or Connect
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Computer Audio › NEWS: Meridian Releases The Explorer Pocket-Sized USB DAC
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

NEWS: Meridian Releases The Explorer Pocket-Sized USB DAC - Page 64

post #946 of 1069

Having owned this now since its release, I have to say that I am thoroughly under-whelmed by its overall performance as a dedicated DAC.

 

Recordings sound rather lifeless, with a lack of openness, a compressed soundstage and a somewhat muted high end and attack.

 

Using ALAC files served by a Mac Mini into a Rega Brio-R and B&W CM1s.  When A/B'd against a 10 year-old 3D Labs CD player, it wasn't even close.

 

Buyer beware.

post #947 of 1069

Thank you netdog. I have a Meridian 24 bit Player for my powered 650s setup through LD1+. I just want a dac I can take mobile with V4 hp amp...and I don't want a dac that has an amp built in! Why pay for THAT when I have what I think is a bitch of a powerful amp with which I can plop on a Nano and a Fio out connector. I'd rather not get an apple player as part of my mobile setup. Thanks for your observation on the Meridian unit. I think the Dragonfly is likewise over stated and over rated.  Cheers,  Alex


Edited by alejandro7 - 1/6/14 at 2:06pm
post #948 of 1069

I'm thinking about buying the Meridian Explorer but I've been reading that it's quite noisy with low impedance earphones. Has it been addressed?

 

I own Westone W40 and Alessandro MS2i, both a 32 ohms impedance...

post #949 of 1069
Quote:
Originally Posted by frozst View Post
 

I'm thinking about buying the Meridian Explorer but I've been reading that it's quite noisy with low impedance earphones. Has it been addressed?

 

I own Westone W40 and Alessandro MS2i, both a 32 ohms impedance...

The very first batch of Meridian Explorers did have an impedance issue, but this was addressed shortly after release with the newer versions.  You just have to make sure that when you buy it, they send you the latest ones, and also apply the firmware update and you'll be fine.  I use the Explorer with my Ultrasone8 headhphones (30 ohms) and there is no noise issue at all.

post #950 of 1069
Thanks! I will go for it

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
post #951 of 1069

.....after having that Dragonfly for the past 13 months, my ears are so RELIEVED to hear the Explorer... just got it last week, so I understand that I'm in the honeymoon phase.....

 

 

really enjoying the roundedness non-edginess to it, and I don't think they are messing with the treble in order to achieve it.

post #952 of 1069

I received my Explorer yesterday and I use it connected it to my Macbook Pro and Sennheiser HD650. I can't stop listening music since then. It's a real pleasure!

 

Don't ask me to describe it's sound in detail because I would not be able. I can just say that the explorer is a pleasure listen, even for hours... Basses are rich but not exaggerated, sound is detailed and clear.

 

I am impressed by it's minimalistic design and the construction screams quality in every detail. It's light (50grams!) and really portable.

 

I am confused about some negative posts regarding the Explorer's SQ in this thread. Maybe different setup, maybe different tastes. But I think everybody will agree that this piece of kit is turning you laptop into a real hifi.

 

So far, very well spent money, IMO!

 

EDIT: forgot to write that I'm playing music with Audirvana Plus and the Explorer is compatible with Audirvana's Integer Mode, which delivers the best possible SQ for this player. Sweeeeeet!


Edited by doraymon - 1/30/14 at 1:59am
post #953 of 1069
Quote:
Originally Posted by doraymon View Post
 

I received my Explorer yesterday and I use it connected it to my Macbook Pro and Sennheiser HD650. I can't stop listening music since then. It's a real pleasure!

 

 

 

 

Don't ask me to describe it's sound in detail because I would not be able. I can just say that the explorer is a pleasure listen, even for hours... Basses are rich but not exaggerated, sound is detailed and clear.

 

 

Glad to hear it sounds good with the HD650, been wanting to get a pair of those but didn't know what amp to get, sounds like I can just use my Explorer....awesome!

 

 

Yeah Doraymon, I know what you mean about trying to describe the sound of it. Definitely something special... for me it's almost like it just oozes out (not to say its slow though), and it wraps around the notes so that they are more realistic sounding to me.

post #954 of 1069
Quote:
Originally Posted by LAmitchell View Post
 

Glad to hear it sounds good with the HD650, been wanting to get a pair of those but didn't know what amp to get, sounds like I can just use my Explorer....awesome!

Before buying anything else try the Explorer. I was a bit sceptical about the low power headphone output, but I can tell you that I reach the "discomfort" threshold before pushing the volume to max, which is ok!

 

Obviously there is much room of improvement if you buy a dedicated amp with better specs, but as I said check the Explorer first. Maybe you don't need anything else.

post #955 of 1069

I have been listening to my meridian explorer for about a month now.  I can say that, my 2009 sony vaio cw beats the meridian explorer.  Even my 2006 sound blaster x-fi titanium sound card on my desktop beats the meridian.  With that said, the meridian explorer does sound better than my 2013 macbook pro (haswell).  Is it worth $300?  No.  I haven't sold my sony vaio cw because I still listen to music on it with my ATH-A900.

 

The meridian explorer sounds like it has a filter on it.  Music notes and voices just aren't as crystal clear as my sony and desktop.  I am hoping for someone to develop a dac that beats my old systems.  Then I will be happy with my macbook pro.  Until then...

post #956 of 1069

:blink:

post #957 of 1069
Quote:
Originally Posted by DieselTech View Post
 

I have been listening to my meridian explorer for about a month now.  I can say that, my 2009 sony vaio cw beats the meridian explorer.  Even my 2006 sound blaster x-fi titanium sound card on my desktop beats the meridian.  With that said, the meridian explorer does sound better than my 2013 macbook pro (haswell).  Is it worth $300?  No.  I haven't sold my sony vaio cw because I still listen to music on it with my ATH-A900.

 

The meridian explorer sounds like it has a filter on it.  Music notes and voices just aren't as crystal clear as my sony and desktop.  I am hoping for someone to develop a dac that beats my old systems.  Then I will be happy with my macbook pro.  Until then...

Have you tried the AudioQuest Dragonfly yet? With the recent update to 1.2 and a price drop from $250 to $150 there's simply no excuse for not getting one; it is probably the best portable USB DAC in its price range. The Meridian Explorer is really overrated and the only reason it even costs that much is because of the brand name/prestige. If you're really in the market for a portable dac in $300 price, I'd suggest buying the Resonessence Labs Herus- it offers a lot of features and supreme build quality for its price range including DSD 128, DXD 384, a better integrated amp and solid CNC-milled case.

post #958 of 1069
Quote:
Originally Posted by L0SLobos View Post
The Meridian Explorer is really overrated and the only reason it even costs that much is because of the brand name/prestige. 

You say that because you had the possibility to directly compare it to others like the Herus and Dragonfly?

 

I am very happy with my Explorer so far, but my comment is irrelevant as this is the only portable DAC I ever heard. The only comparison I can do is with the built in DAC of my Macbook Pro, and obviously the comparison doesn't even stand!

I agree though that 300 Eur/$ is a premium price for a portable DAC. Is it worth it? I don't know, I will tell when I will do comparisons.

post #959 of 1069

I wish I could try out the dragonfly and herus.

post #960 of 1069
Quote:
Originally Posted by doraymon View Post
 

You say that because you had the possibility to directly compare it to others like the Herus and Dragonfly?

 

I am very happy with my Explorer so far, but my comment is irrelevant as this is the only portable DAC I ever heard. The only comparison I can do is with the built in DAC of my Macbook Pro, and obviously the comparison doesn't even stand!

I agree though that 300 Eur/$ is a premium price for a portable DAC. Is it worth it? I don't know, I will tell when I will do comparisons.

I do, actually. I previously owned the Meridian Explorer after reading all the hype about it (ordered it on Amazon). Unfortunately I returned it after 25 days as it failed to live up to my expectations. The bass was muddy compared to the AQ Dragonfly, not as crisp or punchy. The level of detail and sonic imaging was very inferior to to the similarly priced Resonessence Labs Herus, which offers a much better dac, higher output int. amp and high resolution features. Perhaps if it was priced competitively at ~$200 it would be worth a buy since it does include support for 192khz over the Dragonfly's 96khz. However its pricing is much closer to the Herus and when compared side by side to the Herus it simply does not offer enough value to justify keeping it.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Computer Audio
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Computer Audio › NEWS: Meridian Releases The Explorer Pocket-Sized USB DAC