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Meridian Explorer² Impressions Thread

Discussion in 'Portable Headphone Amps' started by click, Dec 22, 2014.
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  1. Geraffe
    Mine works from the Windows app. Blue and only one white LED lights up.
    Rumours sounds fabulous [​IMG] 
  2. mcmurray
    Am I correct in saying that the Tidal desktop app handles MQA decoding, so no extra hardware or software is required?
  3. nrbatista

    No, unfortunately you'll need a MQA decoder such as the Meridian Explorer 2 for that.
  4. mcmurray
    I think you're mistaken.
  5. nrbatista
  6. pkcpga

    Tidal told me the MQA or master is only available on desktop windows computers right now and will not work on any mobile device right now. Tidal is planning on a future release to use with Mac's and mobile devices, but they told me there is no release date for this yet. Tidal also stated that their is no way to play MQA Tidal without a MQA compatible dac but you can still play master quality which is better mastered than hifi, with better timing according to tidal. Bluesound 2 devices are all MQA compatible if you use one.
  7. peterinvan

    Does this mean that MASTER is not MQA, but rather Tidal's software decoding MQA to ... What?
  8. pkcpga

    No response from Tidal on what exactly master is when not playing into a MQA compatible dac, so your guess is as good as mine. Just that it's not the same as MQA unless it's from a computer not mobile device connected to an MQA compatible dac.
  9. salavat
    After TIDAL announced MQA content availability, I ordered ME 2. Have a few questions:
    1) Is ME 2 capable enough to drive LCD-2? I have O2 amp which can do the job in case ME2 is not powerful..
    2) HD800 probably out of the question?? In my case, only Beta 22 balanced was able to drive them properly (IMHO).
    3) This ongoing topic - Mojo vs ME2 - with availability of MQA albums, how you compare them (finally :) )?
  10. peterinvan
    I am listening to Tidal MASTER tracks (pass through to my Explorer2 ).  Headphone out  > LCD2F. 
    Windows7 > Tidal app.    Sounds fine.  At 75% volume it becomes uncomfortable!
    My favorite is using the E2 line out to drive my bi-amped speaker rig!
    Having fun after waiting all year for this.
  11. TadMorose
    The latest version of the TIDAL desktop app can decode MQA on its own, so you don't need an MQA capable DAC. But all you get is 96kHz/24-bit max. If you have an MQA capable DAC, like ME², you can disable TIDAL's decoding by selecting Passthrough MQA in the Settings for the DAC inside the desktop app. With this you may get higher resolutions on some albums. For example, Black Sabbath - Mob Rules lights up all three LEDs on my ME² with the first one being blue, which means it's 192kHz/24-bit.
    Mojo777 and nrbatista like this.
  12. pkcpga
    Playing mqa direct can get you up to 24/352.8 using my meridian ultra dac so using a mqa dac definitely makes a difference. So far I really like mqa, getting dsd sound quality out of a reasonable sized file.
  13. Stig Dragholm
    I am new to this forum, and write here for the first time after having read through this entire thread. I like how dedicated people here share their best practises and experiences with each other, and I would like to hear if I can receive good advise from you too to help me decide whether or not to buy this Explorer 2 as many of you speak highly of.
    I have a Bluesound Node 2 DAC/headphone amplifier/music streamer connected to TIDAL Hifi, which I use both for my HD 650 headphones and Holfi amplifiers and sonair speakers, which I have been very satisfied with, and then, the other day, I was surprised seeing this new logo on the Bluesound app saying that it was a MQA file playing, when I was hearing Fleetwood Mac – as I now see it is too when playing Pink Floyd :) - and I could hear just how good it sounded, but I did not know what this MQA format was about, so I had to Google it and read up on it, which made me understand that Bluesound have updated it's players making them able to decode the MQA format, so it has come automatically to me, and it also led me here and to this thread, so now my question is if this Explorer 2 DAC brings a better sound quality/stage than the Bluesound Node 2 and if it would worth for me to have as a supplement to my existing set up (I am also thinking of using it for my phone and for sound sources not included on Bluesound)?
    I read this review of the Explorer2 from May 2016 on Stereophile – any comments to this passage? “When I first plugged in the Explorer2 and started listening, I worried that it couldn't play loud enough. It was plenty loud with most headphones and most recordings, and in quiet environments; but for the best recordings, which tend to have many quiet passages and lower average volume levels, the maximum volume through my HD 650s was probably too low. Then, in February, there came a firmware update—subsequent to which the maximum volume was much louder. Problem solved (and isn't it cool that such a thing can be done?).” - I have not noticed anyone of you speaking of this firmware update in relation to HD 650's and similar phones. 
    I hope to be receiving your advise, and I thank you for your kind attention :)
  14. gryffe
    Hi, have had this for a few days now and am mainly using it in tandem with Tidal Masters streaming service. It sounds terrific considering it only cost me £129 from Amazon. Previously I used an Arcam irDAC to listen to music on my PC (hooked up to my hi-fi) and initial impressions are that it is at least the equal of that DAC when listening to streamed music, but when listening to MQA files on Tidal it is even better, in fact absolutely sensational. Particularly with albums such as Remain In Light by Talking Heads, Being There by Wilco, LA Woman by The Doors and Station to Station by Bowie.
    My only regret is that as far as I am aware I can only use this DAC with my PC, and cannot use this it with my CD player or with my Pioneer Network Audio player, or am I wrong and there is a way to hook it up to my hifi equipment somehow?
  15. nrbatista
    Hello, you can connect the Explorer 2 directly to your amplifier, skipping the network audio player. Just use a 3.5mm to RCA cable adapter from the line out of the Explorer 2 into an available RCA input on your amplifier.
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