January 21, 2007 by Rachel Cericola
I can appreciate when an A/V component wants to go that extra mile. Meridian has designed the MPMax 221 Media Player Digital Link to overcome a difficult challenge—getting analog signals, like those from a personal stereo, into digital products such as Meridian DSP Loudspeakers.
The vast majority of personal stereos, such as the Apple iPod, offer a stereo analog output at headphone level, designed for a 3.5mm stereo jackplug. Some additionally offer line level outputs or even S/PDIF optical outputs. Products like the Apple Airport Express provide a USB connector as well as analog/optical digital connectors.
The MPMax 221 Media Player Digital Link allows all these sources and many more to be connected directly to a pair of Meridian DSP Loudspeakers, or to any other system that requires a standard S/PDIF (Sony/Philips Digital Interface) phono input.
The MPMax 221 includes analog to digital conversion; two channels of conversion are provided, operating at 24-bit, 96kHz resolution—the standard format used both in the studio and by Meridian DSP Loudspeakers. The company says that special attention has been paid to minimizing jitter and power supply interference with the conversion process. Audiophile-quality analog components are coupled with the latest in studio-quality digital conversion technology, optimized for sources and levels of this type.
The MPMax221 also includes a digital optical input that can be used with devices that offer a digital optical output, allowing a digital path. If the audio files played back have been ripped with a lossless format such as FLAC, AAC/Apple Lossless or WMA Lossless, the system can offer full digital audio quality.
Multiple inputs are provided. A special 3.5mm jack socket accepts both analog headphone-level signals and S/PDIF Optical (mini optical connector) inputs. Line level inputs are provided in the form of a pair of gold-plated phono connectors. The two analog inputs are mixed at appropriate gains so as to provide similar levels. The output is in the form of a single gold-plated phono connector carrying 24/96 S/PDIF
format signals to the destination system. The unit has a B-type USB connector that can be used to power the MPMax 221 as an alternative to the supplied power transformer. The unit will accept 9–15vDC at 150mA.
- Allows direct connection to Meridian DSP Loudspeakers
- 2 channels of analog-to-digital conversion
- Digital optical input
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Over the past 15 years, Rachel Cericola has covered entertainment, web and technology trends. Check her out at www.rachelcericola.com.
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