Help! Meridian 808.3 or dCS Puccini?

admin_exported

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Aug 10, 2019
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Hello, it's been a long time since I last posted and I've been on quite a sonic journey. I now have the wonderful opportunity to get either the Meridian 808.3 CD player or the dCS Puccini player + U-Clock. Both are pre-owned so I will not be able to audition either of them.

I'm really torn between the two. The Meridian 808.3 is known for its apodising filter which not only eliminates (or significantly removes) post-ringing during CD playback but also removes pre-ringing already in the music signal that was introduced during the recording/mastering process. I find this very appropriate for my huge Redbook CD collection. On the other hand, the dCS Puccini + U-Clock is without doubt one of the digital front-end greats, as affirmed by What Hifi's review. It also offers me the option to go the computer audio route.

So I really need some input from anyone who has had the opportunity of comparing both of them. How do they compare and differ sonically? Any feedback would be very much appreciated.
 

CnoEvil

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Aug 21, 2009
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What a nice choice to have, as you frequent the higher echelons of CDPs .

I have heard the DCS but not the Meridian, so what I have to say is more supposition than anything else. I found the DCS exceedingly accurate and revealing, but for me, lacked a little involvement/emotion.....now this could have been the systems I heard it with, though I tried the Debussy Dac at home and preferred my Linn Majik DS at a third of the price.

I have read the same criticism levied at the Meridian.....but even still, I think my money (expectation) would still be on the DCS .

If I was looking for a highend CDP, it would probably be a Pathos Endorphin.....but the problem is, I think a good streamer gives better performance per pound spent.
 
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Anonymous

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Thank you CnoEvil for your reply. Anyway, I have taken the plunge and went for the Meridian 808.3. Getting it brand new from my dealer! Can't wait for it to arrive :)
 

Thaiman

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Jul 28, 2007
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dCS Puccini is the best dCS DAC yet, I never heard the .3 version of Meridian flagship but it need to add more excitement as the original version sound a bit "pipe and cigar". The Puccini can give you lots and lots of details, I am talking about inner details, texture, decay, air around instruments. I use to own dCS Elgar Plus DAC, this one is miles ahead.

Another gem I found recently is the Esoteric PD/05 Transport & DAC, talk about analog sounding digital player...I end up bought the pair after a quick spin. The flow of this combo remind me of the very best of analog source, nothing in the sound that shout "look at me", just pure musical message floating out from inky black background...yum yum :)
 
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Anonymous

Guest
"Pipe & cigar".....that's an interesting description although I have no idea what you mean by that.

Yes, I love Esoteric products. Their transport is really second-to-none. My Esoteric X-03 SE has given me many moments of listening pleasure. But it can be a bit clipped. Hence the upgrade path beckons.
 

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