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Launch of Pono Studio Headphones
Old 21st February 2015
  #5251
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Santiago's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mania View Post
Its limited, but its there. Coming from the flawless system of itunes to the very basic and not-streamlined Fiio was a bit of a shock, but for the price it was worth it, It does have shortcoming's. id suggest you suss out to try for yourself, or just read the manual of one, to see if the problems are too much for you

In terms of ergonomic functionality however, it ****s on the pono
Thanks for the first hand info, this is very helpful! It will come in handy when my trusty Ipod gives up the ghost...
Old 21st February 2015
  #5252
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisj View Post

Let us remember that just claiming something (especially claiming things about what a person does or doesn't understand!) doesn't make it true, and when one is not correct, disagreement with one's points isn't proof of wilful misunderstanding.

You MUST understand that this applies to you too... no?

So lets say Monty has an agenda, what are the inaccuracies in his "Digital Show and Tell" video? He has an agenda right, he must have made stuff up to mislead, so what did he make up, which parts are wrong?

Chris
Old 21st February 2015
  #5253
Gear Guru
 
UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisj View Post
Ten minutes. I get TEN minutes until the peanut gallery changes the subject.
Not ten minutes. I already asked you twice before but you conveniently ignored the question. Your SOP.

I didn't ask you to support your marketing claim with yet more marketing. I asked you a simple and direct question: Are you claiming to have created something that no one else has done before? (Hint: The answer should take the form of a simple yes or a no).

Quote:
Vinyl is the one derived from Ten Nines, which goes for a DSD-like behavior of increasing linearity as frequency drops, at the cost of increased energy in the highs.
What do you mean by increasing linearity? Do you mean that the noise is shaped so that there is less noise in the lower frequencies? If that is the case then be aware that that is not the usual term for this. The term is lower noise floor or increased SNR. Increased linearity means something different. If you mean something else, can you clarify? And please, leave the marketing and waffle out. Just simple to the point technical terms please.

Quote:
Spatialize is the one I'd impressed Bruno Putzeys with
(Ah more marketing).

I would like to see a reference to that. Having been on forums with you long enough I have seen how you tend to misinterpret and misrepresent things.

Quote:
(didn't manage to get it into a Weiss Audio box though I was talking with 'em
You mean you pitched it to Weiss and he responded with "Errr... *cough*... no thanks Chris"?

(Funny how you keep on pushing your marketing agenda instead of sticking to the point at hand).

Quote:
I'm also cited in Bob Katz's book on mastering, which is probably also true of JJ
MANY people are quoted in Bob's book. He asked on the forum we were both on if people could contribute with ideas on several subjects for the 2nd edition of his book. Bob asked me directly and specifically if he could quote me but I have no idea if I was quoted or not as I don't have the second edition of the book but you don't see me presenting this as some kind of argument for being right. I prefer dealing with actual valid technical arguments. Only fools rely on the argument by authority.

Quote:
probably NOT true of Monty, whose opinions about audio have no place in a mastering studio.
A deep understanding of audio and audio manipulation has every place in a mastering studio. I would say Monty's opinions have way more place in a mastering studio than yours! But there you are again attacking Monty instead of dealing with the subject on technical terms. Probably because you can't.

Quote:
Let us remember that just claiming something (especially claiming things about what a person does or doesn't understand!) doesn't make it true, and when one is not correct, disagreement with one's points isn't proof of wilful misunderstanding.
And you did it again. The usual empty waffle that applies just as much to your own points as to anyone else's point on this board. You sound like a cheap 2nd grade politician.

Alistair

Last edited by UnderTow; 21st February 2015 at 05:45 PM..
Old 21st February 2015
  #5254
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Let's not turn to Monty to ask whether Pono is a good idea. Okay?
Well, no, not ok, because it isn't about lossy formats, or about Porno (even though some of Neil's writings might have sparked off those writings and videos by Monty) it is about higher sample rates versus ordinary (as in 44.1) sample rates (I don't call them high and low: marketing people do that for their own reasons).

What you have to say about Monty is all very interesting and I take the point that, in a way, he does have something to sell even if it is not for money directly, however, I fail to see how any of the stuff about lossy formats, MP3 v ogg, and so on, have anything to do with this at all. FLAC would be much more relevant: I don't know how much he, rather than the organisation, had to do with the development of FLAC, but it comes from the same house, and is perfectly capable of 96k, 192k, or possibly even higher sample rates, so even if xiph thinks that over 96k is a thoroughly bad idea, they are still giving us the freedom to go that way.

If it were not for Monty, I, and many others, would still be thinking of PCM as a series of steps. Sony, it seems, still want their buying public to think that, and have been slapped by the British Advertising Standards Association for their misleading "waveforms" in their advertising.

Many other music buyers and listeners have seen what Monty has to say and demonstrate and immediately denied it, because it does not fit their audiophool agenda and preconceptions: they want to spend bigger money on bigger numbers, both hardware and music. It is their faith; it is what they do. Talk about willing victims!

Last edited by Thad E Ginathom; 21st February 2015 at 05:59 PM.. Reason: sample, not bit, as pointed out
Old 21st February 2015
  #5255
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisj View Post
And people's everyday music listening experiences are the one battleground Monty must win on to prevail: to make open codecs win, he's got to keep lossy encoding relevant and push people's expectations into the area where his solution is far superior. Very low bit rate!
It's getting a little creepy how you keep referring to Monty in terms of some New World Order war. And while it's kind of funny (in the absurd way) to hear you describe him as a puppet master for the lossy-encoding front, can we please get back to reality here? Hist oft-cited article on distribution formats isn't a manifesto on why we should all use Ogg Vorbis; on the contrary, it's a rational, dispassionate essay on why 24/192 is a marketing scam. In it he very clearly recommends lossless formats at sane rates. Your insistence that he's shilling for some kind of personal lossy-encoding glory is plainly wrong and quickly approaching delusional. He started work on Vorbis in the 1990s, when excruciatingly slow internet speeds made lossy formats a necessity; Fraunhofer changing their licensing strategy with mp3 made a new codec all the more compelling. Ask him today what he recommends and he'll tell you FLAC.

If anyone's on a soap box trying to drum up a mob mentality at the expense of science, it is you.
Old 21st February 2015
  #5256
Lives for gear
 

Lets take a break from all this to enjoy some comedy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDYba0m6ztE

Chris
Old 21st February 2015
  #5257
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UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
Well, no, not ok, because it isn't about lossy formats, or about Porno (even though some of Neil's writings might have sparked off those writings and videos by Monty) it is about higher bit rates versus ordinary (as in 44.1) bit rates (I don't call them high and low: marketing people do that for their own reasons).

What you have to say about Monty is all very interesting and I take the point that, in a way, he does have something to sell even if it is not for money directly, however, I fail to see how any of the stuff about lossy formats, MP3 v ogg, and so on, have anything to do with this at all. FLAC would be much more relevant: I don't know how much he, rather than the organisation, had to do with the development of FLAC, but it comes from the same house, and is perfectly capable of 96k, 192k, or possibly even higher bit rates, so even if xiph thinks that over 96k is a thoroughly bad idea, they are still giving us the freedom to go that way.

If it were not for Monty, I, and many others, would still be thinking of PCM as a series of steps. Sony, it seems, still want their buying public to think that, and have been slapped by the British Advertising Standards Association for their misleading "waveforms" in their advertising.

Many other music buyers and listeners have seen what Monty has to say and demonstrate and immediately denied it, because it does not fit their audiophool agenda and preconceptions: they want to spend bigger money on bigger numbers, both hardware and music. It is their faith; it is what they do. Talk about willing victims!
I think you meant to write higher sample rates instead of higher bit rates.

Alistair
Old 21st February 2015
  #5258
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UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris93 View Post
Lets take a break from all this to enjoy some comedy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDYba0m6ztE

Chris
Dara O-Briain is great!

Alistair
Old 21st February 2015
  #5259
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post
I think you meant to write higher sample rates instead of higher bit rates.


I now feel like someone who makes a great dramatic exit and then... has to go back for their hat.

Stupid mistake. Thanks: I've edited it and sacked the brain cells. Now I'm even more short of brain cells.
Old 21st February 2015
  #5260
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UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post


I now feel like someone who makes a great dramatic exit and then... has to go back for their hat.

Stupid mistake. Thanks: I've edited it and sacked the brain cells. Now I'm even more short of brain cells.
It was clear from the rest of your post what you meant so no worries.

Alistair
Old 21st February 2015
  #5261
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bogosort View Post
It's rarely wise to drink your own koolaid.

80-bit storage for an audio-level multiply is outrageous alright, outrageously silly. I don't know how you can market that with a straight face.
Maybe you're mistaken; maybe it was with a straight farce.
Old 21st February 2015
  #5262
Airwindows
 
chrisj's Avatar
I feel it's worth mentioning that this forum gets a bad rap in some places, because people who work in the industry and depend on maintaining relationships with others get caught up in internet slap-fights with others who aren't in the same position, haven't got the same kind of experience or necessarily the same experience with gear (slutty or not), but who have formed strong opinions and have just as much right to post as anybody else.

There's a whole spectrum of behavior associated with this, extending from rousing debate (which can be interesting and enlightening!) to the obsessive badgering of a target and demanding long lists of responses to trivia, all the way to outright trolling and phenomena like 'doxxing' and the attempt to wreck the life and reputation of the target person. Sometimes stuff like contemptuous mockery (for instance, trying to get the thread subject device referred to as 'Porno') is just debate turned rowdy, sometimes it's a tip-off that this has become one of THOSE parts of the internet, and sensible professional people had better make themselves scarce lest they find themselves google-bombed, their names linked with outright contemptuous abuse.

I don't give much of a **** about this as I'm already poor (giving free updates for seven-year old products will do that to ya) and the willingness to talk about my side of the truth is more important than the risks, particularly when the trolling is taking the exact form it's always taken. Being cranky about CD quality, dismissive of it, and wanting something better is not new for me, or a pose. I've ALWAYS felt that way, and still do, many years later. I will continue to see how diminishing the returns are, from revamping my coding to be much more concerned with word length and minimal math error: and when my Pono player turns up, I will still be here and post the results of my test signals.

In a thread about Pono where people are trying to make the case that it outputs 16/44 and all the listeners are fools, a touch of reality would be nice.

I completely understand if other professionals with a more nuanced opinion of the thing would rather not express it here. I feel I can confirm that this thread's seen better days and isn't exactly maintaining a respectful attitude.

I'm sure if I wasn't quite literally an autistic nerd and not quick to pick up on bad-faith attitudes, I would already have given up!
Old 21st February 2015
  #5263
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UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisj View Post
Like hell, Christopher Montgomery is a totally unbiased honest scientist with nothing to sell.
Quote:
Sometimes stuff like contemptuous mockery (for instance, trying to get the thread subject device referred to as 'Porno') is just debate turned rowdy, sometimes it's a tip-off that this has become one of THOSE parts of the internet, and sensible professional people had better make themselves scarce lest they find themselves google-bombed, their names linked with outright contemptuous abuse.
So that is why you wrote Monty's full name? I wondered why you so specifically wrote his full official name. That is downright nasty! You are a nasty piece of work Chris!

Alistair
Old 21st February 2015
  #5264
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Nobody's making you post anything, but if you claim something to be true it is only reasonable to be expected to provide evidence. If you can't then you'll obviously look a bit less credible but that's up to you.

I would also understand if people who "want to believe" would rather not mention it publicly, they will be questioned, and if they don't have the answers they'll look silly. This would be their own doing.

Nobody has "abused" you or even threatened to, you've just been asked to prove the stuff you've claimed, if you can't and that "harms your reputation" then whose fault is that?

Chris
Old 21st February 2015
  #5265
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post
So that is why you wrote Monty's full name? I wondered why you so specifically wrote his full official name. That is downright nasty! You are a nasty piece of work Chris!

Alistair
Chris hasn't even got the capacity to be nasty to a degree I have seen you be many times over on here, Alistair, and you posting that leaves a bad taste in my mouth. We know you like throwing your weight (or what you perceive to be such) around, but come on. Chris is a nasty piece of work now?
Old 21st February 2015
  #5266
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stratology's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisj View Post
I'm already poor
(wiping a little tear from the corner of my eyes)
Excellent advertising for your products, I'll give you that...



Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisj View Post
In a thread about Pono where people are trying to make the case that it outputs 16/44 and all the listeners are fools, a touch of reality would be nice.
The unwelcome 'touch of reality' was actually a quote from Android's technical specifications (which would be one explanation for Pogues double blind test results), with an invitation to post tech specs, or any real data, that contradict it. What's so hard to understand?? It's entirely possible, even likely, that Pono does not downsample, but it's uncertain until technical data show up that contradict the existing generic technical data.

This has nothing whatsoever to do with opinions, any hard data, regardless of what they indicate, are a good thing, IMHO.


Replacing technical data with all kinds of assumptions and ad hominem attacks is a common Internet discussion tool, but it's not a valid replacement for science and technical data.
Old 21st February 2015
  #5267
Airwindows
 
chrisj's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisj View Post
Monty invented Ogg Vorbis, and is the founder of the Xiph.org foundation. He is personally responsible for developing a codec which is WAY more capable of synthesizing artificial highs at low bit rates with reasonable plausibility (if you expect to have anything like real data from things like cymbals at 96kbps, forget it: not happening no matter who is doing the encoding).

Monty's stuck determinedly to these goals:
-much better subjective performance at very low bit rates, through faking what's inevitably lost
-open and unencumbered software codecs

Monty isn't interested in increasing subjective performance at higher bit rates because he doesn't believe it's possible: to him it's already perfect, as is mp3. So, his entire legacy rests on being able to wildly exceed the performance of awful-sounding lossy codecs at low bit rates, and I'm not aware of anything else he does, and it is a perfectly legitimate accomplishment (I use Ogg Vorbis myself, when making audio for the game 'Minecraft').

Monty doesn't need to be paid by Pandora. He has teamed up with Mozilla, affected the course of HTML5 and LOST the recommendation specifically for his Vorbis codec on December 10, 2007 when W3C, pressured by companies like Nokia and Apple, updated the HTML5 specification rendering it once more file format neutral.

Monty's interesting and brilliant, has had and wielded power on a par with Apple and Nokia, but he is absolutely the last person you should go to and ask, "Will I see a benefit from an audio player that plays uncompressed audio at 24 bit and 192K?"

Monty has personally resisted attempts to get into wavelet transforms to better represent transients, on the grounds they're too complicated and CPU-wasteful and that Vorbis I is already enough.

Monty represents an entire consortium for the furthering of lossy coding, and one that is STILL actively struggling to prevail against closed codecs and get back control of HTML5 and get ogg supported on commercially available players and systems. And this is a worthy goal, but widespread adoption of 'Porno' completely undermines everything he's worked for and leaves mp3 as the final victor in a no-longer-desirable arena, when it is WORSE than what Monty's created and fought for.
You know, people have had worse said about them than "Monty is hugely important, has had great influence, has done brilliant work in an area not related to what we're talking about, and the things he's personally made are obviously and considerably better than the state of the art, which he has never really gotten credit for. His way should prevail in lossy coding and low-bit, and his causes, notably with regard to open source and free codecs, are not only benevolent but profoundly significant."

All I want is for him, and some of you torch-bearing scientists, to lay the heck off the 'overdesigned audio' crusade. I want audio that's designed to be completely beyond my most stray perception: I want it to always return data rather than noise or aliasing or quantization. I don't care if I can't tell the difference while jogging, or if untrained listeners know what to listen for, or whether they care about the same sonic things they care about.

It seems things break down the moment someone goes "Hey, YOU TOO might possibly find a high performance player, like WAY beyond CD much less MP3 quality, would be more satisfying. Why not listen to one and find out? Maybe you'll really enjoy it, and decide that even (relatively decent when done right) CD is just not enough for your preferences."

Seems like this is the point where people come screaming out of the woodwork declaring "You are just wrong! And if you can't argue forever, accept everything we claim without question and have everything you claim flatly denied, and still win the argument, you're doubly wrong with a side of nuts!"

While we're waiting for the real Pono to show up (stand up?): define 'prove'. We've been over this. I think it's getting ugly because I've found a weak point in the 'scientist' position (which is no true scientist position, because it's reducing things to unquestionable axioms and refusing to allow their examination).

I say, if you have a 51% confidence over infinite trials it proves (and over limited trials, it only suggests) that there is a perception that is sometimes there, and sometimes not there. Higher confidences make it easier to pin this down, but ANY confidence over 50% on an infinite trial is conclusive evidence of not guessing, because an infinite trial has to reduce to 50% if it's guessing, no matter what.

I'm saying that pretty much any DBT you care to name is throwing out good data and setting the confidence bar unrealistically high, when the interesting threshold is not 80% or 90%, but 50%.

And I'm saying that valid perceptions still matter even when they are not happening predictably and even when it becomes impossible to prove whether they're valid or imagined, because they are windows of order appearing in the noise of sensation. People do audiophile listening explicitly because they're looking for those nice moments of a pretty sound happening. They want their gear to support that, and remain always pretty-sounding no matter how deeply they can hear into the sound picture at any given moment. Nothing must interfere with the appealingness of the sound picture, there must be no distractions.

And THAT is why we overdesign, and that is why DBT is useless in an audiophile context where people's experience must build on a solid framework of good audio presented well beyond our usual capacities. We're constantly getting hints, glimpses of what's really there, lost in the noise of our own inabilities. Our brains work overtime to imagine a world behind that veil.

Screw that up, and all the fun goes out of it: what we're given is flat and limited, the imagination gone because there's nothing left for it to seize on. The measurable presence of good data, easily demonstrated and easily represented by moderate increases in data density, is replaced with raw noise or unpleasant garbage data that's inharmonic and mathematically, not harmonically related (even more damaging, because it behaves like nonrandom information but it's not).

How extensive a series of trials will you accept, to establish the statistical validity of a 51% confidence and admit that it represents at least one true perception through the noise? What about 60%? Give me a number. I feel I am dealing with people where, if I did 90% confidence, they'd respond 'you still might have been guessing and it proves nothing'. Please give me a number of trials at which you'll consider 51% confidence evidence of at least one real perception.
Old 21st February 2015
  #5268
Gear Guru
 
UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisj View Post
All I want is for him, and some of you torch-bearing scientists, to lay the heck off the 'overdesigned audio' crusade. I want audio that's designed to be completely beyond my most stray perception: I want it to always return data rather than noise or aliasing or quantization. I don't care if I can't tell the difference while jogging, or if untrained listeners know what to listen for, or whether they care about the same sonic things they care about.
Chris, it is really extremely simple, if you have any technical points to make about Monty's video, please make them but stop even discussing Monty himself. It is utterly irrelevant to the subject. You don't know his motivations or biases so stop pretending you do.

Anyway, Monty is a great positive force for the audio community as far as I am concerned. You on the other hand seem to want to promote the equivalent of audio homoeopathy into the discussion.

Quote:
It seems things break down the moment someone goes "Hey, YOU TOO might possibly find a high performance player, like WAY beyond CD much less MP3 quality, would be more satisfying. Why not listen to one and find out? Maybe you'll really enjoy it, and decide that even (relatively decent when done right) CD is just not enough for your preferences."
There you go again: "Way beyond CD". First you have to demonstrate that there is any point in going beyond CD for delivery. Stick to the science. Stick to the facts. Leave out the waffle.

On a side but relevant note, you keep mentioning that you don't have very good converters. Maybe you should address that first before telling us that 44.1/16 is insufficient for delivery.

Let me pose you a very simple question: If all converters could be made to sound perfect at the base rate, wouldn't you prefer that over ever increasing sample rates?

Quote:
Seems like this is the point where people come screaming out of the woodwork declaring "You are just wrong! And if you can't argue forever, accept everything we claim without question and have everything you claim flatly denied, and still win the argument, you're doubly wrong with a side of nuts!"
We have gone through this time and again in this very thread. What you write yourself applies doubly to you. This and the previous few posts of yours are all empty waffle and not a single technical discussion. THAT is what we are complaining about. (And the attacks on Monty).

Quote:
While we're waiting for the real Pono to show up (stand up?): define 'prove'. We've been over this. I think it's getting ugly because I've found a weak point in the 'scientist' position (which is no true scientist position, because it's reducing things to unquestionable axioms and refusing to allow their examination).
Examination? You are just waffling!

Quote:
I say, if you have a 51% confidence over infinite trials it proves (and over limited trials, it only suggests) that there is a perception that is sometimes there, and sometimes not there. Higher confidences make it easier to pin this down, but ANY confidence over 50% on an infinite trial is conclusive evidence of not guessing, because an infinite trial has to reduce to 50% if it's guessing, no matter what.
No it is most certainly not! bogosort has already extensively addressed this but you keep posting it again and again. The only thing the numbers tell you are the chance that you are guessing. With 51% results you are nearly guaranteed to be guessing.

Quote:
I'm saying that pretty much any DBT you care to name is throwing out good data and setting the confidence bar unrealistically high, when the interesting threshold is not 80% or 90%, but 50%.
You do realise that your claim goes against the entire scientific community's approach to these things?

What you wrote after that is all based on this false premise of yours so there is no need to address it.

I will just ask you one question. What do you think of 48 Khz? I would personally very much like the entire industry to settle on that. The whole TV and film world already use it. It allows a little bit more tolerance for bad DSP and converter designs. Having a single sample rate for everything should reduce cost for manufacturers and developers. It would allow them to focus on a single format for everyone and everything. What do you think?

Alistair
Old 21st February 2015
  #5269
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris93 View Post
Can you show measurable differences at or below 20K between 44.1K and 96K files?
I did a quick loopback test with a Lynx Aurora using created tones at 15k and 16k and then used diffmaker for the analysis.

Results:
Corr Depth = 26 dB @ 44.1k
Corr Depth = 50 dB @ 88.2k
Old 21st February 2015
  #5270
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Plush's Avatar
The ugliness and rudeness here mars GS. This forum is not like the rude audiophile forums. Why do some posters consistently present confrontational posts and attitudes?

Only a small fraction of posters are real record makers here--now that's for sure.
Old 21st February 2015
  #5271
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bogosort's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisj View Post
All I want is for him, and some of you torch-bearing scientists, to lay the heck off the 'overdesigned audio' crusade.
Right, why should anyone care if audio specs are way over-engineered? Why can't us base-rate guys just shut up and let you have your fun? I think Monty said it best in the last paragraph of his Silly Downloads article:

Why push back against 24/192? Because it's a solution to a problem that doesn't exist, a business model based on willful ignorance and scamming people. The more that pseudoscience goes unchecked in the world at large, the harder it is for truth to overcome truthiness... even if this is a small and relatively insignificant example.

This is even more relevant here, on GS, where presumably we're all vested in the future of music standards. Imagine a manufacturer came on here and claimed that the headroom in his preamp made all other preamps sound like they were underwater because his used +/-100V rails. To the uninitiated, this may sound like a reasonable claim; some may even buy the thing and think to themselves, indeed, I can hear the extra headroom. Will other manufacturers have to go out and make their own "high headroom" models to stay in business? No, because before anyone buys such a thing a thousand GS members will come out of the woodwork and dutifully point out that the signal levels in a preamp will only reach a 10th of that. Other members, trained in such things, will expose how not only are +/- 100V rails completely unnecessary in a preamp, they introduce their own problems that can actually worsen the audio quality. Soon the 100V preamp dies a lonely death, though a few will inevitably get sold to those who harbor a romantic notion that "over-engineered" necessarily means higher quality.

Unfortunately, digital audio is much less intuitive than analog; this profoundly simple fact gives the hucksters a world of power.

Quote:
I say, if you have a 51% confidence over infinite trials it proves (and over limited trials, it only suggests) that there is a perception that is sometimes there, and sometimes not there. Higher confidences make it easier to pin this down, but ANY confidence over 50% on an infinite trial is conclusive evidence of not guessing, because an infinite trial has to reduce to 50% if it's guessing, no matter what.
Chris, this is not at all how it statistics work. Seriously, you need to re-think this.

Quote:
I'm saying that pretty much any DBT you care to name is throwing out good data and setting the confidence bar unrealistically high, when the interesting threshold is not 80% or 90%, but 50%.
Sigh, I can see why you think this. But it is totally wrong.

Quote:
And THAT is why we overdesign, and that is why DBT is useless in an audiophile context where people's experience must build on a solid framework of good audio presented well beyond our usual capacities. We're constantly getting hints, glimpses of what's really there, lost in the noise of our own inabilities. Our brains work overtime to imagine a world behind that veil.
Do you see what you're doing here? You've invented a narrative around the idea of ephemeral perception based on the idea that a 51% success rate in a DBT shows significance. Please stop to consider the foundations of this. I know you really want to believe it, but that only makes it all the more unreliable.
Old 21st February 2015
  #5272
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisj View Post
I feel it's worth mentioning that this forum gets a bad rap in some places, because people who work in the industry and depend on maintaining relationships with others get caught up in internet slap-fights with others who aren't in the same position, haven't got the same kind of experience or necessarily the same experience with gear (slutty or not), but who have formed strong opinions and have just as much right to post as anybody else.

There's a whole spectrum of behavior associated with this, extending from rousing debate (which can be interesting and enlightening!) to the obsessive badgering of a target and demanding long lists of responses to trivia, all the way to outright trolling and phenomena like 'doxxing' and the attempt to wreck the life and reputation of the target person. Sometimes stuff like contemptuous mockery (for instance, trying to get the thread subject device referred to as 'Porno') is just debate turned rowdy, sometimes it's a tip-off that this has become one of THOSE parts of the internet, and sensible professional people had better make themselves scarce lest they find themselves google-bombed, their names linked with outright contemptuous abuse.

I don't give much of a **** about this as I'm already poor (giving free updates for seven-year old products will do that to ya) and the willingness to talk about my side of the truth is more important than the risks, particularly when the trolling is taking the exact form it's always taken. Being cranky about CD quality, dismissive of it, and wanting something better is not new for me, or a pose. I've ALWAYS felt that way, and still do, many years later. I will continue to see how diminishing the returns are, from revamping my coding to be much more concerned with word length and minimal math error: and when my Pono player turns up, I will still be here and post the results of my test signals.

In a thread about Pono where people are trying to make the case that it outputs 16/44 and all the listeners are fools, a touch of reality would be nice.

I completely understand if other professionals with a more nuanced opinion of the thing would rather not express it here. I feel I can confirm that this thread's seen better days and isn't exactly maintaining a respectful attitude.

I'm sure if I wasn't quite literally an autistic nerd and not quick to pick up on bad-faith attitudes, I would already have given up!
Looking forward to your observations when you receive the Pono.
Old 22nd February 2015
  #5273
Airwindows
 
chrisj's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bogosort View Post
Do you see what you're doing here? You've invented a narrative around the idea of ephemeral perception based on the idea that a 51% success rate in a DBT shows significance. Please stop to consider the foundations of this. I know you really want to believe it, but that only makes it all the more unreliable.
Good! We make tiny amounts of progress. Yes I have, but you're omitting the small but important detail that 51% in an INFINITE DBT shows (indeed, establishes) significance. I think that only in an infinite DBT would a confidence level as low as 51% ever count for much, because defining an infinite sample set as good as says there will be no possible outcome other than the exact statistical basis of the test.

Now let's go from there. Consider a 70% confidence level. If you had an infinite sample set and got 70% confidence, would this not be strikingly different than pure chance, and yet evidence of some fallibility? Again, we're talking about a sample set so large as to overwhelm random variance. If you'd like, you can calculate the statistical weight of this result at one hundred thousand trials: this is mathematically a pretty big sample set.

It's fair to ask: do you even believe it possible for an infinite sample set to return a 70% confidence? Or is your assumption that, as the confidence level of the test increases through repeated trials ad infinitum, that the result will ALWAYS converge either to guessing (50%) or hearing (100%)? If you believe that, then we disagree about a fundamental.

Again, the idea you are having a shockingly hard time working out is that humans can legitimately perceive phenomena sometimes, and then blow it other times even though the phenomena is still there. Imagine somebody tapped you on the shoulder, or your mind wandered, three times out of ten. Does that help? We're trying to quantify the indeterminate and fallible nature of human perception… that's what statistics DO, and these double blind tests are nothing if not statistical gauges of human behavior.

I really do not understand the temptation to generalize these things into incredibly sharp, brick-wall limits for the perceptions of humans in general. Nothing else about our performance, sensory or otherwise, are that determinate, and yet these audio measurements can be pinned down to the bit or the kilohertz?

And why do people never make a fuss about humans not being able to hear subsonic noises? Digital is absolutely fine at capturing that (though conveying such low tones to a listener might pose its own challenges). What is the official lowest note? 20 hz? Is that true, or is that too a varying quantity?

Last edited by chrisj; 22nd February 2015 at 01:09 AM..
Old 22nd February 2015
  #5274
Lives for gear
 
doom64's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisj View Post
I don't give much of a **** about this as I'm already poor (giving free updates for seven-year old products will do that to ya) and the willingness to talk about my side of the truth is more important than the risks, particularly when the trolling is taking the exact form it's always taken. Being cranky about CD quality, dismissive of it, and wanting something better is not new for me, or a pose. I've ALWAYS felt that way, and still do, many years later. I will continue to see how diminishing the returns are, from revamping my coding to be much more concerned with word length and minimal math error: and when my Pono player turns up, I will still be here and post the results of my test signals.
You're poor but you bought a Pono player?

I think this is thread is good for you. Time to stop giving out free updates for old software. Neil Young isn't giving out free downloads to people who have already bought CDs of his music.

Also, there are many more Windows users than Mac users. Time to consider porting your plugins to a new OS.

Now, as far as high sample rates are concerned, I have done my own tests. 24-bit vs. 16-bit I am only seeing noise at very low levels. Inaudible levels at typical listening levels and inaudible when music is playing atop the noise. Perhaps for VERY dynamic classical music 16-bit isn't good enough. Although I'd venture to say room noise would be louder than digital quantization noise.

For high sample rates null tests reveal what I call "noiselets" in the upper frequencies. I am using a very high quality sample rate converter and those upper frequency noiselets (the smarter engineers call that aliasing, I believe) disappear at 48 kHz. At 44.1 kHz they are there (at low levels) but at 48 kHz they are gone. Those noise-lets only appear with music that has high frequency instruments, like castanets. My tests were done using audiophile recordings.

What perhaps bugs me the most about Mr. Young is his marketing. Pretending like the Pono is a new invention or that other high resolution music stores don't exist. And not acknowledging the loudness wars as a prime reason for the detriment of music quality...much more so than lossy encoding!

Mr. Young's lips, tongue, vocal box and fingers have been putting out so much propaganda to the mainstream in the past year (on shows like David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, or so and it SICKENS ME that guys who know what they're talking about can't get the same amount of media reach as Neil does.

Sell people on the Pono player's DAC. Sell people on its headphone amp. Sell them on the Ayre hardware. But damn it stop selling people on high res audio files when you yourself are selling mostly CD quality music!!!!!! Oh...and then there's this:

Neil Young’s SXSW Keynote Derailed By Simple Question About Pono - Stereogum

Quote:
By Chris DeVille / March 12, 2014
During the buildup to Pono, his new high-resolution digital music player, Neil Young and his bevy of rock star pals have presented his new product as an advancement for music fans who want real quality from their recordings. Yesterday, during a keynote speech at SXSW Interactive, Young upped the ante, basically arguing that the MP3 and its reduced sound quality has put many music professionals out of work and that a return to the hi-fi sounds of yore would revive the flagging music economy. His case was essentially that the entire music industry stands to benefit from Pono. But things got very awkward when someone asked how much Young stands to benefit from it.
As Billboard reports, after Young’s speech, Pono CEO John Hamm (not Don Draper) took the stage for a Q&A with Young and USA Today technology reporter Mike Snider. After answering questions about the PonoPlayer’s triangular shape (they wanted something “iconic”), its file format (FLAC), and whether it can play existing digital music libraries (it can), Young and Hamm waffled awkwardly when the subject of money came up. Per Billboard, it went like this:

Taking the microphone, a young man asked: “What’s your cut?” — referring, of course, to Apple’s now-famous 30% cut of sales on the iTunes Store.

Hamm, after a flustered moment, responded that, “It surprises most people that everyone who buys music from the record labels pays exactly the same amount.” At this, several audience members shouted, “What?!”

“That’s a delicate question, isn’t it?” asked Young.

Shortly thereafter, Hamm turned to the moderator, slightly flushed at this point, and said “We can end it.”

“You can answer the question if you like,” Snider said.

Hamm shook his head slightly before Snider closed the discussion.


It’s only a delicate question if you make it one, Neil. Don’t these guys know radical transparency is all the rage?

UPDATE: Hamm clarified his statement to Billboard: It’s a 70/30 split and “everyone in the world has the same deal,” he says. Pono’s Kickstarter has raised $1.6 million, doubling its goal in less than 24 hours.
Not answering a simple question is cowardly.

And on that last point. About Pono selling CD quality music. Why the heck would someone buy a CD quality album at the Pono store instead of buying a physical CD? Especially when it's cheaper...sometimes a lot cheaper.

Last edited by doom64; 22nd February 2015 at 05:13 AM..
Old 22nd February 2015
  #5275
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Sometimes stuff like contemptuous mockery (for instance, trying to get the thread subject device referred to as 'Porno') is just debate turned rowdy, sometimes it's a tip-off that this has become one of THOSE parts of the internet ...
I'd call it "Porno" if it was a biscuit, or a kitchen cleaner, or a fizzy drink, or any other consumer product whose designers and marketers chose the absurd name "Pono." I'd call it "Porno" even if I bought one and loved it, although possibly in a different tone of voice. It begs for it, and I can't believe the naivety of a sixties rock-and-roll guy choosing such a name.

Mockery? Bring it on! Are you pleased to see me, or is that some porno in your pocket? If it every gets to be sufficiently widely recognised it will get all the mockery it richly deserves.

Derision? Yes! from the first viewing of that initial video, and all the listening-under-water rubbish and the subsequent debunking of those demo tests. Derision richly deserved.

I understand, as one of the non-pros [usually just lurking] in this forum, that there are some big music-industry names contributing here, and if someone happens to have Neil and his cronies as clients, it is only sensible business sense that they might want to keep quiet on this debate. That's just part of the reality of life. it's easy to be anonymous on a forum, but not every body is. People may very well not want to put income, and even friendships, at risk. But any suggestion that makes any difference to the reality of the principles involved is hogwash.

I'm just the unqualified, non-professional around here, just the potential end consumer. Even thought the price of machines from A&K and Sony is probably closer, with adjustment for inflation, to what I paid for my Cowon portable, over a decade ago, I would certainly not pay $1000-plus for portable players now, even if I could. The Porno (no, I'm not changing my reference to it), if it really is a first-rate player at that price could well be good to own.

But, frankly, I could get "high" sample rates out of my phone these days, and feed to a portable DAC/amp of my choice --- and that is exactly what I will do next time I travel. I am much better off investing in a decent pair of closed-back headphones for travel, rather than another piece of audio bling.

Actually, although Neil may see it as part of his "high resolution" campaign, the Porno doesn't really break new ground at all. Which is not to say that it might not be a half-decent [half-]portable device. If you like yellow.
Old 22nd February 2015
  #5276
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

I keep wondering exactly how many people here have actually heard the Pono player yet. And how many are still unaware of its differences in design, DA converter wise, to most everything else we are used to.
Old 22nd February 2015
  #5277
Lives for gear
 
bogosort's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisj View Post
Good! We make tiny amounts of progress.
Excellent, then let's make even more progress.


Quote:
Yes I have, but you're omitting the small but important detail that 51% in an INFINITE DBT shows (indeed, establishes) significance. I think that only in an infinite DBT would a confidence level as low as 51% ever count for much, because defining an infinite sample set as good as says there will be no possible outcome other than the exact statistical basis of the test.
I'm not a statistician but I know just enough to be dangerous (always the worst kind of knowledge!). Let's go over some basics. In an ABX test we are trying to determine if one thing sounds different than the other; our hypothesis is that there is indeed an audible difference. Consequently, the null hypothesis is that there is no difference: the listener is just guessing and has a 50-50 chance of getting the answer right. The point of an ABX is to see if we can reject the null hypothesis because we can never, ever prove the hypothesis. But to have enough confidence to reject the null -- i.e., to say that the user's choices were unlikely due to chance -- before the test we must agree on what we will accept as a statistically significant result.

How do we do that? Well, if A and B are indeed the same and the listener is guessing, then his answers will take the shape of a binomial distribution with p (the probability of success) equal to 0.5. This has the shape of a discrete bell curve, centered at the most probable number of correct guesses (which depends on the number of trials). In other words, the height of the curve corresponds to the probability of that particular number occurring: the peak of the curve, in the middle, is much more probable than the ends which are tapering off to zero. Because the properties of the binomial distribution are so well understood, given enough trials, we can make statistically-sound conclusions based on the results of the listener's tests.

Chris, you mention infinite trials, but I'm going to focus on finite trials because, well, who has time for infinite trials these days? Seriously though, infinity is a weird thing in stats, well beyond my pay grade, and we're talking about real-world tests where such things are impossible anyway.

There are a few really important properties of the binomial distribution that we need to know:

1. Foremost, its shape will approach that of a bell curve only as the number of trials increases. This is easy to visualize if we think of flipping a fair coin: if you toss it ten times, while we'd expect to see five heads come up, it wouldn't at all be surprising to see four or six heads, instead.

2. As the number of tosses approaches infinity, the total number of heads will approach the expected value of half the tosses. But here is a crucial point: as the number of tosses increases, the variance must also increase. In other words, even though the total number of heads will approach 50%, the more tosses you make, the less likely that you'll see a head every other flip. This is more intuitive than it may seem. If we flip a coin 10 times, we're unlikely to see anything crazy, such as a run of 10 heads. But if you flip a coin a trillion times, you're guaranteed to see absurdly improbable things, such as 100,000 heads in a row. Said more formally, as the number of trials increases the expected value approaches the mean of the distribution, but the probability of seeing exactly the expected value (i.e. getting half right) decreases. This is the magic (or demon) of variance at work.

Using these two fundamental properties we can state our first objection to Chris's well-meaning notion that a non-50% result, even with a huge amount of trials, indicates significance. As the number of trials grows, the stats guarantee us that we will see exactly 50% less and less. Therefore we expect that any large set of trials will almost never result in a 50% result. This removes any a priori significance to a non-50% result.

So how do we determine what is significant? A handy tool called the CDF -- the cumulative distribution function -- shows us the way. Pick a number in a distribution and the CDF adds its probability and all the probabilities of the numbers before it. Picture a bell curve, pick a spot somewhere along the right tail and shade everything to the left of it; the CDF tells us the probability of shaded part, or equivalently (when we subtract it from one), the likelihood of the non-shaded part. For example, if I flip 10 coins what is the probability that I will see 8 or more heads? The CDF tells me it's 5.47%.

With the CDF, all you and I have to do is agree on the p-value for the test. This represents the probability threshold that we will accept, i.e., any result that is more probable (greater) than p will be considered inconclusive. Any result equal or less than p and we will reject the null hypothesis. Notice what these things mean: we want a low enough p value to give us confidence that the results were not due to chance alone (though we can never rule that out). A typical p-value is 0.05, which means that if the CDF of the result of the test shows that it was less than 5% likely to occur due to random chance, then we're going to reject the null hypothesis: the results are too unlikely to have occurred by chance. Notice that we're not saying that the hypothesis is true -- we have not proven that the sounds are different, only that it is improbable (though not impossible) that the listener guessed.

Now we may state our second objection to Chris's theory of ABX: Any result greater than p, i.e. anything less than 95% confidence, must be thrown away. It neither allows us to accept the hypothesis nor reject the null hypothesis; it is an inconclusive and therefore meaningless result. We cannot infer a difference between, for example, a 70% result and an 80% result because the stats assure us that even with random guessing all possible results will occur; was the difference between 70% and 80% due to ephemeral perception or was it just random? We cannot say. No matter the number of trails, the difference between 70% and 80% is entirely within the realm of chance, thus we cannot make a conclusion. This is why we must agree on a p-value that is insensitive (or at least much less sensitive) to coin-flip probabilities.

Anyway, I've run out of energy. I fear I haven't been clear enough on this admittedly eye-glazing subject. Hopefully there's enough to at least get us on the same page.
Old 22nd February 2015
  #5278
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
I keep wondering exactly how many people here have actually heard the Pono player yet. And how many are still unaware of its differences in design, DA converter wise, to most everything else we are used to.
true, by my count only three people in this massive thread have actually heard the thing...
Old 22nd February 2015
  #5279
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
I keep wondering exactly how many people here have actually heard the Pono player yet. And how many are still unaware of its differences in design, DA converter wise, to most everything else we are used to.
A good question, but not really relevant to a lot of the objections about the Pono phenomenon. Most of the detractors will concede that it's probably a good sounding unit. The complaint is more around the misleading hype. If it had been marketed as merely a great DAC in a versatile player, then it wouldn't be very controversial at all.
Old 22nd February 2015
  #5280
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by edwinhurwitz View Post
A good question, but not really relevant to a lot of the objections about the Pono phenomenon. Most of the detractors will concede that it's probably a good sounding unit. The complaint is more around the misleading hype. If it had been marketed as merely a great DAC in a versatile player, then it wouldn't be very controversial at all.
Indeed. But I still find it funny how easily people focus on something to moan about when they are faced with something that could also be applauded, if you were to choose to view it from a different angle. People mostly pick something to moan about. Fine. Pity though. One makes ones own reality. Each to their own.
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