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Meridian Prime Headphone Amplifier Review - Page 15

post #211 of 294

I'm still kicking and still listening.  


The Meridian is still a joy to listen to.  By tweaking the settings on Pure Audio, I'm finding the synergies. Going to upsampling on Pure Audio does after all improve voiced to a scary degree... I seek realism without "enhancement" such a false "clarity" from emphasis of transients or treble and removal of grain or edginess which indeed can sound at first like more clarity. Meridian in general is brilliant at avoiding those pitfalls. I don't have time (ugh) or energy to compare, so I just grabbed it.  


The LCD-X, I modified by adding a bit of spacer (short length of plastic tubing) to the "back side" of the inside (near the driver grille) of the earpiece.  This keeps it from collapsing as much from the headband force, and thus removes some of the excessive warmth.  Yet, there was still with this combination a lack of "illumination" of the upper voice partials and lower treble.  So I added a 1-2dB parametric boost around 5.5kHz and with a Q somewhere around 2.2.  Can click in and out at will.  Straight from iTunes I most often take it out.  But from Pure Audio, I put it in.  


The upsampling setting on Pure Audio at first makes it seem less bright, not what I was looking for.  Yet over time, I realized that this setting removed a glare of sorts and now voices sound like the electronics between them and me is removed and I am hearing a real mouth, a real head, at a specific distance in a specific acoustic. Glare/edge gone.  Good Donald Fagan now sounds like the real guy, for example.  Treble is cleaned up, and sometimes I miss the energy in the lower treble, but over time I've noticed that shakers, bells, cymbals, etc sound real in ways they didn't before.  I recognize real instruments whereas before I was more focused on the sound but didn't "get" it as a real instrument I can go out and buy. So, voices and instruments now sound more like themselves rather than some trick of production that had turned it into a more artificial but exciting sound. 


I'm sure there are better, but this amp also has enough energy to drive the X rather well, whereas the similarly priced Chord did not have as much power/voltage.  Plus the recessed, smooth volume control in the Chord drove me nuts.  This one has a "champagne glass" shaped knob I can hit while half asleep in my recliner to tweak to my heart's desires.  

post #212 of 294
Originally Posted by Stoney View Post

I just purchased this combo, quite by coincidence!  I am glad that Jude hears what I felt to be the great performance of the pair.  I'm feeding it from my iTunes files played by PureAudio software, although it sounds best with upsampling turned off.  Meridian has some proprietary processing and doesn't need the features of PureAudio S/W.  Yet, I have files with multiple rates and depths, and PureAudio manages those changes well, outputting the native file rate of each file.  iTunes doesn't do that, although one can set Audio Midi Setup to 192k... but then you are listening to iTunes poor upsampling. 

Unfortunately, I am getting more ill (tumors in multiple bones and tissues, and spreading), and may not see the end of 2014, or even 6 months from now.  But the gear is giving me lots of pleasure and didn't break the bank. Indulge while I can! 

Even sooner, I might lose hearing due to the most aggressive chemo that they have in their arsenal. Very ototoxic.  It starts with treble and goes from there... and there is also the possibility of sudden hearing loss.  

I would welcome volunteers interested to buy this pair when my future-widow get stuck selling off my gear.  Send me a PM if you don't mind waiting until "I'm done" with them. Lots of other stuff (RSA SR-71B, Arrow 4G, HD650 with 2 Cardas cables—one balanced for the RSA—and tons of accessories and records/SACDs etc.  I can't bring myself to spend my last weeks selling stuff!)

Very sorry to hear of your predicament. I do hope you are with us longer and are able to keep enjoying your music for as long as possible.

I am sure Jude and the rest if the Head-Fi community will be happy to help your spouse get a good return on your music investments on the classifieds when she needs our help.....
post #213 of 294

someone has tried the beyerdynamic T1 with prime?

post #214 of 294
Thread Starter 

NOTE:  If you can't see the embedded video above, please CLICK HERE to see the video.



In this episode of Head-Fi TV, we talk about the Prime -- a DAC and headphone amplifier combination from the legendary English audio company, Meridian. We also talk about headphones that work well with the Prime, as well as the optional (or not) Prime Power Supply. Stay tuned!



Products mentioned in the video:




Meridian Prime - Head-Fi TV produced by Joseph Cwik and Jude Mansilla


We will occasionally post Q&A episodes of Head-Fi TV.  If you want to submit any questions (or comments), you can do so via email to tv@head-fi.org.

post #215 of 294

...partially smoked cigar.

post #216 of 294

Jude: You are extremely good at what you do, man.  Seriously...such a well put together piece, and truly useful information/opinions on the performance capabilities.  No fluff, no bias, just a straight-forward and thought-out review.  Certainly makes this piece a great contender on the market.

post #217 of 294

No toslink or rca inputs is a deal killer.


And 1250 for the power supply? Come on.... that's a bit much isn't it.

post #218 of 294

Didn't you people notice him happily saying Schiit Ragnarok several times? ;)


jude, we're waiting for the full video review ;)

post #219 of 294
Originally Posted by XVampireX View Post

Didn't you people notice him happily saying Schiit Ragnarok several times? ;)


jude, we're waiting for the full video review ;)


Hunh.  Never heard of it.  :D

post #220 of 294
Originally Posted by smial1966 View Post

Good grief, why the huge and lurid coloured text?!?


Originally Posted by starstern View Post

Liquid Gold Balanced SS Amplifier   vs prime headphome amp anyone compared ?


post #221 of 294

I believe I felt the Meridian signature sound as "dry". Can anybody corroborate that? It has been sometime since I have heard a Meridian, years. Seems to be an interesting addition to the ever increasing number of headphone amplifiers, particularly on the tech processing front.

post #222 of 294

Finally a great overview about the Meridian Prime! Thanks for the Video.

I just placed an order. Should arrive in about two weeks. Anyway.

I currently have the B&W P7 (somehow not so positively rated but I think its a great one and probably the best in the up to 500,- class) and the Meridian Explorer.

I was always thinking about the prime as great single Desktop solution (4 in1: Dac, AMP, PreAmp sand & Meridian „DSP“) but I was not able to listen to one until the a week avon during the HighEnd 2014 in Munich.

Its definitely a great step up from the Explorer in every regards and the sound improvement is massive. Even with the P7 there was a new level of clarity and power. But I also had the chance to test the Prime at the Audeze booth and yep I have to agree. Awesome sound and a very special pairing.

And by the way I also had the chance to listen to the McIntosh MDH100. What a lovely beast.



post #223 of 294
Subbed. Definitely more of a headphone amp with a dac thrown in than the other way around. The way it controls my xc effortlessly is pure audio bliss, from edm to vocals. Especially impressed with its cross feed implementation.
post #224 of 294

the prime headphone amp does it as good as the masskobo 394 balance headphone amp ?

post #225 of 294
Originally Posted by starstern View Post

the prime headphone amp does it as good as the masskobo 394 balance headphone amp ?


The Masskobo is far more more expensive than the Meridian. It would be very surprising if the Meridian is as good as the Masskobo.

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