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How many are still using their PonoPlayer?


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Just wondering how many are using the players. I have the original KS yellow and 3 black from Fry's Electronics (RIP). They all work fine. The yellow has the internal memory full and the 64gb card. I never change the songs in either location on this on player. The black models just have big memory cards and the internal memory stays empty, except for the Ayre/Cardas sweep tones. Memory cards are never loaded via PonoPlayer. The memo card is inserted directly into the computer and music is copy/pasted. All the batteries are fine. 

 

How is everyone's player doing. 

Thanks,

Doug A

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Have 3 that all work: my Tom Petty LE and a black and yellow. Batteries all still good for when I listen to music using headphones, although I mostly keep them on power cords with the players connected to my sound system or powered speakers. Purchased some 400 GB memory cards a while back but haven’t yet loaded them with music. 

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I had an A&K AK300 for a couple of days. My LG G8 ThinQ mobile phone sounded better, and allowed to use various music players rather than being tied to the more limited internal software. The phone sounded better than the AK, especially with USB Audio Player Pro software. The AK is limited to 64GB internal storage and a 128GB SD card, the phone has internal storage and allows up to 1TB with micro SD. Plus I never have to carry two devices. Darko has a series of six articles titled "The DAP days are over". I agree with him.

 

https://darko.audio/2018/06/the-dap-days-are-over-part-3-lg-v30/

“To doubt everything or to believe everything are two equally convenient solutions; both dispense with the necessity for reflection.” 
Bertrand Russell 

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Have 3 Pono Players that all work: my Tom Petty LE and a black and yellow. Batteries all still good for when I listen to music using headphones, although I mostly keep them on power cords with the players connected to my sound system or powered speakers (given that most all my music consumption has been at home bc of the pandemic). Purchased some 400 GB memory cards a while back but haven’t yet loaded them with music. 

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My wife has a black Pono, I have yellow. I put a 200 GB SD card in mine. Thinking about getting a second SD card to get more of my collection available to the Pono.

Roon ROCK (Roon 1.7; NUC7i3) > Ayre QB-9 Twenty > Ayre AX-5 Twenty > Thiel CS2.4SE (crossovers rebuilt with Clarity CSA and Multicap RTX caps, Mills MRA-12 resistors; ERSE and Jantzen coils; Cardas binding posts and hookup wire); Cardas and OEM power cables, interconnects, and speaker cables

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5 hours ago, audiobomber said:

I had an A&K AK300 for a couple of days. My LG G8 ThinQ mobile phone sounded better, and allowed to use various music players rather than being tied to the more limited internal software. The phone sounded better than the AK, especially with USB Audio Player Pro software. The AK is limited to 64GB internal storage and a 128GB SD card, the phone has internal storage and allows up to 1TB with micro SD. Plus I never have to carry two devices. Darko has a series of six articles titled "The DAP days are over". I agree with him.

 

https://darko.audio/2018/06/the-dap-days-are-over-part-3-lg-v30/

I have not tried an LG phone, and my A&K was a bit higher up on the food chain than yours, but it's difficult to imagine a cell phone having an internal DAC that can compete with an A&K or Pono.

 

My A&K did not get a direct comparison to my Pono because I upgraded ear buds simultaneously--but both sounded very good and were worth the weight on top of my iPhone (on the plane trips I no longer take...sob).   But maybe the best solution today is halfway in between--a cell phone with an external dongle DAC such as a Dragonfly?

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My PP is still alive after its start-up problems with two stays in Gilroy, although I must confess that I hardly use it any more. In recent years, I have used it primarily on holiday trips where nothing else was available to listen to music in good quality. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic situation, there have been no trips for me in the last 18 months.

 

I also no longer change my internal memory. I have stored my music on several MicroSD cards with capacities between 200 and 512 GB.

 

In the last few years I have had the opportunity to test various other top DAPs from A&K, Cayin, Cowon, Fiio to Questyle, but in terms of sound quality all were different for me, but none really better than the PonoPlayer in balanced mode. I just really like the natural sound signature of the Ayre Minimum Phase Filter in combination with the right headphones. No reason to spend € 1000 or more for them.

 

Replacement batteries are unfortunately not available in Europe. That's why I'm thinking of getting a Chord Mojo in the future to use with my 256 GB iPhone. It's good enough for holiday trips.

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8 hours ago, PeterG said:

I have not tried an LG phone, and my A&K was a bit higher up on the food chain than yours, but it's difficult to imagine a cell phone having an internal DAC that can compete with an A&K or Pono.

 

My A&K did not get a direct comparison to my Pono because I upgraded ear buds simultaneously--but both sounded very good and were worth the weight on top of my iPhone (on the plane trips I no longer take...sob).   But maybe the best solution today is halfway in between--a cell phone with an external dongle DAC such as a Dragonfly?

Clearly you did not watch the video, which addresses your questions. A cell phone with Dragonfly Red is not superior to an LG Quad DAC: 

https://darko.audio/2018/06/the-dap-days-are-over-part-3-lg-v30/

“To doubt everything or to believe everything are two equally convenient solutions; both dispense with the necessity for reflection.” 
Bertrand Russell 

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19 hours ago, audiobomber said:

Clearly you did not watch the video, which addresses your questions. A cell phone with Dragonfly Red is not superior to an LG Quad DAC: 

https://darko.audio/2018/06/the-dap-days-are-over-part-3-lg-v30/

Ha!  Thanks for your persistence.  The first time I tried the link, it would not connect, so I lost interest.  Googling separately, I have now watched. 

 

For those who have not watched the video--I see that Darko loves the LG and that it is "easily the equal of the iPhone plus Dragonfly" which he had been using instead of the Sony DAP.  If I were an Android guy, I would probably buy an LG phone.  But if my A&K died tomorrow, I would probably replace it with a Dragonfly into my iPhone.

 

Also, props to both you and LG!   I love that they have made a phone with great sound quality.  Apple has been a negative influence on hifi in a whole bunch of ways.  That really irks me.

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The sad part is, LG is leaving the mobile phone business. I sure hope mine lasts until someone else picks up on the audiophile phone idea.

“To doubt everything or to believe everything are two equally convenient solutions; both dispense with the necessity for reflection.” 
Bertrand Russell 

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I still use my Neil Young & Crazy Horse SE Pono player, now with balanced Sennheiser 650 headphones.

 

I used to travel a lot & just played it through the van sound system (a few different vans) so the sound wasn't great. I'm now retired, so I can appreciate the proper sound  at home through good headphones.

 

I have the Beatles & some Neil Young on the internal memory, my other music is on 3 different microSD cards (2 for 24-bit music, 1 for 16-bit). I started off with 128gb cards but have upped them recently to 256gb cards.

 

I'm looking forward to setting up a new separates sound system when finances and time allow.

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On 9/2/2021 at 6:32 AM, audiobomber said:

Clearly you did not watch the video, which addresses your questions. A cell phone with Dragonfly Red is not superior to an LG Quad DAC: 

https://darko.audio/2018/06/the-dap-days-are-over-part-3-lg-v30/

For me, John Darko is not really a trustworthy and independent reviewer and source. Like many pure internet services, he is far too dependent on his advertising revenue and other contributions. Those who place many ads or "invite" him to special events get more positive reviews or mentions.

 

But to get back to the actual topic, I would like to remind you of a statement by Charley Hansen, which, as far as I remember, he one posted in the old PonoMusic forum.

 

His point of view was that the DAC chip, regardless of the manufacturer, in its basic function has no significant influence on the sound quality of the digital/analogue conversion. What is important in this respect are the digital filters, the subsequent analogue stage, the clean power supply and other interferences from the device, starting with the display up to various radio signals. That's why Ayre chose ESS Sabre chips years ago, because ESS has the right interfaces to do only the actual D/A conversion. The sonically decisive steps are then carried out, for example in the PonoPlayer, with an FPGA chip for the individually adjusted filters and a discrete analogue balanced amplification. The number of DAC chips used is more marketing than technically necessary.

As far as I know, most suppliers of not only "cheap" DACs, DAC dongles or mobile phone integrations use the pre-installed filters of the DAC chip manufacturers with downstream with simple OpAmps. 
No wonder that they sound more or less the same (badly), even if some measured values are excellent according to Audio Science Review, among others.

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19 hours ago, #Yoda# said:

For me, John Darko is not really a trustworthy and independent reviewer and source. Like many pure internet services, he is far too dependent on his advertising revenue and other contributions. Those who place many ads or "invite" him to special events get more positive reviews or mentions.

 

But to get back to the actual topic, I would like to remind you of a statement by Charley Hansen, which, as far as I remember, he one posted in the old PonoMusic forum.

 

His point of view was that the DAC chip, regardless of the manufacturer, in its basic function has no significant influence on the sound quality of the digital/analogue conversion. What is important in this respect are the digital filters, the subsequent analogue stage, the clean power supply and other interferences from the device, starting with the display up to various radio signals. That's why Ayre chose ESS Sabre chips years ago, because ESS has the right interfaces to do only the actual D/A conversion. The sonically decisive steps are then carried out, for example in the PonoPlayer, with an FPGA chip for the individually adjusted filters and a discrete analogue balanced amplification. The number of DAC chips used is more marketing than technically necessary.

As far as I know, most suppliers of not only "cheap" DACs, DAC dongles or mobile phone integrations use the pre-installed filters of the DAC chip manufacturers with downstream with simple OpAmps. 
No wonder that they sound more or less the same (badly), even if some measured values are excellent according to Audio Science Review, among others.

I don't recall ever seeing an LG ad on the Darko site. Impugning the integrity of Darko and that of other internet review sites is a pretty low blow, with no evidence provided. John Darko has compared an LG phone to a DAP, and to another phone with dongle DAC, as have I. Have you?

 

I wholeheartedly agree that implementation is key to sonics from a DAC. LG uses ESS DAC's, tuned by Meridian Audio. You are wrong about a Quad DAC being purely a marketing tool. More DAC's = lower noise. 


"LG’s Quad DAC is actually made up of four sub-DACs that work in tandem and this is what makes LG’s Quad DAC unique. There are multiple ways a company can concoct a DAC with sub-DACs, but we believe ESS (the maker of the Quad DAC) uses a parallel design based on its marketing verbiage. To put it simply, the Quad DAC passes an audio signal through each one of its sub-DACs in order to improve noise performance. The Snapdragon Aqstic system we talked about earlier boasts an SNR of 115dB while the Quad DAC has been measured as high as 130dB. The extra 15dB is because of the Quad DAC."

https://www.androidauthority.com/lg-quad-dac-1115577/

“To doubt everything or to believe everything are two equally convenient solutions; both dispense with the necessity for reflection.” 
Bertrand Russell 

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  • 3 weeks later...
6 hours ago, Doctorsteve said:

(Raises hand...) Hey Doug

 

Primarily using Black 1, with Blond 1 available as well. Black 2, Blond 2, and Clear 1&2 in storage. Should last me lifetime ;-D

Wow, six should do for a while. Good to see you here. I'm mostly using the #4 black one. It has the most songs loaded onto a 400gb card. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi @Doug A Hi @Doctorsteve Hi @Magic_Randy! Hi Everyone else!  I still have all 4 of my PONO players.... NYLE, Black, Yellow and Clear.  I have the clear and NYLE stashed away in their original packaging, taking them out periodically to check the battery charge.  I alternate the one I have hooked up to my living room receiver between the black & Yellow.  Both have 512GB cards in them... fully (side) loaded.  I keep my internal memory empty on all.  Since COVID I am not travelling so, like many others all my PONO use is at home.  I also recently upgraded my car audio to have an Alpine CDE-W265BT and a SiriusXM tuner. So I have many more options now than before. My PONO will connect as will my old iPod Classic (for the longest road trips). And there are always the many SiriusXM channels if I desire. Great to see all y'all!

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