Attention music lovers! Meridian has given their superb Director digital-to-analog converter a new name: Direct DAC. But rest assured, the only thing that has changed is the name. You still get the exact same performance and features as the Director. Plug this compact, high-performance DAC in between your computer or digital music player and your hi-fi system, then sit back to experience improved sonic realism. The Direct DAC takes the place of the processor inside your player or PC, and precisely transforms the digital signals into rich, densely layered sound. Instruments gain harmonic complexity and vocals spring to life with the dynamics of a live performance.
Crafted with care for better sound
Renowned for their state-of-the-art audio and video components, Meridian builds each Direct DAC by hand in Britain to the same exacting standards as all of their high-end products. Its elegant, anodized aluminum case comes packed with the highest quality components, including audiophile-grade capacitors, resistors, and gold-plated phono jacks to extract better sound from all your digital sources.
Hear the asynchronous USB difference
Standard USB outputs from most computers pose a serious limitation to sound quality. That's because while you're trying to listen to music, your PC is busy performing virus scans, data backup, and other background tasks that may take priority over your tunes, causing it to alter the data rate to suit its own needs. Unfortunately, this situation results in timing errors within the digital data stream — known as "jitter" — that adversely affect sound quality. Jitter can make your music sound harsh and edgy, and smear subtle details.
The Direct DAC solves this problem by reaching out to your computer through the USB interface, and instructing it to relinquish control of the data stream timing. In its place, this advanced DAC inserts its own separate, or asynchronous, clock to precisely control the timing of the data rate, reducing jitter to the vanishing point. You'll hear a stunning improvement in low-level ambient detail along with a wider, deeper soundstage. And since not all audio content is encoded at the same sample rate, the Direct uses two discrete onboard clocks to optimize itself for different types of audio files or streams, for even greater timing precision.
Praise for the Meridian Director (a.k.a. Direct DAC) from Sound & Vision
"The Director is the best under-$1,000 way to improve computer audio that I've heard so far."
— From Mark Fleischmann's review in Sound & Vision, December, 2013
Read the full review
Enjoy high-resolution audio
Along with all the sonic benefits the Direct DAC provides for your compressed and CD-quality music files, it also has another trick up its sleeve — it decodes high-resolution data streams of up to 24-bit/192kHz resolution, so you can enjoy better-than-CD audio quality. (Free USB driver download required for Windows® PCs.) If you download high-res music files from HDtracks and other audiophile sources, this DAC will ensure that you hear them in all their glory. The Direct also upsamples all incoming 16-24bit, 44.1/48kHz digital audio to a 24-bit, 88.1/192kHz signal to resolve finer detail, even from compressed music sources.
The Direct DAC offers multiple digital inputs for your sound sources.
Flexible inputs for your gear
The Direct's multiple inputs are ready to take on your digital music sources, such as an Apple TV®, a Sonos® Connect, a game console, or even your old CD/DVD player. A 3.5mm hybrid jack provides input for S/PDIF digital signals, either coax (via a 3.5mm mono jack) or mini-optical. Two adapters are included: one allows standard coaxial S/PDIF RCA cables to be used with the Direct DAC while the other allows standard Toslink optical cables to be used.
A pair of gold-plated RCA outputs lets you connect the Direct to your home audio system's receiver or integrated amp. Or feed a set of powered speakers to create a high-end, compact desktop stereo.