Meridian 504 Tuners

Meridian 504 Tuners 

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-6 of 6  
[Aug 18, 2005]
violaguy
AudioPhile

Strength:

clarity, musicality, dynamic, ease of use once set up

Weakness:

took a while to get my non-Meridian remote to work with it at first

After reading reviews on fmtunerinfo.com I became interested in exploring high quality digital tuners. A 504 was available on a tryout basis at an audio shop, so I decided to give it a listen. It seemed to take a long time to settle in and at first the sound was uneven, ranging from overly bright to quite warm. After about 4 days it settled down (you leave it 'on', in a standby mode) and started to sound very good. For comparison I had a professionally modified Magnum Dynalab FT101, and a wonderful sounding Kenwood 8007 from the 70s. I use an outdoor arial mounted on a bedroom balcony. It didn't come with the remote and I had a dickens of a time figuring out how to get my MX-500 remote to operate the tuner. The codes didn't work at first, and after spending 5-6 hours searching the web, I finally got it to work beautifully. When I got down to serious listening I was struck by the purity of the signal being broadcast. On my favorite FM stations I was not aware of any background noise. I listen to a lot of classical and jazz, and almost always preferred the Meridian to either the Magnum Dynalab or the Kenwood. Incidentally I used an MD Sleuth 205 (sophisticated signal enhancer) with both of these tuners. I didn't need it at all with the Meridian: while the Sleuth helped the other two bring in stronger and cleaner signals, it made no difference on the Meridian. Besides providing a very clean signal, the 504 produces a larger and deeper soundstage than the MD or the Kenwood. Cymbals and piano sounds are often stunning and I have to remind myself it's FM radio I'm listening to. The longer I own this marvel, the more I find myself listening to it; it is not fatiguing in any way. In some ways it is almost too good: it is not kind to poorly recorded CDs or taped concerts, for example. It is remarkably sensitive to the type of interconnect linking it to the preamp. And, because of the quality of the signal, broadcasts with excessive compression or which overload (e.g. when singers hit particularly strident notes), can sound downright bad. I'm delighted with this tuner (I'm selling the others, including the MD Sleuth)— it holds its own very well in my system. The sound is truly impressive, and a frequent comment from friends who've listened to the tuner is " I never knew FM could sound that good".

Similar Products Used:

Magnum Dynalab FT101A Magnum Dynalab 205 Sleuth Kenwood 8007 AM/FM tuner

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Dec 22, 2003]
silverpep
AudioPhile

Strength:

Smooth, warm sound. Attractive, clean looks.

Weakness:

None, except the remote is optional.

Great tuner. Pulls in stations cleanly and sounds great.

Similar Products Used:

Magnum Dynalab, Denon

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Dec 22, 2003]
Lida
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Natural sound, dep bass

Weakness:

Remote not as a standard

Like this player, its very smooth. Very natural sound, almost like a cd player ! You will forget listening to a radio...

Similar Products Used:

Marantz (several)

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Nov 07, 1998]
ce
an Audiophile

I have the MERIDIAN 504 and a MAGNUM DYNALAB ETUDE....the MERIDIAN has a fuller warmer sound,slightly thick....the MAGNUM DYNALAB has a cleaner,open sound...I prefer the MAGNUM DYNALAB ETUDE....for the ergonomics...the MERIDIAN is confused ,the meters on the magnum dynalab makes sense...the alpha/numeric display in the meridian have the look of a cheap rack system....i do like the programabilty of the meridian....but with a remote tuning function from across the room, it is not tied to the antenna rotor, so what good is it?...I still have to get up to rotate the antenna....the best tuners in the world is no good without a good yagi highly directional antenna(which I use)....the meridian is solidly constructed as is the magnum dynalab etude.....i think the magnum dynalab is more logical and easier to use....simply cus' the meter display, shows all three parameters on three seperate meters, it makes sense....if I did not have my magnum dynalab i'd probably love the meridian, it sounds great, but the magnum has great sound with a much better user friendly front panel, and i really don't like tuning by holding a button down, tuning involves turning a dial , not pushing a button, that is fine for car radios where it is necessary to keep your eyes on the road....but for accurate fine tuning the rotary, analog(has a numeric display also) of the magnum dynalab is the best.....along with the very functional 3(analog)large meter disply...I prefer the magnum etude tuner over the meridian 504 tuner.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
[Nov 22, 2001]
Steve Ruvo
Audiophile

Strength:

Matches my other Meridian equipment. With a good antenna can bring in distant stations

Weakness:

No really usable analog meters. No balanced inputs

Just purchased a used 504. The tuner seems to sound fine. It is able to pull in a jazz station 20+ miles away with little problems.Compared with my Yamaha from 1976 it is great but then again I am using a much better antenna!! My system is located in the basement so tuner reception is poor to begin with. For the price I paid, the resulting sonics are superb!Build construction is excellent. Meridian likes that European modular sllek look.

Similar Products Used:

Yamaha CT800

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Dec 24, 1997]
George
an Audio Enthusiast

Meridian 504 mini-review
I have owned serial #1582 for about a year now. I suppose
that it says something about any piece of gear that less than
two thousand might have been sold in four years. Ours was
one of about three that our dealer had sold in that time. Keep
in mind that your chances of finding one in the store and
being able to borrow it over the weekend (at least in the Bay
Area) are near zero.

The antenna:

I have always enjoyed FM; I feel like I am getting something
for free. I have built antennas and bought antennas over the
years. Eventually, I had most of the stuff that was necessary
to review, as well as listen to, tuners.

For an antenna, I have two choices. A Magnum Dynalab ST2
j-pole omni, or a square-rhombic I built*. Both antennas
feed into a switch atop my Magnum Dynalab 205 RF preamp,
and from there they are routed to the tuner, or tuners, under
evaluation.

*Based on the AARL antenna handbook. A must buy.

Ergonomics:

Let me say first that the 504 shares Meridian's quirky view
of ergonomics. As a Saab owner, I guess this doesn't bother
me. The tuner's display will not let you see anything except
for one of call letters, frequency, signal strength, or preset
number. This is not the world's most successful design. I
sent Meridian an email and got this helpful information
regarding the signal strength display, correlating the displayed
number to microvolts.
2 = 50, 3=100, 4=250, 5=500, 6=1000, 7=2500, 8=5000
Wouldn't it have just been easier to use the micro

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-6 of 6  

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