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Meier Audio StageDAC - Page 3

post #31 of 633
Very interesting indeed. for US$700 this can be a killer DAC for anything US$1,000.

Would be eager to know how it will actually look like, and hope Jan can offer some early bird introductory prices...

F. Lo

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post #32 of 633
Quote:
Originally Posted by josep View Post
Jan, it will be great to have access to your 'crossfeed' (specially this one, newer and so tweaky) when using any amplifier (I must say the most missed feature when I sold my Opera was this one).
Congratulations.
But... I feel somewhat unimpressed, to say the least, by the USB input. I assume you choose the easy path (sorry) with some 270x chip, but every day there is more people looking to use the computer for access 'HD' tracks, so a 24/96 USB input is mandatory. I know I can have USB->SPDIF 24/96 for not much (say, Prodigy Cube) but... well.
x2 on selling the Opera and missing out on the crossfeed (on occasion).
x2 by being unimpressed with the 16/48 USB input
and x1 on there being no balanced outputs (XLR). This is a deal-breaker for me.

Dr. Meier, you say not many people use XLR, but that is not true. More people use XLR nowadays than you think. If you came to CanJam, you would have seen how many people are using XLR.

I think the crossfeed filter you have built into the DAC will sound excellent and I know that will be a feature that many people will love. Your crossfeed has always been the best (as was the case with the Opera). For what you are offering the price sounds good, I just wish you charged a little more and added balanced outputs as well as 24/96 USB.

Also, I think you underestimate the market for 24/96 USB capability. The very high quality SonicWeld Diverter 24/96 USB>Coax converter has been selling like crazy at $1300. I know that is not the market you want to go after, I'm just stating that the interest for 24/96 USB is much greater than you might realize.
post #33 of 633
People who set up tables at Canjam, and people who blow $1k on a USB-SPDIF converter, are...not the target-market of this DAC
post #34 of 633
EDIT: removed my 24/96 nagging

Another suggestion is to do something similar to what Woo audio does.
Having the option to upgrade internal components. ( capacitators, etc.)
It may boost the sales and income since people can design the DAC more closely to their own preferences.
post #35 of 633
Dear Headfellows,

> you must look for the TENOR TE7022L chip

I did but only found very little technical information and the chip seems to be very hard to get. There must be a reason for it!??

> it is surprising the scarce options we have for USB 24/96.

From what I understand Windows does not support these applications with standard drivers. Therefore any company has to provide its own drivers. Also no USB-audio chips are available that can use this format. Therefore standard USB-streamers have to be used and made suitable for audio-applications by extensive processor programming. Only very few companies have the man-power and the expertise to do so.
Be aware that Meier-Audio is a one-man company and that my products are produced in relatively small batches only. This makes USB 24/96 simply unfeasible.

There are many companies that are much larger then mine and yet they do not provide USB 24/96 either. Again, there must be a reason for that!

Right now for those interested the only solution seems to be the use of an appropriate USB-SPDIF converter.

> do you have the dimensions of the case?

width: 28 cm (11")
height: 7 cm (2,7", feet included)
depth: 14 cm ( 5,5", without volume knob and RCA-connectors)

As you can see the enclosure is much wider then its depth. This allows me to keep the powersupply (at the left of the enclosure), the digital section (middle), and the analog section (right) very well separated. Thus there are no interferences between the magnetic fields of the built-in transformers and the analog section.

> you say not many people use XLR, but that is not true. More people use XLR nowadays than you think.

People who use XLR normally use amplifiers and DAC-converters that are a multiple of the price of a STAGEDAC. Goal of the STAGEDAC is not to provide the best DAC in the world but to provide the best DAC at a price that is still affordable for the common man. Due to the concept of the crossfeed the addition of XLR outputs would have added significantly to the technical complexity of the amp. As an example all switching would have to be done by additional relais since mechanical switches are only able to switch 2-channels simultaneously. Relais are expensive, would be needed in a rather large quantity and would require a more beefy powersupply.

The STAGEDAC, like all of my products, is a compromise between performance and price. I do not have the pretention to provide the very best in the world. I only have the intention to provide the best value-for-money.

Cheers

Jan
post #36 of 633
Dr. Meier: Are there any prototype pictures? except the illustration on your web page?

And have you thought of launching a basic version of the CORDA SYMPHONY? without the DAC and crossfeed filter?
As an amp match for the new DAC?
post #37 of 633
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jan Meier View Post
Goal of the STAGEDAC is not to provide the best DAC in the world but to provide the best DAC at a price that is still affordable for the common man....I only have the intention to provide the best value-for-money.

Cheers

Jan
I applaud this goal, Jan! I think, perhaps, there are at least a few users here who would also look forward to a full-on high-end model from you in the future

Re: 24/96 over USB - I read from Ellias at Benchmark I think it took them and Centrance 2 MAN YEARS to write the adaptive code for the TAS1020B....licensing it costs $10,000 and only 1 man in the whole world has async - Gordon Rankin - even Charles Hansen/Ayre can't do it themselves so they license that from him for the QB-9 which costs what almost 4-5 times as much as the Stagedac...

So, let's keep things in perspective - we look like we'll be getting a first-class implementation of Wolfson's best, with I think an even more flexible access to its inbuilt filtering settings than the DacMagic provides, plus crossfeed, plus a proven output stage, plus power supply regulation done right, from a trusted designer who's part of our community, all in a nice enclosure, for close to 500 euros! What's not to like!
post #38 of 633
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jan Meier View Post
As an example all switching would have to be done by additional relais since mechanical switches are only able to switch 2-channels simultaneously. Relais are expensive, would be needed in a rather large quantity and would require a more beefy powersupply.
Jan,
I thought the Symphony did not use a mechanical relay but rather a digital relay. Did you revert back to the mechanical relay in the StageDAC? I know this was one thing many of us disliked about the Opera. The clicking noise was obnoxious when there was very little to no signal in a song, i.e. certain songs (such as the first track, Speak To Me, on Dark Side Of The Moon) would make constant back and forth clicking of the relay.

Also, did you address the signal locking problem that was prevalent in the Operas (where sometimes when you turn the amp on the DAC signal comes on locked and you had to turn it off and turn it back on again)? I know you said this was due to the receiving chip in the Opera so I'm just curious to know if you changed the receiving chip or solved this problem before releasing the StageDAC.
post #39 of 633
Those are two important questions.

I am very interested in this, since I wouldn't mind a nice DAC, and the crossfeed would be cool to try in conjunction with my tube amps!
post #40 of 633
Yes this looks like it would be perfect to go along with my B22 or EHHA when they are finished. AKA Sometime this Fall
post #41 of 633
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jan Meier View Post
Dear headfellows,

> That's slightly higher than I was hoping for

Well, currently I’m working on a slim version of the STAGEDAC. I’m not sure yet whether it will be produced or not but this one could be interesting for you.
Hello Jan,
I'd be very interested in a more modest version of the STAGEDAC, I have CORDA OPERA-analog and I'm looking for a nice DAC to pair it up with. Of course it will be a long wait, but the OPERA isn't going anywhere
post #42 of 633
Thread Starter 
An image of a prototype is up. meier audio
post #43 of 633


The front panel looks quite complicated to me.
post #44 of 633
yes yes that does look rather errrr confusing
post #45 of 633
But the whole point of this DAC is lots of options to tailor the sound!! This is the first DAC I have been excited about in a long time
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