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NEWS: Meridian Releases The Explorer Pocket-Sized USB DAC - Page 16

post #226 of 986

I'm interested to read some actual user experience with Linux specifically the latest Ubuntu 64 bit distribution. I'm using a System76 Lemur Ultra Thin (lemu4) with Ubuntu 12.10 64 bit and I just sold my cheap NuForce Icon u-DAC2SE. So, I can only listen to my MP3s when I'm at home. I have some HD Tracks flac albums, actually quite a number of them, and I got interested in the Meridian Explorer.

 

Has anyone tried it with the latest Ubuntu? Does it work? Are there any problems that I should know about?

 

My understanding is that it does not provide up or over sampling. Am I correct so far?

 

What boutique USB mini bus cables work well with this? I was thinking about the Kimber Kable 2 meter mini bus cable, but Cardas makes a Clear mini bus cable. I was wondering if anyone tried any boutique mini USB cables and if it makes a difference or not.

 

How do you control the volume on this thing?

post #227 of 986
Quote:
Originally Posted by feverfive View Post

I stay away from Head-Fi for months, come back for a day & end up spending north of $1,000...

 

Welcome to head-fi, sorry about your wallet...

 

Welcome back to head-fi... didn't you learn your lesson the first time?  tongue.gif

post #228 of 986
Quote:
Originally Posted by feverfive View Post

I stay away from Head-Fi for months, come back for a day & end up spending north of $1,000...

 

I wish I could be as gutsy wink_face.gif

 

I am seriously considering this thing because I have been without a *working* Dragonfly for almost two months now.  Audio Adviser has been great but I am getting tired of receiving duds and coordinating info over the phone.  Plus from what I am reading this is supposed to sound better than the Dragonfly anyways.  While I'm spending another 50$ what's another couple hundred for a HE-400 or HE-500 and an amp?popcorn.gif


Edited by gidgiddonihah - 2/17/13 at 10:33pm
post #229 of 986

I've had mine for a couple of days and it sounds great. I like it better than the Dragonfly. Handles up to 192K too. MacBook Pro > Pure Music > Meridian Explorer DAC > AKG 702's is my set up.

post #230 of 986
Quote:
Originally Posted by TooPoor View Post

I'm going to try mini - RCA with my Lyr (mini-mini with the E12). I have no idea what to expect, but it should suffice until a get a dedicated desktop DAC.

 



It's a fine DAC in it's own right. Sounds really excellent with my Violectric v200 and Icon Audio HP8. Don't think of it as a lower option compared to desktop DACs in the sub$1K area - it isn't. If you only need USB this is a strong contender.

post #231 of 986

Looks alright.

post #232 of 986
Quote:
Originally Posted by dpippel View Post

I'm returning it Mike. I just haven't decided if it's worth my while to exchange it and try a second unit or just get a refund. I still prefer my VDA1 to the Explorer, although it's fairly close. The Meridian appealed to me mostly due to its flexibility and portability.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dpippel View Post

The Explorer sounds just as good as many a dedicated desktop DAC, particularly in this price range. It'll pair up well with your Lyr.

 

Your objectivity is admirable, dpippel - you're recommending the Explorer for its virtues while having to deal with the noise problem it has presented for you.

 

beerchug.gif

 

This is easy for me to say because I have no skin in the game, but encouraging more of that same objectivity, I recommend you exchange it - otherwise you'll never know whether you've just got a bad unit vs. if there's a design weakness (in every Meridian Explorer) relative to all those other USB-powered DACs that work fine with your PC's USB power.  

 

In my case, with the "noisy" JDS Labs Objective DAC being the only USB-powered DAC that had a noise problem with my laptop's USB power, I didn't really like the sound signature enough to warrant exchanging it for another. That doesn't seem to be the case with you and the Explorer.  

 

Again, it's easy for me to recommend an exchange, but I do have empathy with the fact that it's a pain to do so, on the thought that you could find yourself wanting to return the second one.   Consider this:  Of the gear I currently own (and greatly enjoy), I've had to return for exchange a Beyerdyanmic T1, a Burson Soloist, and a custom mini-to-mini interconnect - and I'm glad I did (for what that's worth).

 

Mike

post #233 of 986

Any update on whether this will work with an android device, with/without a USB hub?

post #234 of 986

Ok got mine and just installed together with foobar and wasapi in the bit perfect mode.

This device is impressive, very musical, and utterly transparent. I am impressed with the sound. Got it from Audio Images in UK, Rick is such a nice guy to deal with! I'm a happy man tonight!

 

edit:

With HD650, sound is very very good! If I haven't already got a dedicated headphone amp, I would hesitate buying one, this thing is that good!

With sony XBA 4, despite all the bad rap with those headphone, I like them for their impressive bass response. With meridian explorer they are tremendous! It is the best I heard the xba4, the sound is so good, it is like a completely new pair of headphones. I must say that I always paired them with android phones or walkman, and never with a dedicated amp, because my tube amp is OTL so only for high impedance cans. But I can say that Explorer and balanced armature is high class sound.


Edited by telecaster - 2/18/13 at 10:03am
post #235 of 986
Quote:
Originally Posted by dpippel View Post

The Explorer sounds just as good as many a dedicated desktop DAC, particularly in this price range. It'll pair up well with your Lyr.

So are you saying that the Meridian, which is jack of all trades, usb amp/dac sounds as good as a 300 dollar dedicated DAC?  Can you tell me what desktop DACs specifically you compared to the Meridian and the differences you heard (what kind of music you used in comparing), the headphones you used and the software, etc?


Edited by JohannesBrahms - 2/18/13 at 10:40am
post #236 of 986
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohannesBrahms View Post

So are you saying that the Meridian, which is jack of all trades, usb amp/dac sounds as good as a 300 dollar dedicated DAC?  Can you tell me what desktop DACs specifically you compared to the Meridian and the differences you heard (what kind of music you used in comparing), the headphones you used and the software, etc?

 

I'm too lazy to type out a detailed analysis. biggrin.gif A variety of music genres -> Windows 7 -> FLAC -> JRiver Media Center WASAPI -> Explorer (USB)/CIAudio VDA1 (Toslink)/Arcam rDAC (USB) -> Schiit Audio Lyr/Burson Soloist/Bottlehead Crack -> Senn HD 650. I directly compared the Meridian to the two other DACs in the chain. It's very close to the VDA1 ($500) and sounded better to my ears than the rDAC ($480).

 

FROM MEMORY ONLY the line out on the Explorer sounds better than the ODAC, the DAC in the ALO Pan Am, and the DAC in the Matrix M-Stage, but I was unable to compare them directly as I no longer have any of the aforementioned gear (but I've possessed all of them over the past 6 months).

 

EDIT: I forgot the Bifrost, which in my rig sounded a bit "thin". Again, from memory only, the Explorer seems to have more meat in its sonic signature.


Edited by swmtnbiker - 2/18/13 at 12:21pm
post #237 of 986

Guys, I should have known this would be an 18-page thread in the space of a week ... `;)

 

Can someone pls provide me a link to a an internet reseller who has stocks of the Explorer - I have a dodgy net connection and simply cant go back through 17 pages of 'this looks great !' posts to find said link  :(

 

Google seems to throw up the same Meridian press release for 4 or so pages. 

 

Thanks,

 

estreeter

post #238 of 986
Quote:
Originally Posted by zilch0md View Post

 

 

Your objectivity is admirable, dpippel - you're recommending the Explorer for its virtues while having to deal with the noise problem it has presented for you.

 

beerchug.gif

 

This is easy for me to say because I have no skin in the game, but encouraging more of that same objectivity, I recommend you exchange it - otherwise you'll never know whether you've just got a bad unit vs. if there's a design weakness (in every Meridian Explorer) relative to all those other USB-powered DACs that work fine with your PC's USB power.  

 

In my case, with the "noisy" JDS Labs Objective DAC being the only USB-powered DAC that had a noise problem with my laptop's USB power, I didn't really like the sound signature enough to warrant exchanging it for another. That doesn't seem to be the case with you and the Explorer.  

 

Again, it's easy for me to recommend an exchange, but I do have empathy with the fact that it's a pain to do so, on the thought that you could find yourself wanting to return the second one.   Consider this:  Of the gear I currently own (and greatly enjoy), I've had to return for exchange a Beyerdyanmic T1, a Burson Soloist, and a custom mini-to-mini interconnect - and I'm glad I did (for what that's worth).

 

 

Thanks for the support Mike, AND for muddying the water for me. biggrin.gif I was all set to simply get a refund on the Explorer and now you've got me thinking again. Hmmmm....

post #239 of 986
Quote:
Originally Posted by estreeter View Post

Guys, I should have known this would be an 18-page thread in the space of a week ... `;)

 

Can someone pls provide me a link to a an internet reseller who has stocks of the Explorer - I have a dodgy net connection and simply cant go back through 17 pages of 'this looks great !' posts to find said link  :(

 

Google seems to throw up the same Meridian press release for 4 or so pages. 

 

Thanks,

 

estreeter

 

http://www.ttvjaudio.com/A_Real_Meridian_DAC_p/mer0000001.htm

post #240 of 986

Thanks, dpippel - should have known Todd would have stock. I'm stunned that he seems to have received his delivery before the press release went out - in some cases, we wait months for a product to actually hit the shelves. Kudos to Meridian for this. 

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