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Meier Audio StageDAC - Page 6

post #76 of 633
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylab View Post
Just one more point - Meier sells worldwide - pictures really can be more valuable than English, to many of his clients
That is a valid point, however the amp is still labelled in English

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post #77 of 633
Ok, ok, maybe these crossfeed icons are not that self explanatory after all. I'll make the following suggestion for Crossfeed on/off



post #78 of 633
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by s_nyc View Post
Ok, ok, maybe these crossfeed icons are not that self explanatory after all. I'll make the following suggestion for Crossfeed on/off



Maybe the tie should be different too...
post #79 of 633
I completely agree with Nick_Charles.

It is not a matter of the DAC having a lot of options and switches. That is fine and probably preferred by the intended users (experienced headphone DAC users).

However, the problem is that the icons are horrible. I am an experienced engineer, and this DAC would not pass our user experience designers. What are some of those squiggly icons for? Are they for high, medium, low? If the manufacturer wants to avoid using English, then he needs to work on the icons, perhaps by consulting with professional user experience experts to provide better internationalisation.

As it is, I am reluctant to buy this product, and if he continues saying asinine things like "How old are you?", then I would have no trouble never buying his products ever.
post #80 of 633
Quote:
Originally Posted by shuttleboi View Post
I completely agree with Nick_Charles.

It is not a matter of the DAC having a lot of options and switches. That is fine and probably preferred by the intended users (experienced headphone DAC users).

However, the problem is that the icons are horrible. I am an experienced engineer, and this DAC would not pass our user experience designers. What are some of those squiggly icons for? Are they for high, medium, low? If the manufacturer wants to avoid using English, then he needs to work on the icons, perhaps by consulting with professional user experience experts to provide better internationalisation.

As it is, I am reluctant to buy this product, and if he continues saying asinine things like "How old are you?", then I would have no trouble never buying his products ever.
Jan has expressed his aims with this DAC. He wants to provide the
best sound quality with convenient controls to tailor the sound at
the cheapest price possible. The controls / switches and associated
graphics will not take a long time to figure out.

I'm assuming you didn't struggle learning the options available on the
keyboard you typed your post with?
post #81 of 633
2x "No manual is required. Just put on some music, plug in the headphones, try out the switches and leave them where it sounds good. As Lil' Knight clearly stated, it just looks complicated."

The picture is of a prototype, the icons might change or improve yet. Also, the labels make the icons pretty self-explanatory, I would understand your bickering a bit better if there were no labels at all. And I do not buy the argument that a customer buying a product of this caliber wouldn't read/understand the product manual. In my experience, the manuals of Meier-Audio products are straightforwardly informative, with easy feature explanations and sometimes they're even on layman's terms.

I didn't throw a hissy-fit when I had to consult the user manual of my first digital camera to find out what the heck does a tulip icon mean! And I was like 14 at the time, and I don't even speak English as my main language, and that user manual from Sony was utter crap! I was actually happy that I tackled all those thingamajiggy-descriptions and got around to learn all the features of my new gadget by using my head.

Oh and the boxers I'm wearing have a hole in them, there isn't even an icon to explain the hole! How am I supposed to know if the hole is meant for air-conditioning or pooping?! God, I don't even have a manual for these!

So yeah, I think some of you are taking this way too seriously. Jan obviously didn't mean to call anyone stupid, a sense of humor doesn't hurt
post #82 of 633
Dear Headfellows,

>> How old are you??

> I juste laughed out loud at this one.

Exactly that was the reaction I hoped for. Guys, it was just a joke, referring to the expression "you're never too old to learn"! Don't always take things too seriously!!

> Actually your front panel *is* complicated it consists of a set of switches accompanied by several unexplained icons many of which can have no possible meaning without referring to a manual.

Very true, but ........ how could it be otherwise?
The functionality of this DAC in many aspects is very different from any other device. There is simply nothing that compares. Reading the manual is therefore considered obligatory. Adding more text to the frontplate or using different symbols (there are no standard symbols for the functions performed by the switches) would not make a difference.

> My automobile has bloody loads of switches and dials yet any one on this forum (who can drive a manual transmission car, legally) could drive it without referring to the manual.

True, but the features of your car are more or less standard and shared by many other cars. Therefore people know what to expect and what to look for. If you would put somebody in your car who hasn't driven any car for the last 30 years, he also wouldn't know where all these extra buttons are to be used for! Airconditioning, navigation, CD-player, .... would all be new and inexplicable for him.

> Why does the interface have to be populated with obscure icons when simple text labels would explain the function easily i.e

With so many switches the frontplate would be very crowded. Moreover, once you know the functionality (after reading the manual!) you will never look at the symbols/text again. You don't have to look for the horn-symbol in your car to know how to toot, do you?

Also, personally I find these symbols aesthetically more appealing then just mere text. Of course people may feel differently but tastes do differ. In decisions like these it simply isn't possible to please everyone.

> A picture is worth a thousand words.

That's how I feel it too! :-)

> the problem is that the icons are horrible. I am an experienced engineer, and this DAC would not pass our user experience designers.

When designing a device it's not just all about functionality. What an engineer wants is not always what a customer hopes for.

Look at the iPod. It's not a succes only because of its engineering but also because of its design using symbols that also do not explain much for the inexperienced user but that keep the design sleek and simple. The visual aspect does count!

> What are some of those squiggly icons for? Are they for high, medium, low?

Even engineers sometimes have to read a manual! :-)

Cheers

Jan
post #83 of 633
Thread Starter 
The icons on the StageDAC are not obscure symbols but rather direct graphical representations of what's happening to the audio signal in the various switch positions.

For example "Mode" from the top is: crossfeed; stereo; wide stereo. "Tonal Balance" is: much bass emphasis; little bass emphasis; flat. It seems pretty clear to me.



On the other hand, can someone help me with these icons? I haven't got a clue what they mean.

post #84 of 633
Quote:
Originally Posted by koto-in View Post
On the other hand, can someone help me with these icons? I haven't got a clue what they mean.


Do they refer to the signal lock Jan?
post #85 of 633
Hello, I am very interested in this dac. I am using a tube amp at the moment and missing the crossfeed features from my last amp. I also love the dac chips that are used! Finally a nice dac from europe. Looking forward to some reviews when it is available.
Oh and I at least dont care about whatever icons are on there, lol! When you buy a new product always expect that you have to read the manual (although this does not neccessarily means that I always follow my own advice!)
Nice to see a standalone dac by meier audio.
Greetings, Anouk,
post #86 of 633
I also look forward to this DAC very much. For me the only thing I care about is the sound. I would rather Dr. Meier focus more on the performance of the DAC instead of figuring out the best compromise of faceplate design. If the DAC is really good, most of us would start to enjoy the music and forget about the switches after some initial tweaking. No issue for me at least.

Really hope that some review will start to show up even before it can be made for production.
post #87 of 633
Quote:
Originally Posted by dukja View Post
I also look forward to this DAC very much. For me the only thing I care about is the sound. I would rather Dr. Meier focus more on the performance of the DAC instead of figuring out the best compromise of faceplate design. If the DAC is really good, most of us would start to enjoy the music and forget about the switches after some initial tweaking. No issue for me at least.

Really hope that some review will start to show up even before it can be made for production.
+1 with him. As long as the DAC won't self-destruct, it doesn't really matter.

Is there any estimation for the price?
post #88 of 633
Quote:
Originally Posted by sad_katz View Post
+1 with him. As long as the DAC won't self-destruct, it doesn't really matter.

Is there any estimation for the price?
Jan said on page 1:
"I’m sure people would like to know some prices. Unfortunately I have not been able to calculate all costs yet but I do expect something of around EUR 500,- or USD 700,- for people living outside the European Union. Unfortunately people from inside the EU also have to pay 19% VAT so their price will be around EUR 600,-. Considering the technical and sonic merits I personally feel that those prices are very competitive."
post #89 of 633
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaawa View Post
Jan said on page 1:
"I’m sure people would like to know some prices. Unfortunately I have not been able to calculate all costs yet but I do expect something of around EUR 500,- or USD 700,- for people living outside the European Union. Unfortunately people from inside the EU also have to pay 19% VAT so their price will be around EUR 600,-. Considering the technical and sonic merits I personally feel that those prices are very competitive."
So no news on pricing then.
post #90 of 633
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaawa View Post
2x "No manual is required. Just put on some music, plug in the headphones, try out the switches and leave them where it sounds good. As Lil' Knight clearly stated, it just looks complicated."

The picture is of a prototype, the icons might change or improve yet. Also, the labels make the icons pretty self-explanatory, I would understand your bickering a bit better if there were no labels at all. And I do not buy the argument that a customer buying a product of this caliber wouldn't read/understand the product manual. In my experience, the manuals of Meier-Audio products are straightforwardly informative, with easy feature explanations and sometimes they're even on layman's terms.

I didn't throw a hissy-fit when I had to consult the user manual of my first digital camera to find out what the heck does a tulip icon mean! And I was like 14 at the time, and I don't even speak English as my main language, and that user manual from Sony was utter crap! I was actually happy that I tackled all those thingamajiggy-descriptions and got around to learn all the features of my new gadget by using my head.

Oh and the boxers I'm wearing have a hole in them, there isn't even an icon to explain the hole! How am I supposed to know if the hole is meant for air-conditioning or pooping?! God, I don't even have a manual for these!

So yeah, I think some of you are taking this way too seriously. Jan obviously didn't mean to call anyone stupid, a sense of humor doesn't hurt
I am not sure what to make of your argument. Now, I'm glad you are able to understand your camera's "tulip" icon, because that is the universal camera icon for macro lens. Every manufacturer uses that icon for that purpose.

On the other hand, the icons for this particular DAC are ad hoc. You will not find the icons anywhere else because there is no standardisation. Thus, if one is going to put so many icons on the front, then the interface designer better do an outstanding job. In my opinion, the icons are a mess. I've worked with several technology companies that have customer-facing products, and interface design is always a priority.

And as for the boxers you are wearing, in your case there are an obvious GUI you can follow: yellow for the front of the boxers, brown for the back.

Good luck.
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