Meridian Explorer² Impressions Thread
Feb 27, 2015 at 6:23 PM Post #181 of 1,003
  Hello all, I've been a long time lurker on this forum and really enjoy reading all the stuff here! 
 
Anyways, I would just like to share my thoughts on the Meridian Explorer 2 DAC setup with my 2012 Macbook Pro and the Bang and Olufsen H8!
 
I've been listening for about 6 hours now and am completely impressed! I'm no audiophile expert by a long shot but the difference is definitely noticeable with and without the meridian DAC! The soundstage is much wider, I can enjoy instrumental songs which I love with increased clarity. All I can say is, WOW! I'm so excited for more listening in the coming weeks :p
 
I've been using Spotify Premium and now, I'm trying Tidal. However, I wished Tidal would have a larger mandarin song collection :/ haha.
 
Happy Listening Everyone!
 
Kwan 

 
I would recommend downloading a trial of the AmarraSq to go along with Tidal.  Together, they sound great and works well with my MacBook Air.
 
Feb 28, 2015 at 6:30 PM Post #182 of 1,003
   
I would recommend downloading a trial of the AmarraSq to go along with Tidal.  Together, they sound great and works well with my MacBook Air.

when is tidal going to support MQA, this is Meridians ultimate aim, right?
 
Amarra sounds better than A+ but it is frustratingly slow when using pre-load etc. I want to use it but it annoys me too much. Plus the Amarra SQ option makes it very attractive. I cannot believe after all this time they still haven't ironed it all out yet properly like Audirvana. 
 
Mar 1, 2015 at 3:10 AM Post #183 of 1,003
The Tidal guy at the headroom show in January was suggesting that we should start seeing MQA content by the end of the year, possibly in the summer. When MQA is enabled, the first LED on the Explorer will turn green.
 
Meridian were also there showing off MQA. I had a listen to Dave Brubeck's Take 5 via a Prime DAC and Amplifier. It was very balanced.
 
Mar 3, 2015 at 1:36 PM Post #186 of 1,003
  Did many of you buy the explorer2 specifically for the dac, or for use of the amp? It seems like the dac is it's main selling point

I started my search for an affordable DAC that has a small footprint to use with my HD700 and Vali. After a good amount of research, I found one of the threads on the first Explorer. While the first Explorer seemed like a good DAC/amp for $150, the E² was just released and I was able to buy it for a good price.
 
So I took a gamble and was amazed at how well the DAC performed, as well as how small and light it was. Then when I tested all of my other headphones and IEMs, I was surprised at how well the E² was able to amp them. I still prefer to use the Vali with my HD700, but for everything else, the amp in the E² is what I use to drive them. Oh, I also use the analog out (DAC only) for my desktop speakers. My Explorer² is extremely versatile and fits my needs perfectly.
 
Mar 3, 2015 at 2:50 PM Post #187 of 1,003
  Did many of you buy the explorer2 specifically for the dac, or for use of the amp? It seems like the dac is it's main selling point


The amp is very good as well. I use it to drive my headphones.
 
Mar 17, 2015 at 5:22 PM Post #190 of 1,003
Ok, so I bought this thing.

Here's a complete noob's impressions, moving from an iPhone to the Meridian Explorer 2 on my work PC (still using an Ultrasone Pro 900):

First impression using a standard Foobar 2000 install was that there was a bit more detail in the mids and highs. Nothing much, but at least I was glad I heard something. The sound stage was also a bit wider, but that went away pretty fast. Perhaps it will come back, I don't know (still nowhere near when I was using Ultimate Ears Triple Fi 10, but yeah, IEM vs. closed full size doesn't really compare... I should dig those out of my closet someday and try it with the Explorer and see what happens).

Then I read about the WASAPI plug-in you could get for Foobar 2000, and after I installed that, well hello low frequency bass! Ear massage was in full effect.

So definitely a difference for the better.

I suspect it's a good thing that I didn't fork out for the Herus Plus, because I doubt I would have noticed that much more of a difference to make up for twice the price. This was a medium sized investment and it felt like a medium sized improvement as well (I've owned a cheaper DAC a few years back and except for loudness, there was zero sound quality difference for me there, so I was a bit afraid that it would happen again).
 
Mar 18, 2015 at 7:12 PM Post #192 of 1,003
Just finished reading through the entire thread. I am also curious how this compares to Dacport and whether it can run an HD650? I am planning to get a Dacport for either $250 brand new or $250-300 used with 1 Ohm mod, but haven't pulled the trigger yet. Someone recommended me Explorer 1 for $150 brand new, but since I saved quite a bit by getting a refurb headphones I can afford a more expensive portable dac/amp. My headphones is Denon D600.
 
Mar 18, 2015 at 7:19 PM Post #193 of 1,003
  I'll be joining in the fun next week.  Curious if anyone has or owned the Audio-GD NFB-15?

 
What did you think of the E2? Was browsing the classifieds and saw you got rid of it recently. I'm in market for a good portable dac/amp between $100-300.
 
Mar 19, 2015 at 2:41 AM Post #194 of 1,003
^Nope. Decided to keep it.  Don't bother getting the NFB-15 unless you need more power to properly drive headphones.  Had it, sold it despite its great amplification, but to me the dual Wolfson DAC implementation was not liked by my ears.  Had the DACport as well, both the 10 ohm and 1 ohm mod.  If you're running the HD-650 or similar cans, get the 10 ohm mod as the 1 ohm may sound a little thin and less dynamic.  Between the DACport and E2, the latter sounds smoother and more natural.  The DAC in the DACport always sounded edgy and too digital to me, but if that's your preference, happy listening.
 
Mar 19, 2015 at 3:09 AM Post #195 of 1,003
  ^Nope. Decided to keep it.  Don't bother getting the NFB-15 unless you need more power to properly drive headphones.  Had it, sold it despite its great amplification, but to me the dual Wolfson DAC implementation was not liked by my ears.  Had the DACport as well, both the 10 ohm and 1 ohm mod.  If you're running the HD-650 or similar cans, get the 10 ohm mod as the 1 ohm may sound a little thin and less dynamic.  Between the DACport and E2, the latter sounds smoother and more natural.  The DAC in the DACport always sounded edgy and too digital to me, but if that's your preference, happy listening.

Thank you very much! Solved two of my problems. Been looking for opinions comparing the Dacport (10 vs 1 ohm) and the newer E2. I will be using it for Denon D600 and possibly for HD 650 2-3 years from now, but that's a while so I'd rather focus on good dac instead of amp. I'm actually picking between E1 ($150), E2, Dacport, and OPPO HA-2 right now. Those last three being in the same $250-300 price range. Leaning towards E2 and HA-2. The HA-2 is very new, but it looks promising.
 

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