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NEWS: Meridian Releases The Explorer Pocket-Sized USB DAC - Page 48

post #706 of 993
Quote:
Originally Posted by teofilrocks View Post

Without an integrated amp, terribly wink.gif But with one, just fine.
Silly question, of course. Shouldn't browse when drunk. Thanks for the reply smily_headphones1.gif
post #707 of 993

I'd go one further and offer that we shouldn't post when drunk - browsing isnt particularly dangerous IME. The S30 is, afaik, the only CA product to rate nothing less than 5-star reviews on Amazon : not a single complaint about quality control or the sonics:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Cambridge-Audio-S30-Bookshelf-Speakers/product-reviews/B00198LYMU/ref=cm_cr_dp_see_all_btm/187-9690294-1426938?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending

post #708 of 993
One of the first things that became clear with my ME was that I really really need to upgrade my 685s.
post #709 of 993

"One of the first things that became clear with my ME was that I really really need to upgrade my 685s."

 

What other components are in your system? If you have the opportunity to listen to KEF speakers within your budget do so.

post #710 of 993
Years ago I had a pair of Kef Reference 102s. Loved them.

Currently I've got a Mac Mini > iTunes/BitPerfect > Rega Brio-R > The B&Ws.

I recently upgraded to the Rega when my NAD gave up, and between the Rega and the ME, I'm realizing that the speakers are kind of dull.
post #711 of 993

Absolutely can't wait to hear this!

post #712 of 993
Quote:
Originally Posted by netdog View Post

Years ago I had a pair of Kef Reference 102s. Loved them.

Currently I've got a Mac Mini > iTunes/BitPerfect > Rega Brio-R > The B&Ws.

I recently upgraded to the Rega when my NAD gave up, and between the Rega and the ME, I'm realizing that the speakers are kind of dull.


Yes 102's nice speaker for price. I was very impressed with: Silverline Minuet Supreme Plus. Likely not easy to demo in your area though.

 

 


Edited by satir - 4/3/13 at 11:22am
post #713 of 993
Quote:
Originally Posted by zilch0md View Post

 

Makes perfect sense.  smile.gif   You should be able to hear some micro-details that you wouldn't be able to discern in the Dragonfly.   Maybe the Explorer's power management is handling noise from your PC better than the Dragonfly does.   

 

Again, I'm compelled to address the subject of how important it is to have clean power.  All of these USB-powered DACs are vulnerable to PC noise - it's a classic trade off between quality of experience and convenience.

 

 

Even this $675.00 Bel Canto uLink USB to S/PDIF converter was improved by using clean, external 5V power:

 

 

Michael Lavorgna uses the Dragonfly powered by the iFi iUSBpower at his personal computer desk.  

 

Again, I've never used the iFi iUSBPower myself, but I trust Michael Lavorgna's reviews and I know how much lower the noise floor is when comparing my USB-powered CEntrance DACport LX to my CEntrance DACmini CX, which literally re-manufactures the power coming in from its switch-mode AC adapter.

 

I'm just suggesting that, within reason, we should be forgiving of any PC noise issues experienced with the Meridian Explorer and every other USB-powered DAC.  Convenience nearly always comes at a cost.  

 

If you're going to use one of these meant-to-be-portable USB-powered DACs as a dedicated desktop DAC, you might want to try using clean, external 5V power.   I think the iFi iUSBPower is reasonably priced at $199. 

 

Here's a $329 5-Volt external power supply (evidence that some people are willing to pay a lot more for clean power):  The Channel Islands VDC•5 MKII

 

Hint:  If using a laptop instead of a desktop PC, try comparing the noise floor of your USB-powered DAC as heard when running the laptop on battery power vs. when the laptop is plugged into an AC outlet.  When I owned a USB-powered Stoner Acoustics UD100 (an ESS9023 DAC), one of my laptops, a Toshiba L505, exhibited a dramatic reduction in noise heard at the headphones when I ran the laptop on battery power.

 

 

Mike

 

Aprpos this:

 

 

Quote:

Hint:  If using a laptop instead of a desktop PC, try comparing the noise floor of your USB-powered DAC as heard when running the laptop on battery power vs. when the laptop is plugged into an AC outlet.  When I owned a USB-powered Stoner Acoustics UD100 (an ESS9023 DAC), one of my laptops, a Toshiba L505, exhibited a dramatic reduction in noise heard at the headphones when I ran the laptop on battery power

What noise floor?

I use a modern Toshiba Satellite S-series laptop (released in June 2012) and the ODAC and O2 (as two separates) along with the Beyerdynamic DT 880 (250 Ohm- 2005 Edition) and the sound is very clear and clean and I love it.

No noise, buzzing, whining, etc. It pays to have a modern laptop as a transport.


Edited by JakeJack_2008 - 4/3/13 at 7:35pm
post #714 of 993

JakeJack_2008, I believe the noise floor issue goes well beyond the brand or vintage of computer you have - most Head-Fiers didnt stagger into computer audio yesterday .... the serious arguments around such minuatiae are best left to the forums at Computer Audiophile and our own Sound Science diehards. Suffice it to say that there are *always* 'blacker' blacks - if Chris Connaker is still finding that, I think we all have a way to go to reach our ideal rig.

post #715 of 993

I've used power conditioning in my audio systems past and present going back over a decade. As for ME and computer power supply noise issues, I find the ME has an acceptably low noise floor connected straight into notebook USB. I only listen with notebook battery as power and never connected to an a/c outlet. When I purchased my notebook I had a large capacity Samsung SSD installed from the get-go (I have no moving disc drives whatsoever in notebook). Even with the SSD I hear some sounds from my notebook which has me using a long headphone cord to be at least ten feet from my notebook when music listening. If there was a device that could silence a SSD notebook better yet without compromising notebook cooling - I'd be interested to hear about it.

 


Edited by satir - 4/4/13 at 7:04am
post #716 of 993
Quote:
Originally Posted by JakeJack_2008 View Post

 

Aprpos this:

 

 

What noise floor?

I use a modern Toshiba Satellite S-series laptop (released in June 2012) and the ODAC and O2 (as two separates) along with the Beyerdynamic DT 880 (250 Ohm- 2005 Edition) and the sound is very clear and clean and I love it.

No noise, buzzing, whining, etc. It pays to have a modern laptop as a transport.

 

I'm genuinely happy for you that your USB-powered DAC (different make and model than what I use), in combination with your Toshiba laptop (different model), and your amp (different make and model) and your headphones (different make and model), and your cables (different make and model), exhibit no evidence of a noise floor when listening with your ears.  

 

That's awesome.  You have no problem that needs fixing, and apparently, no incentive to experiment with external 5V power supplies.  That's great!

 

 smile.gif

 

Mike

post #717 of 993

Hi.

 

A few people have asked about using the Meridian Explorer with an iPad via

the Camera Connection Kit (CCK).  I thought I'd post about my experience.

 

I just purchased the Meridian Explorer from Todd the Vinyl Junkie (thanks,

Todd, for the service and fast ship) with the expectation of using it with my

iPad (original model) and Mac.  I was only half confident that it would work

with the iPad as there was a post in this thread saying it did not work,

but a video on YouTube showing the ME working with and iPad 2. 

 

My first attempt at using it with the iPad failed with "The connected USB

device is not supported".  This was using a cheapo no-name USB 2.0

4 port hub for power.  I thought all hope was lost since the same test

with an Audio Engine D1 worked. However, I also did not want to dismiss

the YouTube video and thought that it may be because of different IOS

software versions (my original iPad will only runs IOS 5 will the iPad 2

will run IOS 6)... could it be that Apple added additional drivers in IOS 6?

 

Not wanting to concede so quickly, I tried again a while later with a different

USB hub.  This time a no-name USB 3.0 hub.  To my surprise, it worked!

I was even able to play 24/192 files using "FLAC Player" (three LEDs lit up

on the ME, indicating it was receiving 192KHz). 

 

Anyway, to make a long story short, the ME does work with the iPad and

the CCK.  However, whether it works or not depends on the USB hub

you are using to power the device.

post #718 of 993

Nice! 

 

Thanks for sharing that information.

 

Mike

 

Edit:  To operate independent of an AC outlet with the iPad > Meridian, you could try using a 5V battery pack to power the Meridian, while getting only data from the iPad. See this post.


Edited by zilch0md - 4/6/13 at 3:22am
post #719 of 993
Quote:
Originally Posted by zilch0md View Post

Nice! 

 

Thanks for sharing that information.

 

Mike

 

Edit:  To operate independent of an AC outlet with the iPad > Meridian, you could try using a 5V battery pack to power the Meridian, while getting only data from the iPad. See this post.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zilch0md View Post

Nice! 

 

Thanks for sharing that information.

 

Mike

 

Edit:  To operate independent of an AC outlet with the iPad > Meridian, you could try using a 5V battery pack to power the Meridian, while getting only data from the iPad. See this post.

First of all, thanx to Mike in post #717.

 

Now, this is a very interesting post. Thanx for the interesting link as well.

post #720 of 993
Quote:
Originally Posted by zilch0md View Post

To operate independent of an AC outlet with the iPad > Meridian, you could try using a 5V battery pack to power the Meridian, while getting only data from the iPad. See this post.

 

Hi, zilch0md.

 

Thanks for the link.  Coincidentally, I have a similar cable lying around (I never did

know what it was used for, but at least I know now) and gave it a shot.  However,

I'm sad to report that it did not work for me.  I still got the power warning.

 

Thinking about it further, I'm not surprised it failed.  The problem is that the device

(in this case the ME) reports to the host (iPad) over USB how much power it requires.

The iPad then uses this to determine if it can provide sufficient power to drive the device.

When using a powered USB hub, the hub reports to the host how much power it needs

to operate and not it's children devices.  Since it's a powered hub, it's probably under

the maximum amount that the iPad can provide.  The hub basically "hides" the power

consumption of the ME from the iPad.

 

When using the USB dual power cable, it is just providing power to the ME.  The ME

does not know that the power is from an external power source and not the iPad, so

it thinks things are fine and dandy:  It does not "downgrade" the power requirements it

reports to the iPad, and there is nothing in between to filter out the power reporting.

Hence, the iPad still thinks it does not have enough power to drive the ME.

 

This is at least my understanding... I'm sure someone will correct me if this is not

accurate.  Anyway, it was worth a try.

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