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Meridian Explorer² Impressions Thread

Discussion in 'Portable Headphone Amps' started by click, Dec 22, 2014.
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  1. oceandream1
    fidellio x2 and dell inspiron laptop. my 30 pound creative soundcard sounds equal if not better then this
  2. theveterans
    Those 3 DACs won't impress you if ME2 doesn't, since they are considered as a side grade IMO. If you can get the Direct DAC, or other portable DAC like Mojo. Both Direct DAC and Mojo easily bested my ME1 which I gave away to my sister. I returned the Direct DAC since it's not portable unlike the Mojo. SQ wise (detail, transparency), Mojo = Direct DAC, but Mojo sounds a bit warmer.
  3. oceandream1
    hey man what do you think of schittt audi magni and modi? portabillity is not huge for me. they are slightly bigger so does it mean they could have better sound? 
  4. nicoch46

    the dac chip is a cheapers PCM5102.....
  5. oceandream1
    for anyone not happy by meridian i suggest try ifi nano. i just got it. and i have meridian as well and i prefer the nano. i will be returning the meridian. while the nano is not perfect. i feel instrument seperation could be better. but it overall sounds more musical to my ears. sound is highly subjective so take my opinion with a grain of salt. 
  6. Noobzilla
    Went online to check for ME2 driver updates. I saw the DAC Uploader for MQA. I got an error and it told me to contact Meridian :frowning2: which I did just now. I'm curious what it is about and what is going to happen. 
  7. yage
    It's okay. Meridian will exchange your current unit with a new one (latest firmware will already be installed). It happened to me and that's what they did.
  8. Noobzilla
    Did you send them the unit and the box + everything else and you got a new unit? Did you pay shipping?
  9. yage
    You only have to send back the DAC. They'll send you a link to a shipping label so no need to pay for that. I used the original packing material for shipment and got back basically a brand new DAC + accessories.
  10. Noobzilla
    I finally used the Tidal 90 day trial I got a year ago. Luckily the code still works. I'm glad Tidal finally included Exclusive Mode. Sounds awesome!
  11. Noobzilla
    I just died of happiness. Just found out I can move over playlist from my Spotify account to Tidal using Soundiiz.
  12. Decommo

    Thank you very much for the tip.. Great to know.. I am also using spotify premium which streams 320kbp. Can you hear difference on sound quality moving to Tidal?
  13. Noobzilla
    I also use Spotify Premium account (though I use Fidelify as the player - WASAPI mode). Yes, there is difference! Much cleaner sound and extra details. I recommend you to try the free one month if they still offer that. Just note that whenever I reopen my Tidal, the sound setting changes so I have to set it again to Exclusive Mode. 
    Decommo likes this.
  14. fredrico58
    Iv'e owned (and own many DAC's, DAC Amp's and DAC/AMP/HD. Sony HAP S-1, NAD D3020, ODAC rev B, Objective 2 + ODAC rev B,
    Fiio11K as well as DAC's built into High End SS Receivers. I have pretty good Headphones: AKG, Sony MDRZ7, HIFI Man 400i, B&W P7's and I ALSO listen to A Very Well Tuned Very Large Older Martin Logan speakers powered by an older Classe' DR15 Power amp (the best sounding combo that I've ever heard at any price) and I was in the High End Audio business for 30+ years. I've owned Stax headphones back in the day, many of the finest Amp's, PreAmp's, Speakers, Wire, Turntables, CD Players- Even Studer Revox Reel to Reel. I've been both listening and teaching others to listen for 35+ years. The last 6 years, I've been a consumer while an occasional consultant to to high end retailers, end users and some large technology companies that I have no consumer connection with (like the Xfinity X-1 system, it's apps, remotes and their uses, as well as the system's functionality. 
    Anyway, I spend a lot of time listening and comparing products. I also have known what was well recorded to use as demo's within the industry, since the early 1970's but not so much after the '90's (with a few "Rock" exceptions). I'm happy to share this knowledge but I mostly know: Folk, Country, Alternative Rock, Classic Rock, Blues and combo's of these like Southern Rock or Country Rock etc..
    I have about 500 FLAC, AIFF and DSD very Hi REZ recordings in my library as well as Vinyl. 
    With that said, I recently went against the Consumer Retail Audiophile paradigm where I was using the Sony HAP-S1, which I still highly recommend -but not at it's $999 retail price- or even close. It blew away the NAD which in Turn, blows away the Fiio -but with the exception of sheer punch and forward dynamics (the Sony excelled at this). The ODAC rev B, is not just the greatest buy that I know of at $199.00 but beats everything that I've heard to date: at least: in depth and width of sound stage, placement of vocals and instruments ("imaging" is what, I've always called it). I'm using WASAPI with a well set up Foobar2000 ver 1.3.10. That is on an Intel core i5 6th gen Dell Laptop with a 1 TB SSD Drive and 8GB RAM. 
    I don't use Headphones often but if I did, I would probably buy the next gen from Oppo but the High End HiFi Man's are really good, as are many other specialty High End Headphones that I've sampled. I'm partial to planar's definition and imaging but I still like Dynamics (I have Genelec studio Monitors in another room and they are the most Dynamic Studio speaker line that I've ever heard). My Martin Logan's give me both at exceptional levels and are therefore, my reference. Unlike Headphones, I get all the Detail, Imaging, Better Dynamics AND a visceral experience of live and studio music, using my speakers, amp and having it tuned and set up correctly, in a good acoustic room.
    I got a chance to hear MQA demo'd at it's high end equipment level and it was significantly better than the best Hi Rez music played on the most expensive DAC's, with the same electronics (Amp's, Speakers and Headphones). I believe that it will eventually be a "game changer" in reproducing Digital sound as not only will it become the absolute reference when the music was originally MQA mastered but it also has the capability of dropping the background noise threshold (behind the music) on lower bit and compressed recordings (this has never been done before in up conversion and was astonishingly impressive) allowing them to sound much, much better than any present DAC or technology can do with them. Especially with a well recorded but now compressed and/or lower Rez: such as Apple Itunes- AAC, AIFF and Apple Lossless tracks (none of which sound close to as good as well done Hi Rez FLAC's), as well as streaming music like Pandora One or Spotify. 
    I ordered the Meridian Explorer2 and am receiving it this Thursday (May 19th, 2016). I'm hoping that it will give me both the "imaging" of the ODAC rev B AND the Dynamics of the Sony HAP-S1. I need a weekend to listen to my 50+ favorites and using the meridian (I go from the line out directly to my Power Amp with Audioquest wire, then use the Volume on the Foobar2000 program as my Volume control), then I will write a review. 
    I do have a question. I'm not as Technical as many of you (my ears decide) but I don't know the difference between Re samplers (I have DB Poweramp / SSRC and PPHS- is there a difference? - but could download others-  and I have WASAPI and ASIO Foobar USB outputs (push) for the ODAC ver B. (is one or even another: better/worse/different?). A friend showed me how to quickly set up Foobar2000 using WASAPI and the PPHS resampler. I use my USB 3.0 out to the ODAC DAC which I got with RCA outs to go directly into my AMP (the Amp has balanced inputs but I Haven't found a reasonable external DAC with Balanced outs. 
    Glad you had a Thread on the Meridian. I've never participated in a thread before so if this should be posted somewhere else or in a different format, let me know.
    P.S. I believe that this ver. 2 of the Meridian will decode MQA recordings (anyone know where to get them?) but I don't believe it has the up converting technology for compressed and lower res files, like the very expensive unit that I got to listen to at a Demo. If I'm wrong than why have a $299 or less device and a $5000+ one?
  15. sheldaze
    I'm a Mac user, I know nothing about your Windows re-sampler software. Sorry.
    I am curious, what $5000+ unit capable of playing MQA that you heard? Was it also a Meridian product? The Explorer2 is fully capable of MQA decoding, and was for a long while the only product I had heard MQA playback through. It can do quite well when fed a proper power source. My laptop is not good at this, thus I pass through a powered USB hub for critical listening.
    Also, welcome to Head-Fi. Sorry for your wallet - this is only the beginning [​IMG] 
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