Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Computer Audio › NEWS: Meridian Releases The Explorer Pocket-Sized USB DAC
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

NEWS: Meridian Releases The Explorer Pocket-Sized USB DAC - Page 12

post #166 of 993
Quote:
Originally Posted by Painterspal View Post

Have you eliminated the possibility that it may be a ground loop problem?

 

Connected to my tube amp, with no music playing and the volume right up beyond normal listening levels, I can hear mains noise - a nasty kind of humming buzzing hash. It disappears immediately if I disconnect the mains power supply from the laptop or if I use the headphone out, so I'm pretty sure it's caused by a ground loop issue. It could also just be the dirty source power supply, in my case to the laptop, but I think it more likely a ground loop is to blame. In my case it isn't audible at normal listening levels but it may have a subtle impact on the sound - the blackness of the background for example.

 

Sadly my tube amp is particularly good at picking up this effect. With my Audio GD Reference 5.2 DAC it is even worse, but that's ac powered so you'd probably expect that. With the Audio GD, if I use the XLR out to a different amp, again there's no hum - pretty much exactly as you'd expect with a ground loop. Obviously with the ME you don't have that option.

 

I doubt the Meridian is more susceptible than other equipment to this effect, and it's possible that it will show itself in some rigs but not others, for no immediately apparent reason.

 

I doubt it's a ground loop. As I've mentioned previously my other two DACs (one of which is connected to the same computer via USB) do NOT have this problem. A ground loop would likely manifest itself across gear, particularly across USB connected gear. The issue is present with the Explorer, however, when connected to all three of my amps - Lyr, Crack, and Soloist. I built my computer myself and while the PS or MB certainly can't be ruled out, no other audio gear I've ever connected to the system has been problematic. All evidence points to the Explorer being the guilty party here.


Edited by swmtnbiker - 2/16/13 at 8:03am
post #167 of 993
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Meakin View Post

For those of you that have desktop rigs too, how well does the Explorer stack up?

 

I'm strongly considering buying one, but I have been disappointed with portable DACs before, i.e. the original Algorhythm Solo, which while not bad just fell short of my expected standards after having had a good turntable setup for a very long time. The Algorythm just didn't quite get the timing and rhythm correct.

 

Connected via line out to a good amp it holds up quite well IMO. Compared to my VDA1 and rDAC, I'd say that I definitely prefer the Explorer to the Arcam but don't like it as much as the CIAudio piece.

post #168 of 993

What are your thoughts on the device's amp guys? I noticed a member before using a pico slim after the line-out, is that really worth it, or just a personal preference to the pico amping signature?

post #169 of 993

Self powered hub

 

I wonder if this would work in the iPad cck chain. States 500ma output and I read above meridian rep saying ME needs 500Ma. 

 

Thoughts

 

http://www.cyberpowersystems.com/products/accessories/usb_hubs/cph420p.html?selectedTabId=overview&imageI=#tab-box

post #170 of 993
post #171 of 993

Spending an additional $200 to clean up the power for a $300 DAC ? That is so Head-fi. biggrin.gif

post #172 of 993
$300 dac that hits well above its price.
post #173 of 993

I agree that it sounds good, but if the noise issue some people have been experiencing is design-related then the solution would be for Meridian to address it, not throw a couple more Franklins at the problem and hope for the best.

post #174 of 993

Where can we buy the ifi iusb, online?

post #175 of 993

Looks like it's a crap shoot depending on what country you live in. No direct sales and they don't distribute to any well-known online retailers:

 

http://ifi-audio.com/en/sales.html

post #176 of 993
Quote:
Originally Posted by turokrocks View Post

Where can we buy the ifi iusb, online?

 

Not as easy a question to answer as it should be. Here is one source. Looks like you'll have to wait on a dual-headed cable to go with it, but you can reserve one now for a $100 deposit on an undetermined price!

 

Dubious availability was one thing that steered me away from iFi. iFi's Facebook page says available on Amazon in the U.K., but not U.S. This site linked above had "available January 20th" up from December until February or so. Even in the home country, locals report long wait times:


Quote:
Originally Posted by bedlam inside View Post

I got my iDAC, iUSB and iCAN in late November.

 

I ordered them directly from the iFi/AMR people in the UK at the Audio Show in September where I heard the whole set! Some waiting time. I nearly cancelled my order!

That said, other than the delay in delivery, I have been really happy with the results. 


Edited by Aerocraft67 - 2/16/13 at 10:23am
post #177 of 993

Just out of curiosity, have you guys played with a variety of usb cables?

 

I was thinking about picking up a Moon Audio Blue Dragon.  I'm somewhat dubious to their effect and I'm not looking to start a war, just want to see if people have tried out upmarket cables and experienced a nice audible improvement.  An outboard PS is too much to lug for me.

post #178 of 993
Quote:
Originally Posted by dpippel View Post

Spending an additional $200 to clean up the power for a $300 DAC ? That is so Head-fi. biggrin.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poimandres View Post

$300 dac that hits well above its price.

 

Yeah, a $200 upgrade to computer audio is pretty modest in absolute terms, and you can look at it as a $500 DAC/amp package, which remains at the top end of the "budget" range, and probably remains a very good value. And you get two independently upgradable modules, which affords some flexibility. And you can use the iUSBPower with other devices. But a 67% increase in investment for a power tweak is harder to rationalize. 

post #179 of 993
Quote:
Originally Posted by dpippel View Post

I doubt it's a ground loop. As I've mentioned previously my other two DACs (one of which is connected to the same computer via USB) do NOT have this problem. A ground loop would likely manifest itself across gear, particularly across USB connected gear. The issue is present with the Explorer, however, when connected to all three of my amps - Lyr, Crack, and Soloist. I built my computer myself and while the PS or MB certainly can't be ruled out, no other audio gear I've ever connected to the system has been problematic. All evidence points to the Explorer being the guilty party here.

I once had a buzz coming from a dac/amp combo that didn't appear in my other dac/amp separates when swapped in position using the exact same cabling. I thought it was defective or sucked until another person tried it in their setup and it was silent. Anyway, after much debugging I found out the buzz was coming from it being near the cordless headset base a foot away from where my equipment lay. Somehow my other equipment was not susceptible to the effects of that cordless base.

So I'd suggest try moving the explorer around, away from other electronics and see if it changes the buzz or makes it go away. If it starts changing at all by moving it around, then it is probably some sort of airborne interference. You may also want to try keeping all cables away from other electronics as it may be coupled in through the cables.
post #180 of 993
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Meakin View Post

And another review; there seem to be a lot of world's firsts on this one...

 

http://www.tonepublications.com/macro/meridian-audios-explorer/

Glad to see this posted. Last month, a salesman in a home theater store mentioned that Meridian was coming out with a portable DAC/Amp. I had just bought my first set of cans. I've just bought the Asgard 2 as my first dedicated amp. I do a fair amount of listening to an Ipod w/ my Grado 225i that sound pretty good unammped. Not sure what I'll feel my needs are in the future, but I'm going to watch any of your comments posted here with interest.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Computer Audio
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Computer Audio › NEWS: Meridian Releases The Explorer Pocket-Sized USB DAC