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Meridian Explorer DAC/Amp Stream of Consciousness Review (WARNING: Not Good)

Discussion in 'Portable Headphone Amps' started by purrin, Feb 25, 2013.
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  1. bikutoru
    Quote:
     
    Also means Purrin is threading into dangerous territory.
    Big brother of head-fi might treat him as nwavguy, since Meridian might be a sponsor here too. [​IMG]
     
  2. Maxvla Contributor
    [sterling archer]

    You could say he was in the... danger zone...

    [/sterling archer]
     
  3. Aerocraft67
    Lavorgna stated this explicitly in response to a comment I made on his Modi review.
     
  4. RE the Momentum -The first headphone I plugged the Meridian into was actually the Amperior - and it was seriously messed up.  JH13 FP's and UERMs were worse.  Lots of midbass and rolloff were pretty evident.  Transients were terrible too and wooly is a good term someone mentioned in relation to its output impedance.  It's on a tour right now, I'm not going to speak for other members but so far everyone has come to a similar conclusion about it.  Sometimes its nice to get out of the hive-think of hype threads and into the hive-think of anti-hype threads.  Its a totally different place.
     
  5. fuzzyash
    so for iems, the high output isnt a good for it
     
  6. Tyll Hertsens Contributor
    Quote:
    As far as I'm concerned the only good reason for a high output impedance is because you're talking about a tube amp, especially OTL tube amps, and then you'll want a 300 Ohm or more headphone.  Otherwise it's just a silly decision.
     
  7. Deni5
    Why would he be in the danger zone. Usually when something is overly warm it could depend on something in the design. So measuring provided information on why it is perceived this way. Maybe some designers still design by ear and not by measuring or even if they knew output impedance was high they wanted to give it a sound signature that was this way. Many even like the warm signature, nothing strange there.
     
    As long as someone doesn't state something like "this is the best portable dac/amp for iem's you can get today" then I would personally be fine with it. I liked the review as it was an honest observation.
     
    I have bought a Meridian Explorer myself but it still hasn't showed up. I will be using it with an external amp. Main reason I bought it was that it was a long time ago I heard something from Texas Instrument (formerly my favorite DAC chip - now I like ESS Sabre the most) so it will be interesting.
     
  8. Aerocraft67
    Quote:
     
    There must be some reason. Does it free something else worthwhile up in the design budget, especially within the constraints of a $300, portable device?
     
    Even so, why bother with the amp as an afterthought? Do it serviceably well, or just do DAC only. Many users plan to use outboard amps anyway, so why the half-assed amp? If it's seductively easy to throw one in (is it?), then why a compromised one?
     
  9. Tyll Hertsens Contributor
    Only thing I can think of is that having a high output impedance you'll get some current limiting. So maybe they wanted to keep the current draw down on the USB bus with low impedance cans. Dunno.
     
  10. MoonUnit
    Quote:
     
    A lot of current-feedback headphone driver ICs require an output resistor to prevent oscillation when driving capacitive loads. Usually it's ~10 ohms though, not ~47 ohms.
     
    While I appreciate that Computer Audiophile and AudioStream might have been reviewing this primarily as a DAC, I'm surprised it got their "C.A.S.H. award" and "Greatest Bits Award", respectively, without at least noticing that something was amiss.
     
  11. feverfive
    The headphone out can be used as line-out to a amp right (even a portable one)?  Man, I'm disappointed & I haven't even rec'd mine yet (supposed to be delivered tomorrow).  I wanted to use the Explorer w/ IEM's when I travel w/ my Laptop (retina Macbook Pro)...so much for a small, simple set-up, I guess.  I'll give it a listen, but based on what I'm reading, this likely won't be a good fit for me.  Thankfully I ordered from TTVJ...
     
  12. purrin
    Quote:
     
    Na. I'm cool with Currawong and Jude. Jude even helped support the H3 meet I organized last year in LA. I am deeply appreciative of this gesture from him. And I like Currawong a lot. He really helps clean up crap around here and goes much unappreciated for doing so. If you are new to HF, I've been doing this (trashing gear) for a while and have developed quite a reputation doing so. Some people hate me for it. Some people think I've got bug up my ass. Other people respect me for it, even if they don't agree with my personal preferences.
     
    Although two of my compatriots have been banned, I've managed to stay on because I refrain (there are exceptions) from denigrating other people, their sonic preferences, or hurling personal insults, like how [Mod Edit: ..you just did in return to this guy whose post you linked to [​IMG]].
     
    It's important for readers to understand the context of my statements. If I don't like something, I'm very specific on conditions of the evaluation and the qualities which bother me. I usually also state or at least imply what my preferences are. I never offer a simple  "good", "best", or "fail" opinion without qualifying reasons. This allows people with different sonic preferences to calibrate according to their own tastes, or simply discard my opinions. Even the confirmed high output Z measurement of the ME can be discarded - at least somewhat - depending upon how the ME will be used, i.e. as a DAC, with certain headphones, etc. 
     
    bikutoru likes this.
  13. TWIFOSP
    Quote:
     
    I wouldn't appreciate that at all.  Misses the entire point of the device.  Honestly that's even worse than missing how it sounds and the output issue.  
     
  14. Aerocraft67
    Quote:
     
    Why would you want to use headphone out as line out when Explorer has separate line out and headphone jacks?
     
  15. Aerocraft67
    Quote:
     
    Again, it's reasonable to expect a portable DAC/headamp to perform competently in each of those capacities, but for whatever reason, $300 DACs tend to come in portable form with headamps. So if you want to evaluate $300 DACs, even if you're uninterested in headphones and portability, then you gotta look at these devices. So I have no quarrel with AudioStream's evaluation, for instance, but agree that "greatest" is a stretch without comprehensive (headamp) performance, and that Connaker's review is harder to excuse, although even his site is not primarily a headphone forum. As for why $300 DACs must come with headamps and be portable, I do not know.
     
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