So, who's getting a Pono?

Recording Techniques, People Skills, Gear, Recording Spaces, Computers, and DIY

Moderators: drumsound, tomb

User avatar
digitaldrummer
dead but not forgotten
Posts: 2088
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2005 9:51 pm
Location: Austin, Texas
Contact:

Post by digitaldrummer » Sun Mar 16, 2014 9:16 am

be careful at the airport...

Image

User avatar
bantam
suffering 'studio suck'
Posts: 480
Joined: Sun Oct 12, 2003 3:55 pm
Location: boston MA
Contact:

Post by bantam » Sun Mar 16, 2014 11:47 am

im all for what they're trying to do but how is this different from transferring a hires alac to my iPhone?

hagstrom71
audio school
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2009 12:38 pm

Post by hagstrom71 » Wed Mar 19, 2014 2:29 pm

bantam wrote:im all for what they're trying to do but how is this different from transferring a hires alac to my iPhone?
From Computer Audiophile Forum:
More info about Ayre's contribution to the PonoPlayer.

1) Ayre's custom designed and implemented digital filter. It is minimum phase, with no unnatural (digital sounding) pre-ringing. All sounds made always have reflections and/or echoes after the initial sound. There is no sound in nature that has any echo or reflection before the sound, which is what conventional linear-phase digital filters do. This is one reason that digital sound has a reputation for sounding "unnatural".

2) All circuitry is zero-feedback. Feedback can only correct an error after it has occurred, which means that it can never correct for all errors. By using proprietary ultra linear circuitry with wide bandwidth and low output impedance, there is no need for unnatural sounding feedback.

3) The DAC chip used is the ESS ES9018, widely recognized in the audio and engineering community as the best sounding DAC chip available today.

4) The output buffer used to drive the headphones is fully discrete so that all individual parameters and circuit values and parts quality can be fully optimized for the absolute finest sound quality. The output impedance is very low so that the Pono Player will deliver perfectly flat frequency response to any headphone made.

User avatar
bantam
suffering 'studio suck'
Posts: 480
Joined: Sun Oct 12, 2003 3:55 pm
Location: boston MA
Contact:

Post by bantam » Wed Mar 19, 2014 2:47 pm

dam, nice job i was not expecting that.

Jim Williams
tinnitus
Posts: 1135
Joined: Sat Jun 03, 2006 8:19 am
Location: beautiful Carlsbad, CA
Contact:

Post by Jim Williams » Thu Mar 20, 2014 8:05 am

Why does anyone need a 192k 24 bit box to play back music files with an average 12 db dynamic range and less than 20k hz bandwidth? Maybe Neil wants to hear the hiss at the fade outs on his old records? Is Neil now into classical music?

DAC developers know current is the key for a beefy sounding playback system, a small set of batteries will not power the best DAC chips and supporting circuits without compromise.

This sort of reminds me of the 'surround sound' crap that comes around every generation, only to die a slow death.

You want quality playback? Get an AC powered quality DAC with ESS or BurrBrown current output DAC chips, add the supporting high current I/V and filter stages and play that back through world class power amps and speakers. No ear buds will come close.
Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades

User avatar
bantam
suffering 'studio suck'
Posts: 480
Joined: Sun Oct 12, 2003 3:55 pm
Location: boston MA
Contact:

Post by bantam » Thu Mar 20, 2014 8:31 am

so no 5v battery powered dac will beat my benchmark/bryston setup 8) . maybe not but dac quality and the way the audiopath is designed in a smart phone certainly could have room for improvement.

im not sold that a toblerone shaped extra device is the way to go. iphone 6 audiohpine edition would probably make me cough up some dough if its done correctly and the difference is noticable to folks that care about such things.

User avatar
bantam
suffering 'studio suck'
Posts: 480
Joined: Sun Oct 12, 2003 3:55 pm
Location: boston MA
Contact:

Post by bantam » Thu Mar 20, 2014 8:34 am

...and i agree surround sound audio is crap. too bad i realized after buying DVD-A and Super Audio CDs. stereo channles are nice though

Jim Williams
tinnitus
Posts: 1135
Joined: Sat Jun 03, 2006 8:19 am
Location: beautiful Carlsbad, CA
Contact:

Post by Jim Williams » Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:02 am

A five volt power scheme is also single ended power. It requires a voltage splitter (eating away at battery life) or design single ended and stuff some large electrolytic capacitors into the audio path. That takes the listener away from the best DAC designs that are now done without any coupling caps at all.

Seems a home player would be the target for those that want the best sound as you never get there in portable systems due to power limits and enviromental noises.
Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades

GooberNumber9
tinnitus
Posts: 1094
Joined: Fri Oct 20, 2006 7:52 am
Location: Washington, DC

Post by GooberNumber9 » Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:05 pm

kuene wrote:And then the form factor of this thing.... a huge triangular toblerone? Problem #3. How in god's name is this thing so huge and who in their right mind would even consider that portable in the age of tiny slim phones that you can wear in your skinny jeans.
This. When I first saw a link to the article with a thumbnail of that super-awkward triangular prism, the form factor was so bad I thought it was an Onion article.

The fact that the whole point is for audiophile sound is just the icing on the hilarious cake. Maybe .1% of the population would care and notice. Yes, that's pretty disappointing to most of us on here - or.. maybe it's a comfort that we can make mistakes and only .1% of the population will notice. The point is, what are people going to do, hook this up to their high end stereo system with an 1/8" to dual RCA cable? Anything less isn't worth the money or the horrible shape.

charmingtedious
alignin' 24-trk
Posts: 57
Joined: Thu May 15, 2003 1:16 pm
Location: United States

Post by charmingtedious » Sat Mar 29, 2014 1:48 pm

Here's a blog post on the topic i wrote for my actual job.

If anyone wants to get rid of their DVD-As please send them my way!

kslight
moves faders with mind
Posts: 2547
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 7:40 pm

Post by kslight » Sat Mar 29, 2014 2:55 pm

charmingtedious wrote:Here's a blog post on the topic i wrote for my actual job.

If anyone wants to get rid of their DVD-As please send them my way!
Not necessarily a stab at your article as much as a stab at ALL press in regards to the Pono which ignores this factor, but I still contest that good mixing/mastering practices will make a high bit rate mp3 through average iPod D/A sound better than a high res FLAC file of a "loudness-war optimized" song played through Pono D/A.

Perhaps the good news about Pono is that consumers are recognizing that current music sounds like shit, and they are trying to point a finger, but I am afraid they have been misinformed about why this is.

charmingtedious
alignin' 24-trk
Posts: 57
Joined: Thu May 15, 2003 1:16 pm
Location: United States

Post by charmingtedious » Sun Mar 30, 2014 2:18 pm

I certainly agree that loudness wars are undeniably a massive factor in crappy audio!

My guess is that the popularization of Pono (and the development of a demonstrated consumer base that's really interested/invested in good audio) would probably encourage better practices on this front.

I think part of what drives loudness wars is people listening on earbuds, and people listening on players that don't have a lot of headroom. But maybe I'm wrong?

Also, better audio would reveal more of the annoying artifacts associated with brickwall limiting, and thus discourage it? Perhaps I'm being too optimistic.
Last edited by charmingtedious on Sun Mar 30, 2014 2:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.

analogika
alignin' 24-trk
Posts: 63
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2013 2:41 am
Contact:

Post by analogika » Sun Mar 30, 2014 2:34 pm

charmingtedious wrote:I think part of what drives loudness wars is people listening on earbuds, and people listening on players that don't have a lot of headroom. But maybe I'm wrong?

Also, better audio would reveal more of the annoying artifacts associated with brickwall limiting, and thus discourage it? Perhaps I'm being too optimistic.
You are IMO, though I think the primary error in your logic (with all due respect) is that you're assuming success for the Pono. I think nobody will care. I mean, it's nice that there are 15,000 backers for the project, but that's about it. They'll sell maybe five or ten times that, end of story.


FWIW, my understanding of the origins of overcompression is that with the advent of noise suppression in FM radio, soft signal would result in dropouts. If listeners experienced dropouts, they would switch stations and be lost.

So compressing the hell out of your signal was one way to multiply your potential listener base without investing a dime into stronger broadcast capacity.

CDs had to sound like what was on the radio, of course, and one phenomenon begat another.

At least, that was the lore told back at the radio station I worked at around the turn of the century.

kslight
moves faders with mind
Posts: 2547
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 7:40 pm

Post by kslight » Sun Mar 30, 2014 3:42 pm

analogika wrote:
charmingtedious wrote:I think part of what drives loudness wars is people listening on earbuds, and people listening on players that don't have a lot of headroom. But maybe I'm wrong?

Also, better audio would reveal more of the annoying artifacts associated with brickwall limiting, and thus discourage it? Perhaps I'm being too optimistic.
You are IMO, though I think the primary error in your logic (with all due respect) is that you're assuming success for the Pono. I think nobody will care. I mean, it's nice that there are 15,000 backers for the project, but that's about it. They'll sell maybe five or ten times that, end of story.
This, like I said a page or two ago.

Just because it is funded on Kickstarter does not promise it will end up in a significant amount of consumer's pockets?

Take the Ouya game console. Very buzzed and "successfully" funded on Kickstarter. And most have not heard of it. Its not that it isn't available?I see it on shelves at big box outlets?sitting there in the discount/clearance section? .And because so few of them are out there, developers aren't keen to invest any effort on it, because their revenue potential is so low. The Ouya raised a few million more than the Pono is currently set at.

http://www.edge-online.com/features/sta ... he-answer/


Right now there are less than 13k Pono units sold on Kickstarter (not all backers got one).

For comparison?there are literally a billion iOS devices (iPhones, iPods, iPads) sold. Clearly Apple is not the only one that has made gadgets that play mp3s, but that is what the Pono is up against. Now if you are a musician with an intent to make money, are you going to cater your music releases to the 13k Pono owners out there, or the billion iOS devices (plus everyone that uses non-Apple devices for their mp3 player)?

I am all for crowdfunding and Kickstarter but I'm not convinced that most of the funded projects actually go very far once they have been completed (and hit retail, or whatever their intended market). It seems most individuals/companies don't (shocker) have the capital/know-how to market a product to take it to the next level beyond a single crowdfunded paycheck. Neil Young may have money, but I still don't think he has the power or device to replace even 1% of the iOS market.

mrc
re-cappin' neve
Posts: 620
Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2003 5:07 pm
Location: Dead Center, Bible Belt, USA

Post by mrc » Sun Mar 30, 2014 4:45 pm

azz right...

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: crow, michaelkerchner and 14 guests