Meridian 568 A/V Preamplifier

568

24-bit 96kHz DACs and 96kHz Audio Processing. High resolution upsampling to 88.2kHz or 96kHz 24-bit. FIFO memory-based dejittering system (previously only available in the 800 Series). Eight analogue outputs plus balanced outputs for the front three channels. Eight digital outputs for connecting to Meridian’s astonishing DSP speakers

User Reviews (15)

Showing 1-10 of 15  
EP   AudioPhile [Apr 17, 2010]

I own the 568.2
One of the best processors available and at the current price they are selling on the used market it's a steal. Audio sounds as good as anything else I heard, too many too list. This is all you need if you want to set up a home theater and still be able to enjoy the best audio sound when you are in the mood for music. My favorite option is listening to music in Trifieild, this directs the sound to your front and center speakers, it sounds unbelievable. It has 2 channel direct stereo for purists and I have compared this to many high end processors and the meridian was the top performer. It has endless features. If you see one for sale grab it.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
jwh   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 12, 2003]
Strength:

It's all about sound with Meridian!

Weakness:

Remote is well made, but backlighting and universality would be nice.

Just got this beauty. I must say this is the finest sounding machine I have ever used! I recently upgraded from Sunfire Ultimate Receiver to McIntosh Amp and this Meridian. The sunfire was a fine piece but cannot hold a light to the delicacy with which music and HT are reproduced! I must encourage anyone interestef in Meridian to take advantage of the 568 line which is at a bargain since the release of the G series. I auditioned Anthem, Lexicon, Theta( both casanova and casablance), and EAD theater master 8000. Each wonderful and I would have been pleased, however, the Meridian is the best and the price is outstanding.

Similar Products Used: Sunfire, Anthem, Theta, EAD, Rotel
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Bif Masterson   AudioPhile [Feb 19, 2003]
Strength:

Nice glass top - great for serving h'orsderves - easy clean up - I find some diluted Mr. Clean works the best.

Weakness:

I find M's spec on jitter woefully low. Requires an exact interconnect match to reduce this problem. Plastic buttons.

I traded my tube (Jolida, McIntosh) gear in Sept '02 for some a trip down Meridian lane. Listen, I'm not going to get into the age old debate over tube versus solid state gear - but, boy am I sorry I made this switch. My experience with Meridian gear has only left me more convinced of tube superiority. But to the review - Let's start with the remote - I've got smaller typewriters... How about looks - nothing really to look at - no glowing lights, no real heat disapation... One thing that really bothers me is the inability to tool around inside the box (I built a radio home kit on time - so I usually like messing around inside) - this thing is nothing but cards and epoxy boards... I guess I could write some sofware... OK - sound - let's just say after bing accustomed to a nice, smooth - well behaved sounding system, I was quite shocked at my first impression of the 568's jacked up, psycho accoustic mumbo jumbo, and totally unbelievable sound. Upsampling? How completely fake - modern mathmatics has proven that in order to accomplish this (why in the first place?) so much noise is brought into the equation that any benefits are outweighed by an unnaturally altered sound. Tripled buffered fifo memory - well buffering once is fine and isn't fifo an accounting term? Too much trickery going on here for me. Give me back my tubes and turntable.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
2
Nils Fredrik Torp   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 09, 2002]

This is a fabolous product if you dont need a tape loop I use it with meridian 557 and 500. Else i've got the super senterchannel CC electra 901 with a Meridian monoblock to drive. The sound is stunning, even better than 588, 502 and557. I think they have made a troughlu imressive preamp, prosessor and dac. You can get bettter if you have a hole lot of ekstra mony, but this is a godie.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
JayMac   AudioPhile [Sep 01, 2002]
Strength:

Everything

Weakness:

Nothing

The new 568.2 MM is the finest Surround Processor/Preamp I have ever heard. The ability to upsample all 7 channels to 24/88 is a computing marvel. The ablility to accept DVD Audio digitally is a blessing. Frankly, DVD Audio is so superior to CD, the presence, detail, soundstage and analog-like coherence it is amazing. I've decided to just use the 2 channel information on the disc: main left and right and a pair of subs only. As I don't agree with the remixing decisions made by the studios in regards to instrument and vocal placements. The overall sound from the 568.2 MM is everything you could ask for: dynamic yet smooth, detailed with great depth yet full of body and soul. I truly believe that this will be in my system for a long, long time to come... My system is: Meridian 598 Meridian 568.2 Plinius SA-250 MKIV with the latest mods. Plinius SA-100 II mono-bridged for Center Bryston 3BST for the rears Dynaudio Crafft mains Dynaudio T2.1 center B&W 7 Signature in-walls for rears Pair of REL Storm III subs All Cardas Golden Cross cabeling

Similar Products Used: Meridian 565 and 568.1
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Eric Montaghami   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 02, 2000]
Strength:

Sound, Felexibility, Upgradability Path.

Weakness:

Remote

I have had my unit for a little over one month now, and I have to say that it is the smoothest sounding pre/proc I have ever heard. Two channel audio has never sounded better in my system, and I have had some very high priced audiophile equipment in the past. I was shopping for a pre/proc for over 3 months, and I tried everything out there (everything with the price tag of 2500 up to 7500.00)and I must admit that non of them even came close to the sound of meridian 568. First of all the unit sounds extremely smooth, and yet very detailed, I played CD's after CD and stayed up way after midnight (I know midnight what a whimp!) I value two channel audio highly in my home theater environment, due to the fact that I used to be a so called audiophile, and let me tell you if that is one of your requirements for a pre/proc then you won't be dissapointed with this unit. the home theater portion on this piece is a landmark ahead of anything out there. the computer programming capability and its modular design for the future upgradability path alone is worth its weight in gold. there are so many so called upgradable units out there that don't even come close to this unit. The AC-3/DTS sounds awsome, the low frequencies also sound amazingly powerfull. If you are looking for a pre/proc in this price range you owe it to your self to give this baby a try. Best of luck to you! by the way; you don't need a computer to set this up, but it does make it a lot more easier and detailed. This is my first time writting in, and I just wanted to say that reading these reviews had helped me to make a better sound judgement on certain equipments that I was interested of buying, so if you are out there and you know about a product that you own or have used, write about it on this site, regardless of how ridiculous you think you may sound. (just look at mine and it may make you feel better). It is because of you,that has made mine and many others shopping/listening experience a reality without having to travel to a great distance to hear about a equipment that is not available in my/your area.


Similar Products Used: Krell HTS, Classe ssp-25, Theta Casa Nova
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Fernando Macario   Audiophile [Jun 09, 2000]
Strength:

Exceptional quality in both two-channel music and in 5.1dd and 5.1DTS. Great fun and really easy to use and set-up with a computer.

Weakness:

The remote should be able to "learn" others remotes protocols.

This is the best processor I Know. I'm using it with Meridian DSP5000 loudspeakers and the sound is quite fabulous. It is great with music and with movies, from plain "old" 16 bit/44 KHz to 24 bit/96 KHz. I can't wayt to DVD-audio...

Similar Products Used: TAG McLaren, Sony 930 and Marantz processors, none in the same league.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
mike   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 11, 2000]
Strength:

it's only a digital processor & keeps seperate components seperate by keeping your video out of your audio, upgradeable via the net and a pc, 192/24 ready on all 8 channels, 96/24 adc, upsampling of pcm. very flexible setup, balanced outputs.

Weakness:

no analog pass thru.

incredible detail, brings out everthing that's on the recording, excellent on 2 channel pcm music, dsp that you can listen to. plenty of fine adjustment. Amazing prologic preformance on analog sources. DD/DTS dynamic that are untouchable. Dialog is very clear and uncolored.

Similar Products Used: 565, 861, mc1, avp, msb linkdac
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
mic   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 17, 2000]
Strength:

Software upgrade via net. 24/96 8 channels of analog or digial outs, balanced outs for front 3 channels. 7.1 decoding, upsampling, dejittering, sound quality, flexablity, hardware upgradable.

Weakness:

it's a new machine and still has a few bugs.

As a Stereo DAC with upsampling and dejittering it's worth it, Add in some of the best DD/DTS decoding, Real Music modes that work and you've got the best sounding processor this side of the 861. I run a FM tuner and TV/VCR/CABLE thru the analog inputs without any trouble, I think the fellow below has other problems. The 568 setup can be a little tricky, lots of setup options some you'll only get with Meridian products.

Similar Products Used: Meridian 565, MC1, AVP, Casabanca.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Paul Caveller   Audiophile [Dec 06, 1999]
Strength:

Better DACs than my previous 565. Pin sharp dolby digital. Easier PC setup now included.

Weakness:

Incredibly expensive at £3600 / $5900 compared to competitors.

I got serial no. 18 of this unit (in the UK) before any reviews etc, and before many of the dealers knew of it's existence. I feed the balanced outputs into a Krell KSA250 & Martin Logan SL3's.

The 568 replaces the 565 which has reached the end of it's lifespan - the 565 cannot/will not handle 96khz (if that is important to you?). Although Meridian provide a 24 bit upgrade for the 565, as well as other upgrades such as DTS (I've heard DTS is dead - any truth in this rumour?) DD etc., they refuse to replace the front panel. The end result is that your 565 never visibly looks upgraded so resale value is effected - Meridian instead provide an upgrade certificate that anyone could print themselves.

In terms of features the 568 seems to have it all - although some of the marketing claims strike me as a bit dubious. For example, turning on the upsampling of CD I cannot hear a blind bit of difference - and I should do with my amp and speakers, shouldn't I??? FIFO buffering? Who? The PC setup is miles better than the previous setup routine with the 565 though. It has (for me) enough inputs to dispense with my 565 altogether, including video and the balanced outputs are a bonus too. It can handle more speakers & subs than you can shake a stick at, analogue or digital. All its 'presets' (ie sound setting) can be personalised, stored, altered etc.

Anyway this unit definitely sounds loads better than my previous (20 bit) 565, and not by a small margin either. It's difficult to know what or where to ascribe the improvement to. On dolby digital DVD's the sound is pin sharp, rock solid + any other fancy phrase you care to apply. On music, everything simply sound less artificial than with the 562v/565 and bass is improved too.

While waiting for the 568 to appear I tried the TAG Mclaren processor, and listened to the new low cost Roksan Processor at a hi fi show. Both were impressive in their own way (especially the Roksan - fantastic value for money), but neither can hold a candle to the 568. Having said that the Meridian costs almost four times the Roksan and almost double the TAG. I'd have killed for a DC-2 or a Krell HTS or a Theta Casa Nova but here in 'rip off' Britain I might as well hope for pigs to fly.

So, in summary, the Meridian 568 - fantastic sounding but suspect value for money when compared to it's peers.

Similar Products Used: Meridian 562v/565 & TAG Maclaren processor
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-10 of 15  

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