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NEWS: Meridian Releases The Explorer Pocket-Sized USB DAC - Page 46

post #676 of 1018
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlySweep View Post

I've been listening with the Explorer for much of today: Explorer (DAC) --> Objective 2 --> HE-400.  The sound and synergy in this little rig is terrific.  I'm excited to see what the (revised) Meridian Explorer's headphone out will bring as far as performance.  I think someone mentioned the volume increase should be smoother in the revision (not confirmed by Meridian).  I typically prefer to have my DACs as uncolored as possible.. but the ME's DAC is colored in quite an 'artful' manner.. and the sound isn't saturated so much as to fatigue or annoy during long term listening.  Evaluating the Explorer as a (non-neutral) DAC (and USB-to-optical converter), this little device is a winner in my book.

 

I've tried a few DACs and DAC/amps that use the same all-in-one BB DA chip and that is a very good description of how they sound.

post #677 of 1018
Quote:
Originally Posted by markm1 View Post

Anyone using it as their primary home set up?
Yup, I am. Using it for both my headphone listening and have a Lepai 2020A+ connected to the fixed line-out powering my Klipsch bookshelf speakers.
post #678 of 1018

I contacted Meridian about the exchange on Friday, they replied today that I should fill in a form, send it to them together with the Explorer and once they have it they'll ship a replacement to me within 1-2 days.

post #679 of 1018

I received the same message but I'm unsure about how I feel about paying postage for this to return to the UK ...

 

For instance, the Amazon model of free shipping if the issue is in their error, is costumer-friendly ...


Edited by aayler - 3/25/13 at 10:52am
post #680 of 1018
Quote:
Originally Posted by markm1 View Post

I'm still shopping around for my first DAC to go w/ my Asgard....

 

looking at:

 

  • Bifrost or Modi
  • Hrt Streamer
  • Dragonfly
  • maybe the Explorer

 

Looking forward to going to a Meet in May to check out some gear....

 

seems most of you you are using as intended as a portable w/ laptops and such.

 

Anyone using it as their primary home set up?


I am. I described it in some detail here.

post #681 of 1018

Well, it's not ideal but I sent it already. It cost me a bit less than 10 EUR from Ireland, registered and with declared value 300 EUR. It's not that bad given the price of the Explorer I think.

 

I really want to have the improved version even though I may decide it's an overkill for me and I'd maybe sell it eventually. To my ears and in my simple setup, this old version sounds maybe even worse than the built-in soundcard of my laptop (Thinkpad T530).

post #682 of 1018
Quote:
Originally Posted by estreeter View Post

You've been here long enough to know exactly how it went, and it's all summarised in one of the longest threads on Head-Fi.    Enjoy.   :D 

 

Well, I may have been here long enough, but I missed it (the "ZO2 saga"), somehow.  I wasn't being coy.  I can research it on my own, though.  

 

Thanks,

 

Mike

post #683 of 1018

For those who don't want to wade through an incredibly long thread, here is a summary: Digizoid shipped a wildly anticipated product before it was ready, then a '.1' version which also had problems, followed by the 'ZO2.2' - last I heard, the .2 version was working properly. My ZO2.0 died after about a months usage (refused to charge), I threw it in the bin and havent bothered returning to the thread - or any Digizoid product - since. IMO, the sticker price on the ZO2 really was too good to be true - they just werent able to factor any quality control in at that price.

 

Obviously, one would expect a lot more from Meridian, but then I would have expected a company with their engineering background to grasp the importance of an amp's output impedance to the headphone market - clearly, I was wrong.

post #684 of 1018

I think they're up to the 2.3 now.

post #685 of 1018

Thanks for the summary, estreeter.

 

Saved me hunting it up.

 

Mike

post #686 of 1018

Yes.  Using as primary for home as well as portable at work.  Laptop is the source in both cases.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by markm1 View Post

I'm still shopping around for my first DAC to go w/ my Asgard....

 

looking at:

 

  • Bifrost or Modi
  • Hrt Streamer
  • Dragonfly
  • maybe the Explorer

 

Looking forward to going to a Meet in May to check out some gear....

 

seems most of you you are using as intended as a portable w/ laptops and such.

 

Anyone using it as their primary home set up?

post #687 of 1018
Quote:
Originally Posted by wfranklin View Post

Yes.  Using as primary for home as well as portable at work.  Laptop is the source in both cases.

 

Thanks to everyone for the replies. Sounds like a very nice addition to your rig. The ability to listen at home and at work must be a big plus.

 

Here's my quandary...

 

Since I'm shopping for my first DAC, and have never heard my HPs through a DAC, I don't have a basis for comparison.

 

I'm able to stream and listen to my PC music files from an Onkyo receiver through my home wifi network.I'm in the process of upgrading my stereo and I'm even looking at Sonos to have different wireless speaker zones. But, that's a different story....

 

Anyway, since I've not purchased a DAC yet, I'm just curious how much better listening to my PC digital music files or streaming will sounds from a PC w/ a decent dedicated DAC vs from my Onkyo receiver with the built in Onkyo receiver DAC. Since I don't have a dedicated external DAC yet, I'm listening primarily to my cell phone on the go, and though the receiver for dedicated listening rather that my PC as the Onkyo sounds way better than the soundcard in my PC.

 

If I listen to a CD, I have two choices-HP jack from my my dedicated CD player or from the receiver. The CD player HP jack def sounds better than through the HP jack on my receiver. But, the receiver doesn't sound horrible. I would say that the Onkyo receiver sounds decent, but not 'out of this world' good.

 

Is it safe to assume that a dedicated decent DAC connected to a PC will improve the SQ from a typical stereo receiver that can access digital music files and and streaming services?

 

 

Hopefully, I'll be able to check out a few DACS in upcoming meet in my area next month.

post #688 of 1018

markm1, that is almost impossible to answer, but it's generally held that the headphone amp in most dedicated headamps (as in the Explorer) is going to be better than the headphone stage in a cheaper receiver or integrated amp. Whether the DAC is superior is tougher - many will trot out lines like 'Hey, that's a $5 chip in your $400 receiver - of course a dedicated DAC will be better !', but ultimately you are the only one who can answer that question. I suggest you take advantage of any trial period you can get on the Explorer or any other DAC and find out for yourself/ 

 

Just be aware that a lot of 'accepted wisdom' is repeated ad nauseam on forums, but the old mantra of 'audition,audition,audition' has been accepted for decades. Does my own 'reasonably priced DAC' sound better than my old HT receiver : absolutely. Does that mean I can make a blanket recommendation ? Absolutely not. 

post #689 of 1018
Quote:
Originally Posted by estreeter View Post

markm1, that is almost impossible to answer, but it's generally held that the headphone amp in most dedicated headamps (as in the Explorer) is going to be better than the headphone stage in a cheaper receiver or integrated amp. Whether the DAC is superior is tougher - many will trot out lines like 'Hey, that's a $5 chip in your $400 receiver - of course a dedicated DAC will be better !', but ultimately you are the only one who can answer that question. I suggest you take advantage of any trial period you can get on the Explorer or any other DAC and find out for yourself/ 

 

Just be aware that a lot of 'accepted wisdom' is repeated ad nauseam on forums, but the old mantra of 'audition,audition,audition' has been accepted for decades. Does my own 'reasonably priced DAC' sound better than my old HT receiver : absolutely. Does that mean I can make a blanket recommendation ? Absolutely not. 

 I get that it's hard to answer given all the variables. I can't find much even from Onkyo about the receiver DAC. My guess is it's pretty mediocre. And, I've got a Asgard 2 on back order, so I've got the amp variable covered for the moment.

 

When thinking about DACS, if I went with straight USB, I would be limited to my PC. I wouldn't be able to use with my stereo rig at all. I could go w/ something like the Biforst w/ USB and SPDIF, but I'm not sure it will make a big difference....just not sure....I'm also thinking about adding Sonos. If I do that, I believe I would utilize the circuitry in a Sonos connect device(router-Sonos connect-receiver). And, I could throw a DAC into that equation.

 

so I think I'll sit on it for a while and see how things sound w/ the upgrades I'm contemplating

 

Thanks.

Mark

post #690 of 1018

Huge props to Meridian for how they handled this situation. I'm impressed, this is definitely the shows of a gutsy company.

 

I'm thinking of buying the explorer to go with the Ultrasone Ed-8 (30 Ohm impedance). Would you consider it a decent match?

 

Also, I was thinking if it would be possible to run the ME through a high end Android phone device. Would you deem it possible, and through which procedure? There's two contradicting posts earlier in the thread, someone mentioning it is not possibly due to the low voltage of the USB output on the Android phone, someone else notifying it was possibly simply through using a market app. Which one is true?

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