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Quote:
Originally Posted by rntlee  /t/1522100/heres-you-chance-to-get-a-piece-of-pono#post_24469712


Neil Young's company is getting ready to give you an alternative to that mediocre redbook audio you've been subjected to!


https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1003614822/ponomusic-where-your-soul-rediscovers-music

Yea, I saw this in USA today this morning. They are selling flac files up to 192/24 khz. I have to ask what is different about this than what is already offered at places like HD Tracks, Acoustic Sounds (which now offers some DSD downloads), and others.


Seems Mr. Young is late to the party. A few years ago he promised a revolutionary new format for listening to digital music, and he puts out flac? Flac is good mind you, but hardly revolutionary, particulary with DSD downloads becoming more popular. I like Neil Young and do hope he succeeds and puts a dent in the abysmal mp3 download service that today is standard.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Curious that they're offering hi-res flac files...here's what the proprietors of flac (xiph.org) had to say about "hi-res audio":
Quote:
Articles last month revealed that musician Neil Young and Apple's Steve Jobs discussed offering digital music downloads of 'uncompromised studio quality'. Much of the press and user commentary was particularly enthusiastic about the prospect of uncompressed 24 bit 192kHz downloads. 24/192 featured prominently in my own conversations with Mr. Young's group several months ago.

Unfortunately, there is no point to distributing music in 24-bit/192kHz format. Its playback fidelity is slightly inferior to 16/44.1 or 16/48, and it takes up 6 times the space.


If you just said 'Whaa?', you may want to read the whole article.


It's fairly long... but hearing, perception and fidelity are complicated topics. Shysters and charlatans exploit that nuance (and misunderstanding) to bilk unsuspecting consumers of their money, all the while convincing them they're paying for 'quality'.
Entire article here
 

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If there are more 24bit albums in their online store, then I think that is great.  What I can't understand is what you would need a $400 device for?

 

I can play 24bit flac files through a usb drive in my sony blu-ray player.  Even supports 5.1 - best examples are Wish You Were Here and Brothers in Arms.

 

What is the point of a dedicated device to play PonoMusic?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by royalbuffet  /t/1522100/heres-you-chance-to-get-a-piece-of-pono#post_24473680



What is the point of a dedicated device to play PonoMusic?

$399 in revenue for the company.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by FMW  /t/1522100/heres-you-chance-to-get-a-piece-of-pono#post_24473931


$399 in revenue for the company.

From ponomusic.com:
Quote:
The PonoPlayer was designed with a “no compromises” approach to sound quality. We partnered with the engineering team at Ayre ( www.ayre.com ) to include some of their world-class audio technology in our PonoPlayer. The Ayre team describes their contribution to the PonoPlayer design as follows:


• The digital filter used in the PonoPlayer has minimal phase, and no unnatural (digital sounding) pre-ringing. All sounds made (including music) always have reflections and/or echoes after the initial sound. There is no sound in nature that has any echo or reflection before the sound, which is what conventional linear-phase digital filters do. This is one reason that digital sound has a reputation for sounding "unnatural" and harsh.


• All circuitry is zero-feedback. Feedback can only correct an error after it has occurred, which means that it can never correct for all errors. By using proprietary ultra-linear circuitry with wide bandwidth and low output impedance, there is no need for unnatural sounding feedback.


• The DAC (Digital-to-Analog Converter) chip being used is widely recognized in the audio and engineering community as one of the best sounding DAC chips available today.


• The output buffer used to drive the headphones is fully discrete so that all individual parameters and circuit values and parts quality can be fully optimized for the absolute finest sound quality. The output impedance is very low so that the PonoPlayer delivers perfectly flat frequency response and wide volume range using virtually any set of headphones ]

Charles Hansen (of Ayre Acoustics) has declared pre-ringing to be the cause of the so-called "digital sound" and has devised brickwall filters that exhibit little to no pre-ringing. The question is though, is he solving a problem that doesn't actually exist? I don't think any modern anti-aliasing filters introduce audible pre-ringing, but it is a great way to peddle your audiophile wares!
 

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Yes I suppose it will work for those people who put stock in the claims of the high end audio industry.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rntlee  /t/1522100/heres-you-chance-to-get-a-piece-of-pono#post_24474547


From ponomusic.com:

Charles Hansen (of Ayre Acoustics) has declared pre-ringing to be the cause of the so-called "digital sound" and has devised brickwall filters that exhibit little to no pre-ringing. The question is though, is he solving a problem that doesn't actually exist? I don't think any modern anti-aliasing filters introduce audible pre-ringing, but it is a great way to peddle your audiophile wares!

Pre ringing exists but it is a non issue with regular music content. Especially with higher sampling rates.


"All circuitry is zero-feedback..." is the usual drivel targeted at audiophooles. Hanson is either misleading people on purpose or he really has no clue about how feedback really works.


I have heard a 24bit 192khz track from a Neil Young album without the mastering applied.

If that is the quality we are going to get with pono it will be worth it.


The pono player may be worth it if it turns out a decent player if it can handle regular flacs from ripped cd's as well.


In the end the quality depends to the final mastering and there is no guarantee that it will be any better than the current mastering practices.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Derks  /t/1522100/heres-you-chance-to-get-a-piece-of-pono#post_24476498

Quote:
Originally Posted by rntlee  /t/1522100/heres-you-chance-to-get-a-piece-of-pono#post_24474547


From ponomusic.com:

Charles Hansen (of Ayre Acoustics) has declared pre-ringing to be the cause of the so-called "digital sound" and has devised brickwall filters that exhibit little to no pre-ringing. The question is though, is he solving a problem that doesn't actually exist? I don't think any modern anti-aliasing filters introduce audible pre-ringing, but it is a great way to peddle your audiophile wares!

Pre ringing exists but it is a non issue with regular music content. Especially with higher sampling rates.

A giant +1. The ringing in brickwall filters is generally right at Nyquist. Many smart people have noticed that with 16/44 the ringing is at 22 KHz, and 22 KHz is > than the usual 20 Hz - 20 KHz audible band. The issue has been DBT'd to death and pre-ringing, post-ringing and minimal ringing within reason sounds all the same.
Quote:
"All circuitry is zero-feedback..." is the usual drivel targeted at audiophooles.

Right, and then you look at the schematic and count the cathode followers that have nearly 100% negative feedback... They love their triodes that have massive negative feedback due to the low plate resistance.
Quote:
Hanson is either misleading people on purpose or he really has no clue about how feedback really works.

I'm sure you could see the first man to run a 3 minute mile if you mentioned DBTs near him. ;-)


Ditto for the alleged sonic superiority of Pono as hardware or a distribution format. If we get some cool masters out of the vaults as part of the deal fine, but that's a completely different thing.
 

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Wasn't it Charles Hanson and Ayre who were caught red handed 2 years ago for buying up $500 Oppo optical players retail, putting them in a new box with Ayre written on the front and charging punters $5,000 for the privilege?

 

Could be a S*ns* cl*p in a toblerone wrapper.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeightonBeck  /t/1522100/heres-you-chance-to-get-a-piece-of-pono#post_24478059


Wasn't it Charles Hanson and Ayre who were caught red handed 2 years ago for buying up $500 Oppo optical players retail, putting them in a new box with Ayre written on the front and charging punters $5,000 for the privilege?


Could be a S*ns* cl*p in a toblerone wrapper.

I'd suggest that you do some research before making a comment like this, it was not Hanson and Ayre, but rather another manufacturer doing this. they didn't even remove the Oppo case, just built another case enclosing the original unit.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by trans_lux  /t/1522100/heres-you-chance-to-get-a-piece-of-pono#post_24478105


Didn't he work with Meridian? If so I would guess they are using their apodizing filter?
 

I think Meridian declined the offer, and did so because they would not do what Ayre agreed to do--finish the design within four weeks. Based on what I read, PONO gave Ayre just three, four weeks, and expected them to finish everything within the deadline.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ulogin  /t/1522100/heres-you-chance-to-get-a-piece-of-pono#post_24485747


I think Meridian declined the offer, and did so because they would not do what Ayre agreed to do--finish the design within four weeks. Based on what I read, PONO gave Ayre just three, four weeks, and expected them to finish everything within the deadline.
Yikes that's a really aggressive time table!
 

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Seems to me this little device is an honest attempt to raise the quality of the music we listen to via a simple to use and relatively inexpensive (at least inn terms of "audiophile" hardware) device. It is also an attempt to let thee MP3 millennial generation hear quality sound through a familiar format.


I don't see it as an evil mooney grab but rather a labor of love by some sincere people who understand giving back. IMHO


I for one am in ...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RMK!  /t/1522100/heres-you-chance-to-get-a-piece-of-pono#post_24485978


Seems to me this little device is an honest attempt to raise the quality of the music we listen to via a simple to use and relatively inexpensive (at least inn terms of "audiophile" hardware) device. It is also an attempt to let thee MP3 millennial generation hear quality sound through a familiar format.


I don't see it as an evil mooney grab but rather a labor of love by some sincere people who understand giving back. IMHO


I for one am in ...

I'm sure your right Mr. Young has always been an advocate for better sound. It's also likely he does not need any more $

I just think if your not part of the Apple universe your chances for success in the music industry are limited at best.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeightonBeck  /t/1522100/heres-you-chance-to-get-a-piece-of-pono#post_24478059


Wasn't it Charles Hanson and Ayre who were caught red handed 2 years ago for buying up $500 Oppo optical players retail, putting them in a new box with Ayre written on the front and charging punters $5,000 for the privilege?


Could be a S*ns* cl*p in a toblerone wrapper.
Quote:
Originally Posted by trans_lux  /t/1522100/heres-you-chance-to-get-a-piece-of-pono#post_24481884

http://www.avrev.com/forum/blu-ray-players/4294-ayre-dx-5-10-000-rebadged-500-oppo.html

The value proposition is definitely questionable, but, unlike others, the Ayre isn't a simple re-package/re-badge.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Hansen  /t/1181755/ayre-dx-5-bluray-player#post_17402589



To make it an Ayre, we dismantle it completely and recycle everything except the main PCB (with the video decoder, ABT scaler chip, and HDMI transmitter), the transport mechanism, the VFD display, and the remote control handset.


Next we re-build the main PCB. The big switching power supply only provides 5 VDC, then there are little mini-switching power supplies (called DC-DC converters) on the main PCB that turn the 5 VDC into 1.0 VDC, 1.1 VDC, 1.8 VDC, and 3.3 VDC. All of those are removed. There are also USB power switches that allow hot-plugging of USB devices. These are removed as they have another kind of DC-DC converter called a "charge pump".


All of the supplies are replaced with pure linear supplies with analog regulators. The USB power switches are replaced with devices without the charge pumps. Now we have gotten rid of seven noise sources that create high-frequency square waves with harmonics well out into the MHz region. Getting rid of all of that noise creates a visibly cleaner picture.


Next, we replace the low-quality master video clock with a VCXO. This becomes more important later on, as you will see.


Now we start adding things back in. First is our AyreLink communication system. It allows AyreLink equipped components to act as one big system. For example, turning on the player will turn on all of the downstream components as well as automatically select the correct input on the preamp. We also make an external RS-232 to AyreLink converter box for system controllers like Crestrons. The AyreLink system has opto-isolators between each component to avoid unwanted ground loops, which is why we don't use RS-232 inputs on any of our equipment.


Then we add a custom programmed FPGA on the front panel PCB to do some housekeeping. It intercepts the appropriate commands and translates them to operate the AyreLink system. It disables the internal volume control (which operates in the digital domain and degrades the sound) and instead routes the volume changes to an AyreLink equipped preamp. It also allows us to send custom messages to the front panel VFD display. So when the USB audio input is activated, it will report that on the front panel along with the sample rate of the received signal.


There are a bunch of boards added on the audio side. I say "side" because we literally split the player into two parts. There is a separate power transformer that runs all of the audio circuitry, which is separated from the video side by a bank of opto-isolators. So the audio and video "sides" have separate grounds that are completely galvanically isolated. This is the only way to get the best performance from either your audio system or your video system.


All video displays have switching power supplies that dump noise into your system in the absence of such isolation. There are also ground loops that are inevitably formed as there is no such thing as a balanced video connection. All of those problems go away with our isolation system.


The ten-channel audio board is replaced by a two-channel audio board. Everything on this board is top-quality, with discrete, fully balanced, zero-feedback audio circuitry and discrete, zero-feedback power supply regulators. There are improvements in both the parts quality and circuit design that give it even higher performance than the QB-9 USB DAC that was recently rated "Class A+" in Stereophile's recommended components issue. For two-channel disc playback (CD, SACD, DVD-Audio), the performance exceeds our $6,000 audio-only disc player.


We also add the USB audio input that allows you to connect your personal computer and turn your system into a music server. Your entire digital library (except SACD's, thank you very much Sony -- not!) can be stored on a hard drive and played back with the click of a mouse. So this one component can be the only source component that you need. This input is also connected via a bank of opto-isolators, so there is actually a *third* "side" to the system -- the video, the audio, and the computer. The noise from your computer and its switching power supply will not be connected to either your video or audio systems.


We also add a second audio-only HDMI connector. This is fed by the isolated signals on the audio "side" so that it won't contaminate your surround-sound system if you choose to connect one. It also supports the new "Audio Rate Control" (ARC) feature that is part of the HDMI 1.3a specifcation. This is a breakthrough for the surround-sound enthusiast, as HDMI is normally the worst way in the world to send audio data -- the jitter is even worse than the lowly S/PDIF connection.


But with ARC, the surround-sound processor uses a local crystal oscillator to provide a low-jitter clock to the DAC chips. Then there is a buffer that stores the incoming audio data. When the buffer is too full it sends a signal back upstream to the Blu-Ray player telling it to slow down the disc slightly. When the buffer is too empty, it asks the disc to speed up slightly. Now the audio clock is in charge, the way that it should be. (When the unit is running in two-channel mode, the local low-jitter, fixed-frequency crystal oscillator provides the master audio clock.)


With a modern digital display (plasma, LCD, LCOS, DLP, et cetera) jitter on the video signal does not matter. Since there is no conversion to analog, the digital signal values are simply stored in a frame buffer until needed.


Then the whole thing is put into a custom chassis made entirely from anodized aluminum and stainless steel. We want our products to look just as good 50 years from now as they do today. There are other people making Oppo "clones". One of them only replaces the chassis. Another replaces the power supply also. Nobody is rebuilding the complete player and adding the extra features and advanced technology that Ayre is.


As far as the value, it is up to you to determine that. I can't tell you how much an improved picture is worth. I can't tell you how much better sound is worth. I can't tell you how much the features we add are worth. You will have to decide that for yourself.


What I can tell you is that, just like all of our other products, they offer engineering and performance beyond what anyone else is offering, at a fair price that reflects our cost of manufacturing, and that we back up our products with both a strong network of the finest dealers on the planet and an incredible service policy.


Unlike other manufacturers that try to sell you a "new and improved" product every year or two, when we figure out a way to genuinely improve the performance of our existing products, we offer upgrades to current owners at very reasonable prices. Go to the Audio Asylum and check out some comments regarding our recent "MP" upgrades to the C-5xe and CX-7e disc players, for example.


If you want a great Blu-Ray player for an incredible price, buy the Oppo. If you want the best picture and sound quality in the world for your home theater and price is not a concern, check out the Ayre. And no, it will not be available in November, sorry. Early next year will be a better guess.

NB: 1) I don't own and have never owned any Ayre gear (I use two PS3's and a Panasonic)
 
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