A Beautiful Classic
Even though this was a reference combo-player, I was disappointed by its sound. The transport uses a Philips swing arm mechanism which is usually a guarantee for musicality but in this case, I found the transport-dac combo decidedly gray and lacking vitality. Sure, there was no grain, hardness or other nastiness to the sound and the treble was in fact quite fluid but the sound failed to grab attention and it had the opposite effect of my feet: they would stop tapping! Besides this dullness, the soundstage was narrow and devoid of color or substance.
Listening to the transport by itself I was still disappointed because the Marantz CD94MKII easily bettered it allround. Even though the Meridian uses the excellent CDM4 swingarm transport it still managed to sound less fluid, less lively and frankly more dull and more electronic than the Marantz.
In all fairness, this was an old unit and it may well have gone off spec. I heard similar effects with some Philips CDM-1 based players.