With all the stereo equipment I own, I never got around to buying an IPod. So, if Pono is as amazing as Neil says it is, I'll be a buyer. But, I do think the name is ridiculous!
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Well, I'm not really sure I get what it offers that isn't already available. High rez files on the go is available and I roll my own. I'm not sure why I would need to buy his device and add to what I already have.
I'm also a bit soured on the fact that a multi millionaire used kickstarter. I think he should have had enough capitol to secure investors beyond what was originally design for those don't have access to such resources. It now seems like a trend for established companies to exploit grassroots programs designed for those that aren't.
I'm glad this has been posted. For a long time I've had mixed feelings on this venture. Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of Neil's music and have always bought and appreciated Neil's desire for high rez either through vinyl or DVD-A he continued to put out on his back catalog and new material. Oh, and I love his music.
But when all this pono stuff got going I questioned why such a wealthy man, with access to funding and investors needed to use a grassroots tool such as kickstarter. Well, free marketing might be the answer to that. Anyway, this post got me searching for what others thought and I came across this article, which, IMO, covers a lot of ground and hits on some of the same themes I've struggled with. http://noisey.vice.com/en_ca/blog/what-pono-is-doing-to-the-music-industry-nothing
BTW, I don't agree with the articles contention that high rez is insignificant.......as a recording engineer I believe that it is important and extremely significant. What I do struggle with is that FLAC has been around for at least 13 years. It is hardly new technology. Many acts already provide down loads of their work in high rez FLAC....or if you desire compressed versions for less money.
There are several portable devices that will play FLAC files back, as well as stand alone home units, which have much better electronics than pono.
This may have been a great idea 3-5 years ago, although, not for me, but today the "train has left the station". This is a day late and a dollar over budget.
I appreciate Neil's advocacy for high rez. Go Neil!!!!! But I am dismayed on his use of kickstarter.
I've been (mostly) enjoying Neil's career since Buffalo Springfield, and sympathize with his physical issues and family drama...but...DSD and other nice sounding formats came first, and you have to wonder about Neil's ranting about analog vs. digital and then having a strange triangular un pocket friendly little player made for whatever the hell Pono is supposed to be...it's a strange movie...making a scratchy recording in (self described "bluesman") Jack White's restored "phone booth" crappy antique recording system...dumping his long suffering wife for Daryl Hannah...refusing to make nice with Crosby et al, Neil...Neil...sometimes edgy becomes creepy, and irrelevant. Perhaps it's time to fill the Lincoln with french fry oil and drive away...
I bought a Fiio X3, which plays 192/24 and DSD with firmware upgrade 3.2. It has 128 gig micro card storage. It has a digital out, line out and headphone out. It is relatively compact, compared to Pono, and it cost $159.00. Adding two 64 gig cards the cost was $210.00. I order it on Monday of last week and received it on Wednesday. I have loaded it up with high rez master files and have been using it in the car, work and in bed.
The headphone out is so-so. Not bad, but nothing special. Going from the line out to my portable headphone amp is a totally different story.....it is very enjoyable!
It will play any type of file available and it a simple drag and paste. Oh, and it also functions as a asynchronous DAC, for use with computer or other USB run devices.
Again, I'm not sure what Pono offers that hasn't already been available, and in some cases, much more flexible and user friendly.
Niel's unit is about two years behind the curve. However, I do hope his down load music continues to be available, so that I can grab stuff not available otherwise.