Meridian vs. Audio Research CD Players

I currently have a Meridian 506 and want to upgrade to either another Meridian 588, G07-8 OR Audio Research CD3.

Has anyone had the opportunity to hear these units? I know both are good but it's hard to select one over the other and I am not sure if I should stay with Meridian or move to AR.

My components: Conrad Johnson Premier 14, Dynaudio Speakers, Macintosh 7270 Amp
I had the 506/24 before buying a G08. You should listen before making decisions. They actually sounded very differently. The 506 sounded more forward in the mid frequencies and very good with vocals. Little bit coloured but very involving. The G08 which is more refine, netural and analogue like thus sounded very hi-end but less emotional to me! It is a definite up grade to the 506 but I have still kept the old player.
the 588 will be a more refined 506..this is the way to go it you basically like the sound of your system, and don't want a change in direction
I used to be a Meridian dealer and am still and ARC dealer so hopefully I can shed some light on the comparison (exluding the G-series from Meridian).

The ARC CD3mkII is much improved from the MKI, which is still a nice player, but the upgrade is worthwhile. The ARC is livlier and higher resolution than the Meridian 588. The Meridian is more round and friendly by comparison. The CD3mkII is also more dynamic and has tighter control, while the Meridian compresses the dynamics ever so slightly and sounds a bit looser. Some might find the ARC too aggressive, or the Meridian too laid back.

Personally I prefer the ARC. They are both very nice machines.
Hi i have owned 5 different models of Meridian i now own an Electrocompaniet EMC-1up it is a very good match with my Acoustats 1+1s a detail cd player with very forgiven speakers great match i agree 100% with Davemitchell except that i prefer a laid back sound because i listend for very long periods and you cannot do this with an aggressive sound it's simply a question of choice & match i would go with Meridian.
A friend of mine had a very similar expirience to Luna's. He traded in his 508.24 for G08, only to sell it 4 months later. He bought another 508.24, which he finds much more involving.

Personally, I have owned in the past 506.20, 508.20, 508.24, ARC CD-7 and now CD-8, and find ARC to be VASTLY superior.

If I were you, I would go with ARC CD-3 or, if budget is limited 508.24.