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post #1 of 48 Old 03-22-2010, 01:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi guys,

I'm thinking of getting Meridian 861 V6 with the following option:

A) Meridian HD621 HDMI Audio Processor - 6 x HDMI Inputs, MMHR and
Smart-Link Outputs, 1 x HDMI Output

B) 2 X Meridian OA18 Analogue Output card 4x Analogue Outputs, XLR, configurable, with 24-bit, 192kHz DAC

C) Meridian ID26 Digital Input card with 4x Optical Audio Inputs, Toslink 2x Speaker-Link inputs, RJ45

The rest of my equipment (5 Channels AMP, Speakers and Sub) is Burmester with the exception of CD player, which is Mark Levinson 390S and blue-ray player, which is going to be Theta Compli Blu. For scaler I'm going to use Radiance XE. Turntable CLEARAUDIO CONCEPT (I still have some classical LPs)

Before I do that, I have some questions and need some advice from people who are familiar with Meridian processor.

I'm going to get a professional installer to put my system together. If later on I decide to make changes, is Meridian 861 setup very complicated? I understand that I have to use PC but is it very difficult to change the setup or upgrade the firmware?

Is it a good idea to run the Mark Levinson 390S from bypass input?

My other choices for processor are Mark Levinson No 502 or Classer SSP-800.

Finally, as I mentioned in my other post I usually change my system every 6 to 8 years so I need something, which is well built.

Many thanks.

Sepehr
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post #2 of 48 Old 03-22-2010, 05:00 AM
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The Meridian Unplugged Forum may be a better place to get answers.

I owned an 861v4 and recently swapped it out for an 861v6. The programming interface (via a laptop) is pretty simple, and there are plenty of people on the Forum who will help out if you have problems.

The sonics are really terrific.
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post #3 of 48 Old 03-22-2010, 05:30 AM
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I agree ... the Meridian Forum. I just installed a V6 ... very nice.

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post #4 of 48 Old 03-22-2010, 06:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you guys.

I feel much better now that both of you are happy with the V6.

Do you guys think I will miss something by not having the Meridian speakers?

I will check Meridian Unplugged Forum now and repost my questions there as well.

Thank you again

Sepehr
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post #5 of 48 Old 03-22-2010, 06:46 AM
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The PC interface is pretty easy to use. If it has a fault, it is similar to most sets of documentation ... given a list of choices, sometimes it is not clear why you'd use one over any of the others.

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post #6 of 48 Old 03-22-2010, 08:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brucemck2 View Post

The Meridian Unplugged Forum may be a better place to get answers.

I owned an 861v4 and recently swapped it out for an 861v6. The programming interface (via a laptop) is pretty simple, and there are plenty of people on the Forum who will help out if you have problems.

The sonics are really terrific.

What do you think of the v6 as compared to the v4?
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post #7 of 48 Old 03-22-2010, 09:30 AM
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I agree with the comments about the Meridian configuration program being reasonably easy to use. There are one or two 'tricks', and the HitchHikers forum is excellent for support.

When the installer sets you up, make sure they leave you with the configuration file saved on your PC. When you want to change, you can take this as a starting point and save any changes in a new file (so reloading the original one is an option). There is a 'fetch' option, but it doesn't pull back the room correction filters, if I remember correctly.

The configuration and firmware updates are both handled through MConfig, which checks for new software as it relates to your equipment. I don't know if 861v6 differs from prior versions, but RS232 has been the communication method. Some people have USB to RS232 working, but it's finicky initially. I just leave an old laptop in the equipment rack for G68, G98 and RadianceXD updates.

Looking forward to hear some listening comparisons.

Cheers, Ian
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post #8 of 48 Old 03-22-2010, 09:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Ian,

By RS232 you mean serial connection?

Once I get it my comparison (Meridian V6 and Burmester speakers) will be with my old TAG AV 192R and Revel Salon speakers.

I just hope Meridian will not end up like TAG.


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post #9 of 48 Old 03-22-2010, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Will Binegar View Post

What do you think of the v6 as compared to the v4?

Physically and operationally the unit is nearly identical to the v4. The interfaces, touch and feel, etc., are very similar to the v4.

I have not listened to any multichannel sources, and can't comment on processing of those types of sources. My listening consisted entirely of Redbook CDs played back via the 861s Trifield setting.

The audio quality of the v6 is markedly improved over the v4. You don't even remotely need to A/B to hear it. Three qualities stand out.

First, there is more information coming through. There is one track I listened to where a couple of female singers with some background instrumentation kicks in to augment the primary musicians. In that track you can easily hear that the additions were recorded in a different physical environment and dubbed in; it clearly sounds like two different recording environments. That's barely noticeable on the the v4 and stark on the v6. After an hour or so I had to set a few of my Trifield parameters slightly differently (width down by .1, center channel volume up by .5db) because the imaging was coming across differently with the v6.

Second, there is greater dynamics with less harshness. I am struggling to find the right language. This is most noticeable on pianos, where you hear more of the "clanginess" of that instrument without it being strident or harsh. (This is similar to what I sometimes hear with high efficiency speakers with compression drivers, without the harshness.)

Third, the bass is much stronger. There is more "there there." Upright bass, kettle drums, etc all have more definition and slam. Everything measures exactly the same on my measurement rig (I use Room EQ Wizzard), but it sounds different. In the end I ended up reducing the volume on my subs by 1.5 db.

It reminds me of when I changed from an Audio Research Ref1 to a Ref 3. The Ref1 and Ref3 are sonically of the same family, but, leagues apart in their presentation of music.

All in terrific sonics.
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post #10 of 48 Old 03-22-2010, 12:21 PM
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What's the cost for the V6?.. It's good to have "money" to burn.
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post #11 of 48 Old 03-22-2010, 12:27 PM
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"Price talk" is verboten on this thread ... PM and I'll give you the MSRP.

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post #12 of 48 Old 03-23-2010, 05:05 AM
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I believe that the RS232 cable is also known as a null modem cable and that they shipped with 861v4's. Here's an old thread from when I was looking for one for my G68:

http://www.meridianunplugged.com/ubb...006c025920b137

The port can also be used to control the 861.

Cheers, Ian
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post #13 of 48 Old 03-23-2010, 06:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi Ian,

Thank you.

Sepehr
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post #14 of 48 Old 03-23-2010, 07:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brucemck2 View Post

Physically and operationally the unit is nearly identical to the v4. The interfaces, touch and feel, etc., are very similar to the v4.

I have not listened to any multichannel sources, and can't comment on processing of those types of sources. My listening consisted entirely of Redbook CDs played back via the 861s Trifield setting.

The audio quality of the v6 is markedly improved over the v4. You don't even remotely need to A/B to hear it. Three qualities stand out.

First, there is more information coming through. There is one track I listened to where a couple of female singers with some background instrumentation kicks in to augment the primary musicians. In that track you can easily hear that the additions were recorded in a different physical environment and dubbed in; it clearly sounds like two different recording environments. That's barely noticeable on the the v4 and stark on the v6. After an hour or so I had to set a few of my Trifield parameters slightly differently (width down by .1, center channel volume up by .5db) because the imaging was coming across differently with the v6.

Second, there is greater dynamics with less harshness. I am struggling to find the right language. This is most noticeable on pianos, where you hear more of the "clanginess" of that instrument without it being strident or harsh. (This is similar to what I sometimes hear with high efficiency speakers with compression drivers, without the harshness.)

Third, the bass is much stronger. There is more "there there." Upright bass, kettle drums, etc all have more definition and slam. Everything measures exactly the same on my measurement rig (I use Room EQ Wizzard), but it sounds different. In the end I ended up reducing the volume on my subs by 1.5 db.

It reminds me of when I changed from an Audio Research Ref1 to a Ref 3. The Ref1 and Ref3 are sonically of the same family, but, leagues apart in their presentation of music.

All in terrific sonics.


Congratulations & thanks for sharing your thoughts... makes me want one!
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post #15 of 48 Old 03-30-2010, 12:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine View Post

"Price talk" is verboten on this thread ... PM and I'll give you the MSRP.

Surely MSRP is not verboten from mention publicly?

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post #16 of 48 Old 03-30-2010, 05:59 AM
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MSRP is widely published and I had thought only street price was not discussed. A quick search on Google will reveal an MSRP of USD$25k for the Meridian 861 V6. A bargain at half the price, considering in Australia, it is priced closer to AUD$40k!!
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post #17 of 48 Old 03-30-2010, 08:26 AM
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Can someone please summarize the difference between the v4 and the v6? Also, I know this is a silly point, but I really like bitstreaming Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio to my receiver and having the receiver decode those formats. It's my understanding that Meridian will not do this. Can someone help me get over this?
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post #18 of 48 Old 03-30-2010, 08:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfisher64 View Post

Can someone please summarize the difference between the v4 and the v6? Also, I know this is a silly point, but I really like bitstreaming Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio to my receiver and having the receiver decode those formats. It's my understanding that Meridian will not do this. Can someone help me get over this?

You are correct that the 861 will not do this but, otoh, most decent players will convert these formats to lossless high resolution PCM which the 861 will handle via the HD621. I've gotten over it.

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post #19 of 48 Old 03-30-2010, 08:26 PM
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Me too, albeit with a G68!
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post #20 of 48 Old 03-31-2010, 04:55 AM
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sfisher64 - the third post down by VirusKiller at http://www.meridianunplugged.com/ubb...rue#Post114264 provides a short summary. There's also upgrade pricing information in the thread. There are initial impressions in other threads, but all quite preliminary - Brucemck2 captures it nicely, I think.
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post #21 of 48 Old 04-04-2010, 03:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfisher64 View Post

Also, I know this is a silly point, but I really like bitstreaming Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio to my receiver and having the receiver decode those formats. It's my understanding that Meridian will not do this. Can someone help me get over this?

As far as i understoond it: Meridian's point of view is that if the player decodes the bitstream and optionally include profile 2.0 extra's into the sound stream, PCM is the only way to get this into the pre-amp.
The HD-621 will optimize this PCM stream and feeds it digitally to the pre-amp.

I do not mind the 2 unit approach. It made it possible to feed 6 streams of high quality PCM data into a 10 year old processor (v2 - v3 - v4 upgraded)
Also i got like 50% of current new price back while trading in for upgrade.
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post #22 of 48 Old 04-21-2010, 11:35 AM
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My Meridian 861v6 is now fully installed and calibrated. A pretty nice piece and a notable upgrade over the v4. The most notable improvement for me comes in the form of greater detail and transparency. My initial reaction was that the v6 was a little harsh (it sounds quite different from the v4 that was very smooth sounding, perhaps too much so at times), but after some more extended listening, it is really just more detail and resolution.

As the prior post suggested, the v6 operates almost identically to the prior generations. Would have been nice to have a bluray button on the remote.

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post #23 of 48 Old 04-21-2010, 11:46 AM
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I have the same opinion with regards to detail and resolution with mine.
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post #24 of 48 Old 04-21-2010, 11:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback guys.

Does either of you know how it will sound with turntable

I'm thinking of paring it with Clearaudio Innovation

Also, is it better to connect the turntable through XLR or RCA I will use Symphono + it has both

Thanks

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post #25 of 48 Old 04-22-2010, 03:13 PM
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yes, yes

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post #26 of 48 Old 04-23-2010, 12:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sepehr View Post

Thanks for the feedback guys.

Does either of you know how it will sound with turntable

I'm thinking of paring it with Clearaudio Innovation

Also, is it better to connect the turntable through XLR or RCA I will use Symphono + it has both

Thanks

Sepehr

Remember, the 861 redigitizes analog inputs. Would imaging LPs would sound great though.

Also, too lazy to google 'symphono +', but the 861 only has RCA analog inputs (no XLR).

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post #27 of 48 Old 04-24-2010, 01:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks.

But I think 861 has one XLR input.

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post #28 of 48 Old 04-24-2010, 03:42 AM
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Six analog stereo inputs are standard.

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post #29 of 48 Old 04-25-2010, 02:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Yes, but it has only one XLR input

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post #30 of 48 Old 04-25-2010, 07:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sepehr View Post

Yes, but it has only one XLR input

Sepehr

The 861v6 does not have any XLR inputs. There was/is a board for v4 with XLR input (IA10B), but it does not work in the v6. As far as I know, the only optional board available for the v6 that does not come with the trade-in models is a Sooloos card (plus RCA outout cards in place of the XLR ones). Perhaps this will change over time, but for now no XLR input.

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