I originally contacted John to repair the broken LEDs on the feet of my kW550 Amp, however he also sent me a comprehensive reply regarding the upgrade options. After reading the various testimonials I decided some 6 months later to take the plunge and go for the full upgrade.
I have to admit it felt like a gamble as individual opinions differ and when you can’t audition the finished product ahead of time you just never know. I decided to take my amp directly to John rather than putting it in the post and meeting John definitely eased my concerns. After a few minutes conversation it was obvious he knows his stuff so I returned 2 weeks later with great anticipation to collect.
John was quite insistant that it would take some time for the amp to produce its best and that it needed a long running in period. However, once I got it home the transformation was immediately obvious when playing the first track, and some 6 months later it has got better and better.
For me, the most impressive improvement is how natural my system now sounds. It’s just so much more life like and musical than before, even with CDs I had previously written off as poor quality. The sound staging and depth of presentation is immense that makes live recordings so realistic. The bass is much deeper and defined, this aspect has definitely matured as the amp has accumulated more hours. The higher frequencies are sweeter, cleaner and overall the sound is so much more detailed than before but like I say not at the detriment of being musical. It seems to excel with all types of music, solo vocals are 3 dimensional, the power and control of the amp (which is the reason I originally purchased a kW550) is so much stronger than before.
The upgrade is truely exceptional and a significant step change over anything I have done previously. It has rekindled my enthusiasm to spend more time listening and more importantly enjoying the music and not just listening to the hifi! If you have a kW550 and are thinking about upgrading, don’t hesitate.....you will honestly not be disappointed.
My system: Muscial Fidelity kW550, Wilson Bensch Discovery (speakers), Cairn Fog 3 (CD), Inspire Quest (turntable).
Buying our Roetl Rx 1603 was such a great pleasure in the first stage of our journey wanting a vintage piece to satisfy our listening to music.....we wanted to bring this unique piece of equipment back to life. After much research we decided Mr John Sampson was the man to use his expertise on such a delicate piece.... From customer service to taking this on dedication and experience you could not put a price on it! All we can say is we also had the dedication to travel many miles to get the result we got. Excellent and more can not thank him enough! #musicman thanks Mark & Alison
Repair and Upgrade
Excellent service and good communication. Meridian have declared this
product obsolete so no longer support it. I cannot recommend JS Audio Repairs enough. Thank you.
The best value in HiFi today.
What do you do if you own a fantastic 1998 Stereophile Class A CD Player that won't play discs anymore? You take it to John Sampson. Straight away, John knew the entire laser mechanism needed to be replaced. He also suggested upgrading the Meridian as he could wring out even better performance with "more of everything". Hard to believe, but I took the pIunge! A few weeks later, and after going through the burn in process for nearly two weeks, I am sitting here gobsmacked. There is indeed more depth, width, height. My most important HiFi sonic parameters met. The soundstage is immense and even more spatial. Stereo imaging is laser-like and instrument seperation is now first class. And wow, fuller, bigger but more controlled bass. John further promised to add some "sparkle" to the ultra smooth presentation. And yes there's a lovely luminous high frequency sparkle there now. Smooth as silk still though, no digital nasties at all. It's all very analogue sounding. Which is how I like my music. I am getting an emotional response from every genre I am playing...and that's what ultimately this gear is about.
So my verdict is I am a truly happy customer. And its still burning in. It will get better and better as the new capacitors and components form fully. With this in mind, do be patient as the sound will change for the better and for the worst over a few weeks. Suddenly, bang! you will hear the gear come alive.
I am now finding I am listening as much to the Meridian as my analogue front end - a Nottingham Analogue Ace Spacedeck. That, for me, says everything.
And the cost is truly minimal in relation to the massive sonic return. As I said: the best value in HiFi today! John, I will be bringing my Musical Fidelity A5 integrated in soon for an upgrade too. I don't even want to imagine what miracles you will work on that.
In July 2017 my pre amp had failed after many years of faithful service. Only problem it is in Barbados. Anyway I travelled and brought it with me. I met with JS and agreed have to the upgrade that he recommended. Its now February and a few months of running in, I truly say the upgrade has brought a new level musicality and openness to my music. I have played all my favourites and I am thoroughly pleased with the subtle improvements that I am experiencing. Thank you JS, one day you might have to upgrade my XA-200's but due to their weight I'll have to wait for them to fail.