Not sure what to buy (Levinson 502, Meridian G Series other)
I recently made some major changes to my system by taking out the Meridian 800-861 player-preamp combo and replacing my long-standing Wilson speakers with Revel Salon2s. I am currently using Classe' electronics (SSP600 and DVD player).
Ultimately, the sound isn't what it used to be. The speakers measure very well. In fact far better than the Wilsons in my room BUT they don't sound the same.
With HDMI for audio and video in the same preamp coming now in a number of products (Denon like Ken has, Integra like Andrew has and now the VERY expensive Levinson 502) I am compelled to go to the Levinson. Even at accomodation prices - it is VERY VERY pricey. They say HDMI 1.1 is no big deal because even the current HDMI 1.3 preamps/receivers convert the pure bitstream to PCM in the preamp/receiver thus why not use 1.1 for better connectivity? I counter argue with the Nigel Tufnel argument that "this one goes to 11" and customers always want more even if there is a logical reason why less is better.
The Classe' gear is on loan and will need to go back at some point. I am thinking of going back to Meridian (no HDMI - I do my HDMI video switching in my DVDO VP50 pro) for audio quality until something else comes out. The G Series is 95%+ of the 800 series in terms of sound thus I think I will be happy and can sell it later if I wanted to get into one of the big boys.
Do you think I should just MAN UP for the Mark Levinson No. 502, buy the Meridian G Series or keep the Classe'?
Is there an option I am not thinking of?
Your advice and insights are greatly welcomed!
Jerry Del Colliano