15in tall, cost-effective DSP loudspeaker includes horizontal center version
September 12, 2005–Meridian Audio Limited, the UK-based luxury audio/video entertainment company that introduced the whole concept of using Digital Signal Processing (DSP) technology in a loudspeaker, has announced the introduction of a new compact model, the DSP3100 — representing a new benchmark in the development of compact, high-performance digital loudspeakers.
The DSP3100, which replaces the existing DSP33 at the same price point, is intended for use as a bookshelf or stand-mounted loudspeaker. Specially designed aluminum stands are available that can be sand-filled for maximum stability and minimal impact on sound quality. The vertical units also include Omnimount/universal wall bracket mountings for additional flexibility in location. The horizontal centre unit is designed to sit on a shelf and is magnetically shielded; a stand is also available. Feet are fitted to the units.
The speakers are tonally similar to other Meridian DSP loudspeakers and as a result they are ideal for use, for example, as surrounds for a Meridian DSP-based system. They are equally suited for use in a smaller stand-alone system in a study or bedroom, and can be used as second zone speakers in a Meridian multi-room environment. With S/PDIF digital inputs at up to 96kHz, they can also be used as high-end computer loudspeakers.
The extremely accurate characteristics of the DSP3100 make them eminently suitable for studio monitoring applications, particularly as near-field or surround monitors in recording and mastering facilities, where they can accept digital audio data at standard digital recording sample rates up to 24-bit, 96kHz operation.
Featuring high-efficiency long-throw 6in (160mm) (vertical model) or dual 5 ¼ in (120mm) (horizontal model) bass drivers with doped carbon fiber cones and cast alloy baskets, the DSP3100 also includes a very high quality 1in (25mm) Meridian piston treble drive unit with doped fabric dome. The drivers are powered directly by independent high power, low feedback amplifiers fed from an audiophile-grade power supply with a substantial toroidal transformer.
The DSP power in the DSP3100 is provided by a Motorola 56367 running at 150MHz, while dual 24-bit multi-bit delta-sigma converters handle D/A conversion. The vertical units feature a 2-way rear-ported design, while the horizontal centre is a 2 ½-way closed box design.
The DSP3100 may be controlled via RS232, and operated by an infrared remote control unit (not supplied).
The DSP3100 features a distinctive cabinet made from braced MDF with piano-lacquer ends and aluminum side-panels bonded for rigidity. The DSP3100 offers extremely low coloration, partially as a result of this cabinet construction. Wood tends to vibrate at lower frequencies, while aluminum is very stable; conversely, aluminum tends to resonate at higher frequencies while wood does not. Combining the two by bonding them together as in the DSP3100 tends to cancel out vibration across the range. In addition, the cabinet is further damped with bitumen, leading to an enclosure that is exceedingly dead.
Cosmetic finishes available are black or silver, matching Meridian’s G Series components (bead-blasted, chemically brightened and anodized). Exterior wooden surfaces are piano-lacquered.
The DSP3100 is scheduled to ship in October 2005. A pair of vertical units retails for $4,795, with stands at $595 per pair. The horizontal center unit retails at $2895, with the stand $345. In addition to the DSP3100, there will be an active analog version, the M3100, to be released later.
Meridian Audio Limited is based in Huntingdon, near Cambridge, UK, and was founded in 1977 by Allen Boothroyd and Robert Stuart. With a 25-year history of innovation and development of the highest quality consumer audio systems, the award-winning company is widely recognized as a world leader in digital and analog audio reproduction. Meridian developed the world’s first audiophile CD player, the world’s first consumer digital surround controller, developed the MLP lossless packing systems mandated for use in DVD-Audio and now in emerging high-definition disk formats, and is the only UK audio hardware manufacturer to be a member of the DVD Forum. The company’s optical disk players, DSP-based loudspeakers and Digital Theater systems are unique in the industry, maintaining a super-quality digital audio signal throughout the path from the source to the amplifier, and using digital signal processing to generate advanced crossover characteristics that would be impossible with conventional passive analogue systems. Meridian has recently become the exclusive manufacturer and distributor of Faroudja High-Definition video processors and projectors.
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