The Prime is a top-class headphone amplifier and a surprisingly talented analogue stereo preamp. Treat the USB DAC section as a nice bonus with a full MQA Renderer and Decoder.
The addition of the Prime Power Supply to this component provides a significant enhancement in audio-performance – it’s like supercharging your car’s engine
The Prime Headphone Amplifier is, at core, a pure analogue product and in designing it Meridian considered four targets:
a) The headphone enthusiast
b) An up-and-coming audiophile who starts with a desktop system
c) A high-performance system owner who wants to add headphone capability (e.g. owners of Meridian 8x8 or any high-end CD/streamer)
d) The extreme audiophile with a penchant for analogue only
Why pure analogue?
To satisfy the target customers Meridian has put their full analogue design skills in the Prime Headphone Amplifier and that is why the USB section powers the digital stages and DAC. In other words, if there is no USB connection then there is no digital circuitry in operation, reducing background noise to its absolute minimum. It would have been ‘natural’ for Meridian to do the volume control and Spatial Processing in DSP but here it is in the analogue domain.
MQA via USB section. Roon Tested
I mainly used it as a pre-amp. The analogue section is extremely good!
I’m going to sell this beauty because my home companions do not like it: not because of it’s beautiful sound, but because it lacks a remote. Grrrrr.
If you want you can come over and listen to it.
The total price of 675 Euro is a ‘pick-up’ price and non negotiable. It excludes costs for delivery etc.