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Discussion Starter #1
I am currently running the following equipment (ignoring the video side)...


-- TMA AV192R preamp/processor

-- TMA DVD32R dvd

-- TMA 100x5R amplifier

-- M&K SW-95 in-wall speakers

-- M&K MX-350THX subwoofers


I will be moving and creating a new home theater in the new house. As such I am considering an ACTIVE/DIGITAL theater based on a MERIDIAN 861 pre/pro and their ACTIVE/DIGITAL in-wall speakers.


I am looking for feedback becasue, as you well know, the wiring for an ACTIVE/DIGITAL system is materially different than that for a PASSIVE/ANALOG system which means, given that all wiring will be within the ceilings/walls, once wired there is no change.


Please let me know what you think...


Thanks,


Joel
 

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I think you should wire for both. The extra cost is miniscule in the big scheme of things. I would never tie myself into one company's products. Anything can happen. You should know that with TAG stuff;). I had 17k worth of Cal audio products so I know first hand as well.
 

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Best system I've owned; 861 v4 and 800 v4 with 5200's all the way around. Fantastic; high end.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by adidadi
Best system I've owned; 861 v4 and 800 v4 with 5200's all the way around. Fantastic; high end.


what are your sub and how many
 

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I second that. I also have the 861v4 with 800v3 and 7000 fronts with 5000hc mkll, DSP33 sides with 5000 rears with a (1)Velodyne fsr18 sub. I love the clarity and power of the system. I don't want to seem bias but I feel that you might enjoy if you decide. Find a dealer that may come close to your requirements and check it out.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Bulldogger, many thanks for the feedback and, more importantly, the suggestion to wire for both. As it relates to your comment regarding Cal Audio...all I can say is that I wish that I only had USD 17,000 invested...I have multiples of that in TMA gear.


Highrez, many thanks for the feedback as well.


One follow up...at least for now, does anyone have:


1. Experience with MERIDIAN's in-wall and can opine on them relative to other in-walls.


2. Knowledge of the MERIDIAN's new in-walls which are scheduled to be released in the very enar term.


Many thanks.
 

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I am running the 5 X 5200's as full range without subs for the time being. I honestly don't need a sub since the bass is bone crunching; but I feel I should add one just to further improve it.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by adidadi
I am running the 5 X 5200's as full range without subs for the time being. I honestly don't need a sub since the bass is bone crunching; but I feel I should add one just to further improve it.


adidadi:


What is different is that I will be using in-wall speakers as I have a WAF to address...this is why my current home theater has 5 in-wall speakers supplemented by 2 M&K MX-350 THX MKII subwoofers...as the in-walls most assuredly need help in the lower frequencies.
 

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Since you're limited to in-wall speakers anyway, you should get a demo of the new Meridian speakers. This is the press release . From what I know Meridian has only shown prototypes yet, so we'll have to wait and see how the final products perform.


The new drivers are alot better than the ones used in the current range of speakers.


As far as a sub goes, IMO every Meridian speaker requires an additional sub, probably with the exception of the DSP8000, but even then I think there are subs available that outperform the lower end of the 8k when it comes to quality.



With the 861v4 you can't go wrong however. It's a much better pre/pro than the Tag you're currently using. And since you have to specify what output cards you want when you order it, you're also safe in the case you do not choose DSP speakers, but actives or passives. With the 861 you have the choice of three different output cards. DSP, balanced and unbalanced.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephan
Since you're limited to in-wall speakers anyway, you should get a demo of the new Meridian speakers. This is the press release . From what I know Meridian has only shown prototypes yet, so we'll have to wait and see how the final products perform.


The new drivers are alot better than the ones used in the current range of speakers.


As far as a sub goes, IMO every Meridian speaker requires an additional sub, probably with the exception of the DSP8000, but even then I think there are subs available that outperform the lower end of the 8k when it comes to quality.



With the 861v4 you can't go wrong however. It's a much better pre/pro than the Tag you're currently using. And since you have to specify what output cards you want when you order it, you're also safe in the case you do not choose DSP speakers, but actives or passives. With the 861 you have the choice of three different output cards. DSP, balanced and unbalanced.
Stephan:


Many thanks for the feedback...the one point that I will take exception with is your comment that the meridian 861 is a much better pre/pro than the TMA AV192R.


It is my view that each has its pros and cons and in differing situations one is better/worse. What I will agree with is this -- both are top notch and would do any home theater proud!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joelc
Stephan:


Many thanks for the feedback...the one point that I will take exception with is your comment that the meridian 861 is a much better pre/pro than the TMA AV192R.


It is my view that each has its pros and cons and in differing situations one is better/worse. What I will agree with is this -- both are top notch and would do any home theater proud!


Joel,


don't get me wrong on this, the 192 is a nice pre/pro. And it certainly is a top performer among several other pre/pros available.


However, and that is my personal opinion, I think it does not sound as good as the 861. I've done the jump from TMA to Meridian myself a long time ago and couldn't be happier than with a 861. If you can find a dealer that carries both brands, I'd suggest to just do a demo and compare both. :)


However I can not comment on the difference between the two when it comes to in-wall speakers only, since I'm using floor-standing speakers all around.


But in general, let me say that when it comes to in-wall, I'd personally pick Meridian speaker over other in-walls I've heard. That is unless you'd consider to build a "room in a room" and hide larger speakers behind walls.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Gents:


Still learning my way around the MERIDIAN world...to that end I would appreciate any feedback -- and hopefully not competition -- on bidding on either of the following two units (i.e. acquiring these units and bring them up to spec).



http://cgi.ebay.ca/Meridian-861-vers...QQcmdZViewItem

http://cls.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls....roc&1141852361




In providing feedback please note that I am interested in a unit configured as follows;


-- V4.2 unit (i.e. latest software);


-- digital only coax input audio connections for STB and DVD;


-- digital speaker connection capability;


-- no video switching other than for setup capabilities (i.e. I will be using a Lumagen for video switching).


Many thanks.....



PS. If there are any other cards that you think that I should consider please let me know...as I said, I am still learning about the MERIDIAN world.
 

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Joel,


You don't need the Video switching for setup, you use MConfig for that. So the VS00 is really not needed. I found the Video Switching to be useless, YMMV.


You won't need the ID30 digital input card either.


The e-bay unit has balanced analogue output cards, but no digital output card for Meridian DSP speakers. You would need to add an OE12 digital output card for Meridian DSP loudspeakers. The OA12 analog output card is a generation old, but still quite servicable. You would only need one of these for analog subwoofer(s) if you are running a Meridian digital theatre.


So really, just adding the OE12 is all you need to do.



As an FYI, there's a very active Meridian community at The Hitchhiker's Guide to Meridian .


Hope this helped.
 

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The Audiogon unit is going to require two sets of upgrades to get to v4. The v3 upgrade is expensive, the v4 is

I would bid on the E-bay unit up to about 10-11K if it were my money, and it isn't.


Best,
 

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Discussion Starter #15
John:


Many thanks for the feedback...therefore is it a reasonable conclus that the ebay unit is the better of the two to bid ongiven that it has been upgaded to V4.2 firmware/software and, as such, all that is needed one card.


Related point..what would you bid...USDx 10K sound fair?


TIA



PS...great minds think alike in that you answered my questions while I was responding to your posts....one more folow up...any other pre/pros that you would consider given that I am coming from a TMA AV192R?


PPS. Thanks for the URL. I will check it out...
 

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Joel:


Well unfortunately lunatics think alike too... but we'll go with the great minds theory for now ;)


The Lexicon MC-12B, the Theta CasaBlanca III and the Halcro SSP100 are the other three contendors for your dollars.


The Theta CB III and the Meridian 861 are the priciest of these.



Regards,
 

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Discussion Starter #17
John:


Assuming that they were your dollars which would you go for noting the following:


1. Am prepared to pay for something that will last and will be upgradeable for a "reasonable price".


2. Am leary about smaller companies after being burnt by TMA as I have over USD 30,000 in TMA gear which is now useless.


3. Am not convinced that audio/video in one box is the way to go...coming to think that few companies, if any, can do a great job on both...leaning towards Lumagen for video and MERIDIAN/other for video.


Your thoughts...TIA.
 

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Joel,


I already own a Meridian 861, and all of these except the Halcro were available when I made my purchase.


With respect to your points:


1) The problem with this is that there are some upgrades that are going to be cheaper than others. 861v2 --> 861v3 was expensive, it was architectural. 861v3 --> 861v4 was

2) All of the companies except Lexicon (part of Harman) are smaller companies. Tag products are slowly resurfacing as Audiolab under IAG. Of course the initial Tag products were Audiolab products after Tag purchased Audiolab to get started so the circle is complete now ;)


3) Lumagen is certainly one of the very good scalers out there on the market now. It's an excellent time for buying a scaler with so many good choices.


Cheers,
 

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Discussion Starter #19
John:


As it relates to the choice of company I just feel 'THREE TIMES BURNT" and want to avoid a fourth. The chronology is as follows:


1. Lexicon disappointed me in their MC-1 to MC-12 upgrade policy. Many people gripped about their upgrade pricing as it was not in-line with expectations.


2. Cinepro was next...I moved to owning their 3K6 MKIII amp as well as a host of their power conditioning equipment. As you well know Eric Abraham then died on the operating table with his company following suit..yes, they are now back up under other owners.


3. TMA was next...spent a fortune on my initial purchases of a 100x5R amp, DVD32R dvd player and AV32R pre/pro. Immediately following their announced review and continuation I dropped near USD 25,000 on upgrading to a AV192R...needless to say I was very upset when they sold the business shortly thereafter.

What is so hard about finding a stable and reputable company who takes care of their customers after having spent BIG dollars on equipment -- hence my question, which way would you lean/suggest?


RE: Audiolab....not even close to TMA in the level of teh market in whcih they want to play. Head on over to www.avforum.com and look under the Audiolab/TMA site (where, as an aside, I am quite active). There you will see that IAG/AUdiolab has abondoned the high end...in fact, they have only taken and rebadged TMA's lowest end gear and done nothing -- and confirmed that they plan on doing nothing -- with the mid/high end gear. Very very disappointing...let alone a waste of IP.


RE: Lumagen...am currently running a Lumagen HDP and plan on moving to the Radiance. Can not say enough about Jim, Pat and the rest of the gang....ALL I WANT IS AN AUDIO COMPANY THAT MIRRORS WHAT LUMAGEN IS ON THE VIDEO SIDE!!! Is this too much to ask?


RE: MERIDIAN...do you see them making Faroudja competitive/leading edge once again and, if yes, within what time frame.


Over to you and TIA!!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joelc
3. TMA was next...spent a fortune on my initial purchases of a 100x5R amp, DVD32R dvd player and AV32R pre/pro. Immediately following their announced review and continuation I dropped near USD 25,000 on upgrading to a AV192R...needless to say I was very upset when they sold the business shortly thereafter.
But that was no surprise after all... The people behind TMA were Udo Zucker (CEO) and Hartmut Bayer (TMA Germany). I've talked to both on several occasions and not just for a minute or two, but much longer.


I'm not the only one who's blaming them for the failure of TMA. The hints were there long before the 192 came out. Remember when several people had trouble with some discs on the dvd32r? Dr. Zucker was always blaming the mastering for this, they refused to release a firmware update for the dvd32r, since according to him their machines were working according to specs. The simple truth is, at that time TMA wasn't working with the chip manufacturer anymore and since they knew basically nothing about their own player, they were not able to fix the glitches in their own firmware.


The second major flaw of the dvd32r was, that even with the DVI-out, it has no full digital signal path. Within the player, there's a D to A and A to D conversion working. They've always denied this fact until they couldn't anymore.


Their scaler, I believe it was called VSM2048 was a joke... it won't do true 1920x1080, it's limited to around 1400x1080. I was there when they showed the first prototype of the scaler and switched between a Snell and their scaler. The excuses came at the same time the demo started. "We want to offer better quality than the Snell!". I was wondering why they were showing a rather poor performing prototype then...


I talked to Dr. Zucker after the demo and asked if the scaler will support 48Hz for us freaks...

His response? "No we won't do 48Hz... cinema is 24fps and we want to be better than cinema. 50/60Hz and maybe 100/120Hz. We'll offer more than cinema and since more is always better it's better to do something more than 48Hz!". At that point I just left and was hoping they'd think about it and get things right.


So it was not exactly surprising that they went down with that attitude.



I met Hartmut Bayer last may at the High-End show in Munich and was talking to him for a while. He still has the same attitude as before. Of course he knows everything and he's always right. What he says is the best for his customers.

He's working with JVC now and he lied right in my face that the HD2K would do 48Hz without a problem. It has been confirmed by several people including Tom Stites that this is not the case. When we came to the price he wouldn't believe me that the projector is much cheaper in japan than in the US and Europe. He said he doesn't care what I tell him, I have no idea what I'm talking about. Even when I told him what dealers to check in japan for the price, he claimed I'm wrong and he's right.


At that point I left again. I have no intension to do business with any of these people anymore and can only tell everyone to avoid these people as well. They will ruin one business after another.


With people like Dr. Zucker and Hartmut Bayer in charge, you can be sure excellent products like the av32r and dvd32r will fail.


But I'm somewhat going off-topic here. :D




Quote:
Originally Posted by Joelc
RE: Lumagen...am currently running a Lumagen HDP and plan on moving to the Radiance. Can not say enough about Jim, Pat and the rest of the gang....ALL I WANT IS AN AUDIO COMPANY THAT MIRRORS WHAT LUMAGEN IS ON THE VIDEO SIDE!!! Is this too much to ask?
Lumagen is a fantastic company, I have a VisionPro HDP myself. I was one of the people who bought it when it was still Beta and I'd do it again. Lumagen has great support and they keep working on features the users would like to see in their products.


And that is what Meridian is in the audio world. They care about their customers, they offer great support as well. I know of one case where they have even created a special configuration for the 861v4, so it supports features that are not available in the standard firmware and configuration. In that case money was no issue however, so they sat down and created this special config for a single customer.
 
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