NEWS: Meridian Releases The Explorer Pocket-Sized USB DAC
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wfranklin

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If Meridian is telling dealers that they're going to release an updated version of the Explorer in a few months to correct the defects of the current model and those dealers are not telling prospective customers, that's pretty sad.
 
Mine arrived today (I ordered before the output impedance issue was discovered; TTVJ was backordered). Not sure whether it's even worth opening the box now.
What a crock of BS.  The ME is a great product for the price.  I wish people would quit bitching about its shortcomings on paper and just enjoy the product!
 
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vikingboy

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There isn't an issue in the sense the product is functioning as intended. Now, you can't simply swipe under the carpet the fact that the headphone out is a potential  mismatch to a some low impedance phones, severely altering their response. It may indeed work better with your particular headphone and/or taste or else your can is resilient to such high output impedance of the amp and low damping factor, but it's quite unreasonable to assume it's going to sound great no matter what headphone you use. 
 
Out of curiosity, I went to headroom site to compare the impedance curve of your SE530 to other cans and from a brief look it does not quite vary as much as I expected with frequency. Maybe that's the reason why you're not hearing much difference. But look at the 315, even within the same product family all bets are off:
 

 
 
Thats a pretty interesting site, thanks for the heads-up. Ive got some Unique Melody Miracles inbound so will be interesting to see how they react with the ME. A much lower impedance and more detailed presentation so should show any weaknesses easily. 
 
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nico159

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I have just tried the Meridian Explorer on Samsung Galaxy S3 + USB AUDIO Recorder PRO and...WORKING!
 
But no options for setting the amp level
 
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Tyll Hertsens

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Quote:
 
I'm experiencing the same with my FitEar 334s.  All I can say is since this issue became known I've spent significant time back and forth with this and my DragonFly and as much as I'd like to go back to the more compact DF, the Meridian provides significantly better sound throughout the spectrum. 
 
The DF had an early issue as well, and a subsequent change about 3 months in.  (This stuff happens all the time.)
 
 
Do you know if you have the early or current DF?
 
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citraian

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Quote:
 
The DF had an early issue as well, and a subsequent change about 3 months in.  (This stuff happens all the time.)
 
 
Do you know if you have the early or current DF?
Hey Tyll, can you provide more details about this issue? Also, how does one find out if he has the early or current DF?
 
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bobeau

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Quote:
The DF had an early issue as well, and a subsequent change about 3 months in.  (This stuff happens all the time.)
 
Do you know if you have the early or current DF?
 
I have the one prior to the change.  
 
We have Gordon Rankin on this forum and Computer Audiophile responding to my concerns about output impedance claiming it to be sub zero prior to this change.  The only thing I recall changing was there was a certain amount of distortion above 60 steps, so the range was changed from 64 -> 60 steps - just a volume limiter, nothing that would impact sonics.  Any references detailing other changes?  I certainly heard nothing about changes to output impedance or if that was an issue, but I largely tuned out from discussions on the DF awhile back.  
 
Edit:
 
http://www.stereophile.com/content/audioquest-dragonfly-usb-da-converter-measurements
 
"With the first sample of the DragonFly, a full-scale 24-bit signal actually clipped the bottom halves of the waveform with the computer's volume control set to its maximum, giving a THD+noise level of 3.8%. Backing off the control by one click (–0.17dB) reduced the THD to 2.14%, by a second click (–0.34dB) to 0.627%, and by a third click (–0.51dB) to 0.054%, below which the THD+N percentage plateaued. The second sample didn't clip with a 0dBFS signal at maximum volume, and the THD+N was 0.041% rather than 3.8%. According to Gordon Rankin, the volume control offers 64 steps of less than 1dB to –60dB and then mute (–100dB), but he used only 60 of those steps in the DragonFly, as the top four steps suffered from significant clipping into high impedances. "In retrospect," he wrote of the first sample, "I could have changed the maximum volume down a few more steps and then this would not have been an issue."
Basically, it looked as if the running change in production was to implement this suggestion of Rankin's, as the spectrum of the second DragonFly sample's output with a full-scale 1kHz signal at maximum volume was identical to that of the first sample's output set to –0.51dB (fig.8)."
 
 
 
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Quote:
I have just tried the Meridian Explorer on Samsung Galaxy S3 + USB AUDIO Recorder PRO and...WORKING!
 
But no options for setting the amp level
I'm new to this so be gentle
 You attatched with a USB Lineout as you would w/ an Ipod?
 
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nico159

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On Android the situation is different
My S3 dont support the Explorer, but developers can create app that controls directly the usb device

USB Audio Recorder Pro implements the entire usb audio protocol, but this functionality is limited inside this app. Others app cant use it to play audio and this app has only very basic audio player support
So it's like an hack
But in future this app will permit other player to play audio through it (another Android only feature)

I'm not native english speaker, sorry
 
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markm1

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Quote:
On Android the situation is different
My S3 dont support the Explorer, but developers can create app that controls directly the usb device

USB Audio Recorder Pro implements the entire usb audio protocol, but this functionality is limited inside this app. Others app cant use it to play audio and this app has only very basic audio player support
So it's like an hack
But in future this app will permit other player to play audio through it (another Android only feature)

I'm not native English speaker, sorry
No  apologies needed-you're English is is just fine

 
I'm not familiar with USB Audio Recorder Pro. I'll have to do some research.
 
Thanks.
 
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Tyll Hertsens

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I heard they also made a bit of a power supply change on the DF.
 
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Carlsan

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Got my Meridian today. I bought it for my work computer.
What a great sound for such a little device. Have it with a crappy Dell work pc.
 
Started strangly enough.
First headphones that I used, Beyer's T5p's, sounded off. Sound was flat. I clicked on the volume control, which was set at about 90% on the pc, then something kicked in.
The sound level all of a sudden got much higher, and the music coming out of the headphones was the best quality  that I have ever heard at work.
 
I'll eventually try other closed back headphones, and earphones as well and let you guys know what I think, but for now, too busy with work, and enjoying some great music.

 
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Carlsan

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Posted this on another thread, sorry for breaking forum rules but I thought this would be of direct interest to those of you following this thread:
 
 
 
I'll try to remember to test my xba-40's on the Meridian tomorrow. I have it at work, got it today, and ran my Beyer T5p's all day without any problems (I know, expensive headphone outta sound great, right, but I bought it used for a steal). Meridian sounded fantastic, but didn't have time to try out other headphones or earphones with it.

 
As I posted, I have tested.
Results: XBA-40 running out of Meridian - sound good but not exceptional. I pulled out my Sony MDRXB90-EX's to compare, and the two were not sounding that much different, and actually the 90-ex's were handling the low end better!
 
Added the Objective2 as the amp, hooked it  up to the amp out on the Meridian, and low and behold, the magic returns to the XBA-40's. Rich wide sound stage, detail, depth, with the full spectrum of sound on display, from the lowest of the low to the highs (in the comfort zone). Bass impact is back.
 
My conclusion, the Meridian's amp out is the problem. It's serviceable but not stellar with the xba-40's. I would not get the Meridian to just handle the xba-40's, I would throw in another amp in the mix if doing that setup. If the Meridian is your only conductor from your source, using its built in amp than I can certainly recommend the Sony MDRXB90-EX as an excellent earphone, and maybe save some  money on the more expensive XBA-40's. But for me, adding the objective, the xba-40's just sing with the Meridian.
 
With the xba-40's the Meridian is not bad, just not stellar as one would expect from the xba-40's.
 
I recently ordered the Audinst MX2, so more fun comparisons to come!
 
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bobeau

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FWIW:
 
XBA-40 = 8 ohms, quad ba
MDRXB90-EX = 16 ohms, single dynamic
 
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vrln

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Quote:
FWIW:
 
XBA-40 = 8 ohms, quad ba
MDRXB90-EX = 16 ohms, single dynamic
Indeed. And it´s important to remember that quoted impedance is usually just the average. With dynamic drivers the plot is usually more stable, with BA´s it can go pretty wild. With the Explorers output impedance it´s no wonder XBA-40 sounds horrible, frequency response will be all over the place. It won´t be accurate with MDRXB90 either though, but at least better than with the XBA-40. With 250-300 ohm headphones one will finally hear the headphones as they were designed.
 
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Heh, I bought (& just got today) a pair of Beyerdynamic T70 (250 ohm).  I wasn't planning to do so, but stumbled across a great deal on Amazon.  Anywho, these out of the ME hp out seem to be a much better combination (even right out of the box) than my Earsonics SM64 iem's.  I'll just have to re-think what "portable" really means to me, I guess as I do really enjoy the ME's presentation.  The whole high output impedance thing was a real downer for me, but rather than just toss it away (i.e. sending it back to Todd), I'm willing to try other ways of enjoying it.  YMMV of course.
 
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