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Sony's DSD-capable PHA-2 portable headphone amp/DAC - Page 11

post #151 of 551
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mython View Post
 

 

 

I somewhat agree with both standpoints! :beerchug: 

 

Me too.

post #152 of 551
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mython View Post
 

 

If Jobs was still alive (not that I am a 'fan' of him, mind you), then it would be reasonable to anticipate Apple innovating a bit with a genuinely new iPod Touch device that takes Hi-Rez audiophile needs seriously with some proper audiophile grade components, but as it is, Apple just seems to be run by unimaginative bean-counters since his passing.

 

For example, I'm sure you are familiar with the following:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/593712/audiophile-successor-to-ipod-neil-young-and-steve-jobs-had-plans

 

As it is, Apple just re-sell other labels' music, and whilst they've been undeniably successful in developing their iDevice + iTunes ecosystem, I don't see them being particularly motivated to push Hi-Rez in terms of either hardware or software. Red book ALAC seems to be as far as they're willing to go, since they don't appear to respect their customers as having the intelligence to appreciate Hi-Rez.

 

Consequently, I don't foresee Apple joining the Hi-Rez bandwagon until 3 to 5 years from now, though I would honestly be quite happy to be proven wrong.

 

Sony, on the other hand, have a massive back catalogue of their own-label music to harvest profits from, by re-releasing it at Hi-Rez. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I really don't think Sony would've been motivated to embrace Hi-Rez this soon if they did not have a huge music catalogue to profit from re-releasing at Hi-Rez. The DSD format is a moot point. It's just a codec. The real point here is producing the hardware to convince customers to embrace Hi-Rez purchasing re-issues of their back catalogue.

 

 

.

 

Actually Neil Young and his audiophile player is still on, I don't know anything about Apple though. Neil are aiming at a release next year and have a deal with the biggest music company's (Sony included my guess), so probably we will see both a portable player but also a hires music store in a few months. Still no information about the format though, could be either PCM or DSD. Neil have done a lot talking to Meridian Audio (MLP, DVD-A inventors) so it can even be something completely new also.

post #153 of 551

He used to specifically talk about 24/192 so I suspect it will do PCM and DSD..

post #154 of 551
Noob question? Would it be overkill to have a NWZ zx1-pha2-xba h3.
post #155 of 551
Quote:
Originally Posted by kallekutta View Post
 

 

Actually Neil Young and his audiophile player is still on ....

 

 

Oh, really? That's nice to know. If you can share any links about this, please let me know.

 

I know Neil knows the folks at Meridian quite well - they mention him in some of their publicity materials on their website. I would be VERY interested to see him actually collaborate with Meridian to produce a decent DAP, as Meridian know high-end digital electronics as well as virtually anyone else in the industry.  ...and of course, they did recently produce an uncharacteristically-affordable USB DAC, so who knows - maybe they might be willing to contribute to a DAP.

 

I suspect Apple will just continue serving the mass-market for the next couple of years.


Edited by Mython - 10/4/13 at 8:52am
post #156 of 551

Maybe you guys already know, but SONY is opening their on-line `High Reso` music store this month, on the 17th.   Sorry, the site is only in Japanese :

 

http://mora.jp/etc/highreso?fmid=TOPCLPPP01

 

You can see the tasty numbers in English though.  This is to coincide with the release of the new high-rez walkmans.  I played around with the zx1 in the SONY salon in Ginza two days ago:  looks good but the Sony guy flat out told me it will only output digital to the new PH-2 amp/dac, with a proprietary cable.  The guy actually told me that if I want to run it through something like the C`entrance M8, I should go with AK100.  He frequently mentioned the AK100 (not the 120), which may say something about what kind of training materials SONY are providing to their sales people.....

post #157 of 551
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mython View Post
 

 

 

Oh, really? That's nice to know. If you can share any links about this, please let me know.

The best place for information is their facebook page, the third longer announcement by Neil himself is pretty interesting.

 

https://www.facebook.com/NeilYoungPono

post #158 of 551
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dopaminer View Post
Sony guy flat out told me it will only output digital to the new PH-2 amp/dac, with a proprietary cable.  The guy actually told me that if I want to run it through something like the C`entrance M8, I should go with AK100.  He frequently mentioned the AK100 (not the 120), which may say something about what kind of training materials SONY are providing to their sales people.....

 

If that's the case, the "USB audio" out of ZX1 requires a proprietary Sony USB cable to PHA-2.

 

But if I just get the PHA-2,can I use the standard USB cable to connect it from any laptops or Apple/Android cellphones.

 

Also, do I need to install a special music player on laptop or cellphones to connect to PHA-2?
If not, i can actually use X5 as source transport if Fiio decided to upgrade it with USB audio out.. It may as well be a cheaper alternative to try out this new Sony flagship product?

post #159 of 551

You will need drivers for DSD, but for standard USB audio you don't have to get drivers.  But again we are talking about Sony here so who knows.

post #160 of 551
Quote:
Originally Posted by kallekutta View Post
 

The best place for information is their facebook page, the third longer announcement by Neil himself is pretty interesting.

 

https://www.facebook.com/NeilYoungPono

 

Thanks for that, I must say, I was particularly interested by this statement:

 

"Young's Pono project has the backing of Sony Music, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group according to Young's investment partner Craig Kallman, chairman and chief executive of Atlantic Records, reports Rolling Stone."

 

 

This suggests a curiously 2-pronged approach, in regard to Hi-Rez, by Sony Music (well, 3-pronged, if one considers the Sony stuff already available from HD Tracks, etc.)

 

 

Whatever device/codec I eventually go for (probably flac, and transcode other codecs into flac before transferring to the DAP, if the DAP does not support the original codec), I'm just happy to see a big label like Sony finally taking Hi-Rez seriously, in spite of the naysayers claiming that Red Book is indistinguishable (I concede that Red Book can sound FANTASTIC when the source material is mastered well - and mastering is more important than Hi-Rez, but that is not to say that I think there is no point in Hi-Rez). Sure, with back-catalogue recordings, it's a bit of a crap-shoot as to how well the original source was mastered, but looking forwards, my hope is that artists, engineers, and studio personnel creating music from this point on, will, because of Hi-Rez becoming more the norm, make much greater efforts to produce high-end sound quality in their masters. I've seen too many critics of Hi-Rez who fail to consider this factor that Hi-Rez formats can (potentially) drive quality in new music releases. :smile: 

 

The PONO project seems (from what little I've read) to be rather ambiguous as to what codec it intends to use, other than rumours it will be at 24/192. On that point, at least, I somewhat concur with Linn's criticism that we need standardisation of Hi-Rez codecs, not increased divergence of them. It remains to be seen what the PONO hardware brings to the table, and whether or not it will support other codecs (flac, DSD etc.), particularly in view of the music licensing partners such as Sony, who, as we are currently seeing, are personally promoting DSD as the Hi-Rez format of choice. At least we can transcode DSD to flac, using Weiss Saracon or Izotope, etc. Unless the PONO hardware is stunningly-good, I can't really see me buying a skinny triangular brick just in order to play PONO codec files.

 

 

 

I'm surprised they aren't giving the PONO DAP a more high-end look... The Sony NW-ZX1 is a class apart, in terms of exterior design.

 

Perhaps the cheap look of the PONO DAP is indicative of a surprisingly-mainstream price-point? It looks like it's aimed at iPod Shuffle users seeking Hi-Rez playback.

 

 

.


Edited by Mython - 10/4/13 at 9:06am
post #161 of 551
agree.I am also very interested. Can't wait to hear it come October. 33.gif
post #162 of 551
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mython View Post
 

 

Thanks for that, I must say, I was particularly interested by this statement:

 

"Young's Pono project has the backing of Sony Music, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group according to Young's investment partner Craig Kallman, chairman and chief executive of Atlantic Records, reports Rolling Stone."

 

 

This suggests a curiously 2-pronged approach, in regard to Hi-Rez, by Sony Music (well, 3-pronged, if one considers the Sony stuff already available from HD Tracks, etc.)

 

 

Whatever device/codec I eventually go for (probably flac, and transcode other codecs into flac before transferring to the DAP, if the DAP does not support the original codec), I'm just happy to see a big label like Sony finally taking Hi-Rez seriously, in spite of the naysayers claiming that Red Book is indistinguishable (I concede that Red Book can sound FANTASTIC when the source material is mastered well - and mastering is more important than Hi-Rez, but that is not to say that I think there is no point in Hi-Rez). Sure, with back-catalogue recordings, it's a bit of a crap-shoot as to how well the original source was mastered, but looking forwards, my hope is that artists, engineers, and studio personnel creating music from this point on, will, because of Hi-Rez becoming more the norm, make much greater efforts to produce high-end sound quality in their masters. I've seen too many critics of Hi-Rez who fail to consider this factor that Hi-Rez formats can (potentially) drive quality in new music releases. :smile:

 

The PONO project seems (from what little I've read) to be rather ambiguous as to what codec it intends to use, other than rumours it will be at 24/192. On that point, at least, I somewhat concur with Linn's criticism that we need standardisation of Hi-Rez codecs, not increased divergence of them. It remains to be seen what the PONO hardware brings to the table, and whether or not it will support other codecs (flac, DSD etc.), particularly in view of the music licensing partners such as Sony, who, as we are currently seeing, are personally promoting DSD as the Hi-Rez format of choice. At least we can transcode DSD to flac, using Weiss Saracon or Izotope, etc. Unless the PONO hardware is stunningly-good, I can't really see me buying a skinny triangular brick just in order to play PONO codec files.

 

 

 

I'm surprised they aren't giving the PONO DAP a more high-end look... The Sony NW-ZX1 is a class apart, in terms of exterior design.

 

Perhaps the cheap look of the PONO DAP is indicative of a surprisingly-mainstream price-point? It looks like it's aimed at iPod Shuffle users seeking Hi-Rez playback.

 

 

.

 

 

It's kind of hard to establish the level of quality of the player by a quick shot on an episode of Letterman.  That, and I don't think it's a safe assumption that the player Neil has been toting around is at all indicative of what the final product will be.

post #163 of 551
Quote:
Originally Posted by yilishen View Post

agree.I am also very interested. Can't wait to hear it come October. 33.gif33.gif

 

 

If you need to attach an image, just click on this icon:

 

 

Then you can upload the image from your hard drive to the website server and it will display properly :smile:

 

 

.


Edited by Mython - 10/4/13 at 7:25pm
post #164 of 551
Quote:
Originally Posted by Speakerphile View Post
 

 

 

It's kind of hard to establish the level of quality of the player by a quick shot on an episode of Letterman.  That, and I don't think it's a safe assumption that the player Neil has been toting around is at all indicative of what the final product will be.

From their facebook page:

 

So we’ll be launching both the PONO portable player – an updated version of the one I showed on David Letterman’s program – and an online library, with all your favorite music available in PonoMusic quality.

post #165 of 551
Quote:
Originally Posted by kallekutta View Post
 

From their facebook page:

 

So we’ll be launching both the PONO portable player – an updated version of the one I showed on David Letterman’s program – and an online library, with all your favorite music available in PonoMusic quality.

 

Which may or may not be similar to the one he had on the show.  It could look vastly different than what was shown.  

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