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NEWS: Meridian Releases The Explorer Pocket-Sized USB DAC - Page 62

post #916 of 986

The Meridian Explorer somehow sounds like it slightly filters the upper midrange and treble to sound smoother.   It's great with Grado's.  It takes off the edge on the Grado's.  But sometimes  with other headphones, it sounds slow and overly warm and congested. 


Edited by sling5s - 9/24/13 at 9:52pm
post #917 of 986
Quote:
Originally Posted by Armaegis View Post
 

Interesting. Reminds me a lot of the Dr. Dac Nano (aka JAVS Nano S or V).

LOL!  Was about to say the very same.  Definitely interested.

post #918 of 986
Quote:
Originally Posted by sling5s View Post
 

The Meridian Explorer somehow sounds like it slightly filters the upper midrange and treble to sound smoother.   It's great with Grado's.  It takes off the edge on the Grado's.  But sometimes  with other headphones, it sounds slow and overly warm and congested. 

 

That's a great micro-review - it rings true with a consensus of so many other impressions I've read (not having heard the Explorer myself...)

 

Mike


Edited by zilch0md - 10/11/13 at 6:00am
post #919 of 986
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcwang View Post
 


- Does it support iPad through CCK?

- What is headphone out output impedance?

- What is the max/average power draw from the usb bus?

 

By the way, for those who have the units in hand..

 

- Does it hiss at all with sensitive IEMs?

- How much volume change per step?  I wonder if it's fine enough

- Does it support the iPad through CCK?

- Does it require drivers to work at all in windows or only if you want to support 192khz?

- For easy to drive headphones, is the amp section quality enough that there is no improvement going external headphone amp and just using it as a DAC?

- What headphones does it not have enough power to drive well and thus require an external headphone amp.

 

- I imagine it'd improve with better USB power, maybe out of the iFi iUSB.  If you have something like that to try, please let us know if it sounds even better.

- I wonder how it compares to the iFi iDAC, I was contemplating the iFi iUSB+ iDAC combo but then the explorer showed up.  Now I have to wait for some comparisons.

 

Thanks!  Looking forward to more impressions.

Looks like I can answer some of these myself.

 

-headphone out output impedance is 5.25ohm for the revised version as measured by a couple of sources.

 

-yes it hisses with sensitive IEMs, I can easily hear hiss even at 0 volume with the SE530

 

-the volume steps with the latest v1349 firmware work well even with the sensitive SE530, but the hiss makes it really not a good headphone to use it with

 

-yes it works with the iPad through CCK, and also on IOS7 iphones/ipads with the CCK.  You need a powered hub in between to make it work though.

 

-seems a windows driver is necessary or it won't work at all, luckily all other OS it just works.

 

I still don't don't know the max/avg power draw so I can figure out how power efficient it is when used with a laptop.

post #920 of 986
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcwang View Post
 

Looks like I can answer some of these myself.

 

-headphone out output impedance is 5.25ohm for the revised version as measured by a couple of sources.

 

-yes it hisses with sensitive IEMs, I can easily hear hiss even at 0 volume with the SE530

 

-the volume steps with the latest v1349 firmware work well even with the sensitive SE530, but the hiss makes it really not a good headphone to use it with

 

-yes it works with the iPad through CCK, and also on IOS7 iphones/ipads with the CCK.  You need a powered hub in between to make it work though.

 

-seems a windows driver is necessary or it won't work at all, luckily all other OS it just works.

 

I still don't don't know the max/avg power draw so I can figure out how power efficient it is when used with a laptop.

I don't hear any hiss at all with my JH13pro.  And it's a pretty sensitive IEM.  

Edit: With some recordings, the hiss is coming not from Meridian Explorer but from the recording itself.  Like U2 October recording or Arcade Fire Suburban War hisses because it's the way the recordings itself sound.  But for example, Talking Heads, The Lady Don't Mind,  or Heart, What About Love? has no hiss at all because it's not in the recordings. At least this is what I have discovered. 

I really like the Meridian Explorer, it doesn't get enough praise here because of the first batch impedance mishap.  

But than I do like warm and smooth dac and amps.  


Edited by sling5s - 10/23/13 at 6:25pm
post #921 of 986
Today I successfully got my Meridian Explorer to work w my iPhone via the cck.

I cannot seem to get it to run at 192k even when running a 192k high res albums. I am using ampilflac app to do this. I am basing this on the fact that only one of the three lights turn on

Not sure what's going on.. Thoughts welcome

Fixed it, setting on the app!.
Edited by dcginc - 10/29/13 at 10:48pm
post #922 of 986
I was able to measure that the explorer draws ~130ma when idle, ~150ma when playing 96khz and lower, and ~160ma when playing 192khz. This was regardless of headphone volume setting. This is useful to help you see how much battery life impact when using this portably. For reference, the ODAC draws ~40ma in any mode.

160ma x 5v = 800mw.

I wonder how much the hrt microstreamer draws. I've seen it working directly powered by an iPhone 5. I'm guessing this isn't going to be possible with the explorer.
post #923 of 986

Interested in this as a portable solution with laptop. Sorry for not wading through the ginormous thread, but would much appreciate a brief reply to these:

- Can somebody confirm this one works with the -latest- 2013 Macbook Air/Pro which only have USB 3 ports (coming form the AK100 where this is not the case)

- Is there a way to tell when buying one if it's the V2 model (serial No.?) and if possible even before having it shipped?

 

Cheers!

post #924 of 986
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGrumpyOldMan View Post
 

Interested in this as a portable solution with laptop. Sorry for not wading through the ginormous thread, but would much appreciate a brief reply to these:

- Can somebody confirm this one works with the -latest- 2013 Macbook Air/Pro which only have USB 3 ports (coming form the AK100 where this is not the case)

- Is there a way to tell when buying one if it's the V2 model (serial No.?) and if possible even before having it shipped?

 

Cheers!


I can't think of any reason why it wouldn't work with your Macbook, it certainly works with mine just fine. I don't think there's any way of knowing via serial numbers. When I had mine replaced by Meridian there didn't seem any difference (apart from the sound) and the serial number seemed pretty random. I'd assume all units for sale now are the latest version.

 

I've moved up to a different DAC now so mine is for sale on the classifieds if you're interested - guaranteed latest version!

post #925 of 986
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGrumpyOldMan View Post

Interested in this as a portable solution with laptop. Sorry for not wading through the ginormous thread, but would much appreciate a brief reply to these:
- Can somebody confirm this one works with the -latest- 2013 Macbook Air/Pro which only have USB 3 ports (coming form the AK100 where this is not the case)
- Is there a way to tell when buying one if it's the V2 model (serial No.?) and if possible even before having it shipped?

Cheers!

It definitely works with the latest MacBooks, I am using it straight out of a mid2013 Air currently.

Your retailer should be able to provide you with information about it being a V2 for your peace of mind, however all units sold currently should be a v2 smily_headphones1.gif
post #926 of 986

Thanks guys!

:beerchug:

post #927 of 986

What headphones would work with this product, and would be appropriate price/performance wise?

 

How powerful is it?

post #928 of 986
Quote:
Originally Posted by jakja83 View Post
 

What headphones would work with this product, and would be appropriate price/performance wise?

 

How powerful is it?

Here are the measurements as published by Stereophile:

 

http://www.stereophile.com/content/meridian-explorer-usb-da-processorheadphone-amplifier-measurements?destination=node%2F226602

 

In short, v2 of the device (all current devices in the market will be v2) has a low output impedance, which means good power for all headphones, from IEMs up to audiophile quality.  Mine drives my Beyerdynamics DT-1350s, KEF M500s, V-Moda M100s, and vSonic GR07s beautifully, with maximum "bearable" volume at about 50%.  HOWEVER - I would not recommend this headphone amp (alone) for high-end headphones like Sennheiser HD600-HD800s, HiFiMan HE-500-6Es, etc. - they require more "umph* than this device can deliver.  Even at almost full volume (-1db), my HE-500s are not driven well.  I will be adding an additional headphone amp or buying a new integrated DAC / amp soon for use at home - then my Meridian Explorer will be dedicated to travel use only :)

post #929 of 986

The current Explorer does wonders on the new Sony XBA-H1 & H3.

Reply
post #930 of 986
Quote:
Originally Posted by sling5s View Post
 

The Meridian Explorer somehow sounds like it slightly filters the upper midrange and treble to sound smoother.   It's great with Grado's.  It takes off the edge on the Grado's.  But sometimes  with other headphones, it sounds slow and overly warm and congested. 

Totally agreed...

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