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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. Kendoji
    That's interesting.  Seems to run counter to what many other folks have experienced, but I would love to believe that there is 'something' to hi-res.  With all the controversy around Pono we should at least see more of these kinds of tests and reports.  Personally I doubt I could ever hear the difference, but then again I think that Spotify sounds just as good as my CDs.  :)
  2. JacobLee89
    There's also the possibility that hearing degradation is in play as well.
    But that's another story, another thread, and possibly something that shouldn't be in this forum.
    For me, it does seem that it's all down to the methods in which the music is compressed. FLAC and lossless files for me seems to be a good reference point to see how well the "lossy" formats were converted.
  3. Bas72
    Thanks, Kokomo O! I think I hear the difference myself too, but I've heard so many people say it's impossible that I have started to doubt my own ears... Still: it doesn't keep me from buying the highest possible quality, because that's what I always do: I buy the highest possible quality that I can afford. It's a good rule of thumb to live by. :)
  4. PalJoey

    There are plenty of people who claim loudly and repeatedly that nobody, NOBODY D'YOU HEAR ME? can hear the difference between mp3 and hi-res.
    There were plenty of people who claimed loudly and repeatedly that CD was 'perfect sound forever' when it was launched.
    There are plenty of people who claim loudly and repeatedly that the moon landings never happened, God created dinosaur skeletons to test our faith and that Justin Bieber is in no way unlistenably shrill.
    They can all post links to scientific 'proof'. Apart from the last one. Obviously.
    I archive my vinyl to 24bit/96kHz because I think it sounds great, especially when I compare the same track back-to-back from the same LP ripped to hi-res FLAC and ripped to MP3. 
    For me, 24bit/192 kHz would take too much room and my system would probably not be up to making any improvements obvious.
  5. Achmedisdead
    So have you compared your vinyl ripped to 16bit/44.1kHz FLAC to 24/96 FLAC? 
    I can believe that people with better ears than mine could hear a difference between an MP3 and a lossless file, even though I cannot hear any difference(after a childhood filled with ear infections, etc.).
    But using the same source(eliminating the different mastering argument), being your vinyl, is there really a difference between ripping it 16/44.1 vs. 24/96 if both are FLAC?
    inquiring_minds_logo.png  [​IMG]
  6. PalJoey

    That's something I intend to do, but haven't got round to yet.
    I do have several 16/44 rips, but they date from before several turntable upgrades I did. Therefore, I deliberately did not mention the audible differences that exist between them and the newer hi-res ones, as it would not be an accurate or fair comparison. 
    I'd imagine a newly-done 16/44 rip would sound good, though, and intend to make some comparison rips when time allows.
  7. whatisitsci
    I'm thinking about pulling out of my pledge due to being in the UK and the taxes and duty pushing the price up. Can anyone suggest another DAP at a reasonable price with a decent UI?
  8. AmberOzL

    FiiO X5? Possibly iBasso DX90 when it will be released in a few days?
    When you say reasonable price I think nothing can beat FiiO and iBasso units.
    There is Sony ZX1 too but it is more expensive than the 2 I mentioned.
    Cowon is bringing an 24/192 playback dap, P1, but nobody knows about the release date and the price.
  9. PalJoey
    First thing I'd do if offered a Pono player to try is put it in my pocket and see if any of those plus/zero/minus buttons get accidentally activated by pressure against my leg. That could be annoying.
  10. flatmap
    By bringing in Ayre Acoustics, it's clear they're serious about making an uncommonly good music player.
    But what I'm keen to know more about is the headphone amplifier circuit.  Is this this something yet to
    be designed? For example, will it be quiet enough for sensitive IEMs?  Will it be beefy enough planar magnetics?
    I wonder what they're using for their headphone amp design requirements...
  11. whatisitsci

    Thanks for your advice, much appreciated
  12. Kendoji
    I've been intrigued by this whole story, and the other day downloaded a couple of 24/92 vinyl rips of early Black Sabbath albums.  They sounded pretty good to me!  Then I played the same albums on Spotify.  And the Spotify version was better.  This is utterly meaningless, of course, as it's highly likely that the ripped vinyl and the Spotify version are different masters, the latter probably being a newer remaster or one that I simply prefer.  But still, it goes to show that fixating only on bits and herz isn't the way to go.  :)  I will definitely do some more experiments.
  13. AmberOzL

    Take those 24/192 files in your computer, downgrade them to 24/96, 16/44.1 and 320kbps mp3. Then compare all those 4 files in blind test, make AB comparisons.
    That's the only way you can find the truth. Don't forget to use a high resolution c/iem and/or headphone with nice source+amplification.
  14. Koukol
    Thanks Foolwolf!
  15. szeiger
    I wouldn't count on that. Music licensing is done separately for all European countries. It's a huge mess compared to the US. While you can easily order a CD from another EU country, the same is not true for downloads.
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