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Author Topic: Neil Young's Pono music player hits kickstarter  (Read 12198 times)

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Offline H₂O

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Re: Neil Young's Pono music player hits kickstarter
« Reply #30 on: March 14, 2014, 08:24:29 PM »
There are so many DAC/Headphone amp DAC combo's out there with ESS Sabre DAC's (or similar Burr Brown chips) in them - I don't see how the Pono stands out.

Here is a Fostex unit for the same price that connects to a computer and supports upto DSD128 playback via USB.

http://www.moon-audio.com/fostex-hp-a4.html?___store=default&gclid=COz17cuik70CFeMSOgodzU0AGQ




 
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Offline ScoobieKW

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Re: Neil Young's Pono music player hits kickstarter
« Reply #31 on: March 14, 2014, 09:26:23 PM »
There are so many DAC/Headphone amp DAC combo's out there with ESS Sabre DAC's (or similar Burr Brown chips) in them - I don't see how the Pono stands out.

Here is a Fostex unit for the same price that connects to a computer and supports upto DSD128 playback via USB.

http://www.moon-audio.com/fostex-hp-a4.html?___store=default&gclid=COz17cuik70CFeMSOgodzU0AGQ

All in one, battery device. Portable player.
Market segment that other companies are leaving.

I don't think Pono is the answer, but they are asking some of the right questions.
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Offline willndmb

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Re: Neil Young's Pono music player hits kickstarter
« Reply #32 on: March 14, 2014, 09:42:46 PM »
I think this thing is doomed based on a few reasons
First, most people can't tell the difference nor do they care
Second, I don't know anyone who even knows what flac is except live music tapers/traders. Normal people have no clue what it is
Third, cost. Getting someone to try a $400 portable player that is an "extra" vs what they have for free, ie build into their phone and isn't a thing extra to carry isn't going to be easy. Let alone the extra cost of the files in which most will not notice a difference in sound quality.
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Offline H₂O

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Re: Neil Young's Pono music player hits kickstarter
« Reply #33 on: March 14, 2014, 10:42:17 PM »
There are so many DAC/Headphone amp DAC combo's out there with ESS Sabre DAC's (or similar Burr Brown chips) in them - I don't see how the Pono stands out.

Here is a Fostex unit for the same price that connects to a computer and supports upto DSD128 playback via USB.

http://www.moon-audio.com/fostex-hp-a4.html?___store=default&gclid=COz17cuik70CFeMSOgodzU0AGQ

All in one, battery device. Portable player.
Market segment that other companies are leaving.

I don't think Pono is the answer, but they are asking some of the right questions.
I understand the fact that it is a player, portable, blah blah - but in the portable realm where the environment is more then likely completely uncontrolled, all the back ground "noise" is going to trump high quality.

And when I am at home wanting to enjoy some music I don't want to listen to my ipod I want to listen to my playback system - when I am on the go I listen to my iphone it is good enough

It's like sipping a fine scotch at home versus drinking a beer at a bar with a group of friends
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Offline jibooer

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Re: Neil Young's Pono music player hits kickstarter
« Reply #34 on: March 15, 2014, 08:36:24 PM »
Not much love here for yer product Neil...sorry man.
Nice autogragh.
The better part of humanity (these days) use a phone or tablet and is on the go, so 16-bit will do I think. Plenty of apps for FLAC out there already.

I like sipping scotch chez-moi listening to the HD thru decent playback too, much easier to hear than on the subway.

BTW, do we really need  to remaster the classic albums again?





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Offline H₂O

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Re: Neil Young's Pono music player hits kickstarter
« Reply #35 on: March 15, 2014, 09:40:46 PM »
The more I listen to this free trial of Sirius radio, the more I realize almost no one must care about quality audio.  The sound is so bad that I imagine all of their subscribers are because of Howard Stern or sports networks.


I have had two free subscriptions and the playback quality is pretty bad - also the fact (just like many of the online radio services like Pandora) they have a very limited library and repeat content and shows way to frequently

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Re: Neil Young's Pono music player hits kickstarter
« Reply #36 on: March 16, 2014, 09:33:37 AM »
i actually share a sirius subscription with the family and I find it useful in one very specific instance; office work. I can't use headphones, I can't turn up anything above about half the volume of dept store muzak and I don't have good enough cell reception to stream stuff (and I can't use the office network for streaming). So it's sirius or 3 albums a day on repeat. My spouse uses it at home to hear her Patriots play each fall. I can't remember why my parents use theirs, but my grandmother loves it (but she's hard of hearing anyway so it doesn't bother her).

As long as I keep the volume turned down on the cheapo speakers, it sounds fine. Once I turn it up I notice that it sounds bad.
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Offline DigiGal

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Re: Neil Young's Pono music player hits kickstarter
« Reply #37 on: March 16, 2014, 02:45:02 PM »
Sirius sound quality is poor, some channels are worse than others, it appears they do assign bandwidth priorities for channels.  I also have Sirius streaming as part of my subscription and the steaming quality is vastly improved over the dockable radio at least using a nice DAC and monitor speakers. The Sirius radio I have is one of their docking models and it is plugged into the aux input on my car system. This docking radio was free as part of a special offer and I thought it could be handy to pop it out if the car dock and move it inside. Like I mentioned though the streaming service is better quality than this radio so that is how I listen and only use the radio on the road. I really have to wonder if I had gone with my auto manufacturers OEM Sirius package if that would deliver better sound quality on the road.  I do love the variety in the channels that are a constant companion while traveling, translating to no station drift your favorite channels are always there. Best of all is NO COMMERCIALS at least with the stations I listen too.
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Re: Neil Young's Pono music player hits kickstarter
« Reply #38 on: March 16, 2014, 07:35:55 PM »
Thanks Jon good to know that OEM radios are afflicted too. The compression is annoying though it does appear they set aside more bandwidth for some of the music channels than others and surely the voice channels are limited.
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Offline George

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Re: Neil Young's Pono music player hits kickstarter
« Reply #39 on: March 17, 2014, 08:02:05 AM »
Some Android smartphones are already including 24/192 playback.  It's just a matter of time before all of them have that feature.  Pono is just a waste of time.  And it's ugly.  No one is going to buy that thing.  Peer pressure ftw.
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Re: Neil Young's Pono music player hits kickstarter
« Reply #40 on: March 17, 2014, 09:34:36 AM »
This is a big fail so far, if the name wasn't bad enough it's too expensive and too ugly!  What were they thinking when they came up with the shape and colors of the thing, had to have been designed by committee   :facepalm:

Looks like 'ole' Neil is gonna let us down on this unless the name and form factor changes along with a price drop before it's actually released.

Agree. Form factor is garbage. Not doing anything that wasn't already available to be done.

Realistically the only way to create any widespread adoption of high-res files is for storage to take another quantum leap such that those files can be ported to existing platforms like phones.

Also, as I've thought  from the beginning, I have to doubt that a man who has been standing in front of searingly loud guitar amps and drums on rock n' roll concert stages for forty years can hear much of anything, let alone the difference in a CD and a 24/192 FLAC file.
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Offline Jamos

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Re: Neil Young's Pono music player hits kickstarter
« Reply #41 on: March 18, 2014, 03:55:25 PM »
Thanks Jon good to know that OEM radios are afflicted too. The compression is annoying though it does appear they set aside more bandwidth for some of the music channels than others and surely the voice channels are limited.

Not to stray too far away from Pono discussion -- but we have Sirius on our OEM VW (2010) head unit, and the quality is very poor, just as you guys describe.  My older car (2006) w/OEM head unit sounds much better for some reason.
I called Sirius to complain/talk to them about it - and they said if more people told them it was a problem, they would change it. 
Not enough people care I guess.
So now I always encourage people to call or email and tell Sirius you want better quality.

Offline jlykos

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Re: Neil Young's Pono music player hits kickstarter
« Reply #42 on: March 18, 2014, 06:08:26 PM »
I really can't see this taking off outside of a sect of hardcore audiophile Neil Young fans (they exist, check out the Steve Hoffman forums for evidence). I have no doubt that the player itself will sound spectacular. Ayre is no joke and I am positive that they will produce an A+ piece of hardware. My complaints are primarily with 1.) the bogus form factor and 2.) the lack of functionality of the device to do anything other than play music. I have a good set of headphones and love music as much (or possibly even more) than the next person, but there is nothing that I like better on a trip than listening to an album while reading the New York Times on my iPhone. Or taking a call on my iPhone without having to switch devices. Or writing an e-mail while listening to music. It's just too convenient and I am more than willing to sacrifice some sound quality for the privilege of not having to interrupt my listening enjoyment while doing other tasks.

Also, the elephant in the room is the absolute shit sound quality of the vast majority of new releases and the terrible remastering jobs of catalog albums. The 16/44.1 CD has more than enough resolution to handle anything that you can throw at it, but its capacity is wasted because of the need of seemingly every producer in the world to compress the living hell out of the music presented. It's absolutely terrible and is enough to drive me away from some great albums. The new Beck album, "Morning Phase," is case in point. Fantastic record, but really painful to listen to because of the high levels of compression applied even to acoustic guitar, voice, and orchestra; in other words, the three exact things that SHOULD NOT be compressed all to hell. I purchased the 24/96 HD Tracks version and it was money thrown down the drain. I should have saved a few dollars and downloaded the mp3 from iTunes; I am positive that it would have the exact same sound quality for a lower price.

Unless the Powers that Be are ready to confront the issue of shit mastering and take steps to inform the listener of the lineage of the albums that they sell, they will even lose the audiophile audience. Pono has no chance outside of this niche market, and there are several competing units even among this demographic at this point. Then again, if Dr. Dre and company can sell the public $300 headphones that sound like ass, anything can happen, I suppose. Which incidentally, is another reason why Pono can fail. People plugging their godawful Beats headphones into the high-quality Pono device will assume that Pono sounds like crap when it is really their listening device doing the damage.
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Re: Neil Young's Pono music player hits kickstarter
« Reply #43 on: March 19, 2014, 01:16:25 AM »
Beats headphones

Why Pono has the potential to win, despite itself...  See also "iPod"... 

People are dumb and want convenience...  They also want to look cool while being stupid...  See also "hipster"...

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Re: Neil Young's Pono music player hits kickstarter
« Reply #44 on: March 19, 2014, 08:11:58 AM »
The new Beck album, "Morning Phase," is case in point. Fantastic record, but really painful to listen to because of the high levels of compression applied even to acoustic guitar, voice, and orchestra; in other words, the three exact things that SHOULD NOT be compressed all to hell. I purchased the 24/96 HD Tracks version and it was money thrown down the drain. I should have saved a few dollars and downloaded the mp3 from iTunes; I am positive that it would have the exact same sound quality for a lower price.

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