To Doug Schneider,

I was looking at the NAD C 565BEE CD player and saw your review and thought I would ask you a question. I have also been thinking about a used Meridian 508.24. In your opinion, do you think the NAD would be a better buy over the older Meridian? Right now I have a NAD C 542.

Dave Larsen

Good question. The 508.24 was released over 12 years ago and retailed for about $3500. At the time, many considered it to offer state-of-the-art performance. In my opinion, anything that was considered to be state of the art back then is probably still very good today, since the CD format hasn't changed in decades. What's changed is that the cost for state-of-the-art-type CD playback has gotten a lot cheaper, which is why NAD's C 565BEE retails for less than $1000 today and can stand tall among players that cost quite a bit more a few years ago.  The C 565BEE also offers one advancement that the 508.24 doesn't have: the ability to play back high-resolution source material up to 24-bit/192kHz through the digital input on the back. 

All told, both machines have their strengths and you're wise to consider them. But I'd also look at one more thing: reliability. Personally, I'd pick the NAD because it's new and covered by a warranty (I'm assuming that you're looking at a new model and not something on the used market), whereas the 508.24 is quite old and is prone to failure simply due to wear and tear. When a CD player fails it can be quite costly to get fixed, and sometimes it's not even possible to fix at all. For example, I have a Theta Data Basic CD transport that's almost 20 years old and the transport's been failing for about eight years. Theta told me that they can't fix it. So when it finally dies, I simply have to throw it in the garbage. I have no idea about Meridian's ability to repair the 508.24, but that's the risk you take when buying used. I hope these thoughts help. . . . Doug Schneider