DSP3100 Bookshelf Speaker Bear DE
New Castle, DE
Home Audio, Authorized Service Center, Design & Installation
Home Audio, Design & Installation
DSP3100 Bookshelf Speaker
July 1, 2006 By Brent Butterworth
Marketers often make fantastical claims. Why they do this I cannot say. I know that I turn off when I encounter an ad or a press release in which a manufacturer proclaims its product as “the best,” “the finest,” or “the ultimate.” One exception to this rule is Meridian Audio. Although the statements the company makes in its promotional materials are refreshingly conservative, it is one of the few audio companies for whom the abovementioned superlatives are no exaggeration.
Each tweeter and woofer in a Meridian digital system gets its own amplifier, fed by a digital signal processor that performs crossover and EQ functions. (Click image to enlarge)
Meridian systems offer what I consider to be the ultimate in audio technology. In most home theater systems, digital audio signals from DVDs, CDs, and digital broadcasts are converted to analog in the surround-sound processor. They then make a harrowing journey through an amplifier, through long speaker cables, and then through crossover networks in the speakers that separate the sound into bass for the woofers, treble for the tweeters, and so on. Each step in this path degrades the audio signal a little.
Despite its relatively tiny chassis, the DSP3100 bookshelf speaker has all of the features of other Meridian digital speakers, including a front-panel display that indicates volume level and selected source, a built-in digital signal processor, and a separate internal amplifier for each speaker driver. (Click image to enlarge)
Meridian avoids degradation by keeping the signals in digital form until just before they hit the speaker drivers. The surround-sound processor emits digital audio signals, which travel straight to the speakers through proprietary cables. Inside the speaker, the digital signal meets a digital processor, which performs the same function as the crossover network in a conventional speaker. The digital bass, midrange, and treble signals are converted to analog, then travel to a separate amplifier for each driver.
The advantages of the Meridian way are many. Besides preventing the signal degradation that occurs in analog cables, Meridian can dispense with the power-slurping capacitors, inductors, and resistors that make up the crossover in most speakers, so the amplifiers in its speakers operate far more efficiently. By using digital crossovers, Meridian can tailor the sound more precisely for each speaker driver. And by supplying all components of the audio system, Meridian ensures each one will be compatible with the rest.
Meridian’s latest creations could be compared with a home-theater-in-a-box system. The differences are that Meridian’s system comes in seven boxes, costs exponentially more, and sounds exponentially better.
Take two or more of Meridian’s digital speakers, a G91A surround processor/DVD player, and the Meridian system remote and you have a complete system. Volume control occurs in the speakers themselv...