Join Date: May 2002
Location: Germany / Florida
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I think it really depends on what you want to do or where your priority lies.
Meridian is very good when it comes to all digital sources and I think it's hard to beat. When I made my decision, I went the 861 route. My priority was all digital sources, back then from CD, DVD and DVD-A. If you have any analogue sources, then I think the CBIII is a better choice than a G series or even the 861. If you're into 2-channel music and that's a priority for you, I'd probably pick the CBIII.
Then again, if you're really serious about 2-channel music, you should add a dedicated 2-channel pre-amp to either the CBIII or the G68/861. A really good 2-channel pre-amp (like a Ref3) will beat anything Theta or Meridian has to offer, but it also sets you back another $10k or so.
You might want to think about HDMI as well. Theta has announced a HDMI solution, Meridian has given no specific date. They're also not too happy with HDMI, so we'll have to wait and see if their HDMI box ever arrives.