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NEWS: Meridian Releases The Explorer Pocket-Sized USB DAC - Page 66

post #976 of 1031
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcwang View Post
 

 

 

 

I just need to mention that hissing and output impedance have no bearing on each other. 

 

I agree.

From what I understand the 1:8 impedance rule between amp output and headphones is to prevent power losses, so nothing to do with hissing.

post #977 of 1031

I recently got the Meridian Explorer and I'm quite happy so far. I will compare it against my Xonar STX to hear the difference.

 

Regarding the hissing, with the Alessandro MS2 and the Westone W40 I can't hear any hissing at all. I have the last firmware and I think is the updated version.

post #978 of 1031

The Explorer came out a year ago. At the time, there were very few comparable options. The iFi iDAC was the most similar on paper, 192 kHz for $300 (and of British make, for what that's worth) but availability was even flakier than Explorer. The Dragonfly was $50 less and more compact but capped at 96 kHz. The base Bifrost was $50 more but had no USB (effectively capped at 96 kHz) and wasn't portable. 

 

Stands to reason that more compelling price/performance propositions have emerged in a year's time, especially since DAC product development is evolving relatively briskly, but the Explorer still holds its own at $300. It sells for more than $200 on eBay, which is a respectably small used discount. 

 

You can go cheaper or more expensive, but there are still not many alternatives at $300. There is the hiFace. Herus also offers more features and appears to be a good value, but it is $50 more. With these new options, if you're not playing music sampled higher than 192 kHz, you could make the argument that you're investing in capability you don't need, even at the desired price (although you could also assume you're getting better technology that inherently has the richer feature set that you can't carve out). The v2 Dragonfly and the Microstreamer are much cheaper at $150 and $170, but still no 192 kHz. 

 

If I were purchasing now instead of last year, I'd be looking harder at the cheaper 96 kHz units or something non-portable closer to $500. I decided to take a 192 kHz plunge then, and would likely do it again, but it might have been nice to cap the sample rate at 96 kHz to afford more music for the money. And I wonder whether I really get enough out of the higher sampling rate, day to day, to justify it. I also rarely exploit portability, so I might opt for a fully loaded Bifrost or something. That contradicts my doubts about whether the 192 kHz capability is worth it, but maybe throwing a little more DAC at it would sweeten the proposition (put another way, maybe a $300 DAC doesn't do > 96 kHz justice). And part of my reasoning for investing in 192 kHz transcends my day to day listening—if I'm going to buy a classic recording again, I want to get the best practical version. 

 

So, purchasing now instead of last year, I might still wind up with the Explorer. 

post #979 of 1031

Quick question for the explorer owners, 

 

Can you actually connect speakers through the optical-out , and headphones through the headphone out at the same time? Will they both have the same sound output then at the same time?

post #980 of 1031
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoomForce View Post
 

Quick question for the explorer owners, 

 

Can you actually connect speakers through the optical-out , and headphones through the headphone out at the same time? Will they both have the same sound output then at the same time?


Yes you can.  They are simultaneous output and the volume control on the computer it's connected to only affect the headphone out.

post #981 of 1031
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcwang View Post
 


Yes you can.  They are simultaneous output and the volume control on the computer it's connected to only affect the headphone out.

Excellent, thank you!

 

One more quick question. On OS X 10.9, how do you guys control the output of the Meridian Explorer, when playing high def files (e.g. 192kHz)? I can't get it to light up the status LEDs showing that the output is at 192kHz.

post #982 of 1031

Quick 2 cents..

 

I love the sound of the EXPLORER...

 

the smoothness (compared to Dragonfly which was edgy sounding to me)

 

the roundness of the notes (piano, guitar sound more realistic)

 

also, channel separation (great for imaging) is so much better than Dragonfly 

 

 

- La Mitchell

 

p.s. loved it so much, I paid the $400 extra to upgrade to Director Dac  :)

post #983 of 1031

I had the older Nuforce MicroDac 2 and came across a deal on an Explorer.   I miss the independent Volume control but that's not a deal breaker.   Overall the Explorer is pretty nice.  perfect for taking to the office.    I need to make myself a little hardshell case for the constant commuting.  maybe a little pelican Case for the Explorer and Pig tail USB cable.    It's weird that they didn't use the current style USB connector but whatever,  still a solid unit overall .  No complaints really.

post #984 of 1031
Quote:
Originally Posted by LAmitchell View Post
 

Quick 2 cents..

 

I love the sound of the EXPLORER...

 

the smoothness (compared to Dragonfly which was edgy sounding to me)

 

the roundness of the notes (piano, guitar sound more realistic)

 

also, channel separation (great for imaging) is so much better than Dragonfly 

 

 

- La Mitchell

 

p.s. loved it so much, I paid the $400 extra to upgrade to Director Dac  :)


May I ask if it was worth it? I really like my Explorer but I feel it just offers a slight (if any) improvement over the excellent audio of my iPhone 5. The DAC inside my Pioneer receiver though is not as nice and I tend to use the Meridian for music listening with my speakers. 

 

A DAC designed well enough really won't be audibly improved upon in my experience, I'm not a "golden eared" audiophile that imagines things and and blows up minor differences.. 

But still, I'm interested :) 


Edited by Lan647 - 3/1/14 at 10:57am
post #985 of 1031
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lan647 View Post
 


May I ask if it was worth it? I really like my Explorer but I feel it just offers a slight (if any) improvement over the excellent audio of my iPhone 5. The DAC inside my Pioneer receiver though is not as nice and I tend to use the Meridian for music listening with my speakers. 

 

A DAC designed well enough really won't be audibly improved upon in my experience, I'm not a "golden eared" audiophile that imagines things and and blows up minor differences.. 

But still, I'm interested :) 


Hi Lan,

 

Here's my experience with DACs....

 

 

DRAGONFLY

 

     Wow, this is neat, so clear, so sharp, so much more detail.  But, it kind of seems to get on my nerves after a while for some reason. In fact, I preferred my iphone (no dac) when listening for long periods of time.

 

 

 

EXPLORER

 

     Hey, now this is MUCH better than the Dragonfly. Wish I would have bought this to begin with. It's sharp, but not RAZOR sharp, and it doesn't have the edge to it that the dragonfly did, so I can listen to music for long periods of time (I guess this is what they mean by "liquidity"). Also, the left/right channel separation is sooo much better, so the images are well defined now.

 

 

 

DIRECTOR

 

     I can now understand what is mean by TONAL COLOR. Going back to the Explorer is like listening to music in "black & white & gray". Also, things are very CLEAR, so I also understand what is meant by TRANSPARENCY. This is a dac that I can spend a lot of time getting to know, because it doesn't bore me.

 

 

 

Hope that all made sense,

 

LA mitchell

post #986 of 1031

Is there any way to tell if your Meridian Explorer is the first or second version without testing the impedance of the signal? Is there a serial # range that determines what version you have?

 

I want to buy this from someone secondhand but he's not sure when he picked it up.

post #987 of 1031

I think Meridian Explorer sounds absolutely amazing, headphones: AKG Q 701, Sennheiser Momentum, Sennheiser IE800. Even though I have the Q 701 (kind of regret buying it, don't like the sound signature much) I've never really enjoyed listening to music with them. Explorer makes them somewhat enjoyable, makes them less analytical and more musical. I'm not sure about them still, gotta give it some time.

 

Which driver do you guys recommend for Explorer? Asio, Wasapi or DS? I'm on Asio at the moment.

 

Ps: If this the Meridian sound people rave about, I'm loving it too. Whilst buying the Explorer today, I saw a Meridian set of speakers and amplifier. I asked how much they were, the sales rep (who was a really pretty woman) said "20 thousand pounds." Then I said "err, ok, thank you." whilst thinking I could buy myself a new car instead.

 

By the way, mine is probably the revised version but I want to check anyway, what's the way to do it?

post #988 of 1031

Also, I'm using the Explorer as a dac/headphone amp combo. Can it drive 250 ohm-300 ohm headphones?

post #989 of 1031
Quote:
Originally Posted by obsidyen View Post
 

Also, I'm using the Explorer as a dac/headphone amp combo. Can it drive 250 ohm-300 ohm headphones?

 

Haven't used my Explorer in a while.  Your question prompted me to dust it off and try it with my HD800s - 300 ohm headphones.  It does remarkably well!  Certainly drives it to ear bleeding volumes.

post #990 of 1031

i have few question

 

1- can i use it with iPad mini

2- can i use with it android

3- can i use with a lenovo miix 2 windows 8.1 tablet that has a microusb

4- is the dac in the meridian better than the dac found in fiio x3

5-if i want to use my iPad as a car player connected to the meridian can i get optical output from meridian to go to a car dsp optically ( alpine pxa 800 )


Edited by hykhleif - 6/13/14 at 9:11am
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