C Series offers rack-mountable surround processor, 10-ch. amp, speaker controller and more
International CES 2007, Las Vegas, NV, January 8, 2007–Meridian Audio, one of Britain’s foremost manufacturers of high-end audio/video home entertainment systems (South Hall 1, Booth 20538), entered the growing custom installation market some years ago with its popular 420 in-walls, and more recently introduced the already highly successful 300 Series of in/on-wall systems which deliver extraordinary sound quality from an installation loudspeaker. Now the company is extending its offering of custom install products with the introduction of the C Series, a line of rack-mounting processors, amplifiers and controllers designed specifically for installation applications.
First to emerge are four products, the C50 10-channel power amplifier, C51 Active Crossover/Amplifier, C52 Active Subwoofer Controller and C61 Surround processor. All are packaged in an elegant 19in rack-mounting form-factor with a removable inset glass front panel, and the current units are all 2U high.
The C50 offers ten channels of 100W/8 ? (180W/4?) RMS amplification with unbalanced (gold-plated phono) inputs and sturdy gold-plated output terminals. Operation is indicated by blue per-channel LEDs on the front panel.
The C51 has similar functionality to the existing G41, and powers 200 and 300 Series installation loudspeakers in Remote Active mode. It features active crossovers with switched balanced (XLR) and unbalanced (phono) inputs. Ten amplifiers of approximately 100W/8 ? (180W/4?) RMS output are provided, grouped into five pairs, each providing bass and tweeter outputs from a full-range input.
Crossover modules take the form of cards, which can be inserted at the time of installation to configure the unit for the speakers in use, and an appropriate card is supplied with each loudspeaker. Modules are available for the 320, 330 and 350, and each module includes a pair of LEDs that confirm the positive and negative power-rails are operative and identifies the crossover installed by means of the colour
combination. Blue LEDs also provide confirmation of bass and treble operation for each channel.
Thermal, short-circuit and DC fault protection circuitry is included. The G51 has soft start, fan output and trigger input.
The C52 Active Subwoofer Controller is a 2U rack-mounting unit with a conservatively -rated linear power supply and low-field true toroidal power transformer. The controller contains two amplifier modules each delivering 180W into 4? (the impedance of the speaker unit), thus enabling a single controller to drive two subwoofer speaker units. Multiple analog and 2-channel digital inputs are provided and the unit integrates completely into a Meridian installation while offering full compatibility with third-party systems.
The C61 is functionally similar to the G61, the most cost-effective of Meridian’s digital surround processors. At the heart of the C61 is a powerful DSP engine delivering in excess of 500MIPS. Processing is performed at high sample rates and with 48-bit precision throughout, ensuring that all filtering, processing and other operations are carried out far, far above the limits of human hearing. For superior audio quality, incoming analog signals are converted to 24-bit, high-sample-rate digital data via
multibit Delta-Sigma converters as soon as they enter the processor, and all digital signals are reclocked to minimize jitter and maintain total data integrity.
The C61 includes two 6-channel S/PDIF digital inputs (coax), five stereo Toslink optical inputs, and six stereo coax digital inputs. In addition, there’s a 6-channel analog input, and five stereo analog ins. All the inputs are reconfigurable for an incredible degree of flexibility.
The C61 combines controller and surround processor functions, meeting the latest THX Ultra 2 specifications and including the latest superb-quality AAC, MPEG, DTS, Dolby, Trifield and Ambisonic decoding. The decoders consist almost exclusively of Meridian’s own code, giving them superior integration with the Meridian design philosophy, as well as superior performance.
The C61’s ‘Smart Source’ feature continually monitors the digital inputs and automatically loads the correct decoding software for the format, speaker layout and encoding of the incoming signal.
The C61 features eight analog outputs for front, rear, centre and sub connections, plus two additional outputs for other applications. Ten digital surround outputs are provided, including front, rear, side, centre/sub and again include an additional output pair. The C61’s firmware can be updated and the unit configur ed via a front-panel maintenance serial port. The unit may also be configured from the front panel in a way similar to G Series products. The front panel also contains a vacuum fluorescent display to check status.
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Pricing:
C52 Active Subwoofer Controller: $2,595
C61 Surround Processor: $5,495
The C52 and C61 will be available in March.
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 included in emerging high-definition disc formats, and is the only UK audio hardware manufacturer to be a member of the DVD Forum. The company’s optical disc 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 analog systems. Meridian is also the exclusive manufacturer and distributor of Faroudja High-Definition video processors and projectors.
For high-resolution images and data sheets, please visit the
Meridian Media Center server: http://media.meridian -audio.com