Mark Waldrep, aka Dr. AIX, has been producing and engineering music for over 40 years. He learned electronics as a teenager from his HAM radio father while learning to play the guitar. Mark received the first doctorate in music composition from UCLA in 1986 for a "binaural" electronic music composition. Other advanced degrees include an MS in computer science, an MFA/MA in music, BM in music and a BA in art. As an engineer and producer, Mark has worked on projects for the Rolling Stones, 311, Tool, KISS, Blink 182, Blues Traveler, Britney Spears, the San Francisco Symphony, The Dover Quartet, Willie Nelson, Paul Williams, The Allman Brothers, Bad Company and many more. Dr. Waldrep has been an innovator when it comes to multimedia and music. He created the first enhanced CDs in the 90s, the first DVD-Videos released in the U.S., the first web-connected DVD, the first DVD-Audio title, the first music Blu-ray disc and the first 3D Music Album. Additionally, he launched the first High Definition Music Download site in 2007 called iTrax.com. A frequency speaker at audio events, author of numerous articles, Dr. Waldrep is currently writing a book on the production and reproduction of high-end music called, "High-End Audio: A Practical Guide to Production and Playback". The book should be completed in the fall of 2013.

8 thoughts on “David Pogue and Pono: Part II

  • What an enormous waste of time this test was. So flawed in its execution and assumptions it makes a joke of David Pogue’s title of tech editor. Did he even realize the Sony MDR 7506 headphones he used have a rated responce of 10-20k. All other things you mentioned this test was domed to fail. We know the “emperors new clothes” status of Pono, but this article reeks of a setup job.

  • Here is what I wrote yesterday in a forum, where this article was discussed:

    “Reading the article again, I wonder, what he/David Pogue wanted to test?

    1: the Pono player (with it’s highres qualities) compared to an iPhone, or

    2: if people can hear a difference between ‘highres files’, that have no origin in a highres recording and depend on an analog tape master, or – worse – on an upconverted 16/44.1 file AND the same files (if they were of the same origin), that are encoded by Apple for their store?

    David Pogue is a devoted ‘reel to reel-ophile’ (for recording as well as for delievering).

    He has no sense for (or understanding of) recordings made in 24/96 (or 192) PCM – recordings that are done with proper microphones and not devaluated during mixing and mastering processes afterwards.

    If he tries to do 1: he can’t get any proper results, because he did not use real highdef material on that device!

    If he tries to do 2: he failes, because what he compared wasn’t that differen – not enough for people to hear a difference.

    Scientificly, what he did in that 2: case, was to state, that the participants could not hear a difference with the presented material, and that they in most cases very more pleased from the sound from an iPhone.”


    These A/B tests does not tell us anything at all about the capacities of the Pono player as a playback device – and they don’t tell us anything about the differences of an iTunes file and a real highdef file!

    • How can he be a devoted reel to reel-ophile when it’s been MANY years since prerecorded tapes were sold. Recording from CDs or needle drops is no path to HiFi sources. His only option is doing live recordings but that really limits his oppertunity to obtain good music.. I don’t get it.

      • Admin

        These guys collect, trade, copy, and swap reel to reel tapes or purchase tapes from The Tape Project.

  • Howard Kaufman

    I have no argument with your argument! Sadly, I believe most people won’t ever have the chance to properly evaluate a true high resolution audio file. At best they’ll probably do something similar to what David Pogue did and come to the same wrong conclusion – that high resolution files are either not better than CD quality – or that the difference isn’t worth the cost or trouble. So that’s “most” people. The question is, “are there enough people out there who still care enough about a high quality listening experience to make high resolution audio a worthwhile business endeavor”? Mr. Waldrep, you are an example of a businessman who must believe there are, and I’d like to hope you are correct!

  • Partev Sarkissian

    Agreed, regarding Mr Pogue as an entertainment writer, rather than a tech person. If that is his idea of scientific studies and proofs, then we’re all in a lot of trouble. Soon, he be saying there’s a scientific study proving the audio tooth fairy is a scientific fact. Richard Feyman would have enjoyed putting him in his place regarding technology.
    A proper double blind test (subjective as it may be when it comes to music), would still be more objective and scientific than the way those describe tests were done.
    We need a real A/B test with real science behind it, by an independent party, without a financial stake in the outcome. A real side-by-side, specs-to-specs, real proper testing, with real proper results, real proper proofs using “the scientific method”,…. like we were taught in school. Not this pseudo tech stuff by the manufacturer of the device.

  • steviev

    Hi-rez is inevitable and resistance is futile.

    While we have low-rez streaming now, soon mid-rez CD-quality streaming will be standard, and bit by bit (no pun) as data pipes get cheaper and larger, hi-rez per Mark’s definition will be standard. And almost none will be the wiser, because the masses care only for BASS!!!!!!

    Now, streaming multichannel, even at CD quality……. that’s when I get interested, personally.

    • Multichannel is great…I’m with you.


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