The Electrocompaniet. I haven't heard but one Chord and I have heard a few Electros. The Electro brought me closer to the music.
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I have owned a 502 for 5 years. It has been a great purchase. I have tried many pre-amps - most far more expensive but the 502 has remained. I have tried the 502 with a Chord SPM600 and it was not a good match. The corresponding Chord pre-amp CPA2200? was a far better match. IMO the Chord preamps are better than the power amps. As far as matching power amps to the 502, last year I auditioned many power amps and ended up with a Musical Fidelity A308CR. This is a good combo. The slightly forward nature of the MF makes up for a very slight darkness in the Meridian. You will get real body, weight and clarity in the sound.