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Meridian Sound

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Many years ago, when I was only a couple years into this hobby, I owned a Meridian 588.24 CD Player.  It had a very pleasing, musical, liquidy sound, while still being fairly detailed and clear.  Then, foolishly, I sold it and have continuosly upgraded to better (i.e. more expensive) players -- Ayre, Emm, Esoteric, etc.  I have also sought out that "sound" in my other equipment, to the extent that equipment has a sound.  In speakers, for example, the Linkwitz Orion, Avalon Eidolon, and Aerial 20T had it.  In headphones, I suppose the Omega 2 and the Sony R10 were the closest I got, although I was a big fan of the HE90 and the HE60.

 

I've been out of the hobby for a while with job moves, work, children, marriage, etc, but now trying to set up a nice headphone system, with the advantage that I've tried most high-end products (or at least up to about 2 years ago), and know generally what I am looking for.  Except this time, it will largely be a computer-based system (naxos music library is amazing!), so I no longer need a high-end CD Player.  It's fun starting from scratch, but somewhat stressful as well.

 

Does anybody have any idea what I'm talking about in terms of "The Meridian Sound" -- or the Avalon sound, for those in the speaker world?  If so, what are some recent components that have that sound.  In particular, is there a DAC, or, even better, a DAC + headamp combo, that would replicate that warmth and richness, without being sugary and bloated (e.g. I was not a big fan of the AudioTechnica L3000/W5000, and while I liked the HD650s, I thought they sometimes suffered from the same flaws)? 

 

And even if you don't have a particular recommendation, but know what I'm rambling about, what was it about the Meridian players that made them sound that way?  Is there a particular chip I should be looking for in my DAC?  A particular buzzword?

post #2 of 6

I do not have a fancy new Meridian, instead I have an older (about 13 years old) 506.20 which works beautifully and sounds very non-digital. The sound is very engaging and "organic", musical is another word that comes to mind. Do not know what you are looking for but many users swear by the 508.24 which is a newer version of the 506. Good luck.

post #3 of 6
you could get an old meridian dac. they are not expensive now. that will give you the sound to use with a different transport. since the dac is the sound. of course newer dacs have far superior specs and many think they sound better. if you want that sound than that is an option if you find one.
post #4 of 6

Once upon a time I sold Meridian.  I do indeed know what you're talking about.  I think it is simply the result of careful circuit design and quality construction and cost no object components.  I'd suggest you give the Bel Canto C5i a look see.

post #5 of 6

Meridian just tends to build gear that sounds clean, clear, supple, naturally warm and sophisticated-sounding.  The true Merdian magic emerges when you run the entire Meridian setup, including their fabulous (and expensive) "digital active" speakers. There's something to be said about manufacturers with that "system" approach.  

 

 

post #6 of 6

I haven't been keeping up with what happen to Meridian since the downfall of DVD audio. They were going multi-channel with music and home cinema. To get the whole Meridian system would cost a fortune but it sounded amazing. I was about to go all out but when everyone else went HDMI and DVD audio failed to take off, it didn't seem like a good idea anymore. No one in their right mind would get the whole Meridian system just for two channel music since they are geared towards multi channel. I gave up at the end but still am using the 500 transport now. I like the Meridian CD player sound. It is very musical.

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