Meridian DSP5200 Speakers
We stopped by the Meridian booth today and were pleasantly surprised to see their new DSP5200 loudspeaker. This speaker is the latest addition to their expanding line of DSP-based loudspeakers for hi-fi and home theater systems. Patrick Hart was particularly interested in the technical correctness and the beauty of the triple amplification design. By using separate crossover frequencies for each of the mid-bass drivers and rolling off the lower driver below 1KHz you in effect make the bottom driver a woofer and the second driver a mid-woofer. It gets you closer to a point source while maintaining an extremely wide horizontal dispersion pattern (and gives you a better vertical dispersion window because you are not getting cancellation effects of having two mid-woofers operating at frequencies at and above 1KHz.) This is particularly elegant solution when having built in amplification and DSP.
The DSP5200 takes the appearance and design of Meridian's flagship DSP8000 and popular DSP7000 and delivers it in a compact package just 36 inches tall. Many of the features that make the 5200 a truly impressive smaller loudspeaker derive from the larger systems in the line. The self-contained system combines a 2 1/2-way crossover design, three custom drivers, three amplifiers, two multi-bit delta-sigma digital converters, digital crossovers and computers with full remote control over bass, treble tilt, time-correct balance, absolute phase, tweeter axis and input. It features an enhanced basket design with sturdy clamp rings. Cabinet construction is of 19mm thick multi-layer materials, with proprietary heavy poured resin.
The dual bass drivers use 160mm long-throw composite designs and the cabinet vents through a dual rear port. The tweeter is a 25mm aluminum-dome, silver-wire design. Each speaker incorporates an electronics panel in the rear part of the cabinet. The speaker accepts digital signals and has two inputs, placed at the base of the cabinet.
Advanced high-value capacitors allow the power supply and its low-field true-toroidal transformer to be placed closer to power amplifiers, apparently offering lower inductance and improved power performance. The input receiver uses a FIFO (First In First Out) memory buffer for the lowest possible jitter from almost any source. At the heart of the 5200 is a new DSP system based around a 150MIPS processor, running brand new software. A built-in circuit monitoring system handles both thermal and bass protection. High resolution double-precision processing and upsampling, coupled with the latest 192kHz, 24-bit DACs, ensure a clean digital signal path.
The three 75W amplifiers themselves are again based on those in the DSP8000, with the latest error-correcting auto-biasing technology, which runs the amplifiers with maximum linearity and minimum coloration, even at high levels. The DSP5200 is available in a choice of black or silver high gloss lacquer, satin Santos rosewood, natural satin maple and black ash finishes. The DSP5200 is expected to begin shipping in November 2004.
Recommended retail price is slated to be around $11,000 making this the highest value powered loudspeaker in the Meridian lineup.