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Launch of Pono Studio Headphones
Old 15th March 2014
  #631
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UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Sonya View Post
Why?

- c
Don't worry about it. It is a technical thing...

Alistair
Old 15th March 2014
  #632
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UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philter View Post
I seriously doubt if I could hear a difference playing back through this $400 gadget. Total cost to me for this lossless audio playback system? Nothing, I already own a smart phone.
The minimum phase anti-aliasing filter in the Sabre DAC might affect playback at base rates. I don't know, I haven't heard it.

Alistair
Old 15th March 2014
  #633
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia View Post
Tell us what you heard. Anywhere close to their reaction?

Lying might be too strong of a word but he's trying to convince the average fan that the difference is astonishing.

I don't think the average fan will hear it that way.
RE: Magic Shop: You have to understand, I was in a very rarefied circumstance. We were listening to classic, raw, fairly dynamic analog master tapes coming off of 30 ips 1/2" ATR 102's [sometimes with Tim de Paravicini modifications] into EMMlabs converters, into ATC monitors played very loudly.

A very high-end scenario, to say the least. Nothing I could easily duplicate in my own studio, that's for sure.

We did a lot of switching [non-blind, so this was scientifically "contaminated"] between 16bit/44 all the way up to 24/96 [we never went to 192] and DSD.

I found that I personally preferred DSD the most --- you could "hear into" the music, just like those dopey rock stars say in the Pono video --- but there was no question there were audible differences between all the resolutions.

And, yes, I did find that I started using goofy hippie phrases like "your body just relaxes!" and stuff like that. I'm not proud of it, but I did.

When we finally did double-blind tests [which was VERY BORING, I must add] the results were less dramatic, but still present.

That was my personal experience.

- c
Old 15th March 2014
  #634
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Sonya View Post
The detractors in this thread don't value that at all. In fact, they resent it as hype.

- c
not at all
I resent the hype as hype

it is simply not possible that all these people should be "surprised" at the sound, because these exact same musicians can hear that exact same resolution in the recording studio every single day.

this hype and dissembling cheapens my personal emphasis on sound quality by presenting it with the same slick subjective tricks, flowery bull**** adjectives, pseudo-science, and emphasis on "high numbers" as all the snake oil out there.

speaking of which, where are the testimonials from engineers?

I never resented DVD-A or SACD as hype, and they have the same sample rate. Go figure. In a way I resent the fact that these same individuals did not get out there and support those formats when they were struggling to get off the ground!! I have the same sample rates and bit depths available on my Pro Tools rig and sorry, but I do not succumb to the Rapture when I A/B the difference. It is a subtle difference, appreciable in a good listening environment with an excellent system.

But of course nobody wants to buy something that is 'subtly superior'. Much less Kickstart it! No - it has to "blow them away". No, CDs have to sound like a "rubber band" by comparison. = Hype.

There are those here who lobbying for this thing unheard - solely because they think this is going to somehow "save" music by encouraging an emphasis on good sound. I would love to see a new emphasis on good sound. Starting with dynamic range though, not with with sample rates! But I doubt there will be two chances to reach people on this issue, and if this opportunity is blown by hype and exaggerated claims - claims that we as professional engineers know are exaggerated because we have experienced these resolutions ourselves - the public will be in a "won't get fooled again" mindset.
Old 15th March 2014
  #635
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post
I'm glad you suffering the Dunning-Kruger effect makes you laugh.

Alistair
Batting around a little nerdy dude from the Netherlands all day like a kitten bats a ball of yarn has been fun, but I'm afraid I've grown tired of it now.

And I can't imagine anyone else reading this has found it half as amusing as I have. I'm fairly certain they find it tiresome at this point.

So I'm blocking you from now on. Feel free to continue to jump up and down if you wish, but I assure you'll only enervate the other observers. I shan't see it.

- c
Old 15th March 2014
  #636
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I hope they make a Pono app so I can have great sound on my iPhone.
Old 15th March 2014
  #637
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
not at all
I resent the hype as hype

it is simply not possible that all these people should be "surprised" at the sound, because these exact same musicians can hear that exact same resolution in the recording studio every single day.

this hype and dissembling cheapens my personal emphasis on sound quality by presenting it with the same slick subjective tricks, flowery bull**** adjectives, pseudo-science, and emphasis on "high numbers" as all the snake oil out there.

speaking of which, where are the testimonials from engineers?

I never resented DVD-A or SACD as hype, and they have the same sample rate. Go figure. In a way I resent the fact that these same individuals did not get out there and support those formats when they were struggling to get off the ground!! I have the same sample rates and bit depths available on my Pro Tools rig and sorry, but I do not succumb to the Rapture when I A/B the difference. It is a subtle difference, appreciable in a good listening environment with an excellent system.

But of course nobody wants to buy something that is 'subtly superior'. Much less Kickstart it! No - it has to "blow them away". No, CDs have to sound like a "rubber band" by comparison. = Hype.

There are those here who lobbying for this thing unheard - solely because they think this is going to somehow "save" music by encouraging an emphasis on good sound. I would love to see a new emphasis on good sound. Starting with dynamic range though, not with with sample rates! But I doubt there will be two chances to reach people on this issue, and if this opportunity is blown by hype and exaggerated claims - claims that we as professional engineers know are exaggerated because we have experienced these resolutions ourselves - the public will be in a "won't get fooled again" mindset.
Your last point is a good and interesting point and a good warning for the Pono company to heed.

However, when you say you never resented SACD or DVD-A, we'll have to differ.

I loved the sound of SACD, but I HATED the way both formats were presented! They were overpriced and culturally consigned only to the middle-aged ponytailed dorky audiophile dude who drives an Audi and listens to late-period Sting. SACD and DVD-A were not cool at all. Zero cultural charisma. In fact, they made no attempt to be cool. And that sucked. And that's why they died.

The people behind Pono have taken note of the nature of that death. And they have opted not to die similarly. They have opted to let an iconic, charismatic artist lead the way. I respect them for this savvy choice.

What has gone wrong with high-resolution audio before? NOBODY HAS CARED. Pono is nothing new --- it's just a glorified FLAC player, really --- except people CARE ABOUT IT and WANT IT.

I have a friend who said on Facebook last week that he basically feels music should be free, but movies are worth paying for. His rationale for this was infuriating to me.

This week, that very dude pre-ordered a Pono player.

At the risk of exaggerating, I think the possibility for real [albeit subtle] social and economic shifts exists with this format.

Who knows what could happen? Bands that hadn't ever worked with a real engineer in a real studio before might consider it now. Labels might start to consider larger budgets.

Maybe even the craziest outcome of all: People might even -- gasp! --- want to pay for music again!

- c
Old 15th March 2014
  #638
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia View Post
Yes. A misguided movement.

Hip hip hooray. Hip hip hooray.
And what have you contributed to the state of the art recently?
Old 15th March 2014
  #639
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Doc Vigilanti's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by steveswisher View Post
I hope they make a Pono app so I can have great sound on my iPhone.
And Android. Can't forget about the Android app.
Old 15th March 2014
  #640
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T'Mershi Duween's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia View Post
No. They may not be lying. They're just not hearing what they say they're hearing.
How do you know this? Besides chasing crap-tastic pop music trends and
spending more time posting on this forum than actually creating something worthwhile, you have omnipotent psychic skills too?

You really think your opinion is more valid than the artists in the video? Perhaps you should educate them since you seem to have all the answers.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia View Post
Grow the F up.

That's pretty ironic coming from you...
Old 15th March 2014
  #641
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Sonya View Post
...just like those dopey rock stars say in the Pono video...
- c
My aren't we superior.
Old 15th March 2014
  #642
Gear Guru
 
UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Sonya View Post
Batting around a little nerdy dude from the Netherlands all day like a kitten bats a ball of yarn has been fun,
I am glad you are getting so much out of suffering the Dunning-Kruger effect. Funny how "believers" tend to have cluster delusions. You probably can't even remember that you got your knickers in a twist responding to one of my comments and have been playing catch up ever since. Ah well...

Quote:
So I'm blocking you from now on.
Excellent!

Alistair
Old 15th March 2014
  #643
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Silver Sonya's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by playon View Post
My aren't we superior.
Hey, wait! I was joking!

There are people in this thread who look down on the people in that video because they're "just musicians."

I'm not one of them.

- c
Old 15th March 2014
  #644
Even if nothing comes of this effort besides people in the music industry and the end user having a conversation about decent sound, I see it as a win. I just don't get the relentess negativity, technical know-it-all posing, etc. I'm out...
Old 15th March 2014
  #645
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Silver Sonya's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by playon View Post
Even if nothing comes of this effort besides people in the music industry and the end user having a conversation about decent sound, I see it as a win. I just don't get the relentess negativity, technical know-it-all posing, etc. I'm out...
We agree.

- c
Old 15th March 2014
  #646
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brockorama's Avatar
 

I started a thread like this in "new products".

It was deleted by the mod because no crowd funding threads allowed.


But here it is for everybody in this more popular sub-forum.

What a joke this site is becoming.


That is all. Carry on.
Old 15th March 2014
  #647
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia View Post
So you can litter this thread with your opinion before you hear it but we can't?

Pretend I put a face palm right about here.
Again, classy.
Old 15th March 2014
  #648
Gear Addict
Man, this thread is great! It's like ... the Pono of GS threads!

I for one think all the artists were being honest in their opinions of what they heard. I also think they must have heard real differences in the demo. What we don't know is what exactly produced those differences. We don't know exactly what was being demoed.

I think it must have been a comparison between standard MP3/CD quality played on an iPod or equivalent (i.e., what most people listen to nowadays) and a brand-new special "Pono Master" recording played on the Pono device. If that were the case, I can see how people might be excited about the sound of the Pono. State-of-the-art mastering plus state-of-the-art hardware can produce pretty impressive results.

I don't see anything in the video or promo material to suggest that the demo was anything less than that. Mr. Young himself says they're selling an "ecosystem" that includes the content, the delivery system, and the player. It would make sense to compare that in its entirety with what's commonly available today.

I'm unwilling to believe that all these people -- artists who made so much of the music I grew up with and love dearly, without which I would not be here -- are sellouts or fools. Sorry, I just can't do it.

Cheers,
Eddie
Old 15th March 2014
  #649
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nuthinupmysleeve's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia View Post
I would be fascinated to know what motivates a brain to find your line of questioning worthwhile.

You could have puked on the keyboard and added more to this conversation.
Yes. Mirror mirror. Oh, and me too. Except I'm going to add some content now. What fun.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddie
I'm unwilling to believe that all these people -- artists who made so much of the music I grew up with and love dearly, without which I would not be here -- are sellouts or fools. Sorry, I just can't do it.
I'm not sure why one would be either a sellout or a fool. I guess, if one really doesn't understand that the concept of cognitive bias exists and is a real thing... a major problem for objective decision making... that is a trifle foolish. But we all do foolish things and that doesn't make us all fools. OK, so I'm going to rate that one as mostly false.

I don't hold musicians in higher esteem than anyone else... same with politicians or sports heroes or religions leaders. We are all humans and are made up of the same kind of stuff. Our heroes are just as likely to be as confused, insecure at times, and in need of love and affection as everyone else. I also don't look at them with disdain either.
Old 15th March 2014
  #650
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Sonya View Post
I have a friend who said on Facebook last week that he basically feels music should be free, but movies are worth paying for. His rationale for this was infuriating to me. This week, that very dude pre-ordered a Pono player.
The operative word here is player The actual music still comes in the form of digital audio files which are just as "torrent-able" as they ever were. Your friend has not changed his stripes. Nor will this device force him to or even encourage him to. If he could steal the player too, I bet he would.

Quote:
Labels might start to consider larger budgets.
Labels will consider higher budgets when there are higher returns, not a moment before. Even if consumers suddenly demand them, recordings with higher sample rates cost the same to make! Unless you count hard drive space, the "budget increase" to put check next to "192kHz" in the dialog is practically zero.

Quote:
At the risk of exaggerating, I think the possibility for real [albeit subtle] social and economic shifts exists with this format.
I agree...
That is an exaggeration! It is bad enough to exaggerate the impact of a higher sample rates, but to pin your hopes for a Better World on this...

Quote:
Maybe even the craziest outcome of all: People might even -- gasp! --- want to pay for music again!
that would be lovely, but people are not stealing music because the sample rates are too low! Nor are people stealing music because the players aren't "cool enough".
Old 15th March 2014
  #651
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Guys - let's talk numbers for a second...

If we assume a 3-minute pop-song at 192/24 is going to take 133MB.

A 10-song album is therefore 1.33GB

Someone with a conservative 2,500 albums will therefore need a 3.3TB drive in their Pono player.

Where does it say how much storage these things have?

And if each song ends up costing $1, someone with 2,500 albums might have to invest $25,000 to 'update' their music collection to take advantage of Pono's allegedly superior playback capability.

Where does it say how much the music will cost?

EDIT: It seems I was way out with my figures! Based on Carmen's info below, a Pono player will hold 80 HD albums. HD albums are slated to be priced $14.99 - $24.99, or let's say $20 average. So filling up your Pono with 80 albums is going to cost you $4,000. Average Joe music fan with 2,500 albums might spend upwards of $50,000 updating their collections.

So it all boils down to: $400 on a hardware novelty item with a potential $50,000 in follow-up music sales.

Deja-vu anyone?

As always, it's all about the money.
Old 15th March 2014
  #652
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by James Lehmann View Post
Guys - let's talk numbers for a second...

If we assume a 3-minute pop-song at 192/24 is going to take 133MB.

A 10-song album is therefore 1.33GB

Someone with a conservative 2,500 albums will therefore need a 3.3TB drive in their Pono player.

Where does it say how much storage these things have?

And if each song ends up costing $1, someone with 2,500 albums might have to invest $25,000 to 'update' their music collection to take advantage of Pono's allegedly superior playback capability.

Where does it say how much the music will cost?
The PonoPlayer ships with a total of 128GB. 64GB of memory is built into the player and another 64GB of memory on a removable microSD card. The expansion slot can accept microSD cards of up to 64GB each. Unlike many other portable music players, the microSD cards are designed to be easily swappable. For example, you can build a library of various playlists or genres on different cards and simply swap them in and out, much like you'd swap game cards on a portable gaming console. So in reality you have infinite capacity on the PonoPlayer.

How many songs can it hold? That depends on the quality of your music files:

• CD lossless quality recordings (44.1 kHz/16 bit): About 5000 tracks.
• High-resolution recordings (48 kHz/24 bit): About 3200 tracks.
• Higher-resolution recordings (96 kHz/24 bit): About 1600 tracks.
• Ultra-high resolution recordings (192 kHz/24 bit): About 800 tracks.

This is a LOT of high-resolution music, and we say, “the more the better”. You’ll get hooked on how good this music sounds.

HOW MUCH WILL PONOMUSIC COST?
The record companies set their own digital music prices, label by label. High-resolution digital albums at Ponomusic.com are expected to cost between $14.99 -$24.99, and there may be exceptions. For this price you get the best quality digital music available anywhere, you own these albums forever - they don’t live only in the cloud, but also on your computer and backup disc, and you can play them anytime you wish on your PonoPlayer or other compatible devices.

We will also be offering many of your favorite individual songs. We'll let you know the pricing soon.

PONO
Old 15th March 2014
  #653
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Silver Sonya's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Lehmann View Post
Someone with a conservative 2,500 albums will therefore need a 3.3TB drive in their Pono player.
Do people usually have that many paid-for albums? [asking seriously; I don't know.]

Or are you talking MP3 hoarding kinda thing.

I'm not asking facetiously.

- c
Old 15th March 2014
  #654
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Silver Sonya's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarmenC View Post
HOW MUCH WILL PONOMUSIC COST?
The record companies set their own digital music prices, label by label. High-resolution digital albums at Ponomusic.com are expected to cost between $14.99 -$24.99, and there may be exceptions. For this price you get the best quality digital music available anywhere, you own these albums forever - they don’t live only in the cloud, but also on your computer and backup disc, and you can play them anytime you wish on your PonoPlayer or other compatible devices.
Bummer. I was afraid of this. High-resolution initiatives always imagine that people will pay more for them. It's a mistake SACD and DVD-A made at a time when people were moving towards paying nothing.

I think that high prices will encourage piracy and we'll go back down that hole.

- c
Old 15th March 2014
  #655
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Sonya View Post
Do people usually have that many paid-for albums? [asking seriously; I don't know.]

Or are you talking MP3 hoarding kinda thing.

I'm not asking facetiously.

- c
Speaking for myself, I wouldn't need 2500 albums to fit on my
Personal music player.
800 hi res albums would be cool, though.
PONO does not require anyone to repurchase anything.
People can just start buying hi res files for new purchases if they would like to save money.
Old 15th March 2014
  #656
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Sonya View Post
Bummer. I was afraid of this. High-resolution initiatives always imagine that people will pay more for them. It's a mistake SACD and DVD-A made at a time when people were moving towards paying nothing.

I think that high prices will encourage piracy and we'll go back down that hole.

- c
I agree.
I'm also afraid that they might jack up the price of individual tracks to $2.00.
On the other hand, I can sell my music on the Pono store in 24/192.
Old 15th March 2014
  #657
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James Lehmann's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarmenC View Post
PONO does not require anyone to repurchase anything.
True. It doesn't.

But Neil Young and Co. seem keen, almost evangelical, in their desire to tell us how desperate they are for us to hear the original albums as they sounded in the studio (you'd think almost better than how they sounded in the studio from listening to the celebs waxing lyrical in the YouTube clip).

If Mr Young and his friends really are that concerned for me over how the stubborn record industry has compromised the fidelity of their artistic output and exploited their customers, why are they not using their obvious media clout to draw attention to a crusade against the big four majors and pressuring them to deliver me the correct product as advertised on the tin instead of asking me to fork out another $24.99?

I would be prepared to meet Mr Young halfway - a sort of product recall if you like. If he says to me: "Look, technology has moved on and we'd like to invest in bringing you the correct version of a product that was knowingly shipped as faulty when you originally paid for. Send me your copy of the CD version of my album and just pay the difference a new master will cost us to produce, say $1 - $2 per album, and as you already own it you'll be able to download it at any resolution you like to suit your listening needs." I might go for that. But $24.99 to buy the entire album again? Sorry Mr Young - I can't go for that. I will have to content myself with trying to appreciate your artistic output in a format you did not originally intend, although thanks for letting me know that you find that upsetting.
Old 15th March 2014
  #658
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Lehmann View Post
It doesn't.

But Neil Young and Co. are keen to tell us how desperate they are for us to hear the original albums as they sounded in the studio (you'd think almost better than how they sounded in the studio from listening to the YouTube clip testimonials of the listening sessions in his car!).

Given that I already paid him to own a copy of his album when I purchased the original CD (twice if I had it on vinyl).

If Mr Young and his friends really are that concerned for me over how the stubborn record industry has compromised the fidelity of their artistic output, why are they not crusading against them and pressuring them to deliver me the correct product as advertised on the tin instead of asking me to fork out another $24.99?

I might even be prepared to meet Mr Young half-way - a sort of product recall if you like. If he says to me: "Look, technology has moved on and we'd like to invest in bringing you the correct version of what you already paid for. Send me your copy of the CD version of my album and just pay the difference a new master will cost, say $1 - $2, and as you already own it you'll be able to download it at any resolution you like to suit your listening needs." I might go for that. But $24.99. Forget it.
I think that is reasonable to refund you if the record company said they were selling you high def sound and didn't.

If a car dealer sold you a car and technology marched on, would you expect the dealer to give you a new car just because the tech is better now?

There is a precedent for the other proposal you mentioned.
To get people to upgrade their DVDs to blu ray, Warner Brothers had a trade in program where you got $5 off every blu ray you bought from them if you traded in your DVD of the same title.

I agree that pono could get the technology perfect, and then price it so high that no one buys it.
Wouldn't be the first time. Let's hope they've learned their lesson.
Old 15th March 2014
  #659
Deleted User
Guest
This format only works if the necessary remastering returns to a sound quality model, not a loudness model. 192/24 versions of **** is still ****.

Hell, I'd be happier with a remastering revolution over a resolution one.
Old 15th March 2014
  #660
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James Lehmann's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarmenC View Post
I think that is reasonable to refund you if the record company said they were selling you high def sound and didn't.
But isn't Mr Young saying the record company did not sell us the actual album? They sold us a compromised version of it that Mr Young says has never sounded right. Until now, apparently.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarmenC View Post
If a car dealer sold you a car and technology marched on, would you expect the dealer to give you a new car just because the tech is better now?
No. But I would, at the very least, expect a decent discount if I trade in the old one at the same dealership. Along the lines of your valid DVD > BluRay example.
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