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Launch of Pono Studio Headphones
Old 14th March 2014
  #421
Quote:
Originally Posted by cinealta View Post
[...]

The real difference that the brain detects is the increased dynamic range from 16-bit to 24-bit.
There's little question that the best practice for recording and mastering is 24 bit fixed intake with today's gear.

And I've always said I would have been very comfortable with not just a somewhat (but not greatly) higher sample rate but also greater bit depth in the CD release format. 18 bit would have carried us beyond the capability of all but a tiny, tiny fraction of a percent of the capabilities of extant playback rigs.

But the fact remains 90 dB is a lot of SNR.

For the overwhelming majority of release material, it is quite sufficient and generally unexploited -- even avoided -- fully exploiting the 90 dB of CD dynamic bandwidth can result in recordings of such dramatic dynamic shifts that many home listeners find themselves jumping up and down to adjust the volume.

Even for 'classical'/symphonic music which does have tremendous dynamic range, the extremes that might push the fidelity limits of 90 dB are rare. (And I am a 'classical' music fan and have been since I was a little hi fi obsessed kid.)

I'm all for increasing the potential fidelity of our formats in meaningful ways. And I don't see any reason to treat 16/44.1 as set in stone. But the bottom line is that if is a more than sufficient container for the overwhelming majority of previously produced work and that it still provides better potential fidelity for that work than 99.9+ % of the playback systems out there.

Let's push standards forward, but let's keep our wits about us and realize that any 'huge' changes in playback fidelity on a wide scale will come not from improving the container format -- but from people improving their playback systems.

And, as has been pointed out almost endlessly through this thread: that capability has been around for a long time.

If most folks wanted to improve the fidelity of what they listen to, they already have the means. They just haven't done it.
Old 14th March 2014
  #422
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
You know, unless you're worried about how those trendsetters with the bat-hearing implants are going to like your mixes. Seriously. Let's have some common sense here.

Old 14th March 2014
  #423
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdunn View Post
That's going straight to my FB stream. heh
Old 14th March 2014
  #424
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UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia View Post
90% of the people in that promo are acvting like they've never heard music sound so good.

What's the matter? The producer doesn't let you in the control room?
Indeed but maybe the Pono player has bad anti-imaging filters and it sounds crap at 44.1Khz. Or maybe they doctored the files.

Also we don't know at what bit rate the MP3s were encoded at or, again, maybe the MP3 decoder in the Pono player is broken...

But yeah, hype hype hype...

EDIT: If you look at the video at 9:40 they seem to be playing back from a laptop, not the Pono player.... *cough*

Alistair
Old 14th March 2014
  #425
9290 backers; $3,090,979 pledged; 32 days to go.
Old 14th March 2014
  #426
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
If most folks wanted to improve the fidelity of what they listen to, they already have the means. They just haven't done it.
And that's the end of your thought process, isn't it? Just finger-wagging at the public. Your ability to repeatedly bypass or outright disparage social realities is impressive to me.

Nobody has cared before. This whole discussion has previously been consigned to the terrain of nerds. This is a value system campaign as much as it is a sonic one. That is the effing point!

It doesn't matter that HDTracks already existed. NOBODY CARED! It doesn't matter that SACD already existed! [And I love SACD, mind you!] NOBODY CARED!

How can you not recognize this?

Pono has been ON THE TV NEWS! Has any other audiophile initiative ever done that before?

- c
Old 14th March 2014
  #427
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia View Post
But it is common sense. I can't speak for Al but if I was mixing analog and the studio had a high quality 192kHz convertor around, I would use it.

Even if it does sound worse, (as Lavry alludes to) I'm assuming that the difference is very very small. Something no one has ever claimed to hear. At least not that I've seen.

But there are benefits. The label loves it. It's future proof. The ME loves it too.

If 192kHz is so important to him, why doesn't he track with it?

When coming off an analog mix, there's no good reason NOT to use 192kHz.
OK, Kenny, I know you know how this stuff works.

The dynamic measurement process is a sequence of voltage comparisons -- the more of these comparisons, the more accurately the sample level is determined to be. But they take a certain amount of time. The more you 'rush' the process, the less accurate the dynamic measure.

If we know we can capture accurately at 96 kHz -- which has a Nyquist point more than double the highest frequencies humans have been tested as hearing and so offers far, far more than adequate frequency bandwidth to cover the determined range of human hearing -- but we are less certain of the sample accuracy at 192 kHz -- an SR that offers NO IMPROVEMENT WHATSOEVER in the human-audible frequency range in terms of signal accuracy -- what makes more sense?

To use solid, reliable 96 kHz which is far more than adequate for the purpose -- or to use potentially problematic 192, which offers no real advantage in audible sonics AND opens the storage medium to the inadvertent inclusion of inaudible signal distortions or other artifacts that may then cause intermodulation problems in analog audio circuits or transduction systems?
Old 14th March 2014
  #428
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UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia View Post
I don't think they were ABing the Pono at 44.1kHz and 192kHz.

I think they were using the laptop, iPad or iPod at 44.1kHz (probably a 128k mp3) and then switching to the Pono at 192kHz.

I also think they were different mixes for them to have that reaction.
All possible. Either way, not a valid test by any stretch of the imagination. Pure marketing hype.

Alistair
Old 14th March 2014
  #429
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H.E. View Post
Is it not proved in double blindtests that humans can not hear more information in SACD than in CD format.
I am thinking of the tests published at AES, -Audibility of a CD-Standard A/DA/A Loop Inserted into High-Resolution Audio Playback-,
where audioengineers and audioengineer students several times over a period of a year or more was tested, and the result was 50/50. They could not hear a difference.
Really? Is there one member of Gearslutz who can't hear the difference when mastering from 24 bit to a 16 bit CD? I think you can argue whether or not a 192 sample rate is needed. But limiting the sound of recordings to 16/44.1 was an arbitrary decision made in one brief moment of history. I think the biggest possible benefit of Pono is steering young listeners away from MP3s. MP3s were invented to deal with limited storage space and bandwidth, and both of those problems have been solved.
Old 14th March 2014
  #430
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Sonya View Post
And that's the end of your thought process, isn't it? Just finger-wagging at the public. Your ability to repeatedly bypass or outright disparage social realities is impressive to me.

Nobody has cared before. This whole discussion has previously been consigned to the terrain of nerds. This is a value system campaign as much as it is a sonic one. That is the effing point!

It doesn't matter that HDTracks already existed. NOBODY CARED! It doesn't matter that SACD already existed! [And I love SACD, mind you!] NOBODY CARED!

How can you not recognize this?

Pono has been ON THE TV NEWS! Has any other audiophile initiative ever done that before?

- c
Hey, I'm just talking about practical realities. Science. Business. Social.

You want to talk fantasies and wishful thinking. That's fine. The world needs dreamers.

Just don't confuse dreams with reality.

Because those who do NEVER make their dreams into reality.
Old 14th March 2014
  #431
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
...any 'huge' changes in playback fidelity on a wide scale will come not from improving the container format -- but from people improving their playback systems... that capability has been around for a long time. If most folks wanted to improve the fidelity of what they listen to, they already have the means. They just haven't done it.
Agreed. And those folks obviously won't be buying into Pono.

But isn't this about addressing the people who have improved their playback systems to a similar qualitative level to that of the original recording and at least giving them the option to pay to hear what's what?

Leaving sample rates aside, we nearly all agree that 24-bit recordings sound subjectively better on a decent playback system.

And the only physical medium that could really deliver that in the home was DVD-A and that died a death. But it's irrelevant now because cheap storage and high internet speeds make nearly all physical delivery media obsolete. (The quaint and beautiful sound of vinyl being an honourable and specialised exception.)

So I say quite simply - JUST RELEASE ALL MUSIC AT 24-bit FROM NOW ON PLEASE! Anyone else can squash it, rip it crush it and do what they want with it to fit it on their iPods, BUT I WANT TO HEAR IT IN MY LIVING ROOM AT 24-bit!
Old 14th March 2014
  #432
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UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
*Some serious design types like Dan Lavry have suggested that there's no point in higher-than-96-kHz sample rate formats and that even a 'quad' rate like 192 kHz can actually degrade accuracy, because the tiny time window may not allow proper signal level measurement for each sample.
I'm not sure this is true for modern oversampling converters. The quantizers always run in the Gigahertz range regardless of the actual target sample rate.

Alistair
Old 14th March 2014
  #433
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UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Sonya View Post
And that's the end of your thought process, isn't it? Just finger-wagging at the public. Your ability to repeatedly bypass or outright disparage social realities is impressive to me.

Nobody has cared before. This whole discussion has previously been consigned to the terrain of nerds. This is a value system campaign as much as it is a sonic one. That is the effing point!

It doesn't matter that HDTracks already existed. NOBODY CARED! It doesn't matter that SACD already existed! [And I love SACD, mind you!] NOBODY CARED!

How can you not recognize this?

Pono has been ON THE TV NEWS! Has any other audiophile initiative ever done that before?

- c
Audio snake oil makes it to the news. This is a sad day indeed.

Btw, the nerds understand how digital audio works so they don't believe the 192 Khz or SACD hype. It is people that understand digital audio a little bit not enough that fall for it. The public don't care because they don't hear a difference. The people that understand enough also don't fall for it. It is those with a little knowledge that fall prey to the snake oil...

Alistair
Old 14th March 2014
  #434
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia View Post
96k makes more sense on paper. Have you heard 192kHz sound worse?
No, but I don't hang out at the levels that Dan Lavry does. I don't have access to the gear he does or the test equipment he does.

But I'll ask you -- even if one has complete confidence in the ability of his ADC to perform flawlessly at 192 kHz -- what practical benefit does that bring?

It's one thing to build in more than sufficient headroom for processes. But this is just throwing away resources (and inviting potential trouble if our assumptions above prove overly sanguine) for no real benefit.

Except marketing hype.

And, sure, hype counts in the market sector. So do celebrity endorsers.

And that, really, is the fear for guys like me -- that a bunch of fast-talking con men are pushing a bunch of bull**** on a bunch of unsuspecting fools.
Old 14th March 2014
  #435
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I am a mastering engineer by trade. I'm a lot nerdier than my friends.

But I don't try to evangelize my friends.

- c
Old 14th March 2014
  #436
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Sonya View Post
And that's the end of your thought process, isn't it? Just finger-wagging at the public. Your ability to repeatedly bypass or outright disparage social realities is impressive to me.

Nobody has cared before. This whole discussion has previously been consigned to the terrain of nerds. This is a value system campaign as much as it is a sonic one. That is the effing point!

It doesn't matter that HDTracks already existed. NOBODY CARED! It doesn't matter that SACD already existed! [And I love SACD, mind you!] NOBODY CARED!

How can you not recognize this?

Pono has been ON THE TV NEWS! Has any other audiophile initiative ever done that before?

- c
I recognize it but the problem is this. Audio professionals are jumping on board the hype train with good intentions...while ignoring the science so clearly demonstrated if we care to investigate. This goes back to the doctor analogy. I DO NOT WANT MY DOCTOR selling me on a procedure based on hype while ignoring the science. If professionals start hawking faulty information...REGARDLESS of the intentions....that is messed up. As stated before, the only ones who will REALLY benefit are artists who can get their materials re-released. For people MAKING music, this means less than nothing. It's like...'we are gonna build all roads like The Autobahn...so your Hyundai will do a better job getting you to the market.' Visitors to the waiting room are not qualified to direct the outcome of my heart operation. Does no one see my point here?
Old 14th March 2014
  #437
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post
I'm not sure this is true for modern oversampling converters. The quantizers always run in the Gigahertz range regardless of the actual target sample rate.

Alistair
Ah. Thanks. I'll have to see if I can dig up more info on this. Knowing your expertise here, I would guess that perhaps my concerns on that front are out of date.

At any rate, of course, we still go back to questions of benefit from the increase in SR vis a vis storage and processing requirements.
Old 14th March 2014
  #438
eb7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
And, sure, hype counts in the market sector. So do celebrity endorsers.

And that, really, is the fear for guys like me -- that a bunch of fast-talking con men are pushing a bunch of bull**** on a bunch of unsuspecting fools.
The funny thing is that just about everyone posting on this topic agrees that, so far, this is all hype and a big publicity stunt. But some seem to think that's a good thing, as it may indirectly push forward something they believe in.

Does the end justify the means, or do the means condition the end?
Old 14th March 2014
  #439
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia View Post
I don't think they were ABing the Pono at 44.1kHz and 192kHz.

I think they were using the laptop, iPad or iPod at 44.1kHz (probably a 128k mp3) and then switching to the Pono at 192kHz.

I also think they were different mixes for them to have that reaction.
Based on what, your imagination?
Old 14th March 2014
  #440
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Sonya View Post
I am a mastering engineer by trade. I'm a lot nerdier than my friends.

But I don't try to evangelize my friends.

- c
But... aren't we your friends?

heh

Just treasin', just teasin'. You seem like a good guy.

I can understand your enthusiasm here: technical qualms aside, I think most of us here at GS wish regular folks -- and the industry as a whole -- cared more about sonics and that anything that encourages respect and desire for audio fidelity is a potentially good thing that should be encouraged.

But I hope you can understand the concerns of those on the flip side: we care about sound and what listeners hear, too. So much, in fact, we don't want them to get conned into buying into systems that don't actually offer real benefits for added cost.
Old 14th March 2014
  #441
http://www.lavryengineering.com/pdfs...lity_audio.pdf

"88.2 or 96 KHz are preferred rates for audio quality."
Old 14th March 2014
  #442
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eb7 View Post
The funny thing is that just about everyone posting on this topic agrees that, so far, this is all hype and a big publicity stunt. But some seem to think that's a good thing, as it may indirectly push forward something they believe in.

Does the end justify the means, or do the means condition the end?
The end will determine the means...and that is the problem. Unless the end is clearly obvious to all..who knows what roads will be taken?
Old 14th March 2014
  #443
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by eb7 View Post
The funny thing is that just about everyone posting on this topic agrees that, so far, this is all hype and a big publicity stunt.
Not me. I think it's a big, brilliantly executed publicity stunt in the service of something that is definitely not all hype.
Old 14th March 2014
  #444
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Not me. I think it's a big, brilliantly executed publicity stunt in the service of something that is definitely not all hype.
It is in the service of an Idea...just like all things political...and this is political.
It's like saying.."aren't you for clean air and water?"
Of course, but daily survival of myself, family and friends cannot be thrown in the dumpster for an ideal that is not proven. Maybe not even then.
Like I said..politics.
Old 14th March 2014
  #445
Quote:
Originally Posted by eb7 View Post
The funny thing is that just about everyone posting on this topic agrees that, so far, this is all hype and a big publicity stunt. But some seem to think that's a good thing, as it may indirectly push forward something they believe in.

Does the end justify the means, or do the means condition the end?
What killed the golden age of component hi fi?

Going into the 1970s, for the first time, pretty much ever, regular consumers had access to very well performing gear, particularly on the electronics side.

There were still a LOT of garbage turntables and speakers kicking around, but amps and tuners had improved drastically. Going into the 1970s, many of the Japanese component amps had nearly CD-spec level performance in many respects.

We were well positioned for ever greater increases in consumer audio fidelity... so what happened?

Format confusion and cynical market manipulations that caused people with entirely decent record playback systems to sideline their Duals for new stereo cassette decks in the early 70s. (Of course, the people with Duals had little to complain about -- but a lot of folks had got stuck with consumer crap like direct drive tables from crap outfits like B-I-C probably had legit gripes about their gear.)

The industry hype -- and it was THICK -- was that cassettes were a 'superior' format to LPs. They said it and they said it all the time. It was obviously nonsense -- but that didn't keep them from saying it over and over. Loads of of people -- some of whom had already gone out and duplicated their favorite records in 4 and 8 track car tapes -- went back to the record stores to buy the same stuff all over again in prerecorded cassettes. Pre-recorded cassettes dubbed off at super high speeds onto crap media in crap shells -- for which they then charged premium prices.

And THEN came quad -- many people bought into it -- but many others sat on the sidelines (largely because they'd heard quad and were sorely unimpressed -- certainly that was the case among my very audio-centric cohort). Many of the quad systems were highly compromised systems of overall inferior quality. Music mixed for the format often left people unconvinced. The format failed and made people even more cynical.

In the wake of the failed format shift and increased consumer cynicism, we saw the rise of fake-compoenent stereos (remember those 'rack stereos' that had a faceplate made to look like separate components but, around back, it was just one big PCB?) Include the rise of boom box stereos and table stop CD players that were little more than table radios with a cheap CD. People legitimately loved CDs -- but it was more about their lack of surface noise and relative durability.


Hype is hype. It is not real. It makes people cynical in the long run.
Old 14th March 2014
  #446
Quote:
Originally Posted by eb7 View Post
The funny thing is that just about everyone posting on this topic agrees that, so far, this is all hype and a big publicity stunt...
That may be your interpretation and whilst I respect that you have your opinion the way I read it is that everyone agrees publicity/hype is necessary to sell a product or idea - that's pretty much a norm nowadays. That's what everyone is doing at Musicmesse right? I don't see anyone using that fact as a case against the products they are hyping/selling/promoting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eb7 View Post
...But some seem to think that's a good thing, as it may indirectly push forward something they believe in...
Yes. Correct. Many people, I would say - the majority - believe that higher-quality audio is a good thing and personally I base my opinion on listening to the difference between a 24 and 16-bit mix.
I don't think there is any valid reason to criticise that.
Old 14th March 2014
  #447
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UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Sonya View Post
I am a mastering engineer by trade. I'm a lot nerdier than my friends.
But clearly not nerdy enough to understand how digital audio works.

Quote:
But I don't try to evangelize my friends.

- c
I'm glad you see it as evangelizing because science it most certainly isn't.

Alistair
Old 14th March 2014
  #448
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post
But clearly not nerdy enough to understand how digital audio works.
You've mistaken us as peers. We're not peers.

- c
Old 14th March 2014
  #449
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UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Sonya View Post
You've mistaken us as peers. We're not peers.

- c
At least we agree on something!

Alistair
Old 14th March 2014
  #450
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post
At least we agree on something!

Alistair
Wel, yes, there is some relief in that.

- c
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