Colinjg

Meridian 206B CD Player.

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I have a work colleague who buys, tinkers, repairs, sells vintage amps etc.  He particularly likes older Japanese stuff, Luxman etc.  As far as I know he doesn't listen to them or play music he just likes them.

He invited me in yesterday and he has got some interesting bits, a Leak 20 which he is trying to get working, he has just picked up a Quad 606 for nothing in a house clearance.

However he has also just picked up a Meridian 206b CD player, for I think nothing, and asked me if I wanted to try it at home to see what I thought. It has no remote and a rubber foot missing.  It is built like a tank and still seems to work properly. I assume it is from early 90s. Its serial number starts with a 2.

Anyway, have just plugged it in and giving it a whirl.

Not having had any other CD player in my system at all for over 20 yrs I was not at all sure what to expect.  I am pleasantly surprised, it sounds big, warm, detailed, but not etched or  over analytical,  in fact not at all dissimilar to my NOS Dac Valve CD player.

I was wondering if anyone has a feel for how this player stands up to modern equivalents or whether modern players are major improvements? Anyone familiar with Meridian CD players?

It sounds very listenable to me.

If he sells it ( or I make him an offer) what would/should he get for it?

Cheers.

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Super Wammer

I've had a couple of the 206 players during my hifi travels and have always been impressed with their sonic ability. The only achilles heel has been the gradual failure of the LED diplay, but there appears to be supplies of these available from the usual places. They also make superb transports... :)   

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I have a 206B in my man cave hifi #2 if you like. Bought in 1990 for £1000, its a great player. Sound might be a bit "soft" but its a really nice listen.

Two of the feet came off mine, I picked up a replacement set of 4 from fleabay. The drawer on mine is bloomin stiff, probably through lack of use.

Have watch them occasionally on ebay, think they go for over £200, depends on condition.

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The feet were 19mm Sorbothane hemispheres like this https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Sorbothane-19mm-Isolation-Hemispheres/192916455648

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Super Wammer

I had a 208, which was a preamp and a bitstream CD player in one.  It was smooth, and was pretty high end in its day.  Would’ve been late 1980s because I had it when moving to Bristol in 1990. I think @uzzy is familiar with them, the 206 in particular.

Mine was burgled in 1997 and but for that I might still have it.  I still see various models on eBay.  Mine had some unusual features hidden in the menu but can’t recall exactly what - either an early switchable filter or maybe something showing error rates. Afraid I can’t remember.  

A super piece of kit, and much nicer to use than a nasty plastic tray to load the CD.

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3 hours ago, Nopiano said:

I had a 208, which was a preamp and a bitstream CD player in one.  It was smooth, and was pretty high end in its day.  Would’ve been late 1980s because I had it when moving to Bristol in 1990. I think @uzzy is familiar with them, the 206 in particular.

Mine was burgled in 1997 and but for that I might still have it.  I still see various models on eBay.  Mine had some unusual features hidden in the menu but can’t recall exactly what - either an early switchable filter or maybe something showing error rates. Afraid I can’t remember.  

A super piece of kit, and much nicer to use than a nasty plastic tray to load the CD.

I had a 206 and it nowt like that - and if you had still had yours now unfortunately the lazer would have packed up by now if used regularly and very difficult to get a replacement. 

I bought mine second hand to use whilst the 506 was in getting drawer mechanism fixed.   I acquired a DacMagic (the one that upsamples to 192khz) cheap and that was when I discovered that my HB Burnit Pro sounded just as good through the dacmagic as the Meridians did straight.  So I hooked the Meredians up to it and found the same. 

I also noted that I preferred the bass on the 206 and it seemed to have more incisive dynamics than the 506 but did lack some of the fine detail,  so in some ways I preferred the 506 through the dacmagic (and the 206) as it seemed to give me the best of both the 206 and 506. 

It was all that that led me to my belief the only way to do CD is to get a good reasonably priced machine with digital out and use a decent DAC - then you will not break your heart when the cd player you bought that costs £,000s cannot be repaired.

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15 hours ago, uzzy said:

It was all that that led me to my belief the only way to do CD is to get a good reasonably priced machine with digital out and use a decent DAC - then you will not break your heart when the cd player you bought that costs £,000s cannot be repaired.

I had this in mind when I got the Wadia, even if the transport goes poop, I still have a great DAC and digital pre amp.

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Posted (edited)

Having done some serious comparisons with the Meridian and my nearly as old Audio Note CD player, the differences are amazingly subtle. I guess both are relaxed, warm, refined but detailed.  I marginally, prefer my own player.

I might keep this as a spare/alternative as the owner said he would let me keep it for £50.  My half  Scottish blood will not let me resist.

Edited by Colinjg

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Super Wammer
Posted (edited)

I had a 206 with an upgraded clock & blackgate caps .....bettered my VRDS10 feeding my Trichord DAC - took the clocked Roksan Attessa DP2 ( which as I recall cost 2x the price when new) to better it.  The Achilles heel is the laser which I don't believe can be replaced now. 

Edited by MF 1000
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