Meier audio Soul

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by Riotvan, Oct 30, 2017.

  1. Riotvan

    Riotvan Got lost for three weeks at Delft City Hall

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    Last edited: Oct 30, 2017
  2. sorrodje

    sorrodje Carla Bruni's other lover - Friend

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    Interesting but I wonder how much this New DAC/DSP/Amp will cost and how it could compete against a tool like a RME ADI pro with his parametric EQ.

    Jan Meier New toy offers specific DSPs for speakers though. I'm not into speakers yet so I don't know how useful are these features.
     
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  3. Riotvan

    Riotvan Got lost for three weeks at Delft City Hall

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    Yeah maybe someone can ask him what his intended price point will be.

    Those speaker settings might be handy but i guess he only has nearfield in mind since i'm not seeing anything about a remote.
     
  4. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    Looks quite interesting. Meier's amp was my favorite until I met schiit :D
    If that new dac-amp is reasonably priced, it could be a good alternative to too pricy (imo) phonitor. I still like meier's crossfeeder a lot.

    Having no analog inputs is a clear minus though, I don't think the dac part compete against good r2r products.
     
  5. Riotvan

    Riotvan Got lost for three weeks at Delft City Hall

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    Well at least he is using Wolfson and not the Sabre stuff. Let's hope we can get some ears on this...
     
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  6. Deep Funk

    Deep Funk Deep thoughts - Friend

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  7. Riotvan

    Riotvan Got lost for three weeks at Delft City Hall

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    Looking forward to your impressions and thanks for taking the time to check it out for the rest of us.
     
  8. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    No analog inputs and only 4-pin XLR output? He's really trying to limit his audience.

    Still very curious to listen to this. I'd like to know what his crossfeed is like. It also has digital out if you still want to use your own DAC after all that DSP processing.
     
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  9. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    While he didn't necessarily create it, I think it would be reasonably safe to say that Jan Meier can be considered one of the early pioneers of headphone crossfeed.
     
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  10. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    Maybe they could scale this down and make a standalone DSP crossfeed box that would work with any DAC. Sort of like the upcoming Schiit Gadget. In fact Schiit should probably just integrate crossfeed into the Gadget, crossfeed is far more tangible then re-tuning middle C.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
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  11. Jan Meier

    Jan Meier MOT: Meier Audio

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    Dear headfellows,

    the administrators of SBAF were so nice to add me to the member list, just so I can respond to your questions.

    Over the last few weeks, various little changes have been made to the design, functionality, and the circuitry of the new amp/DAC. An updated description can be found on my website.

    As for your questions:

    Prices are not know yet. We will work with a subscription list and the more people order, the lower the prices will be.

    Quite a few people asked for analog inputs. So it will be!! :)

    A standalone DSP-box? Yes, I have thought about that. Maybe, who knows. But only one project after the other.....

    I do produce a SOUL-newsletter at regular intervals. If interested, just send me a email.

    Cheers

    Jan
     
  12. gbeast

    gbeast Mighty Moral Power Ranger

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    Jan,

    Will this have AES inputs? A lot of digital sources sound best with AES. If you make an AES input then people can use things like Lynx AES16 or Rednet 3.

    What kind of power are you going for from the headphone outputs? how many mW into what resistance?

    This looks interesting and like it will compete with the RME ADI-2 Pro.
     
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  13. Jan Meier

    Jan Meier MOT: Meier Audio

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    Dear friends,


    admittedly I have been very quiet over the last half a year. I simply didn't want to say and to promise too much before development and design of the SOUL have been finished.


    However, now the situation is very different and we're not far from production. If interested, please check my website. I can't give too many details over here, since I'm a commercial member of the trade. However, I will do my best to answer any of your questions.


    > Will this have AES inputs?


    I'm very sorry, but this amp/DAC is intended for consumer use and therefore focus is on "normal" S/PIDF inputs only.


    > A lot of digital sources sound best with AES.


    They shouldn't, if well designed!!


    > What kind of power are you going for from the headphone outputs?


    Maximum output current around 600 mA (depends on the voltage swing).


    Maximum output voltage 8V when using digital input (limited by the gain factor, not by the supply voltages). On request the gain factor (and thereby the output voltage) can be further increased. However, unless you're a headbanger and have some very inefficient headphones that normally is not need.


    > how many mW into what resistance?


    Moooooooooooooore than enough! :)


    > This looks interesting and like it will compete with the RME ADI-2 Pro.


    In some aspects the ADI-2 Pro has more options (filtering, resampling, ....). However, many of these are mainly of interest to professional users. The SOUL is more straightforward and is more easy to use. The settings can be seen at one glance and you don't need to read an extremely thick user-manual to understand all the options and to optimize performance.

    Of course I can't comment on the sound quality of the ADI-2 PRO, as I've never heard one, but technically the analog part of the SOUL is clearly more sophisticated.

    Please be noted that I have two prototypes of the SOUL that are shipped around to people for testing. If you like to be one of those, just drop me an E-Mail at [email protected] for the details.

    Cheers

    Jan
     
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  14. Jan Meier

    Jan Meier MOT: Meier Audio

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    Dear friends,

    the SOUL project now is shortly for the finishing line. The first production batch should be at my place within the next two weeks.
    A first test-production-copy was received this week and pictures now can be found on my website. I hope you like them.

    Cheers

    Jan
     
  15. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    Just looking at the main components that were namedropped... Wolfson WM8741 as dac, then AD797+BUF634 for the opamps+buffer headstage... wow that's like a stroll down memory lane from my days of opamp rolling and trying to hack my way building "my-own-designs-but-honestly-just-a-slightly-bigger-cmoy" amps, and those early(ier) days of headfi before it was all kilobuck fancy schmancy stuff, and all the competing guys were trying to put their own spin on refining the same few basic topologies.

    Funny enough, that actually makes me want to try the Soul more. I've liked most of the Wolfson dacs that I've heard. Very rarely showstoppers, but always "hey this is pleasant", and in these days of glare and metallic sheen and processed whatchamacallits, sounding pleasant is a-ok. As for the 797+634, heck I'm pretty sure I've got that exact combo somewhere in my old ibasso opamp rolling kits. I don't have a problem with the tried and true designs. I'm just a hack with a soldering iron, but Meier has been at this a while. I've owned and heard a couple Meier amps (none of the newer ones though) and felt they were very solid. Very curious to see what more than a decade of refinement has produced.
     
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  16. Jan Meier

    Jan Meier MOT: Meier Audio

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    Dear friends,

    quite a few people did like the concept of the integrated DSP of the SOUL but were not in need of the amp/DAC sections and/or simply were not able to spend so much money on one single device. The wish for a stand-alone DSP was expressed by many.

    Over the last year I have been working on such a device and a "rough" first design now can be found on my website. I called it the COUNTRY:

    http://www.meier-audio.homepage.t-online.de/country.htm

    Again, like with the SOUL, there will be a regular newsletter on the progress of this project. Should you be interested in this project and want to be on the mailing list, please let me know.

    Cheers

    Jan
     
  17. sacredgates

    sacredgates Audio-Technica's high priest

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    Dear Jan,
    the Country project is a great idea!
    Me too, I immedeately thought about such a device when the Soul was announced, as many of us have already invested in our preferred dac and amp.

    I think the analogue feel of the controls sets it nicely apart.
    Resonance frequency compensation sounds intruiging (think extra life time for HD800 and others)...

    I just read your presentation and one extra wish would be to add a coaxial BNC input. There is quite a few instances where this is welcome. I have a streamer device and a cdp player connected over coaxial. Some might want their blue-ray or tv pass through the Country as well... A BNC-cinch adapter is easy when necessary.
    Of course an AES/EBU xlr input connection might be an extra or alternative option too, even if your device is not balanced.
    I would not be bothered with an optical output, really... would much prefer a BNC or AES/EBU output.

    Oh, and a real pass-through switch would be nice as well.

    As for as the eq frequency bands I would like to hear some comments from more experienced members here on SBAF.
    64 Hz as the lowest setting might not be low enough to compensate for subbass roll-off with many headphones. Hard to say as we don´t know how your eq filters work at the moment.

    P.S.
    SBAF mods: this might deserve its own thread, as the Country might probably be of wider interest here as the Soul (or add it in this thread‘s title...)
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019 at 2:31 AM
  18. Jan Meier

    Jan Meier MOT: Meier Audio

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    Dear sacredgates,

    > one extra wish would be to add a coaxial BNC input.

    > Oh, and a real pass-through switch would be nice as well.

    Adding more than 3 inputs or to add a pass-through makes hardware more complicated. And Cinch-BNC adapters are readily available. So it is not planned to implement these wishes. Sorry!

    > Of course an AES/EBU xlr input connection might be an extra or alternative option too.

    The COUNTRY is based on the ADAU1463 DSP-chip. It directly uses the on-chip S/PDIF input and output. Unfortunately the S/PDIF interface does not meet the AES3 professional specification.

    Various peoples have offered other wishes for this device. However, whereas the SOUL was a costs-no-limits project, the COUNTRY should be a budget-project and available to a wider "audience". Such is only possible when it is limited to the essentials. For instance, adding analog outputs (wished by quite a few people) would not only add the need for a DAC-chip but also for +/-15V powerlines, analog amplification, .....

    > As for as the eq frequency bands I would like to hear some comments from more experienced members here on SBAF.
    64 Hz as the lowest setting might not be low enough to compensate for subbass roll-off with many headphones.

    We hardly hear very low frequencies by ear. It's more a visceral sensation. This week I will do some tests with the psychoacoustic bassenhancement. That may be more effective than a bass-compensation.

    As for the eq. frequency bands, of course everybody will have its own wishes.

    The good thing is, that it's very easy to adapt the firmware of the COUNTRY and change the frequencies. So people may well choose different frequencies, if they wish so. Has been done with some SOUL-customers also.

    > this might deserve its own thread

    Being a member-of-the-trade I'm very reluctant to start a new thread. I'm not sure what the conditions at this forum are, but out of respect for the "owners/moderators" of this website I myself will not start anything as such. But you may ask the moderators directly yourself whether you're allowed to.

    Cheers

    Jan
     
  19. Walderstorn

    Walderstorn Friend

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    @Jan Meier would the implementation of 2 DPS-chips have any other advantages other than the 192 sampling frequency?
     
  20. sacredgates

    sacredgates Audio-Technica's high priest

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