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.
Great service again
I’ve used John before, some five years ago, when I wasn’t entirely satisfied with the performance of my amplifier. He both repaired and upgraded it and the improvement was dramatic.
Cut to just December just gone. Following redecorating I foolishly left a set of speaker leads in a short circuit position, so that when I switched on my amplifier it blew in a big way. I contacted John to see what he could do and, cutting a long story short, I ended up delivering both my amplifier and CD player to his workshop. I decided that I may as well get the CD upgraded, not that there was anything wrong with it, together with getting the amplifier repaired, plus a little more upgrading.
Was it expensive? Well yes, in one way but, on the other hand, if you run with equipment at this level of investment, it’s a pity to spoil it by skimping on second best. And John doesn’t know what second best means. Well he does, but only because he showed me the difference between his work and some of the shoddy stuff he has to repair. With John you don’t get fake customer service, or surveys asking ‘how did we do?’, just leave it with him, agree a reasonable date for return, and that’s what you get.
As far as improvements are concerned, the system is still bedding in. The CD is starting to really come into its own, and I’m picking up detail on CDs I hadn’t heard before. I’m looking forward to a lot of years with this system.
Night and day difference
A few months after purchasing a secondhand Musical Fidelity A3.5 CD player I decided it sounded a bit flat so decided to get John to upgrade it.
Wow, what a difference it has made.
I don't know all the hifi jargon but I do know it has better bass, better seperation of instruments and it now fills the room with sound rather than just hearing the music from the speakers.
Will have to get my amp upgraded next.
Sampson The Great!
Lost for words (almost). I have dealt with John for a number of years now - he has proved himself not only a reliable guide through the hi-fi thicket but generous spirited, utterly professional and a consummate craftsman. I have had amplifiers upgraded by him and now purchased wonderfully restored Musical Fidelity MA50 monoblocks and an A1 integrated from him. My listening experience has been utterly transformed through knowing him....bravo Sir John! John Humphreys (www.schiller-humphreys.com)