Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

DACs

Meridian Debuts Ultra DAC for Audiophiles: Finest Ever?

Meridian Ultra DAC - front

Meridian Audio today announced their ultimate, hand built Ultra DAC (Digital to Analogue Converter) that is capable of playing virtually any recording format including DXD, DSD64 and DSD128 (DoP), or MQA at up to 384kHz/24-bit. It is the first product in the world to include MQA Limited’s Hierarchical Converter Technology, which employs multiple converters to increase temporal resolution while reducing noise and quantization errors.

Connectivity options include USB 2.0, S/PDIF, TosLink, 75 ohm BNC, and AES3 on XLR, as well as Meridian’s Speakerlink and the award-winning Sooloos music-management platform, for the very best user-friendly experience.  One pair of balanced and one pair of unbalanced analogue outputs are also provided.

Meridian Ultra DAC - rear

Significant user features are provided, including LipSync, PC setup, and RS232, enabling integration with third-party systems such as Control4 or Crestron. The Ultra DAC is the first Meridian product to give users the option to select one of three upsampling filters when reproducing sources with a sample rate of 44kHz or 48kHz, such as CD or DAT. In addition, a dedicated clock card is included for the lowest possible jitter.

Another first for a Meridian product is the construction of the Ultra’s Dual Mono DAC card, which incorporates multiple regulated power supplies and eight-layer circuit boards with low-impedance ground-planes, for peerless isolation and the low-noise grounding that is critical to digital-audio accuracy. A fully linear power supply provides isolation from the AC supply, and DC-coupled output prevents degradation from AC coupling capacitors. Even the Ultra DAC’s front panel was designed for quiet operation, with non-ferrous construction, and a static LCD display chosen for its low electrical noise and ease of readability.

Meridian Ultra DAC - front

Chief Technical Officer at Meridian, Richard Hollinshead comments, “The Meridian Ultra Digital to Analogue Converter is the culmination of nearly two decades of research and engineering. With considerable connectivity options, user features, and format support, the Meridian Ultra DAC incorporates an extensive list of performance-enhancing technologies, including Dual Mono DAC cards, DSP filter options, upsampling, and apodizing. This dedicated DAC utilizes Meridian’s renowned audio expertise to set a new standard in the analogue realm.”

Price and Availability

The Meridian Ultra DAC is built by hand in the UK and is available in beautiful high gloss black as standard for $23,000. Other colour options are available using Meridian’s Select bespoke color service (+$1,000).

The world’s first public showing of the Meridian Ultra DAC will take place at the 2016 T.H.E. Newport Show, June 3-5, in the Sunny Components Room 1203.

User Guide (pdf)

Specifications

AUDIO OUTPUTS
• 2-channel balanced audio output
• 2-channel unbalanced audio output
• Outputs driven by four 192 kHz digital to analogue converters
• The output stage incorporates Hierarchical Converter technology [by MQA]

AUDIO INPUTS
• One USB 2.0 input for connection to a computer. Up to 384 kHz sampling and up to 24-bit precision
• Two 2-channel balanced AES3 XLR inputs. 44.1kHz to 192kHz sampling and up to 24-bit precision
• Two 2-channel 750 Ohm BNC coaxial inputs. 44.1kHz to 192kHz sampling and up to 24-bit precision
• Two 2-channel digital coaxial S/PDIF inputs. 44.1kHz to 192kHz sampling and up to 24-bit precision
• One 2-channel Meridian Speakerlink input. 44.1kHz to 192kHz sampling and up to 24-bit precision
• Two 2-channel digital optical TOSLINK inputs. 44.1kHz to 96kHz sampling and up to 24-bit precision
• One network input (Ethernet) for connection to a Meridian Sooloos System
• All inputs provide re-nameable legends

CONTROL SIGNALS
• Two Meridian Comms 5-pin 240° DIN sockets
• RS232 interface for maintenance
• Three 12VDC/100mA trigger outputs con gurable by source

CONTROLS
• FRONT-PANEL: Source, DSP, Display, Mute, Off, Volume +/-, Setup, and Menu keys
• REMOTE CONTROL: Via MSR+ (Supplied) and RS232

DISPLAY
• 20-character dot-matrix display with adjustable brightness and contrast
• Indicators for Emphasis and Phase

POWER
• Advanced linear power supply: 100V ac 50/60 Hz | 110-120V ac 50/60Hz | 220-240V ac 50/60Hz
• Max power consumption: 40 Watts

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

DIMENSIONS
• HEIGHT: 175mm [6.9in]
• WIDTH: 480mm [18.9in]
• DEPTH: 411mm [16.2in]
• WEIGHT: 16kg [35.2lbs]

CONSTRUCTION
• A DC coupled output – no degradation from AC coupling capacitors.
• New linear supply – for isolation from AC supply and increased reliability.
• Non-ferrous chassis and panels (aluminium construction) – linear hysteresis free magnetics.
• Quiet display – static LCD for low electrical noise.
• Black finish in metal and glass
• Custom Meridian Select colours also available

Meridian Ultra DAC Reviews

From Critics Around the Web

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Advertisement

Our Reviews

Over-Ear Headphones

First impressions of a portable headphone combo for audiophiles using the Clarus CODA USB DAC with the Audeze LCD-1 planar-magnetic over-ear headphones.

CD Players

The $1,000 Pro-Ject CD Box DS2 CD player is very versatile; CD player, transport, and DAC. But does it make sense in 2021? Indeed...

Bookshelf Speakers

The new Lumina collection brings the artistry of Sonus faber loudspeakers to a much wider audience for a lot less money.

Over-Ear Headphones

If your headphone budget tops out at $400, the HiFiMan Sundara might be the best option right now in audiophile headphones.

DACs

The AudioQuest DragonFly Cobalt DAC faces a long line of dongle DAC competitors in 2021 but is still the one to beat.

Reviews

At $1600, Enclave Audio's CineHome Pro all-in-one THX certified wireless 5.1 speaker system will give any soundbar a run for their money.

You May Also Like

New Products

LG announced six new sound bars for 2019, three of which have Meridian Audio Technology along with Dolby Atmos.

Floorstanding Speakers

New Meridian ‘.2’ models benefit from maker’s Select bespoke color service, which provides a choice of over 270 different colors and shades. Meridian has...

Hi-Fi Components

MQA Support Continues to Grow at Munich HIGH END show MQA, the ground-breaking music technology originated by Meridian Audio, is now in active discussions...

News

Bob Stuart, founder of Meridian Audio, just introduced MQA (Master Quality Authenticated), a revolutionary British technology, which is poised to change the way people...

Advertisement

ecoustics is the unbiased resource for the latest technology news, coolest gadgets, and best consumer electronics. Plus get product reviews, roundups and deals from all over the web on everything electronic. Read more



Copyright © 1999-2021 ecoustics | Disclaimer: ecoustics may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.