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New Pioneer Network player N-P01


marcb

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  • 3 weeks later...

is that they dont appear to have coherent approach to 2-channel audio - until recently, I would have said the same of Sony. Pioneer got Andrew Jones from TAD to give some of their budget speakers more cred than they would otherwise have, and the N-50 seems to get favorable reviews, but I'm wondering if they are in a similar position to Panasonic - the Koreans have saturated the television market forcing them to explore other options. No small irony that the Koreans are also turning out new product at a phenomenal pace.

 

In any case, its great to see Panasonic/Technics, Sony, Yamaha and Pioneer putting money into two-channel product development. I'll be in Tokyo later this month - look forward to seeing all of the above in the flesh.

 

 

Availability

Both the P2DAB system and the NP-01 network audio player are available in black or silver from September 2014.

 

The N-P01 network audio player is included in the P2 compact component hi-fi system, but it is also available separately. This way, you can alternatively connect it to the existing P1 system, or to another hi-fi system.

Just one more headphone and I know I can kick this nasty little habit !

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Mistake not also offering Qobuz support as the only provider of CD quality FLAC streaming.

Because nobody outside of sites like this care about Qobuz support. And the majority of people on sites like this won't buy Pioneer equipment.

 

Eloise

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Bonjour,

 

I may have missed the subtilities justifying the statement "the majority of people on sites like this won't buy pioneer equipment". I do not want to defend Pioneer here - but they (an other Japanese manufacturers) issued first editions of Network Audio Players a few years ago that allowed audio enthousiasts like me to dive in Network Audio and to stay away from the USB Dac architecture. When I bought the Pioneer N-50, I also bought a Metrum Octave and that I connected via coax SPDIF. This set up driven in DLNA by JRiver has worked flawlessly since its installation. When I bought the Pioneer N50 - I wished a version with no DAC would be available as I bypass it with the Metrum. And Pioneer (and others) are releasing to the market 2nd generation Network Audio Player that now support DSD.

 

I just learned about the Auralic Aries - this is the architecture I would favor form my next acquisition - A Network Audio Streamer with no DAC - to which you connect the DAC of your choice.

 

Carcajou

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I may have missed the subtilities justifying the statement "the majority of people on sites like this won't buy pioneer equipment". I do not want to defend Pioneer here - but they (an other Japanese manufacturers) issued first editions of Network Audio Players a few years ago that allowed audio enthousiasts like me to dive in Network Audio and to stay away from the USB Dac architecture.

I was perhaps harsh with the statement ... but I would suspect there is (at least at this time) only a small intersection of the people who would but a Pioneer player and the people who will subscribe to Qobuz but on the other side there is a huge intersection between those who buy the Pioneer player and those who would subscribe to Spotify.

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Got that. I do download hi res music from Qobuz - but I am not attracted by the streaming model yet. Actually, Qobuz have filed a sort of bankrupty protection in France (similar to chap 11 in the USA) recently. The investments they made in streaming may not produce the expected revenues. I think the Streaming industry will - one day - adopt ONE streaming solution that will not have to be imbedded into Network Audo Players - but a universal one that can allow users to identify themselves as registered user of specifics stearming services...

 

Carcajou

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I was perhaps harsh with the statement ...

 

i certainly did not intend to denigrate Pioneer nor Pioneer owners. That said, I think Eloise's analysis of the demographic is spot on.

-----

i7 Mac Mini > USB > iDSD Nano > Audioengine A5+

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I think its more the fact that a global player like Pioneer (or all the other japanese companies mentioned above) will not immediately adopt / integrate a service of a more local french kind like Qobuz without watching their business model and development first.

 

And you see hardware majors adopting WiMP, Deezer etc more rapidly ?

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Because nobody outside of sites like this care about Qobuz support. And the majority of people on sites like this won't buy Pioneer equipment.

 

Eloise

 

I use a Pioneer AVR as a streaming device. How lowbrow!

 

I am shocked at the kind of sound quality that is available for a very modest outlay of money. I use the Pioneer to stream and a pair of Equator Audio D8 powered speakers. Sound quality and convenience that you couldn't have gotten for anywhere near the price 5 years ago.

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I use a Pioneer AVR as a streaming device. How lowbrow!

As I've already said I was not intending to denigrate the Pioneer streamers (either standalone nor AVR streaming devices). They are excellent devices and as you say provide an excellent sound quality and convenience compared with just a few years ago.

 

The truth is though that incorporating Qobuz support will not win it any extra customers in the demographic that they target and advertise to, while adding Spotify support may.

 

Eloise

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

Link to comment
As I've already said I was not intending to denigrate the Pioneer streamers (either standalone nor AVR streaming devices). They are excellent devices and as you say provide an excellent sound quality and convenience compared with just a few years ago.

 

The truth is though that incorporating Qobuz support will not win it any extra customers in the demographic that they target and advertise to, while adding Spotify support may.

 

Eloise

 

Oh, I know. I should have put a smiley on the end of my comment.

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As I've already said I was not intending to denigrate the Pioneer streamers (either standalone nor AVR streaming devices). They are excellent devices and as you say provide an excellent sound quality and convenience compared with just a few years ago.

 

The truth is though that incorporating Qobuz support will not win it any extra customers in the demographic that they target and advertise to, while adding Spotify support may.

 

Eloise

 

At the risk of completely derailing this thread, and acknowledging that AIX Records has a vested interest in this debate, I find one of Mark Waldrep's recent rants interesting. Waldrep is obviously prepared to call Qobuz out on their marketing, as others have done with HDTracks, but I have to wonder how long it will be before these arguments find their way into a courtroom. Interested to hear whether others are prepared to accept 'hi-res' from an analog master source vs material only recorded at the specified bit depth/sample rate.

 

"The high-resolution music, that you purchase from us is guaranteed native (true original) 24bit HighResAudio Studio Master material. We have signed with all music labels, artists and artist-agencies contracts to assure exactly that. We do not accept nor offer up-sampled or converted material. Our quality-control checks and evaluates each album with a professional studio software! You will receive and buy only true original 24bit HighResAudio 'Studio Master' files from us."

 

"The albums sold by Qobuz in 'Qobuz Studio Master' quality are supplied to us directly by the labels. They are not re-encoded from SACDs and as such we guarantee their pedigree. We refuse to accept suspect offerings simply to enlarge our offering."

 

What good is a guarantee? Obviously, websites can state anything they want about the quality of the tracks offered on their respective sites. Here's what I would say about the tracks that are available on iTrax.com, if I had a guarantee.

 

"The iTrax high-resolution audio website sells only real HD-Audio files. What is a Real HD-Audio recording? One that originated at the time of the session in real high-resolution...not analog tape, not direct to disc, and not standard resolution 44.1 kHz/16 bits PCM digital samples (those are standard resolution). Every track on the site was actually recorded using equipment running at 96 kHz/24-bits (there are some 88.2 kHz projects) or DSD 64 at 2.8224 MHz / 1-bit, which were converted to PCM at 96 kHz/24-bits."

 

It sounds like everyone is on the same page, right? Well, not really. Is there any wiggle room in the statement from HighResAudio? In fact, there is. I have seen the licenses that the major labels offer to sites like HDtracks and others. I seriously thought about entering that business but the price was simply too high. The mastering engineers at the labels are simply doing transfers of the easiest available master. Sometimes that a digital master that has already been converted to digital and sometimes it's a master that was intended for a vinyl LP release. Usually, it's the most convenient master without any assurance that it's the best master. I know this because I am friends with a lot of the mastering people that work doing this type of work. They're not working with the right masters a lot of the time.

 

And just because the original master was transferred from an analog master doesn't mean that there is 24-bits of dynamic range in the recording. As we've seen, recordings that eclipse 10-12 bits of dynamic range are very rare. So why would anyone that's offering older, standard definition recording brag about them being bona fide 24-bit tracks?

 

It's a feel good marketing plan. There is no benefit to music lovers or audiophiles to acquiring 24-bit recordings, if the masters can be completely captured using fewer bits. On the other hand, there is great benefit to having 24-bits when you're recording a new master! You can push the signal level higher to take advantage of the additional dynamic range while the musicians are playing. The added "headroom" means that you can worry a little less about going into distortion. You capture excessive levels of dynamic range and then you can deliver less.

 

As for Qobuz, I got wise to their "it's not our fault" mentality many months ago when I download a couple of sample files at 192 kHz...neither of which were native 192 kHz recordings. They were both, in fact, upconversions from a DSD master and an analog tape. So if the licensing company does the upconversion or monkeys around with the sound, then the guarantee still stands. A clever approach that takes Qobuz off the hook. They emailed me calling my analysis and revelations "malicious". I would call their guarantee meaningless…it means nothing. In fact, most guarantees are.

Just one more headphone and I know I can kick this nasty little habit !

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At the risk of completely derailing this thread, and acknowledging that AIX Records has a vested interest in this debate, I find one of Mark Waldrep's recent rants interesting. Waldrep is obviously prepared to call Qobuz out on their marketing, as others have done with HDTracks, but I have to wonder how long it will be before these arguments find their way into a courtroom. Interested to hear whether others are prepared to accept 'hi-res' from an analog master source vs material only recorded at the specified bit depth/sample rate.

To me the important thing is not what the source is, its about letting us know what the source is. I don't want someone telling me that because it was originally an analogue recording it is NOT high definition. But I want to know if the recording I am downloading is sourced from and analogue, PCM or DSD master. The more information the better.

 

The old SPARS codes on CDs would be part of the solution ... and (iirc) a similar code system for high res was proposed (and discussed here) earlier in 2014.

 

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f8-general-forum/formal-definition-high-resolution-audio-20777/

and the original article

Mono and Stereo High-End Audio Magazine: Formal definition for High Resolution Audio

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

Link to comment

Wow indeed ! It seems to be a really nice device. However, I wonder what are the pros and cons between

  • the Pioneer N-P01 and the Sonos Connect

or

 

  • the Pioneer XN-P02DAB (= N-P01 + SX-P01 amp) and the Sonos Connect:Amp

Any advice ?

 

 

 

WOW!

 

Available on September

 

Premium audio quality & extensive network options, from the new Pioneer compact component system

 

Specs:

- DAC 192Khz / 32bits

- MP3, WMA, WAV, AAC, FLAC, ALAC, DSD (2.8MHz) y AIFF

- Bluetooth Apt-X

- Spotify

- Internet Radio

- Airplay

- DLNA

- 3.5” LCD colour display

- USB Input

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]14170[/ATTACH]

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Wow indeed ! It seems to be a really nice device. However, I wonder what are the pros and cons between

  • the Pioneer N-P01 and the Sonos Connect

or

 

  • the Pioneer XN-P02DAB (= N-P01 + SX-P01 amp) and the Sonos Connect:Amp

Any advice ?

Pros: support for high res PCM and DSD; probably overall sound quality; versatility (for the amp); AirPlay support; built in display and control (no need to pick up phone/pad to alter volume or skip track)

 

Cons: the Sonos control app is probably superior; multi-room syncing simpler

 

Eloise

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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