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Meridian Explorer² Impressions Thread

Discussion in 'Portable Headphone Amps' started by click, Dec 22, 2014.
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  1. yage
    The Mojo sounds good with 16 bit files. That's what I mainly used when I listened to it. I also have some 24/192 and 24/96 albums from HDtracks and those sounded good on the Mojo as well. My take on the Mojo is that it's a fairly forgiving DAC, so there's not a whole lot of recordings that *won't* sound good on the Mojo.
    fredrico58 likes this.
  2. sheldaze
    I do not want your opinion.
    I want to know if you have heard the Yggdrasil.
  3. Noobzilla
    Sad day for me. Meridian told me that the unit I bought was apparently stolen and thus it does not qualify for warranty or replacement with an MQA-enabled unit. I would have to pay $80 + $10 shipping if I want it replaced by an official unit. :frowning2: Too darn broke for that especially since I'm back to school. :frowning2:
  4. waveSounds
    Works fine powered straight from my S7, even if the volume is on the quiet side. I've downloaded all my songs in 320 quality but all three lights come on during playback... I can't comment on the battery impact yet because I've literally just plugged it in.
  5. g4747
    I'm facing a problem using Meridian Explorer 2 and foobar.
    I have ASIO drivers installed.
    When playing with foobar, whenever I select from preferences ---- playback ---- output ---- devices the "ASIO: Meridian USB2 ASIO driver" option, I have only one led on and the other two are off.
    If I select "DS: Primary Sound Driver" then all three are on.
    Any ideas how to use ASIO and having all three on?

    Also, same thing (only one led on) happens when using the suggested 16/44.1 quality from windows settings. Only when I select 24/19.2 I get all three on.
    Any ideas on that too?
  6. sheldaze
    I am unfamiliar with Foobar2000 - I have used it only in basic mode, default settings. See here for more details on proper Foobar2000 setup:
    However, I am quite familiar with the Meridian products having used Explorer, Explorer2, Director, and Prime. And majority of the time, they display the 1 LED because I'm playing 16/44.1 music. And that's correct! Particularly in the newer products (everything newer than the original Explorer) there is proprietary processing that occurs internally, and works most likely better than the algorithms embedded in Foobar2000 to upsample (this is when you see the 3 LED lights, and you are not playing high resolution audio).
    In short, I am suggesting that when you see 1 LED, that is more than likely the correct setting.
  7. g4747
    I thought that when I saw three leds on, meant that upsampling was working.
    So, there is no indication of that, I just have to use the lowest windows quality in order to let meridian do the job.
    If that's true, that's ok, it actually answers my question about ASIO driver too (thanks for the link, will read it through).
    I'll use it as it is.

    Also, I tried to figure out if Meridian suggests using the windows audio setting that is suggested in this thread (16/44.1) but the users manual mentions just "select the appropriate".
    So, that means that I have to change the quality each time, to match my source files?
    Or leaving that on 16/44.1 doesn't have anything to do with the final audio quality as Explorer will upsample it anyway?
  8. sheldaze
    I'm just not that familiar with Foobar2000 - I think it adjusts the audio appropriately, to match the sample rate of the audio being fed through. So you should not have to do anything when using higher resolution. There are some free tracks from sites such as HDtracks and 2L, which you can download and trial. In fact, I used 2L to try out the new MQA. On my Prime, I see a 4th light. On Explorer2, I think one of the lights changes to blue.
  9. g4747
    I was misunderstood, sorry for not expressing myself clearly.
    I mean, without taking foobar into account, typically, do I have to change the audio quality windows setting to match my audio files or it's ok to leave it at the lowest 16/44.1 setting?
    Meridians user manual just mentions to select the "appropriate" audio quality.
    Taking into account that the explorer will upsample the sound anyway, it makes sense to me to just have always on the lowest setting. But is that correct?

    When playing a higher resolution file, even with 16/44.1 setting, you get more than one light, is that correct?
    I can confirm blue for MQA.
  10. sheldaze
    That is what I do on my Mac. I default the audio to the lowest 16/44.1. Then when I use an audio program (something like Foobar2000) it will detect and take control of the Meridian. At 88/96 showing two lights. At 174/192 displaying three lights.
    Correct [​IMG]
  11. g4747
    Confirmed with HDtracks samples.
    Keeping it at 16/44.1 is the way to go.
    Although I don't hear any difference if I choose the highest quality windows setting.
  12. stuck limo
    Can you post a pic showing the Meridian next to the S7 for size comparison? Looking into getting something for my S7.
  13. waveSounds
    I wouldn't go for the Explorer² tbh. It requires too much power itself to output a decent volume.
    I have, however, just ordered a DragonFly Black that will turn up tomorrow. I'll drop back in with some pics and initial impressions.
  14. waveSounds
    Forget that; it's not a Meridian problem, it's an Android issue as I discovered when playing around with the DragonFly. Needed to use USB Audio Player PRO (UAPP) to access either DACs' internal volume controls.
    Some pictures for size comparisons.
    The DragonFly is obviously smaller and more portable, however the Explorer² doesn't get anywhere near the level of amplification of that from the DFB. That being said, the Explorer² is better. The Black is good, very good, but the Meridian is better at everything apart from the level of amplification. Everything I've listened to sounds more refined, more natural, and less... digital. I haven't got the audiophile vernacular to describe the finer differences but if I had to choose just one to keep it would be an easy choice; the Explorer.
    Tomorrow I'll run a few battery tests on my S7 with both of them to see if the DragonFly draws noticeably less power, and if it doesn't it will leave me considering if I need to keep it at all.
  15. theveterans
    That's why I avoid cheap ESS Sabre implementations. They sound too hyped and digital. The good ESS Sabre implementation that sounds natural, less digital cost a lot of money such as Gustard X20 or Matrix X-Sabre. My first external DAC that me settled for a long time was the Explorer 1 since made me realize that a DAC should sound natural and harsh-free. Explorer's limitation is only that it's not as resolving as other expensive portable DACs costing 2X its price range.
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