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Launch of Pono Studio Headphones
Old 4th April 2014
  #2281
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GJ999x's Avatar
When I was a kid I DREAMT of being able to make CD compilations, which felt like an impossible aim. I metaphorically **** my pants when my dad first got a CD burner and showed me how it worked.

12 tracks that I picked! In PRISTINE quality!!

And then it was napster - you could get ANY three minute track you wanted in under 90 minutes of download time, wtf!?

I used to think the future would inevitabley involve downloading ALL music onto a thumbnail tab, why pick when you can download and store it all with consumer tech...

That was before spotify and streaming happened...

And yes, mixtape nostalgia, for sure...

Old 4th April 2014
  #2282
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strings's Avatar
On a decent stereo system, play a remastered version of Supertramp's "Crime of the Century" CD (which "to me" is right up there as far as CD quality goes) and then play the Cassette tape of it (I realize most people won't have both).

The CD sounds "really good" to me, but the cassette is more pleasing and seems to have more emotion in it. Call me crazy, I don't care, but that is my experience.

Like CDs, Cassettes had both good and bad quality recordings. The above example is "in my opinion" good quality for both.
Old 4th April 2014
  #2283
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strings's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by GJ999x View Post
When I was a kid I DREAMT of being able to make CD compilations, which felt like an impossible aim. I metaphorically **** my pants when my dad first got a CD burner and showed me how it worked.

12 tracks that I picked! In PRISTINE quality!!...
You do realize that when CDs first came out, the quality wasn't that good. Go back and listen to an old one. Don't believe me, why do you think there are so many "remastered" versions coming out?
Old 4th April 2014
  #2284
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Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GJ999x View Post
For sure, a personal preference for cassette sound is completely legitmate and it doesnt even make sense for anyone to argue that it's not, not that that would stop the debate around here....

If you don't want to argue fairly, why argue at all?

No one is arguing with personal preference.

In a debate like this, the only thing that matters is if there is a difference. If you prove that there is, THEN it becomes preference and the debate is over.

IOW - We all know that vanilla and chocolate are different. So arguing better is just a fun exercise. No one wins.

But if I took a Hershey bar and a bar of Michel Cluizel (my favorite) and no one could tell the difference in blind taste tests, we could then argue that it's not about personal preference anymore. It's confirmation bias.

So if people can't consistently pick out the difference between 192/24 audio from 44.1/16 then it is fair to argue that there isn't a difference and tis numbers game is snake oil.
Old 4th April 2014
  #2285
Quote:
Originally Posted by j_j View Post
You know, it does occur to me that via less-than-idea equipment, it may be possible for strong ultrasonics (i.e. over 20kHz) to create audible effects via IMD.

I have seen this happen in devices myself, but what you're hearing is not actually ultrasonics, you're simply hearing distortion that's in-band. Dome tweeters, etc, can be particularly vexing in this regard.

SO... if you do get a positive ABX, you need to capture the outputs (just in-band will do) and see if you have some in-band effects due to nonlinearities.

This problem has vexed several tests so far, but to my knowledge they weren't reported due to the "oops" factor becoming evident.
[bolded]

An important point. Intermodulation distortion from nonlinearities in the analog circuits (or electro-mechanical transducers [speakers/mics/disk cutting heads], which are even more subject to IM distortion in some ways than strictly electronic circuits)
Old 4th April 2014
  #2286
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Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonwagner View Post
In my hippie days traveling around, I listened to Eddie Brikell, Shooting Rubber Bands album many, many times on cassette in the van. When I finally got a CD player and cassette tape adapter I bought that CD and hated it. I could hear everything and it was not the listening experience I was used to. So I understand why someone would like cassettes, they have a sound and the lofi-ness of them is pleasing in a way, but it is most definitely not a better reproduction of what was actually recorded.
This brings up a thing I used to do which I forgot til now.

Around the time Myspace was the thing, I was looking for bands and artists to sign to my label. I forget what file quality myspace allowed but I'm sure it was awful but I preferred it for finding talent.

From across the room on my partners laptop, a crappy mp3 streaming from myspace didn't sound that different from my finished productions played the same exact way. So it leveled the playing field and I was no longer fooled by great production or less likely to sign an act because it had poor production as it all sounded pretty equal.
Old 4th April 2014
  #2287
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GJ999x's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by strings View Post
You do realize that when CDs first came out, the quality wasn't that good. Go back and listen to an old one. Don't believe me, why do you think there are so many "remastered" versions coming out?
Er.... you're new around here, arent you?
Old 4th April 2014
  #2288
What is the best way to audition two different sample rates in regards to what I set my clock to while listening?

If I have a 192/24 file and 96/24 file should I set my clock to 192 then for playback though an ABX testing app?

Thanks!
Old 4th April 2014
  #2289
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czoli's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by strings View Post
On a decent stereo system, play a remastered version of Supertramp's "Crime of the Century" CD (which "to me" is right up there as far as CD quality goes) and then play the Cassette tape of it (I realize most people won't have both).

The CD sounds "really good" to me, but the cassette is more pleasing and seems to have more emotion in it. Call me crazy, I don't care, but that is my experience.

Like CDs, Cassettes had both good and bad quality recordings. The above example is "in my opinion" good quality for both.
This may not be unusual. We used Aphex Aural Exciter when mass duplicating cassettes in the 1980s from 2 Track masters to sweeten them up. We also used BBE sonic maximizers when they came out. Who knows what the labels were using back then.
Old 4th April 2014
  #2290
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GJ999x's Avatar
Yes, completely agree (unless you're saying GS shouldnt have discussions over whewther e.g. vinyl sounds better to them than CDs - that's different to saying "a more accurate reproduction" i.e. not demostrabley wrong unless the meaning of the words are twisted beyond recognition.

I'm still having trouble sleeping following Bob O's comments against the ABX test, that really got me thinking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia View Post
If you don't want to argue fairly, why argue at all?

No one is arguing with personal preference.

In a debate like this, the only thing that matters is if there is a difference. If you prove that there is, THEN it becomes preference and the debate is over.

IOW - We all know that vanilla and chocolate are different. So arguing better is just a fun exercise. No one wins.

But if I took a Hershey bar and a bar of Michel Cluizel (my favorite) and no one could tell the difference in blind taste tests, we could then argue that it's not about personal preference anymore. It's confirmation bias.

So if people can't consistently pick out the difference between 192/24 audio from 44.1/16 then it is fair to argue that there isn't a difference and tis numbers game is snake oil.
Old 4th April 2014
  #2291
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paul brown's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by strings View Post
On a decent stereo system, play a remastered version of Supertramp's "Crime of the Century" CD
no, don't play the remastered version. the original pressing has much better dynamic range, contrary to your earlier assertion that earlier cd pressings suffered in quality. it was not necessarily the medium that was the problem, but the ability to reproduce it accurately.
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Old 4th April 2014
  #2292
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Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by strings View Post
On a decent stereo system, play a remastered version of Supertramp's "Crime of the Century" CD (which "to me" is right up there as far as CD quality goes) and then play the Cassette tape of it (I realize most people won't have both).

The CD sounds "really good" to me, but the cassette is more pleasing and seems to have more emotion in it. Call me crazy, I don't care, but that is my experience.

Like CDs, Cassettes had both good and bad quality recordings. The above example is "in my opinion" good quality for both.
Who are you arguing with?

I absolutely believe that you enjoy the cassette more.
Old 4th April 2014
  #2293
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia View Post
This brings up a thing I used to do which I forgot til now.

Around the time Myspace was the thing, I was looking for bands and artists to sign to my label. I forget what file quality myspace allowed but I'm sure it was awful but I preferred it for finding talent.

From across the room on my partners laptop, a crappy mp3 streaming from myspace didn't sound that different from my finished productions played the same exact way. So it leveled the playing field and I was no longer fooled by great production or less likely to sign an act because it had poor production as it all sounded pretty equal.
Nice! Kinda the opposite of what caused the loudness wars.

Could be a urban legend but I think RATM's demo was some multiple generation crap cassette but their songs still came through enough.
Old 4th April 2014
  #2294
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Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by czoli View Post
This may not be unusual. We used Aphex Aural Exciter when mass duplicating cassettes in the 1980s from 2 Track masters to sweeten them up. We also used BBE sonic maximizers when they came out. Who knows what the labels were using back then.
We did the same thing to give that extra sheen usually lost on the cassette.
Old 4th April 2014
  #2295
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia View Post
That's a great idea.

Let's exclude all the professional engineers from the discussion.

What the hell would they know about making records? heh

Oh. And when we figure out that you can't hear about 20kHz, what should we do with you?
I'll freely admit my hearing doesn't seem to go over 11 kHz these days. (I'm 62, so no real shock.)

But, my inability to hear the (nominal) top octave notwithstanding, I think I'm pretty good at analyzing what I do hear. (I know I was shocked to be able to differentiate a properly-made 256 kbps mp3 from a 320, though I couldn't tell the 320 from the CD they were ripped from. I was focused on 'tells,' without question, on a track I'm quite familiar with.)

There's no question that diminished top end has an effect. I can remember what a superbly recorded violin sounded like to me when I was 14... the same recording today on much better PB sounds, overall much better, but that 'electricity' (you should pardon the decidedly poetic use of the term) in the sound is no longer to be heard. By me. But my analytical skills are much better across what I can hear. Getting old, eh?
Old 4th April 2014
  #2296
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Quote:
If I have a 192/24 file and 96/24 file should I set my clock to 192 then for playback though an ABX testing app?
You need to check out how your interface works. Some like RME ones can recognise the incoming sample rate/bit depth on the fly. Some cannot.

It is considered acceptable when using ABX to upsample the lower rate to match the greater if necessary. Especially if you intend to post for comparison by others.
Old 4th April 2014
  #2297
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Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GJ999x View Post
Yes, completely agree (unless you're saying GS shouldnt have discussions over whewther e.g. vinyl sounds better to them than CDs - that's different to saying "a more accurate reproduction" i.e. not demostrabley wrong unless the meaning of the words are twisted beyond recognition.
GS can debate what they want.

It's foolish to debate taste or subjectivity (although it can be fun) but debating math can have a winner or a loser.
Old 4th April 2014
  #2298
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matyas's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by paul brown View Post
no, don't play the remastered version. the original pressing has much better dynamic range, contrary to your earlier assertion that earlier cd pressings suffered in quality. it was not necessarily the medium that was the problem, but the ability to reproduce it.
The problem with early CDs was that converter technology was very poor, compared to what we take for granted at this point. This was true of both ADCs and DACs. I've spent some quality time with the Sony 1630 and F1 machines that were used for CD mastering in the 80s and 90s. Any cheapo interface you could buy at Guitar Center will have much better converters than what mastering engineers were using until 1990 or so. When aftermarket converters (Apogee, etc.) starting showing up, that was a big improvement. But even machines like the Sony 3348 (sorry Chris Lord-Alge) and Mitsubishi X850 - which were ridiculously expensive when new - just don't sound very good at all.
Old 4th April 2014
  #2299
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Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by matyas View Post
But even machines like the Sony 3348 (sorry Chris Lord-Alge) and Mitsubishi X850 - which were ridiculously expensive when new - just don't sound very good at all.
I hope he's mixing down to 192kHz to make up the difference.
Old 4th April 2014
  #2300
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My story's usually kill any thread...they are a bore.Anyway.I hope PONO takes off.Another choice for music lovers that gets you closer to the source is a good thing.I like the idea of pono.I was involved in producing a an art gala under a massive tent.I picked the sound and light company and the pre-recorded music and the live music for the event as well as the catering.I deliberatly wanted something different for the pre recorded music....No screens...No DJ's...No Ipods...Ipads..No C.D. players.or streaming..For the pre-recorded background music that was played over the sound system in the early evening, I recorded an entire mix from my vinyl collection at home straight to a new maxell 110 minute cassette.The cassette deck was a Sony WALKMAN PRO WM-D6C.I plugged the walkman into the board and there it was.Sounded fantastic.I just had to remember to flip the tape over.There's still a little magic in that process and the result for me.It really sounded full and mellowed out the 6 pairs of powered QSC monitors.
Old 4th April 2014
  #2301
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GJ999x's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia View Post
It's foolish to debate taste or subjectivity.
That sounds quite subjective to me...
Old 4th April 2014
  #2302
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strings's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia View Post
But not more accurate to what was recorded to them.
No arguement there.
I don't have studio experience, I just record for a hobby. As far as technical details, I'm a novice. I'm only going on "my" listening experience.
Old 4th April 2014
  #2303
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nuthinupmysleeve's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by strings View Post
On a decent stereo system, play a remastered version of Supertramp's "Crime of the Century" CD (which "to me" is right up there as far as CD quality goes) and then play the Cassette tape of it (I realize most people won't have both).

The CD sounds "really good" to me, but the cassette is more pleasing and seems to have more emotion in it. Call me crazy, I don't care, but that is my experience.

Like CDs, Cassettes had both good and bad quality recordings. The above example is "in my opinion" good quality for both.
I'm leaving aside the conversation about some of the old digital releases which suffered from early digital technology IMO.

As others have pointed out... PONO is MORE DIGITAL. It's not more analog. It is zero analog.

Pono is doubling down on digital technology.

As others have said, CD and cassette are a LOT closer in theoretical sound quality than Pono and cassette.

The point is if you don't like CD, you won't like Pono. It won't sound like Cassettes.
Old 4th April 2014
  #2304
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Sean M Robinson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nuthinupmysleeve View Post
It won't sound like Cassettes.
Just an aside here to lovers of vinyl and cassettes et al-- don't dismay. The takeaway from all this research is that a proper transfer of a piece of vinyl or (flying spaghetti monster forbid) a cassette master can sound EXACTLY like the source. So, you like the sound of cassette? Wonderful. Mix down to cassette and use that as your master delivery format. The mastering engineer might think you're a little odd, but you'll soon have your ideally copied digital master, along with all of the noise, compression, flutter, and high-end rolloff you can stand.
Old 4th April 2014
  #2305
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Sean M Robinson's Avatar
 

A fine example--

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nebraska_(album)

In this case, the master tape in question might have benefited from prolonged exposure to "Boss" Sweat, surely a potent sonic cocktail.

Anyone interested in the limitations of mastering for vinyl should read about the mastering process this particular album went through on it's way to vinyl.
Old 4th April 2014
  #2306
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Sounds Great's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RonaldDumsfeld View Post
A cassette tape is the equivalent of 8 bit.
Excuse me?
Old 4th April 2014
  #2307
Quote:
Originally Posted by carlheinz View Post
My story's usually kill any thread...they are a bore. [...]
Damn... I knew I'd get competition some day. I actually registered as ThreadKillah on one forum once.
Old 4th April 2014
  #2308
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Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean M Robinson View Post
Just an aside here to lovers of vinyl and cassettes et al-- don't dismay. The takeaway from all this research is that a proper transfer of a piece of vinyl or (flying spaghetti monster forbid) a cassette master can sound EXACTLY like the source. So, you like the sound of cassette? Wonderful. Mix down to cassette and use that as your master delivery format. The mastering engineer might think you're a little odd, but you'll soon have your ideally copied digital master, along with all of the noise, compression, flutter, and high-end rolloff you can stand.
I love that this where we are.

Running on mixes thru cassettes and back to 192kHz 24bit convertors to preserve every bit of that cassetteness.
Old 4th April 2014
  #2309
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Sounds Great's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nuthinupmysleeve View Post

The point is if you don't like CD, you won't like Pono. It won't sound like Cassettes.
Cassettes do capture info missing on CD's. Yes it also adds noise and distortions that you don't want. You weigh them out. I had a fabulous car system that was first cassette and then I finally switched over to CD. They both have their positives and negatives. CD's are certainly more convenient. And consistent. But when properly recorded and working the way the are capable of, I preferred, by far, the sound of the cassette. I miss them. Higher bit PCM would be more enjoyable to me than CD. Of course DSD completely blows all these formats away.
Old 4th April 2014
  #2310
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Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
Excuse me?
I'm with ya.

I don't see how we can compare the two.

But I think he's talking about noise floor etc.

The fidelity lost with bad analog and bad digital is completely different.
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