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Meridian Explorer² Impressions Thread

Discussion in 'Portable Headphone Amps' started by click, Dec 22, 2014.
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  1. gryffe
    Hi nrbatista.
    Thanks for your reply. I had already tried that but don't think it is working. When I use the network audio player there is music playing back on my speakers, but when I disconnect the DAC it is still playing the music so this suggests to me the music was never playing back via the DAC. I'm probably missing something really obvious! :)
  2. TadMorose
    Does your network player have the ability to connect an external DAC via USB? If not, then it won't work with the Explorer. The alternative is to use your desktop/laptop with the Explorer and connect the DAC to your amp with the cable as described in the post above.
  3. TadMorose
    Funny you should mention Node 2. I am going to buy it today and will compare the sound quality with my Explorer 2 DAC. I have tried connecting my laptop with Explorer 2 to my stereo and the results were good, but not as striking as when using the DAC with my headphones (Sonus faber PRYMA). But that could just be due to my stereo set up (Marantz NR1402 A/V receiver and old PSB Stratus Bronze speakers). So I will try to let you know in a few days.
  4. gryffe
    Hi, the network audio player does have usb, but I could not get the Explorer DAC to replay music. Maybe the USB output on the network audio player is for storage use only?
    So far I can only get the DAC to work when I am playing music that resides on my PC, or by streaming via Tidal, again on my PC. This DAC has so far been unable to play music that is not PC based, eg cannot use via CD player or my Network Audio Player.
    As I say I am probably missing something very basic, can somebody spell out dummy style what I need to do to get the Meridian Explorer 2 DAC to play music via CD etc
    Thanks in advance
  5. nrbatista
    I imagine you have a setup like:
    1. Network Player -> Amplifier -> Speakers
    To use the Explorer 2 on your setup, you will need:
    1. Laptop -> Explorer 2 -> Cable such as this -> Amplifier -> Speakers

    Hope this helps.
  6. gryffe
    Thanks. Yeah your example above is how I have previously attempted to connect the Explorer 2 to amp, and by using that type of cable. But so far no joy.
    This is the back view of my Network player -           https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pioneer-N-30AE-B-Network-Audio-Player/dp/B01LXP49P2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1483979535&sr=8-1&keywords=pioneer+network+audio+player.
    So far just feeding from the output on the Pioneer  network player to the input on my Arcam A19 amp does produce sound as expected, and this is with the Explorer 2 not in the equation. So how do I then introduce the Explorer, what connections should be made between all 3 devices, because so far I cannot work it out successfully?
    Thanks in advance
  7. nrbatista
    With the Explorer 2 you won't have the Network Player on the equation.
    Do the following test, connect the cable that goes from the Explorer 2 to the same input on your Arcam where you're now connecting the Network Player to. Does it work?
    If it works (as it should), then connect the cable coming from the Explorer 2 to another available RCA input on your Arcam and choose that input on the Arcam.
    If this doesn't work, it might be something with the line out output of the Explorer 2.
  8. gryffe

    Hi, thanks for your patience. The test did not work unfortunately, neither part 1 or part 2.
    I am struggling to figure out how it can work, because it looks like the power to the explorer DAC comes from the usb connection to the PC. So does this mean this DAC will only work via the PC?
    Thanks in advance 
  9. nrbatista
    The Explorer 2 is indeed powered by the USB connection. It must be connected to a device that 1) can charge on the USB connection and 2) can use an external DAC. 
    So, the Explorer 2 must be connected to your laptop (*) for it to work as I don't think your Network Player supports point 2) as TadMorose mentioned on an earlier post. The connection on your system should be:
    1. Laptop -> Explorer 2 -> Cable such as this -> Amplifier -> Speakers
    (*) I also managed to connect the Explorer 2 to my Samsung S7.
  10. peterinvan
    You need USB power to the Explorer2.  You  can use the PC USB as the power, or insert a iUSB power supply in the chain.

    My chain is:
    Win7 PC USB2 out > good quality USB cable > iPurifier2 > iFi iUSB power > Explorer2 DAC > split RCA cables > two EL84 SET amplifiers > speakers. 
    This is providing great SQ with MASTER tracks.  Tidal Streaming > DAC setup is Exclusive + Forced Volume + Passthrough.
    With the bi-amped solution, I have "manual" control over the EQ to provide as much brightness as I need for these old ears.
  11. gryffe

    Hi Peter, thanks for reply . Yes I have downloaded the drivers.
    In your chain are the iPurifier2  and  iFi iUSB power >  just sonic improvements, or are they required to get the Explorer dac to work with non PC equipment, eg CD player or Network Audio Player.
    I have been using the exploer DAC with Tidal as you describe and the sound is terrific, my goal is to get the DAC to playback music from other equipment, eg CD player. So far hitting a brick wall, although I'm sure I'm probably just missing something obvious, or have you used the DAC to play back from CD player?
  12. peterinvan
  13. nrbatista

    You need to connect the Explorer 2 to the computer for it to work. There's no other way I'm afraid.
  14. TadMorose
    Your Pioneer network player does not support using external USB DACs. Neither does your CD player, I suspect. Only very high end CD players have the ability to bypass internal DACs, but again they won't work with a USB DAC most likely.
    As mentioned above, Explorer 2 is a USB DAC designed to work only with computers via USB power. Some people have been able to get it to work with smartphones, but that's another story. If you want to use an external DAC with your sources,you'd have to buy more expensive stand alone DAC, e.g. Mytek Brooklyn.
  15. peterinvan
    The iPurifier2  and  iFi iUSB power do provide a sonic improvement by providing cleaner power and USB signals than the output from my iMac 27.  Quite noticeable with the Explorer2 DAC.  Some say the iFi iUSB3 is even better at this task.  This effectively doubles the price of the DAC however. 
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