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Explorer2/MQA review


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Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: RPi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

firedog- do you own one? i want to use it through my mac mini late 2012(i have a spare USB slot) to compare to my Schiit gungnir uber also late 2012/2013 but most of all b/o it's portability to use with my iPad air 2 will it work with it? from what i have read or watched on uTube need a special connector(an apple camera kit??) is that true

am also interested in it's ability to upsample even iTunes library and MQA as Schiit abhors upsampling and has no interest in MQA

thanks

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I have an Explorer2. You can't use the Explorer2 with and iPad or iPhone even with the camera kit unless you use a usb hub because it draws too much power. You get the error "accessory unavailable because it uses too much power".

 

I have read that people have had success plugging in USB hubs inline. This article takes that approach but with a Dragonfly: Dragonfly DAC with iPhone - Update - UofMTiger Tech

 

I use the Explorer2 from my PC and Macbook Pro and it works great. I have played around with some of the sample MQA files and they do seem to sound better. You have to have a bitperfect player to get the MQA light to light up. I'm using Roon.

 

There is also a review in Stereophile.

 

-weld

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weldp- thank you - too bad about it not working with iPad air 2 sort of defeats purpose of 'portability', eh?

i thought i would use it on plane trips to listen to my 'offline' music from Qobuz and Tidal or same in my car connected to aux input as i do now with the iPad(makes sirius sound so sick/bad)

are you sure there is no workaround for using E2 like i want?

the stereophile article was eye opening thanks again-from the article it appears it will drive my sennheiser 598's easily

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Not tried it... But should work with the new Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter - Apple (UK) if you connect an external power supply. Chris reported on this setup recently (sorry not got a link to hand).

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Not tried it... But should work with the new Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter - Apple (UK) if you connect an external power supply. Chris reported on this setup recently (sorry not got a link to hand).

 

HERUS works without external PSU straight with the Lightning Camera Adapter with my iPhone 6... And with USB OTG on my Android devices. Not many DACs can do that.

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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HERUS works without external PSU straight with the Lightning Camera Adapter with my iPhone 6... And with USB OTG on my Android devices. Not many DACs can do that.

 

As Chris pointed out, the new Dragonfly Black and Red do, as well.

 

I'm interested in the Herus / Herus+, but I've heard they really suck battery power from your iPhone / iPad - is that your experience, as well? I'm hearing the new Dragonflys are a lot less taxing that way but, of course, they only support PCM up to 24/96 (no DSD, no DXD).

John Walker - IT Executive

Headphone - MacMini running Roon Server > Netgear Orbi wireless > Blue Jeans Cable Ethernet > mRendu Roon endpoint > iFi Audio xDSD + iFi Audio xCAN > Focal Elegia

Home Theater - Mac Mini running Roon Server > Blue Jeans Cable HDMI > Pioneer Elite SC-81 > MartinLogan Motion series home theater speakers + M&K subwoofer

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I'm interested in the Herus / Herus+, but I've heard they really suck battery power from your iPhone / iPad - is that your experience, as well?

 

I have not noticed anything to complain about or something I wouldn't have expected. For solving power consumption problems, there are those slightly larger devices with built-in batteries like iFi iDSD Nano/Micro. And Chord Mojo, which by the the way is really unrealiable for me with my iPhone 6 to the extent that it is not really usable with it (seems to be extremely sensitive to the USB interface and cable).

 

I'm hearing the new Dragonflys are a lot less taxing that way but, of course, they only support PCM up to 24/96 (no DSD, no DXD).

 

I have not tried those, so I cannot comment much...

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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