No consumer electronics company has earned more universal respect for its innovations than the British manufacturer Meridian. For decades this U.K.-based company has been ahead of the curve developing technologies that have advanced the quality and performance of digital audio.
Showcasing the results of approximately 20 years of research and development in the field of digital audio, Meridian has just announced its Ultra digital-to-analog converter (DAC). The company's new DAC is designed to provide dealers with a state-of-the-art digital audio solution that supports a variety of audio formats, including high-resolution audio.
“The Meridian Ultra digital-to-analog-converter is the culmination of nearly two decades of research and engineering,” explains, Richard Hollingshead, chief technical officer, Meridian. “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 analog realm.”
Meridian says the Ultra DAC provides connectivity for 2.0 USB, S/PDIF, TosLink, 75-ohm BNC, AES3 on XLR, and the company's proprietary Speakerlink for the seamless integration into Meridian systems. The Ultra DAC also incorporates Meridian's Sooloos music management platform to provide users with an intuitive solution to manage their music libraries, as well as a pair of balanced (XLR) and unbalanced (RCA) analog outputs.
Other features built into the 24-bit/384kHz-dedicated DAC include the ability to play nearly any format ranging from DXD and DSD64, to DSD128 (DoP) and MQA. Moreover, the DAC also features LipSync, PC setup and RS-232 options to enable the DAC to integrate into third-party control systems from top manufacturers like Crestron and Control4.
The company notes the Ultra DAC is also the first Meridian product that allows users to select from three upsampling filters when reproducing content from sources with 44kHz or 48kHz sample rates, and it says the DAC employs a dedicated clock card to minimize digital jitter.
In addition, the Ultra DAC is the first product to include MQA's Limited Hierachical Converter Technology, which employs multiple converters to increase temproral resolution, while reducing noise and quantization errors. Another first, according to the company is use of a dual-mono DAC card. This inclusion incorporates multiple regulated power supplies and eight-layer circuit boards with low-impedance ground planes for greater isolation to improve digital audio performance.
Finally, Meridian says, the DAC features a fully linear power supply that delivers isolation from the AC supply, while also providing a DC-coupled output that prevents AC degradation from AC coupling capacitors.
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