Meridian 588 CD Players

588

- Evolved from Meridian’s 508 and 800
- ROM drive for precise data recovery
- Multiple buffer stages give ultra low jitter
- High-quality 2-channel output with 192kHz 24-bit DACs
- Full RS232 control and status
- Software updateable

User Reviews (14)

Showing 1-10 of 14  
Gary DeWater   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 28, 2009]

Simply put, the Meridian 588 is magic. I have heard things on existing CD I have
never heard before,
It has dynamics and rhythm which brings music to life, with a lot of air.
Open, totally, natural, non-fatiguing sound. Wide and deep sound stage,
not aggravating in any way
The mids are still velvety smooth while not losing the warmth in the mids.the Dynamics
and detail are as good as it gets,. Clear, fast, non-fatiguing sound
The player sounds very smooth, but can surprise with dynamics and also macro dynamics,
imaging is precise, close your eyes and listen to a good recording and the
music in right in front of you three dimensionally, truly amazing and worth every penny


Strengths:
Open, Wide and Deep Sound Stage, Clear, Fast and non fatiguing, Great Dynamics and
pin point imaging and the rhythm brings music to life

Weaknesses:
None

Equipment:
Proceed Amp, Cary Preamp, Rega P5 Turntable, Benz Glider tt psu power,
B&W 805 Nautilus speakers, to many cables, power cords and interconnects to list.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
teemacs   Audio Enthusiast [Sep 12, 2006]
Strength:

Small and neat and very classy-looking
Makes a very agreeable noise

Weakness:

Longish disc-loading time
Hate the remote control
Poor fast forward mechanism

Bought second-hand from an acquaintance. Excellent machine. Sound-wise, no better or no worse than others (but as good as a Wadia 16 against which I compared it). I expect to keep it for a long time.

Similar Products Used: Linn Mimik
Marantz CD-63II KI Sig
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Bigaloe   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 25, 2005]
Strength:

Sound,open and airy.You just know you wont get better,unless you spend thousands more. Small size,easily accomodated in rack. Well built and heavy for its size. Nice remote,works well from most angles.

Weakness:

None really.Mind you,it makes you wonder what the new model,the G08 with upsampling sounds like!

Superb cd player,have had no problems or glitches in nearly three years use.It will play any of my cd's,even one with tiny pinholes in the silver coating,that other players reject. It is a very musical machine that doesn't draw attention to itself,it just gets out of the way,while you immerse yourself in the music.Unfatiguing,even after long listening sessions,unless the recording is of a poor/harsh nature,but most cds,even early ones are satisfying. When buying the player,I didn't have loads of time to audition all the competition,and also spending this amount (2,100 gbp) on a cd player to hopefully go the distance,i wanted the reassurance of dealing with an established company,should any problems arise. All in all,I'm very happy with this cdp.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
bazza13   AudioPhile [Dec 24, 2003]
Strength:

Balanced and detailed while being very analogue sounding. Price vs. competition.

Weakness:

Very slight softness in the bass compared to machines costing thousands more.

I sold my BAT VK-D5 24 bit with Amperex tubes ($6K) in favour of this machine. Incredible detail retrieval and top to bottom balance without being analytical. Smooth, warm and inviting midrange without being bloated. In comparison to Linn's Ikemi, which is close to the Meridian, I found the 588 more inviting and organic. Both machines do sound more like analogue then do most cd players. I measured the 588's frequency output using Stereophile's test cd and it is basically flat except for a couple of 1.5 db peaks in the mid bass. My BAT had up to 4 db peaks in the midbass and treble region which I believe is why the treble seemed to jump out unnaturally. The retrieval of low level details is better than anything that I have ever heard and blows BAT and Theta away without sounding etched or analytical. Music simply flows from my speakers without any frequency range drawing attention to itself. I find that I drift off into the music, as I do with LPs, instead of hearing BAT's treble or Theta's bass as I did in the past. The soundstage size and precision is on par with other top end machines and I notice that when I stand up I don't lose the sweet spot as badly as with the BAT. The 588 also passes the out-of-room test with honours. It sounds very close to live music when listening out of the room. Try this with your system. Put on music with piano, drums and/or brass, turn up the volume and then leave the room. If it sounds real then you have a pretty good system. Yesterday the Purolator Man at my front door, hearing Harry Connick Jr.playing in the other room, asked if one of my children was practicing piano. The question caught me dead in my tracks so before answering him I listened and it really did sound like a live instrument. Although $3895 is not cheap for a cdp, the 588 seems like a bargain when compared to the $6000 BAT and megabuck Theta. The only area where these machines are on par (or maybe have a slight edge) is in the leading edge attack of the bass which has an ever so slightly better snap. If you want a machine that honours the music rather than sounding like artificial hi-fi then do yourself a favour and audition the Meridian 588.

Similar Products Used: BAT VK-D5 24 bit, Theta Gen V, Linn Ikemi.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Stevy   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 29, 2003]
Strength:

Imaging,depth,slam,dynamics,etc.

Weakness:

None really

Thought I'd do a follow up review,as I've had the player for over 6 months now. The 588 has performed faultlessly and given many hours of musical enjoyment,on many different types of music. A very neutral sounding player,it just lets you hear whats on the disc,I really feel this player is that good,that the only limiting factor now is the quality of the recording itself,the cd medium has been exploited to the full. All the hifi strengths are there,soundstage,imaging,timing,slam,etc.Violins sound like real wooden instruments,what constantly amazes me is the variety of different sounds from snare drums,even on the same album,the 588 captures all the many timbres of instruments,and throws them out across a convincing soundstage.I can't imagine cd replay getting better than this. Have been spending more money on the rest of my kit as a result! System now: Meridian 588 cd Michell gyrodeck with VC power supply Rega RB300 arm with Ortofon MC25fl cartridge Chord cpa 2200 pre amp Chord spm 600 power amp Trichord Dino phono amp Trichord Dino + power supply for phono amp Chord co odyssey biwire speaker cables B&W Nautilus 803 speakers

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Barnett   AudioPhile [Feb 25, 2003]
Strength:

Musical! Big, open detailed sound without being edgy or threadbare. Value for $$ in this price range. Well built.

Weakness:

None (for me)

I've been auditioning CD players to find a replacement for my long time CAL Tercet mk IV. I tried the Meridian 588, Cary 306/200 & Mark Levinson 309S. The 588 is by far the smoothest most natural sounding CD player I've had in my system, period. Good sound stage depth, imaging, dynamics & pace. The other players had a different approach to the presentation and leaned to the analitical side. The Cary sounded thin and the ML while very refined with excellent depth was just sort of bland. Neither had the midrange warmth or got me involved in the music as did the 588. The 588 is warm & full but not overdone. Top end is extended & smooth and there is good bass to boot. I've been a performing musician for most of my life and know what instruments should sound like. Acoustic instruments and vocals sound real thru the 588 not stripped of body and threadbare. CD's actually sound musical. All of the information on the disc is there, but presented as part of the music/recording event, not over emphesied. I agree with others that this player needs a good break in period. I've let it play 24hrs a day 7 days a week for the 3 weeks I've had it and its really starting to open up now. Highly reccommended! My system: Turntable: VPI TNT HR/dedicated VPI TNT stand/SDS power supply/VPI 12.5 memorial arm/Micro Benz Ruby 2 CD: Meridian 588 Tuner: Magnum Dynalab Etude Preamp: VTL 5.5 tube Amps: VTL 405MB Signature tube mono blocks Speakers: Apogee Duetta Signature series II ribbon speakers Subwoofers: REL Stadium III subwoofers Interconnects: All Monster Sigma retro gold with balanced pr feeding amps Speaker cables: Monster Sigma bi-wire Accessories: PS audio P300 power plant, VPI HW17 record cleaning machine, Billy Baggs component & amp stands.

Similar Products Used: Cary 306/200, ML 309S
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Stevy   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 23, 2002]
Strength:

Imaging,soundstage,full range smooth non fatiguing sound,nice looks & build.

Weakness:

System remote a bit big if you haven't got a Meridian system,thats all.

I have had the 588 for a couple of months now,it took a month for it to "burn in",it sounded a bit harsh out of the box,which is what is to be expected. I auditioned a few alternatives,notably Musical Fidelity Nu-vista (great sound,but just too big to fit into my rack),Tag Mclaren cd transport fed into a Chord dac64,which had a big,powerful sound,but to my ears sounded painfully bright.Next up was Audionet art V2,a gorgeously built toploading player from Germany,a new one was set up in my rack,and for four days enjoyed its natural,almost analogue sound.Next day it would't play any discs,just refused to read them. Back to Bradys who loaned me a Meridian 506.24,while Audionet was away for repair,lo and behold the 506 dug out more detail from discs,while being not as musical as the Audionet,so next the dealer got hold of a Meridian 588 for trial. Initially sounded a bit cold and harsh,but after a few days it mellowed,and is still getting smoother,it has lovely extended highs without being fatiguing,gorgeously detailed mids,and excellent bass.The player sounds very smooth,but can surprise with dynamics and also macro dynamics,imaging is precise,close your eyes and listen to a good recording of say Rimsky Korsakov's Scheherazade,and the orchestra is there infront of you,first violins on left,seconds violins on right etc,female vocals such as Norah Jones are simply breathtaking. In otherwords,if its on that silver disc,with the 588 you'll hear it. System: Meridian 588 cd Chord CPA2200 pre amp Chord SPM600 power amp Denon Tu 260 tuner Sony minidisc B&W cdm7nt speakers Chord Co Odyssey bi-wire cable

Similar Products Used: Audionet ART V2,Musical fidelity nu-vista,Tag Mclaren cd transport played through Chord DAC 64.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
jwbarney   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 29, 2002]
Strength:

Clear, fast, non-fatiguing sound. ROM drive results in ultra low jitter which makes cd's bearable. . Listening to anything else is harsh. . Plays MP3s and any and all CD-R and CD-RWs

Weakness:

Slow to track at first. ROM drive can sometimes cut off first fraction of first track played as it tracks. Hey, it's British. . . Also had software reinstalled by dealer after I noticed that the sound sometimes cut out tiny bits of the music (this was rare and happened only on certain discs) and this seemed to fix the problem. Still worth the effort. . .

Excellent, non-fatiguing sound. Heard the Cary 306/200 and still liked this one better. I had upgraded to an amp/preamp finally and wanted a better sounding cd player w/out having to spend thousands. While not exactly cheap, this unit sounds as good or better than units costing thousands more.

Similar Products Used: Cary 306
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Spencer   AudioPhile [Jun 10, 2002]
Strength:

All the hi-fi check list but mainly the ability to get you closer to the music.

Weakness:

Remotes a bit big.a

After reading the very little that there is on the web I was quite prepared to be let down by the 588 but I've found it to be stunning. I've had the opportunity to listen to both the 508.24 and the 588 at home via my Naim Nait 3 and Epos M15 speakers. The bass of the 588 doesn't quite have the power of the 508 (what does!) but by way of compensation it has greater attack and definition. The bottom end, along with most of the rest of the frequency range, is considerably more articulate. Another benefit from the changes in the bass is greater pace and very sure-footed timing. The mids are still velvety smooth (in my opinion way smoother than the 508) and the tops are noticeably more extended, although never becoming etched or obvious. This has added clarity to the music, while not loosing the warmth in the mids. Dynamics and detail, two areas in which the 508 was strong have been further enhanced. The DVD-ROM system seems to drag every piece of information off the disc. Details are not forced on you, but just exist in the music. The final aspect of difference I'll mention is the soundstage. There is now a much deeper, wider stage, as well as better front to back layering. The realism that this creates is magic. I can't remember the last time I fought off tiredness and listened till one in the morning but the 588 gave me reason. Now to counter some of the points raised by "Franks Sound Room". The 588 not reading 80 minute discs has been covered by Datman. The drawer loading mechanism has changed due to the DVD-ROM system now used on the 588, (and the top of the heap 800!) a system that I believe the vast majority of users would agree allows far more information to be retrieved from the disc. Now for one of my favourite complaints about Meridian CD players - the length of time it takes to read the TOC. Please, are you saying that due to the 588 taking six seconds longer to read the disc, you would mark it down? How long does it take for you to walk from your player to your listening seat, sit down, and get ready to listen? Yes it takes longer than other players do but once read, track access is fast and accurate. Although having never heard the two together, I would expect that a player costing almost 50% more than the 588, ie the Cary 506/200, should have some sonic benefits otherwise there's a lot of money wasted. With regards to needing upsampling to ma

Similar Products Used: Meridian 508.24ê
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Nils Fredrik Torp   Audio Enthusiast [May 22, 2002]
Strength:

Do I need to say moore?

Weakness:

None

This player takes every singel piece of music what is recorded on the cd through the machine as it should just be a peace of cake. It is just beautiful and serves you all kind of music as there were no machine there at all. It is a bettered 508.24(structure).Great, Meridian, you did it again!

Similar Products Used: Tried 508.24 once
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 14  

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