The Special Edition DSP Loudspeaker Range is the result of Meridian’s ongoing research into how we, as humans, “hear” sound. These findings dictated improvements that have led to the loudspeaker’s lifelike performance. Quite simply, the Special Edition DSP Loudspeakers, and matching centre channels, are the best sounding loudspeakers Meridian has ever created.
A Very Special Occasion
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the launch of our pioneering D600, Meridian is launching a new series of Special Edition loudspeakers – DSP5200SE, DSP7200SE and DSP8000SE. Finished as standard in a piano lacquer black or white, the Special Edition Range is also available in any of the 270 Meridian Select colours
The DSP approach also eliminates the space, power, and thermal management requirements for other system components and, significantly, creates a system in which the individual components are all perfectly matched and sonically balanced.
A DSP Loudspeaker includes the entire system’s electronics inside the enclosure – the only thing that’s lacking is the audio source – providing dramatically increased efficiency, and enabling it to deliver a level of performance equivalent to a passive design of eight times its physical volume.
The Special Edition loudspeakers share the same enclosures and are visually identical to previous models (with the exception of the clamp rings). These enclosures feature a number of unique design elements and innovations that have been refined over the past 37 years of Meridian being a world-class loudspeaker manufacturer. These performance-improving factors impact choices of materials, shape, and even finish.
Loudspeaker enclosures should be completely inert and make no sonic contribution to the sound at all. Meridian utilizes “soundless” materials for the enclosure – notably Meridium in DSP8000SE and DSP7200SE. It is rigid and thus ensures you hear the only the loudspeaker – not the cabinet. All models are finished in a high gloss lacquer that forms a tight “skin” around the enclosure, reducing vibrations that can colour the sound.
The narrow shape emulates aspects of the human form, which psychoacoustics suggests provides a more realistic performance. Soft cabinet edges enhance the visual design, but they also avoid generating unwanted additional high frequency sounds that can blur the soundstage. For perfect stability, the loudspeaker stands on adjustable foot assemblies machined from solid aluminium, helping to eliminate microscopic vibrations that can rob a loudspeaker of that “you are there” quality.
the most revealing, lifelike, and powerful performance of any Meridian loudspeakers to date.
Deliver more accurate time-domain response and significantly improved transient handling across the entire digital active system.
The narrow shape emulates aspects of the human form, which psychoacoustics suggests provides a more realistic performance.
Soft edges avoid generating unwanted additional high frequency sounds that can blur the soundstage.
For perfect stability, the loudspeaker stands on adjustable foot assemblies machined from solid aluminium. Meridian utilises “soundless” materials for the enclosure – notably Meridium. It’s rigid and thus ensures you hear the only the loudspeaker – not the cabinet.
“Soundless” materials for the enclosure – notably Meridium. It is rigid and thus ensures you hear the only the loudspeaker – not the cabinet.
New mechanical clamp rings on the mid-range and bass drivers provide enhanced mechanical stability and further minimise coloration
New Meridian-designed short- horn-loaded tweeter with a Beryllium dome for outstanding transient response and extended frequency range
New extended-bandwidth analogue electronics, optimised to deliver maximum performance from high-resolution recordings
Enhanced Bass Alignment (EBA)High or low, all sounds travel at the same speed, so all the sounds from a live musical event arrive at your ear at the same time, whatever frequencies they contain. Loudspeakers, however, have a problem when playing low frequency sounds at the same time as mid and high frequencies – the bass arrives late, and the deeper the sound, the later it arrives. This delayed bass causes music to lose its impact and reduces the sense of the recorded space – it is often described as “boomy”.
The goal is to have time-accurate loudspeakers, where all reproduced frequencies start and end at the same time. In a loudspeaker, this timing is affected by the crossover, driver, and enclosure type. To eliminate the delay between low, and mid and high frequencies, Meridian has designed a combination of digital filters and time delays for the mid and high frequencies. This solution enables the mid and high frequencies to “wait” for the low frequencies, delivering perfectly-timed music playback.
Mid and high frequencies are delayed to time-align them, while upper bass is delayed with a special type of patented filter. These features must be implemented entirely in the digital domain, making them impossible to achieve in any passive or analogue-active loudspeaker design.
Enhanced Bass Alignment provides accurate time-alignment of the drivers in the system, delivering exceptional imaging and a clear, transparent, more lifelike sound.
EnclosureIn DSP8000 and DSP7200 a unique material known as Meridium forms the entire loudspeaker’s enclosure. Meridium is constructed of plywood made from specially selected, cold-grown European Birch. This wood has very tightly packed rings, and is more dense and inert as a result. Multiple layers of this plywood are pressure-laminated together around an aluminium core. The rigidity and mass are improved even further by treating the interior surfaces with an additional layer of aluminium-doped epoxy resin. The result is a uniquely inert, vibration-free material.
Clamp RingsA great deal of effort has gone into ensuring that Meridian DSP Loudspeakers are rigid and free from resonances. The addition of driver clamp rings ensures that the driver is rigidly attached to the cabinet, maximising authenticity and minimising coloration of the sound.
Beryllium TweeterFor the most natural sound a high-frequency driver’s cone must have superior transient handling for dynamic range and contrast. It must also have extensive power handling for wide dynamic range. A perfect material for this is Beryllium – it is seven times more rigid, and over twice as fast as aluminium, the traditional tweeter cone material. The new Beryllium-domed tweeter uses a semi-horn-loaded approach and was designed by Meridian engineers.
New SpeakerLink Input Board and DSPA new SpeakerLink board provides enhanced interoperability between Meridian Controllers and DSP Loudspeakers. Digital Signal Processing has been enhanced for higher clock speeds, giving superb handling of the high sample rates encountered with high-resolution audio sources.
The source information that appears in the loudspeaker display is now derived from the controller, allowing for additional custom legending. Meanwhile, additional enhancements include Bass, Tilt, and Axis presets for enhanced control and a new crossover design. All SE centre channel products include Centre Elevation – allowing the image from a centre channel loudspeaker positioned under a screen, for example, to be raised to be in line with main left and right loudspeakers and at a suitable height for realistic dialogue delivery.
Digital Signal Processing
As pioneers and leaders in the field of Digital Signal Processing (DSP) technology, Meridian is able to deliver your music authentically to recreate the passion and involvement of your musical moments. Power-efficient, active DSP crossovers are individually tailored to distribute music to each speaker, bringing your music to life.
The traditional setup – amplifiers driving passive loudspeakers – is inefficient, limiting sound quality. Meridian loudspeakers contain a complete, matched audio system with efficient DSP crossovers, multiple DACs and driver-specific amplifiers, giving higher overall quality, less power use, and the performance of a traditional loudspeaker eight times the physical volume.
Traditional audio systems often require large, expensive cables to maintain their performance. Meridian's SpeakerLink uses an “Ethernet style” cable that delivers pristine digital sound and control down a single cable between Meridian components. The result is simple, unobtrusive, and cost-effective cables that are easy to install.
Triple FIFO Buffering
Each sample of a digital recording must remain evenly spaced in time. Unfortunately, timing can vary, especially when reading discs. This is “jitter”, degrading music's sense of space and diminishing realism. Meridian's multiple “First In, First Out” buffering system minimises jitter, ensuring perfect timing and improved clarity. You enjoy a clearer feeling of the instruments and their interrelationship.
Meridian High Resolution (MHR)
MHR was the first approved encryption method for transferring high definition digital audio between components. Previously, it had to be in the analogue domain, reducing quality. MHR allows secure movement of high resolution digital audio within a Meridian system, without compromise, improving quality by reducing cyclic repetition.
Meridian Apodising Filter
Filters are critical in digital audio. Commonly they introduce distortion and harshness because of "pre-ringing". Early digital recordings suffer from harshness too, due to primitive filters. After painstaking research, Meridian developed a special filter that avoids pre-ringing, so it can be steeper, cleaning up the effects of early filters. The result: a better, cleaner sound from recordings old and new.
Enhanced Bass Alignment (EBA)
In a large loudspeaker, low frequencies (bass) play slightly later than midrange and high frequencies. This “smears” the sound and reduces music’s sense of space and realism. Meridian DSP technology adds fractional time delays to the mid and high frequencies in the loudspeaker. Thus all frequencies play in perfect time with one another, for significantly increased realism and enhanced bass transient response.
Frequency response in-room within 3dB from 35Hz to over 32kHz. Linear-phase mid/top crossover. Output >108dB spl @ 1m on music material. Noise less than 15dB spl. Overall distortion typically <0.02% at any frequency or level.
Meridian SpeakerLink in and out (RJ45)
S/PDIF digital input, 32kHz–96kHz sampling rates at up to 24 bit with MHR support (phono).
1x RJ45 with balanced digital audio and control for a second loudspeaker. Carries infra-red pickup for system automation.
‘2 1/2-way’ acoustic reflex system. Single-port (vertical model) or dual-port (horizontal centre). Entire speaker manufactured from interlaminated panels with individually covered grilles for bass units. Finished in high-gloss piano lacquer.
2 x 160mm polypropylene bass drivers. 1 x 25mm (1") Meridian piston in short horn, beryllium dome with silver voice-coil.
Two precision 24/192 oversampling converters for bass/mid and tweeter signals. Active bass/mid crossover. Digital and conversion electronics constructed using advanced surface-mount techniques and partitioned 6-layer printed-circuit boards.
2 x Freescale 56367 running at 150MHz, 2 x 24-bit Multi-bit delta-sigma DACs with 128x oversampling. Crossover minimum-phase at 2.6kHz. Response correction for the whole system. Bass protection. User tone controls. Analogue/digital volume and phase control.
Bass: 1 x 75W
Mid: 1 x 75W
Treble: 1 x 75W
Rear-panel controls for Power On/Off. Full control via MSR+ and RS232 SpeakerLink carries Comms, serial and balanced digital audio via RJ45/CAT 5
Eight-character display with system lights, can be blanked.
Vertical model: height: 903mm/36in (without spikes/feet); width: 300mm/ 12in at base, tapering to 179mm/7in; depth: 356mm/14in at base, tapering to 217mm/8.5in.