Meridian 506.20 CD Players

506.20

User Reviews (20)

Showing 1-10 of 20  
chris   AudioPhile [May 05, 2014]

A fantastic player and immense value for money. If you're looking for a solid CD player on a budget,from 600$-700$ Anyone looking for the highest capacity CD players that money can buy, here it is. The sound quality is solid, too.the CD player lives up to the brand's trusted name and is one of the best deals in CD players audio.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
daveuzuk   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 26, 2003]
Strength:

Natrual and analgue sounding Doesnt make bad cds sound worse - tries hard to dig out all there is. Great imaging and sound stage Doesnt add anything

Weakness:

Needs great loudspeakers or will show up bass weaknesses - they go low and so if you speakers havve humps at very low frequencies they will sound soft. inablity to fast forward in a track without the remote. No balanced output. For the money you will pay no weakenesses at all really

I purchased this second hand to allow my daughter to have my old Pioneer 802 (well the wife never argued). It partners my Audio Research SP9 Hafler DH 200 power amp (I have bought a second and am loking for a third to tri amp) and was amazed by its natural laid back qualities - imaging and depth. At first thought I thought it lacked bass slamm but on lengthy listening I realised it prodiced what was on the album and that my earlier cd player emphasized this. I then purchased Art Impression loudspeakers (and you really ought to check these outfrom art-loudspeakers a specialist UK manufacturer) and am in audio heaven. The 506.20 plays and you listen - nothing added and nothing taken away. I still prefer my Systemdek 4 Rega arm Decca Gold (retipped by expert pickups)but hey Cd is never ever going to sound as good as vinyl. For anyone looking for a sonic bargain second hand this has to be the machine - you won't be dissapointed provided the rest of your equipement is up to it.

Similar Products Used: Tested against; Micromega Linn Naim Arcam Sugden
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Peter the Alligator   AudioPhile [Oct 25, 2002]
Strength:

Open, airy and big soundstage. Very sophisticated and involving player that excels with jazz.

Weakness:

Bass definition and it could have had a little more slam/attack: it is not the most dynamic player on earth. Meridian cd players are not the most lucid players. Use a good power cord (Siltech)

I find the 506.20 a very smooth and musical player which really shines with jazzmusic. It has a tuneful bass and a nice open and airy soundstage. It is also very detailed. One month ago I have heard the Meridian 588. That player sounds great and is also very dynamic. Only the bass could have been tighter. I will wait for sacd.

Similar Products Used: I have heard a lot: Meridian 508.20, 508.24 and 588, Linn Karik and Linn Ikemi, Lindemann cd 1 and D680 and Sony Scd 1.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Alex   Audio Enthusiast [May 20, 2002]
Strength:

Detail, imaging, soundstage, dimension

Weakness:

I wish that the unit had balanced outputs.

Finally! I have had the hardest time trying to get my system to sound the way that I wanted it to. I could not tell what the weakest link was. I had it in my head that it was the cd player. I had a Cal Delta that I was using through a Meridian DAC that sounded descent, but not what I was looking for. I tried a Meridian 596 DVD player, I was seriously disappointed! It is a DVD player, it does not do cd''s well! Then came the 506. Presto, problem solved. Soundstage, imaging, detail, air, and a dash of warmth. What a sensational unit. I can finally sit down and listen to the music rather than sit around and try to analyze and critic what I don''t like about it. Everything sounds nice. I have resurrected albums that I pushed off as being a "bad recording". I am still amazed about the amount of dimension that the unit puts out. The soundstage goes way beyond my speakers and I am able to hear the location of all the instruments. Details that I have not heard in the previous players come to life. I have achieved musical nirvana! (For now!)

Similar Products Used: Merian 596, 586(sounds better than the 596)Cal Delta, ML 37.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Orgazmo   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 29, 2002]
Strength:

Detail, detail, detail. Smoothness, Clarity, airy highs, tight bass, great build quality "like a tank", the drawer doesnt even budge if you try to shake it, very nice looking.

Weakness:

A little light on the bass end, a little too polite with some music. Seems susceptible to electromagnetic fields.

This is one beautiful player, smooth and detailed. Airy highs, tight bass, a lot of detail overall. I haven''t had a whole lot of different experiences with players in my own system but I have listened to a good deal of different players at various dealers and I can honestly say I have never enjoyed listening to a player this much before. Closest competitor was the ROTEL RCD-1070 I had beforehand. The Meridian has more detail and better soundstaging and separation than the Rotel. Separation and spacing and pacing are all top notch on the Meridian. The only little downsides to me are that it is a little too polite for Rap and Heavy metal, and it seems to get some kind of electromagnetic interference from tv''s, mine malfunctions when to close to one. Other than that it is a top notch player and is a definite steal if you buy it used. I got mine in beautiful "like new" condition on Audiogon.

Similar Products Used: Rotel RCD-1070, Toshiba SD-2109 DVD player, Pioneer Laserdisc player, Krell 300i, Various Sony ES SACD models, Various Marantz, various models by Proceed, Mark Levinson, Linn, etc.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Scott T.   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 06, 2000]
Strength:

Natural sounding mids.Great buy for the money.Beefy drawer.

Weakness:

Can sound a little muddy,slow,and sluggish in some systems.
Can get a little confused with complex passages.Not one of the better looking CD Players on the market.

Well....there is no review section for the Meridian 506.18
CD Player,so,I'll include my review of the Meridian 506.18
CD Player here.

I just bought a Meridian 506.18 on the used market for a reasonable price.The 506.18 was immediately musical upon first hooking it up.Smooth,natural,analog-like,and refined
sounding.It really does a good job in reproducing acoustic guitars,voice,and other stringed instruments.This CD Player
is definately better suited to Acoustic,and Jazz music rather than Rock music.On Rock music,it seems as if the 506.18 is lacking a little get-up and go like some other CD Players that I have heard but this is subtle.
I haven't noticed a lack of bass as others have
with the 506.20 on this site.

It was only when I compared the Meridian 506.18 to my twice the price Sonic Frontiers SFCD-1 did I hear the shortcomings of the Meridian.These shortcomings are also pretty subtle.The SFCD-1 has more bloom,is more liquid sounding,and soundstages much better than the 506.18.The 506.18 sounds a little muddy and sluggish
in comparison to the SFCD-1.

It has been a while since I've owned a Rotel RCD-991 CD Player but if memory serves me right,I prefer the Meridian
506.18 over the Rotel RCD-991.The Rotel was a more digital sounding CD Player.The Meridian more analog-like.

Overall though,I find the Meridian 506.18 to be a real nice
CD Player that has a lot of good things going for it.If you
can find one used for a reasonable price I recommend picking one up.I don't think that you will find a better CD Player for the money out there.I espacially like it's Analog-like mid-range!

Similar Products Used: Sonic Frontiers SFCD-1
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
A.Gloger   an Audiophile [Nov 21, 1997]

Amazing performance. Soundstage and treble as good, bass almost on par with the 508.20 at a considerable savings. Very transparent. The build quality is beyond reproach: my dealer lifted up the whole unit by the open drawer mechanism and said he wouldn't dare this with any of the American big bucks machines because they'd fall apart. The balanced output is marginally better than the coax.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Steven Towne   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 05, 1999]
Strength:

Smooth, detailed, natural sounding, beefy drawer.

Weakness:

System remote is bulky and annoying, spray paint finish on metal surfaces is cheesy.

This player is by far the most natural sounding player I have ever had at home in my system. I found it to be more appealing than the 508.24 when used single ended. It is truly a bargain product and stands up to the $4K players easily. Ignore the British build quality and listen with your ears.

Similar Products Used: Classe CDP.5, Krell KAV300cd, Marantz CD63SE, Rotel RCD990, Monarchy 22B DAC
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Gareth Kelly   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 05, 1999]
Strength:

Clarity, imaging, build quality

Weakness:

UK remote designed for complete Meridian set up. Its so big it would not be out of place on the flightdeck of a 747!!

After hours of demonstraing the above players at the dealers my choice came down to two. The Meridian and the Marantz. The Marantz was excellent and gave a controlled smooth sound and really got you into the music. The Meridian did all that and more too.The Marantz handled acoustic music well but with rock and classical it did not get me into the music. The Meridian on the other hand took me right to the front row of an MTV Unplugged concert, a concert by Metallica and to the Albert Hall for the last night of the proms. My musical taste sweeps a huge spectrum and my hi-fi system has got to be able to do the same. The Meridian does the job perfectly. Buy with confidence.

Similar Products Used: Arcam Alpha9, Cyrus dad3q, Tag MclarenCD20R , Marantz CD17KIS.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Jay   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 16, 1999]
Strength:

Focused design, detailed sound, smooth.

Weakness:

Remote is OK

Compared the CAL15 and this Meridian and overall liked the Meridian a bit better. The design seems to be very focused, while the CAL15 has HDCD, RS232 ports, and digital inputs, the 506.20 is focused to provide the best audio output in that price range. Excellent DAC section proves the good design of the 506 series as a strong competitor. Since I had only 1 HDCD disc in my collection, I didn't think the filter in the CAL15 was justified and my non-HDCD discs sounded better on the Meridian. I got the demo unit from a shop and because it is upgradable, jumped at the deal. Since the unit is a demo, it has been broken in, including cables, I can say that this CD player will last me another 8 years, after replacing an old Denon transport used for the last 8 years.

the only downside is the lack of an "off" or "display" on the remote which is really nitpicking and happily nothing to do with how the unit sounds. It is also a bit pricey compared to others, but in my opinion, worth the cost, especially if you can get one used.

Jay

Similar Products Used: CAL CL15, Classe CDP.3
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-10 of 20  

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