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NEWS: Meridian Releases The Explorer Pocket-Sized USB DAC - Page 39

post #571 of 1069
Actually from what I've read, most of us are using the analog line out with great success.
post #572 of 1069

I have to say that the Explorer /Objective2 amp are quite a nice pairing. Deep bass, fine mids, nice highs, excellent open sound stage with detail.

 

In my office, using it with my Beyer T5p, it really rivals my home setup. 

post #573 of 1069
Quote:
Originally Posted by estreeter View Post

Of course there are more devices 'like this' coming out soon - the question is whether they will be as good as the current crop. When the SABRE became all the rage, every man and his brother seemed to be releasing a SABRE-equipped DAC - history has shown that there were hits and misses. Your crystal ball is as good as mine. 

 

I meant is there anything specifically known coming out.  I wasn't aware of the ME until the day it was released, and wasn't even aware of the Microstreamer until seeing it mentioned in discussions with the ME even though it hit the market weeks before the ME.  The Dragonfly though I recall being aware some time before it was released, and in general upcoming headphones/earphones that's the case as well.  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerocraft67 View Post

All you lose with Microstreamer vs. Explorer is playback of sampling rates greater than 96 kHz and the optical out. Headphone output power looks to be the same, although odd that the otherwise thoroughly-specified Microstreamer does not give an impedance reference for the headphone ouptput power, even though the voltage spec is probably apt. The Microstreamer form factor looks more practical than Explorer's, if not as aesthetically creative. Of course there's the handsome price, not to mention that you can order it on Amazon, which is a big plus. Assuming the sound is comparable, Microstreamer looks like the better value at 40% less, shipped. New FOTM!

 

Just to be clear, they do state it's .5 ohm for headphone out: http://highresolutiontechnologies.com/microstreamer#prods

 

I thought this measurement was supposed to the max?  Or is it more of an average?  Nonetheless, it should be a good assumption that it will never go beyond 2ohms, right?

 

I don't listen to high res so that's not a concern for me, it's down to sound/draw/form factor as I do remote work with an 11" MBA.  The MS is specced for 150mA draw, I believe the ME was mentioned somewhere to be pulling somewhere around the USB spec (ie. 500, and it does seem to draw down battery about 3x as fast compared to rough tests I did against the DragonFly... the DF nicks about 30 mins, the ME about 1.5 hours vs. using the laptop's headphone out at similar volume on my TG334s).


Edited by bobeau - 3/13/13 at 7:38am
post #574 of 1069
Quote:
Originally Posted by yfei View Post


After lookup the usb audio class,  yes, "Error detection via CRC, but no retry or guarantee of delivery."    Why it is designed this way is because they assume "if a packet or frame was dropped every now and again, it is less likely to be noticed by the listener."
(http://www.beyondlogic.org/usbnutshell/usb4.shtml)

Which means the quality of USB cable is important:       lost / corrupted packets are just skipped, and they hope user's won't hear the difference.
Your presumption of a USB wire creating a "packet loss" is
Edit *
A distinct possibility..


Quote:
Originally Posted by DoomForce View Post

There are posts earlier on the topic of USB cables; some people argue that it makes a tremendous difference regarding the phase sync between the device and the DAC....
*EDIT*
The issue here lies in What I believe to be a combination of jitter and interference..
I only believed when I herd a benefit of cable change for myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yfei View Post


A poor cable may introduce higher rate of packet loss, and cause more delayed re-transmissions...

But I agree that these only should be a concern for very long cables, or very poor cables.    Any >$10 short cables should be the same.
*EDIT*

A poor cable MAY introduce EITHER SOME loss OR INTERFERENCE IF POOR SHIELDING..

A piece of 3ft cable whether usb or speaker or telephone or anything is ...
BLA BLA SORRY I AM MISTAKEN OVER THE THEORETICAL THINKING..

I will take it further to the realistic, real world level and say a ONE DOLLAR cable at the 99cent store will do.
tongue.gif
*EDIT*
TRIED AND NOTICED A DIFFERENCE (! )
So I have to rescind my original post(!) And take back what I said!

Finally I have to say that a "portable" USB/DAC that is not engineered to use "portable" headphones (that are necessarily low impedance),
Is an enigma and contradictory to what its intendid use would be for.
*EDIT*
THE output impedance is a limiting factor with this unit if not corrected then it plays best with higher impedance cans.
Edited by Maxx134 - 5/11/14 at 9:35pm
post #575 of 1069
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxx134 View Post

This is a huge misconception.
There is:
ZERO phase shift.
Zero impedance
Zero capacitance
Zero resistance
Zero inductance
In a 3 foot length of any usb cable.
Or speaker cable for that matter.

 

If you want to prove your point, you shouldn't start with such assessment. The above is simply not true ;)

Every single peace of wire has all of the above and is subject to the laws of electromagnetism (Maxwell will be happy to hear that ;)).

 

The effect of  the impedance might not be significant when restrained to the audio band. USB is way above that and the cable falls in the transmission line category, which has much more considerations than the sole Kirchhoff's law...

 

Note: I'm not saying a USB cable, actually, makes any significant change in sound, I never experienced that (never tried to).

 

Edit: A FAQ on usb.org regarding cable length and similar considerations 

"The cable length was limited by a cable delay spec of 26ns to allow for reflections to settle at the transmitter before the next bit was sent"


Edited by Clemmaster - 3/13/13 at 9:16am
post #576 of 1069
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobeau View Post

 

Just to be clear, they do state it's .5 ohm for headphone out: http://highresolutiontechnologies.com/microstreamer#prods

 

 

 

That's the output impedance. What's missing is the load into which the output power is specified. For instance, Explorer specifies 130 mW into 16Ω (which you insightfully pointed out earlier as particularly misleading since the Explorer's output impedance is so high as to render 16Ω headphone performance unsatisfactory). Dragonfly specifies 125 mW at 32Ω. iDAC is 150 mW into 15Ω. Microstreamer just specifies "up to 140 mW." 

 

But Microstreamer does specify a voltage for the headphone out, from which we can infer the power output into different loads. I get 123 mW into 16Ω. Which is actually the lowest of the current crop of entry level DAC/amps discussed here, just shy of Explorer. But I'm just another guy blindly putting in specified values into equations he found on the internet. 

post #577 of 1069
Quote:
Originally Posted by telecaster View Post

The microstreamer has no digital out so it's no use for those who want a USB asynchronous to use with their high end system which is the primary purpose of the explorer

Do you mean using it to power speakers?

post #578 of 1069
Originally Posted by Carlsan View Post

I have to say that the Explorer /Objective2 amp are quite a nice pairing. Deep bass, fine mids, nice highs, excellent open sound stage with detail.

 

Agreed... I'm really enjoying this pairing as well.  Sounds terrific with the HE-400.

post #579 of 1069
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemmaster View Post

If you want to prove your point, you shouldn't start with such assessment. The above is simply not true wink.gif
Every single peace of wire has all of the above and is subject to the laws of electromagnetism (Maxwell will be happy to hear that wink.gif).

The effect of  the impedance might not be significant when restrained to the audio band. USB is way above that and the cable falls in the transmission line category, which has much more considerations than the sole Kirchhoff's law...

Note: I'm not saying a USB cable, actually, makes any significant change in sound, I never experienced that (never tried to).

Edit: A FAQ on usb.org regarding cable length and similar considerations 
"The cable length was limited by a cable delay spec of 26ns to allow for reflections to settle at the transmitter before the next bit was sent"
I am not talking to Maxell on theoretical microscopic levels, I am talking real world usage to the common man.

The considerations you point refer to that can affect the "transmission" category or frequency area in USB all are negated when the information is in the digital domain.
Similar to digital FM reception.
Add to that a straight wire 3-6ft for conducting in a portable setup and we talking realistically no affect.

But Thank you for that link and information.
Your point taken as correctly when I was talking about the audible band,
Yet this link you provide concerns of lengths far longer than any household application and is a concern of the actual devices used for transmitting, rather than the actual wire wich I would assume they are better off with optical transmission Instead.

Anyway you are correct about my bold accusations wich are only technically incorrect as I myself no longer deal in theory.
My statements would necessarily only apply to the practical world.
tongue.gifwink.gif
post #580 of 1069
Quote:
Originally Posted by telecaster View Post

The microstreamer has no digital out so it's no use for those who want a USB asynchronous to use with their high end system which is the primary purpose of the explorer

 

Firstly, I question whether that is, in fact. the primary purpose of the Explorer - as many here indicated when the output impedance issue became apparent, many of us seem to want something we can use (trans) portably and still get excellent results. Using the digital-out negates the very reason for buying this thing - who buys a DAC unless they want an analog signal ? I agree that having digital-out capability gives the Explorer an advantage over it's rivals, and its nice to be able to experiment with digital-vs-analog out, but I find your statement extroadinary, to say the least. That said, I'm happy to hear from anyone else who bought the Explorer purely to use it as a 'USB transport' when there are some very good USB-SPDIF converters for around the same money. This is the gadget I'd be looking at, but the base HiFace is considerably cheaper. 

 

http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/johnkenny/1.html

 

http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/m2tech/hiface.html

 

Let's try to keep this discussion to the Explorer's utility as a DAC and/or headphone amp, shall we - I'll let you get back to your Jeff Rowland monoblocks  ;)

post #581 of 1069

 

I could be wrong, but that looks like an awfully attractive form factor  :D

post #582 of 1069
Quote:
Originally Posted by telecaster View Post

The microstreamer has no digital out so it's no use for those who want a USB asynchronous to use with their high end system which is the primary purpose of the explorer

 

I think most will agree that the primary purpose of a portable DAC  is to act as a DAC, headphone out being the icing on the cake. What you are referring to is a DD converter, and am not sure what is the point of spending 300 dollars on a DD converter with only optical out, and limited to 96kHz.

post #583 of 1069
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxx134 View Post


I am not talking to Maxell on theoretical microscopic levels, I am talking real world usage to the common man.

The considerations you point refer to that can affect the "transmission" category or frequency area in USB all are negated when the information is in the digital domain.
Similar to digital FM reception.
Add to that a straight wire 3-6ft for conducting in a portable setup and we talking realistically no affect.

But Thank you for that link and information.
Your point taken as correctly when I was talking about the audible band,
Yet this link you provide concerns of lengths far longer than any household application and is a concern of the actual devices used for transmitting, rather than the actual wire wich I would assume they are better off with optical transmission Instead.

Anyway you are correct about my bold accusations wich are only technically incorrect as I myself no longer deal in theory.
My statements would necessarily only apply to the practical world.
tongue.gifwink.gif

 

Gotcha ;)

 

The information is transmitted on an analog support so it is subject to alterations.

The USB cable has a specific impedance (like RJ45, Coaxial and the likes). If the manufacturer doesn't respect that impedance (why would they? USB has error correction for the ubiquitous bulk transfer mode anyway), reflections will occur and jitter will arise.

post #584 of 1069
Who wants it? Likely every meridian customer. I can feed my digital speakers directly from a computer with only this investment and can enjoy my hd650 when abroad.
Personal if u have BA OR IEM, where is the portable advantage if u have to lug ur computer plug the power because ur battery Last only two hours?
IEM are low current headphones and are design to be used with phones and the likes. YMMV.
HIFACE, when it was out was all the rage but I didn't liked the form factor. I got myself some USBsdif and it broke two months later... HIFACE is overpriced imo
post #585 of 1069
Quote:
Originally Posted by teofilrocks View Post

I hope it's okay to mention this, but I received word from Meridian, through the dealer I purchased through, that they know about and are addressing the low-impedance concern. In particular:

 

... a few weeks ago we made a running change in manufacture to broaden compatibility ...

 

I don't know the specifics of what this change has been, but I've already inquired Meridian about it.

 

Any updates or details about the running change? I doubt Meridian will make a public statement.

 

Thanks

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