Originally Posted by meat01
I just can't see anyone paying more money for a hi res file when there is absolutely no audible difference from a normal resolution file.
There's already quite a few websites selling High res music. If no one could hear any difference, I think they'd long have been ignored by now.
Take the case of Linn for instance, they sell High end audio equipment and High res files. They've been around for a long time, first as a Hi-Fi manufacturer. They are pretty well regarded by audiophiles. Their 30+ years old turntable Sondek LP12 is still a reference in terms of analogue reproduction. Their top of the line complete systems cost tens of thousands of dollars and while no one will hear any difference playing High res on a sub $1000 music system, a simple demo in one of Linn's show rooms will prove to anyone that with proper equipment, high res do in fact sound much more open, realistic, and enjoyable. Not just barely, the experience is much more open, dynamic and "alive".
There is a lot of gear out there that sounds "pretty good", gear "capable" of playing High res CD's/files (as of "decoding" them), yet, without audibly improving anything because of the internal electronics limitations. In this case, the gear's premise is misleading and certainly feeds skepticism. If it sounds "pretty good", until one has experienced "quite better", why pay more for no audible difference? That's a given.
The fact that the portable audio industry has also been toying around with relatively good sounding DAPs, different tuning/sound flavors, and increasing functionality of "decoding" Higher res files (in many cases, still barely audible) certainly contributes to more skepticism, especially when prices for top of the line DAPs have quadrupled in four years (!!!)
... Not mentioning the many "scientific" studies of the human audible range... computer analysis... spec sheets numbers... ... ... Quick to conclude that current compressed technology/hardware has reached a point where it can't get anymore "audible" ! So misleading...
So, while I personally don't expect a $399 pono to rival with a top of the line Linn system, my own experience with analogue vs digital music reproduction and stereo equipment in general has shown that file resolution and equipment go hand in hand in order to experience an audible improvement.
If it is possible with Home HI-Fi systems and some DACs can already do it, there must be room to implement new/better technology to bridge the gap between the common player and higher end audio systems.
Hence the pono player's awkward shape to combine the appropriate electronics components, recent technologic advancements, and Ayre's expertise to deliver a DAP capable of reproducing music in a much more vinyl-like dynamic realistic manner.
If it succeeds in delivering on its promises, the $400 pono price makes a strong case for Neil Young's main goal to restore the original audio experience to the mass (not just audiophiles or the wealthy), rather than a mere marketing coup solely for his own benefit.
I really hope he succeeds because the portable audio industry's prices are becoming more and more exclusive. And if he does, no doubt it will be a game changer for the portable audio industry. I got really good feelings about it.