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How many are still using their PonoPlayer?

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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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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: 


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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