speakers speakers speakers...but you have a nice system.
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As a G08 owner I normally would say go for it. But if there is any way you could demo either or both in YOUR HOME that should help you make the decision. Personally I think your largest investment should be the speakers you really like. You have a great system and you really need to demo ANY possible upgrade in your home. I've learned a world from that.
Good luck with whatever you decide.
Thanks for the respones everyone.
That's funny, Roxy54. Years ago, I bought a brand new PDS-95 and used it with a ARC dac2 and later with a modded musical fidelity tri-vista 21 dac. It was gorgeous and sounded fantastic. John Hillig from Musical Concepts performed the $1800 signature mods on this transport too, and it was unbelievable. But years passed and I started getting nervous about the lack of replacement parts for it, so I decided to sell it, and wound up going into single box mode and bought a new Esoteric X-03SE and used it for one year before having to downsize and sell it (that was painful). Larry Diaz at the High End Palace gave me a fair offer for my PDS-95 and he's been using it in his personal system for a few years now. They're killer transports...
I'm listening to the totem hawks now, and they're really untouchable for the money. My ultimate goal is to replace my long lost DeVore Fidelity Nines, so I may just hold onto the hawks until that happy day arrives.
As good as the PD-65 cd player is, I'm starting to think the digital front end is the weak link in my system right now. The rest of my components and speakers are of a higher caliber, so I think the cd player gets the vote for the upgrade. I just don't know if the meridian G-08 is the way to go. I've read about some problems with these and the G-08.2 so I'm not sure what to get for $2500 or less. Like I said, the X-03SE is the holy grail in my book, but not financially obtainable right now. I like the vrds transport clamping mechanism that esoteric uses, and the stable platter mechanism on the older pioneer players and transports. I know some of the older krells have vrds. Do you think it would be wise to try and pick up a krell kav-300cd (with vrds transport) cd player and try that, or do you think the G-08 would smoke the krell? I know it probably would, but I hate the uneccessarily HUGE meridian remote control, and I question the build quality of the meridian. Krell with vrds (a few wadias also) and the Pioneer Elite's with the stable platter were "overbuilt" exceptionally well, but nowdays in many cases they're pretty much unrepairable once they become broken. Part of me just wants to stay off this site and keep everything I have, and not upgrade anymore!! But having previously owned the Esoteric X03-SE.... I know the PD-65 is holding me back, but I can only allow $2500 max on an upgrade right now.
Make sure you listen to that G08 at length. I heard it when it just came out at a head-fi meet and was absolutely blown away. I lusted for it for weeks after that and finally bit when a dealer friend of mine cut me a deal on one he'd ordered for a customer in Black and received in Silver.
It was my biggest disappointment in audio in my own system (and ironically the most I've spent on any single component). I struggled for 6 weeks to love it but ultimately felt it had no soul.
I exchanged emails with two other forumers who bought one within a week of me and they too were disappointed and ended up selling within a few months. I don't mean to bash meridian as I owned and liked a 508.20 but just make sure the G08 is for you.
On the other hand, while I haven't heard the speakers you propose, ProAc Response 2s driven by VTL TT-25s was something quite special to my ears.
I've done some more research, and the ProAc Response TriTowers were designed primarily for home theater use. The tall and skinny style has been designed to fit next to a plasma/lcd tv. The woofer, midrange and tweeter are higher up off the floor to duplicate sound coming from a tv higher up on a wall. ProAc says that these towers need to be be placed on or ddirectly near the rear wall to achieve desireable bass. I've read that even if they come out a few feet from the rear wall, all of their bass output is lost. So I decided to pass up the the tritowers and keep the totem hawks for awhile.
This still leaves me the dilema about the cd player though. I'm still on the fence about the Meridian G-08. As far as me getting a dac... I've been down the digital seperates road for 15 years. For transports, I've used several different Pioneer Elite PD-65's, PD-59, and as I mentioned above, I had the PDS-95 flagship transport for 10 years. For DAC's I used an Audio Research DAC2 then went to a DAC7 and finally sold that and went with a highly modified (GNS) Musical Fidelity Tri-Vista 21 tube dac.
I needed more space and was getting tired of the PDS-95 and dac set up. I was never very happy with the tri-vista 21. Even with $1500 + in upgrades from Great Northern Sound. So, I sold the PDS-95 and the tr-vista 21 and bought a BRAND NEW Esoteric X03-SE cd player. I can get treendous discounts on brand new (fully warranted) Esoteric components. The X03-SE is truly fantastic and I loved it. Built like a tank and very detailed and correct. The vrds mechanism gets a strong vote from me as well. It was killer. It came triple boxed with a cloth cover for it, and a gorgeous metal and leather remote.
Then the economy hit the toilet about 16 months ago. I was forced to sell most of my system to keep our home. I'm slowly getting my system back, and am "almost" complete except for speakers (need Devore Nines) and cd player (need X03-SE). I'm just not ready to go back into a seperate transport/dac setup at this time. I've also sold all of my super expensive STEALTH varidig digital cables so getting another would be a financial factor to consider. I also really believe the Esoteric X-03SE is a super cd player that will give any seperate dac/combo (even Esoterics) a serious run for their money. I just don't think you can wrong with the X-03SE if you can afford it. I may just have to wait and save up for another one. In the end, I won't be happy until I get another one! I should probably just run the PD-65 cd player for now until I can swallow a new Esoteric X-03SE. I can get brand new ones for $7500 so I should probably wait...