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  1. #1
    VIP Member CzarJunkie's Avatar
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    Hardware Pono Music - Where Your Soul Rediscovers Music

    Neil Young has launched a kickstarter for Pono Music. (Yes, I thought it said porno when I first read it. )

    The website can explain it better than I can, suffice to say it sounds right up my alley. I've backed it and pledged enough for the Beck limited edition, can't wait to get my grubby hands on it. I've forgotten what real music sounds like...............

    If you love music, I think you might like it.

    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]

  2. #2
    DF Probation Goldberg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pono Music - Where Your Soul Rediscovers Music

    Seems a bit pricey... I think the iPod sales won't suffer..

    I like the looks of it though and I also thought 'porno' when I first read it. Smashed the target so looks like it will do ok to start.
    We all make mistakes sometimes

  3. #3
    DF PwNagE ss30's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pono Music - Where Your Soul Rediscovers Music

    $400 Hmmmmm.

    The thing's only going to have 128gb memory, a FLAC CD rip isn't much smaller than .WAV so a minimum of around 500meg per album. So on a 128gb you could fit around 240 albums on it if they were the lowest (cd) quality or at the highest quality about 70 albums.

    Good luck to them I think they will need it.
    Last edited by ss30; 14th March 2014 at 11:37 AM.

  4. #4
    VIP Member CzarJunkie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pono Music - Where Your Soul Rediscovers Music

    Quote Originally Posted by ss30 View Post
    $400 Hmmmmm.

    The thing's only going to have 128gb memory, a FLAC CD rip isn't much smaller than .WAV so a minimum of around 500meg per album. So on a 128gb you could fit around 240 albums on it if they were the lowest (cd) quality or at the highest quality about 70 albums.

    Good luck to them I think they will need it.
    I'll agree on that, the storage could be better. However, if you want the best sounding music, you have to make a compromise somehwere and I'd rather it be on storage than sound quality. Here's their answer to how many tracks you'll be able to fit on the standard player.

    The PonoPlayer ships with a total of 128GB. 64GB of memory is built into the player and another 64GB of memory on a removable microSD card. The expansion slot can accept microSD cards of up to 64GB each. Unlike many other portable music players, the microSD cards are designed to be easily swappable. For example, you can build a library of various playlists or genres on different cards and simply swap them in and out, much like you'd swap game cards on a portable gaming console. So in reality you have infinite capacity on the PonoPlayer.

    How many songs can it hold? That depends on the quality of your music files:


    • CD lossless quality recordings (44.1 kHz/16 bit): About 5000 tracks.
    • High-resolution recordings (48 kHz/24 bit): About 3200 tracks.
    • Higher-resolution recordings (96 kHz/24 bit): About 1600 tracks.
    • Ultra-high resolution recordings (192 kHz/24 bit): About 800 tracks.

    I think the fact it takes SD cards too means you can store more stuff and just take the cards with you. It's not ideal, it's a compromise.

  5. #5
    DF PwNagE Geko's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pono Music - Where Your Soul Rediscovers Music

    96KHZ 24 bit - all day long for me. This is perfect for me.

    I read the other day that they had reached their kickstarter total already.

  6. #6
    DF PwNagE Geko's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pono Music - Where Your Soul Rediscovers Music

    Back to this....

    I am tempted to support for one of the players, either at the $300 point or the $400 Lenny Kravitz edition. But... Are there any details on the DAC and.... Most importantly... What are the options for getting access to the music in the 24 bit quality? At the moment a legal digital download of 24 bit music is about £20. So... I end up buying the vinyl instead. Currently... The Ponomusic.com store is not up, so no pricing available.

    The music is mixed in 24bit in the studio. So it makes sense to listen to it. I think this Pono will end up pushing others to do the same and make 24 bit audio the new digital standard.

  7. #7
    VIP Member CzarJunkie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pono Music - Where Your Soul Rediscovers Music

    Quote Originally Posted by Geko View Post
    Back to this....

    I am tempted to support for one of the players, either at the $300 point or the $400 Lenny Kravitz edition. But... Are there any details on the DAC and.... Most importantly... What are the options for getting access to the music in the 24 bit quality? At the moment a legal digital download of 24 bit music is about £20. So... I end up buying the vinyl instead. Currently... The Ponomusic.com store is not up, so no pricing available.

    The music is mixed in 24bit in the studio. So it makes sense to listen to it. I think this Pono will end up pushing others to do the same and make 24 bit audio the new digital standard.
    The digital and analog circuitry has been developed by [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]. The DAC is probably similar to what's in the [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] as they claim the technology is based on their work on that, the QA-9 and the KX-R Twenty.

    As regards pricing, they claim in the FAQ that albums will cost from $14.99 -$24.99. So approx £15 an album for the ultra-high quality. Let's not forget that there's no DRM too, so I guess it'll creep out into the wild at some point..................

    Thanks to CzarJunkie

    Geko (15th March 2014) 


  8. #8
    DF Super Moderator DJ Overdose's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pono Music - Where Your Soul Rediscovers Music

    Its all about sound replication rather than sound recording. This will appeal to the audiophiles for sure, alas for mainstream its prob too soon. As good an idea as it is, long term it might struggle IMO.


    DJ OD
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  9. #9
    VIP Member CzarJunkie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pono Music - Where Your Soul Rediscovers Music

    Pono have produced a nice little visual to show the difference in quality between streaming/mp3/CD and their higher resolution offering:


  10. #10
    DF PwNagE Geko's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pono Music - Where Your Soul Rediscovers Music

    24 bit 96 KHZ is my format of choice. Although I will try the 24 bit 192 khz on my Squeezbox and see if I can tell the difference.

  11. #11
    DF Rookie danbarber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pono Music - Where Your Soul Rediscovers Music

    It's well worth reading Christopher Montgomery's article on this: [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]

    The truth is 16-bit, 44.1/48Khz is ample for a delivery format. Nobody can actually tell the difference between that and 24-bit, 96/192Khz audio. In fact, 192Khz audio *can* sound worse (see article). 24-bit is definitely useful for processing/mixing audio though as it means rounding errors are way below the audible threshold.

    What Pono might give us though is better mastered music. Much of the stuff that's been coming out on CD for the last few decades has been horribly smashed in mastering.

    Thanks to danbarber

    MHP (23rd March 2014) 


  12. #12
    DF Jedi braymond's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pono Music - Where Your Soul Rediscovers Music

    Quote Originally Posted by Geko View Post
    24 bit 96 KHZ is my format of choice. Although I will try the 24 bit 192 khz on my Squeezbox and see if I can tell the difference.
    Are you using a touch geko?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  13. #13
    DF PwNagE Geko's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pono Music - Where Your Soul Rediscovers Music

    Quote Originally Posted by danbarber View Post
    It's well worth reading Christopher Montgomery's article on this: [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]

    The truth is 16-bit, 44.1/48Khz is ample for a delivery format. Nobody can actually tell the difference between that and 24-bit, 96/192Khz audio. In fact, 192Khz audio *can* sound worse (see article). 24-bit is definitely useful for processing/mixing audio though as it means rounding errors are way below the audible threshold.

    What Pono might give us though is better mastered music. Much of the stuff that's been coming out on CD for the last few decades has been horribly smashed in mastering.
    You can't tell the difference between a 16 bit rip and a 24 bit rip? I would disagree that you can't. It's why Vinyl is still very popular.



    Quote Originally Posted by braymond View Post
    Are you using a touch geko?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Yeah. I have a Touch and a Duet. The Duet doesn't do 24 bit, though.

  14. #14
    DF Jedi braymond's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pono Music - Where Your Soul Rediscovers Music

    Quote Originally Posted by danbarber View Post
    It's well worth reading Christopher Montgomery's article on this: [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]

    The truth is 16-bit, 44.1/48Khz is ample for a delivery format. Nobody can actually tell the difference between that and 24-bit, 96/192Khz audio. In fact, 192Khz audio *can* sound worse (see article). 24-bit is definitely useful for processing/mixing audio though as it means rounding errors are way below the audible threshold.

    What Pono might give us though is better mastered music. Much of the stuff that's been coming out on CD for the last few decades has been horribly smashed in mastering.
    This simply isn't true . 44.1k is adequate but far from enough . And I don't say this as opinion - as I've spent almost 20 years of my career working in high end pro audio - working with some of the most influential and talented Audio people in the industry .




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    2 Thanks given to braymond

    CzarJunkie (23rd March 2014), Geko (23rd March 2014) 


  15. #15
    DF Jedi braymond's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pono Music - Where Your Soul Rediscovers Music

    Geko are you using the touchs onboard dac? I got a huge improvement in sq by using a dac i built .


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  16. #16
    DF Rookie danbarber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pono Music - Where Your Soul Rediscovers Music

    Quote Originally Posted by braymond View Post
    44.1k is adequate but far from enough.
    Could you explain why it's not? As I understand it 44.1Khz is enough to accurately reproduce signals up to 22Khz which is already above what even fresh young ears can perceive, let alone what most people can hear.

    I know early DAC's had problems at the high end due to the difficulty of building an analogue filter with a steep enough roll off, but modern oversampling DAC's do not suffer from this.

  17. #17
    DF Rookie danbarber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pono Music - Where Your Soul Rediscovers Music

    Quote Originally Posted by Geko View Post
    You can't tell the difference between a 16 bit rip and a 24 bit rip? I would disagree that you can't. It's why Vinyl is still very popular
    Vinyl is popular because of the distortion that gives it's sound characteristics that people like, not because it is higher fidelity than CD. Also, many people like the physical act of taking out a record and putting it on a turntable to listen to.

    Good vinyl on a good deck has at most 60-70dB of dynamic range which is more than covered by CD audio's 16-bits.

    As for hearing a difference between 24-bit and 16-bit, the only way to accurately determine whether you can or can't is to do a double blind test of two files that were created from the same source. You cannot compare, for example, a CD release with it's corresponding DVD-A release because of differences in mastering.

    Thanks to danbarber

    MHP (23rd March 2014) 


  18. #18
    DF Rookie danbarber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pono Music - Where Your Soul Rediscovers Music

    The double blind test part is important. As soon as you know whether you are listening to the 16-bit or 24-bit version, expectation bias will make you prefer the 24-bit version even if there is actually no audible difference.

  19. #19
    DF PwNagE Geko's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pono Music - Where Your Soul Rediscovers Music

    Quote Originally Posted by braymond View Post
    Geko are you using the touchs onboard dac? I got a huge improvement in sq by using a dac i built .


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I am currently using an external DAC that was recommended to me.

    I have seen several components that can be uprated to improve the sound. But where do you draw the line? I'm not really keen on uprating ICs, Caps and resistors. I'd rather just buy a transporter.

    I was thinking about buying a Linear PSU though.


    Quote Originally Posted by danbarber View Post
    Vinyl is popular because of the distortion that gives it's sound characteristics that people like, not because it is higher fidelity than CD. Also, many people like the physical act of taking out a record and putting it on a turntable to listen to.
    That is one reason. Not the reason. The other... is that it is 24 bit. Which is both higher quality, and the quality it was mixed at, in the studio.

    Quote Originally Posted by danbarber View Post
    You cannot compare, for example, a CD release with it's corresponding DVD-A release because of differences in mastering.
    Yes. Because it was mastered... and then compressed to fit on a CD.

  20. #20
    DF Jedi braymond's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pono Music - Where Your Soul Rediscovers Music

    Quote Originally Posted by danbarber View Post
    Vinyl is popular because of the distortion that gives it's sound characteristics that people like, not because it is higher fidelity than CD. Also, many people like the physical act of taking out a record and putting it on a turntable to listen to.

    Good vinyl on a good deck has at most 60-70dB of dynamic range which is more than covered by CD audio's 16-bits.

    As for hearing a difference between 24-bit and 16-bit, the only way to accurately determine whether you can or can't is to do a double blind test of two files that were created from the same source. You cannot compare, for example, a CD release with it's corresponding DVD-A release because of differences in mastering.
    I will try to provide a comprehensive reply when I get time . It's not easy to simply write a quick reply on the subject and put in a post . I will say that your assertion that people like vinyl because it's distorted is a little misguided. As is the simplistic view that cd 16 bits covers everything. Yes 16 bit gives you a theoretical 96dB range but it's not all about that . That's just one aspect . There are many distortion mechanisms and some are not clearly understood even now . There are problems with filters in the a/d and d/a chain which cause a large amount of phase distortion as you get closer to the filter (clearly visible at 20k on a CD player for example) - to get a clean unhampered phase response for 20k audio you actually need a bandwidth of about 200k. Which would mean a 400k sample rate . That would be my ideal choice - but even that would be fraught with other problems .

    Another problem is 22k of bandwidth doesn't capture harmonics - which you might not be able to hear as a tone but your brain can perceive them .

    I always come back to the same conclusion - sound is analogue and is best kept that way. But I love the convenience of digital I must say. Btw - the best sounding medium I've heard is 2 inch tape running at 30ips - much higher resolution than 16bit digital



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    Last edited by braymond; 23rd March 2014 at 11:28 PM.

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