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NEWS: Meridian Releases The Explorer Pocket-Sized USB DAC - Page 17

post #241 of 993

Quote:


Originally Posted by estreeter View Post

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. 

 

 

Indeed. I ordered mine from Todd at the beginning of last week and had it in my hands on Valentine's Day.

post #242 of 993

I'm not sure if TTVJ has the (next batch of) ME in stock.. yet.  Looks like he burned through the initial batch quickly & was waiting for the next to arrive (which I'm guessing is today/this week).  I ordered the ME from him on Thursday or Friday & haven't got a shipping notification yet.

post #243 of 993
Quote:
Originally Posted by dpippel View Post

 

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.

THanks for the response.  I don't want to sound naggy or nitpicky, but your comparisons are vague at best.  Simply saying something is "very close" or "better", doesn't give me the sense that you are very analytical in your assessments.  I think it's great that you've been able to compare the Meridian with a quite a few different DACS....just would love to actually read about some real differences with examples and more descriptive differences other than, "better".  

post #244 of 993
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohannesBrahms View Post

THanks for the response.  I don't want to sound naggy or nitpicky, but your comparisons are vague at best.  Simply saying something is "very close" or "better", doesn't give me the sense that you are very analytical in your assessments.  I think it's great that you've been able to compare the Meridian with a quite a few different DACS....just would love to actually read about some real differences with examples and more descriptive differences other than, "better".  

 

Sorry, but they are what they are - nothing more than anecdotal, subjective impressions. I simply don't have the time or inclination to get into detailed analysis. You can always do what I did and order up several different pieces of equipment, live with them in your own rig, and make a decision based on first-hand experience.

post #245 of 993
They got a batch today. I contacted them and received a FedEx number if that helps.
post #246 of 993

Gave the Meridian Explorer some ear time on headphones.  The ME definitely has more resolution and air than the DragonFly (DF), both set at 24/96k.  Vocals on the ME has more depth and mid-bass is cleaner.  One can say the DF is slightly warmer than ME.  The ME is definitely a notch above the DF in terms of being able to reproduce complex music more clearly while the DF is not as refined.  The DF may be easier to like for some due to it's slightly more "analog" sound signature.  The ME makes cheapo headphones sound good and good headphones sound even better.  The NuForce hp-800 sounds much better through the ME.  

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post #247 of 993

Just got email from them that mine shipped today as well (fedex).    ordered last thursday.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TooPoor View Post

They got a batch today. I contacted them and received a FedEx number if that helps.

Edited by yfei - 2/18/13 at 5:14pm
post #248 of 993
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlySweep View Post

I'm not sure if TTVJ has the (next batch of) ME in stock.. yet.  Looks like he burned through the initial batch quickly & was waiting for the next to arrive (which I'm guessing is today/this week).  I ordered the ME from him on Thursday or Friday & haven't got a shipping notification yet.

 

I was thinking the same, though I ordered just yesterday...  I wasn't expecting to receive shipping notice until tomorrow (Tues, Feb 19) due to the holiday, but now I'll assume it'll be a couple days fater that at the earliest if there's a a line ahead of me.  =(

post #249 of 993
Quote:
Originally Posted by dpippel View Post

 

Sorry, but they are what they are - nothing more than anecdotal, subjective impressions. I simply don't have the time or inclination to get into detailed analysis. You can always do what I did and order up several different pieces of equipment, live with them in your own rig, and make a decision based on first-hand experience.

 

After Chris Connaker's detailed review, I immediately thought 'Head-Fiers are going to swoop on this thing'. It's ALL subjective impressions, regardless of the fact that Chris is one of very few who has heard the best DACs dCS and EMM Labs have to offer - I appreciate your brief impressions every bit as much as an 'expert' like Mr Connaker. End of the day, its going to come down to my music / cans/ preferences anyway, but how many of us would have paid a lot more than 250-299 USD for DACs (let alone DAC/amps) as good as the Dragonfly / Explorer as little as 2 years ago ? We live in a golden age, IMO.   

post #250 of 993

One thing I ran across this weekend was an issue with hi-def video playback (RGB from laptop direct to monitor) using ME (set to 24/192) for the audio.  I think this has to do with the software buffering used at the higher bit rate, but by the end of watching a 64-minute video, the audio was a full 50 seconds behind the video (which made following the narrative a bit dicey).  Again, I did not experiment, but think this has to do with setting the device to the max bitrate for something that didn't warrant anything higher than 16/44.1 (if that).  Audio playback was great thorugh the weekend, and no issues with the low-level noise I experienced prior to swapping out the cables.  With a number of albums, it was like discovering the music again for the first time.  (E.g., the superb 24/96 albums The Highwaymen and Encore-The Highwaymen from HDTracks.

post #251 of 993
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiGuy528 View Post

Gave the Meridian Explorer some ear time on headphones.  The ME definitely has more resolution and air than the DragonFly (DF), both set at 24/96k.  Vocals on the ME has more depth and mid-bass is cleaner.  One can say the DF is slightly warmer than ME.  The ME is definitely a notch above the DF in terms of being able to reproduce complex music more clearly while the DF is not as refined.  The DF may be easier to like for some due to it's slightly more "analog" sound signature.  The ME makes cheapo headphones sound good and good headphones sound even better.  The NuForce hp-800 sounds much better through the ME.  

 

Thanks for you assessment, HiFiGuy528...

 

I was hoping to learn that the Explorer is warmer and wetter than the Dragonfly, which most people find to be somewhat cool and dry - as is the case with most ESS9023 DACs, including the JDS Labs Objective DAC, and the Stoner Acoustics UD100 - all of which I find to be too dry for my tastes (using neutral SS amps, not tube gear).  

 

Instead, you're describing the Dragonfly as having a more 'analog' signature than the Explorer.  If others reach the same conclusion, I probably wouldn't find the Explorer to be appealing for use with my gear, my ears, my tastes.  

 

The last thing I want is a DAC that's less warm than an ESS9023 DAC.

 

Thanks,

 

Mike

post #252 of 993

get a good quality USB cable.  The WireWorld Starlight does make a difference.

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post #253 of 993
Quote:
Originally Posted by zilch0md View Post

 

Thanks for you assessment, HiFiGuy528...

 

I was hoping to learn that the Explorer is warmer and wetter than the Dragonfly, which most people find to be somewhat cool and dry - as is the case with most ESS9023 DACs, including the JDS Labs Objective DAC, and the Stoner Acoustics UD100 - all of which I find to be too dry for my tastes (using neutral SS amps, not tube gear).  

 

Instead, you're describing the Dragonfly as having a more 'analog' signature than the Explorer.  If others reach the same conclusion, I probably wouldn't find the Explorer to be appealing for use with my gear, my ears, my tastes.  

 

The last thing I want is a DAC that's less warm than an ESS9023 DAC.

 

Thanks,

 

Mike

That's the problem with these evaluations.  He might have had a small change in his sinuses that made him hear it a little differently that day.  Maybe his mood was a little different that gave him a different take on the sound.  People constantly contradict each other and often times we actually hear what we want to hear.  You get a new shiny toy (Meridian) and it's no wonder that it sounds 'better' than the old toy (dragonfly).  Kind of like when you get a car wash and your car all of a sudden drives smoother and just feels newer.  I cringe when a new product, especially of the budget variety, comes out and all of a sudden everyone hails it as the next best thing.  Rewrap the dragonfly and rerelease it and I'm sure it will have similar success on these forums.


Edited by JohannesBrahms - 2/19/13 at 6:13am
post #254 of 993

Differences between the two is clearly there.  Anytime you change something in the chain there will be a difference.  Is the difference something you like is up to you to decide.  The ME has a lot of resolution.  Because of that, it performs better with more complex music than the DF.  Both DACs are very very good especially when considering its size and price.  

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post #255 of 993

HiFiGuy528,

 

I just want you to know that I find your opinion to be every bit as valuable as anyone else's.   In the long run, I'll be looking for a consensus, before spending any money, and of course, in the end, my own ears will decide whether I will keep the Explorer, should I actually buy one.

 

Thanks again for your input!

 

Mike

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