This site is supported by the advertisements on it, please disable your AdBlocker so we can continue to provide you with the quality content you expect.

Welcome to Our Community

Wanting to join the rest of our members? Feel free to sign up today.

Is anyone else sorta bugged by Neil Young's Pono?

Discussion in 'Bar' started by Vice//Versa, Mar 13, 2014.

  1. Loren Littlejohn

    Loren Littlejohn Lover of all boobage.

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Messages:
    11,754
    Likes Received:
    38
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Auburn NY- we grow em you listen
  2. FrankTheSmith

    FrankTheSmith Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2013
    Messages:
    495
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    18
    So regardless of the speakers I have, this pono thing will make me explode in my pants over the sound quality of a grindcore song I listen to?
     
  3. Axonic Rot

    Axonic Rot Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2010
    Messages:
    150
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    I will never buy this but I'm behind the idea 100%

    The marketing is indeed stupid as shit, but it's there to win people who don't understand the technical information.

    Lossless formats are way the hell better than mp3s by miles and miles. The standard CD quality FLAC files sound unbelievably fantastic. There is much more resolution, better transients and better texture to the sound. The lows are cleaner and everything is more separated and not bleeding around and noisy. 96khz files sound extremely smooth and vivid. After that the difference isn't there when climbing farther and farther up in resolution but having that feature doesn't hurt anything.

    As for converters and the other circuitry, it definitely makes a huge difference. Having good conversion and amplification will allow you to actually enjoy the step up from Mp3s to lossless. Good conversion actually makes mp3s sound better.

    But plugging the thing into some cheap headphones or an average car stereo, you're going to get cleaner punchier lows and that's the only difference this is going to make. You have to own some other nice equipment for this to be worth it.

    So in conclusion, it's good for music and it's good for us and engineers for products to bring attention to reproduction. This isn't whack as hell like beats by Dre, this product will sound legit as shit with some nice cans and cones.

    EDIT:
    Also the scepticism being thrown around on these things is crazy. It's more resolution. To me an mp3 is like watching a VHS tape through an old tube tv from the 80s and FLAC through good conversion is like a top of the line LED panel playing a bluray.
     
  4. LeSedna

    LeSedna Mat or Mateo

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Messages:
    5,404
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Montpellier, France
    I remember when I left my Archos (mentioned on my previous post) for my iphone. An iphone compared to my archos feels flat, metallic, and a bit aggressive with dense guitars. ipod and iphones are actually shit for music, that is the reason why I never bought an iPod cause the only thing we want it to do is play music and it is not even good at that. I eventually accepted to use my iphone for convenience but I am pretty sure the Pono would destroy the ipod anytime in terms of quality since it is specifically designed for quality audio. I am sure it is not that difficult to approach the right designers and manufacturers with this goal in mind. Like people say, it is not inventing anything. It is only profiting from the name "Neil Young". At least it is promoting hi quality music to the masses.

    Hifi hobbyist know little about what they are talking about indeed, but at least if it can read a normal lossless format, it is good enough for the masses. The studio master or 192khz... I am really not sure many people can distinguish them on headphones plugged in a simple mp3 player to a CD dumbed down to 44.1/16bit

    I am not gonna buy one but I would have if I could have had one of the "early" 200 dollar pledge slots. At least I knew if it was shit I could sell it for more than what I paid it for :D

    EDIT : did they change the converters over the years in the iphone ? I am reading some people say they have differences and since the 4S it has stepped up ? Because I am talking about the old iphones 3 and 3GS and the classic ipods from that era. Maybe this is not true anymore and I didn't even realize because I haven't used it much with decent headphones ?
     
  5. Line666

    Line666 Fendurr

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2006
    Messages:
    3,343
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Thats a stupid comparison, you could sit 10 punters down and they'd be able to instantly visually differentiate between the resolution of those two mediums - you can sit down 10 regular people and they'd fail to sonically differentiate between MP3 and FLAC - many research studies show this. On top of this video is always encoded into a lossy format for distribution - even when you watch a Blu Ray you're not watching a raw lossless format.

    Anyone whose ever done any actual research into MP3 as a medium would know that it's actually an incredibly clever way of encoding music and it's geared up to make differentiation as inaudible as possible at higher bit rates using psychoacoustic modelling designed to exploit genuinely physical limitations such as auditory masking and removing elements of the frequency spectrum the ear cannot process. Also lets not kid ourselves in the realm of DAC either - due to the refinement of circuitry over the last ten or so years that DAC in anybodies iPhone is probably infinitely more accurate than even a professional converter from the 90's that everybody made your favourite records on.

    Maybe there are people here that have put in enough critical listening hours to differentiate but I recall a test of that a few years ago and a lot of the mid to low level guys had trouble differentiating between 256 upwards and WAVs without resorting to frequency analysers - now if you can put in 2-3000 hours of critical listening (and lets face it no self described 'audiophile' will have clocked this) and still find it difficult to accurately differentiate then that's an incredibly designed storage medium - let's give credit where credits due and stop shitting on something just because you heard a poorly encoded 96kbps MP3 sample on Myspace back in the day.
     
  6. LeSedna

    LeSedna Mat or Mateo

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Messages:
    5,404
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Montpellier, France
    ^ I agree with that. To me the pono is emphasizing too much on the format and proprietary audio files platform while any player which both accept lossless format + have a good circuitry do exactly the job and they have existed for over 10 years now, in fact since the beginning of the iPod era.

    Also... The iPod/iPhone supports lossless, albeit 16bit only.
     
  7. Axonic Rot

    Axonic Rot Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2010
    Messages:
    150
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    I know bluray is encoded in a lossy format, but it's encoded at a high enough bitrate where it doesn't matter as much. That's why the discs hold 25GB 50GB and 100GB. Think about a movie download that's in HD, it's isn't that large, it's because it's meant for internet transmission, it's lossy and it's going to not look as good, it's lossy in the sense an mp3 is. The bluray isn't lossless, but it's way up there in quality.

    However Mp3s stop at 320kbps. A CD has 1,411.2

    To me mp3 is nice for streaming and it was convenient when storage was smaller, but right now it needs to start fading.

    Mp3 sounds pretty rough when you listen to them on any decent playback equipment. It isn't absolutely abysmal, but it really isn't amazing at all. Smeared transients and just overall less detail.
     
  8. Loren Littlejohn

    Loren Littlejohn Lover of all boobage.

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Messages:
    11,754
    Likes Received:
    38
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Auburn NY- we grow em you listen
    I'm more than willing to admit I can't hear a difference between a 44.1k 16 bit wave and a 320k mp.3 at least on any portable device I have tried.
     
  9. egan.

    egan. daylightdies.com

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Messages:
    5,441
    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    NorCal
    I agree that comparisons of audio formats to video aren't directly analogous however I get his point. We had bluerays (cd) and now we have DVDs (mp3). There is no reason we couldn't have lossless (or even 320) in mainstream stores.
    OTOH I think complaints about iPod DACs are overblown. The biggest issues are the current limitations of the headphone amp. Apple (and sony, samsung, etc) works on an economy of scale that's impossible to get near with a hifi market. I think we'd all benefit a lot more by pressuring apple, amazon and google than by investing in a start up.
     
  10. DavePiatek

    DavePiatek Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2011
    Messages:
    277
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    I've been fuming about Neil Young since I saw the scene in Sound City where he talked about what he felt were fundamental flaws in the digital sampling process. It was clear then (and is doubly so now) that he has no idea about the science of what he shouts about so loudly about and purports to be an expert in. The problem is that Neil Young: Rockstar has a much bigger voice than the nerdy engineers that DO know the science.

    I REALLY wanted to jump through the screen and strangle him during that misinformed tirade he launched into in Sound City. Infuriating.
     
  11. StefTD

    StefTD Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2005
    Messages:
    2,377
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    Esslingen, Germany
    I've read "Neil Young's Porno" and I would have been really bugged by this!
     
  12. Erik Monsonis

    Erik Monsonis Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2006
    Messages:
    3,246
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Mexico City
    I can't hear shit. To me there's no difference between hi quality mp3 and 24 bit WAV. When I'm mixing something it sounds exactly as it sounds when I export and convert to 320 mp3 for the band to check. And it sounds the same as the WAV file that I end up sending the band. It sounds the same to me and to every single client/listener that I've ever asked.

    Then there's the issue of portable devices using sub-par hardware... That's the only point I can see Pono being an improvement, but has nothing to do with a mindblowing new audio format or bullshit like music now jumping at your face and being the ultimate 3D-warm-analog-like sound (lol) because of Pono's awesome converters :lol:

    It's a pretty wild way of trying to snatch $400 USD from naïve audiophiles and audiophile wannabe's
     
  13. Mago

    Mago Austrian Blech Machine

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2009
    Messages:
    4,687
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Vienna, Austria
    I thought Neil Young already died years ago?


    About the "revolutionary" player thingy, I guess people where always prone to be sold useless shit.
    I'd think it would be pretty funny if people buy this only to realize their favorite music was recorded in 44.1/24 :lol:

    Edit:
    I'm totally agreeing that every online store needs to support lossless FLAC tho. paying for nothing but 256kb mp3 is a joke.
     
  14. LydonB

    LydonB Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    Messages:
    1,764
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    Ashburn, VA
    My biggest problem with the Pono at this point is that they haven't truly explained why the Pono is better and/or provided sample. Why is Pono better than something like HDTracks? Eh. I'm all for high quality, but I am skeptical of this.
     
  15. egan.

    egan. daylightdies.com

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Messages:
    5,441
    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    NorCal
    I want to make a couple of points (again). None of the major d/l players sell 320 mp3s so it's somewhat beside the point if it actually sounds the same. Also, I'll point out that your claim to hear no difference is no more scientific than those rock stars claiming that they hear a huge difference. Both are gut reactions subject to the same issues of bias.
     
  16. Plendakor

    Plendakor Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2010
    Messages:
    1,001
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    38
    I can't hear the difference between a VBR 320 MP3 and anything higher.
    However, when converting a WAV that reaches 99.9% of 0dB, you will see that the MP3 will be slightly clipping, even though the WAV did not. Still, my ears fail to see the difference and I did many tests with headphones and monitors. I sometimes do my little fucking purist so I would grad a player that could play 24 bit .wavs if I could but "just because"... fuck that wow effect.
     
  17. Erik Monsonis

    Erik Monsonis Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2006
    Messages:
    3,246
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Mexico City
    Good point.

    Anyways my actual point was "I'm not gonna spend 400 bucks on something I don't need"
     
  18. egan.

    egan. daylightdies.com

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Messages:
    5,441
    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    NorCal
    Haha. In case it wasn't obvious, me either. I'm perfectly satisfied with my iphone for mobile applications and at home I have great converters. I have trouble believing they could make a great player, DAC, and headphone amp hit a $400 price point without the backing of an existing player in the market. If this was the Apogee hifiPod or something I'd be a lot less sceptical.
     
  19. Line666

    Line666 Fendurr

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2006
    Messages:
    3,343
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    36
    I had written a big long post but fuck it, I think the gist of this is that everyone things the pono is a load of overblown shit and the rest of the wav/mp3 differences are circumstantial :lol:
     
  20. Vice//Versa

    Vice//Versa Dude among dudes

    Joined:
    May 5, 2013
    Messages:
    266
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    California
    Totally agreed.

    The only potential question would be how exactly could you improve the listening end of the audience... like discrediting beats and other sub-par means of broadcasting, reducing rms levels on masters, etc.
     

Share This Page