Quick contrast: Meridian 508.24 and Jolida JD100A
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arnaud

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First post in a loooong time. Wanted to post impressions about a recent source change: from the Jolida JD100A (with NOS tubes, Mullard CV4004/12AX7) to the Meridian 508.24. Rest of the gear is in the signature ( Grover UR / RSA Stealth / HD650s with Oelhbach).

To keep it short:
- The Jolida is all about midrange. I had got used to this, but switching the source was a revelation. The Jolida excels in the midrange and really does not want to hide the fact!
- In contradiction with the point above, the Jolida seems to boost the bass and highs as if to facilitate low level listening.
- Has a nice, strong bass, but muddy when compared to the Meridian

When switching to the Meridian 508.24:
- The improvement in the bass register jumps at you: tighter, more resolved, but definitely not lean.
- The second drastic change: no more "smearing". I did not notice this when listening to the Jolida exclusively, I actually very much liked its presentation of reverberation, decays and such. But listening to the Meridian was a shock: transients seem to be much better handled, black between the notes, which turns into a more resolved sound. You can easily isolate instruments regardless of the size of the band... And it's all under control no matter what happens.
- Where I was very surprised: the Jolida's highs are harsh at times in comparison to the Meridian. I really thought I had a smooth player with the Jolida, without the typical digital harshness of lower budget players. But well the 508.24, gave me a new definition of what is treble extension without digital harshness...
- Soundstage, although hard to judge with headphones, is better with the Meridian. I guess that's due to the higher resolution, room reverb cues are rendered so cleanly.
- Now the trade-off: the Meridian does not sound quite as lively as the Jolida, it sounds polite, controlled. What you get is a very refined sound, very very smooth, resolved and extended at both ends of the register.

Conclusion:
- The Meridian is a keeper. Some months ago, I thought I was out of this expensive audio hobby, ready to sell it all and just keep an ipod and some nice canalphones. Well, the 508-24 changed it 180 degrees (for the worse says my wallet). I've a got pretty sweet music coming out from my system right now, and foresee a few more years of CD enjoyment!
- But to be fair to the Jolida: at half (or a third if you buy used) the price I got the Meridian for (that is $1500 used), it is a good deal. Differences are definitely there (when using the right amp/headphones), but not to the point of making the JD100A feel ashamed.
 
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recstar24

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very nice clear and concise impressions, i enjoyed the read very much! I went from the Jolida 100a to the Meridian G07, a similar upgrade such as yourself, and my comparo is pretty much right on with yours. I really agree with you about the highs - i thought the highs on the jolida were smooth and non-harsh, but after a while i could sense some grain, some digital nastiness getting in there, that would add up over time and annoy me, the Meridian totally destroyed the jolida in that aspect alone. THe bass could also get one note flabby, like it needed to lose some weight, and the G07 handled the bass very nicely, kept it nice and muscular and rolling along. The midrange the jolida is not too far back, tube players are known for their midranges and the jolida does not dissappoint, but to me and apparenty you the meridian is just in another class in itself.
 
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Xeno7651

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I have owned the 508.24 and Jolida in the past and my experience is mostly inline with yours. Enjoy!!
 
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Nightfall

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You've nailed the differences dead on. Very well done. My compliments.




JC
 
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arnaud

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Thanks for the echos guys,

Since we all converge to the same conclusions, there's got to be some truth to it. It's comforting to realize one's impressions on some gear are shared by others and thus not all made up in one's own head


Arnaud.
 
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