Meridian 506.24 CD Players

506.24

24 bit Cd Player

User Reviews (12)

Showing 1-10 of 12  
Tripping Billy   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 14, 2011]

Recently upgrading my CDP to the Meridian 506.24 was well worth the wait and investment. My prior player was actually my first upgrade to my system about 5 years ago (NAD 521BEE) and was a vast improvement to a "big box" player (vastly exceeds anything commercially available in the $200 range), but the upgrade to Meridian was again (at least) as noticable.

All the reveiws you read here and elsewhere are absolutely true - but I can't vouch for any comparison between the 506, 507 and 508 models.

Upon first listen, A/Bing the 506 cold out of the box against the 521, I thought I'd made a terrible mistake. There were subtle differences between the two, but I had a hard time justifying the $800 difference in price. After a couple of hours, I tried again and began to notice much more of difference. A day later and I just couldn't get CDs off my rack an into the 506 fast enough -- every track I selected just sounded right, and different, than I was used to. In a marathon session last night (about 6 hrs worth) I came to the realization that the 506 is more than good -- its enjoyable to listen to and for long durations, something I couldn't say about the NAD. Typically after 4 or 5 songs on the NAD, I'd had enough and had to take a break. Not so with the Meridian. Another CD, another and then another, and another. My final track of the session was John Hyatt "Have a Little Faith in Me" - a piano/vocal ditty that absolutely exploded out of my speakers in a symphony of simplicity and emotion.

After running it through its paces playing everything from Jann Arden to Rob Zombie, my impression is that it is capable of reproducing and wide range of musical styles and genres. I've heard players with more "PRAT" and "presence", but none with the seemingly inate ability to present CDs with such musicality and balance - at least not in the price range.

The bass end is firm and controlled, the mids well represented and the highs detailed and listenable. Not overwhelmingly detailed or forward - it all just seems to work, to my ears, which was one of the issues with the NAD.

If you are looking for an upgrade on your front end, I'd say this has one has to make the list to be considered - articulate and well mannered, musical and a refined sound stage - in short, it put the enjoyment back into my hobby and I look forward to many years of owning this player.

GEAR --

Meridian 506.24
Audio Refinements Pre5
VTL ST85
Quad 21L
Kimber Hero I/C, Kimber 4/8 TC shotgun/biwire, PS power mains

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
artikulieren   AudioPhile [Dec 20, 2003]
Strength:

Deliverance of music, quality, simplicity, understated elegant looks, etc. For less than the cost of a substandard quality player new you can get one of these in mint used condition (and they take a long time to burn in anyway).

Weakness:

The only two that I can think of is the silent track searching and the enormous button laiden MSR (Meridian System Remote) remote control. But as I've said, I've grown used to them and neither bother me at all.

This is the CD player puts the music back in digital. I have been searching for a CD player that lives up to its claim of being "musical" for years now. The 506.24 delivers the music on a bed of pure silk. There is not a hint of harshness even when listening to highly electronic songs by Radiohead, Portishead, FSOL, etc. Insturmental and orchestral recordings are sublimely lush and smooth, not frantic and hard like most CD players. The build quality is simply Meridian: understanded simple elegant looks with black glass (not plexi), matte black metal, minimal use of plastics only in practical places (buttons, etc). The excellent Philips based transport makes it effectively a top loader (which I like because I don't believe that the optical surface of a CD should ever be touched if it can be avoided, even by a quality tray loading CD player). The drawer moves very smoothly and quietly: just as it should, and the whole transport mechanism is contained in it. The thick black glass top plate of the player is a beautiful, reflective touch. It is a truly unique piece. Voices and insturments are conveyed with a sense of natural realism that I hadn't yet experienced with recorded music. There is a useful delay in changing tracks so the laser doesn't make any unneccisary quick jerks if you hit the wrong track numbers a couple of times. The silent track searching is a little bit of a drawback, but I rarely search through tracks anyway. The huge remote took some getting used to but I just sit it on an end table and have gotten good at punching its buttons in the dark, the amusingly excessive use of real glass in the remote is also a nice touch. It is a pleasing unusual shape, and funtionally it is almost omnidirectional (you can face it almost any direction and it will operate the player just fine). Before and during my ownership of the Meridian I have owned and used both Rega Planets, Roksan Kandy and Caspian Mk1 and Mk2's, Ah! Tjoeb '99 and 4000, Shanling scd t200 and cd t100, and a number of other lesser players. I found them all lacking certain tonal qualities that the Meridian delivers deftly. It is a lovely thing to own and use every day.

Similar Products Used: Used with a modified Cayin TA30 tube integrated, excellent custom solid core interconnects, Audioquest Type 2 speaker cable, Von Schweikert VR1's on factory stands.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Ang Ho   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 01, 2003]
Strength:

Well built. Design - minimalist and timeless. Audiophile sound at bargain price on used market.

Weakness:

Remote control is huge and screwdriver required to change the battery.

Very engaging and vinyl-like quality to sound. Great detail at the top end. Superb bass control, weight and slam. The midrange is exemplary - vocals are life-like and the timbre of voices and instruments are well relayed. This player throws an excellent broad soundstage within which vocals and instruments are easily placed. All frequencies are well balanced and proportioned. The overall sound is smooth and non-fatiguing without losing any excitement or emotion the music is conveying. Rhythm and timing are also very good. This is a quality product which has breathed new life into my entire CD collection and I am discovering old discs that simply were not done justice by my older CDP. It plays all types of music well: rock, pop, jazz, orchestral, instrumental. This is an audiophile bargain in the used market. My system: Unison Research S8 amplifier ProAc Response 1.5 speakers Audioquest Viper interconnects Nordost Blue Heaven speaker cables Clearlight Audio Aspekt RDC Rack

Similar Products Used: Arcam FMJ CD23T Musical Fidelity A3.2 Densen Beat
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
witters   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 12, 2003]
Strength:

Neutrality with all type of music. Tank like build quality.

Weakness:

None whatsoever.

The 506.24 is simply sublime. It offers neutrality with any type of music and imposes no traits of it's own. High levels of detail astound with existing CD's, and you find yourself listening to your whole collection as it all sounds new. I cannot praise this player highly enough. If you can find one, buy it while you can.

Similar Products Used: Marantz CD-17MK2 Arcam CD72 Audio Notd AN-CD2
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
The forerunner   Audiophile [Jan 07, 2001]
Strength:

Excellent build quality and very smooth sound

I recently upgraded to the 506.24 after having used a Rotel RCD 971 for a while. I thought that I'd realize a great increase in the live feeling to cd's as compared to the Rotel but what i got was an improved bass and a bit more presence but I can't say that it was to the extent that I expected. I really like the 506.24 but if I knew that the gains would be so minimal I'm not sure I would have spent the additional money. I really like the Meridian but when you take the price of the two units into consideration you've got to come to the conclusion that cd really is a mature technology and that it is becoming easier to find excellent sound at a lower price point than previously possible. The Meridian does sound excellent. It throws a wider soundstage and has that fullness of sound that comes from a very good player. The Rotel isn't that far behind. It doesn't cast as wide a soundstage as the Meridian, but it is excellent nonetheless. Which one should you choose? It depends on your disposable income. They are both excellent players.
My system;
Musical Fidelity A300 Integrated Amp
Paradigm Reference Studio 100's
Paradigm Reference Servo 15 Subwoofer
Rega Planar 25 Turntable
Luxman T-353 tuner
Monster HT2500
Audioquest Viper interconnects
MIT T2 Interconnects
Esoteric Audio Interconnects
Analysis Plus Oval Nine Bi-Wire Speaker cables

Similar Products Used: Rotel RCD971, Sony ?
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
ab   Audiophile [Dec 04, 2001]
Strength:

very musical, detailed, focused and airy, relaxed and easy sound but very real

Weakness:

what do you mean?? at this price??

very musical player, very smooth and detailed,very rich sounding. beautyful build-quality and styling. I have tried a arcam fmj cd23, naim cd5, rotel rcd991, marantz cd17mkII and marantz cd6000'KI', but nothing comes close to the relaxed,detailed and rich sound of the 506.24. The sound is very real,focused and airy with excellent soundstaging. Important: burn-in time over 500 hours!!!

Similar Products Used: arcam fmj cd23- rotel rcd991- naim cd5- marantz cd17mkII, marantz 6000 'KI'
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Raimond Kieftenbeld   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 26, 2001]
Strength:

Warm,very smooth,generous and detailed sounding cd-player

Weakness:

Bass not tight enough,is very woollie(with its original powercord)

I purchased this cd-player two months ago,and I liked it ever since.It has an warm and generous sound and it makes you listen to the music and not the equipment.

The only weakness I think is the bass. It's not tight enough,maybe this will change when I replace the standard powercord.I have replaced the standard powercord of my amp.
for an Harmonic Tech. PRO-AC11 powercord,now I need one more for my cd-player.Maybe that will improve the bass.

When you purchase the Meridian 506.24, you will never have regrets that you have buy it

Similar Products Used: Arcam Alpha 8SE
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Jeff   Audiophile [Nov 30, 2001]
Strength:

detail, clamping device, solid construction & a big enough remote that you can't possibly misplace!

Weakness:

none for me although balanced outs would've been nice.

I've had this for 9 months & have used a variety of amps/pre-amps/IC's/PC's & the sound just keeps coming through. My system has changed a lot over the past year but I have held onto the 506.24 as nothing in this price range (used) comes close. The E-624 was a very nice player but for a few hundred more I replaced it with the Meridian. It only has RCA outs but I've upgraded to Stealth PGS IC's, so even though my Pass Aleph P is balanced the RCA's don't seem to be a problem. I never did use the stock power cord but am now using the Stealth M-21. Other IC's I've used were HT Truthlinks & Pro-Silways, PSS, AQ Ruby & Python, Stealth FLR & CWS & some homemade silver cables. Since this isn't a cable review I won't go into the specifics of these others but the soundstage/imaging/detail/etc. has improved with the better cables, so that means the player has the information available-all it needs is the means to get it to your ears. I'm pretty happy with this player & of course there is better out there, but my rating is for a $1,000.00 CD player. I bought this as a one year old unit & have had no problems at all. I even emailed Meridian as it was missing the owners manual & they sent one right out at no charge. Pretty cool. If you're looking to upgrade to a high end one box player with some advanced features this is worth a listen.

Similar Products Used: MF E-624, Mission PCM-7000 (British players)
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
giovanni battaglia   Audiophile [Jan 07, 2001]
Strength:

good quality building- nice correct sound -

Weakness:

too big remote

i compared whit more expansive cd players and the meridian is absolutely a best buy maybe the wadia 850 id more correct in the region of medium high frequencies and the marantz model 7 more sweet but in my system -actually bryston bp25 bryston 7bst proac 3.8 cabled whith kimber select 1120 balanced-the difference where too subtle for the price.so maybe i will keep it untill the new format will come........

Similar Products Used: micromega stage 6
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Bob Siudzinski   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 17, 2000]
Strength:

Smooth, rich yet detailed sound allows long listening. Conveys performers message. Very good bass.

Weakness:

Tolerates heavy metal.

I spent a lot of time choosing the right player as it will probably be my last one before a new format emerges. The 506-24 consistently made me want to continue to listen to more music and for longer periods of time. Songs that were boring became interesting as detail and presence brought out the subtleties of the music. Other players may have had larger soundstages, clearer presentation, more top end, however they couldn't come close to matching the Meridians emotional appeal. My wife helped with listening tests and initially choose the brighter, clearer sounding units. She would comment to that effect while they were playing. But when the Meridian played she was quiet until the song was over...as she didn't want to talk over the music. Silent appreciation was more convincing then the other units strenght comments and ultimately made my choice. P.S. I purchase the 506-20 but was pleased when the 506-24 arrived unexpectedly.

Similar Products Used: Cal Audio, Rotel 965, Arcam 9
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 12  

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