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.

Dilsher Ali