At a recent visit to Meridian Audio’s HQ in Huntingdon to check out the manufacturer’s upgraded home theatre room, CE Pro also caught a glimpse of a product the manufacturer was soon to launch: the Meridian 258, a brand new, dedicated rack-mounted eight-channel power amplifier. In fact, although it was not due for launch until a few weeks’ time, it had already had over 250 pre-sales.
Now available for the custom install market, the 258 is a competitively priced, easy to install Class D amplifier which produces very little heat, that works with any product or system.
Designed to add power to multi-room audio systems, the amplifier comes in at just 1U high and boasts a low operating temperature that does not require an internal fan or any external cooling. Priced at £1,250 (excluding VAT), the 258 is suitable for a wide range of applications, delivering 100W perchannel into 4 Ohms and 70W per channel into 8 Ohms.
And efficiency has not been placed above sound quality: Meridian’s output filter design is there to ensure that, while a linear power supply provides the best isolation from the AC supply.
Not stopping there, the short signal path within the 258 ensures signal purity and isolation between channels, while the multi-layer circuit boards take care of the electromagnetic performance.
7 Questions On The Meridian 258
Rayner Sheridan, director of marketing at Meridian Audio was keen to educate installers on the 258’s key features:
1.What made Meridian create the Meridian 258, and why now?
At Meridian we see real value in working alongside other brands and suppliers to create the very best audio experience. As a brand that has always focused on providing the best possible audio experience we can help audio systems, which may not be using our loudspeakers, to achieve that trademark Meridian sound.
The Meridian 258 is perfect for the custom installation market as it integrates seamlessly with existing audio systems and at 100W per channel offers a fantastically powerful and efficient way to drive passive loudspeakers, at a profitable price for dealers.
2.What makes the 258 innovative?
The work that we’ve undertaken on the high efficiency Class D amplifiers, which produce very little heat. This means that the 258 does not require an internal fan or any external cooling. This can significantly reduce the installation time and cost of running a multi-room audio system. Class D amplifiers can often sacrifice sound quality in the pursuit for higher efficiency; however, our innovative output filter design ensures that the 258 maintains a fantastic, efficient performance.
3.What are its key/standout features?
One key feature of the 258 Power Amp is its price. We know how competitive the professional home technology sector is and we want our solutions to be profitable for dealers, so we have priced our Power Amp very competitively, while ensuring that it retains the high quality and performance that customers expect from Meridian products. Of course, as with all our products, the 258 Power Amp is designed and manufactured in the UK at our facility in Huntingdon.
4.How easy is it to install?
The 258 Power Amp really is very easy to install. One of our core aims at Meridian is to make the installer’s life as easy as possible, while providing an unbeatable experience for customers. The 258 stays true to this aim, with no cooling required and a very simple installation process it couldn’t be easier to fit a top-quality Power Amp.
The 258 is just 1U high, so it takes up minimal space in the rack, again helping to reduce costs for dealers. The innovative design and audiophile-grade components of the 258 have also been geared towards ensuring a long lifetime and repeat performance, so that dealers can feel confident that the 258 will continue to drive a top quality audio solution without degradation.
5.What products and brands does it work with?
We see significant market opportunities in opening up Meridian technology to form part of an existing system, so we have developed the 258 Power Amp to work fantastically well with any product or system. By making our 258 Power Amp compatible with any existing solution we are ensuring that we can access as many applications and installations as possible and that there is no barrier to entry for a Meridian product.
6.What type of customer can installers target with this product?
We believe that installers should be offering their customers the very best experience that their budgets can accommodate. The 258 is priced so competitively that it can offer first-class support at a very affordable cost; it’s not just the very highest end projects that can benefit from Meridian’s peerless audio engineering, but those with more modest budgets can also achieve a powerful and efficient multi-room audio solution with the 258 Power Amp.
7. Is there training/technical support available?
The 258 Power Amp can be purchased directly from one of Meridian’s distributors, and as with all Meridian products, carries a five year warranty. We have a technical support team based at our HQ where we also offer training sessions on a regular basis focusing on a wide range of our products. We can also host bespoke training sessions for companies and individuals if they would like to know more.
We will be displaying the 258 on our stand at ISE in February, where home technology professionals will be able to learn more about how the 258 can support any existing audio solution.