Which Meridian hardware is worth buying now?

I wnated to wait for renewing my Sooloos hardware C10 and Ensemble and switch to Roon later. But today, my C10 crashed when performing the new software update on the Ensemble. Likely becausé the hardware is too old. The Ensemble still works. Meridian has offerered me quite good prices on their hardware. I need a core and a bridge, 2 zones.
What should I get that might be Roon-usable later? The Roon ready hardware in Germany is either very expensive or has only support in the US (Sonic transporters) at present. I cannot buy something that has no support in Germany.
What is the most modern Meridien hardware, still worth buying for 2 zones?
The following combinations are possible:
MD600 + MS200 + MS600 or
MC200 + MS200 or
C15 + MS600
C15 + MS200
I want to have one 2 TB SSD built into it. This is possible in all combinations.
Could a MC200 be usable for Roon in the future? I read the discussion here, but it is confusing.

On which Windows version do the Meridien products run?
C10 was Windows XP, what about the C15, MD600 ans MC200 cores?



If you need something right now I’d go with a NUC to run Roon and put your music on and an MS200. Just let go of Sooloos.

You shouldn’t need MC200 or MD600 or C15 as you don’t need a Sooloos core as you’ll be on Roon.

If you do need a Sooloos core I would go for a QNAP NAS instead of one of the Meridian devices as they’ve released a package that installs the Sooloos core on that. There might be a QNAP Roon server package at some point too. Look on the Meridian website and they even show a QNAP NAS rather than one of their own branded devices!

Then wait for an endpoint that supports MQA, which no doubt are around the corner.

We support the sonicTransporter world wide. I can connect to your computer from remote and resolve any issues you have.

Hi Paul
As a Meridian user since about 1997…and a Sooloos user since 2011…and an Ensemble user also…my advice would be as follows

  1. Do not buy any of their Control Units C10, C15 now in 2016…technology has passed them by…and there are now far better and cheaper options

  2. If you wish to stick with a Sooloos solution, then Sooloos now have a TouchScreen App…which will run on most Windows PC’s…several Sooloos users use this App on 17 to 27" Touchscreen PC’s in preference to running their C15’s

The App display is VERY similar to that displayed on the C15…and the whole “Touch” side of the UI runs far better on the Capacitive Touchscreens of modern PC’s [like your Smartphone], rather than on the Resistive tech employed by the C15

You could instead use an iPad with the Sooloos Core Control app to control what Music you want to play etc., etc

  1. Do not buy any of the Sooloos Storage Units [MD600, MC600, MC200]…older technology at elevated prices…to which there is ZERO advantage to using in 2016…they have never added or subtracted to Sound Quality…and as per Meridian’s own stated advice, Sound Quality is solely dictated by the quality of the “Endpoint” used

  2. The Meridian Endpoints [818v3, 808v6, MS600 and MS200] are great sounding endpoints…and all sound FAR, FAR better than the outputs from the C15 or Ensemble direct…they all employ Resolution Enhancement, Upsampling, Apodizing and jitter reduction techniques

  3. All the above Meridian Endpoints have ALWAYS worked seamlessly with Roon since its inception…and all sound great when used with Roon…remember that the Roon guys are the original Sooloos & Meridian guys

Ordinarily, I might suggest that you try an MS200 as a starting point…but MQA Tracks [think High Resolution tracks] will be available from Tidal in the near future…and neither the MS600 nor MS200 offer compatibility with that format…so I would advise that you wait until their successors are announced by Meridian

The 818 and 806 are already MQA ready and sound absolutely fantastic with MQA material, as well as CD Format, DSD and other High Res formats

So, in the short term, the best options might be

a) Consider the SonicTransporter mentioned several times on this board…this would act as your Roon Server [& if you wish, Storage]… [akin to your Ensemble]

b) If you’re already confident with Windows, Linux or Mac OSX, then many here run Roon on a NUC PC [with Windows or Linux]…or on a MacMini with OSX

Some here prefer to run with the Music Storage “local” to that PC…while others are happy to use Network Storage [NAS] to store their Music files

c) Consider one of the several Network based Endpoints discussed here on the Roon forum…including the Sonore options

I know what the list prices are for the various Sooloos options you list above…and even at good discounts, they are still likely to be expensive


Hi Paul,

Sooloos based System
Get an Intel based QNAP NAS, to store you music file on and run the Sooloos core (QNAP package).

MS200 will be fine for your basement system.

For your main room … You could push the boat out and get an 818v3.

I would not recommend getting Meridian storage these days eg MC200, MC600 or MD600.

For control use an iPad and / or a Touch screen PC.

If / when you wish to trial / switch to Roon then just add an Intel NUC to run Roon … that said some on here are running Roon on QNAP now … and I think it’s only a matter of time till Roon offer an official QNAP package.

Roon supports Meridian endpoints but it is not limited to them … lots of choice and increasing rapidly.

Hi Carl
Paul states above that his Ensemble is working fine…so if he decides to stick with Sooloos either short term or long term, then using the Ensemble as the “Core” & Storage…and then the Touchscreen app on a Touchscreen PC or an iPad for the control UI…would make the most sense IMHO

And then use the money “saved” [from the Sooloos Storage and Control units in his OP] to buy the 818v3!!

1 Like

I have read about MQA, but I as I understand, this would be primarily for streaming music from the internet or downloads with a subscription. All the files that are on my sooloos system could not ne used. All CDs would be useless, one would need a new type of CDs?

Is this correct?


This is incorrect

At the moment, Roon and Sooloos allows you to play

a) Ripped CD’s of 16/44
b) Any Lossy MP3 or AAC tracks [e.g iTunes Purchases]
c) High Res 24/96 and 24/192 material
d) Some / many DSD / SACD formats
e) Lossless Tracks Streamed from Tidal

When Tidal and the Music Labels enable MQA, then many to most of the Tracks streamed from Tidal will be in MQA format rather than in CD format…and from the many who have listened to MQA files, this results in a substantial increase in sound quality

SUMMARY: You can continue to play your ripped CD’s…as well as MQA and Lossless CD tracks from Tidal…when using either Sooloos or Roon

1 Like

Please excuse, but I do not understand. Is MQA a decoding tool that can play Sooloos or Room files or does it require new files that cannot be generated from thus far availabke files?
If I had an MS 600 it could not play MQA even with some kind of software update, right?
How does Tidal work?

Can you use regular amplifier

Thank you!

@Paul_Fisch It might be useful for you to have a read of the Tidal and MQA websites, this will give you a better understanding of the technology, then come back ask any questions you may have here and we will try to help.


Thank you for this helpful answer. If i stick with Ensemble now, and use an Ipad for control, should I replace the software damaged C10 with MS200 or MS600? Is the digital output on the MS600 bettet than on the MS200?

Thank you, Russ, but this is essy to say from your point of view. Even HIFI “high end” dealers could not answer my questios about MQA. I got the answer that this is a technology developped by Meridian and nobody knows if it will be widely accepted.

@Paul_Fisch I agree that it’s widespread adoption is not certain but what it is and what it does is explained on the website.


Read TAS - MQA Revolutionises Digital Audio for more than you ever wanted to know about MQA.

MQA has promise but it is still early days and there is very little music available yet in the format. However if you invest a lot of money now in a DAC that does not support MQA (and you don’t change kit often as it seems you don’t) then you may regret it if it does take off and if the benefits are as good as indicated in this article.

Of course if the dealer just wants to sell you something now he won’t give you this kind of cautious advice. Not many MQA capable DACs are available yet either though many are coming. Meridian is of course one of the first. If you are set on Meridian then an MQA DAC probably makes most sense.

MQA files should start becoming available via Tidal streaming so if you subscribe to Tidal you won’t have to buy all your music again either. Roon’s integration with Tidal makes this work seamlessly with your current library.

Roon may support decoding of MQA files in the future so that current DACs can benefit from MQA files too but it needs to know about the DAC to do the decoding best and we don’t know if it has been worked out if Roon will be able rondo this or not and it it will support all other DACs or just a few. At this point it does not seem you can rely on this possibility.

Hope this gives you enough to determine if MQA capability is something you need to have or not.

[quote=“Ronnie, post:6, topic:10743, full:true”]
Hi Carl, Paul states above that his Ensemble is working fine…so if he decides to stick with Sooloos either short term or long term, then using the Ensemble as the “Core” & Storage…and then the Touchscreen app on a Touchscreen PC or an iPad for the control UI…would make the most sense IMHO

And then use the money “saved” [from the Sooloos Storage and Control units in his OP] to buy the 818v3!!
[/quote]Good point Ronnie,
There is no immediate reason to replace the Ensemble, my suggestion was perhaps swayed by getting in hardware that is both Sooloos and Roon compatible … so that Paul could run either application until he felt comfortable with the direction he wishes to follow.

My system (with a heavy investment in Meridian) can do this but to be honest these days I only click the Sooloos icon if someone is visiting and wants to compare Sooloos vs. Roon.

When I invest now into hardware I want it to be relatively compatible with future deveopments. I am not the person who throws excellent components such as the Ensemble out as long as they work fine. And I understand that it is not worth buying Meridian Core products at present because I may switch to Roon later.

Is it possible that the MS600 that is Roon compatible will be able to deliver MQA Music to an external DAC with MQA capaniloties later or will it be useless?

Is the MS600 a better bridge than the MS200 if you do not need the built in DAC?

I would personally be surprised if an MS600 or MS200 would become MQA capable with a firmware upgrade, simply because Meridian made that available for the Explorer2 quite a while ago and I don’t see why they would have procrastinated on the MS200/MS600s.


As far as we know, the MS200 and MS600 are not MHR**-capable (it’s a hardware thing - you need to muck about with the underlying SPDIF bits and I don’t think this is possible with off the shelf SPDIF transceivers); and MHR (the data encryption part) would appear to be necessary to comply with MQA Limited “policy”. So most of us are expecting new (lower-end than 808 and 818) Sooloos endpoints at some point.

I’ve not heard them both together, but the analogue output of the MS600 is definitely better than that of the MS200. It’s likely that the MS600’s digital output is better too, though perhaps the gain over the MS200 is not so great. The MS600 is, of course, much more of an attractive proposition now that the RRP has been dropped to £1000. However, if you go for an MS600, buy it for what it does now.

Are you using Meridian DSP loudspeakers or analogue loudspeakers? If you have DSP loudspeakers, I’d be tempted to get an MS200, which can be had for around £350, and do a damn fine job. If MQA becomes important, that MS200 will still be great for a non-critical zone.

** MHR is a Meridian proprietry encryption and anti-jitter technology.

No, I have a regular amplifier, Symphonic Line RG11, MK4 and Piega C40 speakers. I have to see… Perhaps I get my C10 repaired instead of spending thousands of Euros on outdated equipment… For Roon at least in Germany there is no good suppprt and hardware at present. It is better to wait. I would buy the MS600 but if it is not ready, it is not worth it.

@Paul_Fisch I am curious what Roon support you believe other countries have that Germany does not?