(Editorial note: The AVguide.com news desk recently received word from the British firm Meridian announcing the release of the M80 compact entertainment system, which—as you will see in a moment—is cut from similar cloth to the famous Ferrari-inspired F80 system, but with a more conservative, British twist. We present the text of the Meridian release, along with several product images).
Meridian Audio, Britain’s leading specialist manufacturer of high-end audio and video entertainment equipment, is pleased to announce the arrival of the new M80 high-performance compact entertainment system. Designed and hand-assembled in Meridian’s Cambridgeshire-based production facility, the M80 offers an unrivalled listening experience, and further develops the elegant design features and state-of-the-art engineering which made its predecessor, the acclaimed F80, one of the company’s best selling models.
The M80 features the same award-winning Meridian technologies as the company’s larger systems, extracting every detail from a recording. The beautifully-sculpted elliptical cabinet, crafted of custom mineral composite, gives the system a discreet, yet stylish presence. It houses a powerful 80-watt 2.1 Digital Signal Processing (DSP) stereo system with a rear-mounted subwoofer, slot-loading CD/DVD drive and AM/FM Digital Radio, in addition to multiple analogue and digital inputs that combine to deliver a versatile and powerful audio package. Meridian’s advanced DSP capability, coupled with location compensation controls, ensure the same superior acoustic performance at any volume, regardless of the size of the room and where the M80 is situated within it.
In keeping with Meridian’s passion for quality, exceptional craftsmanship flows through the heart of the product. The finest British leather, available in three colors, Obsidian Black, Chestnut, and Ivory, graces the distinctly modern outer case, hand stitched in Northampton by IM Kelly, an artisan business renowned for their work with some of the world’s most prestigious luxury automotive and marine marques. It takes a skilled craftsperson more than an hour to work and stitch the leather on to each M80 unit.
The manufacture of every M80 involves four hours of skilled work and over 800 individual components, with each system subjected to Meridian’s stringent testing processes in order to guarantee that all products leave the company’s state-of-the art facility in accordance with their exacting standards.
The organic light emitting diode (OLED) display features an automatic brightness control that adapts to the ambient light levels in the M80’s surroundings, and provides a host of clear and useful information. This is complemented by a subtle and ergonomically-molded button interface to navigate smoothly among the M80’s core functions.
Every M80 compact entertainment system comes complete with a gloss-black i80 dock for the iPod®, allowing users to effortlessly access their digital music collection and charge their mobile device. Tracks from the iPod® can either be selected on the M80’s display panel or at a distance using the slimline handheld magnetic-backed remote control.
Commenting on the launch of the M80, Meridian’s co-founder and CTO Bob Stuart said: “The M80 employs the highest quality ‘audiophile’ components to ensure optimum sound output, and brings together all the expertise and technology that we have developed over the last 30 years into a single unique system. Virtually every feature of the M80 highlights our continued commitment to developing new technologies which evolve the customer’s listening experience.”
USD Suggested Retail Price $2,995 (includes i80 iPod Dock)
Meridian is based near Cambridge, UK, and was founded in 1977 by Bob Stuart and Allen Boothroyd. With over 30 years’ history of innovation and development of uncompromised consumer home entertainment systems offering exceptional performance, this award-winning company is widely recognized as a world leader in high-quality audio and video reproduction. Meridian developed the first audiophile CD player, the world’s first consumer digital surround controller, and developed the MLP lossless packing system included in Blu-ray Disc. The company’s optical disc players, DSP-based loudspeakers, video projectors, and scalers are unique in the industry, maintaining a super-quality digital signal throughout the path from the studio to the home, using advanced digital signal processing to deliver both a sweet, natural sound and smooth, crystal-sharp images with true cinematic realism. With the acquisition of Sooloos, Meridian now brings its expertise to the Sooloos Media System, the world’s most innovative, functional and easy-to-use networked home entertainment system. Meridian Sooloos systems effortlessly combine spectacular quality, rich metadata and the industry’s leading user interface to change forever the way we enjoy and interact with music.