About a year ago I was thinking of trying to improve the digital side of my system as even my very modest Ariston/SME deck showed the CD up as a bit flat and congested. I looked into some of the modestly priced DACs currently available (the Cambridge Audio one) but concluded that it was unlikely to help. The current CD was a Marantz 63 K.I. signature.
Budget was as normal,err, £50-100 so I was also thinking of DIY dacs and so on maybe a kit but to be honest it didn't really look like it was going to be a go-er so I dropped the idea and put up with the mediocre CD performance. Also the Achilles heal of the Marantz (a poor clock giving lots of jitter) can be helped, but at a very high price for a new clock so it was unlikely to be a good transport.
Well I subscribe to the 'Freecycle' local website. If you don't know this, it's like a classifieds ads site but the things are all offered free as it's stuff that people would otherwise be chucking out. Yesterday somebody offered a Meridian 596 DVD/CD player.
Wow. Can't really be a Meridian, can it? It was. Chap said it 'may need a new transport'. OK, shouldn't be a problem, Meridian decks use PC computer style drives so something should be possible.
Picked it up, it's in mint condition, fully boxed with it's remote, manuals and accessories. A beautiful thing! As far as I can make out, it's effectively audio wise equivalent to a Meridian 507 CD player with 24 bit DACs. I won't be using the DVD function of course. What a find! Also, the drive fault according to the owner was just a slightly sticky drive tray so it'll most likely just need a light clean and grease. However I've given it a go and it seems absolutely fine.
He'd paid something like £2500-3000 for it new which must have been 2000-2003 roughly. He wasn't interested in selling it, he just wanted to pass it on to somebody who'd get it fixed and enjoy it. I was very very grateful indeed. I haven't connected it up the the stereo yet as I need to do a few things setup wise on the rest of the system first. I am looking forward to it.
Does anybody have experience of Meridian gear?
Anybody used this device or any of the 506/507/508 CD players?
I've got some light spray 'white lithium' type grease. If I need to clean and lube the tray mechanism is this likely to be suitable and compatible with plstics?
Pictures to follow if anybody is interested.