Meridian 808.2 CD Player......

If anyone has listened to or owns this player - your opinions would be appreciated .....
I have not but HIFICRITIC has done extensive reviews on it. They are not on line as it takes no ads and depends on mag sales but with an investment of this magnitude I would order the relevant back issue or issues. I can't give more info as my copies were destroyed by my basement flood and I am in the process of ordering replacements. I have purchased several things that I could not hear myself on the basis of their tests and am yet to be disappointed.
Stereophile's John Atkinson reviewed it

It has different digital filtering (apodizing digital filter). John Atkinson named it the best player he ever heard (it better be for $16k)
.....thanks guys - but looking for someone who has listend to this player or who owns one - somebody out there has to own one of these !!!!
I own a Meridian 808.2. I bought it a couple of months ago. While I listened to, and compared it to, a few other players, I did not attempt to listen to a wide variety of other CD players. A home audition of the Meridian (and two other players) sold me on the 808.2. In addition to the apodising filter (which really does make poorly recorded CDs sound better), I was (and continue to be) favorably impressed by the soundstage it throws. I have a very difficult room (there is no side wall for the left speaker; there is instead a large opening into another room). I had bought a preamp with balance controls because of that problem. But on many of my CDs the Meridian's soundstage is good enough to render a balance control unnecessary. After getting the Meridian, I sold my preamp and bought a better one without a balance control.
My major complaint regarding the Meridian is that its fixed output is set at a high level. I suppose that that was done in order to achievce an optimal signal to noise ratio for the Meridian. But it does mean that in fixed output mode you will get a very high volume level if you crank up your preamp. The Meridian, however, does have a variable output mode, with volume controlled by the remote. That is primarily intended to allow the Meridian to be connected directly to an amp, with volume controlled by the CD player. I didn't experiment to see how well that may work on a preamp, since my new preamp has remarkable signal to noise ratios at virtually all volume settings.
the Meridian was amongst the player I auditioned extensively while looking for a new CDP.All I can say is that it is amongst the best I have heard;What do I like about it?

1.Very uncolored sound;you get a very coherent player top to bottom,maybe tilted ever so slightly on the 'warmer'sound..

2.Transparent with lots of low level details with soudstage to die for.

What I strongly do not like about the Meridian

1.The transport.It reminds me of my car CD player;though how they managed to get such wonderful sound from such 'flimsy' transport is beyond my comprehension.

2.Doesn't play SACD.

In the end I ended up with the dcs Puccini.It was quite an easy choice in the end,because to my Ears the Puccini was distinctively superior sonically with every regards[I am talking about redbook Cd playback,not Meridian CD vsPuccini SACD}.
Fafafion is right. Forget what John Atkinson said about dcs and meridian. It is the red book performance what makes puccini so special.(I prefer redbook over Sacd) Plus you always get it upgraded by dCS. But not the Meridian!
"Forget what John Atkinson said about dcs and meridian. It is the red book performance what makes puccini so special"

Meridian 802.2 is not SACD player. John Atkinson was talking about Meridian's redbook performance.
The fact that the Puccini plays SACDs (whereas the Meridian does not)is, in my opinion, a very strong point in the Puccini's favor. But there is something in dCs's marketing that I dislike. The Puccini is advertised as a marvelous one-box player. But then we are told that for several thousand dollars more we can buy a master clock for the Puccini that will improve its sound. This not only brings the total price close to $25,000, but the marketing strategy bothers me. I would prefer a one-box player to be a one-box player. A preamp option at an additional cost would not cast a shadow on buying a player. But having to purchase (at a significant sum) a clock option in order to get a better sound does, in my opinion, cast a shadow on the purchase of a Puccini.
......thank you for your posts and positions. I owned dcs gear - Delius, Purcell and Verdi prior to my current set up of Esoteric P-05 and D-05. I enjoyed the dcs gear - however, the transport was nightmare and took a bath when I had to trade it in.....dcs is world class great gear, but getting service here in the US scares me unless that has changed in the past few years. We have all found out that digital gear breaks and needs service....which is why I went to Esoteric - a financially strong company, serviced here in the US and good customer support. Sorry to say that I have made audio purchases on that merit...if you are going to pay these kinds of dollars - I want a company that is going to be around and service my gear. Which brings me to the Meridian ....I am looking at the Meridian I want to scale down my current set-up....for space and ease of use as I just want to enjoy music again...without 4 huge power cords, and HRS platforms and digital interconnects - but I DO NOT want to scale down the sound - I want to improve on that. Now - the fact that the Meridian is not upgradeable is a concern....however, this is a strong company who does know their stuff in digital - it can be serviced here in the US and something about the laser assemebly that I will be able to get service and PARTS for years to come is a postive....I question how the market would be if I do decide to re-sale it in 3-5 years. Big question mark.... The dcs gear is upgradable and which is a positive, but I do not know where it gets serviced and don't know if the laser assembly or parts will be available. dcs gear seems to move well here on Audiogon. The Esoteric stuff I enjoy very much and has all the positives's that I have mentioned above.....but in my stystem - it can sound a little bright / and some times cold which has brought me here. I agree that I don't want to buy a clock to make the player better - then I will keep what I got....also, the Meridian is not upgradable but has a warmer sound than the Esoteric and maybe a harder re-sale in the futture....but is a fantastic one box player - with an ease of use for years to come - still looking at options
I don't care what J.A said about Meridian and dCS. I stated my own opinion about dCS. I bought the Puccini in 2008, May and clock 2009, February. J.A covered Puccini by 2009 December. Check all publications when Puccini first appeared as a test? I don't need others comments when I make my own statements.
Mert - I just had impression from your statement that you think J.A was talking about SACD performance. You are entitled to your opinions but for me, at least, J.A opinion counts more. And this is just an opinion.
Garebear - dCS in the past had many reliability problems with the Philips SACD transport they were using. They were not alone - many great hi-end companies that used the same drive had identical problems.

This is why all their latest offerings (Puccini, Paganini, Scarlatti) use Esoteric tranport. Combining Esoteric transport mechanism, with their state-of-the-art digital conversion, makes it a wining combination IMO.
Hello, I took delivery of my 808.2i from Weinhart Design in mid-December. I have an ASR EmitterI Exclusive(b)along with Klipsch La Scala with Townshend super-tweeters. I uptraded from the 808 SR for $6250 and my 808 SR.1. Totally worth it. And, the differences to my ear are more dramatic than subtle'; despite what some reviewers say. Which could be attributed to my particular setup, of course. If you have any specific questions, please let me know.
A friend has a simple internal mod for his 808.2 that he said improves the sound. He said it bettered his Spectral, GNSC modified Wadia 861 and full dCS stack.
Dear Tab110s,


You mentioned 'A friend has a simple internal mod for his 808.2'
Can you shed some ligh on it ?

I have a Meridian 808i.2 & would love to make a change to it.



Has anyone had reliability concerns with the Meridian 808.2?

I had the meridian player in my system for 2 or 3 weeks. It is a nice player, but I failed to see what all the hoopla was about. I have a MBL transport connected to a Boulder 2020 DAC and the comparison was not close. Granted these components are significantly more expensive than the Meridian, but the sonic difference is also significant.
Anyone will be exhanging his 808.2 for new 808.3 model?

I just emailed my friend to see if he wants to share. I'll let you know when he replies.
03-16-10: Mikedimitrov
Anyone will be exhanging his 808.2 for new 808.3 model?
Mikedimitrov (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

I have a brand new - never used / opened Meridian 808i.2
I want to get it sold or exchanged.
What can be done ? How ? Where ?