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#265158 - 2017-06-11 12:07 Re: 218 evaluation / testing [Re: MattF]
Registered: 2012-10-22
Posts: 692
Albert Offline
Paranoid android
Albert Offline
Paranoid android

Registered: 2012-10-22
Posts: 692
Loc: Shanghai, China
Sorry, power up or power?


HT: Audiocom Oppo203 signature with Vanity HD/HD621 861v8, DSP6Ks(LCR), DSP5200.1
Revel b112 b110 AntimodeX4 JVCx790
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#265162 - 2017-06-11 12:21 Re: 218 evaluation / testing [Re: MattF]
Registered: 2009-11-10
Posts: 1,446
CMB Integrations - Bruce Offline
Meridian Partner Working on the ultimate question
CMB Integrations - Bruce Offline
Meridian Partner
Working on the ultimate question

Registered: 2009-11-10
Posts: 1,446
Loc: Lexington, South Carolina, USA
Correct, that is was what I was clarifying. It is important to note that the 218 is universal power, provided you have the appropriate power cord.


www.cmbintegrations.com

Personal System #1 Trinnov Altitude 32-8-16, 818v3, DSP8000.2SE, DSP7200SEHC, Revel F228be, Revel B112, Monitor Audio Silver 10, ATI 200WX5 Amp, JVC RS15, Shunyata Denali 6000S, Alpha power cables, Black Diamond Zero Edge screen. QNAP TS-251 3TB
Mark Levinson No515 Turntable

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#265167 - 2017-06-11 13:45 Re: 218 evaluation / testing [Re: Ratbert]
Registered: 2004-04-15
Posts: 12,395
VirusKiller Offline
Don't Panic
VirusKiller Offline
Don't Panic

Registered: 2004-04-15
Posts: 12,395
Loc: nr. Milton Keynes, UK
Originally Posted By Ratbert
Not sure that will make too many 818v3 owners feel good about their purchases
I think that there is still plenty of differentiation between the 218 and 818v3, particularly for (a) CD, (b) DSD, (c) 4x rate material. My 818v3 is paired to my 7200SEs (critical and majority listening zone). My 218 is paired with 5200SEs in the living room, which is *mainly* a TV zone. Overkill? Perhaps.

Edit: Plus it's a rather good DAC! The difference in the analogue outputs should be like chalk and cheese.


Roon Developer and ex-moderator of this Forum
I am #25 in the HH1 photo of fame.
Edited by VirusKiller; 2017-06-11 14:13.
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#265177 - 2017-06-12 01:17 Re: 218 evaluation / testing [Re: CMB Integrations - Bruce]
Registered: 2009-11-10
Posts: 1,446
CMB Integrations - Bruce Offline
Meridian Partner Working on the ultimate question
CMB Integrations - Bruce Offline
Meridian Partner
Working on the ultimate question

Registered: 2009-11-10
Posts: 1,446
Loc: Lexington, South Carolina, USA
Ok so today I got to evaluate the following:

MS200
MS600
218

The setup:

ATI 200 watt amplifier
Monitor Audio Sliver 10 speakers
AudioQuest Ruby RCA interconnects
AudioQuest Type 6 speaker cable

Playing Tidal non MQA material the sound was very similar between the MS200 and 218. The MS600 had a slight but discernible edge on the 218. Playing the same material in MQA goes without saying, the 218 performs well and as some have said the quality is sublime. The MS600 balanced outputs into an appropriate amplifier will definitely give it an edge over the 218 or The MS200 on non MQA material.

For another evaluation, I connected the 218 to a pair of DSP320 in ceiling speakers via SpeakerLink. In this setup, again playing the non MQA track and then the same track in MQA, the MQA track was always preferable and sounding more expansive.

To turn things up a notch I connected the 218 via its digital output to a pair of 24/96 DSP5000's borrowed from a client. As with the DSP320, the MQA track was always preferred by those present.

The 218 was a welcome addition to the whole house music system allowing us to enjoy MQA tracks in our favorite outdoor space through a pair of Monitor audio Climate 80 speakers. When in this setup, there were two 218's playing in different zones. As with all Sooloos products, choosing between multiple devices of the same type is a simple process when they are appropriately named.

Lastly the 218 vs. 818v3 into DSP8000SE. In the first part of the evaluation, we used Tidal into each device and went digital out into the RCA digital in of the 8000SE. In this setup, in my room, to my ears, the difference was just not appreciable. Maybe longer term sessions with wider varieties of material will expose some differences. With MQA material using the SpeakerLink in, I want to say that there was a big difference but I can't. I think that the 818v3 is better in some way but, so far I can't put a label on it. If you are going to use the 218 or 818 solely as a streaming endpoint, get the 218, as it is simply that good. If you need the 818 DACs, DSD, 4x rate, superior electronics, RS-232 MSR plus, and a lot of inputs, the 818 would be the right choice.

Frankly, given the price of the 218 and all things it does so well, it should cost twice as much. For the legacy DSP owner, it provides a way to enjoy the first unfold of MQA as well as being able to switch between the Sooloos endpoint and digital or analog sources from your iPad. Add an AC12 and you have a really good minimalist system.


www.cmbintegrations.com

Personal System #1 Trinnov Altitude 32-8-16, 818v3, DSP8000.2SE, DSP7200SEHC, Revel F228be, Revel B112, Monitor Audio Silver 10, ATI 200WX5 Amp, JVC RS15, Shunyata Denali 6000S, Alpha power cables, Black Diamond Zero Edge screen. QNAP TS-251 3TB
Mark Levinson No515 Turntable

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#265181 - 2017-06-12 05:53 Re: 218 evaluation / testing [Re: CMB Integrations - Bruce]
Registered: 2004-04-15
Posts: 12,395
VirusKiller Offline
Don't Panic
VirusKiller Offline
Don't Panic

Registered: 2004-04-15
Posts: 12,395
Loc: nr. Milton Keynes, UK
Great honest review Bruce. Thanks for taking the time.


Roon Developer and ex-moderator of this Forum
I am #25 in the HH1 photo of fame.
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#265188 - 2017-06-12 10:45 Re: 218 evaluation / testing [Re: VirusKiller]
Registered: 2011-02-02
Posts: 2,263
Hector Offline
Senior Shouting Officer
Hector Offline
Senior Shouting Officer

Registered: 2011-02-02
Posts: 2,263
Loc: Midlands, UK
Thanks Honest Bruce much appreciated.

My limited vocabulary, compared to the professional wordsmiths is definitely a constraint in describing opinions on MQA.

Hector


AV: Thorens TD160B, SME, ShureV15MK2, 500, 598, 861v4, DSP7200.1LR, DSP3300HC Samsung UE55, SkyHD.
DINING: MS600, AC200, DSP5200SLLR.
STUDY 504, SB Touch, 2x MD600, C15, 808.6, 5200SE, Mac & PC, Explorer v1, Prime+PS Grado GS1000i
HORIZONTAL: M80, MS200, Red Rose Spirit + Sonus Faber Toys
A capella to Zydeco
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#265192 - 2017-06-12 12:09 Re: 218 evaluation / testing [Re: VirusKiller]
Registered: 2008-05-23
Posts: 7,772
Carl Offline
President of the Imperial Galactic Government
Carl Offline


President of the Imperial Galactic Government

Registered: 2008-05-23
Posts: 7,772
Loc: Central England, UK
Originally Posted By VirusKiller
Great honest review Bruce. Thanks for taking the time.
+1


861v6+ID40, HD621, 8000.2, 7200HC, 7200, SKYQ Silver, PS3, PDP-LX6090, QNAP TS870-Pro (8*6TB), Roon, iPadAir2.
[In Reserve] C15, MD600 (2*3TB), TwinStore RM (2*2TB)
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#265193 - 2017-06-12 12:55 Re: 218 evaluation / testing [Re: CMB Integrations - Bruce]
Registered: 2002-08-28
Posts: 4,329
Mr Meridian Online content
President of the Imperial Galactic Government
Mr Meridian Online content
President of the Imperial Galactic Government

Registered: 2002-08-28
Posts: 4,329
Loc: Perthshire, Scotland
Bruce, thanks very much for taking the time to do all this and share your findings in such a candid way.

Much appreciated.

George

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#265197 - 2017-06-12 13:44 Re: 218 evaluation / testing [Re: Mr Meridian]
Registered: 2009-04-06
Posts: 144
Ruben Offline
Hitchhiker
Ruben Offline
Hitchhiker

Registered: 2009-04-06
Posts: 144
Loc: Florida, USA
Bruce,
Thank you so much for your great unbiased evaluation/testing.


218, AC12, DSP5500 24/96LR, AppleTV, Sony blu-ray player (BDP S570) and
QNAP TS-251 and a PC
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#265204 - 2017-06-12 19:41 Re: 218 evaluation / testing [Re: CMB Integrations - Bruce]
Registered: 2002-09-29
Posts: 218
RGraham Offline
Hitchhiker
RGraham Offline
Hitchhiker

Registered: 2002-09-29
Posts: 218
Loc: London, UK
Whilst the 218 is a pretty amazing bit of kit, I think when Roon introduce the first unfold update the MS600 may become the better bargain. As Bruce indicates it is hard to find words for what is different; more authoritative/confident/secure? But it is there.

Haven't tested the 218 with DSPs yet which may change this view, but was surprised how good the MS600 was given that it seems quite dated now. But that is the Meridian weak spot; they seldom (if ever) make a bad product, hence even the 5ks shine with MQA.

I imagine a Roon ROCK NUC, 218 and 5200SE set-up would be the most sensational (albeit pricey) MQA system.

Good times.

Richard


Zone 1: 861v8+ID41, 818V3, HD621, DSP7200SE, DSP5200SE
Zone 2: 818v3, DSP7000, Cavalli Liquid Gold, Hifiman HE-6
Zone 3: 818v3, Roon ROCK/NUCi7, Densen B-330, Monitor Audio PL 200
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#265205 - 2017-06-12 22:24 Re: 218 evaluation / testing [Re: CMB Integrations - Bruce]
Registered: 2011-10-12
Posts: 124
NextMac Offline
Hitchhiker
NextMac Offline
Hitchhiker

Registered: 2011-10-12
Posts: 124
Loc: Stockholm, Solna, Sweden
Good and honest review of differences between 218 and 818 especially for us with 861's.


Current main----> 861v8, ID41, HD621, 8000.2 SL, 7200HC.2 SL, 3200 SL, JVC X-30w, Elite Screen Dual 16:9 and 2:35:1, TwinStore (2*4TB), SourceOne, OPPO 103, Sony PS3, Apple-TV 3, Samsung SMT-C7160 HDTV Cable,
Other apartment ----> G95, HD421,
On the go ----> Audeze iSine20 in ear headphones, Explorer2

Next------->
Wish-------> 4K projector
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#265684 - 2017-07-05 13:13 Re: 218 evaluation / testing [Re: RGraham]
Registered: 2011-08-14
Posts: 5
Jocke Offline
Harmless
Jocke Offline
Harmless

Registered: 2011-08-14
Posts: 5
Loc: Kungsbacka, Sweden
I haven't compared the 218 vs the 818, but I have had the chance to put it up against the MS200 and MS600 using Speakerlink - feeding both into a G65 and straight into a pair of 5200SE. In both these scenarios i personally believe the 218 is the best option even when not using MQA. It makes the others feel a bit "rough 'round the edges". I wouldn't say the difference is night and day, but its there.


5200SE, 5200HC SE, G65, HD621
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