thing green for better transduction of Guarnerius waves is going to encouraging listening rather than frivolous consumption, it is already in an important way good.
Old 29th April 2014
  #4326
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Last edited by Bobro; 29th April 2014 at 02:26 PM.. Reason: double post
Old 29th April 2014
  #4327
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
I think that everyone who has watched the video knows that Pono attributes its rave reviews to "high sample rates". For me, something does not add up

I don't think I am being unfair at all. I have covered all the possibilities I can think of to explain what I hear in the video.
1. Pono sounds as amazing as they say and sample rates are the reason. It is as good as they claim because high sample rates work exactly opposite to the way my experience says they work with expanding returns not diminishing returns. I am wrong.
2. The testimonials are skewed by error, bias and/or social pressure, etc. They are mistaken.
3. The testimonials are skewed by financial self-interest, etc. They are evil.
4. Pono sounds 'good', but for some reason other than high sample rates. The comparisons and conclusions are unfair.


#4= If Pono sounds good because they played it louder or deliberately crippled the CD, that is not really about "sample rates". If Pono sounds good because they 'enhanced' the output of the Pono, that is also not sample rates.

let's examine #4 one more time: . If sample rates are NOT the reason that Pono sounds good, then this is an analog domain thing. Some kind of post-conversion fiddling. It is no longer "accurate" or "faithful to the original" music, of course. [B]But if it is post-conversion, that means you could apply the same analog process to a post-converted 16/44.1 file! In order to have a fair comparison of "sample rates" that's what they OUGHT to be doing.

#4 is about "unfair comparison" - which might explain the reactions in the video, just as 1-3 also might explain it.

Remember, one of my four possibilities is #1- that they are absolutely correct and honest in what they say about Pono and sample rates. That's nominally 'good' for them. So why is that considered 'unfair'? I'll tell you why... it's because we all know that can't be it.

It is a measure of how improbable even you think #1 is, when a list that includes #1 is considered "unfair" to them!! You think I should find some other "out" for them. A fifth choice that leaves room for them not being wrong and not being dishonest, but at the same time is not such an obvious pitcher of kool-aid. I truly can't think of one.
You do not mention that they also play up in their marketing the headphone amp and DAC as reasons for the audio quality. The underwater analogy is silly but its obviously directed at consumers who have no idea what hi res is. But it makes sense that someone listening on an iPod when switching to the pono will hear a drastic difference and that was confirmed in the article where the writer did that exact thing.
Old 29th April 2014
  #4328
Airwindows
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mixmixmix View Post
agree. However, people mix on NS10's which are not accurate, and come out with great mixes. How do they do THAT?

Also, why did not Neil Young invited some of the mastering engineers to reflect on Pono?
NS10s are too accurate, in a certain way. They've got impressive time-domain performance, and this is widely known. They also present better frequency response on a meter bridge than measured in free air.

Funny that one of the more controversial claims (from Ayre literature?) about Pono is the moving average, a filtering technique which

-converts supplied excess information from supersonic frequencies, which we can't hear, to richness and depth of the audio band, which we sometimes hear

-its strong point is time domain performance at the expense of massively compromising frequency performance (the very point of a filter) at frequencies… we can't hear.

It's all contextual. (to find the Ayre references to moving average, please reread the thread ) To all appearances, the Pono player is taking an abstraction (very high sampling rate at 24 bit) and going all-out to maximize the behavior in certain ways: time domain performance, total lack of ringing or even the normal shape of bandlimited high frequencies, smoothness of roll-off, maximum effectiveness of the averaging concept localized to only the area in which it applies. They're also overdesigning the analog side of things like power supplies and coupling caps, which can be plainly seen—they're even going to sell a clear one so you can gawk at the bits.

I think it might be unusually fantastic: as Bob Ohlsson says it's all about the implementation and I see nothing to suggest they're screwing the implementation up and much to suggest it'll work. The least it will be is 'past the bar of 24/96K' so it's all about how well you can hear a converter running beyond the range of human perception, and what reactions that can prompt. Might be immediately startling with its appealing sonics, might take settling in and getting used to, but it'll be nice to have out there for $400 or whatever it's selling for.
Old 29th April 2014
  #4329
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
Well, only you don't know yet how right or wrong they did get it, do you, so why the hot air?
Hot air? Bob mentioned that Pono might sound better at 192 if they messed up the filtering. Quoting him, you then said that it's therefore "nonsense" to question how Pono sounds until we hear their 192 playback.

I was pointing out that if their 192 playback sounds better than 44.1 because of bad filter design, then it's not exactly a win for Pono.

Hot air, indeed.
Old 29th April 2014
  #4330
Gear Guru
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bogosort View Post
Hot air? Bob mentioned that Pono might sound better at 192 if they messed up the filtering. Quoting him, you then said that it's therefore "nonsense" to question how Pono sounds until we hear their 192 playback.

I was pointing out that if their 192 playback sounds better than 44.1 because of bad filter design, then it's not exactly a win for Pono.

Hot air, indeed.
The hot air is that you are dooming it without having any idea what it sounds like.
Old 29th April 2014
  #4331
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bogosort's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisj View Post
Funny that one of the more controversial claims (from Ayre literature?) about Pono is the moving average, a filtering technique which

-converts supplied excess information from supersonic frequencies, which we can't hear, to richness and depth of the audio band, which we sometimes hear
Do we actually have a source stating that the DAC will use a MA filter? Anyway, please stop with the magical words like "richness" and "depth"; you know better.

Quote:
-its strong point is time domain performance at the expense of massively compromising frequency performance (the very point of a filter) at frequencies… we can't hear.
And frequencies we can hear. You cannot have a flat passband with a MA filter.
Old 29th April 2014
  #4332
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bogosort's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
The hot air is that you are dooming it without having any idea what it sounds like.
I've heard enough devices, in a wide range of prices, to have a very good idea what to expect. The hot air is thinking that Pono will somehow transcend analog and digital design constraints to provide some magical leap into audio nirvana.

BTW, you do realize that placing that ridiculous flower at the end of every single one of your posts reads like you have a facial tick or something?
Old 29th April 2014
  #4333
Gear Guru
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bogosort View Post
I've heard enough devices, in a wide range of prices, to have a very good idea what to expect. The hot air is thinking that Pono will somehow transcend analog and digital design constraints to provide some magical leap into audio nirvana.

BTW, you do realize that placing that ridiculous flower at the end of every single one of your posts reads like you have a facial tick or something?
Maybe I do have a facial tick. What of it?

So you're saying you have heard devices with filters like this thing then? What are they called?
Old 29th April 2014
  #4334
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bogosort View Post
I've heard enough devices, in a wide range of prices, to have a very good idea what to expect. The hot air is thinking that Pono will somehow transcend analog and digital design constraints to provide some magical leap into audio nirvana.

BTW, you do realize that placing that ridiculous flower at the end of every single one of your posts reads like you have a facial tick or something?
Its nice that you have heard enough devices. What about the millions of people who have only heard mp3s on an iPod and do not know what hi res is? Do you think they will hear a difference between an mp3 on an iPod and a hi res thru a better HD amp and better DAC?
Old 29th April 2014
  #4335
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
Lol!
Old 29th April 2014
  #4336
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bogosort's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
So you're saying you have heard devices with filters like this thing then? What are they called?
No, I've never heard a DAC that uses a MA filter. However I do know what in-band high frequency roll-off sounds like.
Old 29th April 2014
  #4337
Gear Guru
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bogosort View Post
No, I've never heard a DAC that uses a MA filter. However I do know what in-band high frequency roll-off sounds like.
So basically you don't really know what this thing would sound like. After all. Makes two of us. Oh, I also know what in band hi roll off sounds like. Doesn't make me presume I therefore know how this device sounds though.

Hot. Air.
Old 29th April 2014
  #4338
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cakewalk View Post
Its nice that you have heard enough devices. What about the millions of people who have only heard mp3s on an iPod and do not know what hi res is? Do you think they will hear a difference between an mp3 on an iPod and a hi res thru a better HD amp and better DAC?
I have healthy ears, almost twenty years of critical listening experience, and -- most importantly -- I know what artifacts to listen for, and I cannot hear the difference between 320 kbps MP3 and 16/44.1 with music sources. So if we're talking about 320 kbps MP3, then no, I do not believe millions of people will hear a difference.

If we drop down to 192 kbps mp3, I can differentiate reliably, though usually only on specific sections of certain sources. At 128 kbps, I can hear it every time, but only when I'm actively listening. Earlier in the thread I posted an experience where I was deep in a soldering zone and had 128 kbps MP3s playing loudly in the background (I didn't know it was MP3 at the time); it sounded fantastic! Later when I listened critically to the same music, the artifacts were beyond obvious. The thing is, most people do not listen critically. So even if we assume that everyone's iPods only have 128 kbps MP3s, they probably don't hear a difference between CD and 128 kbps.

In any case, this is a straw man. No one is proposing that we make MP3 the de facto delivery format. A more relevant question: how well can you ABX 24/192 and 16/44.1?
Old 29th April 2014
  #4339
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
So basically you don't really know what this thing would sound like. After all. Makes two of us. Oh, I also know what in band hi roll off sounds like. Doesn't make me presume I therefore know how this device sounds though.

Hot. Air.
You act like it's impossible to create a 4-sample moving average filter and listen to it, like it's some technical miracle that Pono has pulled this off. Here is the difference equation for the filter, in its entirety:

y[n] = (1/4)(x[n] + x[n-1] + x[n-2] + x[n-3]);

That's it. Nothing magical; nothing profound. Technically, it's the simplest FIR you can make. And just because you cannot imagine what such a thing sounds like does not mean I cannot.

Hot air.
Old 29th April 2014
  #4340
Gear Guru
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bogosort View Post
You act like it's impossible to create a 4-sample moving average filter and listen to it, like it's some technical miracle that Pono has pulled this off. Here is the difference equation for the filter, in its entirety:

y[n] = (1/4)(x[n] + x[n-1] + x[n-2] + x[n-3]);

That's it. Nothing magical; nothing profound. Technically, it's the simplest FIR you can make. And just because you cannot imagine what such a thing sounds like does not mean I cannot.

Hot air.
Fine. Your technical knowledge assures that you already know. Silly me.

Also, I read Bob's comment more like meaning that you can't really predict much how anything sounds on numbers alone, as it all depends on implementation. You obviously read it differently. Maybe I got it wrong.
Old 29th April 2014
  #4341
Airwindows
 
chrisj's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bogosort View Post
Do we actually have a source stating that the DAC will use a MA filter? Anyway, please stop with the magical words like "richness" and "depth"; you know better.

And frequencies we can hear. You cannot have a flat passband with a MA filter.
Neither do you get steep slopes with a MA filter. Part of what you're complaining about is part of what makes the filter sound good. There is NO SONIC BENEFIT to delivering a perfect flat passband, versus a passband that falls slowly off as it goes into the stratosphere. To have it still rolling off impercepibly at 200hz is a benefit, not a fault! This idea that measurement perfection beats sonics is absurd, especially when the sonic effect is exactly the same as backing away a foot (20K and up content doesn't survive passage through air!)

You are not going to convince me moving average filters sound bad. I USE them, on purpose, in equalization code that is meant to deliver subtle roll-offs without super-aggressive slopes. In essence I go for a MA filter when you're not supposed to really be able to pick out that equalization AS equalization. I'll do something else if you're supposed to be able to tell equalization is present.

Seems to me 'not being able to tell there's a roll-off once you step back twelve inches' is advantageous for a playback device. Better than, 'hey wow that is good filtering, I can really tell right where the frequencies stop!' (or could, if it wasn't supersonic).

As for 'richness and depth', sorry, that is why I began Airwindows in the first place. I've been trying to bring richness and depth to digital audio for many years now, very much on purpose, and if there's an 'airwindows sound' you're gonna have to deal with words like that because that is all I want and all I care to achieve. I'm not even a big fan of 'air and sparkle', even though it sells great (Fabrice Gabriel's stuff tends to give you a lot of that, and trip the analog clip light on the SSL X-ISM meter with great enthusiasm). It's the richness and depth and sonority and sense of deep space I enjoy in sound and I defy you to find simpler, measurable words to explain these things. I used to get that stuff for free when recording to analog tape. It collapsed moving to early (ADAT) digital. I've been trying to get it back ever since, and I'm not doing that bad considering how tough it is to do in the DAW.

Pono means I can deliver that, whether through determined 'plugging' or use of classic analog gear or both (I have a xoxbox, an Alpha Juno and a Farfisa for keyboards, all analog tone generators) to listeners and they will hear what I intended. It makes me want to build another cheap-ass plate reverb

(if you just hang a plate, you get a sort of warehouse tone, and the tone is lame compared to a real plate reverb but you DO get massive depth out of it. And there's also real spring tanks you can get. And Pono would convey any space you care to create, to the listener, with hallucinatory vividness. So would any great 24/96 playback, but Pono is the dominant one and that's not likely to change—look at the buzz measured by the length of this very thread)
Old 29th April 2014
  #4342
Gear Guru
 
Sounds Great's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
Certainly the Pono people are not making that claim, so if there is something in the "analog stage" of the converter that makes people think it's better, it is fair to call that "goosing". Some kind of enhancement. A volume boost? a smiley-face EQ? an exciter circuit? Some harmonic 'goo'?

WHATEVER IT IS, it must be happening in the analog stage, therefore it must be something that could just as easily be added to a 16/44.1 file if they were willing to be fair about it!
So you've added this to the list of excuses why it might actually sound better, they must have cheated? With "some kind of enhancement"?

Old 29th April 2014
  #4343
Airwindows
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
So you've added this to the list of excuses why it might actually sound better, they must have cheated? With "some kind of enhancement"?
He's right, actually. If you upsampled a 16/44.1K to 24/192K and then played it back over the Pono-filter-magic-beans-mojo-maker, you'd start out with less in the way of super high frequency stuff… but your whole playback chain would work just the same way. People have been upsampling and devising fancy playback systems in High End for decades ('decade'?). This is just a consumer-priced version of High End audiophilia that used to be completely unattainable by normal people.

And yeah, the playback would be changing it in a euphonic way that sounded better to I daresay most listeners than normal, accurate 16/44.1K playback. People would typically be describing it as bigger, deeper, smoother, possibly 'more open', certainly 'more natural'. That's what you get smoothing things out, adding a bit of word length resolution, and losing some extreme highs. You might also hear 'darker' but probably not expressed as a fault. Even though, technically, it is.

Headphones with a high-frequency lift would easily counterbalance that anyhow. The whole playback system must be considered, the thing doesn't exist in a vacuum.
Old 29th April 2014
  #4344
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nuthinupmysleeve's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
So you've added this to the list of excuses why it might actually sound better, they must have cheated? With "some kind of enhancement"?

It might not be likely but since none of us actually know... it's all speculation.

I agree with joe, I think there are five most likely scenarios.

1. There really is an audible difference in sound... likely that is not due to high sample rate/bit depth. This could be something like an audio enhancer/exciter or whatever. It could be audio voodoo. Or it could be some audio awesome they created.

2. The rock stars were experiencing expectation bias.

3. They were being nice to Neil, as friends/community who care about audio but don't want to say the emperor has no clothes.

4. They were paid for their endorsement.

5. There is something very different in the mastering.
Old 29th April 2014
  #4345
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bogosort's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisj View Post
There is NO SONIC BENEFIT to delivering a perfect flat passband, versus a passband that falls slowly off as it goes into the stratosphere. To have it still rolling off impercepibly at 200hz is a benefit, not a fault! This idea that measurement perfection beats sonics is absurd, especially when the sonic effect is exactly the same as backing away a foot (20K and up content doesn't survive passage through air!)
The DAC filter is supposed to be transparent. You're saying it's a good thing for a DAC to color the sound, but I vehemently disagree. It is in the same vein as those "Loudness" buttons on old stereos that would apply a smiley EQ curve to the output, except the user can't turn it off.

Quote:
Seems to me 'not being able to tell there's a roll-off once you step back twelve inches' is advantageous for a playback device. Better than, 'hey wow that is good filtering, I can really tell right where the frequencies stop!' (or could, if it wasn't supersonic).
How do you think your ears work? It's literally a brickwall LPF filter at the end. You may personally like the sound of rolled off highs, but the DAC should be transparent. It's equivalent to providing a bass boost after the DAC because "more bass sounds better".

Quote:
As for 'richness and depth', sorry, that is why I began Airwindows in the first place. I've been trying to bring richness and depth to digital audio for many years now, very much on purpose, and if there's an 'airwindows sound' you're gonna have to deal with words like that because that is all I want and all I care to achieve.
What in the world does any of this have to do with your plugin products? Anyway, here's a tip for you: the posturing is a bit much; self promotion in these types of discourse works better without the puffy chest.

Quote:
I'm not even a big fan of 'air and sparkle', even though it sells great (Fabrice Gabriel's stuff tends to give you a lot of that, and trip the analog clip light on the SSL X-ISM meter with great enthusiasm).
Another tip: self-promotion by putting others down is almost invariably counterproductive.

[Massive non-sequitur about reverb plates and such snipped . . .]

Quote:
And Pono would convey any space you care to create, to the listener, with hallucinatory vividness. So would any great 24/96 playback, but Pono is the dominant one and that's not likely to change—look at the buzz measured by the length of this very thread)
I get gruff for saying that Pono will fall somewhere between iPod and Lavry converters, with rolled off highs. But you claim that Pono will give us "hallucinatory vividness" in conveying a sense of space. Yet somehow I doubt Karloff will give you any "hot air" comments.

Seriously, who's drinking the kool aid here?
Old 29th April 2014
  #4346
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Plug-ins really help me fight expectation bias because I never know what to expect and always try several likely candidates! It's amazing how one can tower above the rest yet I never know which one it will be without trying.

What I meant by implementation is that a crappy filter with a great line stage can sound better than a great filter with a line stage that sounds like crap unless it's running unloaded into a few megs. And then there are ground loops from digital connections and RFI problems in some devices. All things are never close to equal unless you are bread-boarding and only changing one part of a converter at a time. Even that can create problems in a device where analog audio is passing right next to what amounts to a radio station. Context is everything in the digital world.
Old 29th April 2014
  #4347
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bogosort's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
What I meant by implementation is that a crappy filter with a great line stage can sound better than a great filter with a line stage that sounds like crap unless it's running unloaded into a few megs. And then there are ground loops from digital connections and RFI problems in some devices. All things are never close to equal unless you are bread-boarding and only changing one part of a converter at a time. Even that can create problems in a device where analog audio is passing right next to what amounts to a radio station. Context is everything in the digital world.
Yes, this is most certainly true (and not just in the digital world). The extra engineering effort is what drives cost in converters -- the chips themselves are commodities.

Generally we don't find well-engineered design in $400 consumer products, but I'm perfectly happy to believe that it's possible. What I find quite difficult to believe is that the Pono engineers discovered some super amazing design techniques that will put our pro converters to shame.
Old 29th April 2014
  #4348
Motown legend
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bogosort View Post
...What I find quite difficult to believe is that the Pono engineers discovered some super amazing design techniques that will put our pro converters to shame.
I don't see where they are claiming that.

Several people whose ears I trust claim that the digi 192 converters sound slightly better at 192. What it should sound like is completely beside the point because it's simply the most common converter used for major label work and a lot of people's point of reference. Intellectually it makes sense to not sample rate convert mixes if you want to maintain the highest quality.

Now my opinion is that the 192s shortcomings are more in playback than recording but that doesn't change it from being a lot of artists' and producers' point of reference.
Old 29th April 2014
  #4349
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
But that does not preclude it sounds great due to the remastering, or sonics of the Pono player.
I already mentioned the remastering and clearly the sonics of of the Pono player are included in #4. They are selling it as "high-resolution" files. Whereas the GeekWave just mentions high-res in passing and their whole schtick is about how good the DAC is.

If they played different masters to the subjects and told them "this is the CD, this is Pono", well then Fvck Them! Seriously, that is the absolute worst! It may help 'excuse' the gullible artists, but, if true, it would put the Pono people into the worst possible light. That would be unforgivable.

Quote:
Well you can do what you like, but if you wanted to be more fair you could wonder why many celebrated musicians are saying it sounds great, instead of putting forward options like they are biased or in it for the money.
I do wonder why, which is why I tried to list all the options. I clearly suggested that one of the options was that they were absolutely correct and it sounds so much better at the high sample rates! Nobody here seems to be biting on that option....

gee.... I wonder why not??

Quote:
if the 192khz claim is bolony? It's a question, it isn't a conclusion.
my personal position is that it IS baloney. But I DO offer some alternative conclusions. It is not my fault that the only alternative that puts them in a 'positive' light is the one that is the least believable.
Quote:
What I find wrong is a conclusion that the artists in the video have got damaged hearing, they are happy to lie for money,
First of all in your umbrage you keep skipping over "well-meaning Placebo Effect". In any case, I did not make these as conclusions. I offered them as alternatives. There is still #1, though I find it highly improbable. And obviously so do you.

If you don't believe #1, how can you explain the reactions without making either the artists or the Pono people (or both) look bad?
Old 29th April 2014
  #4350
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cakewalk View Post
You do not mention that they also play up in their marketing the headphone amp and DAC as reasons for the audio quality
To a much lesser extent. Not one of the testimonials even mentioned the amp or the DAC, just about "192" sounding better than "CDandmp3" (one word). Over and over.

Pono is also a "store"for the high-res files. If you get all or most of the sonic benefit from an amp and a DAC, you don't need their files. And plenty of other people make DACs and headphone amps. These rock stars can afford the Astell and Kern player.

The flogging of sample rate is what I am objecting to. I found the Geek Wave video much more honest. If the Pono video was "all about" their DAC and headphone amp, I would not have written two posts in this thread.

In any case, are they magic? If they have crammed $10,000 worth of "sonics" into a $400 player, why can't everyone else do the same? Or perhaps did they deliberately compare it to a CD player with the worst DAC and most underpowered amp they could find? It all comes in under #4: a SKEWED test. A comparison of apples to oranges.
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