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Meridian Director DAC: Anyone here own one? - Page 3

post #31 of 219

Hey LA,

There is absolutely no shame in admitting that something's not worth the extra money for you. And in the world of audio the laws of diminishing returns are pretty high. An Explorer is such an incredible bargain in headphone sound that all the rest of the gains are going to be small and expensive. If you don't need the Director than avail yourself to Crutchfield's excellent return policy. You'll have a great start on a pair of IE800's, and you'll be giving someone else the chance to get one as an open box special.

Are you comparing with HD or CD quality material? I think the Apodizing filter in the director only really improves CD quality sound when it upscales it to HD. 



post #32 of 219
Originally Posted by LAmitchell View Post

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.


I can see that you probably have the Director connected to a 11" Macbook Air of some sort. Although I would agree this is a good setup, you would not be getting the full potential of the Director, as it is USB-powered and it could use a much cleaner 5V than that little notebook could offer, and this is talking about running the MBA on battery, disconnected from its AC power adaptor. I have the same setup as you and after adding the iUSB Power, the performance was upgraded to whole new level. Of course you could have done that to the Explorer as well, but the Explorer is a portable unit and the iUSB Power costs as much as the Explorer itself, so it doesn't make practical and financial sense, but for the Director, it is a worthwhile upgrade.

post #33 of 219
Originally Posted by schneller View Post

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!

I own both Gungnir and Director. I'm not good at reviews, but I will say, they both sound good. The Meridian is more forward, where the schitt is a bit laid back. The treble is more pronounced with the Meridain. Its further back in the mix with the Schitt. There are times I perfer the schitt and other times I like the Meridain. The bass seems to be  more powerful with the schitt. There are times I can't really tell a difference. 


. I would not say one is better than the other, just depend on your taste. Im just happy I have  both. I would like to add, that my meridian is connected RCA to modified input on my Jolida amp, whereas, the Schitt is running balanced unmodified. By the way, Harmonic techology truthlink, is magic with the Director.

post #34 of 219

Hi Guys,


Just wanted to check in for a quick second. I have had the Director for 5 days now. My opinion of it is changing (for the better) the more I listen.


I want to make sure I don't have the "wow, I love my new toy!" syndrome before I post more, so I'll wait another week.




LA Mitchell

post #35 of 219

checkin in after having DIRECTOR for a few weeks....



It would be tough to go back to the Explorer now that I am used to Director.  I would be missing out on all the beautiful "color" that D brings to the table. The thing is, I couldn't fully realize how much better Explorer was for the first few days... it was a gradual thing.  But now that I'm here, it would be really tough to go back. I do think highly of the Explorer though (especially when I compare it to the Dragonfly). 




Aesthetics are important TO ME. I know it doesn't have anything to do with the SOUND, but when I buy something that I'll be putting into my home, I want it to look nice. I don't want a big box full of interconnects going this way and that way. In the Director's case, this little oval shaped box is sweet. I know people have recommended a USB power supply, but I just can't bare to have a bunch of gadgets cluttering things up (and it would add to more things going wrong).  





I'll post some more thoughts later when I get more time in. Thanks for reading, it feels good to get this out... like audio therapy or something lol


LA Mitchell

post #36 of 219
Thread Starter 
^^ are you pairing with a NAIM 5i? 5si? XS2?

I am strongly considering the SuperNait2.
post #37 of 219
Originally Posted by schneller View Post

^^ are you pairing with a NAIM 5i? 5si? XS2?

I am strongly considering the SuperNait2.

I'm using a Nait 5i (bought from Audiogon for about $900 a while back)

post #38 of 219

More thoughts about 4 weeks into owning the Director....



- They say it's really called "DIRECT DAC".... no it's not. it says DIRECTOR all over the box and in the literature. Maybe they're planning on a slow name change?



- I like the small form factor. It looks "nice" paired with an Apple TV unit.  I've been streaming wirelessly from my IPHONE and my MACAIR, and I truly love love love the convenience. Of course any dac with toslink input would be fine for this, but I just love how good the director looks on top of my NAIT next to the APPLE TV unit....




- I was kind of turned off by some of the wording on the packaging....



I mean, "Redefine the possible" .... what are they implying with this?  Sure it is the best DAC that I've ever owned, but come on... this seems sorta vague and grandiose.  It would been better to leave that space blank or put something simple like "Meridian Audio, since 19xx" or whatever...



Hope I'm not coming off as negative, because I definitely like this DAC...


. Small yet beautiful chassis


. enabled me to understand what TRANSPARENCY means


. now I appreciate TONAL COLOR



Thanks for reading my thoughts and opinions,


LA mitchell

post #39 of 219
Thread Starter 

Thanks! I appreciate the continued feedback. I may just try to snag both the Director and the Schiit Gungnir USB2 and do an at-home comparison.

post #40 of 219
Yes, the official name is now "Direct DAC". Appreciate your impressions. Look forward to getting my paws on one. Love the form factor. I'll compare it my long-time mini DAC Wyred4Sound uDAC.
post #41 of 219

just a thought...


Sometimes I feel like all the effort of trying out different components is kind of silly.  I guess because I'm from the "plug-n-play" generation, I think it would be nicer to just have a one box solution: neater, less hassle.


When I try to enjoy the music from my Nait+Director setup, it seems like my mind is too busy analyzing to actually enjoy the music. 



I'm open to suggestions if you have 'em.


La Mitchell

post #42 of 219
Thread Starter 

Get a DAC+Amp combo? Something like the Hegel H300?


I got a chance to demo the NAIM SuperNait2 + Direct DAC yesterday. (On a pair of $20K Dali Epicon 8 speakers.) Source was my laptop running Foobar2K with lossless FLAC files.

post #43 of 219
Thread Starter 

My dealer is offering me the Director DAC for "free" with the purchase of a NAIM SuperNait2 or XS2.


Despite all the hemming in hawing over the past many months, it looks like this will be the one I get for at least a little while.


The demo I had last Saturday was amazing.


Laptop > Foobar2K > FLAC > USB > Meridian Direct DAC > SuperNait2 > Dali Epicon 8 speakers.


My hifi dealer owner said he couldn't tell a difference between the setup and a high-end CD player.

post #44 of 219

So Meridian Director it is ? Let me know your impressions on the Director....I have only 2 weeks before I have to order either the Director or the Schiit Gungnir...Your thoughts would help me choose...

post #45 of 219
Thread Starter 

Well, I am getting the Direct(or) thrown in with a NAIM XS2 integrated purchase.


I think after the dust settles, the wife will have my manhood if I buy any more equipment too soon :) Perhaps while she's away for a long weekend, I could time the arrival of a Gungnir for comparing...


I won't take delivery until around April 12.

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