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Meridian Explorer² Impressions Thread

Discussion in 'Portable Headphone Amps' started by click, Dec 22, 2014.
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  1. m0rancharles
    - Just gotta throw this in here -
     
    I WAS very happy with my E2, until sharp static pops started shooting through my headphones. One of my computer's USB ports started getting screwy, so I'm not blaming it for the issue, but I returned and got a wall powered DAC because I don't want something that can't RESOLVE that issue, possibly leading to damaging my other equipment. Overreaction? Maybe. Solvable with a USB voltage regulator? Almost definitely. But between that and not having a dedicated RCA out... eh.
     
  2. Noobzilla
    Update regarding using REGEN with my E2.
     
    After more testing, I would say that the new Pangea AG cables was the culprit in causing some downgrade in sound quality and not the REGEN! I assumed it would be better than the stock REGEN USB cables, but I was wrong. I am very surprised!
     
    male - male USB to Mini B adapter just arrived today. This is my current set-up and I'm happy to say that I do hear improvement (at least for my personal taste). 
     
    Laptop >> USB B adapter  >> REGEN >> USB mini adapter >> E2
     
    Alex from Uptone recommended to use an adapter for the best sound. I will do more testing tonight to see whether there's difference between the USB adapter vs stock USB cable that came with the E2 vs 1.5m Amazon cable.
     
  3. Noobzilla
    Received my MQA-enabled E2 today. MQA sounds amazing! The extra money I paid for to get a legit E2 is definitely worth it. The jump in audio quality from Tidal Hifi to Tidal Masters (MQA-enabled) is like switching from Spotify Premium to Tidal HiFi. I am quite impressed!
     
    Quick update on my REGEN and USB cables/adapter test. I forgot to test my Amazon cable, but between the adapter and E2 stock USB cable, I prefer the E2 stock cable. I seem to lose some detail from the adapter that Uptone recommended me in a similar way that the Pangea cable does to my set-up. Funny how I find the supposedly "upgrades" to be worse. 
     
    After another 3-4 hours of testing today, it's hard to tell whether REGEN really improves the sound quality since I'm getting into the subjective territory. It's not as obvious as upgrading from, say Spotify to Tidal. The REGEN does, however, change the sound signature a little bit and makes my E2 sound slightly warmer in a sense that some instruments sound fuller and less fatiguing, but lose a little bit of separation. Whether it's worse or better will depend on preference. Unfortunately, I do not have much experience listening to different instruments in person, so I'm not sure if the warmer sound is more or less representative of how the different instruments actually sound like.
     
  4. bobbmd
    Sorry to disagree I only get all three white lights on my new ME2 when playing through A2+ ver 2.6.6-I have never got a blue light either when playing MQA MASTERS or my own MQA MASTERS made playlists. Through the TIDAL desktop app or through ROON I do get the blue light and one or two white lights or just a blue light. A2+ doesn't unfold or pass through MQA yet so how can you possibly get a blue light on your DAC when playing A2+???
    bobbmd
     
  5. salavat

    You have to play around with Audirvana v.2 Audio device settings. Somehow it does play MQA stream with blue lights on my Mac.
     
  6. canthearyou
    Dang! I went and bought the E2 and UAPP only to find out the E2 doesn't work with android. I should've checked this thread first.
     
  7. shamu144
    I have received the meridian explorer 2 very recently, and I am really enjoying it. I have been quite floored with regards to the sound quality delivered on some MQA albums (using Tidal desktop app on windows). The separation of instruments, soundstage, tonality were outstanding. What maybe I find a bit lacking is power to drive high impedance headphone. I had a Beyer DT250-250 and I am returning it to get the 80 ohms version instead. Great little device. I look forward to spending more hours with it !
     
  8. WhiteKnite
    Actually it should work, you'll just need a power bank.  
     
  9. chaturanga
     
    It works with Android + UAPP. I am able to play MQA Tidal tracks with latest UAPP update. 
     
  10. chaturanga
     
    As @WhiteKnite said, you need a powerbank or another source to power up Meridian Explorer 2, in case if your phone is not able to give enough power to boot up. It seems some phones are capable of this some are not. For example you can check following video, guy powers up ME2 by his cell phone through a USB OTG cable connected to ME2 USB cable. 
     
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ToyOuxBmPZQ
     
    It seems your phone is not able to power it up such way, If the case is that. So you need:
     
    1- A Mini USB to USB (USB 2.0 or 3.0) Y Split cable. You can look around, probably will find one in old cables. Generally external USB 2.0 harddisks comes with this cable, or external CD-DVD players etc..
    2- An OTG cable one side is micro USB (or USB-C depending on your phones port) the other is full size USB (2.0 or 3.0)
    3- A powerbank or other device to power up ME2, such as USB port of a computer, USB wall charge adapter etc.. all will work
     
    Now, 
     
    Connect Meridian Explorer 2 to Mini USB of Y Split cable, 
    Connect OTG cable to your phone
    Connect Main USB male of Y-Split cable to the OTG cables USB Female  
    Connect the other USB male of Y-Split cable to the USB port of powerbank, computer, etc..
     
    And now your ME2 will powerup, your UAPP application will shine up and will tell Heeeyy here is a DAC to use :) (You can set this from UAPP settings I think, to start application if an external DAC connects to the phone)
     
    I also notice that after some minutes, if I disconnect power cable from powerbank (or computer bla bla) ME2 continues to work! I think this is because capacitances inside the ME2 charges fully and after that time phone is being able to juice Meridian.  
     
    Now set the things from UAPP to use External DAC, make sure Bit Perfect is selected.
     
    Find some MQA albums from Tidal PC application, create a playlist from them. Enter Tidal username and password through UAPP, open the playlist and Enjoy MQAs! Enjoy blue light and whatever light there is :)
     
  11. chaturanga
     
    You can now enjoy MQAs from phone too. By the way you are right DAC is fabulous but I have read that AMP is not so much powerful to drive high impedance headphones. I am using an external amp for this if I need. But I don't need normally. 
     
  12. canthearyou
    Thanks for the replies! The E2 powers up and actually outputs sound. The problem is when I enable "Use USB DAC" I get an error saying one isn't present. If I enable use Android it plays at HiFi quality only even though it's source is 24bit(MQA).

    Will adding power allow this to work?

    I am using a Note 5.
     
  13. chaturanga
     
    Now,
     
    That means you could power up directly from Note 5 right? 
     
    I have similar issue when I connect via Y Split cable + Powerbank setup. At first try, UAPP can not find the device, then I am removing power cable and reconnecting this time it finds. You should try this method to confirm if you don't have other problem. 
     
    And one more thing, did you update ME2 firmware by downloading update file from Meridian web site? It's necessary to play MQAs properly. 
     
  14. canthearyou

    I will try that when I get home. I was able to play MQA through desktop app using the same E2.
     
  15. chaturanga
     
    If you could see blue light on your ME2, that means it is working as expected and playing MQA properly. But if it plays but only getting a white light that means it needs update or track is not MQA.
     
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