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Launch of Pono Studio Headphones
Old 13th March 2014
  #241
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spurratic's Avatar
Despite all the nattering that went on earlier (to which I certainly contributed), this has been a pretty interesting thread.

When I first moved from analog boards and reel to reels to digital domain, I didn't understand or care about anything over 44.1/16 because it was CD quality. So what does it matter if everything is listened to on CD right?

Well...I think since there will be no CDs in a few years, its time for people like myself to try and understand how to navigate these different sampling rates and bitrates to get the result we want.

For me, it isn't that recording at a higher sample/bit rate makes a massive difference in recording a single source, but when combining 20, 30, 50 tracks and mixing them down, its about not dumbing down or experiencing a loss of quality.
Old 13th March 2014
  #242
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Kickstarter Campaign Begins For Neil Young's Music Player : NPR

Why I think Neil Young is just trying to wake Apple up.


"If we fail, we've made enough noise so people know something's wrong and they can hear it," he said. "If some big huge company comes along and kicks our ass with millions and millions of dollars, that's great for music. If they'll do what we do, it's a no-lose situation. We win."
Old 13th March 2014
  #243
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spurratic View Post
Despite all the nattering that went on earlier (to which I certainly contributed), this has been a pretty interesting thread.

When I first moved from analog boards and reel to reels to digital domain, I didn't understand or care about anything over 44.1/16 because it was CD quality. So what does it matter if everything is listened to on CD right?

Well...I think since there will be no CDs in a few years, its time for people like myself to try and understand how to navigate these different sampling rates and bitrates to get the result we want.

For me, it isn't that recording at a higher sample/bit rate makes a massive difference in recording a single source, but when combining 20, 30, 50 tracks and mixing them down, its about not dumbing down or experiencing a loss of quality.
Well said.
Old 13th March 2014
  #244
Makes me want to go get my zune and see if it still works.
Old 13th March 2014
  #245
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spurratic View Post
I don't know, I used to take my mixes , put them on a CD and go drive in the car and think.....man, that really doesn't sound anywhere near the mix I made.
That says more about your room and speakers than your mixes.

And expectation bias is impossible to prevent, because it is a subconscious process.


A brief quote from much earlier in this "destined to continue forever" thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Sonya View Post
I think debate about sampling rate misses the point.
Hi-res audio has been available for a while in various formats, but culturally it has been consigned to nerdy/geeky zone. A legendary charismatic artist like Neil Young championing this initiative stands to take it out of the nerd demographic and more towards something people feel is cool. Like vinyl.
Exactly.
But Pono is merely a flight of fancy by a deluded Famous Ignoramus with hearing damaged by age and a lifetime of loud gigs.

I bought my first Neil Young album in 1974 and taught myself to play all his songs until circa 1980. I still love many of those songs. He knows a lot about writing songs and performing them. Maybe he also knows a lot about the technical aspects of recording/mixing, but I doubt it. He clearly thinks he knows a lot....

Neil Young knows very little about the science of audio and even less about the science of digital audio. His views on human senses are also instinctive rather than scientific. He's a big picture guy. A hoarder/collector as well, but he's always had people to look after the details. This is very apparent in his interviews and in his book Waging Heavy Peace. He talks of taking people for drives in his car to listen to the glory of Pono. In a car????

Someone needs to tell Young he is misguided at best (and completely wrong at worst) but I doubt he'd listen, especially now that many of his knowledgeable collaborators such as David Briggs are no longer alive.

He blames "resolution" for problems which are clearly related to his early experiences with digital audio, followed later by low quality lossy encoding and/or hypercompression. The problems with early digital are long gone. The world is also addressing encoders and loudness - we dont need an expensive device which relies mostly on expectation bias and the needless consumption of vast amounts of digital real estate. In particular, the idea of 24 bit 192kHz as a consumer playback format is ludicrous, given the entire recording, mixing and mastering chain would need to also be done at 192kHz - expensive, wasteful and completely unnecessary.

Consumer AD converters are much better than converters from the early days of digital. Similarly, lossy encoding has improved significantly as a result of adopting higher bit rates and improved algorithms. Initiatives such as MFiT are starting to make a useful steps towards ending the loudness wars.

Lossless FLAC and/or Apple Lossless are the answers, not Pono.

The last thing the audio professions need is propagation of myths by deluded rock stars.
Old 13th March 2014
  #246
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diggo View Post
That says more about your room and speakers than your mixes.

And expectation bias is impossible to prevent, because it is a subconscious process.


A brief quote from much earlier in this "destined to continue forever" thread:



Exactly.
But Pono is merely a flight of fancy by a deluded Famous Ignoramus with hearing damaged by age and a lifetime of loud gigs.

I bought my first Neil Young album in 1974 and taught myself to play all his songs until circa 1980. I still love many of those songs. He knows a lot about writing songs and performing them. Maybe he also knows a lot about the technical aspects of recording/mixing, but I doubt it. He clearly thinks he knows a lot....

Neil Young knows very little about the science of audio and even less about the science of digital audio. His views on human senses are also instinctive rather than scientific. He's a big picture guy. A hoarder/collector as well, but he's always had people to look after the details. This is very apparent in his interviews and in his book Waging Heavy Peace. He talks of taking people for drives in his car to listen to the glory of Pono. In a car????

Someone needs to tell Young he is misguided at best (and completely wrong at worst) but I doubt he'd listen, especially now that many of his knowledgeable collaborators such as David Briggs are no longer alive.

He blames "resolution" for problems which are clearly related to his early experiences with digital audio, followed later by low quality lossy encoding and/or hypercompression. The problems with early digital are long gone. The world is also addressing encoders and loudness - we dont need an expensive device which relies mostly on expectation bias and the needless consumption of vast amounts of digital real estate. In particular, the idea of 24 bit 192kHz as a consumer playback format is ludicrous, given the entire recording, mixing and mastering chain would need to also be done at 192kHz - expensive, wasteful and completely unnecessary.

Consumer AD converters are much better than converters from the early days of digital. Similarly, lossy encoding has improved significantly as a result of adopting higher bit rates and improved algorithms. Initiatives such as MFiT are starting to make a useful steps towards ending the loudness wars.

Lossless FLAC and/or Apple Lossless are the answers, not Pono.

The last thing the audio professions need is propagation of myths by deluded rock stars.
You know the format of choice for PONO is FLAC, right?
Old 13th March 2014
  #247
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spurratic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by diggo View Post
That says more about your room and speakers than your mixes.
Not if, as I said in my post, I play the cd through my same recording system in the same room with the same monitors and notice a difference. Thats what I was trying to communicate.
Old 13th March 2014
  #248
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What I think is interesting is that when Neil Young takes Mo Ostin for a ride to hear PONO, there is an ipad in the car. Is that what he's using for playback?
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Launch of Pono-image_2391.jpg  
Old 13th March 2014
  #249
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spurratic's Avatar
Quote: He talks of taking people for drives in his car to listen to the glory of Pono. In a car????

yes, its genius because thats how millions of people listen to their music every day.
Old 13th March 2014
  #250
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spurratic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarmenC View Post
What I think is interesting is that when Neil Young takes Mo Ostin for a ride to hear PONO, there is an ipad in the car. Is that what he's using for playback?
I think he is showing people a comparison. So he plays them the iPad through his system, then the Pono.

That was the reason for the car thing...it allows him to bring it to people and A/B.

At least thats what I gathered from the vid.
Old 13th March 2014
  #251
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spurratic View Post
I think he is showing people a comparison. So he plays them the iPad through his system, then the Pono.

That was the reason for the car thing...it allows him to bring it to people and A/B.

At least thats what I gathered from the vid.
Ok, I get it.
Old 13th March 2014
  #252
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camus's Avatar
 

This thread still going eh. heh

1. It's a portable device with supposedly superior DAC and headphone amp compared to most other "all in one" devices. Where's the scam or the snake oil?

2. There is no proprietary software involved. All Neil Young is doing is persuading all these major labels to convert and release non-mangled, hi-res versions of their master tapes on FLAC. If the stuff was recorded at 44.1, you release a 44.1 FLAC. All it means is that artists are able to deliver the highest possible resolution that they are able to, if they care to. What's the problem?

3. Regarding the hyperbole in that video, who knows what they were listening to? Maybe badly mastered, crushed, redbook vs clean flat 192 transfers of the same material, volume matched? Typical torrent traded low bitrate mp3s maybe? Well they certainly heard something. Most are not audio engineers so a bit of clueless gushing is not unexpected. Take it with a pinch of salt but most of these buggers have made a living out of recognizing what sounds "good" to them, so maybe give them the benefit of the doubt until ABX tests confirm this player sounds no better than a cheap Chinese smartphone?

Maybe Neil would have been better off campaigning for a new generation of non-limited, flat as possible Redbook reissues but there's no way the labels would go for that, and neither would consumers I suspect. 192 is perhaps overkill, but if the technology is ready, why not really? What possible harm can it do to make master tapes available at the highest possible resolution? And for that matter, if consumers buy into this hi-res stuff, there's absolutely nothing to stop Grace, Dangerous, Benchmark, Metric Halo or any other manufacturer from making their own hi-res portable player. Or Apple from finally enabling FLAC support on Itunes. I suspect nothing would make Neil Young happier than to see the public taking to hi-res listening in a big way even if it put Pono out of business.

So much teeth gnashing about absolutely nothing really.
Old 13th March 2014
  #253
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camus View Post
This thread still going eh. heh

1. It's a portable device with supposedly superior DAC and headphone amp compared to most other "all in one" devices. Where's the scam or the snake oil?

2. There is no proprietary software involved. All Neil Young is doing is persuading all these major labels to convert and release non-mangled, hi-res versions of their master tapes on FLAC. If the stuff was recorded at 44.1, you release a 44.1 FLAC. All it means is that artists are able to deliver the highest possible resolution that they are able to, if they care to. What's the problem?

3. Regarding the hyperbole in that video, who knows what they were listening to? Maybe badly mastered, crushed, redbook vs clean flat 192 transfers of the same material, volume matched? Typical torrent traded low bitrate mp3s maybe? Well they certainly heard something. Most are not audio engineers so a bit of clueless gushing is not unexpected. Take it with a pinch of salt but most of these buggers have made a living out of recognizing what sounds "good" to them, so maybe give them the benefit of the doubt until ABX tests confirm this player sounds no better than a cheap Chinese smartphone?

Maybe Neil would have been better off campaigning for a new generation of non-limited, flat as possible Redbook reissues but there's no way the labels would go for that, and neither would consumers I suspect. 192 is perhaps overkill, but if the technology is ready, why not really? What possible harm can it do to make master tapes available at the highest possible resolution? And for that matter, if consumers buy into this hi-res stuff, there's absolutely nothing to stop Grace, Dangerous, Benchmark, Metric Halo or any other manufacturer from making their own hi-res portable player. Or Apple from finally enabling FLAC support on Itunes. I suspect nothing would make Neil Young happier than to see the public taking to hi-res listening in a big way even if it put Pono out of business.

So much teeth gnashing about absolutely nothing really.
Ok, after this post I think I can finally stop and go to bed....lol. Perfectly written.
Where were you 3 hours ago??
Old 13th March 2014
  #254
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by camus View Post
This thread still going eh. heh

1. It's a portable device with supposedly superior DAC and headphone amp compared to most other "all in one" devices. Where's the scam or the snake oil?

2. There is no proprietary software involved. All Neil Young is doing is persuading all these major labels to convert and release non-mangled, hi-res versions of their master tapes on FLAC. If the stuff was recorded at 44.1, you release a 44.1 FLAC. All it means is that artists are able to deliver the highest possible resolution that they are able to, if they care to. What's the problem?

3. Regarding the hyperbole in that video, who knows what they were listening to? Maybe badly mastered, crushed, redbook vs clean flat 192 transfers of the same material, volume matched? Typical torrent traded low bitrate mp3s maybe? Well they certainly heard something. Most are not audio engineers so a bit of clueless gushing is not unexpected. Take it with a pinch of salt but most of these buggers have made a living out of recognizing what sounds "good" to them, so maybe give them the benefit of the doubt until ABX tests confirm this player sounds no better than a cheap Chinese smartphone?

Maybe Neil would have been better off campaigning for a new generation of non-limited, flat as possible Redbook reissues but there's no way the labels would go for that, and neither would consumers I suspect. 192 is perhaps overkill, but if the technology is ready, why not really? What possible harm can it do to make master tapes available at the highest possible resolution? And for that matter, if consumers buy into this hi-res stuff, there's absolutely nothing to stop Grace, Dangerous, Benchmark, Metric Halo or any other manufacturer from making their own hi-res portable player. Or Apple from finally enabling FLAC support on Itunes. I suspect nothing would make Neil Young happier than to see the public taking to hi-res listening in a big way even if it put Pono out of business.

So much teeth gnashing about absolutely nothing really.
Agreed!
Old 13th March 2014
  #255
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by spurratic View Post
Quote: He talks of taking people for drives in his car to listen to the glory of Pono. In a car????

yes, its genius because thats how millions of people listen to their music every day.
And what better demonstration of your commitment to Audiophile sound quality than to blast your music over the roar of the engine, the rumble of the tires, the rush of air, and the din of traffic - in a cramped metal and glass box with speakers pointing at your shins?

Listening comparisons in a car! Of course! What better way to demonstrate the subtle differences between a format that exceeds the capabilities of your system and your human ears - and another format that REALLY exceeds the capabilities of your system and your human ears?
Old 13th March 2014
  #256
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
And what better demonstration of your commitment to Audiophile sound quality than to blast your music over the roar of the engine, the rumble of the tires, the rush of air, and the din of traffic - in a cramped metal and glass box with speakers pointing at your shins?

Listening comparisons in a car! Of course! What better way to demonstrate the subtle differences between a format that exceeds the capabilities of your system and your human ears - and another format that REALLY exceeds the capabilities of your system and your human ears?

Ok......ONE more.....

Because he parks the car when they listen. Because the engine is likely turned off. Because Neil Probably has a pretty kick ass system installed in that bad boy. Because it is basically just for A/B'ing purposes so he can play you an mp3 and then a Pono....and let you see the difference. Because the car allows him to go to where musicians are hanging out at shows or at studios rather than expecting them to come to him. Because he can control the environment in his car rather than mailing musicians a Pono and hoping they will know how to do a proper A/B test. Because theres something special about sitting in your car with someone and listening to tunes.......because you are missing the point.

Because I once had sex with a girl to Black Dog by Led Zeppelin in my 1987 Dodge Caravan when I was 17.

Goodnight. Sheesh. How do I turn off email notifications??
Old 13th March 2014
  #257
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T'Mershi Duween's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia View Post
You know what gets me excited?
Acting like an imbecile on a recording forum? Seriously, your posts are pointless, unfunny and embarrassing.

This whole thread is so full of mindless vitriol that it's ridiculous.

The one thing I don't think is being considered here is: what if it works?

I think people here underestimate Neil Young's influence within the music industry and with other musical artists. Most record companies and recording artists would love to wrestle back control on how their music is distributed and consumed. ITunes does not create content, artists and labels do.

If Neil can get artists to insist that the Pono is the best way for the average consumer to hear their recordings and get the labels to licence their back catalogs and new releases exclusively through the Poni service, this could be a game changer.
Old 13th March 2014
  #258
Wow - they've already been pledged $2,169, 200 - well above the $800,000 target with 33 days still to go. 6,665 backers. Whatever the audio pros and cons the Kickstarter has worked.
Old 13th March 2014
  #259
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1. I think it is funny that anyone on this forum would NOT support this initiative
2. The buzz around this product and the money raised on kickstarter seem to contradict all the naysayers so far
Old 13th March 2014
  #260
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia View Post
heh heh heh

But have you heard Fleas Bass?

Apparently it no longer sounds like wanking on rubber bands.
He never says he was listening to his bass. He doesn't even say it was a bass...."ya know listening to a cd it's like listening to someone twanging on a rubber band,compared to ..you know...compared to the full scope of what music is."
It sounds like he is using an analogy to compare the difference in audio quality between the mediums. We don't even know what type of music or who the artist is. Why would you think it was his bass?
Old 13th March 2014
  #261
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia View Post
It seemed pretty obvious to me as he does twang his Bass a lot. But I could be wrong.

But if you're right, it's even worse. He saying that the sound of a CD is barely even music. It's like twanging on a rubber band.

No?
No, it's an analogy. A somewhat poor one but not as bad as you putting words in his mouth. Most of the artists mention the extension in the low end of what they are hearing, maybe that is what he is referring to. We don't know but it's obvious he is trying to express a measurement of how full the music sounds compared to a cd. All of the people heard a difference and expressed it in their own way. Some eloquently, some, not so much.
Old 13th March 2014
  #262
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia View Post
I don't support things that don't actually do what they promise.



Not really. I claim that he hired a PR firm who then set up a kick starter because they knew it would create great press.

Seems pretty spot on to me.
Does it promise anything more than delivering the highest resolution possible?
Old 13th March 2014
  #263
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steveswisher's Avatar
 

When I got in Neil's car and he showed me the difference between a 64Kbps/8bit song and a 192Kbps/24bit song I shat my pants. Pono is the real deal.
Old 13th March 2014
  #264
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spurratic View Post
Ok......ONE more.....

Because he parks the car when they listen. Because the engine is likely turned off. Because Neil Probably has a pretty kick ass system installed in that bad boy. Because it is basically just for A/B'ing purposes so he can play you an mp3 and then a Pono....and let you see the difference. Because the car allows him to go to where musicians are hanging out at shows or at studios rather than expecting them to come to him. Because he can control the environment in his car rather than mailing musicians a Pono and hoping they will know how to do a proper A/B test. Because theres something special about sitting in your car with someone and listening to tunes.......because you are missing the point.

Because I once had sex with a girl to Black Dog by Led Zeppelin in my 1987 Dodge Caravan when I was 17.

Goodnight. Sheesh. How do I turn off email notifications??
But none of these things you mention are part of an actual accurate test of the quality of the audio...which is what I thought we were talking about.
The stuff you mention is sales, hype and perception... You know... The things most of us hate about the "real" world. The same stuff that lets less capable and lazy people flourish. As long as you can fool enough people enough of the time.
Old 13th March 2014
  #265
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nuthinupmysleeve's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by T'Mershi Duween View Post
The one thing I don't think is being considered here is: what if it works?
The pet rock "worked" for a while. Then it didn't.

$500 IEC power cables "work." People buy them. They delude themselves that it makes a difference. Could happen with Pono.

The best case is it becomes a hipster thing. The new vinyl for the audiophiles. The new elcaset.

The worst case is people will laugh after more and more science comes out that people can't hear the difference.
Old 13th March 2014
  #266
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nuthinupmysleeve's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by michael cleary View Post
Does it promise anything more than delivering the highest resolution possible?
It promises an amazing night and day experience according to Neil and the people in the video. It doesn't deliver that.

I really feel sorry for them. Maybe they were just being nice to Neil because they like him. I do too, BTW... seems like a great dude and we know he's an awesome musician.
Old 13th March 2014
  #267
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tekis's Avatar
You know, if Dave Grohl hears a difference, then I'm interested to hear this thing. He certainly knows a thing or two about recording. I won't know until I hear it. It's just that simple.
Old 13th March 2014
  #268
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nuthinupmysleeve's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarmenC View Post
I feel that it was Neil Young's plan all along.
He spoke to Steve jobs years ago about upping the quality of iTunes music, but couldn't get him to make it a priority.
Jobs was gravely ill, and had other thing on his plate.
A lot of "Mastered For iTunes" files out there...
Should be an interesting year for hi def downloads all around...
If Apple was going to do it, they would do it themselves. They have the capital, the don't need online fundraising.

BTW... can someone tell me why, if Neil is so certain of this, he's doing a kickstarter? Doesn't he have enough money and enough friends in the business with money he could go it alone? There are plenty of VCs within 15 miles of his ranch... you can't throw a rock without hitting one. All he's got to do is hang a sign around his neck in front of Buck's.
Old 13th March 2014
  #269
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarmenC View Post
You know the format of choice for PONO is FLAC, right?
Yes. My point was we dont need Pono and we certainly dont need 24/192.
Old 13th March 2014
  #270
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tekis View Post
You know, if Dave Grohl hears a difference, then I'm interested to hear this thing. He certainly knows a thing or two about recording. I won't know until I hear it. It's just that simple.
What, another nearly deaf rock star who ascribes the success of a famous studio entirely to it's console?
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