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Meridian HD621 MHR makes the 861 "High End" again. - Page 3

post #61 of 105
Mark_H, my Blu-Ray player (according to the manual) outputs (via HDMI) 5.1ch PCM on DD True HD and 5.1 ch PCM on DTS Master Audio. The player is the Pioneer BDP LX70. So, from what you're telling me I should be in good shape, right?

By the way, since you are in the UK do you have any experience on the effects of the HD621 on audio from a SKY HD box?

Thanks for your kind help.
post #62 of 105
Lepin, looks like you're good to go. Haven't used my 621 with my Sky HD, sorry.

Mark
post #63 of 105
Mark_H,

Thanks for your kind help + comments. Have a great week-end and I'll post my notes in a couple of weeks time when my HD621 has been installed and I've had a coulple of days worth of listening experience with it.
post #64 of 105
Enjoy. For me the most obvious initial difference was in the surround channels. They become robust and discrete with steering effects between them taking on a real presence. When you switch back to lossy the sound is "there" but it's not well defined. Surround sound really comes alive! Then once you get over that impact you start to appreciate the fidelity in all channels, particularly dialogue - you realise things sound real compared to lossy... no going back for me!

Mark
post #65 of 105
I am waiting for a delivery of a Oppo BDP-83 to connect to my Meridian HD621. Does anyone know if I can play SACD via HDMI to the HD621 without having my video display turned on, or does it have to be turned on because of the usual HDMI handshaking? Until now I've only used the HD621 with the usual AV duties as I use a Meridian 598 for the audio only duties (CD and DVD Audio) without any need for the HDMI display (have a non HDMI monitor for the DVD-Audio when needed). I would like to listen to SACD without having to turn the display on. Am I in for a surprise? If so any remedy for it? Im asking this as I tried a CD via HDMI from my HD player with the display turned off and no sound but all was ok with the display turnned on! Hoping for some fellow HD621/BDP-83 owners help in this matter?
post #66 of 105
Haven't had a problem with the 621 with the video off.
The specification allows for the ability to listen to audio with a video sink either missing or off. Each manufacturer seems to have their own way to do this.
post #67 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine View Post

Haven't had a problem with the 621 with the video off.
The specification allows for the ability to listen to audio with a video sink either missing or off. Each manufacturer seems to have their own way to do this.

Got the same info from the official Oppo thread also. So no problem with the Oppo then when I get it. But Ill have to check why my Toshiba XA2 does not work for CD with the display off? Thanks for the info., well appreciated.
post #68 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by THUNDER8268 View Post

Got the same info from the official Oppo thread also. So no problem with the Oppo then when I get it. But Ill have to check why my Toshiba XA2 does not work for CD with the display off? Thanks for the info., well appreciated.

Just to clear things up and answer my own question here. The CD "problem" with the XA2 had nothing to do with the HD621, XA2 or the display. It was my Meridian HDMAX121 extenders "fault", which is at my "display end". Seems it has to be turned off for the HD621 to pass audio when the display is of. The HDMAX121 has no on/off switch, so it has to be plugged out of the wall socket! Not very user friendly from M but I fixed it with a "on/off wall socket plug" between my HDMAX121 and the wall socket. So no problem now turning it off and now everything is ready for SACD playback from my soon to be Oppo BDP-83. Hope this is also of help to other HD621/HDMAX121 owners.
post #69 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by THUNDER8268 View Post

I am waiting for a delivery of a Oppo BDP-83 to connect to my Meridian HD621. Does anyone know if I can play SACD via HDMI to the HD621 without having my video display turned on, or does it have to be turned on because of the usual HDMI handshaking? Until now I've only used the HD621 with the usual AV duties as I use a Meridian 598 for the audio only duties (CD and DVD Audio) without any need for the HDMI display (have a non HDMI monitor for the DVD-Audio when needed). I would like to listen to SACD without having to turn the display on. Am I in for a surprise? If so any remedy for it? Im asking this as I tried a CD via HDMI from my HD player with the display turned off and no sound but all was ok with the display turnned on! Hoping for some fellow HD621/BDP-83 owners help in this matter?

Just took delivery of the HD621 - MOST IMPRESSED!

As Dennis confirmed, the HD621 has a 'receiver' mode which allows all music formats to play without the need for a connected display. I'm now going Oppo BDP-83 into HD621 into 861 for audio, and from HD621 through my Radiance XD for video.

The good news is that as a digital transport, the Oppo is even better on audio through the HD621. I had previously not particularly liked the Oppo as a CD transport directly into my 861 as I found it a bit harsh. With the HD621 in the signal path, CD on the Oppo is now indistinguishable from my Meridian 800 (and that's the bad news). Can you say 'paperweight'!

Perhaps components like the HD621 actually relegate the digital spinner to inconsequential status?
post #70 of 105
What still amazes me about Meridian is they are very 'quiet' in the media about the benefits of the apodizing filter in this unit. No other brand has this in a surround processor.

The same goes for the new 808.2 CD player. Very quiet on the forums about his unit, while it is a GIANT leap forwards in sound quality.
post #71 of 105
my unit was delivered and installed yesterday. i'll post my thoughts in a couple of days as i have yet to listen to the system since installation. i have DVD / Blu Ray / HD DVD / VHS / Satellite all running through the unit so i'll be able to try and gauge its effects on a number of different formats.
post #72 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by RobboNL View Post

What still amazes me about Meridian is they are very 'quiet' in the media about the benefits of the apodizing filter in this unit. No other brand has this in a surround processor.

The same goes for the new 808.2 CD player. Very quiet on the forums about his unit, while it is a GIANT leap forwards in sound quality.

Fully agree! I'm frankly a dyed-in-the-wool skeptic and not easily taken with tweaks and upgrades, but I am very impressed with the 621. I'm not sure that I don't actually prefer CD on the Oppo thru 621 to 861 than 800 directly to 861. Too bad the 800 can't pass mch audio over HDMI as it might benefit from being run thru the 621.
post #73 of 105
I managed to spend a couple of hours over the week-end running my system with the 621. The only source I used was my blu-ray player. I'll come back with thoughts on other sources as and when I've had a chance to use them.

In short, Mark_H's comments mirror my experience. I perceived four significant changes. Firstly, the centre channel has greater depth and detail. This marks a huge improvement in dialog during movies. Dialog is more robust and thus much easier to understand. The dialog is also more accurate in reflecting the setting in which the dialog is taking place (i.e. auditorium / open air / etc). The second significant change is the amount of information that is sent to the surrounds. This initially threw me off a bit as Im not used to such elevated activity taking place behind me but after a couple of hours you start to appreciate it. Thirdly, there is a significant change in the quantity of bass. This may be particular to my set-up, I'm not sure. The increase in bass levels is profound and welcome as it's not a profusion of low quality wallowy bass but high quality tight n' punchy bass. Lastly, when switching between sources I found that the 621 was twice as fast as the HDMax421 it replaced.

In terms of downsides, the only ones that I have come across thus far are that on a movie that I watched last night the image kicked-out about a dozen times during the course of the 2 hour film. This may have been caused by the disc and have nothing to do with the 621 as i had never viewed the disc before. When sampling a number of Blu Ray concerts I did not experience any problems so I am hoping it is an isolated instance. Another down side is that I felt that some of the higher frequencies had become brittle at their extreme ends. I find this disturbing and may tweak the settings on my 861 in order to compensate for this. Whether this is a reflection of the short comings of the tweeters in my speakers or the source material I am not sure. I suspect that it probably has more to do with the source material than my speakers. There's no doubt in my mind (ears) that my system is now far less forgiving than it was previously. Blu Ray discs that have been impeccably recorded and engineered (i.e. The Police - Certifiable / John Mayer - Where the Light is / Chris Botti - Live with Orchestra and Special Guests to name three examples) sounded better than they ever have before. However, poor or marginal discs sounded harsher and fatigued the ear faster than before. Again, I am hoping that the flexibility of the 861 will allow me to improve these issues.
post #74 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by lepin View Post



In terms of downsides, the only ones that I have come across thus far are that on a movie that I watched last night the image kicked-out about a dozen times during the course of the 2 hour film.

I have had this problem as well from time to time but managed to solve it bu changing a couple of settings in my RadianceXE and, since so doing, this problem has not reappeared...
post #75 of 105
joelc, thank's for the info. i'm going to try and watch another movie tonight and see if i can figure out if the problem on sunday night was a fluke or not. my gut feeling is that it was not a fluke and that it will show-up again. i have a video processor as well (Runco) sitting between the video output from the 621 and my plasma screen. i hope that this won't need to be "tweaked"...
post #76 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by lepin View Post

joelc, thank's for the info. i'm going to try and watch another movie tonight and see if i can figure out if the problem on sunday night was a fluke or not. my gut feeling is that it was not a fluke and that it will show-up again. i have a video processor as well (Runco) sitting between the video output from the 621 and my plasma screen. i hope that this won't need to be "tweaked"...

The Radiance is proving to be very solid and as such my recommendation to you would be to take the video processor out of the loop to confirm that it is not the Radiance in and of itself and, from there, focus on the video processor either on its own or in combination with the video processor...or, better yet, put the video processor in front of the HD621...
post #77 of 105
joelc,

thanks for your post. I can't put the Runco Video Processor in front of 621 unfortunately as my Blu Ray player only has one HDMI out.

I did manage to watch another Blu Ray last night. It was a 2 hour 17 minute movie and it only kicked out twice. Each time it did it i saw a bright green screen for a fraction of a second and then the movie continiued as normal. Much better thanSunday night when it kicked out over a dozen times but still annoying...
post #78 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by lepin View Post

I can't put the Runco Video Processor in front of 621 unfortunately as my Blu Ray player only has one HDMI out.

Sure you can. Run your Runco into the Radiance, which does have two HDMI outputs - one of those goes to the HD621, the other to your display. Like you, I prefer to put the HD621 ahead of the Radiance (I'm an audio-first guy and don't see the need to run the audio signal thru an extra box if i can avoid it) but I think most people have put the Radiance first.
post #79 of 105
ca1ore, thanks for the post but i don't think that running two video processors is the right way to go.

the runco equipment is composed of two units: the plasma and the video processor. as it stands i have all HDMI source material going into the 621. video then goes from the 621 to the runco video processor. from the procesossor the video is sent to the runco plasma screen. if the runco was a display only unit then i could understand using Radiance but but that is not the case...
post #80 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by ca1ore View Post

Fully agree! I'm frankly a dyed-in-the-wool skeptic and not easily taken with tweaks and upgrades, but I am very impressed with the 621. I'm not sure that I don't actually prefer CD on the Oppo thru 621 to 861 than 800 directly to 861. Too bad the 800 can't pass mch audio over HDMI as it might benefit from being run thru the 621.

Ca1ore welcome to the HD621 A/V express. Ive been playing with my new Oppo BDP-83 and compairing it to the Sony BSP-S360 along with Toshiba XA2 through the HD621 to my Meridian 568.25. Its realy easy to use the HD621 for such multi player comparisons, because of its multi HDMI inputs. I find that soundwise the HD621 brings out the best in all these players. HD sound formats like DTS-HD-MA (not on XA2), DTS-HD, Dolby True HD etc. all sound great and I find that the HD621 relly equals the soundstage coming out from these players to the point that I cant realy judge one player as a clear winner over the other when using the same HD sound formats. CD sound is another matter as I would say the Oppo stands out as the best HDMI output CD player and does seem to equal my Meridian 598 as a CD player, but only if run through the HD621. The 598 can not be run through the HD621, just like Ca1ore´s 800. Guess the 598 and 800 would have the edge then? The 598 does have a slight edge on the 83 regarding DVD-Audio though, but only a slight.
Picture wise the HD621 does naturally not have much to say as it has no internal video processing, but still remains a top notch switcher for comparing these players. HD picture wise these players are all top notch HD players. But I do find that the 83 is the first player Ive used that Ive found myself looking at imperfections in the software being used rather than just loosing myself in the content and just going with the flow so to speak. If thats good or bad depends on the subjective feel you have for the software at hand.
When I first got the 83 I thought the 360 had a slightly better color and overal picture feel. But after having calibrated the 83 internally (wich you can not do with the 360 or XA2), I managed to get the best picture from the 83 out of the three players.
Regarding SD playback I still find the XA2 to be king of the stand alone upscaling players. The 83 is very good though in this area also. Regarding the 360, well Ill just say that Ive seen worse upscaling players, but I never felt drawn to using it as a SD upscaler. Of all the arsenal I have at hand at the moment fo SD upscaling I still prefer using my 598 through a Iscan VP-30 (with a 102card) for best overall SD quality. I guess the 83 set to source direct would be a great source for the VP-30/102 also, but I have not had the time to check that setup yet. But when playing music oriented SD material like live concerts and music videos I prefer to use the XA2 just to get the HD621 in there.
One oddness Ive found using the 83 with the HD621 is that the "normal" playing volume for me on the 568.25 is at around 73 now instead of the usual 68 when using other players and sources? When using bitsteam output on the other hand from the 83 instead of LPCM/HDMI output, the volume returns back to the usual 68 level? Very strange, maby something to do with the HD621? The HD621 does just bypass bitrate but processess LPCM but then again the processed PCM from the XA2 and 360 are at the usual 68 level also. So the HD621 processing of the 83´s LPCM stream seams to result in a lower volume level. Very strange?
Well thought this might interest those on the AVSF interested in the above mentioned products. Well back to playing with those fun gadgets again and again and.......
post #81 of 105
Thread Starter 
Hey Thunder!

Like you, I have been experimenting with various Blu-Ray players and the HD621, which does add alot to sound quality and clarity with it's Apodizing filters and "Smart Link" path to 94khz. I have sent back 5 Blu-Ray players I'd ordered or purchased in the process. I ordered the Oppo BDP-83, but returned it when it wouldn''t play BD-R discs that I made from old Laserdiscs on my Sony Vista computer. I ordered the Marantz UD9004 and was relieved that I didn't have to spend seven grand (projector money!) when Marantz told me that none of their Blu-Ray players handled BD-Rs. That's understandable, because there are very few morons like me who are trying to preserve Duke Wayne's original, uncut "The Alamo" with an incredibly complicated Adobe Premier Pro video editing software. Only some Blu-Ray players handle BD-Rs.

One model that does, which I finally settled on, is the Pioneer Elite BDP-09FD. Even with a discount, I spent too much too much for the Wolfson analog DACs I don't need with the HD621, but the picture and sound are extraordinary! Yes, I have to turn the volume up as well on my Meridian 861, but it's worth it! The reason all this is in the HD621 thread I started a few months ago, is when I pressed the "Audio" button on the detailed Pioneer remote, my projector image said "DTS MA 48khz." Upset, I phoned Pioneer and found out the most Blu-Ray HD discs are recorded at less than 94khz. This was backed up by the AVS Blu-Ray audio thread in the Blu-Ray Player forum section. Makes you appreciate the HD621 even more! I would like to find out which Blu-Ray HD discs are actually recorded in truly "lossless" 94khz.

In the meantime, I hope you continue to let us know the results of your enjoyable experimenting with Blu-Ray players and the HD621. Have fun!

Strength And Honor! (I've been watching the new Blu "Gladiator" too much), Capnvid
post #82 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by capnvid View Post


In the meantime, I hope you continue to let us know the results of your enjoyable experimenting with Blu-Ray players and the HD621. Have fun!

Strength And Honor! (I've been watching the new Blu "Gladiator" too much), Capnvid


THX! Will do. By the way, the Gladiator BR disc has come under quite a bit of fire quality wise. Whats your take on that release?
post #83 of 105
Thread Starter 
Hey!

I like it. "Gladiator" looks good on my equipment; JVC RS2 and Lumagen Radiance XD. The sharpness, grain and saturation looked fine to me, but boys of all ages love "Gladiator" automatically. It probably could look better. FoxyMulder on the AVS Ralph Potts' Blu-Ray review thread says that they used an old master with added processing rather than creating a new master for the Blu-Ray. But it looks better then the old SD DVDs and wait till you hear "Roma Victor!" and all the DTS MA music and effects through the HD621. Until they master it again, ala "The Fifth Element," I will continue to enjoy it. "Braveheart" looks and sounds great. A bit better than "Gladiator."

Morituri Te Salutant! Capnvid
post #84 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by lepin View Post

joelc,

thanks for your post. I can't put the Runco Video Processor in front of 621 unfortunately as my Blu Ray player only has one HDMI out.

I did manage to watch another Blu Ray last night. It was a 2 hour 17 minute movie and it only kicked out twice. Each time it did it i saw a bright green screen for a fraction of a second and then the movie continiued as normal. Much better thanSunday night when it kicked out over a dozen times but still annoying...

I will stay out of the wiring debate for the time being but the green screen leads me to believe that the HD621 might not have the latest firmware loaded...I suggest that you go to the Meridian website and download the latest firmware, load into in the HD621 and try again...the latest firmware did address a number of issues...

HTH...
post #85 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by lepin View Post

ca1ore, thanks for the post but i don't think that running two video processors is the right way to go.

Duh on my part. Misread your post as 'Runco Video Player'.
post #86 of 105
ca1ore, you are right. I did not check to see if i am running the latest version of the software for the 621. This is clearly the logical place to start (i guess with the product being so new doing this basic step slipped my mind)...
post #87 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by THUNDER8268 View Post

Ca1ore welcome to the HD621 A/V express. Ive been playing with my new Oppo BDP-83 and compairing it to the Sony BSP-S360 along with Toshiba XA2 through the HD621 to my Meridian 568.25. Its realy easy to use the HD621 for such multi player comparisons, because of its multi HDMI inputs. I find that soundwise the HD621 brings out the best in all these players. HD sound formats like DTS-HD-MA (not on XA2), DTS-HD, Dolby True HD etc. all sound great and I find that the HD621 relly equals the soundstage coming out from these players to the point that I cant realy judge one player as a clear winner over the other when using the same HD sound formats. CD sound is another matter as I would say the Oppo stands out as the best HDMI output CD player and does seem to equal my Meridian 598 as a CD player, but only if run through the HD621. The 598 can not be run through the HD621, just like Ca1ore´s 800. Guess the 598 and 800 would have the edge then?

Yes, I finally decided it was time to stop futzing around with modified bluray/SACD players and go 'mainstream'. Very glad I did! Not only does the HD621 sound superb, but it has reduced the frequency of spurious pops and clicks from SACD played on the oppo to a point where they are almost not noticible.
post #88 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by ca1ore View Post

Yes, I finally decided it was time to stop futzing around with modified bluray/SACD players and go 'mainstream'. Very glad I did! Not only does the HD621 sound superb, but it has reduced the frequency of spurious pops and clicks from SACD played on the oppo to a point where they are almost not noticible.

Well I own only two SACD´s, Dark Side Of The Moon 30th anniv. ed. and Jeff Waynes War of the Worlds and Ive played them a couple of times on the Oppo now through the HD621. I had no problems with them and never heard these “famous” Oppo pops and clicks. I even compared the DSOTM with the Vinyl version (same 2003 release) using a High End Turntable (SME V and VDH White Beauty). I heard a few pops and clicks on the vinyl then. It was like comparing oranges and apples. Both are round but taste different. Spaciousness vs. Dynamic. Sweet or sour take your pick! Digital or Analog, all depends on what "religious cult" or mood you are in. I like both.
post #89 of 105
A Thunder Query,

I also own the M598 player and 568.2 surround, and plan to get the HD621. My question: How do I use both my old player and the HD621 without physically swapping Smart Link DB15 connectors on the back of the 568.2?

Thanks for your advice.

ODC
post #90 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldDogCan View Post

A Thunder Query,

I also own the M598 player and 568.2 surround, and plan to get the HD621. My question: How do I use both my old player and the HD621 without physically swapping Smart Link DB15 connectors on the back of the 568.2?

Thanks for your advice.

ODC

Try using a Extron Electronics SW VGA/Ars Series switcher. They are very well build but a little expensive, but then again where not using cheap "stuff" anyway. I guess there are cheaper 15pin VGA switchers out there but I can not recommend them as I have not tried them out. I heard no noticeable difference with the 598 before and after adding the Extron. Try this link out;

http://www.extron.com/product/produc...subtype=13&s=4

This way you can have the best of both worlds, literally!

Best of luck!
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AVS › AVS Forum › Display Devices › Ultra Hi-End HT Gear ($20,000+) › Meridian HD621 MHR makes the 861 "High End" again.