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#166327 - 2012-05-08 07:07 500 Series for Music Streaming - What should I buy?
Registered: 2012-05-07
Posts: 11
Tristan Offline
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Tristan Offline
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Registered: 2012-05-07
Posts: 11
Loc: UK
Please help!

I'm looking to upgrade my exisitng set up (Meridian 206B delta CD Player, CyrusII+PSX and Meridian Argent A2 - passive speakers) and fancy keeping the A2s and getting some used 500 series kit as I don't have the funds to buy a new Merdian system.

I can see the future is to stream music and would like to base the sytem around this as a source. At present, I've been using Apple airplay and would prefer keeping this but have heard it only supports or downsamples to 44.1KHz 16 Bits and id be better off usig a logitech sqeeze box or similar which supports 96 kHz 24Bits connected to an external DAC. To be honest i dont know / understand if i need this higher quality as i'll be ripping CDs and downloading music which i guess means most will be 16 bit format anyway?

My initial research points me in the direction of a 501 + 556 or the more expensive 502 + 557. I would like to use a 500 series DAC but im not sure if any would support 96 kHz, 24 Bits....

Would i be better off buying a new, non-Meridian DAC and connecting to an analgoue Meridian pre+power or is there a Meridian DAC or digital pre-amp / processor that would give me better results? I dont want to switch video through the system so guess a digitial processor like the 565? wouldn't be a good option......

Any suggestions much appreaciated!

Tristan

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#166329 - 2012-05-08 07:42 Re: 500 Series for Music Streaming - What should I buy? [Re: Tristan]
Registered: 2003-09-02
Posts: 296
Bee Offline
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Bee Offline
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Loc: Bedfordshire, UK
Welcome to the forum!

I think it'll depend on how many sources you have.
I have a very basic setup in my bedroom. It's a Squeezebox Touch to Roksan poweramp to B&W speakers.

As the SBT is the only source I'm running, I have completely bypassed the pre-amp. It's probably not the best way to run it for sound quality, but it works. And I don't do any critical listening on this system either.


Thanks, Edd
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#166336 - 2012-05-08 09:40 Re: 500 Series for Music Streaming - What should I buy? [Re: Tristan]
Registered: 2007-09-23
Posts: 1,515
Syles Online content
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Syles Online content
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Loc: London, UK
Originally Posted By: Tristan
Would i be better off buying a new, non-meridian DAC and connecting to an analgoue meridian pre+power or is there a Meridian DAC or digital pre-amp / processor that would give me better results?

Hi,

You would be better off with a processor like a 568 than a DAC + 501/502.

The 568 has jitter reduction and can be set up to resolution enhance and upsample a 16/44 source to 24/96; it's analogue outputs are after 24/96 DACs and have both balanced and single ended outputs.

The 568 works very well with an apple airport express (AEX) streaming 16/44 apple lossless rips.

I also have a 565 working with an AEX; it works very well too.

If you suffer from jitter with the 565, a 518 will sort that out; the 568 offers a lot of the 518 functionality.

All the best,

Steve.


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#166337 - 2012-05-08 09:49 Re: 500 Series for Music Streaming - What should I buy? [Re: Tristan]
Registered: 2004-09-02
Posts: 25
Minilo Offline
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I guess my setup isn't far off where you intend to go or could go. I had a 506/501 front end to my power amp and A2s. I still have the 506 & 501 in a second system but I'm using a SqueezeBox into a 568.2MM now in my main system. Rather than buy a 501 or 502, you'd probably get the bet result for your money by locating a 568 or 568.2MM (depending on budget) as they function as preamp and decent 24-bit DAC is one unit. My A2s have a little bass assistance from an M1500 sub, and here the 568 again has an advantage over Meridians analogue preamps in that it has bass management that enables excellent integration. The A2s are quite easy to drive but respond very well to amps that an deliver plenty of clean power. A 557 should would do a good job, and a 568 has balanced outputs so you would not need a 502. 565 would probably e reasonable alternative is you can find one significantly cheaper than a 568.


1: DSP5200SL, Reviver, 598DP, 568.2MM, 504, SqueezeLite/RaspberryPi2 via Explorer, Furutech FP-SWS-D and power cables
2: Argent 2, M1500, 506.24, 501, SqueezeBox 3, Electrocompaniet AW-120DMB, Nordost and VdH cables
Streaming: Mac Mini server with Logitech Media Server to SqueezeBox 3 (4 systems 16/44) or SqueezeLite (for 24/96)
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#166356 - 2012-05-08 14:51 Re: 500 Series for Music Streaming - What should I buy? [Re: Syles]
Registered: 2012-05-07
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Tristan Offline
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Hi Steve,

Excellent, thank you for your valued advise. I thought there must be a more direct solution!

In your experience, is it possible to equal the sound quality of a CD player using this set-up? Do you think its worth keeping a CD player to experience the best quality the system can provide or is it time to kiss goodbye to the silvers discs?

Best regards Tristan

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#166358 - 2012-05-08 14:57 Re: 500 Series for Music Streaming - What should I buy? [Re: Minilo]
Registered: 2012-05-07
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Tristan Offline
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Hi Minilo,
Thanks for your advise, much appreciated and its reassuring that you recommend the same solution as Steve. Do you think its worth paying the extra for a 557 over a 556 which doesn't have the balanced outputs?
Best regards Tristan

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#166360 - 2012-05-08 15:04 Re: 500 Series for Music Streaming - What should I buy? [Re: Bee]
Registered: 2012-05-07
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Tristan Offline
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Thanks Bee, this forum certainly has a great knowledge base.

I'm looking to keep this system as simple as possible. I've got a separate AV system but this ones solely for audio and I've only the need for a streaming device assuming I can match CD quality...

Best regards,

Tristan

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#166363 - 2012-05-08 15:13 Re: 500 Series for Music Streaming - What should I buy? [Re: Tristan]
Registered: 2004-12-09
Posts: 6,070
ChrisLayerUK Online content
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ChrisLayerUK Online content
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Registered: 2004-12-09
Posts: 6,070
Loc: Colchester, Essex, UK
You can find Meridian Active speakers for a very reasonable price nowadays.
M60's are great and above all, simple. No amps, cable choices etc........
Sooloos easily beats CD sound IMHO even the 596 on my system.
just thoughts for the pot, Chris smile


No 18 in the Hall of fame smile I have simple tastes; I am content to settle for the best: GIK monster bass panels, rear wall.
MC200 500GB, QNAP TVS 471i3. Roon into 2 MS200's. Explorer 2. Bluesound Pulse 2 and Mini. 596 v1.89.2, 518, G61R, M60.2 Rosewood, M33C, M33 Rears, M1500 Sub, Foxsat HD, Sony Blu Ray, Pioneer 5090, 2 Chromecast's for LRB videos.
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#166364 - 2012-05-08 15:17 Re: 500 Series for Music Streaming - What should I buy? [Re: Tristan]
Registered: 2007-09-23
Posts: 1,515
Syles Online content
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Syles Online content
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Registered: 2007-09-23
Posts: 1,515
Loc: London, UK
Originally Posted By: Tristan
In your experience, is it possible to equal the sound quality of a CD player using this set-up? Do you think its worth keeping a CD player to experience the best quality the system can provide or is it time to kiss goodbye to the silvers discs?

Although I haven't directly tested an AEX vs a CD player I can give you a few pointers.

If the system is set up correctly, lossless rips of CDs will pass via a wi-fi network through an AEX to a 568 without any loss of quality; the replay chain is bit perfect.

I tested the optical output of a Mac Mini directly with a 506 digital output, both into a 568 processor; there was no discernible difference in sound quality; there may be a difference between the two playing back into a simple DAC, but the 568 really does a lot to minimise any differences.

In theory the computer playback should be better because there will be no reading errors.

You'll have to keep the CDs to prevent breaking the law; you will be able to store them after they are ripped though.

I keep my 506 for listening to CDs I haven't ripped yet.

All the best,

Steve.


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#166367 - 2012-05-08 15:32 Re: 500 Series for Music Streaming - What should I buy? [Re: Tristan]
Registered: 2004-09-02
Posts: 25
Minilo Offline
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Registered: 2004-09-02
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Loc: Halden, Norway
I'd say that the 557 would be worth it, but you could always try a 556 first -- should you decide to upgrade later then you would probably be able to sell on the 556 for about the same as you pay for it, but if it works well enough for you then you might be happy to stay with it. I see that Steve beat me to posting about the 568... I was a bit slow typing and didn't see his post until after I'd submitted. Given your interest in migrating to a streamed front end then I'd prioritise trying to find a 568 for a good price, while keeping an eye open for a Meridian amp. Your 200 series CD player would get a boost from the 568 as a DAC too.

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#166371 - 2012-05-08 17:05 Re: 500 Series for Music Streaming - What should I buy? [Re: Minilo]
Registered: 2004-08-04
Posts: 263
Mr Perceptive Offline
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Registered: 2004-08-04
Posts: 263
Loc: Northwich, UK
Having owned a 568, a 568.2 and a 568.2MM and played with a 566 and 515. I would say go for a 568.2, the 2 channel output is much better than that of a vanilla 568.

Regarding Amps (I've owned 505s, 556, 557, 558 and 559), if the speakers don't need a lot of power, then use a 556, a great and underated amp. 557s are very good and currently fetching strong money, I bought both my 559s for less than 557s are currently fetching!

Personally I would go 568.2+556 rather than 568+557 (same sort of money)


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#166372 - 2012-05-08 17:59 Re: 500 Series for Music Streaming - What should I buy? [Re: Tristan]
Registered: 2003-09-02
Posts: 296
Bee Offline
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Bee Offline
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Registered: 2003-09-02
Posts: 296
Loc: Bedfordshire, UK
Originally Posted By: Tristan
Thanks Bee, this forum certainly has a great knowledge base.

I'm looking to keep this system as simple as possible. I've got a separate AV system but this ones solely for audio and I've only the need for a streaming device assuming I can match CD quality...

Best regards,

Tristan


Ok. In my main system I have a SBT and 596 into a 568.2mm and there is not much in it in terms of sound quality. For me, I think the 596 just has the edge on my system. But to be honest, the ease of a streamed front end (and me being so lazy) the 596 doesn't get as much use as it used to!!


Thanks, Edd
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