Meridian 588: It's the real deal!
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davidmiya

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I recently purchased a used Meridian 588 on Audiogon, the famed predecessor of the GO8. I figured that now would be the best time to buy because all the high-end audiophiles are selling their 588's to make room for the new GO8. Well, since I won't be affording the GO8 anytime within the next 10 years, I'm perfectly happy with this. And at $2300, ($500 less than the price of a GO7) it was a deal.

I'm currenlty waiting for money to free up so that I can buy some nice Stax phones. However, for the time being, I have a lowly Meta42 and some ER-4S's. My previous rig included a Pioneer DV-47Ai as a transport and a Bel Canto DAC2. I really did like that combo because it was very dynamic resolved details fairly well. However, I believe that there were some things that could have been better.

First of all, the soundstage was big, but not "cavernous." If, my transport/DAC combo was like a small recital hall, the Meridian 588 is like a cathedral. It's easy to decipher the layers of music and the depth of tonality. Small reverb is now big reverb. When I first tried the player the analogy that struck me first was that of decompression after a long airplane ride. It was as if my ears had been "un-stuck" and I could suddenly hear like I should have.

Secondly, the sound is smooth as butter. The Bel Canto DAC2 was pretty smooth, but you could still hear the tiniest bit of grain. This was not enough to detract from it's sound a lot, but I felt that it was enough to take the magic away from the music. Now, it feels like I'm listening to vinyl. It's not quite as smooth as my vinyl rig, but close enough for redbook CD playback.

Oh, and nobody said that this player doesn't have bass. Does it have a booming thumping bass? Well, no... The bass is however the sound engineers recorded it to be. The bass on songs with unbalanced tonality will sound unbalanced. Similarly, a well-recorded CD will sound perfectly in balance. The Meridian 588 tells it how it is and adds very little.

Speaking of what the Meridian 588 adds. It is a slightly "warm" player in that the presentation isn't so neutral that it's sterile. While the balance seems to be fine, I am detecting a certain richness. My current theory is that it's exphasizing under and overtones that other players tend to miss. I'm not sure yet, but more listening will probably reveal a truer character.

At any rate, if you've got $2300 lying around and can't afford the GO8, jump on the Meridian boat with the 588 because it's everything that everyone says it is. I'm not extolling this player simply because it gets rave reviews or because it's MINE. If it sounded bad, I would definitely say so. But, I'd be lying if I said that it sounded anything short of phenomenal.

Here's a pic. It looks exactly the same as less expensive models, but it what's INSIDE that counts


 
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tortie

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Looks like you got a steal there for $2300
When's the next upgrade?


Quote:

Originally Posted by davidmaya
However, for the time being, I have a lowly Meta42 and some ER-4S's


What happend to your HD650 & Stealth?
 
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nanahachi

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wow, congrats david!

thanks for the impressions, it sounds like a great match to what I'm looking for (if I had the cash)...actually, no thanks! you're just reinforcing my interest in Meridian players, but I'm in no place to buy one!

enjoy it, man. hopefully you'll get your hands on some Stax soon.
 
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Edwood

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Now if only Meridian would store the cd tracks it rips, processes, and stores in a memory buffer on a hard drive.

If any company could do it, Meridian could. I know "Meridian Jukebox" doesn't sound snobby audiophile, but imagine being able to have your cake and eat it too.


Yeah, and what happened to your Stealth?

-Ed
 
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agile_one

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Thanks for the great post, davidmiya, and congrats on your new 588.

I was very keen to read your impressions as a Meridian 588 will be arriving at my house next wed. Your impressions jive very well with all I have seen written about this player, but it is great to have first hand observations from a fellow Head-Fi'er.

I think I the 588 will be making my ears very happy


<edit> spelling </edit>
 
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gpalmer

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As another 588 owner -> Welcome to the club, it's a great player.
 
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ipodstudio

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Congrats indeed!! I came very close to getting a 508.24 after reading great things about it here, but ended up opting for the Arcam.
 
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ServinginEcuador

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Congrats on getting the awesome CDP David. It's always nice to see another person invest into a source, and especially rewarding when it pays off by sounding so great. Enjoy the new tunes man!
 
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Gopher

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sweeeet! Even though I'm a little lower in the chain then you, I can whole heartedly say Meridians rule!

My 508 benefitted greatly using Aurios & Tripple points. Are you using any isolation devices?
 
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Slimm

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Congrats man, it was the bast audio purchase I've made yet. I can't get over how good it is.


You'll love it for a Loooooong Time.
 
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reynman

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davidmiya,

My poor little 507 whimpers at the site of its bigger brother.

Congrats!

Regards - reynman
 
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Ph34rful

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Does anyone else find that absolutely hideous looking?
On the plus side I bet it sounds incredible...
 
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Orpheus

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i noticed the faceplate says "24-bit"....... how's that? are they referring to HDCD's or what?

(and yeah... to me they look about 10 years outdated. i wouldn't buy it on looks, that's for sure. but for the price, it better perform.)
 
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tortie

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Ph34rful
Does anyone else find that absolutely hideous looking?
On the plus side I bet it sounds incredible...



:raises hand:


I wouldn't care much about the looks if it sounds great though. Im hoping to own one in the future.
 
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tk_suki

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Ph34rful Does anyone else find that absolutely hideous looking?

--------------------
Yeah, the G08 looks much better.


If I must marvel at the hardware prefer to oggle at the Stealth and the TT.


But close your eyes and you can see the music.
 
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