Meridian D600 digital active loudspeaker System Context

Sidebar 2: System Context

Source components consisted of the Linn Troika/Ekos/LP12 analog record player sitting on a Sound Organisation table, a Revox A77 open-reel recorder, and a Meridian 207 CD player, the latter driving the "Master" D600 from its digital and "Comm." outputs via the supplied Meridian cable, with the "Slave" D600 daisychained to the first, again with Meridian's own cable. (Though the D600 has an optical input, I didn't have long enough optical connectors to use these inputs with another CD transport; the 207 CD player, reviewed by Thomas J. Norton in Vol.11 No.11, only has a coaxial digital output.)

For most of the auditioning, the analog sources fed a Mark Levinson No.25/No.26 preamplifier combination which then drove the D600s via 15' lengths of Madrigal HPC balanced interconnect. This is fitted with XLR plugs, so short XLR/twin-phono adaptors fabricated from twisted solid-core cable had to be used to drive the D600s' "A1+" and "A1–" analog inputs, which use gold-plated phono jacks. To be honest, apart from the 6dB increase in gain, I couldn't hear any benefit from driving the speakers with a balanced signal compared with an unbalanced one. However, as the balanced cables were the only sufficiently long ones I had to hand during most of the review period, why not?—John Atkinson

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