Is Pono no more?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by conjotter, Nov 4, 2016.

  1. Solitaire1

    Solitaire1 Carpenters Fan

    I've wondered why this couldn't be an option for shows that are supposed to be in the 4:3 screen ratio: Put color bars on the side that could contain information (such as weather and news) rather than having the black bars.
  2. Solitaire1

    Solitaire1 Carpenters Fan

    I don't have a problem with a higher price for hi-res files. To me, pricing should be based on the quality of the file with lossy files costing less than Red Book, and Red Book costing less than Hi-Res. Then, let the user choose. For me, Red Book is adequate for my needs (I purchased my current hi-res player not for the hi-res ability but for the larger storage capacity).

    One way to deal with the issue is for the user to simply pass on the versions that are priced incorrectly. As an example, I'd likely pass on a lossy version that costs as much as a CD since I can get a lossless version by just buying the CD and ripping it myself. I think that given time the free market would deal with the issue of pricing (items priced too high won't sell very well). What would happen if, since a lossy version costs as much as a hi-res, that both version sell very poorly since people decide to go with the CD version which costs less than either download version?
  3. Runicen

    Runicen Forum Resident

    Unfortunately, I think you're relying on the music industry's ability to respond intelligently to market signals too heavily here as they've clearly proven that they have no idea what to do with market signals whatsoever.
    telepicker97 likes this.
  4. BwanaBob

    BwanaBob Forum Resident

    Maryland, USA
    I'm an outlier. Will never stream. I buy physical CDs of stuff I like. I rip them and play them on an old Zune. I prefer to own my music, not rent it. I have enough monthly bills without adding something ad needless as a streaming service. Even if I wanted to join the dark side, I work in a facility where cell phones are forbidden due to security concerns. I also never had a DVR because I knew how to program a freakin VCR and refused to pay for a service to do that for me. Call me the reprobate.
    telepicker97, DTK, Tuco and 3 others like this.
  5. Dino

    Dino Forum Resident

    Kansas City - USA
    Neil Young opened up his online Neil Young Archives for free access, until further notice. I'm curious if you guys are mad about that.
    markbrow likes this.
  6. ronbow

    ronbow Forum Resident

    St. Louis MO
    I just got the Massdrop HD 6xx and the soundstage is really really nice, but i have to push the volume pretty much all the way up, to say 11:45, to get good volume. Does the balanced mode significantly improve the output levels, and provide a bit more headroom?
  7. 360-12

    360-12 Forum Resident

    Balanced will help but I needed more with my hd600's (which are 600ohm just as your 6xx's are). When balanced I still could run at full volume with some material.

    I recently purchased the new HD660S (150ohm) and now there is plenty of headroom. My 600's are retired.
  8. monotubevibe

    monotubevibe Forum Resident

    I can't stand the black bars on a tv screen. I keep an old tube analog tv to watch 4:3 shows on. Cannot deal with side black bars.
    ramdom and Waymore Lonesome like this.
  9. bubba-ho-tep

    bubba-ho-tep Forum Resident

    Wylie, TX, USA
    I think that the free period ends in about 6 months. I’ll reserve judgment until I know how much Neil charges for the site after that.
  10. Henry Love

    Henry Love Forum Resident

    I bought some albums on Neils site because they were $10.$20,I'm more likely to do a 24/96 vinyl rip.
  11. jhm

    jhm Forum Resident

    Well I don't love 'em but it beats watching them stretched out at the wrong aspect ratio just to fill the screen (IMO of course).
    monotubevibe and lpfreak1170 like this.
  12. The HD600/HD650/HD6XX will work with the Pono in single ended mode, but really needs to be run in balanced mode. Balanced mode will give more headroom and slightly better sound. However, the HD6XX will still be somewhat under-driven. It will sound very nice, but the 300 ohm Senns want more from the amp than the Pono can really deliver. The Pono under-driving the HD6XX will still sound better than the portables and small amps that other people claim are able to drive the Senns adequately (they don't know what they're talking about).

    I haven't tried the new HD660S. That could be a nice headphone with the Pono. I'm also curious about the new Massdrop Focal Elex. 80 ohms and 104 dB efficient. Could be good with portables like the Pono. Even with the lower ohms and good efficiency I'd still want to run the Elex in balanced mode with the Pono. The Pono just sounds better in balanced mode, even if the headphones don't actually need the extra power of balanced mode.
  13. I'm mad about Warner now charging $25 for a 24/192 download. Remind me what PonoMusic was charging for Neil's 24/192 downloads?

    I ain't paying $25 for a blipping high res download from a major label. That's BS pricing and I ain't gonna do it. I'll pay $30 for select downloads from small labels that aren't going to sell in volume and need the higher pricing to keep things going for the few downloads they get. But for major labels charging $25 across the board for albums that will sell in the many thousands or tens of thousands or more? Hell no.
    Tuco likes this.
  14. Nostaljack

    Nostaljack Resident R&B enthusiast

    DC metro area
    This is what HDtracks always charged, isn't it? I wasn't aware this was new.

  15. It's still BS pricing. And I say hell no.
    prognastycator likes this.
  16. Dino

    Dino Forum Resident

    Kansas City - USA
    When I looked, Pono was selling Neil Young's downloads for the same price as HDTracks. Up until that big sale on Pono during their last days, anyway. I noticed Neil Young's albums being $12 or $13 (IIRC) on HD Digital - Music for quite a while. From reading here I have the impression that they only recently rose to $25.

    Seems like that is the new normal (aside from the frequent sales). I don't think anyone likes that.
    Nostaljack likes this.
  17. Dino

    Dino Forum Resident

    Kansas City - USA
    The music that one listens to and how loud one listens probably plays a big part in this. I listen mostly to older/quieter masterings of Rock music. I guess I tend to listen at medium to slightly loud volume. Single Ended did not cut it for me. On some recordings I had the volume on full and still wanted a bit more. After I went Balanced I did not have a problem with volume. I listen with HD650 so the same headphone as you.
  18. PonoMusic wasn't a cheap discounter, but was putting some downward pressure on pricing. That downward pressure was needed in the market. $25 becoming the normal for 24/192 is BS. $18 for software downsampled 24/96 versions of the 24/192 files is even more BS. Absolute BS. If they can sell the 24/96 for $18 they can sell the 24/192 for $18. It's the same damn source, but intentionally made worse. It's the same damn source. Don't rip me off. Don't con me. If the mastering was done as a split feed with one feed going to a native 24/96 AD converter and one feed going to a native 24/192 converter then maybe the 24/96 version has some merit. But if the 24/96 version is just a software downsample of the 24/192 then the labels and resellers can just go FO. I can hear the difference between native 24/192 and software downsampled 24/96 from that 24/192. One example being the Grateful Dead studio albums at HDTracks. The 24/96 versions are audibly inferior to the 24/192. That's BS. Neil Young wouldn't have allowed that on PonoMusic. Getting the 24/96 versions instead of the 24/192 versions of The Grateful Dead is one thing I regret. And I'm pissed about it. Don't rip me off with BS. Unfortunately at the time I did not realize I could hear and recognize the difference between 24/96 and 24/192. I know now. And I have better gear now that allows me to hear that. Neil Young was right about selling only the highest resolution version of the album.

    $25 per high-res album is also going to cause more people to choose piracy over buying. And will cause other people to just disregard high-res entirely. That pricing is just too high.
  19. marcb

    marcb Senior Member

    DC area
    If you’re truly curious, there’s a huge thread that’s been discussing this awhile.
    Dino likes this.
  20. adamos

    adamos Forum Resident

    It’s definitely disappointing that they jacked up the prices in the Neil store. 24/192 for around $10 was such a nice deal, and an encouraging example of a different model. I bought a dozen albums there in the past year or so including one just 2-3 weeks ago. I wouldn’t have done that at the new prices.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2017
  21. bmoregnr

    bmoregnr Forum Rezident

    1060 W.Addison
    Yeah that went in the exact opposite direction I was hoping it would go, and based on some of Neil's comments it was pretty well founded hope. Those $10 prices on the WB Neil site were righteous prices. $47 for 24/192 Decade is a stick in the eye; it is a real shame that HD Tracks is winning and the dream of Pono's site seems well and truly dead and gone at least for now.
    ThirdBowl, superstar19 and adamos like this.
  22. jwb1231970

    jwb1231970 Forum Resident

    Are the PONO players refundable?
  23. macdaddysinfo

    macdaddysinfo Forum Resident

    I still have a download or two to finish via pono... wonder if that will happen...
  24. Madness

    Madness Forum Resident

    Maryland, USA
    I wouldn't hold my breath.
    macdaddysinfo likes this.
  25. ccbarr

    ccbarr Forum Resident

    Iowa, USA
    I can confirm that a 400 GB micro SD card will work with the Pono, just leave a couple GB clear on the card.
    oneway23, Dino and bmoregnr like this.

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