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JerryDelColliano 06-07-2008 03:50 PM

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!


Silver Supra 06-08-2008 06:00 PM

Re: Not sure what to buy (Levinson 502, Meridian G Series other)
Jerry have you considered the Halcro SSP-200?

I've heard it in my dealers system and it was damn impressive. It's hard to compare it to my old 861 since they were never in the same system, but I remember walking out thinking that the Halcro might be my next processor.

My other thought is to add a 2-channel pre with HT pass-through. I have not heard ANY processor come close to a good dedicated preamp for 2-channel material.

deacongreg 06-08-2008 06:41 PM

Re: Not sure what to buy (Levinson 502, Meridian G Series other)

You are used to having the best. That is fine. But, for starters, the so called best, are not fully equipped, or prepared with the proper codecs. Now I must be honest with you, I`m not getting into this argument about 1.1 vs. 1.3a. That, it doesn`t make a difference. I have not heard a comparison, so technically I can not truly speak on it. However, when I first heard this, I thought it was just a ploy, or an excuse, for not having what is necessary. Which as we all know, happens all the time.

I believe you should have what is necessary to get fully what is available out of the product, feature, device, etc. Why settle? And after listening to kennyt talk about the Denon, he is enjoying the new codecs and what they can do as well. Does it have the last nnnnnnnnnnnth degree of sound, maybe not. But is it enough to not fully enjoy your musical pleasure? It does not seem so. And, as you mentioned, at these prices, that to me, always needs to be considered, even if you have the means to do so.

You know, I think now this whole thing is beginning to get to me. Compromises. At this level, there should be none, and no excuses. Denon and Integra are not making any. So, back to your question, keep the Classe, or go with the Mark Levinson, or go back to the Meridian? Well, to be straight forward an honest, unless you are just going to play music, and no video, the Meridian is a no, because they are not ready for primetime, period. As far as the ML or Classe, what ever product allows you to enjoy and use the new codecs to the fullest, as where you should be.

No compromises!!!

pfslai 06-09-2008 10:14 AM

Re: Not sure what to buy (Levinson 502, Meridian G Series other)
Haven't you considered Krell Evolution 707. Doesn't it supposedly have HDMI 1.3 and the latest audio decoding?

kennyt 06-09-2008 10:35 AM

Re: Not sure what to buy (Levinson 502, Meridian G Series other)
Krell 707 isn't out yet, and likely won't be until at least CEDIA in September...

And if you though the ML 502 was expensive!

deacongreg 06-09-2008 02:05 PM

Re: Not sure what to buy (Levinson 502, Meridian G Series other)
I went to a Krell show early this year at Sound by Singer. I`ll have to check my literature, but the 707 was also somewhat limited in inputs as well.

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