Embrace High Fidelity Digital Music with Meridian Audio
Defy Convention with Meridian’s State of the Art Digital Speakers
High fidelity audio (let’s call it HiFi) has always been an area where technology has moved rather slowly. Part of that has to do with tradition at the higher ends of the product spectrum, and part of that has to do with the fact that analog hi-fi componentry – like the design of amplifiers and speakers – has not changed drastically in the past 40 years. You could say that analog Hi-Fi is like the internal combustion engine, which is likely at the peak of its development – but electric power is where technology is moving ahead at a faster pace.
We are not proclaiming, by any means, the end of classic amplifiers and speakers. But if you look at where the market has evolved, digital music sources like streaming and downloads have heavily influenced music consumption. With that has come tremendous innovation in powered and wireless speakers. Digital Signal Processing (DSP) is the digital manipulation of music signals that has allowed audio designers to break free from traditional design constraints. For example, we love Sonos systems for their ease of use and excellent sound for their size. They are an excellent example of using clever DSP algorithms and built-in amplifiers to generate great sound from relatively small speakers. Sonos is an excellent product, but it is not generally considered Hi-Fi by audiophiles. And that brings us to Meridian Audio.
Meridian Audio is a British company founded in 1977 and is one of the earliest pioneers in digital audio. They produced the first audiophile CD player in 1985 at the dawn of the CD era, and they also introduced active (self-powered) loudspeakers in the 1980s where traditional, highly regarded British brands like Bowers and Wilkins and KEF were only producing standard passive speaker designs. The company developed Meridian Lossless Packing, a digital codec (encoding technology) that is part of the standard for both DVD-Audio and Dolby TrueHD lossless audio on Blu-ray discs. The company also developed MQA (Master Quality Authenticated), an emerging standard for packaging high-resolution music for downloads and streaming. All this is to say that Meridian is one of the world’s most expert companies at DSP and digital audio technology.
Lelch Audio Video is proud to be a Meridian Audio dealer in the Minnetonka area, offering speakers and audio products that look and sound like no other. Let’s explore why Meridian is different and how you can go fully digital for your next hi-fi system.
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Meridian Powered Speakers
Meridian is best known for their powered speakers. And they are not just any powered speakers. They use amplifiers specific to each driver to get the most out of each component and eliminate the issue of mating the right amp to a speaker. They keep the signal path to the speaker digital and even use digital crossovers and multiple Digital to Analog Converters (DAC) to keep that signal pure and distortion-free until it hits the speaker driver. Their Speakerlink technology uses ethernet style cable instead of expensive speaker cable to carry that signal to the speaker.
Combining this unique approach to speaker design, a small tower like the Meridian M6 can produce naturally wide dispersion and excellent imaging that can be enjoyed from any sitting (or standing) position, not just a “sweet spot.” Meridian’s EBA (Enhanced Bass Alignment) involves digital processing to ensure that all frequencies reach your ear at the same time – always one of the challenges in any speaker design.
Of course, Meridian has many other models. The DSP3200 is a compact bookshelf size speaker that has many placement options, both on stands and shelves. Because of Meridian's digital processing, they are very forgiving of placement near walls, unlike other high-end speakers.
Stepping up in performance and price, the Performance line features speakers like the DSP8000.2, with five drivers driven by 150-watt amplifiers that can go to 120db loudness without distortion. Listener controls include settings for the listening axis, so you can always be in the sweet spot.
The Reference line, like with most speaker manufacturers, is the ultimate expression of Meridian technology, design, and style. They feature exotic Beryllium tweeters and all of Meridian's DSP know-how to reproduce audio precisely as the artist intended. The DSP8000 SE flagship can be had in 270 custom finishes, which allows it to blend into any interior décor – or stand out if you want it.
Since these are powered speakers, you want the Meridian digital components that are the proper match for these unique designs. Meridian makes digital preamps like the Reference 818V3 for larger speakers and the Audio Core 200 for smaller setups. For surround sound systems, the company also has a variety of solutions like the 861V8 Reference Surround Controller, the ideal match for a speaker like the DSP8000. The 861V8 can even upsample standard resolution sources to high resolution, allowing you to get even fuller sound out of your existing music and movie collection.
Visit one of Minnesota's best showrooms to experience Meridian and the many other high-end audio brands we carry. Reach out to our team today by clicking the button below!