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NEWS: Meridian Releases The Explorer Pocket-Sized USB DAC - Page 54

post #796 of 993

I was interested in finding out the version number - aside from the fact that physically, it is impossible to tell from the actual unit what version - directly as a result of my experience (echoed here by some other members) dealing with Meridian - in this case, Meridian USA.

 

Like others on this thread, I contacted them and received a response stating to the effect that you should hold on to the unit and "enjoy it" as they prepared to ship a replacement out in 2-3 weeks. 2 and 3 weeks following this correspondence - with no follow up other than the brief responses to my weekly-spaced follow up checks to see the progress - there was a note that I should be hearing from someone soon about a shipping label.

 

Near the end of the 3rd week, I finally received an email sharing a UPS label - to cover shipping - and instructions to return the unit. This is a different than the stated, but wholly understandable, procedure and I dispatched the unit to their offices in Georgia.

 

When I received the new unit two days later, I was surprised to see a thin letter-sized bubble envelope handed to me by my wife when I returned home. I asked her, is this the package I was waiting for, at the same time feeling a slight bulge directly through the think packaging. To my shock, when I opened the envelope, the 'new' unit was unceremoniously thrown in, without a hard container, with no notes, message - just a bare unit in the oversized bubble envelope, the kind you would worry about your CDs as you ship them to your friends.

 

It can be argued that the way a company treats their products is a reflection of how they value their worth. Not to mention how they value their customers. To be honest, the impression I had when I opened the envelope was that Meridian really doesn't care about their "explorer," and consequently, their customers.

 

To the point that I felt they easily could have mailed back the unit that I sent - with the little care that they demonstrated in this - what I can only feel as a reluctant and indifferent response from them.

 

Any other similar or more positive experiences?

post #797 of 993
Quote:
Originally Posted by aayler View Post

 

thanks plakat!

 


were you considering getting in touch with meridian for the "new" version?

 

best,

 

Yes, I contacted them some weeks ago and, after not hearing back, again last friday. This time I got a friendly answer by tuesday, asking for details on the serial number (which I got from OS X system info as well -- thats the wrong one btw. Correct one is on the paperbox...) and saying that they'll arrange an exchange via their local representative (whom I already know and will contact eventually).

 

Its not an urgent thing for me as I mainly use it as a DAC only, connecting its line out to my Lake People amp. Nevertheless I'd like to have the new version in case I want to sell it in the future.

post #798 of 993
It's my first post so be gentle

Here is my ME finally working with my ipad mini. Thanks to so many posts on here I've been able to find a combo that works......as well as loads that don't.

My set up is ipad mini > CCK > belkin usb2 hub > usb y cable > Tecknet 5200mAh ipad charger > ME dac

The battery isn't switched on, it's just in the chain but if you unplug it, or plug the y cable directly into the USB hub it doesn't work.

It plays 192/24 in full resolution and sounds great, and is portable.....ish

post #799 of 993

I received my return slip early last week. Since then I finally received the Asgard 2 amp I'd been waiting for on backorder for more than a month, and finally fired up the new Airmotiv 4s that had been dormant on my desk. Got it all hooked up and it sounds great. Haven't even taken time to run my HD-650s but for a quick test to confirm normal operation—just digging the A4s.

 

Now I get to forego the DAC for two weeks. I guess it takes a bit of patience to assemble an audiophile desktop listening station—even an entry level one. Or maybe I'm just lucky.

 

Although I'm curious, I don't think I have the energy to do much critical listening comparing the v1 Explorer's line out to the HD-650s via the A2 vs. the Explorer's amp out before I send it back, and it won't do much good to try to compare that to the new unit two weeks hence anyway, not to mention that much of the line out character will of course be affected by the amp. And I've already listened to the line out via the home theater system, both to the speakers and headphones, which also overwhelm any comparative listening with their own very different contributions to the audio stream. I guess I'll get a little quality time with the MacBook's DAC in the meantime as a new benchmark. 

 

I even considered keeping my original Explorer, since I'll mainly use the line out, which sounds fine, and listening to the HD-650s via the headphone out is hardly intolerable. But the whole kerfuffle over the output impedance design flaw just kills the buzz, and drags down resale value should I decide to hock it someday. So I just want to get the process over with and move on to some listening and other hobbies. Still, even at this fleeting intermediate stage, the listening station has indeed come together nicely and sounds great.

 

Now, if Explorer v1 subsequently becomes a highly sought-after rarified gem, I'll swear off audiophillia altogether. 

post #800 of 993
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthewwickes View Post

It's my first post so be gentle

Here is my ME finally working with my ipad mini. Thanks to so many posts on here I've been able to find a combo that works......as well as loads that don't.

My set up is ipad mini > CCK > belkin usb2 hub > usb y cable > Tecknet 5200mAh ipad charger > ME dac

The battery isn't switched on, it's just in the chain but if you unplug it, or plug the y cable directly into the USB hub it doesn't work.

It plays 192/24 in full resolution and sounds great, and is portable.....ish

 

Cool you got it working. But what is the purpose of the Y-cable if you are not really battery powering the DAC?

If you put som scotch tape on the 4th pin on the Y-cable connector to the USB-hub you can probably turn the battery on.

I followed this post http://www.head-fi.org/t/615548/do-the-dacport-and-the-dacport-lx-really-sound-different/30#post_9292387

and it works on my ODAC. But i have not tried it with my iPad since I don't own the CCK.


Edited by HiFiRobot - 5/5/13 at 2:04am
post #801 of 993

Still waiting for Meridian to send me a replacement. Last communication with them was on April 6. However, I first contact them on March 24th. Taking forever....
 

post #802 of 993
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthewwickes View Post

It's my first post so be gentle

Here is my ME finally working with my ipad mini. Thanks to so many posts on here I've been able to find a combo that works......as well as loads that don't.

My set up is ipad mini > CCK > belkin usb2 hub > usb y cable > Tecknet 5200mAh ipad charger > ME dac

The battery isn't switched on, it's just in the chain but if you unplug it, or plug the y cable directly into the USB hub it doesn't work.

It plays 192/24 in full resolution and sounds great, and is portable.....ish


Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiRobot View Post

Cool you got it working. But what is the purpose of the Y-cable if you are not really battery powering the DAC?

If you put som scotch tape on the 4th pin on the Y-cable connector to the USB-hub you can probably turn the battery on.

I followed this post 
http://www.head-fi.org/t/615548/do-the-dacport-and-the-dacport-lx-really-sound-different/30#post_9292387

and it works on my ODAC. But i have not tried it with my iPad since I don't own the CCK.

I agree - it doesn't make sense. I have similar questions: Why is the battery there at all if you leave it turned off? -AND- What purpose is served by the Belkin hub?

Mike
post #803 of 993
Quote:
Originally Posted by zilch0md View Post


I agree - it doesn't make sense. I have similar questions: Why is the battery there at all if you leave it turned off? -AND- What purpose is served by the Belkin hub?

Mike

Yes you're right, my fault. I got over excited at getting it to work and posted before I'd read the battery manual.

I wrongly assumed because the battery light was off it was off.

But you are right, the battery is on. I don't know what the belkin hub does, but if you plug the y cable directly into the CCK it doesn't work.

So to correct my post, the battery is on. Sorry for the confusion.
post #804 of 993

Thanks very much for the clarification, Matthew - and congratulations for working out a viable solution.   It's pretty cool, really.   Definitely "transportable."

 

I suspect that your Y cable is pulling power from both the battery pack -AND- the iPad, though.  I've never seen such a cable that wasn't designed to pull power from both of the USB A connectors while pulling data from only one of them (the black one, in your case).

 

You might find that your Meridian Explorer gets plenty of power from just the battery pack alone, while your iPad's internal battery is conserved for its own use, by taping the 4th pin of the USB A connector that's plugged into your Belkin hub.  

 

See this post for details:  http://www.head-fi.org/t/615548/do-the-dacport-and-the-dacport-lx-really-sound-different/30#post_9292387

 

In any case...  Enjoy!

 

Mike

post #805 of 993

Is there an android driver solution for the explorer?

post #806 of 993

Regarding the USB hub between the CCK and the Explorer: Maybe it keeps the Explorer from asking the iPad for more current. What error message do you get when you leave out the hub (but use the battery)?

I've tried using a powered hub but at least with the model I used it did not work.

post #807 of 993

Cheers Mike, and I'm sure you're right about the Y cable it will be drawing some power from the iPad but I assume that's where the USB hub comes in masking how much power is being called for?

 

Plakat, the error messages with the ME are always "accessory requires too much power" if I plug directly into the CCK, into the 15 different USB hubs I tried or unplug/switch off the battery.

 

I guess the ME requires more power than other bus powered USB DACS. I'd read that using a Dr Bott T3 hub works fine with something like the Audioquest Dragonfly plugged into the CCK, but that doesn't work with the ME.

 

With the set up in my pic, the battery is providing the ME with most of the power it needs, and the USB hub is masking the small remaining current draw the ME is taking from the iPad.

post #808 of 993
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthewwickes View Post

Plakat, the error messages with the ME are always "accessory requires too much power" if I plug directly into the CCK, into the 15 different USB hubs I tried or unplug/switch off the battery.

 

Thats interesting. As noted in a previous post I got different error messages when connecting via a powered hub vs. directly to the CCK.

 

Nevertheless nice to hear it works for you. I did not investigate further as I already had too many components involved to consider it a viable setup for me ;-)

post #809 of 993
Quote:

Originally Posted by aayler View Post

 

...

 

When I received the new unit two days later, I was surprised to see a thin letter-sized bubble envelope handed to me by my wife when I returned home. I asked her, is this the package I was waiting for, at the same time feeling a slight bulge directly through the think packaging. To my shock, when I opened the envelope, the 'new' unit was unceremoniously thrown in, without a hard container, with no notes, message - just a bare unit in the oversized bubble envelope, the kind you would worry about your CDs as you ship them to your friends.

 

It can be argued that the way a company treats their products is a reflection of how they value their worth. Not to mention how they value their customers. To be honest, the impression I had when I opened the envelope was that Meridian really doesn't care about their "explorer," and consequently, their customers.

 

To the point that I felt they easily could have mailed back the unit that I sent - with the little care that they demonstrated in this - what I can only feel as a reluctant and indifferent response from them.

 

Any other similar or more positive experiences?

 

I received my replacement unit as nicely package as the original one and the envelope included a signed (not a printed sign, btw) letter on a very nice paper explaining that this is my new unit and that they would welcome my comments on their standard Explorer e-mail address. So I must say I am very content with the level of their service (not counting replies to e-mails). So maybe it's a problem with your particular branch of Meridian...?

post #810 of 993
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthewwickes View Post

Cheers Mike, and I'm sure you're right about the Y cable it will be drawing some power from the iPad but I assume that's where the USB hub comes in masking how much power is being called for?

 

[snip]

 

With the set up in my pic, the battery is providing the ME with most of the power it needs, and the USB hub is masking the small remaining current draw the ME is taking from the iPad.

 

That's an interesting theory, and reasonable given that all those other hubs you tried don't work.  Still, it seems we agree that "some power" is being drawn from the iPad, even if the hub is somehow suppressing the error message.  

 

Hearing that you tried 15 different hubs, I have to take my hat off to you for exhibiting such dogged persistence to achieve your goal.  It's hugely satisfying when trial and error succeeds through brute determination.

 

L3000.gif

 

Mike

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