I have a V2 861 and v3 800. Though at present they are used in 2 different setups. I upgraded my 800 for multichannel audio, and is in my main theater. The 861 is running my 2 channel system. Both are fantastic units. I miss them together. I may replace the 800 in the main theater with a Ayre D1X and put the 800 back with the 861 if they do come out with an SACD upgrade.
don't hold your breath on M supporting SACD. you can get a multichannel input card for your 861 though. the IA40 will AtoD two six channel inputs at 48/20 and the IA45 will AtoD one six channel input at 96/24.
i use a 598DP, and won't upgrade to an 800 until it supports basically all the major formats, which it really should.
Yeah, I'm not holding my breath. Especially since the very core of the advanced PCM tech can be credited to Meridian-MLP is everywhere. But did you hear that Mr Stuart has been very seriously looking into DSD? It was in the audio rags about 6 mons ago. So my hope springs eternal. I am with you in the belief that the thing should definitely play everything-especially for 20k and the ongoing costs of upgrades.
I suspect that if Meridian were ever to support SACD, they would do a conversion (on the fly) of DSD to PCM, and treat it as Just Another Digital Source. This would allow them to leverage their already considerable skills with SACD in a digital to digital fashion.
Having heard the 568.2 take a two channel SACD input and digitize it, and knowing the IA45 card is even more capable on 861, I have to wonder how much there really would be to gain by adding DSD capability to their players.
I hope you are one of the lucky ones getting the 861 Version 4 which is coming out with the Room Correction card which has been talked about for several years.With this feature added to 800+861 SACD is probably the only functionality still missing from the pair.
I own a 861v3 and 800v3. Waiting for the V4 upgrade.
Never had any regrets.
Have just upgraded to OA13 cards, awaiting my XLR interlinks and than finally i will try out SACD via the IA45 card. 2 channel sounds very good already. But i never listened it completely analogue on my speakers, and do not intend to do so without time alignment and (decent) bass management which my sony SACD player lacks.
as for SACD support, i agree with you john that M should simply convert DSD to PCM at the highest possible rate they can and treat is as JADS. we all know they posess the mathematical competencies to do this right and it'd sound great and we'd have access to a ton of super content. i've been enjoying SACD via my IA40 card, and it's very nice.
Unfortunately, I've simplified the picture a fair amount, which is a mistake on my part.
It isn't a trivial task to add in the SACD support. There are firmware changes (M writes their own), changes to the base transport (requires an ASIC for Pit Signal Processing), DST decompression (via ASIC or their own code), Software and DSP horsepower to do the conversion, and last but not least licensing fees.
Once they get it into PCM format it's easy to deal with.
There is a HUGE difference between v2 and v3 with the processor. The V4 was just announced last week and from what I know, the room correction facility alone will be quite noticeable.
If anyone is interested, the HiFi show will be in San Francisco June 6,7,8. It is primarily a consumer oriented show with many manufacturers displaying their wares and introducing new equipment. While Meridian is not officially listed as a manufacturer, they will be at the hotel, displaying with Dolby. The rumor is that there will be a total Meridian Digital Theater in that booth. It's a chance of a lifetime, guys!
Anyway, Martin...it does take time to do the upgrades but you will be sooooo very happy when your gear comes back!
I like the upsampling of DD and DTS very much. To my oppinion the soundfield is even better/nicer in V3 than in V2.
Also to my surprise the OAx3 cards sound better than the OAx2 cards. I had not expected that as the internal processing is still 96 Khz. Obviously a few years development of D/A converters makes some difference
The OA13's are already needed if you want above 8 channels.
For now you can only try height channels for the MDG 2+2+2 system.
I wanted to do that with 2 OA02m cards and a OA12m. Does not work according to Meridian. So i bought 2 OA13 cards, and the latest news is 2 OA13's are not working with a OA12m either. So i guess i need to order a 3rd OA13 card. It gets a bit expensive to try out my single 2+2+2 DVD.... (I needed new interconnects as well)
But as i said, the sound seems improved from what i heared with 2 channel listening (have only 1 pair of balanced interconnects till my siltech cables will arrive)
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