Meridian as a Preamp Question

I currently have a system comprised of Wilson WP7's a Meridian 568.2 Processor and a 598DP DVD additionally I've just recently purchaced a Conrad Johnson 350 Amp. My question is how do I get the best two channel music and still maintain the Meridian for surround. Would an upgrade to a G61 enable me to get the best from my Wilson's or do I need to add an analog preamp and send two channel analog from a DVD player with analog out to the amp and the digital siginal to amp from the meridian? Thank you in advance for any suggestions.

I own a Meridian 568.2 and I use to own WP7's (now Maxx's), compared to my EAD signature the Meridian I found to be too sterile but way better for surround (Dolby II, subwoofer setup, amazing clarity), changing the footers to Sorbothane helped to soften(relax) the sound. In my system I could never have my Meridian 568.2 as my front end for my Wilsons for 2channel, as the Synergy for two dynamic, hyper detailed components is too much of a good thing. I could easily have a Theta Casablanca III as my front instead of running a preamp with HT pass through on your meridian. Until then I will be using my Meridian to feed the front channels to my 2 channel system to get the best of both worlds without having to put a preamp (my Theta Gen VIII Dac is a preamp also so this is not entirely true) into my sytem.

I haven't heard the newer G61 meridian in a 2 channel configuration but I'm still a believer in a good two channel preamp to engage the wilsons. The G61 may have better digital DAC's than your DVD player and that might still make the biggest advance in your system versus adding a quality preamp to be only limited (keep in mind I'm being Critical at a 5% level due to your extreme high setup) by the Meridian DVD player. I've tried a VTl 6.5 with very very successful results (no loss of dynamics but amazingly smooth and wide/deep presentation) and I may go with a VTL 7.5 mk 2 later to mix with my meridian. Since you like the CJ sound you should try to get a home audition of a CJ preamp to see if you like the results.
I have used the 568 meridian processor a while back,I now have the 861 which is by far superior as a preamp to the 568.

Thanks for your thoughts, my understanding is for that for digital material (redbook CD's), good digital handling aka good DAC's are the most important element. My 598 DVD player is connected to the 568.2 using a Smartlink,which is a proprietary digital link that keeps the info from being down converted when it leaves the DVD player , which in theory should reduce jitter and give a smother sound. Ultimately are you saying that a good two channel preamp despite inferior DAC's will produce a better result?

Thank you,

Stanwine: in response to your "Ultimately are you saying that a good two channel preamp despite inferior DAC's will produce a better result?"

NO, I would say that if you are using the DAC power of your surround processor, adding a preamp might give you a loss of resolution and make you unhappy with your CDP if connected directly to the preamp...

Like I said you have such a revealing system that you might have to do a combo of changes to get something better.
Or you if you are using a Hometheater Pass through ready preamp you could still run your 598 DVD into your meridian and just run the balanced outs (left/right) to the new preamp and then you keep the resolution you currently have, but add a little air and soundstage to your system. Or you could uprade your processor as Ramy suggested... sounds like the 861 level is in another ballpark like the Theta Casablanca III is (especially with Extreme DAC's). Ultimately the DAC's in the 568.2 will be your limiting factor (your direct hookup also give you DVD-A and is the way to get the most out of your system)

Clear as mud right...

I use my system for HT and two channel. Presently I have a 861 v4, previously G68XXV, a 565, a Lexicon 8B and a the HT space the Meridians were clearly the best...but with my fronts/ just isn't wonderful...perhaps because most of these units use digital/chip controls for the volume controls....I don't think using the DAC power of the preamp to make up for your CD player's limitations is the answer...but I am intrigued by using Meridian's lossless setup...but love my Ayre player too much...
I have a Meridian 568.2 used as for surround sound and as a dac for a Calypso Preamp (used for 2 channel). A Theta Carmen II (transport) provides the digital source to the Meridan. I run balanced cables. There is no loss in detail going thru the Calypso and the sound is more refined and the tubes add body to the music. I find the sound to be much better when the Meridian is turned up quite high and controled by the Preamp. The Meridian Dacs are the limiting source. If you use a high quality CD player with better dacs the sound would probably be better and eliminate the conversion in the Meridian. I just keep the Meridian 568.2 because it sounds good in surround modes, could not get my money back out of it to sell and has never had a problem in the 7 years I have owned it.