Meridan Pumps Up Its Flagship Speakers

Meridian launched its active, digital-input speakers 25 years ago, so to celebrate, the company's amping up some of its classic designs with improved components and some nice engineering refinements. That's the DSP7200SE you see above. There'll also be a top-of-the-line DSP8000SE and a smaller DSP5200SE.

The Special Edition speakers include all sorts of changes from the original designs. It starts with a new beryllium tweeter in a shallow horn waveguide. According to Meridian's Ken Forsythe, the beryllium dome has 6 times the transient speed of an aluminum dome, so it delivers better high-frequency transients and better performance for high-resolution audio.

For the woofers and midrange, there's a new aluminum mounting ring. The mounting screws go through the ring into the enclosure so the ring, not the screws, clamps the driver to the enclosure. Forsythe said this provides stiffer driver mounting and eliminates distortion of the speaker frame.

A second digital signal processing (DSP) chip has been added so that the internal digital-to-analog converters ca be driven at a higher clock rate, so they can handle high-res audio signals better. The internal amplifiers still use traditional Class AB technology, but they've been upgraded.

The enclosures, however, remain unchanged. Why not upgrade to Corian or something else more modern than the existing combination of 18-layer cold-grown birch plywood with a tensed metal layer? "We just haven't found an enclosure material that works better than what we've been using," Forsythe dais.

Prices for the Special Edition speakers are still TBD, but they're slated to ship in late February or early March. Because they're part of the Meridian Select program, you can get them in your choice of 240 different colors.