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#278994 - 2018-09-18 21:45 My journey with Meridian (and Shunyata, AQVOX etc)
Registered: 2009-08-29
Posts: 237
Jeremy A-H Offline
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Jeremy A-H Offline
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I've recently upgraded a few bits and pieces of my Hi-Fi setup and, while some of the discussion has been on other threads, I thought I'd put in one place what I've been up to as well as how much of a difference I feel they made for anyone else who might be thinking along similar lines.

If anyone has tried the same or alternative upgrades, I’d love to hear your thoughts...

A short while after I bought my 7200's (all of four weeks later), Meridian launched their SE speakers. Unfortunately, I couldn't justify the cost of the upgrade given I didn't get a lot of time to listen to the system as it was stuck in our living room. We moved house about a year ago and now have somewhere seperate to listen to music, which meant it made sense to think about upgrading the system to SE speakers and the 818v3.

So, I thought it would be interesting to describe how the journey went along with some commentary:

1) I upgraded the speakers from DSP7200's to SE's, which was a definite improvement, but nothing compared to what was to come

2) I then upgraded to the 818v3 which was a huge difference (I think the moral here is to do both upgrades at the same time if you can). I can't see the 818v3 upgrade making such a dramatic difference on its own. All of a sudden the sound stage became far more realistic and stable. MQA was even better.

3) I then got stuck down a rabbit hole of mains noise. What started as a 'let's not risk missing anything by not replacing the mains cables' became a project of understanding why this could make a difference and I ended up a long way down this particular hole. First with the Shunyata Triton v2 and Shunyata cables. This easily matches, if not beats the upgrade from the standard speakers and 818v2 to the SE's with the 818v3 upgrade. Seriously, go and listen to one of these (or a Denali, I suspect, would also be pretty damn good). Up until now, lead singers on the virtual stage would shimmer or get lost at times. The v2 fixed this completely and I think the lesson I learnt here is not overlook the mains supply!

4) The Shunyata Triton v3 upgrade a few weeks later made everything sound much more musical, the soundstage now had a sense of depth and the instruments sounded much more life-like.

5) So, if noise on the mains makes a difference, how about noise on ethernet? I tried an SotM dcBL-CAT7 special edition and the sound got even better, the sound stage more clearly defined (not as much an improvement of the changes above, but still worthwhile)

6) I then upgraded to the Antipodes CX and this was better (but has a really apparent burn-in time), although I don't think I noticed the quite the difference that others might achieve. This maybe because I'd already put a lot of effort into building my own low-noise music server with an 'audiophile JCAT ethernet card. Nonetheless, I think most people would hear a great improvement and it's easier to have Antipodes test upgrades to the machine over time than doing this myself.

7) I also decided to look at the speaker cables. After all, if Meridian feel that using someone else's mains cables wouldn't help, and they did, why not the speaker cables? On the advice of Velcro22 (and this is probably the most difficult one to justify price-wise), I went for the AudioQuest Diamonds (I did look at others, but I could understand how the Diamonds might work, and the alternatives would have paid for an upgrade to DSP8000SE's!). Now we're getting way beyond anything even close to anything I've heard from a Hi-Fi before. Piano's, Guitars, Vocals etc sound so lifelike, it's unreal. At this point, friends who couldn't tell the difference between previous changes are now sat there with the mouths open.

8) Also on the advice of Velcro22 (thanks, mate :-) ), I ordered an AQVOX SE Ethernet Switch. I then went a step further and ordered an SBooster linear power supply feeding an Uptone LPS1.2 to drive the switch. Again, this wasn't the largest difference I've heard to date, but a great improvement on how clearly defined everything is on stage.

If I were to pick upgrades in order of priority, I'd likely suggest either looking at the SE/818v3 or the Shunyata power conditioners first (then the other), followed by the AQVOX (at least until we know how good the SoTM and Uptone Audio switches are), followed by the Antipodes and the AudioQuest Diamond's. To round it off, ethernet filters are definitely a good thing.

Not sure what I should do next, probably more work on the SotM ethernet side of things, but I thought I'd describe this journey in case it helps someone else. One, perhaps, obvious note is that I did this in the order above and doing this in a different order may have better/less obvious benefits and, as always, YMMV!


DSP7200SE's, 818v3, Antipodes CX, Shunyata Triton v3 & Typhon (original version), SoTM sNH-10G ethernet switch
[Using a mix of Alpha NR's, Delta NR's, SotM and AudioQuest Diamond cables]
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#278998 - 2018-09-19 06:07 Re: My journey with Meridian (and Shunyata, AQVOX etc) [Re: Jeremy A-H]
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Syles Offline
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Originally Posted By Jeremy A-H
We moved house about a year ago and now have somewhere seperate to listen to music
Not sure what I should do next
Have you thought about acoustic room treatment?

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#278999 - 2018-09-19 07:17 Re: My journey with Meridian (and Shunyata, AQVOX etc) [Re: Syles]
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Not'arf Offline
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A great piece Jeremy & very interesting. Reading your journey, I was surprised at how low down the list the Diamond cables came but each step is nicely written.

If you aren't too modest, would it be appropriate to add in rough costings for each upgrade?

As Syles says, I'm sure some room treatment should be on your list.. GIK Acoustics could be a good place to start.


Audio: MC200, G61R SL, HD621, DSP5500, 5500HC, DSP3100. Subs: 2 x REL Gibraltar 2.
Video: JVC X70, Black Diamond Zero Edge screen 129"(2.35).

Meridian owner since 1998
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#279021 - 2018-09-19 19:39 Re: My journey with Meridian (and Shunyata, AQVOX etc) [Re: Jeremy A-H]
Registered: 2002-02-14
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ncpl Offline
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Thanks for sharing.

Question... the AQVOX people specifically state not to change the PSU. I noticed you went down a fairly typical route of LPSU etc.

What was your thought process here? Did you test?

Cheers


Rgds,
Nick

#15SE
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#279023 - 2018-09-19 20:01 Re: My journey with Meridian (and Shunyata, AQVOX etc) [Re: Syles]
Registered: 2009-08-29
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Jeremy A-H Offline
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Originally Posted By Syles
Have you thought about acoustic room treatment?
I have indeed. That said, room treatment is something I feel you can very quickly end up heading in a backwards direction if done incorrectly or too many assumptions are made, so I'm taking this slowly. First some personal feelings on what I've learnt using Meridian kit over the years (although I don't think any of this will be new to anyone):

a) I find the sound is improved when the rear wall consists of two layers of plasterboard, as opposed to plasterboard on brick. I find any brick (or concrete) even behind the plasterboard is damaging to the sound;

b) Try not have a brick or concrete wall too close behind the listening position either, unless you cover it with fibreglass panels (which is what we had to do at our previous place)

c) Carpet is better than wooden flooring, even wooden flooring with a large rug. Lots of glass windows are your enemy.


Luckily all of those considerations could be taken into account this time around, although I managed to find some new issues:

1) Marble-like hard surfaces on a fireplace are as horrible as glass, so we now have a 4" thick fibreglass panel cut to the size of the fireplace. I'm sure my wife loves this feature!

2) Glass windows and other objects such as radiators aren't totally avoidable and we have a thick, double folded woollen acoustic curtain where there is a reflection point, along with a canvas-like blind a few inches behind the curtains, which also absorbs some of the reflections

3) Trying to use any sound dampening on the walls was a step backwards (as was adding a bass trap), so I need to get advice on what I should do next...


DSP7200SE's, 818v3, Antipodes CX, Shunyata Triton v3 & Typhon (original version), SoTM sNH-10G ethernet switch
[Using a mix of Alpha NR's, Delta NR's, SotM and AudioQuest Diamond cables]
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#279024 - 2018-09-19 20:15 Re: My journey with Meridian (and Shunyata, AQVOX etc) [Re: Not'arf]
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Jeremy A-H Offline
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Originally Posted By Not'arf
A great piece Jeremy & very interesting. Reading your journey, I was surprised at how low down the list the Diamond cables came but each step is nicely written


Thanks Not'arf :-) I was hoping this would be useful, despite what some might argue is a controversial topic.

The AudioQuest Diamond cables being added towards the end of this set of upgrades was, in part, because it wasn't until I discovered how other cables could make a difference did I realise this could too.

The reason I recommended the speaker cables further down on my list of recommended upgrades was because: a) I feel like I got more bang for the buck from the previous upgrades; and b) I'm not sure you'd hear the improvement I did until the other upgrades are in place. This doesn't make this upgrade any less important, though.

Equally, the SotM ethernet filters were a very important part of the progression to a system that I reckon sounds two to three times better than the stock Meridian system, I should hasten to add in my particular environment. But, they're not cheap, if you want to cover the typical three network connections (Main network, switch to endpoint and switch to music server). I'd start with one on the endpoint and progress from there...


DSP7200SE's, 818v3, Antipodes CX, Shunyata Triton v3 & Typhon (original version), SoTM sNH-10G ethernet switch
[Using a mix of Alpha NR's, Delta NR's, SotM and AudioQuest Diamond cables]
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#279026 - 2018-09-19 20:45 Re: My journey with Meridian (and Shunyata, AQVOX etc) [Re: ncpl]
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Jeremy A-H Offline
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Originally Posted By ncpl
... the AQVOX people specifically state not to change the PSU. What was your thought process here ?
It's a pleasure - I've learnt a lot from reading these forums and it's nice to be able to contribute to the discussion smile

They do indeed. I did a lot of reading before taking any of these steps and there were three reasons for taking this approach with the AQVOX:

a) I didn't want an SMPS close to the system. Whatever anyone claims about being able to filter out the noise, I don't believe it's possible to filter noise in the constraints of a really tiny box, without resorting to inductors and the like*. Inductors, by definition, introduce a varying impedance. Impedance means there is a varying voltage, which creates radio frequency noise on the circuit. I think RF noise is something you want to go to the end of the earth to avoid as much as possible in a digital system (largely because it can play havoc with the ground reference and also because there is a timing signal embedded into the data signal which gets skewed by noise).

b) The reviews I saw suggested that using an LPS 1.2 with the AQVOX sounded better - and I could understand this could be the case (have you seen the output voltage ripple from one of these? It's incredibly small).

c) To my mind it sounded better, but I should admit I didn't spend more than an hour comparing. I just want the music to sound great and don't want to spend ages comparing one approach against another. If I can afford the entry ticket and it sounds better, then I'm happy to just listen to the music.

* Incidentally, for those who are interested, the reason I went for Shunyata rather than go for active mains conditioner was exactly this reason. Shunyata don't use inductors, but instead use very large coils (to give you an idea, each Triton weighs about 20 Kg) and none of the coils use an iron core. This means anything connected to it will just see a very, very low resistance to what is akin to a big power source, but one that nonetheless also filters the power.

You obviously can't completely avoid conductors and capacitors, but I feel you should use them [in a Hi-Fi environment] where they are required rather than to fix a problem you've created.


DSP7200SE's, 818v3, Antipodes CX, Shunyata Triton v3 & Typhon (original version), SoTM sNH-10G ethernet switch
[Using a mix of Alpha NR's, Delta NR's, SotM and AudioQuest Diamond cables]
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#279027 - 2018-09-19 21:05 Re: My journey with Meridian (and Shunyata, AQVOX etc) [Re: Not'arf]
Registered: 2009-08-29
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Jeremy A-H Offline
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Originally Posted By Not'arf
If you aren't too modest, would it be appropriate to add in rough costings for each upgrade?


If I want to be alive in the morning, probably not! :-)

What I can say is that you can get the RRP of all of these online - and, for the more expensive items, it's worth keeping an eye out for new or newly new items that come up for sale. I suspect for cables, you can go for older than nearly new (although, I believe the Shunyata Alpha cables are probably too new to find second hand right now).

I've been really, really fortunate with most of what I've bought, for example finding through dealers that wanted to sell their (in most cases, almost new) demo stock. Obviously watch out for cons on eBay etc


DSP7200SE's, 818v3, Antipodes CX, Shunyata Triton v3 & Typhon (original version), SoTM sNH-10G ethernet switch
[Using a mix of Alpha NR's, Delta NR's, SotM and AudioQuest Diamond cables]
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#279032 - 2018-09-20 04:53 Re: My journey with Meridian (and Shunyata, AQVOX etc) [Re: Jeremy A-H]
Registered: 2009-11-20
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OldDogCan Offline
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Two surprising sonic improvements this year on another, similar journey:

1) After I upgraded 5000 smileys to 5200SEs in my theater at the end of 2017, I set up a new stereo system with the old equipment in an odd-shaped room with lots of stone and glass. I measured around the listening position with REW software and a calibrated mic to save an .mdat file, which I then sent to Thierry at homeaudiofidelity.com whom I'd heard about on the Roon forums. His room correction filters make a huge difference! Up until now, my only experience had been with MRC which is clearly not in the same league.

2) I asked Bruce Sinclair at CMB, who had sold me the new speakers, about power conditioning. He offered Shunyata, so I bought their PS8, Defender and Venom power cords -as I was very skeptical about this expensive stuff (and don't have Jeremy's budget). Wow! I am now shocked that M recommends against anything beyond their stock power cables. I foolishly took their advice for decades, and sincerely hope this post will save others my chagrin.


ODC

Theater: C61R, DSP5200SEs,420s,33s, 218, HD621, NHT amp/subs, DigiOne, OPPO 203, JVC RS500, Fire,Apple,DirecTVs, Mac Pro 2010+, MF V-LINK II, iFI, AQ, Shunyata & Uptone

And 598DP, 568.2mm, 565, DSP5000.2s, Explorer², iFi nano iDSD BL, Audeze LCD-X, AudioEngine spkrs, M&K subs, Apple MBP, OPPO BDP-83, Roon endps incl Allo USBridge, Signature
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#279051 - 2018-09-20 14:07 Re: My journey with Meridian (and Shunyata, AQVOX etc) [Re: OldDogCan]
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Jeremy A-H Offline
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Good point, I also looked at REW and bought the relevant mic only to find my 818's USB port doesn't work, so I can't play the sample files through it. Meridian say they need it back, but my dealer didn't respond when I tried to book this in during my holiday, so it's going to have to wait another few months until I'm next on holiday.

My only concern is that this will break MQA as to use REW on Roon, you need Roon to do the first unfold and then get the Meridian to do the second. And, right now, this process is broken as the 818 can't understand partially unfolded MQA, so everyone's waiting for a fix.


DSP7200SE's, 818v3, Antipodes CX, Shunyata Triton v3 & Typhon (original version), SoTM sNH-10G ethernet switch
[Using a mix of Alpha NR's, Delta NR's, SotM and AudioQuest Diamond cables]
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#279054 - 2018-09-20 14:22 Re: My journey with Meridian (and Shunyata, AQVOX etc) [Re: Jeremy A-H]
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ncpl Offline
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I agree with your a, b and c points regarding walls. I treated the rear wall in my living room and it made a huge difference. Not sure if this aligns with your point 3 about not using dampening.
Containing the primary reflection from the rear wall in my case resolved almost all the front/back interference which was really annoying me. Only with these fixed could I ever expect to resolve changes to power delivery etc.


Thanks for the PSU vs AQV comment. I have several LPSU's so could test if I ever tried one of these units.


Rgds,
Nick

#15SE
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#279056 - 2018-09-20 14:47 Re: My journey with Meridian (and Shunyata, AQVOX etc) [Re: OldDogCan]
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Albert Offline
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Originally Posted By OldDogCan
I measured around the listening position with REW software and a calibrated mic to save an .mdat file, which I then sent to Thierry at homeaudiofidelity.com whom I'd heard about on the Roon forums. His room correction filters make a huge difference! Up until now, my only experience had been with MRC which is clearly not in the same league.
Thanks for sharing, shame we still couldn't setup filters for each channels in Roon.


HT: Audiocom Oppo203 signature with Vanity HD/HD621 861v8, DSP7200SEup DSP5200SEVCup, DSP5200SE
Revel b112*2 b112V2*1 AntimodeX4 JVCx790
Lot of GIK panels
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#279059 - 2018-09-20 16:31 Re: My journey with Meridian (and Shunyata, AQVOX etc) [Re: Jeremy A-H]
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Jeremy A-H Offline
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I should add two additional thoughts I had about cables. The first is that eBay seems to have several Shunyata Cobra cables at any given point in time and I would imagine these would sound pretty good too.

The other is that I discovered, having added the Diamond cables to my speakers, Redbook audio improved significantly to close the gap somewhat between it and MQA. I'm not sure whether that has something to do with how Meridian transmits MQA over Speakerlink, but an interesting (and pleasant) observation. And might even convince me with the benefit of hindsight to prioritise this upgrade sooner. Again, these cables can be found from time to time on eBay.


DSP7200SE's, 818v3, Antipodes CX, Shunyata Triton v3 & Typhon (original version), SoTM sNH-10G ethernet switch
[Using a mix of Alpha NR's, Delta NR's, SotM and AudioQuest Diamond cables]
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#279061 - 2018-09-20 16:47 Re: My journey with Meridian (and Shunyata, AQVOX etc) [Re: Jeremy A-H]
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VirusKiller Offline
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Just a warning, but there is a thread on the PS Audio forum in which it is clear that fake PS Audio cables are quite prolific. I have no idea if this is the case with Shunyata, but where there's money to be made...


Roon Developer and ex-moderator of this Forum
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#279062 - 2018-09-20 17:40 Re: My journey with Meridian (and Shunyata, AQVOX etc) [Re: Jeremy A-H]
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This is really great to read! Sounds like quite a big step forward in all areas 😃

My personal experience with mains (filters, cables and transformers) has led me down the road of a dedicated supply from my board. I’ve installed 6mm 3 core SY flex (has a braid shield but is more workable than swa) and grounded the sheath. Basically giving a 32amp radial to the equipment, I’ve then used 2x 12 way metal Olson non switched blocks and grounded the casing.

To me.. it lowered the noise level. Silence was more silent.. if that makes any sense.

For anyone with practical skills or who knows an electrician this is a really cost affective and straight forward improvement.

Kind regards
David


G61rsl, HD621, DSP5200SE, DSP5200HC, M1500, DSP33,
MC200, MS200, 218
M80

Denon 1611ud, Pana 50vt65b, Apple TV 2, Pro Ject Debut iii SE, MacBook Pro, Amazon Fire stick, Alexa dot, Humax Freesat HDR, Airport Express.
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#279063 - 2018-09-20 17:50 Re: My journey with Meridian (and Shunyata, AQVOX etc) [Re: VirusKiller]
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Originally Posted By VirusKiller
fake PS Audio cables are quite prolific
Good point. I bought my Triton from eBay (unused in an unopened box) and had the serial number checked with Shunyata. At a minimum, I'd check the seller has a receipt that looks genuine for the item.


DSP7200SE's, 818v3, Antipodes CX, Shunyata Triton v3 & Typhon (original version), SoTM sNH-10G ethernet switch
[Using a mix of Alpha NR's, Delta NR's, SotM and AudioQuest Diamond cables]
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#279064 - 2018-09-20 17:57 Re: My journey with Meridian (and Shunyata, AQVOX etc) [Re: D4ve84]
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Jeremy A-H Offline
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Originally Posted By D4ve84
My personal experience with mains (filters, cables and transformers) has led me down the road of a dedicated supply
I tried to get a quote for this, but it would involve pulling up a lot a floorboards and they have been both screwed and glued down and need a circular saw to remove them. It seems it would be about a half a day to a day's work - and I would need a carpet fitter to come in and refit the carpets frown

It might happen. Especially, if the builders come back to sort out some squeaky boards, in which case I'll consider putting in two lengths of cable while the boards are up and get an electrician to wire them to the fuse box smile


DSP7200SE's, 818v3, Antipodes CX, Shunyata Triton v3 & Typhon (original version), SoTM sNH-10G ethernet switch
[Using a mix of Alpha NR's, Delta NR's, SotM and AudioQuest Diamond cables]
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#279066 - 2018-09-20 18:10 Re: My journey with Meridian (and Shunyata, AQVOX etc) [Re: Jeremy A-H]
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ncpl Offline
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I put 2 separate radials in last year... one for each DSP. No floors involved... I got them installed outside and drilled through.

The SE / 818v3 upgrade was very good for RBCD IIRC. A lift in SQ all round.


Rgds,
Nick

#15SE
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#279069 - 2018-09-20 21:54 Re: My journey with Meridian (and Shunyata, AQVOX etc) [Re: ncpl]
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Jeremy A-H Offline
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Originally Posted By ncpl
The SE / 818v3 upgrade was very good for RBCD IIRC. A lift in SQ all round.
I agree. This was a monumental upgrade and definitely worth doing.


DSP7200SE's, 818v3, Antipodes CX, Shunyata Triton v3 & Typhon (original version), SoTM sNH-10G ethernet switch
[Using a mix of Alpha NR's, Delta NR's, SotM and AudioQuest Diamond cables]
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#279071 - 2018-09-20 23:08 Re: My journey with Meridian (and Shunyata, AQVOX etc) [Re: ncpl]
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Jeremy A-H Offline
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Originally Posted By ncpl
I treated the rear wall in my living room and it made a huge difference... Not sure if this aligns with your point 3 about not using dampening
With the rear wall in our previous place, this was absolutely what I found. I suspect doing the same on the side walls in the new place over-damped the room.

Originally Posted By ncpl
Thanks for the PSU vs AQV comment. I have several LPSU's so could test if I ever tried one of these units.
Similar to my situation, I had an LPS 1.2 hanging around, so no harm in trying (as long as you have the voltage set correctly!).


DSP7200SE's, 818v3, Antipodes CX, Shunyata Triton v3 & Typhon (original version), SoTM sNH-10G ethernet switch
[Using a mix of Alpha NR's, Delta NR's, SotM and AudioQuest Diamond cables]
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#279105 - 2018-09-21 22:09 Re: My journey with Meridian (and Shunyata, AQVOX etc) [Re: Jeremy A-H]
Registered: 2011-11-04
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D4ve84 Offline
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Originally Posted By Jeremy A-H
... but it would involve pulling up a lot a floorboards and they have been both screwed and glued down and need a circular saw to remove them. It seems it would be about a half a day to a day's work - and I would need a carpet fitter to come in and refit the carpets frown
Got to love chipboard floors... I was lucky my house has floor boards.

As mentioned though externally routing the cable could be an option and can be made to look very tidy in a lot of circumstances.. I do appreciate there will always be a cost though.

Kind regards
David


G61rsl, HD621, DSP5200SE, DSP5200HC, M1500, DSP33,
MC200, MS200, 218
M80

Denon 1611ud, Pana 50vt65b, Apple TV 2, Pro Ject Debut iii SE, MacBook Pro, Amazon Fire stick, Alexa dot, Humax Freesat HDR, Airport Express.
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#279113 - 2018-09-22 13:39 Re: My journey with Meridian (and Shunyata, AQVOX etc) [Re: D4ve84]
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Jeremy A-H Offline
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Originally Posted By D4ve84
As mentioned though externally routing the cable could be an option and can be made to look very tidy
Unfortunately, in our case, because of the location of the fuse box and the room, the cable would have to travel a fair distance, so I'm probably not going to be allowed to do this!


DSP7200SE's, 818v3, Antipodes CX, Shunyata Triton v3 & Typhon (original version), SoTM sNH-10G ethernet switch
[Using a mix of Alpha NR's, Delta NR's, SotM and AudioQuest Diamond cables]
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#279310 - 2018-10-02 13:20 Re: My journey with Meridian (and Shunyata, AQVOX etc) [Re: Jeremy A-H]
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Asa Post Offline
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Thanks for a very full, interesting and brave account of your efforts to improve Meridian performance. I can only agree that all efforts to combat RFI, EMI and vibration are essential. I have invested heavily in Vertex/Quiescent, details of which are here . I have also bought Leading Edge platforms that combat the same issues: see here .

There is an interesting comparative review of power conditioners, including Shunyata, in Hi Fi Critic: see here .

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#279313 - 2018-10-02 13:54 Re: My journey with Meridian (and Shunyata, AQVOX etc) [Re: Asa Post]
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Asa Post Offline
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I forgot to mention that, when I made my comparison of exotic cat 7 cables, this was before any of the above-mentioned Vertex etc products were installed. I now wonder whether my impressions would be different with a dramatically lowered noise floor.

Originally Posted By Asa Post
What I am about to write will provoke cable sceptics and disappoint those who have invested in Vodkas. However, that is not my intention.

My curiosity was aroused by the references to Audioquest Vodka and Diamond cables improving sound quality. As you can see, my post above reported that I found it hard to understand how this could be the case. But a PM from another HH further stimulated my interest. And at about the same time a friend with a Naim system installed new SL cables that transformed the quality of his sound. [I know that digital and analogue systems and digital and analogue cables are not the same.]

I borrowed two runs of Vodka from my dealer and installed them in daisy-chain configuration (necessitated by the length of the cables)for comparison with my home-run configured cat7. My 2 channel system comprises an 808v5 and 8kSEs. I could detect no difference in sound quality. My dealer called in later and also struggled to find any improvement with the Vodkas.

At my request my dealer had also arranged to borrow some Chord Anthem cables which he had brought with him. With no sense of anticipation these were swapped into the system. Surprisingly, these delivered a very worthwhile improvement in sound quality. Scale, clarity and focus were all improved.

Accordingly, I asked to borrow other cables in Chord's range to see if further benefits could be gained. I ended up with the full range of Signature, Indigo and Sarum to add to the Anthems. I have had all these cables on extended loan for nearly three weeks. The cheapest Anthems offered the most dramatic improvement when compared with the cat7. There was a small incremental gain from the Anthem to the Signature and from the Signature to the Indigo. The difference between the Indigo and the Sarum was also subtle. Sarum is approximately seven times more expensive than Anthem making Anthem something of a bargain. Apart from my family, my findings were also endorsed by two other experienced hi-fi enthusiasts who are used to evaluating equipment. I was under no pressure to buy any of these cables

Cable discussions seem to elicit emotional responses from people that do not apply to other areas of hi-fi. This has made many wary of taking cables as seriously as other parts of their system. Some very distinguished members did not change over to SSTP spec cat cables until less than a year ago. Other very distinguished people put their faith in Meridian and bought branded cable "for peace of mind". However, I urge you to borrow some Chord Anthem cables from your dealer. You may be as surprised as I was at the improvement that they bring. You have nothing to lose but a few hours of your time. Can I explain why these cables should bring such a desirable improvement in sound quality? No.

I now have a longer length of Anthem and have been able to enjoy the advantage of a home run connection. This offered even more scale, clarity and focus. So, at the very least, if your equipment allows, try a home run configuration if you do not already have that installed.

I must express my thanks to Audioquest and Chord for allowing me the luxury of such an extended home trial. And thanks also to Sevenoaks Exeter for making all the arrangements.


The quote was originally posted on 26/7/2015 in a thread entitled "RJ45 Cables (Ethernet and SpeakerLink Use Cases)".

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#279353 - 2018-10-03 16:09 Re: My journey with Meridian (and Shunyata, AQVOX etc) [Re: Asa Post]
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Thanks, Asa smile

Yes, yours was one of the reviews I took note of and I seriously considered the Chord cables. The only reason not to go down this path was that they are *very* pricey at the top of the range and they didn't stock cables in their library of the next cable down (the Sarum T, which was also pretty pricey).

The next best option seemed to be the Diamond cables as I felt they were trying to achieve a similar end result as the ChordMusic cable, but in a different way, and at a price I could afford.

I would agree that I believe the differences cables have on SQ become more pronounced the better the rest of the system is. Certainly, going down the Shunyata Triton route has had a huge impact (as did the SE speaker upgrades combined with the 818v3).


DSP7200SE's, 818v3, Antipodes CX, Shunyata Triton v3 & Typhon (original version), SoTM sNH-10G ethernet switch
[Using a mix of Alpha NR's, Delta NR's, SotM and AudioQuest Diamond cables]
Edited by Jeremy A-H; 2018-10-04 02:58.
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#279419 - 2018-10-05 22:57 Re: My journey with Meridian (and Shunyata, AQVOX etc) [Re: Jeremy A-H]
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By way of an update, I’ve been exceptionally lucky and managed to lay my hands on a second-hand Typhon to keep my Triton company during the cold winter nights.

The Typhon was something that I had planned to do next year, but it seems the Typhon QR upgrade essentially gives you a brand new unit as something like the faceplate is the only part that remains, and even that can be replaced if you ask for it. One come up on eBay and I couldn’t resist... mostly because I don’t think they’ll be many original boxes for sale (Shunyata had originally said they couldn’t be upgraded but have since changed their mind).

Thoughts to follow as it acclimatises to its new home...


DSP7200SE's, 818v3, Antipodes CX, Shunyata Triton v3 & Typhon (original version), SoTM sNH-10G ethernet switch
[Using a mix of Alpha NR's, Delta NR's, SotM and AudioQuest Diamond cables]
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#279660 - 2018-10-19 22:49 Re: My journey with Meridian (and Shunyata, AQVOX etc) [Re: Jeremy A-H]
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Well, I've been a bit quiet on this topic as I suspected there may be something wrong with my (I hasten to add second hand) Typhon, although Shunyata say it needs about 150 hours of music to settle in, so I think I'll need to leave trying that out for a business trip next week and leave it running while I'm in Germany. I've read reviews saying the same thing, so it might be a matter of being patient... or being doubly patient and waiting to upgrade to the Typhon QR, which is the ultimate goal (and an upgrade that I've been told is very worthwhile).


DSP7200SE's, 818v3, Antipodes CX, Shunyata Triton v3 & Typhon (original version), SoTM sNH-10G ethernet switch
[Using a mix of Alpha NR's, Delta NR's, SotM and AudioQuest Diamond cables]
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#279677 - 2018-10-20 14:37 Re: My journey with Meridian (and Shunyata, AQVOX etc) [Re: Jeremy A-H]
Registered: 2002-02-14
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ncpl Offline
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If it is second hand why might it need any hours to settle in?

Do they have any comment on that ?


Rgds,
Nick

#15SE
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#279692 - 2018-10-21 03:08 Re: My journey with Meridian (and Shunyata, AQVOX etc) [Re: ncpl]
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Originally Posted By ncpl
If it is second hand why might it need any hours to settle in?
I didn’t ask that question, but I would imagine it would be to do with the polarization/charging of the material used inside the NIC’s after the unit has been disconnected for some time.


DSP7200SE's, 818v3, Antipodes CX, Shunyata Triton v3 & Typhon (original version), SoTM sNH-10G ethernet switch
[Using a mix of Alpha NR's, Delta NR's, SotM and AudioQuest Diamond cables]
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#279797 - 2018-10-26 19:51 Re: My journey with Meridian (and Shunyata, AQVOX etc) [Re: Jeremy A-H]
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A quick update on the Typhon: Following my conversation with the (I must say, ever-helpful) Shunyata team, I plugged the Typhon directly into the mains socket next to the HiFi and this has made an incredible difference. I've been playing the Queen Bohemian Rhapsody album and the speakers pretty much disappear with the staging extremely well graduated from left to right.

At a guess, I think the issue with the original design of the Typhon is that it takes a long time to settle in as it actually requires noise on the mains to do so and much of the noise is already filtered out by the Triton. Plugging the Typhon directly into the wall socket resolves this issue at a stroke (bear in mind the new Typhon QR works completely differently in this regard as it sits before the Triton).

PS As a short update, the Typhon has now had two days back in my system and is getting better by the day. The soundstage now has real depth - so much so, when standing listening to a live recording, it can feel like I'm overlooking the stage from a balcony position and can hear where instruments are, not just left to right, but also where they are front to back on the stage. And it all sounds very, very musical. So my view is now that, second hand, these are tremendous value for money - once you have them run in.

It'll be interesting to see what happens if I connect it back to the Triton after it has had 150 hours to settle, although I must admit I'm slightly nervous about making changes to a system that is working so well.

[MQA version of the Queen album arriving tomorrow, which should be interesting...


DSP7200SE's, 818v3, Antipodes CX, Shunyata Triton v3 & Typhon (original version), SoTM sNH-10G ethernet switch
[Using a mix of Alpha NR's, Delta NR's, SotM and AudioQuest Diamond cables]
Edited by Jeremy A-H; 2018-10-27 23:50. Edit Reason: Brief update and remove comment about Queen album arriving tomorrow. It isn’t, well at least not the right one! :-(
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#279801 - 2018-10-27 06:35 Re: My journey with Meridian (and Shunyata, AQVOX etc) [Re: Jeremy A-H]
Registered: 2007-11-23
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Greg Wright Offline
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Originally Posted By Jeremy A-H
[MQA version of the Queen album arriving tomorrow, which should be interesting...]
Where did you buy this?

Cheers
Greg


M owner since '97
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#279804 - 2018-10-27 17:05 Re: My journey with Meridian (and Shunyata, AQVOX etc) [Re: Greg Wright]
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I checked and it turns out I didn’t. I had a look today and discovered that, although Google showed a match, I missed that it was actually a completely different album that got ordered.

Lesson to myself is not to trust Google with the ability they give advertisers to copy your search string into the search results and prefix this with the word ‘buy’.

That said, there is a higher res version available in the US, but not MQA.


DSP7200SE's, 818v3, Antipodes CX, Shunyata Triton v3 & Typhon (original version), SoTM sNH-10G ethernet switch
[Using a mix of Alpha NR's, Delta NR's, SotM and AudioQuest Diamond cables]
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#281212 - 2018-12-31 17:17 Re: My journey with Meridian (and Shunyata, AQVOX etc) [Re: Jeremy A-H]
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If only to show that not all sound improvements need to cost silly money, I thought I'd write up a recent discovery which, while more of an emergency measure, demonstrated how even low-cost power conditioning might improve the SQ of our Meridian systems.

By way of some background, it seems in December one of our neighbours put in PowerLine adaptors to get around the networking issues inherent in new-build properties; the signal from which not even the Shunyata kit could eliminate and the sound stage completely collapsed.

After some reading up on the topic, the quickest fix turned out to repurpose a Tacima mains conditioner sitting in my study (costing all of £35 from Amazon) to feed the processor as a stop-gap measure. The sound stage not only went back to how it was, but I think actually may have improved the focus (although, perhaps not all areas of the performance).

I'd recommend against using this solution for DSP speakers, though. I experimented with this and the sound ended up feeling really clinical, losing any sense of realism.

Definitely worth considering for a processor. For the price, I'm not sure it can be beaten.



DSP7200SE's, 818v3, Antipodes CX, Shunyata Triton v3 & Typhon (original version), SoTM sNH-10G ethernet switch
[Using a mix of Alpha NR's, Delta NR's, SotM and AudioQuest Diamond cables]
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#281213 - 2018-12-31 17:28 Re: My journey with Meridian (and Shunyata, AQVOX etc) [Re: Jeremy A-H]
Registered: 2007-11-23
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Greg Wright Offline
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Originally Posted By Jeremy A-H
to feed the processor as a stop-gap measure.

Do you mean just for the 818?

Is it this one [url=Tacima 6 Way Mains Conditioner and Radio Frequency Interference Filter https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B000PS5700/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_eiLkCbNC90CD1]amazon link[/url] ?

Cheers
Greg


M owner since '97
Edited by Greg Wright; 2018-12-31 17:32.
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#281214 - 2018-12-31 17:43 Re: My journey with Meridian (and Shunyata, AQVOX etc) [Re: Jeremy A-H]
Registered: 2004-08-07
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Ian Offline
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Ian Offline
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When you say one of your neighbours, do you mean one either side or further away?



Meridian owner since 1992
DSP5000 96/24, MC200, roon (ROCK 8Gi5 Nuc), Prime & PSU, Focal Elear, Explorer 1 & 2, F80, 200/203 and various Sonos.
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#281216 - 2018-12-31 18:34 Re: My journey with Meridian (and Shunyata, AQVOX etc) [Re: Greg Wright]
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Originally Posted By Greg Wright

Do you mean just for the 818?
Yes, that's right

Originally Posted By Greg Wright
Is it this one?
Yes, mine has a green core for the common mode choke, but has the same model number


DSP7200SE's, 818v3, Antipodes CX, Shunyata Triton v3 & Typhon (original version), SoTM sNH-10G ethernet switch
[Using a mix of Alpha NR's, Delta NR's, SotM and AudioQuest Diamond cables]
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#281217 - 2018-12-31 18:52 Re: My journey with Meridian (and Shunyata, AQVOX etc) [Re: Ian]
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Originally Posted By Ian
When you say one of your neighbours, do you mean one either side or further away?
I should have been clearer that this only an assumption based on a conversation I had with a neighbour about how they could extend their Wifi, but I didn't go back and ask whether they had decided on this approach as it might look like I was complaining when I'm not.

That said, whatever is causing this is recent (but pre-Christmas lighting), is likely to be pretty close by and on the same phase. I haven't come across anything (even heavy duty three-phase water pumps) creating this kind of issue, so a PowerLine adaptor is my best guess. It's also the easiest solution for most people who need to extend their network through walls that reflect all wifi signals.

In our case, the Sky box couldn't see the Wifi extender six meters away (but the other side of the wall), so we ended up wiring pretty much every room in the house with ethernet sockets to get around this.


DSP7200SE's, 818v3, Antipodes CX, Shunyata Triton v3 & Typhon (original version), SoTM sNH-10G ethernet switch
[Using a mix of Alpha NR's, Delta NR's, SotM and AudioQuest Diamond cables]
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#281234 - 2019-01-01 09:47 Re: My journey with Meridian (and Shunyata, AQVOX etc) [Re: Jeremy A-H]
Registered: 2004-08-07
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Ian Offline
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Originally Posted By Jeremy A-H
By way of some background, it seems in December one of our neighbours put in PowerLine adaptors to get around the networking issues inherent in new-build properties; the signal from which not even the Shunyata kit could eliminate and the sound stage completely collapsed.
This really doesn't sound right to me. Many people run electrical items that create noise such as Powerline adaptors and switched PSU's, but do not suffer/report a sound stage completely collapsing, let alone when some (more devoted listeners around us) run kit to clean up power such as the Shunyata kit that you mention.

A signal from a neighbouring powerline adaptor, certainly in a typical UK street, would likely have travelled 100 yards or more, past several other houses on a different phase, through several meters other devices all screwing with the signal and thats even before taking into account time of day differences such as voltage, frequency, environmental issues, health and just plain old psychoacoustics.

Personally, I would say that the root cause is closer to home, and possibly worth getting the Shunyta guys in with their meter to check your Shunyta kit is working properly and maybe even home in on the source of the problem. Need to follow the evidence.



Meridian owner since 1992
DSP5000 96/24, MC200, roon (ROCK 8Gi5 Nuc), Prime & PSU, Focal Elear, Explorer 1 & 2, F80, 200/203 and various Sonos.
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#281245 - 2019-01-01 21:12 Re: My journey with Meridian (and Shunyata, AQVOX etc) [Re: Ian]
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Well, an oscilloscope in FFT mode and judicious use of the isolators in the fuse box should indicate whether it is internal or external. I can also compare the signal before and after the Shunyata equipment.


DSP7200SE's, 818v3, Antipodes CX, Shunyata Triton v3 & Typhon (original version), SoTM sNH-10G ethernet switch
[Using a mix of Alpha NR's, Delta NR's, SotM and AudioQuest Diamond cables]
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#281413 - 2019-01-05 22:21 Re: My journey with Meridian (and Shunyata, AQVOX etc) [Re: Jeremy A-H]
Registered: 2004-01-12
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Crion Offline
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Please try and track this source of noise. We're intrigued. smile

I've dabbled with the iFi AC purifier which seems pretty good at limiting certain trouble frequencies. With outlet placement detailed in their guide you can isolate the troublemaker. Not sure if those interfere with any powerline network extenders though. smile It's all very interesting this.. wink

Edit: Saw now that you have the Triton v3 as I do. The backplane of the triton is if I'm not mistaken split between the top 4 outlets and the bottom 4 outlets on EU schuko models atleast.
You can therefore isolate pretty good between those. Try isolating your 818/861 to be alone on the top or bottom 4 outlets. If this doesn't isolate well enough put an iFi AC purifier next to the 818/861 to push the noise down again with upto -40dB for certain frequencies.

You can use the split backplane of the triton v3 to put all SMPS equipment (UHD722/ATV4K/etc) on the bottom 4 outlets and LPS (818/861/DSP Speakers) equipment on the top 4 outlets for example.

If you find the real trouble maker (powerline network extender?) I would surround it with two iFi AC purifiers on a regular powerstrip as they send out an inverted cancellation signal to block that noise but now it can be contained on that single powerstrip before hitting any house wiring circuit.

PS. After you've found the offender please go ahead and upgrade to the Typhon QR which have gotten rave reviews apparently. wink DS.

Good Luck!



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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#281441 - 2019-01-06 23:56 Re: My journey with Meridian (and Shunyata, AQVOX etc) [Re: Crion]
Registered: 2009-08-29
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Jeremy A-H Offline
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Originally Posted By Crion
Please try and track this source of noise. We're intrigued. smile

I’m going to try and find time this week to look at this - I’ll let you know how I get on :-)

Originally Posted By Crion
I've dabbled with the iFi AC purifier which seems pretty good

Yes, I had a play with these - and heard improvements until this additional noise started

Originally Posted By Crion
The backplane of the triton is if I'm not mistaken split between the top 4 outlets and the bottom 4 outlets on EU schuko models atleast

My Triton appears to be split into four groups of two sockets each (two groups on the top and two on the bottom). I currently have the music player plugged into the top and the speakers plugged into different groups on the bottom row, so I think our configuration is similar. That said, my 818 is currently plugged into the mains filter I mentioned previously to make the system bearable! I did try the iFi in the socket next to the 818 (when it was plugged into the Triton) and I felt it sucked some of the life out of the performance, so took it out again...

Originally Posted By Crion
I would surround it with two iFi AC purifiers on a regular powerstrip as they send out an inverted cancellation signal to block that noise but now it can be contained on that single powerstrip before hitting any house wiring circuit

If it turns out to be an internal issue, I will definitely try this. Before this issue, I had two iFi's, one either side of the Triton's wall socket.

I still suspect a PowerLine, though. I have read that the PowerLines push noise beyond 430MHz on to earth/live & neutral. If one considers the drop in signal at 1MHz (at least for ADSL lines) is only around 0.6dB per 30 metres of cable, there would seem a good opportunity for this signal to propagate from a neighbour.

I also read the following quote on The Register's forum recently: 'I was advised by an electrician when asking the same sort of questions, that the [PowerLine] signal will not be stopped at the Fuse Box/Trip Panel. So in addition to appearing on all of your internal rings, it will also be fed into the building supply if you are in apartment block say. I think the signal gets out on to the local supply connection, where it is attenuated by distance'

There is also the wildcard of Sky Q boxes containing PowerLine hardware (but, nowadays, Sky have disabled it because it caused too many complaints). There is always the possibility that one of our Sky Q boxes is playing up and causing this problem.

Originally Posted By Crion
PS Please go ahead and upgrade to the Typhon QR which have gotten rave reviews apparently. wink DS.

I'm hoping to get it shipped back for the upgrade in March :-)


DSP7200SE's, 818v3, Antipodes CX, Shunyata Triton v3 & Typhon (original version), SoTM sNH-10G ethernet switch
[Using a mix of Alpha NR's, Delta NR's, SotM and AudioQuest Diamond cables]
Edited by Jeremy A-H; 2019-01-07 02:33.
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