Waiting for PONO

There is a digital format on the horizon that may be getting the most difficult aspect of a new product launch right; adoption and execution by the recording industry, manufacturers and consumers. Redbook was adopted as the de facto format because of the universal acceptance. Improved formats held the promise of higher quality but failed with universal acceptance to provides market traction.

Now there's PONO. The expected roll-out will be in time for CEDIA this fall with products by CES 2014. What makes this different, ignore the good or bad associated with Neal Young personally for a moment and realize he did what the others, SACD, DSD, etc., have not, went to those with the music for buy-in and began the conversion process well ahead of time before the product roll-out. I've heard from one of the manufacturers that is working on the front end that its resolution and quality are equal to DSD or better capability. They have as much to lose as any with the existing format and inventory of current players so I trust the information as it was not self-serving.

The cost of gear, the quality of the sound and the availability of music that is in demand give this one serious advantages.

There we have it, to wait for the new player capability or hope that your gear will be upgradeable. I was also told the cost of the processors will be very low. Like DSD, the chips don't cost much and that's why products like TEAC can come in so low for such high resolution.

Thoughts as we're "Waiting for PONO"
We'll see.

Not sure why we need another format and new and different players to play it. Unless the physical medium is higher res than CD maybe? I read about PONO being an answer to Itunes and .mp3. Don't we already have that, ie CDs, high res music file formats, etc? What we need is more material that is truly higher res/quality. I think we have enough formats to handle it, except for a standard for physical hi res audio media perhaps. Is that what PONO adds?
Great. The next Digital Reproduction Revolution....how much did we have since the birth of "Perfect Sound"?

From feeling we will pass now the 50x"better than live" barrier ... :-)
As in all things audiophile, the demand exists for sometimes new, sometimes different, sometimes improved sound through formats, set-ups or gear. In my opinion, I like the potential of this format based upon the inventory of compatible music and the lower cost of equipment. That means improved sound becomes more affordable, which means, more exposure to potential consumers, both audiophile and music driven. Not since CD's have we seen the labels coming on-board and converting to the new format.

For exposing new-comers to the joy of great sound and great music, I'm hoping they get it right and we all benefit.
I read some negative things about it a few months back, basically the post said "it does not work as advertised" regarding sample rates I think...

you may want to dig further

A lot of grey so far but if it helps newbies appreciate good sound may the force be with it.
Today Neil discussed PONO at SXSW. Here's an NPR article about it:


In the video (bottom of the page)a lot of artists and producers comment enthusiastically on the quality of the sound. The consensus was that it was superior to other available digital formats.
I'm interested to see how this will all turn out.
Sound quality aside, if the cost is as high as hi-res downloads are now, I will pass on existing music. Depending on the delta on cost and sound quality from CD's, I would consider it for new music.
It looks like a nice idea to move people away from mp3, but the video they posted on their site was downright insulting. Pretty much everything they describe as an "amazing" pono feature you can already get from CD in a proper system tuned overly warm. My patience ran out when the beck friend (I think) talked about how amazing it was to hear music in a soundfield that extended beyond the speakers (I want to welcome that guy to the last 20 years in audio).
Neil Young's promotional tour with all those musical celebrities notwithstanding, it's all going to boil down to just how good the mastering is. We've all heard poor, hi rez recordings. I believe there are products out there already that do the same thing so Pono better be a great design and not just another flavor of the month.

All the best,
The recording chain is a tricky thing and for great sound you need all of the following:

1) songwriting
2) excellent performance talent
3) good instruments
4) top notch recording (engineering)
5) talented mixing
6) superb mastering

and a good producer
Oh good! Another format to replace my 2000cd collection. Sweet! Gotta' PONO UP! Ha!
I have to agree, production is key. Upsampling has never made my ears any happier than the sound of well produced native rates. That said, years later, digital is still chasing the nice sine waves of vinyl. Sigh.