Meridian G65 Surround Controller

Founded in 1977 by psychoacoustics expert Bob Stuart, Meridian staked its claim in the world of digital audio before the CD was even born and has lived on the cutting edge of digital technology ever since. In 1994, before the new Dolby Digital surround format (then known as Dolby AC-3) had even made its way into homes, the company introduced the world’s first digital surround controller and named it simply the 565. Twenty years later, the G65 surround controller represents the latest iteration of that iconic processor.

The G65 is a force to be reckoned with—as well it should be for seven grand. Building on the company’s flagship 800 Series, the processor boasts a card-based architecture with plug-in boards that handle specific tasks rather than having one big, multifunctional board. The overarching goal is audio purity. Each board has seven layers to keep noise and crosstalk low, inputs and outputs reside on different boards, each with its own power supply, and a “clocking card” is dedicated to timing accuracy/stability and minimizing the digital bugaboo that keeps audio nerds up at night—jitter.

To say that Stuart is obsessive might be an understatement considering that he hand-tunes and initials every board. Talk about personal touch. The quest for perfection continues with Meridian’s “apodising” filter, which gives old digital recordings a new lease on life by eliminating the harsh “pre-ringing” effects of primitive filters, and the semi- automatic Room Correction system that compensates for resonances and other acoustic deficiencies.

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Proprietary DSP presets include Cinema, Discrete, and Trifield, which derives a stable surround-sound experience with left, center, and right channels from two-channel recordings. Up for a little nostalgia? The G65 can even decode ’70s-era Ambisonic surround recordings. All this in addition to Dolby Digital, DTS, and numerous Dolby and THX surround modes.

Connections are plentiful, too. Six coaxial and two optical digital inputs and eight analog inputs are provided along with eight SpeakerLink outputs for direct connection to Meridian’s powered digital speakers and eight balanced/XLR outputs for more traditional analog hookups.

Available in silver or black metal with glass accents, the G65 comes with a backlit programmable/learning remote.

See Meridian.

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