It's All about the Music

I was at the CEDIA show this week wearing a path between the restroom and the press conference room of the Colorado Convention Center when I heard what sounded like a live guitar performance wafting out of Room 304. When I walked into the room and found no musicians, I wasn't surprised. It was a CEDIA Meridian event, and I've always loved their stuff.

But then I started looking around for the towering components. Meridian is known for knock-your-socks-off audio, but the price you've always paid (in addition to an arm and a leg) is a substantial amount of airspace for speakers and electronics.

I stopped in my tracks when I realized that the phenomenal, live, airy sound was coming from a tabletop radio.

Ok, at $2,999 this tabletop won't be featured in the Radio Shack catalog this season--it still costs you more than a few body parts--but what Meridian has been able to do with digital signal processing and a retro curved cabinet is astonishing.

You're paying not only for the brilliant audio design but for the Ferrari styling. The co-branded radio comes in five official Ferrari colors: yellow, red, silver, black and white. This is one radio you'd want to  show off for looks and sound.

Your three grand gets you a DVD/CD player, speakers, 80 watts of power feeding 2.1 channels, inputs for auxiliary electronics (an iPod dock is coming soon), an alarm clock, switchable antennas and an RS-232 port in case you want to connect to a control system. All that's missing--and this is a glaring omission to me--is HD Radio and maybe an XM or Sirius tuner (DAB is an option if you live in Europe).

Hey, for what you'd pay for an entry-level 1080p video projector, you should at least be able to get high-end radio.--Rebecca Day