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Meridian Prime Headphone Amplifier Review - Page 7

post #91 of 294

Very good.  If you could post a pic or two of the standard power supply once it arrives, even better. ;) 

post #92 of 294

Jude, or anyone else, can you comment on how this compares to RWA's Audez'e Edition with the LCD line?  I realize they are completely different designs, but their prices are close if you add the Meridian PS.

post #93 of 294

I finally got it a couple of hours ago!

 

I need to of course do some high quality pink noise and high resolution music burning of the unit and some more critical listening, but clearly the sound that's coming out of the Meridian Prime has already put a smile on my face...

 

A few quick observations:

 

1.  I am including pictures of the power adapter, per your request.  Not the highlight of the product for sure, it is an ordinary wall wart without a ground connector.  

2. I am feeding the unit through my recently acquired iFi Micro USB power supply, which made all of my previous gear shine.  I loved what this little unit did for the Centrance DacMini that the Prime is replacing.   The Centrance DacMini never sounded so good!

3.  The USB input is through a mini-USB connector.  I am using a $2 short cable at the moment until I find a better solution.  Now I have an expensive Audioquest Carbon USB cable sitting on the sideline, as it's a standard audiophile quality USB-A and B cable that I have used for all my other DACs.  I need to find a better solution for the mini-USB cable moving forward as it's clearly my weakest link in the chain.

4. I am listening to the unit through the analog output feeding my amplifier and speakers, I have turned the Prime volume knob halfway for this purpose.  I will do some headphone specific listening later tonight and through the week.

 

More to come...AppleMark

post #94 of 294

Thanks for your initial impressions of the Prime and photos of the wall wart.  I suspect that there won't be any big surprises as you spend more time with it... please let us know either way.

post #95 of 294

I am surprised by the wall wart. :(

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post #96 of 294

ticos442, I'm aware that the 1/8" and 1/4" headphone jacks on the Prime have different output impedances.  Are you able to ascertain whether they have subjectively different gains by testing the same headphone in both jacks (one will require an adapter, of course).  The testing headphone should have an impedance greater than 20 ohms or so, to minimize that as a factor.

 

Thanks again. :smile: 


Edited by GaryB - 12/19/13 at 9:34am
post #97 of 294

GaryB,

 

I just performed a quick and not very scientific test, but can hopefully at least partially answer your question:

 

1. Tested three different kinds of headphones, on both the 1/4" and 1/8" jacks, with adapters as needed.  Same song played throughout

2. Set ASP in the "i" setting, which has a bit of a louder effect as sounds are spaced to mimic the sensation that they are coming from stereo speakers.  This is my favorite setting thus far.  the "ii" setting centralizes the sound too much for my liking

3. The test I performed is to dial the volume to the loudest that I could tolerate, and notice where it ended up in the volume dial knob

4. The maximum volume setting with the knob would be at the 6 o'clock mark

 

Results:

----------------------------------1/4"---------------------1/8"

 

Grado PS1000-------------2 o'clock-------------3 o'clock

Ultrasone8-------------------11 o'clock-----------12 o'clock

Monster T. Copper--------10 o'clock-----------11 o'clock

Monster Miles Davis-----10 o'clock------------11 o'clock

 

From the above, I expected the Grados to be harder to drive and therefore I needed more volume to reach my maximum tolerance level.  The Ultrasone were easy to drive, almost at the same level of the Monster Turbine Copper and Miles Davis.   But the biggest surprise was that there isn't a huge difference in gain between the 1/4" and the 1/8" jacks.  I will of course need to be careful when plugging the more sensitive Monster IEMs, as if I accidentally plug them in when the volume know is set to maximum, they can be damaged.

post #98 of 294
Excellent, ticos... your informal tests suggest that there is a little less gain at the 1/8" jacks than at the 1/4" jacks, requiring a slightly higher position of the volume knob to reach the equivalent level. This makes sense, since the 1/8" jacks will typically be used with more sensitive phones, and to some extent might obviate the need for a separate gain switch (one of the only 2 things, the other being a switchable fixed/variable output) which I might miss on the Prime.

Thanks much!
post #99 of 294

Agree on your comments, including the analog output comment.  I do wish that the Prime had a switchable fixed/variable output, or just a fixed output for that matter for my configuration.
  However, I knew that before purchasing the unit and it's just a minor drawback, compared to the sound quality and the flexibility it provides, being a 192KHz capable DAC over USB, the pretty cool headphone amplifier features, including ASP, the availability of two analog inputs to serve as a pre-amp, and the high quality analog output stage.  I just need to be careful with the volume knob, and turning it all the way down before plugging any headphones.

 

By the way, I've been enjoying some DSD titles with my Prime, by using Audirvana Plus, which does the DSD to PCM conversion on the fly.  I set the conversion rate to 176.4Khz PCM to send to the Prime, and the results are astonishing.   The 24 bit 192 Khz titles that I've bought from HDTracks sound fabulous as well.

 

I am awaiting an Audioquest Carbon USB A to USB B mini cable to connect to the Prime and replace the $2 USB cable :confused_face:  I have plugged in a the moment.

post #100 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by audionewbi View Post
 

Am I the only one who is really put off about the $2000 dollar amp that comes with a $1250 optional PSU which is not really optional if you know what I mean?

 

No you are not. 

 

If you're going to spend three grand why not spend four and get an ALO amp?   Which doesn't push you into an integrated DAC combination.  Hey, Meridian.  I already own a DAC.   Every heard of this new concept called 'components'?   It's a good idea for very expensive gear.  


Edited by Jodet - 12/21/13 at 8:04am
post #101 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jodet View Post
 

 

No you are not. 

 

If you're going to spend three grand why not spend four and get an ALO amp?   Which doesn't push you into an integrated DAC combination.  Hey, Meridian.  I already own a DAC.   Every heard of this new concept called 'components'?   It's a good idea for very expensive gear.  


Erm.... The DAC and the associated DSP is the whole point of this product and the only possible justification for it's high price.

post #102 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hooster View Post
 


Erm.... The DAC and the associated DSP is the whole point of this product and the only possible justification for it's high price.

 

Gee, I thought it was a headphone amp with a built in DAC. 

 

So it's a DAC with a built in headphone amp? 

post #103 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jodet View Post
 

 

Gee, I thought it was a headphone amp with a built in DAC. 

 

So it's a DAC with a built in headphone amp? 

 

You got it. If you look at what is inside the box the headphone amp itself does not appear to be very sophisticated/expensive, wall wart, alps pot and all. The DAC is supposed to be where the magic happens with this product.

post #104 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by ticos442 View Post
 

. I am using a $2 short cable at the moment until I find a better solution.  Now I have an expensive Audioquest Carbon USB cable sitting on the sideline, as it's a standard audiophile quality USB-A and B cable that I have used for all my other DACs.  I need to find a better solution for the mini-USB cable moving forward as it's clearly my weakest link in the chain.

 

:etysmile:

Oh dear oh dear

post #105 of 294

Hey guys, I've got a question for everyone who doesn't like the wall wart.  When you auditioned the Meridian Prime with the wall wart, what sounded bad to you?  Any specific impressions on how the wall wart affected the Prime's sound in your listening tests would be helpful.  :smile:  Thanks!


Home of the Liquid Carbon, Liquid Crimson, Liquid Glass, Liquid Gold and
Liquid Lightning headphone amplifiers... and the upcoming Liquid Spark!

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