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#265116 - 2017-06-10 00:06 218 evaluation / testing
Registered: 2009-11-10
Posts: 1,309
CMB Integrations - Bruce Online content
Meridian Partner Working on the ultimate question
CMB Integrations - Bruce Online content
Meridian Partner
Working on the ultimate question

Registered: 2009-11-10
Posts: 1,309
Loc: Lexington, South Carolina, USA
With the arrival of the first shipment of 10 218's this week, they will undergo testing in the following setups:

218 vs 818v3 into DSP8000SE

218 to 258 in a multiroom audio system to include multiple 218's in the same network.

218 to ATI amp and Monitor audio Silver 12 speakers

218 to DSP320 with 218 powered by the DSP320

218 vs MS200 in every setup I can come up with.

218 vs MS600 same as above.

I will let you know how it goes!


www.cmbintegrations.com

Personal System #1 Theta Digital Cassablanca 4, 218, DSP8000.2SE, DSP7200SEHC, Revel F228be, Revel B112, Monitor Audio Silver 10, ATI 200WX5 Amp, JVC RS15, Shunyata Denali 600S, Black Diamond Zero Edge screen. QNAP TS-251 3TB
Mark Levinson No515 Turntable

Crestron control and multi room audio via Meridian 258 amplifiers.
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#265120 - 2017-06-10 08:04 Re: 218 evaluation / testing [Re: CMB Integrations - Bruce]
Registered: 2011-02-02
Posts: 2,234
Hector Offline
Senior Shouting Officer
Hector Offline
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Registered: 2011-02-02
Posts: 2,234
Loc: Midlands, UK
Thanks Bruce
Re 218
I look forward to your valued comments on the proposed different comparisons and set ups

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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#265123 - 2017-06-10 08:16 Re: 218 evaluation / testing [Re: Hector]
Registered: 2012-12-04
Posts: 476
JaapJan Offline
Paranoid android
JaapJan Offline
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Registered: 2012-12-04
Posts: 476
Loc: Land van Maas en Waal, Netherl...
+1

If by any chance a vs. MS200 can be thrown in, especially in an headphone or earspeaker set up i am very interested in that.

Cheers!


System 1: MC200, 818v3, DSP7200SE
System 2: boxed (DSP5000.1, Monarchy DIP24/96, Squeezebox Duet.)
Office: MS200, STAX SRM-323II, SR303
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#265128 - 2017-06-10 09:59 Re: 218 evaluation / testing [Re: CMB Integrations - Bruce]
Registered: 2011-01-25
Posts: 470
bxd Offline
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bxd Offline
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Registered: 2011-01-25
Posts: 470
Loc: Southampton, UK
Originally Posted By CMB Integrations - Bruce
218 to DSP320 with 218 powered by the DSP320
Is this correct? I wasn't aware that the 218 could be powered by a DSP speaker.

Brian


Main: G65, MD600, MS600, 218, HD621, DSP5200SE, DSP5200HCSE, M6 & D1500.
System 2: G91A, MS200, DSP5000 (96/24v1), DSP3300.
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#265133 - 2017-06-10 11:21 Re: 218 evaluation / testing [Re: JaapJan]
Registered: 2009-11-10
Posts: 1,309
CMB Integrations - Bruce Online content
Meridian Partner Working on the ultimate question
CMB Integrations - Bruce Online content
Meridian Partner
Working on the ultimate question

Registered: 2009-11-10
Posts: 1,309
Loc: Lexington, South Carolina, USA
Yes , I will make sure to compare the MS200 vs the 218.


www.cmbintegrations.com

Personal System #1 Theta Digital Cassablanca 4, 218, DSP8000.2SE, DSP7200SEHC, Revel F228be, Revel B112, Monitor Audio Silver 10, ATI 200WX5 Amp, JVC RS15, Shunyata Denali 600S, Black Diamond Zero Edge screen. QNAP TS-251 3TB
Mark Levinson No515 Turntable

Crestron control and multi room audio via Meridian 258 amplifiers.
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#265134 - 2017-06-10 11:25 Re: 218 evaluation / testing [Re: CMB Integrations - Bruce]
Registered: 2010-12-09
Posts: 3,365
Ratbert Offline
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Any current 218 users with thoughts on its performance both MQA and red book?


Always learn from the mistakes of others. You can never live long enough to make them all yourself.
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#265136 - 2017-06-10 11:28 Re: 218 evaluation / testing [Re: Ratbert]
Registered: 2004-04-15
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VirusKiller Offline
Don't Panic
VirusKiller Offline
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Registered: 2004-04-15
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Loc: nr. Milton Keynes, UK
With MQA into SE loudspeakers, it sounds sublime. But then again, I am very sure that the output from the 218 will be *identical* to the output of the 818v3 in this scenario. The rest of the magic is the rendering in the SE loudspeaker hardware.

Again, for MQA decoded into DSP loudspeakers which are capable only of 96/24, it is my understanding that the decoded MQA core is always 2x sample rate, so again, the output of the 218 and 818v3 should be the same.

For non-MQA, it's up to our ears, and I have no opinion at this time.


Roon Developer and ex-moderator of this Forum
I am #25 in the HH1 photo of fame.
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#265144 - 2017-06-10 19:13 Re: 218 evaluation / testing [Re: bxd]
Registered: 2009-11-10
Posts: 1,309
CMB Integrations - Bruce Online content
Meridian Partner Working on the ultimate question
CMB Integrations - Bruce Online content
Meridian Partner
Working on the ultimate question

Registered: 2009-11-10
Posts: 1,309
Loc: Lexington, South Carolina, USA
Initially we were told this was so. With one in hand, this is not true


www.cmbintegrations.com

Personal System #1 Theta Digital Cassablanca 4, 218, DSP8000.2SE, DSP7200SEHC, Revel F228be, Revel B112, Monitor Audio Silver 10, ATI 200WX5 Amp, JVC RS15, Shunyata Denali 600S, Black Diamond Zero Edge screen. QNAP TS-251 3TB
Mark Levinson No515 Turntable

Crestron control and multi room audio via Meridian 258 amplifiers.
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#265150 - 2017-06-11 10:02 Re: 218 evaluation / testing [Re: CMB Integrations - Bruce]
Registered: 2010-01-24
Posts: 744
Altus Offline
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Bruce - could you please clarify?

I don't think VK was suggesting that the 218 through DSP8000SE would sound identical to an 818v3 through same, merely that the digital output bits would be identical for MQA decoding to work. The 818v3 will presumably have better jitter stats and should sound considerably better than the 218.


Cinema: 861v4, DSP5500(F), DSP5500HC(C), DSP5500(R) - all for sale
Streaming: Roon, NUC, QNAP859 NAS
2ch system: Ultra DAC, analogue amps and speakers
Retro system: 101/104/105, analogue speakers
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#265151 - 2017-06-11 10:12 Re: 218 evaluation / testing [Re: Altus]
Registered: 2004-04-15
Posts: 12,317
VirusKiller Offline
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Registered: 2004-04-15
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Loc: nr. Milton Keynes, UK
I'm honestly not sure about "considerably". In absolute terms, the 218 sounded sublime into my 5200SEs with MQA material (I can't remember what it was in particular). The 818v3 could (should?) be better, but I think that we're talking small margins here. I could be wrong, but it's not an experiment that I can be bothered to perform, because I'm not about to drop another £8k on a second 818.


Roon Developer and ex-moderator of this Forum
I am #25 in the HH1 photo of fame.
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#265155 - 2017-06-11 11:10 Re: 218 evaluation / testing [Re: VirusKiller]
Registered: 2010-12-09
Posts: 3,365
Ratbert Offline
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Not sure that will make too many 818v3 owners feel good about their purchases, of course maybe there aren't too many of them in the first place hence the 218 performance, glad I sold my 818 when I did.

Russ


Always learn from the mistakes of others. You can never live long enough to make them all yourself.
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#265157 - 2017-06-11 11:38 Re: 218 evaluation / testing [Re: Altus]
Registered: 2011-11-12
Posts: 167
MattF Offline
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Originally Posted By Altus
Bruce - could you please clarify?
Wasn't Bruces's reply to the ability to power the 218 from a DSP - i.e. It can't be done?

Matt

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#265158 - 2017-06-11 12:07 Re: 218 evaluation / testing [Re: MattF]
Registered: 2012-10-22
Posts: 674
Albert Offline
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Sorry, power up or power?


HT: Audiocom Oppo203 signature with Vanity HD 861v8, DSP6Ks(LCR), DSP5200.1
Revel b112*2 b110*2 AntimodeX4 JVCx790
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#265162 - 2017-06-11 12:21 Re: 218 evaluation / testing [Re: MattF]
Registered: 2009-11-10
Posts: 1,309
CMB Integrations - Bruce Online content
Meridian Partner Working on the ultimate question
CMB Integrations - Bruce Online content
Meridian Partner
Working on the ultimate question

Registered: 2009-11-10
Posts: 1,309
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 Theta Digital Cassablanca 4, 218, DSP8000.2SE, DSP7200SEHC, Revel F228be, Revel B112, Monitor Audio Silver 10, ATI 200WX5 Amp, JVC RS15, Shunyata Denali 600S, Black Diamond Zero Edge screen. QNAP TS-251 3TB
Mark Levinson No515 Turntable

Crestron control and multi room audio via Meridian 258 amplifiers.
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#265167 - 2017-06-11 13:45 Re: 218 evaluation / testing [Re: Ratbert]
Registered: 2004-04-15
Posts: 12,317
VirusKiller Offline
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Registered: 2004-04-15
Posts: 12,317
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: 1,309
CMB Integrations - Bruce Online content
Meridian Partner Working on the ultimate question
CMB Integrations - Bruce Online content
Meridian Partner
Working on the ultimate question

Registered: 2009-11-10
Posts: 1,309
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 Theta Digital Cassablanca 4, 218, DSP8000.2SE, DSP7200SEHC, Revel F228be, Revel B112, Monitor Audio Silver 10, ATI 200WX5 Amp, JVC RS15, Shunyata Denali 600S, Black Diamond Zero Edge screen. QNAP TS-251 3TB
Mark Levinson No515 Turntable

Crestron control and multi room audio via Meridian 258 amplifiers.
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#265181 - 2017-06-12 05:53 Re: 218 evaluation / testing [Re: CMB Integrations - Bruce]
Registered: 2004-04-15
Posts: 12,317
VirusKiller Offline
Don't Panic
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Don't Panic

Registered: 2004-04-15
Posts: 12,317
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: 2,234
Hector Offline
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Hector Offline
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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: 7,688
Carl Offline
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Carl Offline


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Posts: 7,688
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: 4,287
Mr Meridian Offline
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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]
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Posts: 141
Ruben Offline
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Ruben Offline
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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: 213
RGraham Offline
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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
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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: 3
Jocke Offline
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Jocke Offline
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Posts: 3
Loc: Goteborg, 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, 218, HD621
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#265695 - 2017-07-05 18:05 Re: 218 evaluation / testing [Re: Jocke]
Registered: 2012-12-04
Posts: 476
JaapJan Offline
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JaapJan Offline
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Registered: 2012-12-04
Posts: 476
Loc: Land van Maas en Waal, Netherl...
Would the linear PSU be making the difference compared to MS200 and MS600


System 1: MC200, 818v3, DSP7200SE
System 2: boxed (DSP5000.1, Monarchy DIP24/96, Squeezebox Duet.)
Office: MS200, STAX SRM-323II, SR303
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#265722 - 2017-07-06 20:45 Re: 218 evaluation / testing [Re: CMB Integrations - Bruce]
Registered: 2012-11-04
Posts: 141
HermanAtHome Offline
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I have now tested the 218 connected to my 7200SE. I played MQA-tracks and compared them to PCM 96/24 (I tested more than 25 tracks). The MQA-tracks are as good as PCM96/24. One track "Take Five" is much better in the MQA version. I also compared some tracks MQA versus PCM 16/44. In this case the MQA-files are to prefere. After this test I return to play the same tracks through my 861 in Trifield. I can now say Trifield is much better whatever track you play. This test convinced me that I can use my 861 and get better quality than MQA in 2-channel stereo.


861v8+ID41, HD621, G98, Arcam P35, DSP5200SE, DSP5200HC, SW1600, DSP320.
2xMS600, 2xMS200, 2xDSP3200, AC200, Explorer2, 2x218, AD88, Prime
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#265771 - 2017-07-09 14:43 Re: 218 evaluation / testing [Re: HermanAtHome]
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Crion Offline
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Crion Offline
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Of course Trifield with a full front DSP7200SE/DSP7200HCSE array properly setup is "better" than just MQA in 2ch, but I hope that we will see the MQA boards to the 861v8/9 this year so that we get the best of all worlds, Trifield+MQA in full, no need to choose one or the other...


Future 861 MQA/24-192 system upgrade owner!
DSP8000SE, DSP7200SEHC, DSP5200SE sides, DSP7200SE rears, 861v8/ID41, MC200, Sim2 HT380 T2 1080P, Stewart Cinecurve 2.35:1, XEIT CM-5E Anamorphic lens, Apple-TV 4K with nFuse 5, HDI Dune BD Prime 3.0 with Wireworld Platinum HDMI -> UHD722 -> Audioquest Diamond RJ45. Shunyata Sigma Digital@861v8.
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#265772 - 2017-07-09 15:44 Re: 218 evaluation / testing [Re: HermanAtHome]
Registered: 2010-08-24
Posts: 592
Rolski Offline
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Rolski Offline
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Posts: 592
Loc: Cologne, DE & Cheltenham, UK.
Originally Posted By HermanAtHome
...Trifield is much better whatever track you play...

Originally Posted By Crion
...Trifield...properly setup is "better" than just MQA in 2ch

"Better" ? Surely not. Different - yes - and perhaps more to your liking ? smile

2ch MQA, properly 'delivered' is a different signal than the same album, non-MQA, delivered through 3-ch (or 7.1-ch). Trifield clearly gives a 'wall-of-sound' type delivery, which is preferable to some.

MQA gives a de-blurred & theoretically more accurate - HiFi - true to the original - sound signal.

This is of course then all further complicated by the use of DSP & Room-correction etc, so apples-to-apples comparisons are impossible at the moment !

But... I'd always hesitate using the word 'better'.... smirk


Meridian : 861v8 + ID41 + HD621 + 218, 2*SE-update DSP8.2K's, SE-update DSP7200HC. Roon.
TAG McLaren : DVD32R-PSM192, T32R+DAB, 100x5R:10. B&W : 4*SCMS. Logitech : Squeezebox Touches & Duets.
Sim2 HT380 DLP, Panasonic TX-P60ZT60E, SKY HD+, SlingBox HD Pro, Lumagen Radiance Pro, Oppo BDP-103EU.
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#265784 - 2017-07-10 07:40 Re: 218 evaluation / testing [Re: Rolski]
Registered: 2004-10-20
Posts: 1,434
GMT Offline
Working on the ultimate question
GMT Offline
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Posts: 1,434
Loc: Cambridge, Cambs, UK
Originally Posted By Rolski
But... I'd always hesitate using the word 'better'... smirk
"always" or "often"? - I usually hesitate before using the word "always" (I think we can work out what you all meant) laugh

Personally - I prefer MQA vs. Trifield in my setup.

Cheers
Tom


Main: G68J, 218 HD621, 3*5200s (2 SE L&R),DSW, 2* Reviver, 3200s,SBT, PS4, Amazon TV Fire, Dune Base 3.0, Xbox, NUC (Roon server & Kodi)
Kitchen: 5200s, SBT, Chromecast
Office: A330i, G41, Explorer2,Velodyne CT120
F80s, M60s
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#265942 - 2017-07-14 22:05 Re: 218 evaluation / testing [Re: CMB Integrations - Bruce]
Registered: 2012-11-04
Posts: 141
HermanAtHome Offline
Hitchhiker
HermanAtHome Offline
Hitchhiker

Registered: 2012-11-04
Posts: 141
Loc: Hässleholm, Sweden
Yesterday I had a listening session at my home to evaluate MQA-files. We were 5 persons listening to 218 connected to my 7200SE.

Nobody could say that MQA-files sounded better than PCM-files (96/24). Everybody said that the sound was equal between MQA and PCM-files.

After listening to around 25 tracks we changed to play the same tracks via ID41 and 861 in Trifield. Everybody preferred the Trifield sound.

After this test I am not sure that MQA is the best solution. All persons in the listening session have Highend systems at home.


861v8+ID41, HD621, G98, Arcam P35, DSP5200SE, DSP5200HC, SW1600, DSP320.
2xMS600, 2xMS200, 2xDSP3200, AC200, Explorer2, 2x218, AD88, Prime
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#265943 - 2017-07-14 23:45 Re: 218 evaluation / testing [Re: HermanAtHome]
Registered: 2016-06-18
Posts: 94
Mel_Moon Offline
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Registered: 2016-06-18
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Loc: GA, USA
Are you speakers set up for the best asthetics or the best sonics?

I find it interesting that 5 audiophiles can sit in the same room and agree on anything let alone be unanimous in the impression that there is no appreciable difference between MQA and non MQA tracks. To borrow a phrase from the movie Contact, are the rest of us suffering from some mass delusion?

In my room as well as my local dealer, the difference in sound quality goes from subtle to stark depending on the recording. I have to wonder if your 7200SE are either not set in the room correctly or if there is some other room interaction that is keeping them from imaging properly.

When they are properly positioned and set up, it should sound like the center channel is on when it is only in stereo mode. I would urge you to take a look at this. Trifield is a sound effect, and that doesn't always equate to sound quality.

In the end it really is whatever you prefer but, I think you are missing something set up wise.


861v8, 808v6, DSP5200SE, DSP7200.2HC, M6, QNAP TS451, 218 various other bits.
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#265945 - 2017-07-15 06:22 Re: 218 evaluation / testing [Re: HermanAtHome]
Registered: 2004-04-15
Posts: 12,317
VirusKiller Offline
Don't Panic
VirusKiller Offline
Don't Panic

Registered: 2004-04-15
Posts: 12,317
Loc: nr. Milton Keynes, UK
How loud were you listening? Was it "studio realistic"?

But I have to agree that setting up the speakers is critical. My own experience is that I need a room correction solution which works with MQA, because the room interactions are masking most of the benefits of MQA. But that solution does not exist.


Roon Developer and ex-moderator of this Forum
I am #25 in the HH1 photo of fame.
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#265952 - 2017-07-15 10:52 Re: 218 evaluation / testing [Re: VirusKiller]
Registered: 2007-11-03
Posts: 502
Dollar2 Offline
Paranoid android
Dollar2 Offline
Paranoid android

Registered: 2007-11-03
Posts: 502
Loc: Durham, CT, USA
I have the same dilemma with respect to playing MQA or using room correction.

I've spent a week where I run my 8KSEs from my 218. I set the boundary to "wall" in the DSPs and drop the bass by 2.0 dB. While that is helpful for overall balance, it does not correct the imbalance in the bass itself.

I still find the presentation from the 218 to be very pleasing even with the bloated bass.

When going back to the ID41/861v8, the presentation is, well, correct, but not quite as involving. I also find that I need to drop the volume 3 or 4 points when using the 218 to match the level from the 861v8. I'm not sure why that should be the case.


Regards,
Bill

Sys 1: AC200, (2) DSP3200s, (4) P320is
Sys 2: 861v8+ID41, 218, (2) DSP8KSEs, DSP7200VCSE, (2) DSP5200s, Marantz UD9004, (2) JL Audio F113s,
Sys 3: 861v4+ID40, (2) DSP5200s, DSP5200HC
Sys 4: Prime HPA+PS, Focal Utopia
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#265957 - 2017-07-15 12:09 Re: 218 evaluation / testing [Re: Dollar2]
Registered: 2002-02-14
Posts: 8,432
ncpl Offline
President of the Imperial Galactic Government
ncpl Offline

President of the Imperial Galactic Government

Registered: 2002-02-14
Posts: 8,432
Loc: Surrey, UK
Bill,
Depending on what preset you are using on the 861 and whether you have calibrated then you might see the 861 running a few db's lower than the 218 which has no volume adjustments (afaik).


Rgds,
Nick

#15SE
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#265971 - 2017-07-15 17:08 Re: 218 evaluation / testing [Re: CMB Integrations - Bruce]
Registered: 2012-11-04
Posts: 141
HermanAtHome Offline
Hitchhiker
HermanAtHome Offline
Hitchhiker

Registered: 2012-11-04
Posts: 141
Loc: Hässleholm, Sweden
If the position of the loadspeaker is so lmportant then I think that the difference between MQA-files and PCM-files is not big.

My room is about 65 square meters. The room correction in the 861 is almost zero. So I think the room is very good for music listening. When listening to music through my Prime I experienced the same quality for PCM and MQA-files. I had great expectations to MQA but today I don't think it is the final solution for digital music.


861v8+ID41, HD621, G98, Arcam P35, DSP5200SE, DSP5200HC, SW1600, DSP320.
2xMS600, 2xMS200, 2xDSP3200, AC200, Explorer2, 2x218, AD88, Prime
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#265972 - 2017-07-15 17:33 Re: 218 evaluation / testing [Re: ncpl]
Registered: 2007-11-03
Posts: 502
Dollar2 Offline
Paranoid android
Dollar2 Offline
Paranoid android

Registered: 2007-11-03
Posts: 502
Loc: Durham, CT, USA
Good point, Nick. I forgot to consider that. That is likely the cause.


Regards,
Bill

Sys 1: AC200, (2) DSP3200s, (4) P320is
Sys 2: 861v8+ID41, 218, (2) DSP8KSEs, DSP7200VCSE, (2) DSP5200s, Marantz UD9004, (2) JL Audio F113s,
Sys 3: 861v4+ID40, (2) DSP5200s, DSP5200HC
Sys 4: Prime HPA+PS, Focal Utopia
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#265978 - 2017-07-15 21:06 Re: 218 evaluation / testing [Re: HermanAtHome]
Registered: 2009-09-13
Posts: 5,361
Ludwig Offline
President of the Imperial Galactic Government
Ludwig Offline
President of the Imperial Galactic Government

Registered: 2009-09-13
Posts: 5,361
Loc: Europe
Originally Posted By HermanAtHome
Nobody could say that MQA-files sounded better than PCM-files (96/24). Everybody said that the sound was equal between MQA and PCM-files.
What material exactly were you using?


Ex-moderator
Sitting room: 818v3, 8kSE
Office: 818v3, Stax SRM-T1, Stax SR404LE
TV room: HD621, 518, D33
Kitchen: MS200, Genelec 6010 actives
Server: Roon/NUC/Touchscreen

Oldest audio file: 1889 Edison cylinder
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#265979 - 2017-07-15 21:18 Re: 218 evaluation / testing [Re: CMB Integrations - Bruce]
Registered: 2012-11-04
Posts: 141
HermanAtHome Offline
Hitchhiker
HermanAtHome Offline
Hitchhiker

Registered: 2012-11-04
Posts: 141
Loc: Hässleholm, Sweden
Most of the albums were Warner albums bought from Highresaudio. Maybe my experience was the reason why Highresaudio stopped selling theese MQA-albums. The PCM-files were bought long ago.


861v8+ID41, HD621, G98, Arcam P35, DSP5200SE, DSP5200HC, SW1600, DSP320.
2xMS600, 2xMS200, 2xDSP3200, AC200, Explorer2, 2x218, AD88, Prime
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#272153 - 2018-01-21 17:35 Re: 218 evaluation / testing [Re: HermanAtHome]
Registered: 2001-05-23
Posts: 2,718
Gianni Offline
Great Green Arkleseizure
Gianni Offline
Great Green Arkleseizure

Registered: 2001-05-23
Posts: 2,718
Loc: North London, United Kingdom
Is the 218 capable of handling/processing/decoding DSD files or is that capability still limited to the 818v3/808v6/UltraDAC devices?


Wonderful perfect quadraphonic sound with distortion levels so low as to make a brave man weep smile
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#272155 - 2018-01-21 20:12 Re: 218 evaluation / testing [Re: Gianni]
Registered: 2013-02-27
Posts: 597
Soundserge Offline
Paranoid android
Soundserge Offline
Paranoid android

Registered: 2013-02-27
Posts: 597
Loc: Washington, DC, USA
It's not. The other devices you list only handle DSD through their USB input, which the 218 unfortunately doesn't have.

Soundserge


MD600 (phasing out), Sonictransporter + Roon, 818v3, DSP 5200SEs, 218, DSP3200s
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#275577 - 2018-04-29 18:47 Re: 218 evaluation / testing [Re: Soundserge]
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 2
cspeed Offline
Harmless
cspeed Offline
Harmless

Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 2
Loc: Eastleigh, Hampshire, UK
Apologies if this is a dim question but does anyone know if the 218 will work as a Roon interface with 18 bit DSP5000's (non-SpeakerLink)?


DSP5000
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#275580 - 2018-04-29 20:17 Re: 218 evaluation / testing [Re: Soundserge]
Registered: 2004-04-15
Posts: 12,317
VirusKiller Offline
Don't Panic
VirusKiller Offline
Don't Panic

Registered: 2004-04-15
Posts: 12,317
Loc: nr. Milton Keynes, UK
Originally Posted By Soundserge
The other devices you list only handle DSD through their USB input, which the 218 unfortunately doesn't have.
Just a point of information: the 8x8 and Ultra also accept DSD64 over SPDIF.


Roon Developer and ex-moderator of this Forum
I am #25 in the HH1 photo of fame.
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#275581 - 2018-04-29 20:17 Re: 218 evaluation / testing [Re: cspeed]
Registered: 2004-10-20
Posts: 1,434
GMT Offline
Working on the ultimate question
GMT Offline
Working on the ultimate question

Registered: 2004-10-20
Posts: 1,434
Loc: Cambridge, Cambs, UK
Yes. It has coaxial out or you could use a Reviver with the SpeakerLink out.

Cheers
Tom


Main: G68J, 218 HD621, 3*5200s (2 SE L&R),DSW, 2* Reviver, 3200s,SBT, PS4, Amazon TV Fire, Dune Base 3.0, Xbox, NUC (Roon server & Kodi)
Kitchen: 5200s, SBT, Chromecast
Office: A330i, G41, Explorer2,Velodyne CT120
F80s, M60s
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#275588 - 2018-04-30 05:09 Re: 218 evaluation / testing [Re: GMT]
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 2
cspeed Offline
Harmless
cspeed Offline
Harmless

Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 2
Loc: Eastleigh, Hampshire, UK
Thank you very much Tom


DSP5000
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