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Meridian Explorer² Impressions Thread

Discussion in 'Portable Headphone Amps' started by click, Dec 22, 2014.
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  1. fredrico58
    It was an ALL Meridian system. I guess you would call the "head end" the Streamer called an 818v3. The system was about $75,000. I will try not to buy but I do find the threads interesting. 
  2. fredrico58
    You were soooo right. I bought 4x Massdrop Items on the first day. I'm in trouble.
    sheldaze likes this.
  3. yage
    If you want to test MQA decoding, you can download some sample files from the 2L high-res test bench. With the Explorer2, all 'lower-res' files are upsampled to 176.4 / 192 kHz (e.g. 44.1 / 88.2 -> 176.4, 48 / 96 -> 192).
    I'm sure (ok, well cautiously optimistic) that the $5k streamer has better parts quality and design than what is possible with a device that sells for $300.
  4. fredrico58
    So thanks to this Site, I now will have AKG K7xx Red Edition on ear Headphones on their way, HiFiMan RE00 in ears, a Centrance Dacport Slim and I bought an open box Fiio Alpen 2 E17K. I use headphones almost exclusively while traveling (or when my wife is sleeping), so I never put the Importance on them However, I can't have outstanding music in my listening rooms through speakers (Martin Logans and Genelecs) and have total crap when I use Headphones. So now at least I have both on Ear and in ear headphones that are decent and closed back (for Flights) but with decent DAC/Amps. the Objective 2+ODAC Rev B for home Headphone use and the Fiio for travel. I will use my ODAC Rev B with my Genelecs (what it lacks in Dynamics, they provide) and my new Meridian Explorer2 with my Classe' DR15 and Martin Logan Quest Z's in my main Listening room. They are awesome. I've used the Sony Hap-S1 (DAC / Amp with a built in HD) the NAD D3020 (while Sony was in the shop) and am now using the ODAC ver B. It creates so much better spacing than the Sony but significantly less dynamics (I'm hoping the Meridian Explorer2 will help but it might be my "head End" as in setting up my Foobar2000 correctly (this is NOT an area of expertise for me). I would welcome any help with Windows 10 (Dell Intel i% 6th Gen, 1 TB SSD Drive and 8 GB Ram) and the Foobar2000, if anyone out there can guide me. Thanks.
    P.S. I just joined Head-Fi, last night. 
  5. fredrico58
  6. fredrico58
    Is there any Rock, Blues, Folk or Country? I can't find it.
  7. Pedro Dixon
    Dragonfly Red is awesome. I own one with a Mojo and you may be shocked how close the AQ Red gets to the Mojo. The gap is a small one and not something I expected. 
  8. fredrico58
    Is there any general agreement on this or one man's opinion? What ancillary equipment (source, Headphone, Speakers etc.. do you use?). Have you heard any MQA recordings yet?
  9. yage
    I can only speak to the Explorer 2 vs the DragonFly v1.2. I owned both for a short amount of time and preferred the Explorer 2. I thought it sounded more refined and had a more expansive soundstage. Both weren't really suited as a source for a speaker set up, in my opinion. I also thought the addition of an AudioQuest JitterBug helped the Explorer 2 sound better (deeper, punchier bass and more fleshed out midrange).
    The Chord Mojo seems to be the next logical step up in both price and sound quality. It's definitely bigger than either the Explorer 2 or the DragonFly, but I feel it can serve both as a portable solution as well as a standalone DAC for stereo duty.
    I've also A/B'd plain PCM vs. MQA using the free downloads from 2L and preferred the plain PCM version every time. I found the PCM version to sound warmer and fuller (more analog, if you will) than the equivalent file in MQA encoding. However, your personal taste may lead you to conclude the opposite and I wouldn't blame you if it did.
  10. fredrico58
    Ok, so now that I'm questioning everything! Has anyone compared the Audioquest DragonFly Red, Apogee Groove, Schiit Modi 2 Uber (or others), ODAC rev. B etc...  Also in combination separating the Dac and Amps? What about with an Audioquest Jitterbug USB filter?
    I can't buy them all!!! Any help?
  11. fredrico58
  12. yage
    You might want to PM @sheldaze - he's listened to and/or owned most of what you listed.
  13. fredrico58
    I bought the Jitterbug and put the Chord Mojo on my saved list. Will start listening! This site could cost me a fortune!
  14. sheldaze
    Actually was just getting back to my computer, but you might not like my conclusion. There are always going to be subtle differences between each of the options. I found Apogee Groove interesting enough to keep. I'm planning to upgrade from Explorer 2, so I'm still keeping some of the Meridian "house" sound in the upgrade. Mojo, as @yage mentioned, really should not be judged on its size. I found it more competitive with much higher grade gear.
    But my conclusion - pick one. Almost any one of the modern USB DAC/AMP is going to serve you quite well! Then, when you're ready, upgrade to a desktop solution. There really is a lot of delta between a desktop and a USB DAC/AMP solution. That's where the biggest change is, in getting A/C power coming from a wall. Otherwise you're just playing with small deltas from one to another.
  15. fredrico58
    Thank you, again.
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