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Meridian Director DAC: Anyone here own one? - Page 2

post #16 of 115

Hi Sam and Stil and other Director owners,

 

I'm enjoying reading this thread. I'd like to know about the sound differences between Explorer and Director if possible. Is the Director twice as good? Can you actually hear the difference that the Apodizing filter brings?

 

Having only owned the Explorer for a week, I am very impressed with the sound and how easy/natural it sounds on my 2 channel system.

 

Thanks in advance for the answers,

 

La Mitchell

post #17 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by LAmitchell View Post
 

Hi Sam and Stil and other Director owners,

 

I'm enjoying reading this thread. I'd like to know about the sound differences between Explorer and Director if possible. Is the Director twice as good? Can you actually hear the difference that the Apodizing filter brings?

 

Having only owned the Explorer for a week, I am very impressed with the sound and how easy/natural it sounds on my 2 channel system.

 

Thanks in advance for the answers,

 

La Mitchell

I also auditioned the Explorer and Director before getting the Director.  To me, the Director had a more rich, fuller sound than the explorer.  The soundstage also seemed better.  I noticed the the highs didn't seem as shrilly with the Director on some songs.

 

This was tested with Audeze LCD-2.2 with a Musical Fidelity M1-HPAp Amp.

 

On the Apodizing filter, yes I do notice a difference.  At first on my computer I was wondering why the sound was a bit off until I realized that my Computer was upsampling the song to 24/96k which prevents the filter from kicking in.  Once I restored it to match the source material (16/44), I heard a dramatic improvement in the sound.  things were more detailed and music sounded more airier, but still full.  

 

I also tested this with old crappy low bitrate MP3s that I had.  Whatever the DAC was doing made also improved the sound here.  More detail heard and the sound was a bit wider.  I compared this against a NAD 3050 DAC which I previously had, which did not improve the older material much.  

 

Hopefully this helps.  Again this is based on the gear I have and what I heard. :)

post #18 of 115

Honestly LAMitchel,

I haven't  ever listened to them side by side. The Director is at work and the Explorer at home. I've never even listened to them with the same headphones. They're both very good DACs. The reviewers all seem to think that the Director is a step up. Obviously Meridian does. But I'm not carrying mine home on the weekends. Maybe I'll take the Explorer into work one day and do a side by side. If I do I'll let you know. The explorer is plenty good. I just wanted another one so I got the new one. They're both incredible bargains by Meridian standards.

If you're in LA you should come to the meet up in March. I'll bring both.

Enjoy,

Sam

post #19 of 115
Thread Starter 

I wish someone could do a side-by-side review of say the Director ($700) vs. Schiit Gungnir USB Gen2 ($850) vs. Yulong DA8 ($1200) vs. NAIM DAC V1 ($2400).

 

Would so love to know how they all stack up!

post #20 of 115

Yeah, for some reason I love reading about DAC comparisons, especially when the reviewer is someone like John Darko who does a good job of describing something that is so hard to describe (sound). 

 

I'm just really blown away by how EASY it is to listen to the Explorer. I didn't know solid state could sound so realistic/round/multi-dimensional.

post #21 of 115
Thread Starter 

Well two dealers I've worked with my area (one sells Dynaudio equipment and other, NAIM) have both recommended as the best/only DAC alternative they offer under like the $2K or more price point. The next thing is either Ayer or NAIM for much more.

post #22 of 115

Hey guys, I can't stand it anymore... this Explorer sounds sooo good, but I gotta know what the Director sounds like. Will be placing the order as soon as I get paid.

post #23 of 115

Hey Mitchell, 

You know the director doesn't have a headphone out. You'll need an amp. If you're in LA as your name suggests you can come hear mine through the SR-71B.

Shoot me a PM,

Sam

post #24 of 115

Got a second hand Director for £225, which I think is really a steal. The first impression about the sound is natural and balance. The sound is a little warm but not too much. Great transparency and a little sweetness. The sound signature is definitely more musical than analytical. I like it very much! But to be honest, sound quality wise, I didn't think it is worth £450, until I borrowed an Aqvox usb power supply from my friend. This combo just blew me away. There are improvements in every aspect. Darker background, wider soundstage, better extension at both high and low frequency, more 3D image and smoother. If you want to quantify this improvement, I would say, about 25%. But that is just my own opinion. Now, it is the best sub-£1000 DAC I 've ever listened to.

 

I have ordered an ifi iusb power supply as well, which should arrive tomorrow. I will do a AB comparison between those two to see if I can hear any difference. Would like to share that experience with you guys here.

 

The weak point of my system is dynamic. When playing some fast rhythm music, the instruments seemed to be out of control and the extensions were not that good as slow music was played. I don't know it is more due to Director, or due to my amp.

 

My system is       2011 iMac - Supra USB cable - Meridian Director (with Aqvox USB Power Supply) - Earmax Pro Headphone Amp - Grado RS1i / HD800. Software wise, I use Audirvana Plus + itunes.

 

Although the amp can not drive HD800 very well, it is still enjoyable. Very musical and sweet mid frequency. HD800 is borrowed from same friend again, who is on 10-day holiday soon. He is using Chord Red Reference 3 as sound source. When he is back, maybe we can do a comparison between this super expensive CD player (£14000) and Director. But I am not too sure if we have time. We shall see.

 

Add: Director does not work with my iPad air via apple camera kit. A warning like not enough power was shown, although Director was powered by Aqvox.


Edited by hrooo2002 - 2/5/14 at 3:36pm
post #25 of 115
Official name is "Direct DAC". smily_headphones1.gif

I love the Exlplorer DAC so I have a feeling I will love this Direct DAC as well. Hope to get a chance to check one out.
Reply
post #26 of 115

The way the Director LOOKS is sooooo PERFECT.....  I know I'm not supposed to care about how the audio product looks, but can't help it... I've got eyes lol

post #27 of 115

Heads up: The director is much bigger than the explorer.

post #28 of 115

any particular RCA and USB cables recommended with DIRECTOR?

 

if not, I guess I'll just order it with the Audioquest Evergreen series. Nice looking cables and great price.

post #29 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by LAmitchell View Post
 

any particular RCA and USB cables recommended with DIRECTOR?

 

if not, I guess I'll just order it with the Audioquest Evergreen series. Nice looking cables and great price.

 

About USB cable, I highly recommend ifi iUSB power & Gemini combo. Director is usb-powered. So a good usb power supply is a must.

 

RCA interconnect is a matter of budget and personal taste. As I live in UK, I like Chord Company's RCA. 

post #30 of 115

Hey guys,

 

So I got the DIRECTOR in the mail (via CRUTCHFIELD...very very good service and free shipping, gonna be using them again definitely). 

 

I'd like to give a review, but I've only had it for a few days and it wouldn't be fair at this point I guess.

 

 

I will say that when I went from Dragonfly to Explorer ----> wow, big jump up in quality, right out of the box

 

but going from Explorer to Director ----> yes, it's better than Explorer but... I guess I was hoping for more "wow"?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Again, I've only had it for 3 days, so I've been playing nonstop music on it and checking it from time to time. I'll report back in about a week or so.

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