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Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by Jan Meier, Jun 25, 2019.
  1. Jan Meier Contributor
    Dear friends,

    a few weeks ago prototypes of the COUNTRY were presented at the AudioVista headphone show in Germany.

    Gladly they were accepted very well by (nearly) all people. However, there still were a few wishes uttered.

    Quite a few people preferred a larger, more luxury enclosure. Therefore I made sketches of four different designs and asked people on my COUNTRY mailing-list for their opinions.
    As one could expect, these opinions strongly differed.

    The sketches can be found at:


    Please let me know what you think. Right now designs 1 and 4 seem to be favourite. The next few weeks the production costs for these designs will be calculated.

    Some hardhitters also found the output stages to be a little bit anemic. Fortunately though I have found a way to double output current without any substantial additional costs.
    I still have to do some tests but I'm very positive that the final product will be quite potent.

    Again the show also confirmed how very differently people listen. Volume levels, sound signatures, crossfeed appreciation, the use of reverb and tone controls, .....
    They're all very different/individual. That's why it will not be possible to make a solution that fits all.

    But I will give the best I have ......


    annasoh323 likes this.
  2. annasoh323
    I took a look at the newsletter and didn't know if the response should have been straight to the email. Oops. Anyway, good to hear that people have been feeding back their thoughts.

    I don't really mind a more compact design. I'm not one for aesthetics much or having anything "matching." I'll generally always opt for the best value option in terms of performance per value. That said, is the electrical performance negatively impacted with it in the smaller enclosure? Is electrical noise between the digital and analog sections a concern in the smaller enclosure? Does heat dissipation become a problem in the smaller enclosure, especially if you're able to double the output current?

    Speaking of output current, it's good to hear that you're able to increase the output stage. However, that makes my use case decision harder. I have a non-FF Corda Classic I bought second-hand (the research I put into that purchase is how I got into Meier equipment in the first place). I'm not familiar enough with the synergy between Corda equipment, especially when it comes to FF, to know what the pros and cons are of using a Country (with digital domain FF, correct?) -> Classic (non-FF) chain. For me, getting the Country would already be a bit of a big step and adding a discrete DAC isn't something I'm really keen on doing. The same goes for doing the FF-mod on the Classic - I'm really on the fence about it. However, if doing that before going for something like the Country makes more sense, then perhaps it is a step I could go for.
  3. arielext
    Jan, one word is enough: Drie
  4. MRC001
    I gave this reply via email, but it bounced. Since you're asking here, I'll reply:

    Between 1 and 2, 1 looks better. 2 looks too tall and could be problematic fitting in some places. Between 3 and 4, they both look great, better than 1 or 2. However, if they cost a lot more I might buy 1 instead since the function is the same.

    Have you considered making 2 versions? The one having layout 3 or 4 being more expensive with a more powerful and transparent amp? Or the one having layout 1 or 2 being cheaper, just DSP with no headphone amp at all?

    Will the Country EQ be parametric with slightly overlapping bands, or shelf EQ with cumulative effect like the Soul? The former seems ideal, since it would be more intuitive, having 7 bands.
  5. Jan Meier Contributor
    Dear Annasoh,

    " is the electrical performance negatively impacted with it in the smaller enclosure?"

    Theoretically a bigger enclosure has its advantages. Especially as far as the analog part is concerned. But it's difficult to estimate how large the difference will be.

    As for your CLASSIC, this is a very fine amp, and if you do have a very nice source also, then getting the FF-upgrade is a very logical step to do..

    There is no need to part wih the CLASSIC, even if you have the COUNTRY. The headphone section of the COUNTRY does not have the sheer power of the CLASSIC (-FF). Especially if you have a difficult to drive headphone it's well possible to connect CLASSIC and COUNTRY together.

    Dear Mike,

    " Have you considered making 2 versions? "

    No, that would increase costs considerably. The larger a production batch, the lower the costs.

    " Will the Country EQ be parametric with slightly overlapping bands, or shelf EQ with cumulative effect like the Soul? The former seems ideal, since it would be more intuitive, having 7 bands."

    It will be a seven band equalizer.


  6. annasoh323
    Yesterday was a good day since there was a newsletter for the Country! I'm looking forward to hearing about the testing results of the redesigned PCB. I'm too far away to ever see the prototypes, so patience for the production model is my only option. Here's to the continued progress of the Country.
  7. Jan Meier Contributor
    Dear friends,

    although I have been silent for a while now, this doesn't mean nothing has happened.

    A new prototype with a slightly larger enclosure has been made. The control elements are more "logically" arranged and the slide-potentiometers are larger, which gives a better control over equalizing. I feel the whole thing looks better than the first prototype.

    The analog part has been "upgraded" and the headphone output now sounds pretty good. More power, more detail, yet smooth.

    A picture of the new prototype:


    Some people find the symbols used pretty "confusing". They prefer plain text so they can use the device without reading the user-manual. Personally I feel that reading will still be necessary but a picture with both solutions was made:


    Which solution do you prefer?

    I will be at the CanJam in New York. So if interested to try the prototype, please pay me a visit at my boot.


    annasoh323 likes this.
  8. eugenius
    I prefer the symbols. But I think you can improve the reverb/bass enhancer symbols.

    You should invert the color scheme and make it matte white with black writing. There's a trend towards white things right now, and it also looks better when you have a lot of writing on the case like you do.

    PS: I read "bitshit indicator" at first glance. :)
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2019
  9. Jan Meier Contributor
    Dear Eugenius,

    " I think you can improve the reverb/bass enhancer symbols. "

    Feel free to make a suggestion! :)

    As for the color-scheme, nowadays most people prefer a black enclosure. And since only a few devices will be made .....


  10. eugenius
    OK, here are my suggestions:

    meier symbols.png

    Edit: If you need speaker crossfeed / stereo / headphone crossfeed symbols, just use the drawing for the speaker crossfeed, a couple of unconnected ears for stereo and for headphones put the outline of a head between the ears so it's in-head crossfeed.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2020

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