The end of pono?


I've just heard that Neil Young has given an interview where he says that they have made a number of mistakes, gone through a number of CEO's, with him now acting as CEO, and that he woul like to get out of the hardware side of things. Aparrently just becoming a licencing authority, e.g.
"Pono Approved" product.

Also, I read that Pono will be releasing hi rez Beatles files. Really? And I thought that the most recent vinyl was cut from down sampled copies and that nobody at on the production side felt it mattered to have hi Rez copies.

Anybody know what is really going on?
raymonda
send e-mail to neilyoung@yahoo(or gmail).com maybe you'll find out...:-)
At CES he said it was "just the beginning" for Pono...
Really, you think he'll respond.....maybe he'll stop over for tea tonight and I can also ask him what really went down with CSNY.

I'll try to find the article I was reading and post it later. Anyway......anyone know anything more?
Anyone who's ever read some of my other posts knows that I sometimes go off on people who have no experience with audio but claim that they know better than us regular people because they understand the science involved.

http://gizmodo.com/dont-buy-what-neil-young-is-selling-1678446860

Read that and you'll see why.

This genius knows what the limits of human hearing are just by looking at the resolution specs on digital music files? What's so disappointing is that he does have a partial understanding of some of the factors needed for better sound quality. Because of that, he's very convincing. Probably 99 out of 100 people that read that article, would believe him without question.
Oh, great, the article turns out to huge double blind testing rant. I did not see that coming.
Curious to know, are you in the 99, or are you the one?
"01-13-15: Rpeluso
Curious to know, are you in the 99, or are you the one?
Rpeluso (Threads | Answers | This Thread)"

I can't be in the 99. If I wasn't part of the 1, there's no way I could made my last post.
Go over to the Pono forum and read about some of the user issues that need fixing.
An interesting concept that insures you get what you paid for, and not up-samplings of lower resolution files. I was on the site this morning and was pleased with the amount of content available. I'm waiting to see if the hard ware bugs get worked out before I commit.
We are all part of the 99, the key to relocating to being a 1 is identifying the topic which is difficult when we all choose to believe that we are always a 1.

Is it possible that for 9,999 out of 10,000 there isn't an audible difference with high resolution files? Maybe the article is good advice for the vast majority. My biggest reservation would be the value in a portable player as it would also require upgraded headphones beyond what most anyone has to have a chance of hearing a difference. I have even dropped back to MP3 for my iPod because it is extremely difficult to hear the difference with my work system. The files are not the primary limiting factor.

Is it possible that the difference that some find to be audible is a result of differences in the hardware or software used to play the high resolution files? Claims of superiority among CD players are common so comparing different circuitry and signal paths used to play different resolution files will always be apples and oranges at some level. Is it impossible for a high resolution capable source to sound inferior to a standard resolution source? Why then can we assume that the high resolution is superior without question?
I don't think I was clear in my first post. When I said 99 out of 100 people would believe the article without question, it was in a mainstream context, not audiophile. If an average person read that article they're likely to believe because it sounds convincing. You really can't fault them for in either, because they just don't know. That's a huge problem for high res audio because the misinformation contained in articles like this closes the door.

"Is it possible that for 9,999 out of 10,000 there isn't an audible difference with high resolution files?"

Yes, but there's different reasons as to why people end up in the 99.

"Maybe the article is good advice for the vast majority."

How so? If the vast majority of people don't have all the facts, I can't see how that would be good.

"Is it possible that the difference that some find to be audible is a result of differences in the hardware or software used to play the high resolution files?"

Absolutely. And that's a major point. If people dismiss high res, the chances of them getting their hands on better audio gear are very low.

"Claims of superiority among CD players are common so comparing different circuitry and signal paths used to play different resolution files will always be apples and oranges at some level."

I agree that its not exact, so you would need to look at general trends.

"Is it impossible for a high resolution capable source to sound inferior to a standard resolution source?"

No, its not impossible. In fact, people get results like all the time. Its easy to find a standard res sources that sound better than a high res source.

"Why then can we assume that the high resolution is superior without question?"

If you're looking at the music files themselves, I don't see how high res could be inferior. That's not the issue. Equipment and setup would be the cause for inferior sound. (assuming everyone has the same taste.
So this was an interview from this year's cse and straight from Neil's mouth. There is no doubt that Pono hardware is soon to be gone. It looks like Harman is the first to bite and will be producing Pono certified car systems.
The only way to compare hi-res and standard res is to have the exact same recording captured in both formats, no resampling. I have such a recording of Lush Life. The 192 version definitely is better.

The difference however is not huge. The vocals are a bit more smooth and natural, not as edgy. This could easily be attributed to the digital filter differences at the two frequencies in most DACs. I use the same filter for both in my DAC, so its only the format in this case.

The goal is to make the standard res as good as high-res, and the Overdrive SE DAC does this. Unless you do immediate A/B, the differences are really small and recording dependent. I used to upsample most tracks that I really played a lot, but not anymore since the Overdrive. 44.1 sounds amazing. This is the way it should be.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
I guess this proves that cynicism, or something like that, is difficult to convey in writing. How shall I say this that's acceptable? If you have your head so far up your own derrier, how would you know some see you as a derrier? Does that work? Is derrier even spelled correctly? Does anyone (other that Geoff Kait) get it and care? Beside me, of course.
Whoa, I was really freaked out for a second. I thought this was about the end of porno!!!! My BP went to 1000 for a minute there. Better now.
"01-14-15: Rpeluso
I guess this proves that cynicism, or something like that, is difficult to convey in writing. How shall I say this that's acceptable? If you have your head so far up your own derrier, how would you know some see you as a derrier? Does that work? Is derrier even spelled correctly? Does anyone (other that Geoff Kait) get it and care? Beside me, of course."

I'm not sure I get it, but I can tell you for sure that most people think I'm and ass. So I'll assume the comment was directed at me. And if it wasn't, give it a little time and you'll probably change your mind.
Something you're proud of? Or a perception you wish to change?
"01-14-15: Rpeluso
Something you're proud of? Or a perception you wish to change?"

Interesting question. I never really thought about changing. I just figured, once an ass, always an ass. To be honest, I don't know, I'll have to think it over.

If you don't mind, what was it in my previous posts that led you to the conclusion that I was an ass? It may help me sort it all out.
Zd542 - my point about the article is that maybe for the 99 it is correct when it says that there isn't any value in high resolution files. As an example, consider an expensive high performance tire designed to go on a Ferrari. There is no question that this tire is better than the cheapest Walmart has to offer, but if my car (i.e. physical ability to hear, will never own quality audio equipment) isn't capable of translating any improvements to the drivers experience then the tires would be effectively the same. That driver doesn't care about the specs or reasons why the high performance tire is in fact better so trying to sell them to him is the equivalent of selling a freezer to an Eskimo. Products like Pono and the new Sony player are doing just this when it comes to people that will never really experience the potential difference because there is more to equation than just better files.
That's exactly my point. I don't think we disagree on this. All I was trying to say, was that after reading the article I posted the link to, the average person (non audiophile), is very likely to believe it and not question further. Its a pretty convincing piece, but its biased and doesn't tell the whole story. So the result now is that the door is closed for many people with regards to high rez music. Thinking that's all there is, people won't look to get better sound.

My argument is that at least give these people all the facts and let them choose if they want high rez or not. There will be plenty of people that will opt out and not want to get involved. And that's perfectly OK. But we don't want to loose any potential converts due solely to ignorance. If high rez is going to survive, we need to have as many people on board as we can. Just give them a choice based on all the facts.
As an aside,I have bought a LOT of stuff over the last 45 years.
I never sold anything but have gifted at least 7-8 full systems to everyone from my nephew to the cleaning lady.
Last few years I haven't been able to give squat away because
all and sundry listen to whatever they listen to on their
dumb-phones.
"This could easily be attributed to the digital filter differences at the two frequencies in most DACs. I use the same filter for both in my DAC, so its only the format in this case." - Steve N.
Empirical Audio

That is one of the main reasons to use high resolution audio, to use a smoother filter. And yes the differences are small but more noticeable on a high end system, especially if you are playing vinyl on it too.
I'll be more than happy to take what your given away. Contact me.
The_Wizard - I am not sure of the connection between vinyl and high resolution files when it comes to hearing differences.
Neil Young was a talented song writer, but in the last decade most of his output IMHO has been garbage.

Now he backs an idea about HiRez "Pony"and then releases an album recorded in a phone booth!
The Pony looks and feels like a cheap toy and will never succeed with the high end with this present version.

Younger fans in which he hopes to appeal to will go back to there ear buds listening to either rap or some other low level music.

"Yeah, and stay off my lawn"
Zd542-I take it back, who am I to judge?
Uncle Schubert...can you send me a pair of your Devialet Phantom Silver speakers when you get bored with them?
LoL
Neil Young and Pono will have their place in Audio history as Pioneers of High Res Lossless music players.
This is the crawling phase of High Res music players and acceptance.

It’s all about the continuation of creating a better more convenient source to reproduce recorded music.
Wow, glad most of you did not have input to Edison while he was working on sound recordings and reproductions. It took some time but eventually Edison produced the “Perfected Phonograph” with a wax cylinder that played about 3 minutes. Within 15 years, the public started buying in larger numbers phonographs and records from Edison. I was not around at that time but I have been involved with audio systems as Stereo was coming of age to replace monaural, yes I am that old, well I did start with electronics and music at a young age.

The hard core audiophiles did not like Stereo and the flood of recordings that used the ping pong effect to demonstrate the right/left channels and how Stereo recordings worked, provided you even had a two speaker stereo system, otherwise Stereo continued to sound monaural. Also, who is going to buy a Stereo record player / turntable, new preamp / amp, and another speaker? Not to mention the large investment already in mono recordings. Does any of this sound familiar to today’s audio? MP3s will give way to high res music players. As pioneers like Neil Young take the arrows eventually most all portable music players will be High Res music players.

The biggest event will be when Apple goes to High Res Lossless CD quality players in products. Apple purchased Beats to stream better quality music (and make money). For the last few years Apple has asked its labels and artists for high resolution content for its masters for the iTunes program. The likely biggest hold up for Apple is that the wireless Carriers do not want Apple to put the High Res chips in the phones because the capacity with Cellular networks can not handle the increase in data demand, and the consumer can not afford the price. Once the cost of Data and capabilities of the nation’s Cellular system expands, so will Lossless music players, and Apple will be out front with this NEW technology that by then is 10 years old (a guess).
Um.....Edison invented many things.....high rez portable players were out way before pono. Young invented hi rez portable players like Gore invented the internet.
Edison also believed that DC was the way to go and fried an elephant in public with AC to prove his "point."

Tesla was the true genius engineer and scientist, Edison was a lay tinkerer who knew nothing about physics. Why he gets so much airplay is an injustice of history.
"Once the cost of Data and capabilities of the nation’s Cellular system expands, so will Lossless music players, and Apple will be out front with this NEW technology that by then is 10 years old (a guess)."

Its already been out for years. iTunes can play high resolution files using the ALAC Codex. I think WAV supports high res, as well.
Edison was not a scientist, or all that good of an engineer. He had no formal training, so he stumbled around in the design process a lot. When he would realize that he couldn't do what needed to be done, he went out and tried to find scientists and engineers. Sometimes he would pay them to solve the problem, and sometimes he would just walk off with the ideas he saw.

But he was an admirable inventor for the sole reason that, like a bull dog, once he latched into something he would pursue it to the end. He was a very obsessive and compulsive person. I've seen this many times in my life, and those types of people usually end up being "the winners". Didn't he say "innovation is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration"? Edison perspired a lot. He often dabbled in things that were over his head, academically.

So he didn't really "invent" a lot of things that are attributed to him... he just tinkered around and refined things to make them manufacturable and bring them to market.
CLARIFICATION TO PREVIOUS POST AND RESPONSE TO COMMENTS
I did not state it well if the implication was that Young invented hi res portable players. However his name recognition has put a spotlight on the subject and is now being propagated into the general press. Yes others have come before the PONO. Other hi res portable players have been out for a few years now, yet I have not seen near the discussion and publicity in the past that Young and the PONO have created.
Once players went digital playback in the early 80’s with the CD and then about 1999 consumers had MP3 digital audio players with internal memory. After that concept was accepted it has been “off to the races” to build the better sounding delivery system. The continued reduction in cost for DAC chips and surrounding production has given way to the ability to build a reasonable cost hi res portable player with internal memory.
Edison vs Tesla
As I understand it, Tesla was more analytical and what I would call a scientific genius. Edison as I understand it is what I would call a marketing / commercial genius. Most of what we have been taught about what Edison is not true and he used others discoveries to bring product to market.
Edison is not much different than our modern day Bill Gates and Paul Allen. Gates and Allen did not write the original Disk Operating System (DOS) for computers. They needed an operating system that they promised to IBM. They knew Tim Paterson and Seattle Computer Products had a system called QDOS0.11 later renamed 86-DOS. Microsoft bought the full rights to market the system to other manufactures for $25,000. The long and short of it is that Gates and Allen became wealthy and Seattle Computer products went out of business about 5 years later after reaching an out of court settlement, where Microsoft paid Seattle Computer Products about one million dollars to undeniably become the owners with all rights to DOS. Tim Paterson and Seattle Computer Products I would call a scientific genius and Gates and Allen marketing / commercial geniuses. Gates and Allen also are scientific geniuses; however they pursue science from a marketing / commercial perspective, much like Edison.
Regarding Apple
Conversion by Codex is not the same a native playing a high res recording. That is like having a stereo record playing on a monaural system. It plays all the music but it is not in Stereo.
The iphone-6 uses the DAC chip make by Cirrus Logic 33821201 a custom chip made only for Apple. It is perhaps possible that this chip could produce native hi res throughput, however it appears Apple dummy downs (limits) the chip with software or the chip is not capable of hi res regardless of the operating software. It’s all proprietary, however one thing is for sure i phone 6 cannot produce native hi res music playback.
At Princeton some people could do all the work required in
a semester in 2 weeks, some had to work 14 hours a day
every day of the semester.
And then there were those who had all their work done by a recent summa cum laude grad who daddy paid 100 K a semester.
Edison did all the above.
"Conversion by Codex is not the same a native playing a high res recording. That is like having a stereo record playing on a monaural system. It plays all the music but it is not in Stereo.
The iphone-6 uses the DAC chip make by Cirrus Logic 33821201 a custom chip made only for Apple. It is perhaps possible that this chip could produce native hi res throughput, however it appears Apple dummy downs (limits) the chip with software or the chip is not capable of hi res regardless of the operating software. It’s all proprietary, however one thing is for sure i phone 6 cannot produce native hi res music playback.
Swdealmaker (Threads | Answers | This Thread)"

I'm not sure I see where you are going with this. With your dac chip example, I don't think its the same as comparing stereo to mono. A lot of companies make dac chips to play the same format. Take Redbook CD, for example. There are any number of dac chips made by different manufacturers that conform to the Redbook standard. With your Apple example, are you saying that the chip in an iPhone is not really playing a supported format like mp-3 or ALAC, and its really just playing some proprietary format that's something else, and we're just not aware of it?
I don’t think many will hear any difference between Hi Res and Red Book on the pono player as it requires a trained ear and a very revealing system. I think it will come to the same end as SACD. Most folks could not hear the difference and would not pay a premium for the discs. For the record I love SACD and Hi Res downloads.