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PONO - Neil Youngs portable hi-res music player

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by currawong, Sep 28, 2012.
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  1. Saraguie
    Yes a 64 GB card included.  Let me be the first to bring it up. "I wonder if it will read the new 128GB card?"  [​IMG]
  2. Levanter

    If it supports 64gb there should be no problem supporting 128gb as well
  3. ExpatinJapan
    I wouldnt buy anything audio without listening to a sample version first.
  4. CosmicHolyGhost
    I hope to listen to this. Reasonably priced audiophile DAP is a rarity nowadays. [​IMG]
  5. Saraguie
    Buying this was a no brainer for me......the Neil Young Limited edition sold out in hours. Its worth the $$ from an investment point of view. Plus I really dig Neil's music. Rust Never Sleeps has got to be the best live concert every filmed.
    I bet all the other editions will sell out way before production too.
  6. hearo
    the launch strategy was really neat. i saw some skeptcism about the kickstarter campaign. IMO, of course the founders certainly have more than $800,000 to fund the project. the kickstarter page makes no claims as to how the money will be spent (comparing to other projects that require this initial capital to make an affordable mass production). of course it drives me crazy that key specs have not been posted and that the launch does not leverage established audiophile communities. 
    launching pono on kickstarter and announcing it at a SXSW was merely a way to gauge interest as well as build more hype in a grassroots sort of way.  i haven't read or seen enough to determine the authenticity. but we all know neil young was more anal than most about how his stuff was recorded. i don't doubt his passion for how he wants it to be delivered. .
    i think we can all share sentiment when i say: to get the recognition they deserve, i really wish that audiophile gear companies put as much effort into marketing and user experience design as they put into sound engineering. 
    our hobby has certainly seen an increase in in the quality and number of products as well as a surge of consumers. we have few mainstream champions for our cause. Steve Jobs and Apple for putting "1000 songs in our pocket." and while i somewhat cringe to say it, i have to give Dr. Dre and Monster credit as key champions bringing the general consumers' attention to headphones. now i'm glad to see Neil Young and Pono as champions for high res files and high res players. it only gets better from here.
    btw, cool points for featuring what looks like the V6's and Grados in the kickstarter videos and i love the underwater listening graphic: http://imgur.com/fJY7RtO
  7. FraGGleR
    Lol.  Thanks!
  8. flatmap
    Reading the kickstarter page, there seem to be two major design differences.
    1. The PONO HW can deliver up to 24/192.  I think the iDevices max out at 16/44.1 (maybe 16/48?).
    2. The larger footprint allows them to squeeze in discrete components and do a better job with the analog output circuit.  E.g., the big capacitors you see in the picture above just arent' going to fit in an iDevice.
    Not quite on topic of your question, but it's not just a DMP that they are offering.  They hope to create an "end-to-end ecosystem" that creates high res
    offerings from the original masters.  At least I hope that's what they mean to do.  
    Of interest to this community is going to be especially the implementation of the headphone amp.  
    Also the press releases indicate they are going to do PONO branded headphones downstream.  Not expecting to see that until next year however.
    I already backed the kickstarter -- so I'm hoping to get some answers... in Oct 2014. 
  9. doublea71
    It's funny to hear all of the musicians crow about how great it sounds, as if they just invented high-res music. This is a good thing though - I think this is going to put a big spotlight on sound quality for the masses. I'm tempted to spring for the CSNY limited edition player - too bad the Neil Young-only version is sold out...I'm surprised that it only has 8 hours of battery life since they mention the added benefit of using a cylindrical battery. It's funny that they do say it has a Toblerone-like shape on the kickstarter page....they make no mention of putting the thing in your pocket, though. Maybe they will come out with a holster at some point.
  10. FraGGleR
    I would think that they would use the mobile version of the ES9018 since it was designed for this kind of use and should be easier to build the proper power and outputs to go with it.  Having read for years how hard the ES9018 is to do "right" with full sized DACs, I wonder how well they can do in such a small package (unless they are using the mobile version).
    I really want one of the limited editions, but with a GEEK Out coming and hopefully android compatibility still intact from earlier testing, I'm not sure how an audiophile DAP would be better outside of being a more compact package (though many people still seem to output either digitally or otherwise to outboard dac/amps with the AKs).  This is pretty reasonably priced, though, especially since 128gb microsds are available now to more reasonably get passed storage issues.
    I haven't been able to read all the release about this, so does anyone know if we can put our previously purchased songs on the Pono?  Or is it going to be walled garden a la iTunes?
  11. Levanter
    There is already a Pono thread, is there really a need for another one?
  12. flatmap
    Some very good info on their kickstarter page: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1003614822/ponomusic-where-your-soul-rediscovers-music
    From the FAQ:
    Can I play digital music files I already own on my PonoPlayer?
    Yes, you can and it will probably sound better on the PonoPlayer than you've ever heard it.

    The PonoPlayer is designed to play PonoMusic with stunning clarity. However, the player can play almost any kind of music track including FLAC, ALAC, mp3, WAV, AIFF, AAC (unprotected).

  13. thegrobe
    Double post
  14. thegrobe
    Flatmap beat me to it! Quick on the draw...LOL
  15. Jupiterknight
    If the Pony sounds anywhere near a Danish Densen amplifier from the early 90's (owned one for many years and truly miss it!) I would pledge my hard earned money in a heartbeat but I highly doubt so and I kind of see this venture as a pure profit joke that with all my deep respect for Neil Young.. I kind wish he hadn't started this and just stayed with his trains and models.. I could of course be very much wrong and so could we all, one way or another..
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