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Launch of Pono Studio Headphones
Old 23rd March 2014
  #1651
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
And no, I haven't got it backwards at all, as while I also care about the truth, in this instance I care more about the result.
a 'result' based on an untruth will not stand
lying to people for Good Intentions or for Their Own Good will never work

Quote:
And to me a hypothetical situation could run like so:...(with any luck, as like pointed out some 192 masters sold might just be converted up versions of previously lower rates...)...
yes...?

Quote:
assuming the Pono player has decent converters at this point one of two things happens:...He either hears no difference and feels conned, or he does and goes wow. The outcome of this to me is largely dependent on what he plugs his Pono player into....If he happens to still have a reasonable hifi I reckon he'll go wow.
you just finished admitting that the file he is probably listening to is the upconverted "bigger bucket" file - i.e. the same sound quality as his CD. You are also admitting that it is his HI-FI that makes him go wow.

The guy already owns the hi-fi. He can go wow right now. What does Pono even have to do with it? Why aren't the people concerned with "sound quality" emphasizing moving AWAY from earbuds and car stereos instead of offering a product that claims to give them automatically better sound without giving up their crappy systems? Because 192kHz!

Quote:
At that point the pricing of Pono is going to hurt him and piss him off a lot.
more good news Yes if I was hurt and pissed off, the first thing I would do would be to buy some better speakers.
Quote:
.....before you know it people might have a reason to buy some half decent hifi speakers
that reason already exists. Pono will not sell more and better speakers, they will sell Ponos. Look at the video - people are acting like all things good come out of the Toblerone Bar itself. They are listening in a Cadillac.
Quote:
...
but at that point the change in the culture has already occurred!..
Now, how is that a bad end result?
it is not a "bad" result. It is however, an extremely unlikely result. It just the most convoluted optimistic 'plan' I have ever heard in my life. A long series of very unlikely reactions have all take place one after the other. There is no logical reason why it will play out your way, and a lot of logical reasons why it will actually blow up in their faces.
Old 23rd March 2014
  #1652
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post
Not to mention Neil Young going on about Hi-Res for a few years now...
relatively recent development

for an even longer time, Neil Young was adamantly against digital - period. No "exceptions" for higher resolutions were included in any of his statements that I saw. His conversion to 192kHz seems as much born out of accommodation as out of principle.
Old 23rd March 2014
  #1653
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Slikjmuzik's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post
Did you watch the same video as the rest of us? The main selling point they make is about Hi-res vs CD and MP3. Not to mention Neil Young going on about Hi-Res for a few years now...

Alistair
I saw some mention it in the video as a comparison, yes, but I didn't see it as the basis for the entire Pono project at all... That wouldn't make sense at all...I took it as something different than just hi-res, as in some kind of algorhythm or processing capability that's been developed into the Pono player that has the ability to 'adjust' or 'enhance' even mp3's loaded into it...

Please explain if I'm way off base here...
Old 23rd March 2014
  #1654
Quote:
Originally Posted by GJ999x View Post
Thank you, fixed. Hate those catcher pages.
No kidding.

Almost any domain name that falls out of registration will end up fronting one of those -- and, though Google and Bing presumably work hard to keep them from getting ranking, some searches seem to turn up a plug load of them -- while, of course, having zero meaningful content, including that being searched for.
Old 23rd March 2014
  #1655
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slikjmuzik View Post
I saw some mention it in the video as a comparison, yes, but I didn't see it as the basis for the entire Pono project at all... That wouldn't make sense at all...I took it as something different than just hi-res, as in some kind of algorhythm or processing capability that's been developed into the Pono player that has the ability to 'adjust' or 'enhance' even mp3's loaded into it...

Please explain if I'm way off base here...
No, it's just a player for already existing formats.

The converters are apparently a relatively recent design and reputedly have some good features but they're just converters.

This is precisely the sort of confusion that people were worried about the Pono hype machine creating with their marketing chatter -- just look at how many people in the course of this thread were convinced (at least for a while) that Pono represented some wonderful new format. It does not. It is a store. And a player. Maybe a good player. We don't really know yet -- except, of course, for the glowing endorsements of the celebs Neil has driven around in his perfect listening enviro on wheels.


Now, see, if Neil was giving rides in the old Mynah Birds hearse, THAT would be something... I think an old 8 track cart would sound good in that. At any rate, you'd be so cool, it really wouldn't matter. heh
Old 23rd March 2014
  #1656
Quote:
Originally Posted by James Lehmann View Post
Honestly, everyone's position on this is actually much more similar than folks seem to be able to accept (minus the part about taking everything so personally).

Leaving aside the 'un-winnable' arguments about who can hear what and why (see 1,000+ other threads on Gearslutz for this), after 55 pages here's what we are basically left with:
  1. In 5 years time mp3's and other lossy formats for music delivery will have probably had their day, as storage and download speeds rise exponentially
  2. $24.99 is too much to be charging for an album, regardless
  3. Pono is an expensive iPod that seems like it might sound better than most other units on the market, given decent source material
  4. In omitting to say anything about how they would like to help take up the huge issue of item 2 with their record companies, Neil Young and his buddies come across as being more mercenary than they probably intended to be by focussing their campaign for a new format to replace item 1 on the lesser issue of selling item 3
  5. The end - group hug
+1000
But it seems people are more interested in smacking each other about the face.
Old 23rd March 2014
  #1657
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
+1000
But it seems people are more interested in smacking each other about the face.
That just makes the group hug so much more heartfelt.


That said... I think I just felt someone feeling around for my wallet...
Old 23rd March 2014
  #1658
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Slikjmuzik's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
No, it's just a player for already existing formats.

The converters are apparently a relatively recent design and reputedly have some good features but they're just converters.

This is precisely the sort of confusion that people were worried about the Pono hype machine creating with their marketing chatter -- just look at how many people in the course of this thread were convinced (at least for a while) that Pono represented some wonderful new format. It does not. It is a store. And a player. Maybe a good player. We don't really know yet -- except, of course, for the glowing endorsements of the celebs Neil has driven around in his perfect listening enviro on wheels.


Now, see, if Neil was giving rides in the old Mynah Birds hearse, THAT would be something... I think an old 8 track cart would sound good in that. At any rate, you'd be so cool, it really wouldn't matter. heh
Thank you, blue...I was beginning to wonder if I had actually seen the same video as everyone else Now I know my ability to interpret things correctly is not far off, contrary to what others on here may think of me...whew, what a relief...aside from the little section on 'underwater' listening and some of the famed artists comparing to CD, something told me that Neil Young wouldn't be stupid enough to try and convince people that you could load digital media, mp3 or CD format, onto a pono player and somehow miraculously over 100khz of sampling to create a completely different listeing experience to the point where people are saying 'it's like listening to a different song'.

So it's just in the conversion? Anything else to it? How did they load the Bob Dylan and Aretha songs they mentioned? Were those mp3's that somehow the pono player converted into magic? I think not...
Old 23rd March 2014
  #1659
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skira's Avatar
 

Quote:
Not to mention Neil Young going on about Hi-Res for a few years now...
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
relatively recent development
Young filed trademarks for other related, weirdly-named high-resolution audio stuff (Ivanhoe, 21st Century Record Player, Earth Storage, Storage Shed, Thanks for Listening, SQS [Studio Quality Sound]) in mid-2011, and I think Pono was registered before that. That's "a few years."

Besides, going back to 2008 he was completely for hi-res in the form of Blu-Ray. He tried demonstrating his technical chops by enthusiastically praising Blu-Ray for its sound quality (in a discussion about the eventual release of his ARCHIVES box set):

"It's gonna be BluRay, DVD, CD. It'll be on iTunes.
It'll be everything. But it's not coming out until the
BluRay comes out, because the BluRay is the cutting
edge. The BluRay is the best quality, and that's where
it's gonna start. We don't want to put out the lesser
stuff first and then everybody go, "Well I know what
this is. We're not gonna get the BluRay." We're gonna
force feed them the BluRay.... CD quality is very low-
resolution, just a step above MP3s."


Elsewhere he said, "Putting on a headphone and listening to MP3 is like hell."

Young worked on that release of 24-bit /192 kHz stereo Blu-Rays for years before allowing it to come out. Did the reviews ever extol the Blu-Ray version as being substantially superior to the CD versions? I don't know, I'm asking. (The Blu-Ray set was list priced for $100 more than the DVD set, and $200 more than the CD collection.)

"Previous technology required unacceptable quality compromises," he said at the time in a press release. "I am glad we waited and got it right."

And now you have the opportunity to get out your wallet and get it right again.
Old 23rd March 2014
  #1660
Gear Guru
 
UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
That said... I think I just felt someone feeling around for my wallet...
That gives a whole new dimension to the Pono 3D sound! Reaches right out of the speakers and...

Alistair
Old 23rd March 2014
  #1661
Gear Guru
 
UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slikjmuzik View Post
something told me that Neil Young wouldn't be stupid enough to try and convince people that you could load digital media, mp3 or CD format, onto a pono player and somehow miraculously over 100khz of sampling to create a completely different listeing experience to the point where people are saying 'it's like listening to a different song'.
You were giving them too much credit unfortunately...

Quote:
So it's just in the conversion? Anything else to it? How did they load the Bob Dylan and Aretha songs they mentioned? Were those mp3's that somehow the pono player converted into magic? I think not...
We don't know exactly because they really are not being clear about anything but it seems that they compared MP3, CD and 192Khz. Whether that was all through the same player (or even through the Pono at all) we don't know. There was an iPad on the dashboard. We also don't know if they were listening to the same masters. (My guess is that they were not). We don't know if playback was level matched. Etc etc.

Alistair
Old 23rd March 2014
  #1662
Gear Guru
 
UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by skira View Post
Young filed trademarks for other related, weirdly-named high-resolution audio stuff (Ivanhoe, 21st Century Record Player, Earth Storage, Storage Shed, Thanks for Listening, SQS [Studio Quality Sound]) in mid-2011, and I think Pono was registered before that. That's "a few years."

Besides, going back to 2008 he was completely for hi-res in the form of Blu-Ray. He tried demonstrating his technical chops by enthusiastically praising Blu-Ray for its sound quality (in a discussion about the eventual release of his ARCHIVES box set):

"It's gonna be BluRay, DVD, CD. It'll be on iTunes.
It'll be everything. But it's not coming out until the
BluRay comes out, because the BluRay is the cutting
edge. The BluRay is the best quality, and that's where
it's gonna start. We don't want to put out the lesser
stuff first and then everybody go, "Well I know what
this is. We're not gonna get the BluRay." We're gonna
force feed them the BluRay.... CD quality is very low-
resolution, just a step above MP3s."
Thanks for confirming.

Quote:
Elsewhere he said, "Putting on a headphone and listening to MP3 is like hell."
After decades of touring that might well be the case for him but it has more to do with his hearing than MP3 for people with undamaged hearing.

Quote:
(The Blu-Ray set was list priced for $100 more than the DVD set, and $200 more than the CD collection.)
Yikes. What a rip-off! I assume they all came from the same master so the only difference is a down conversion. Utter rip-off.

Alistair
Old 23rd March 2014
  #1663
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post
You were giving them too much credit unfortunately...



We don't know exactly because they really are not being clear about anything but it seems that they compared MP3, CD and 192Khz. Whether that was all through the same player (or even through the Pono at all) we don't know. There was an iPad on the dashboard. We also don't know if they were listening to the same masters. (My guess is that they were not). We don't know if playback was level matched. Etc etc.

Alistair
So, completely unscientific testing(although I'm not exactly the worlds biggest advocate of solo'd or impractical scientific testing) and because they're famous and a video was made with everyone from Tom Petty to Dave Matthews to Sting, we're supposed to just follow it? All for some conversion, which is the closest to an answer that I've seen as to what's actually been developed here...??
Old 23rd March 2014
  #1664
Gear Guru
 
UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slikjmuzik View Post
So, completely unscientific testing(although I'm not exactly the worlds biggest advocate of solo'd or impractical scientific testing) and because they're famous and a video was made with everyone from Tom Petty to Dave Matthews to Sting, we're supposed to just follow it? All for some conversion, which is the closest to an answer that I've seen as to what's actually been developed here...??
That pretty much sums it up, yes.

I'm guessing that by now you are understanding the reactions better.

Alistair
Old 23rd March 2014
  #1665
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strings's Avatar
Man, 55 pages of arguments in which I won't bother reading. Whatever this turns out to be, someone is trying to improve on what is available now, to me that's a good thing. I actually pledged some money.
Old 23rd March 2014
  #1666
They're famous, and everyone from Tom Petty to Sting. But they're having to fund it via Kickstarter.
Draw your own conclusions, but no ex-Apple or ex-Microsoft billionaire is funding this. No millionaire buddy of the rock stars like David Geffen.
I think we've poured more angst into the debate than was ever needed.
Old 23rd March 2014
  #1667
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Sean M Robinson's Avatar
 

I hope everyone visiting this thread that seems to have a problem with ABX testing will remember that the next time they go to an optometrist for an eye exam.
Old 23rd March 2014
  #1668
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
Yes, I am out of ammunition. As all here are merely arguing about the science of it. And no, that is NOT all there is to this. In fact I don't even think it is the important part here. The important part is any slight possibility of cultural change for the better. Regardless of science.

To me that is it anyway, obviously not to anyone here busy pinning wrongness on Neil Young and the whole thing. Hence I am done here as no one is willing to focus their vision on that instead of squabbling over being right about science, which I have zero interest in. The thread was started in the spirit of being excited about something started by people who care about sound quality and want to make things better and has become a minefield of petty bickering.

So if you want to put me on any side of any fence, put me on the "hoping for a positive cultural change in recording and consuming of music' side as opposed to the 'likes to argue about science in threads in complete disregard of the bigger picture' side. Have fun.

You can't create positive cultural change by misleading people and actively dismissing the science behind the claims being made.

If anything, it is detrimental to the cause. Claiming that there is more "soul" or "higher quality music" or "6 times more musical information" in higher resolution formats is blatantly misleading. It is pandering to the most ridiculously disgusting aspects of modern life. I noticed the blurb on the kickstarter site has been changed a few times now... but for a long time it read just like a television shopping commercial about weight loss or exercise machines. It is the consumer audio equivalent of $3000 audiophile IEC cables that ignore basic facts.

It is cultural subterfuge.

Neil Young is pushing old outdated thoughts. It is as simple as that.
So far I have set a challenge to my friends who have expressed an interest in the PONO... and that is simple to come to my studio, sit through a series of A/B blind tests, and if they can accurately tell what file is a 320kbps MP3 and which is the 192khz 24bit recording... I will personally buy them a PONO.

Notice how the blurb about the PONO excludes mention of 320kbps MP3's?

The science doesn't lie. Those disputing the science need simply head here and prove that they can hear the difference between 320kbps MP3's and higher resolution PCM audio versions.

Update on “The Golden Ear Challenge”: Who Will Conquer Audio Mount Everest?


Sorry if this post comes across as blunt... but naff marketing claims and ignoring the science has created the bewilderment that resulted in so much cultural insignificance.

If we ignored the science, and focused solely on culture... the world would still be flat.
Old 23rd March 2014
  #1669
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post
That pretty much sums it up, yes.

I'm guessing that by now you are understanding the reactions better.

Alistair
Not really, it makes no sense to me that people are discussing 192khz when Pono has aboslutely nothing to do with that...and then the point in the video when they talk about the width of the stereo field being widened...that's definitely not a 192khz thing, yet clearly Neil and whatever team edited the video clearly thought it was something important to keep as if it was part of what the average listener would experience...none of it had anything to do with Hi-Res to me at all, so the more I dissect and analyze the video, the less sense it makes to have that whole section of underwater listening that now only seems to provide confusion because this Pono device doesn't upsample or sample convert at all...
Old 24th March 2014
  #1670
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slikjmuzik View Post
Not really, it makes no sense to me that people are discussing 192khz when Pono has aboslutely nothing to do with that...and then the point in the video when they talk about the width of the stereo field being widened...that's definitely not a 192khz thing, yet clearly Neil and whatever team edited the video clearly thought it was something important to keep as if it was part of what the average listener would experience...none of it had anything to do with Hi-Res to me at all, so the more I dissect and analyze the video, the less sense it makes to have that whole section of underwater listening that now only seems to provide confusion because this Pono device doesn't upsample or sample convert at all...

The PONO isn't just a media player - its an online music store as well... which will sell high resolution audio files up to 24bit 192khz.
Old 24th March 2014
  #1671
A question for the Redbook advocates: do you, and do you intend to, criticise every audio equipment manufacturer, studio, mastering studio, live venue, etc. that operates above 16/44.1?
Old 24th March 2014
  #1672
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Slikjmuzik's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by knownby View Post
The PONO isn't just a media player - its an online music store as well... which will sell high resolution audio files up to 24bit 192khz.
So then ultimately it's still just a choice...a choice that one can choose or choose not to...not really a cultural change...They're trying to build this thing from the ground up when 80% of the layman are concerned with Miley Cyrus who's all over the news, the next thing Apple does and the fact that a bachelor's degree in just about anything these days is guarantee'ing about noone a job...but Pono is supposed to be revolutionary?

As for the online music store, is Neil Young and whoever else that's on the bandwagon going to all of a sudden create digital media of 24bit/192 of everything in history that was cut on tape machines with bit depths of 8-16bits and noise floors that will somehow now be allocated right into the areas that will now be able to be either heard or felt, now that you'll be able to download them at 192khz

I'm just really curious and kinda shaking my head as to how all this will unfold...I mean, am I supposed to go re-buy my entire library of reference music just to hear it in 'proper' form on this pono device, when it should have gotten to me in that state in the first place? It seems like mp3 is the civic, but all these other playback mediums are the Bentley, of which most of us will never drive, and few very care, they just want a reliable that gets them to and from work...

Last edited by Slikjmuzik; 24th March 2014 at 12:53 AM.. Reason: Adding
Old 24th March 2014
  #1673
Gear Guru
 
Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
+1000
But it seems people are more interested in smacking each other about the face.
Welcome to forums.

We're people say things that they would never say in person. heh
Old 24th March 2014
  #1674
Gear Guru
 
Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Stone View Post
A question for the Redbook advocates: do you, and do you intend to, criticise every audio equipment manufacturer, studio, mastering studio, live venue, etc. that operates above 16/44.1?
No. Mostly because none of them make ridiculous claims about their product.

Most of them go to 192kHz because that's what the consumer wants.

But I have yet to see any A/D convertor brag about how awesome their convertor is simply because it goes to 192kHz.
Old 24th March 2014
  #1675
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Sean M Robinson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Stone View Post
A question for the Redbook advocates: do you, and do you intend to, criticise every audio equipment manufacturer, studio, mastering studio, live venue, etc. that operates above 16/44.1?
We're talking as a delivery format. There are lots of reasons to record at 24 bit, for instance, mainly for reasons of gain staging and caution/avoiding clipping. Although, really, I would bet not many people here railing against the "high res" formats would really mind release formats like the current video standard, if only for safety/future proofing. But 96k? Come on.
Old 24th March 2014
  #1676
The 192 thing is silly.
I don't know anyone who is working at 192.
I think everyone I know is working at 96/24 though. I don't know a lot of people, but they are all 'professionals'.
I have businesses that require me to deliver my audio at 96/24.
It may all be down to marketing, voodoo and 'what the consumer wants'. That's fine, I'm not an expert.
I use boutique, hand crafted drums on my recordings.
Rick Marotta sounds better than me on his stock Yamaha.
I could play a budget kit on the record and no one would know once it was mixed and released as an mp3.
People just want to feel good about what they are doing.
I feel good using 96/24. That doesn't make me a moron or unprofessional.
Old 24th March 2014
  #1677
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Stone View Post
A question for the Redbook advocates: do you, and do you intend to, criticise every audio equipment manufacturer, studio, mastering studio, live venue, etc. that operates above 16/44.1?


Redbook is a distribution standard.

Audio production is an entirely different kettle of fish where higher bit depths and sample rates have direct implications on the resolution of mathematics used during digital processing and summing.

If anything, the evolution of digital technology is slowly eroding the need to use higher sample rates during recording as well... IE: Plugins that up sample internally, etc.

I used to use 88.1khz when I was running Digidesign Blue 192's because it sounded better... but that was largely due to inadequacies in the conversion technology/design and not because of blanket statements like "higher sample rates sound better". The difference between sample rates on great modern converters is all but negligible, largely due vast improvements in the filter design.

Gasp! Who would have thought. All aspects of digital evolve? Including MP3 encoding and converter design?! You would almost think this is digital technology. I love Neil's music. I love Neil's shows... but when it comes to his views on digital audio I can't help but feel he listened to an MP3 in 1999, made up his mind and he has been stubbornly stuck there ever since.
Old 24th March 2014
  #1678
Gear Guru
 
UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slikjmuzik View Post
Not really, it makes no sense to me that people are discussing 192khz when Pono has aboslutely nothing to do with that...and then the point in the video when they talk about the width of the stereo field being widened...that's definitely not a 192khz thing, yet clearly Neil and whatever team edited the video clearly thought it was something important to keep as if it was part of what the average listener would experience...none of it had anything to do with Hi-Res to me at all, so the more I dissect and analyze the video, the less sense it makes to have that whole section of underwater listening that now only seems to provide confusion because this Pono device doesn't upsample or sample convert at all...
You are right that it makes no sense but it has nearly everything to do with "Hi-Res" according to the Pono crew. The artists in the video mention it. (Although I am sure they have edited all sorts of out-of-context quotes to create more hype). The under water part of the video shows and talks about the different formats. (Specifically saying that you come above water at 192Khz). They mention it many times on their pages and FAQ. Like it or not, that really is their main selling point.

Again, are you watching the same video? Are you reading the text on the same site?

Btw, I'm not sure if they ended up with the Sabre DAC. If they did, from my understanding, it has permanent in-line SRC going on. Maybe it isn't very good and degrades the sound? Meaning everything sounds worse than it needs to as it goes through the SRC unless it is delivered at 192Khz in which case the SRC does nothing and you can't hear the degradation any more.

Who knows what slanting caused the reactions of all those artists. It certainly isn't just the difference of sample rate you would get in a well implemented DAC. Something else is going on and they are not being honest about it.

Alistair
Old 24th March 2014
  #1679
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UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Stone View Post
A question for the Redbook advocates: do you, and do you intend to, criticise every audio equipment manufacturer, studio, mastering studio, live venue, etc. that operates above 16/44.1?
As others have mentioned we are talking about delivery formats, not production formats but to answer your question, yes I do often criticize manufacturers for peddling snake oil including 192 Khz or above sampling rates.

Alistair
Old 24th March 2014
  #1680
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Slikjmuzik's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post
You are right that it makes no sense but it has nearly everything to do with "Hi-Res" according to the Pono crew. The artists in the video mention it. (Although I am sure they have edited all sorts of out-of-context quotes to create more hype). The under water part of the video shows and talks about the different formats. (Specifically saying that you come above water at 192Khz). They mention it many times on their pages and FAQ. Like it or not, that really is their main selling point.

Again, are you watching the same video? Are you reading the text on the same site?

Btw, I'm not sure if they ended up with the Sabre DAC. If they did, from my understanding, it has permanent in-line SRC going on. Maybe it isn't very good and degrades the sound? Meaning everything sounds worse than it needs to as it goes through the SRC unless it is delivered at 192Khz in which case the SRC does nothing and you can't hear the degradation any more.

Who knows what slanting caused the reactions of all those artists. It certainly isn't just the difference of sample rate you would get in a well implemented DAC. Something else is going on and they are not being honest about it.

Alistair
Gotcha, thanks for clarifying...
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