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Topic: High Definition Audio?

  1. #1
    Senior Member fastlane's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Shelton, Washington State

    High Definition Audio?

    The newest thing in music listening is the idea that music files have always been just an echo of what is really possible. Neil Young has been championing this for years and now he has teamed up with some people to create PONO. PONO is going to introduce a high definition portable audio player for $400 that looks like a bulky MP3 player. You'll have to download these high definition music files to a computer and then transfer them to the PONO. A album will probably run from $15 to $25. So the record companies get to resell their libraries again at premium prices and everyone will be in high definition audio bliss. Oh yes, like iTunes PONO will get a 30% cut of the sales.

    It sounds like iTunes and the other download services are going to jump on the high definition bandwagon also. But what really is high definition audio? Neil Young and PONO claim it's up to 192kHZ/24 bit vs 41.1kHZ/16 bit for a CD and 256 MP3.

    Is it for real or could it just be the mind playing tricks on listeners. Maybe it's just for about money. Check out the link.


  2. #2

    Re: High Definition Audio?

    Well, here goes my totally un-technical response...

    My husband and I buy SACDs and love them. They say you can't really tell the difference between them and regular CDs but we swear we do and/or we just feel good listening to music through kickbutt speakers and sound system. And I guess my point is just that. If you're not listening to the high def music through a good quality sound system or some nice "over the ear" headphones, then you're not really going to notice the difference.

    And on a side note, we celebrated the Kentucky Derby over at another audiophile friend's house recently and he broke out the vinyl. Wow! I forgot how great some of the recordings are that aren't "meter slammed". Very refreshing to the ear.

    I'm not unhappy that they are offering higher quality downloads and streaming. But, I feel like they are just coming back up to speed to what we all used to enjoy.

    And there's my rant. I certainly don't want to open a can of works nor offend anyone. Just personal feelings.

    P.S. I am not savvy in the specs and all that but, the little that I compared about what they are offering still seems to fall short of Redbook? or am a reading it wrong?

    Remember to Play www.thepunkduck.com

  3. #3

    Re: High Definition Audio?

    Only when the whole sequence of processes are at the same quality level and when every step in that process is at top level, only then the result can be high definition audio. You all know that saying about the strength of a metal chain.....

    People are fooling themselves.


  4. #4

    Re: High Definition Audio?

    And even then, it's a rare person who has not experienced minimal hearing loss by the time they reach their mid-fifties. So far, despite my performing background, I'm very lucky and still have close to 85% of what I was born with, and so far, I count my blessings inasfar as aural sensations are concerned, but there are those who are already turning up the TV to hear, have the volume up on their phones, car radios,etc.

    Then there are those among us who have spent much of their lives in front of sound systems, even folk music ones, or who have had those molded earbud monitors pumping the mix into their ears while they sing or play whatever.

    Drummers, symphony musicians and conductors, horn players, all have hearing loss as a work hazard.

    So as we age, we all start to lose the finer points in a piece, often without even knowing it.

    While I personally dislike the over-compressed, no-dynamics, "loud" across the board mixes we have in our CD and MP3's, I'm not sure that at 60, the investment required would pay off in enhanced listening enjoyment.

    And I am REALLY not sure that ole Mr Young is really hearing as much as he says he is, either.

    Kevin F..

    KM Frye- (SOCAN)
    Music Director- Four Seasons Musical Theatre- 2016

    Bella Vista Studios

    GPO4, JABB3, Garritan World Inst, REAPER, Roland VS2480 DAW

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