Meridian 800 DVD/CD Version 4

Looking for some advise. I am in the midst of constructing a new office / listening room in my house (Walkout basement). It has been a while since I sold my last house and most of my equipment. The last cd player I have was the Cary 306 SACD. It was the best cd player I have owned but sold it years ago.

So now as I rebuild my system I will be buying a new cd player and a turntable. I am looking at the Small Audio Manufacture (SAM) turntables for under $2K. But my reason for this post is the Meridian 800 DVD / CD, Version 4.

I am able to acquire one for about $1,000.00 and was wondering if this represents good value or is there something else in this price range that would be better. I mostly listen to jazz, old R&B, and some classical music. This setup is strictly a 2-channel only set up and no subwoofer. The room is 12 x 20 with 8 ft ceilings. 

I have a pretty good integrated amp (300 / 600 watts a channel) with newly acquired Canton 3 DC Reference speakers I purchased new. Pervious speakers were Salk HT3 but I really like the sound of the Cantons. 

Thank you in advance for any information. I know there are several posts concerning the Meridian 808 but how does the 800 compared to those units.

I thought a few people might have an opinion one way or the other. I was hoping to find some advice.

The Meridian is older, and getting replacement transports can be an issue. If you listen to Redbook CD only, I’d suggest considering a decent, low cost  transport and DAC.  

For a little bit more than your budget you could get a Tascam CD-200BT and a Schiit Bifrost Multibit. The Tascam has a dedicated 44.1 clock and a real Teac 5020 CD transport, not a re-clocked DVD or Blu-ray player. 

Match that up with a <$100 SPDIF cable, and you’ll be close to state of the art for CD playback. You could also just try the Tascam as a CD player first to see if you like it. 

You can try the Schiit DAC at home for a small fee.

I have never listened to a Meridian 800 series CDP, but that being said I wouldn’t look light at that player as it may be older, it was state of the art in its time and I bet it still outperforms much today. The concern about the transport is valid but I’d research that to be sure as you might find they are out there. I’d be really surprised if entry transports and DAC’s can match the Meridian but maybe... I’d just be surprised. I’m sure 800 series owners will chime in after they’re done listening but it may be awhile.

I will say if someone was going to give me a free Meridian 800 or a Teac/Schiit combo noted above, I’d take my chance on the Meridian. I’m sure the other is very good so not discrediting it as I have not heard it as well. Just saying I wouldn’t rule out the Meridian without knowing it firsthand.

Thank you both for your responses, I appreciate it. Everything that I have read about the Meridian was that it once was the state of the art. I guess for me at 62 years of age I not necessarily looking for the newest but something I can happily live with for the next few years.

The cost of the Meridian is so low compared to its original price which makes it soo attractive to me. It also appears that Meridian still repairs these but they no longer update this player. For a thousand dollars I will probably purchase the unit and re-sell it if I don't like it.

Thank you.
For $1000 I would buy the new Pioneer Elite Universal Player.  I haven’t heard it but it has gotten excellent reviews for both audio and video and I am thinking of adding it to one of my Home Theater Systems.  For 2 channel it has analog outputs to connect to your preamp.  I am not a fan of used disc spinners because as has been previously noted, the laser life may be limited.  I’ve seen a few complaints regarding Meridian not supporting older “legacy” disc spinners.
mahler123 thanks for your recommendation. I have decided to at least tried out the Meridian. My curiosity jut got the best of me. Secondly most of everything I have purchase in this hobby has been used and I have not had a problem with any purchase including cd / dvd players over the last 20 years. I could not afford to indulge in this hobby without buying used. However, I do appreciate your input.

Thank to everyone and their suggestions. One last note there seems to a return to traditional rebook cd players without any upsampling. Interesting trend, any thoughts?

I have always liked Meridian players.  I would check with Meridian to see if they still support it should it be required, I would imagine they do as they keep their products going for a long time.  I heard the 800 a long time ago but remember it being a great sounding player.
I had version 1 of the Meridian, later updated to V2. When I auditioned it I thought that it sounded better than a $30,000+ dCS setup. Even when I sold it last year, I felt that I needed to spend about $5,000 to find anything comparable.
Thank you. For the $1k (shipped) I paid for the V4 I felt this was a no brainer. I know that some people have recommended a new player or a DAC I just don't know if that was the sound I was looking for.

My best CD player owned was the Cary 306 SACD which I should have never sold. They are still selling for a lot more than when I sold mine 5 years ago.

I have come to the conclusion as I have gotten older that newer isn't necessarily better. Just bought NOS Canton 3 DC speakers and I can tell you they are reference level and I don't believe I could have bought a new speaker for $3.4K shipped (originally $16k). YMMV
After living with the Meridian 800 DVD/CD for almost a month I can say this is one of the best CD player out there and for $1k it is an absolutely steal. I just can't see paying much more for a cd player.

The only other player I loved was the Cary CD 306 SACD.

System complete, this one is staying put.

Hi revrob,

Apologies for bringing up an older thread, but, I was wondering, are your comments immediately above regarding 2 channel cd playback, dvd movies, or both?

And, what connection method are you using?  3xSPDIF (MHR Smartlink), HDMI to another unit, 75ohm digital coax..?  Which?  Or, are you using more than one/all of these connection methods?  Appreciate your fuether comments on the sound of each!