Meridian 508.20 or Wadia 830 or Wadia 301????

Hello folks

Well, what to do??

Not heard the Meridian stuff at all, but heard lot's of top Wadia, but not the budget player 830 or 301.

Well, I'm planning to buy a really nice CDP suited for my TAD horn system at a time.

For you who do not know this stuff, I must say that I need a very very snooth sounding CDP analog sound. The sound must be as huge as possebly with good bass respons.

I need no upfront sound or details!!! This is horns!!!

I've seen that some people out there compare Meridian 508.20 with Levinson sound which I like.

Any advise, let me know. Please notice again that sound should be big, maybe a bit bold, smooth smooth and palpable.

thanks for any time you might use on this question.

I have a 508.24, wouldn't part with for anything. Both brands are very high quality. I have heard the 830 a while back. I chose the Meridian based on its ability to produce analog like warmth with great dynamics. I would not agree that the Meridian sounds like Levinson. The Levinson is more like the Krell, drier sounding than Meridian, but with good dynamics and detail. I don't you can lose with any of these three, in fact go for the best deal, given they are all in at least 8 condition.
With the Wadia's you don't necessarily need a preamp. The Wadia have a digital volume control and a switchable level output which helps matching the input sensitivities to power amps or preamps. I have a Wadia 301 and found feeding it direct into a pair of Jeff Rowland 201s provides very appealing transparcency and clarity.
Hello again

Thanks for your time so far.

Yes I know about the Wadia digital output level. Let me tell about what I allready had listen to. I have a Krell KRS-2 for preamp...

Wadia 861/860/850/26/27ix


Parasound CDP-2000

Krell old top maschines, can not remember the models name

Audio Note stuff a lot

Of this I like the CEC stuff incl Parasound a lot for it's smooth handling, however, bass responce is muddy and clumsy

The Krell I liked a lot (after modification!), but I need more sweetness

The Wadia stuff I liked all, but I'm not willing to spend more than 2000$ and I prefer a lot less honestly..

So, I'll might go for the CEC and upgrade it, but question goes on the Meridian 508.20/24 which seems to have some of what I need for my system or/and Wadia 830 (not heard it!) and Wadia 301 as I have no reference at.

Some claims the the Wadia 301 is very detailed, but a bit thin compared with ealier models.

I'm aware that digital is very hard to get sound great and at least at no nodest price tag.

I also prefer digital to have at least 16 times oversampling as Wadia and Krell, and dsp as well

I can not find anything about the Meridian at this issue, only 24 bit/192 etc, what do I care , I have a Cambridge with same spec's and it sounds very modest really..




You know, you just might consider the Jolida 100 for well under a $1000. Talk about musical sweetness. I got one for a second all tube based system and when I directly compared it to the Meridian, I have to say, it comes darn close in terms of sonic quality, perhaps lacking just a little bit on the dynamic range side of things, but very sweet musically and very satisfying. For me a real keeper and possibly the best value out there for an under $1K CDP.

I'd look for an old DPA T-1 transport and PDM 2 dac OR an Apogee DA1000E-20 with a Theta Data Basic II transport.

This combos will give you what you're looking for.
If you do decide on the Meridian, definitely go for the 508.24 over the .20. The 24 is the better sounding unit, IMHO.
Hello everybody

So much thanks for your time. I'll go for the recommendation of member Stevecham and go for the best deal. I've decided for Meridian 508.20 or the 24 bit. Or/and Wadia for a good price. Maybe a Theta Basic as well since I've heard the Pearl with Wadia 27ix and that was very convincing IMO.

Thanks a lot, Tadman
I might be chiming in a bit late here, but this is what I'd suggest. Find a Meridian 506.20 which can be picked up used for well under a grand. I listened to quite a few machines and settled on it because of it's ease and warmth. Great detail and air without being etched, bottom end is tight without being overpowering. If you feel like it's too warm, I've read posts at several different forums indicating that upgrading it to 506.24 tones down the warmth and trumps up detail and bass. Just my two cents.

Curious though, if you already picked something up, what did you go for?
Well, subtracting all the voodo and whether you want the sound accurate, or if you like colored, its funny but I will tell you this, a Merridian is like being 10 rows back, and sounds nice, but have found the Older Wadias to be superior as it is very full and you are like in the 2nd row... extremly dynamic and bass that will punch you thru the backwall, but this may not be desired, I love it, I like the juice and I use the Wadia on Horns... Beyond that Krell does not turn me on at all, very anylitical in comparison and so is Mark levinson to some extent but better. This is my experiance so don't kill me for it.. Absolutly agree that the 16 Bit machines far outshine most of the 24 bit machines in natural musicallity overall, why ?? who knows, maybe because the KISS theory comes to play(keep it simple stupid, I am a CD I understand one language, but you can throw a machine at me that can speak chinese too and it will not make a difference) again Just my experiance... Now the Upfront sound may be in-part to the fact WADIA uses a 4volt output even on the single ended which is I believe the pro audio standard vs. the 2volt home audio standard, so of course this will give a stronger volume at double the output, but most Balanced output machines put 4 volt out as well I think not just Wadia so this may not apply if you are using Balanced connections. Merridian I believe is a standard 2volt out at the single end jacks so this could be different results in the end from the gain in your pre-amp. Sorry for so much on this but in the end my vote is Wadia, and they are truly much harder to come by in the price you are looking for, but you will find many merridians for sale all the time and are quite a bit cheper in general, so maybe that means something, no offense to the merridian owners they are good machines.