Meridian M6 / MC200 / AC200 in the Test

Digital active loudspeakers, wide strips, DesignBox – the Meridian M6 combines the seemingly irreconcilable. But the true sensation is to discover price tag and connector Panel: 8000 euro fulfilled the HiFi dream of a chain that digital lossless transmits music from the source to the chassis.

When the theme digital signal processing are the English by Meridian rebuke as pioneers: company founder Bob Stuart once invented the “Meridian Lossless packaging” (MLP), which was based on the DVD-audio format, and was already 1990 (!) to its speakers on full digital active technology. Digital signal processors take over the task of the crossover and the equalization, the music data with a simple network cable are using the hotel’s own losses and jitterfrei directly in the box transfer. The catch so far: The standing speakers with this technique were all extremely expensive. That is now changing: with the new M6 Meridian brings a fully digital active speaker systemthat brings all technical genes of their expensive siblings. This design looks less technically, but integrated unobtrusively in the living room – the speaker is not recognizable as a speaker, all chassis are hidden. As the cable connectors, which are located in the bottom of the box.

Where is the entrance?

The connoisseurs at the overviews of the connectivity finds surprise: there is no analog input! The M6 only accepted a network socket, which is not a music signals. It must be a component of the Prime Meridian, the in-house transmission system SpeakerLink dominates, the music signals as well as volume control. For this, the future owner saves considerations of loudspeaker and Cinch cable: according to the manufacturer is the Transfer Protocol as interference and jitter that any any CAT5 cable in greater lengths can be used without altering even one iota of the sound. The wiring is another practical advantage: not two cable between preamplifier and speakers must be considered – it is also enough to wire around the left box and then install another cable between both speakers.

But also in terms of speaker technology which belongs to the avant-garde Meridian: without further conversion, the PCM signals are forwarded to the digital signal processor, the crossover, equalizer and limiter is in one. Bass tuning and location filtering can adjust the user – in the simplest case the preamp controls – directly in the box on the site such as Meridian active speakers-common. In the case of the M6 the turnout makes only a single separation @ 200 Hz: in the subwoofer channel and the rest. Because the heart of the box is a wide strips, which exempt transfers all audible frequencies from a single point of the bass. The chassis measure by only 8.5 centimeters sits at the top of the tapered box and plays with a cone-shaped aluminum membrane which fell on in the laboratory by extremely low resonance and post-echoes. Due to its design, edge reflections be avoided because the chassis can stream off broad. In turn the subwoofer sits in the bottom of the box, shining down on a ring-shaped opening. The woofer loaded also with an aluminium cone measures 14 centimeters in diameter and is supported by a vented below 70 Hertz.

Buying advice: four amplifiers in test Each fired an own amplifier the different game partners: A 150 Watt bred efficiency sine of strong switching amplifier takes over the bass, a classic analog level emphasizes low feedback the wide strips. Only shortly before, or at the final stage the digital audio signals so converted – only by high resolution PCM 24/96 format from where they were sent from pre-amp or source.

Change + control

Where “Preamp” not quite rightly describes the AC200 because he takes actually nothing more, but full-time digital signals, just in case again precisely nachtaktet and then reissues with level adjustment. It also serves as an access portal for analog sources, which he promptly leads to a make A/D converter.

There is only in the form of a headphone jack analog outputs – Meridian has yet to invent the digital-controlled headphones. The main output make the two “SpeakerLink”-labeled RJ45 jacks that next to it is a same name input for Meridian’s own sources. Ordinary digital servant must make do with the two Coax inputs ; as the fourth bit input, the AC200 presented even a connector for the Optional iPod i80 dock.

Mature + affordable

Who has already said goodbye analog music suppliers and looks just as discreet, straightforward music chain, can omit the AC200. Because the MC200 used this plant as a source, can supply not only the AC200, but also directly a couple of M6 through its Speaker-Link Output . Then a few settings fall away that are available only with the full cover – about the practical location EQ in the bass: the menu at the AC200 can enter whether the box close to the wall, free or even stands in the corner. the DSP then corrects the bass frequency response accordingly.

Practice: create and assign music archive The MC200 is visually reminiscent of a fine, slightly overblown NAS plate – and actually a harddisk 500 GB rotating capacity in it, which is enough CDs in lossless FLAC Format for about 1500. Grows beyond the collection above this limit, Meridian has a variety of expansion possibilities on offer. And that will be needed soon, for the Meridian-own “Sooloos” music Server – justifies the an own article and will also get–gaining fascination with every gigabyte music.

What is true in a figurative sense also for the sound: fractions of a second after wiring played the chain – and that according to the motto “sounds as it looks”: compliant, consistent and creamy, with a fine sense for the large room, the M6 was a boon for those who want not long keep up with flowery descriptions of audiophile, but just listening. Whether with cheerful tones (such as Gronemeyer’s “music only if it is loud”) or manifest (Wagner’s “Rienzi” Overture; Jarvi, Chandos) – the Meridian chain was particularly consistent and stress-free, built a very natural, almost something overly wide and exactly diverse stage, unless you had an angled the boxes exactly with the Meridian logo to the listener. You left the optimum listening area, lost their shine existing anyway not in excess especially strings and brass, also it no longer so accurately the chain then took with the resolution.

Practice: speakers properly set up But the real star of the ensemble is the bass: pulse accuracy, depth and musicality do not need to also comparable with the most expensive boxes, here the M6 showed the advantages of active technology in perfection. The plant at Chris Jones mobilized up to higher levels””No. sanctuary” untenrum a pound, that one had to involuntarily think a multiple big box with massive bass. She retained the musical structure of the Foundation and the downright flattering tone heat even at quiet levels so that she will be an almost ideal partner also for the nightly Leisehör session.

Conclusion

Music is mostly digital – what is more obvious as they without conversion and thus down to the box to digitally transfer potential deterioration? The Meridian concept means nothing less than a revolution that ended much discussion about cable sound and quality of the sources. Design, operation and price will convince many “normal listener” of this approach: and for me the future belongs to this principle.