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PONO - Neil Youngs portable hi-res music player - Page 63

post #931 of 4585

My two penn'orth is that, as far as I can tell, Beats are not being bought as "high sound quality" headphones, they are being sold as badge swank/costume jewellery. Gotta have that big dumb red 'b' on your lugs or you're not where it's at... as I believe the kids put it.


 

I reckon that the majority of Beats owners are pretty much unaware of the existence of Pono, HDTracks, FLAC, dedicated headphone amps or anything of the sort. Pono's Kickstarter success is big, but only by Kickstarter standards. the number of people who have backed it is in the tens on thousands, not the hundreds of thousands, let alone millions, which is the market area where the big boppers play.


 

Pono investors are (I hope!) the anti-herd, and people who, if they have decided to put down hard cash on a player than promises high quality replay, will be aware enough to buy headphones that will deliver exactly that.


 

I also seem to remember reading that the Pono website will be recommending headphones for Pono, rather than making their own. That keeps a currently buoyant market sector on their side, instead of alienating them by tying Pono users into a single-brand ecosystem. Smart. That's what Apple did, by supplying earphones in the box that only a tin-eared gadget journalist could love.


 

I hope. . .

post #932 of 4585

I suspect that the goal of Pono is to create a "road" to higher quality in the minds of the consumer, which means everything is then on the table:  player, quality of files, and headphone model. 

 

If Pono provides better sound for those who have Beats, that change will start the listener questioning where other improvements could be had.  That is the goal:  Get the question of higher quality in the mind of the consumer that starts them down the road...

 

Then, hopefully, they find head-fi, where we can welcome them and apologize in advance about their wallets.  :)

post #933 of 4585
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzman7 View Post
 

I suspect that the goal of Pono is to create a "road" to higher quality in the minds of the consumer, which means everything is then on the table:  player, quality of files, and headphone model. 

 

If Pono provides better sound for those who have Beats, that change will start the listener questioning where other improvements could be had.  That is the goal:  Get the question of higher quality in the mind of the consumer that starts them down the road...

 

Then, hopefully, they find head-fi, where we can welcome them and apologize in advance about their wallets.  :)

Hope someone comes up with a large enough recycling bin for all the Beat headphones ever made before the Pono comes out, that could be the real challenge...

post #934 of 4585
I would be interested, if you could purchase/download/play hi res files directly from the device without a computer.
post #935 of 4585
Quote:
Originally Posted by MyInnerEar View Post

I would be interested, if you could purchase/download/play hi res files directly from the device without a computer.
This player is based around (supposedly) audiophile sq, and nothing more. Wireless downloads aren't part of the initial equation. If it succeeds, maybe later. I do highly doubt that though,... :/
post #936 of 4585

Did anybody go to the Pono event at "The Audio Salon?" I'd love to hear some impressions.

post #937 of 4585

Still Meridian hardware apparently.

post #938 of 4585

I wonder if Meridian will launch their own HD Dap since they obviously know how to make one. 

post #939 of 4585
Quote:
Originally Posted by Super Pang View Post
 

Still Meridian hardware apparently.


Yeah, I read that on Computer Audiophile and thought it was rather pointless of them to organize an event since the actual device will use different hardware. The only comment I read said that it was fantastic-sounding compared to hearing the same recording (Neil Young, of course) from an iphone. Warren P. Chi chose to not comment since it had the Meridian dac...I guess there could be some similarity or the final product may be in the ballpark sound-wise of what they brought to that event, but there's no way to know.

post #940 of 4585

If Meridian can do it, Ayre can pull it off too. 

post #941 of 4585
post #942 of 4585

Reasons for me to wait:

1. Many Chinese DAPs, including Hifiman are pretty buggy & limited when it comes to User interface and software implementation

2. Pono is an American company using another american company (Ayre) while Fiio is 100% Chinese.

3. I bet Ayre's internal parts are going to be better

4. I've heard mixed feelings about the X5

5. I like toblerones a lot 

6. Patience is a virtue

7. I can't afford either of them anyway right now : )

post #943 of 4585
Quote:
Originally Posted by doublea71 View Post
 


Yeah, I read that on Computer Audiophile and thought it was rather pointless of them to organize an event since the actual device will use different hardware. The only comment I read said that it was fantastic-sounding compared to hearing the same recording (Neil Young, of course) from an iphone. Warren P. Chi chose to not comment since it had the Meridian dac...I guess there could be some similarity or the final product may be in the ballpark sound-wise of what they brought to that event, but there's no way to know.

 

 

Your focusing on the Pono player too much Pono is much more than that.  I actually attended the event, it was nice and everyone was really cool (especially Warren and Ethan???).  It was really a friendly setting and I must thank our host Maier for everything (also a nice guy), however I got there 2 hrs late due to traffic and so as soon I entered the room John stated that he should "stop talking and we should listen to some Pono" (paraphrased) so I could've have interrupted an asked him questions that he probably already answered and/or differed to a later date or I could've sat back and listen to some 24/192khz files out a meridian dac fed into a $100,000 audio system (the speakers themselves cost 50gs) I chose the latter.  John was there for a couple of hours and was talking to anyone that wanted to talk to him, there must have been no more than 20 people there, so it was really easy to get to him.   However this was my first show (like ever) and as soon as I got there Warren and Ethan introduced themselves to me and I talk to them a bit before going inside (causing me to miss the last of the talk) and so the night went on like that, I wanted to talk to John but I was preoccupied by varies conversations or other things (food or listening to the Pono) that I didn't get to ask him anything (I was literately standing right behind him for 30 minutes but didn't talk to him, we where both next to the food table and I was devouring cookies and chips with humus and he was answering questions) but what I heard him say briefly is pretty much inline with what Chris said John were talking about all parts of the Pono company. How they were getting the masters, how they were planning to expand beyond the US market, etc.

 

However if you are interested only in the Pono player here is what I heard.  John didn't say that the player was the meridian model he told us that the models we were listening to were about 1 1/2 years old.  How the Pono sounded at the event is basically the starting point for Christopher and Ayre work on the player.  Currently the minds of Ayre are in a room somewhere stroking there beards figuring out what needs to be improved (John said that the Kickstarter funding is basically going towards sonic improvements to the model and the first production run).  Like I said it was a very friendly meeting so at one point when John wanted a drink he handed one of the models to the nearest attendant told him to play with it and left the room.  The other model was just sitting on the floor so I picked it up and started to play with it.  The UI needs a lot of work, but if you watched the video interview John did with techcrunch the company is aware of that.  The player feels solid. I actually like the toblerone shape, it's unique and I am tired of the iwannabes (main reason I never gave the Fiio x5 another look is I think its trying to be to much like the ipod classic, a design that I'm tired of seeing) luckily at this show Ethan brought his ak240 and let me play with it as well, the sizes are comparable in thickness and in height.  This was my first time ever seeing the ak240 in real person, up till now it was a myth to me, much like Atlantis, the first picture I saw of the ak240 I laugh at how gaudy it looked but slowly as I got more angle shots I came around and once I held it in my hand I fell for it (currently planning to rob a local bank to finance purchasing it, anybody in?)  Both will distort your pocket by the same amount (pono actually will distort your pocket less than the ak240). 

 

Ok long post, yeah that was the event (from my perspective) after this event I don't really regret being $400 dollars in the hole for a signiture edition Pono.


Edited by audiofrk - 5/15/14 at 8:38pm
post #944 of 4585
Does anyone know why Neil Young decided to go with Ayre after producing a supposedly "fantastic sounding" Meridian Pono?
post #945 of 4585

Thanks for the response - I get your point about the player not being the only thing to consider with Pono, but let's be realistic: there is much more information available about the player than the music site; the player was the centerpiece of the whole kickstarter campaign (they made a conscious decision to place it front and center) and the limited-edition models are a big part of the reason they generated such a large amount of money (imo). If they went on kickstarter and Neil asked people to fund their Pono website, it's safe to say there would have been less buzz. I do look forward to hearing about the site and the mastering of their catalog, though.

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