Meridian CD 207

Have I found the worst CD in the world ?

Not that I was searching for one, but hey, things don't get much worse than THAT !

I was very excited to work on the legendary Meridian player. I am not suggesting that it was bad when it came out some time back in 1987 or close. They took the right parts - TDA1541A S1, the CDM4 mechanism, and added some of their own proprietary electronics. They did a great job but this player is unfortunately just screaming GARAGE industry. Maybe it is not a bad player per se, but for us - Lampizators - it is a true NIGHTMARE.
The worst part is the loading mechanism. All made by hand in a garage - it is terrible. fixing it is a real nightmare.
The separation between DAC and transport is a strange one. The transport holds the power supply for the DAC. There is a terrible umbilical 25 pin cord with both power and digital signal, utilizing the LPT 25 pin computer connectors. It sucks big time.
The whole player has as many types of screws as it has screws. Every one is different. Getting to the guts of this player requires a professional tool shed in the backyard.  The PCB has no silk-screen descriptors, so you are left wondering what is what. The space is so tight that there is no room for anything, let alone Lampizator or capacitor upgrade.
After spending 2 weeks trying to fix a mistracking unit - I HATE IT.
The pots adjusting the laser are placed so I can't turn them while it plays. It takes hours to adjust - opening, closing, assembling, disassembling again. No. no. no!. Count me out.
This is a player for masochists. It costs so much that we can REALLY look elsewhere.  For that money we can have Sony ESD player OH MY GOD so much better.

The sound: in stock form is not good either. It is merely okay, but far far from lampized TDA1541 players for 20 Euro like cheapest Philips CD160 or something like that.
Even the transistor discrete I/U conversion, massive power regulation etc - does not help.  Also - assuming all is OK with the player - the ergonomic aspect is terrible. The buttons, the logic, the display, the remote - all is awful. Again - for masochists.
Bottom line is - STAY  AWAY at all cost.

Meridian 207 CD

Hands up who understands these buttons? And worse than that - after a few wines? Even pressing these buttons moves the whole player on the shelve, it is that hard to press.

These transistors ate I/U section, in place of a simple resistor. This complexity doesn't help much !
The DAC on the right is covered by an aluminium heat sink.

CD207 Meridian

A massive preamp section with countless opamps and transistors. Not transparent at all.

CD207 Meridian

The TDA and caps around. It looks like properly implemented, but the preamp analog stage kills all the goodies. No music from this single crown TDA1541A/S1

general view on the DAC upper board.  Looks neat, but you should have seen the transport board - not pictured. A real horror.

Bottom side of PCB is all immersed in solder. No copper traces - but globs of tin. I am not so sure about it. It looks like a Soviet submarine not high-end.

CD207 Meridian

The dac section bottom part.

 The lower PCB of the DAC - all digital circuitry before TDA chip plus power regulation.

The SAA7220 is also glued to the heat sink. I tried to NOS it but I abandoned the whole project very fast. It is NOT FOR ME.

In closing:

I love Meridian company for their efforts to push the digital technology forward, for their countless great products, but this one - from the earliest days - was a cul de sac in the process. Thank God they abandoned this route and did a better job later.

Good night.