Meridian Audio’s director of sales, Barry Sheldrick explains why its dealers can benefit from the free service and reveals how its latest offering has given the manufacturer a hefty boost in the multi-room sector.

What does the Design and Specification service entail?

We wanted to give our dealers and distributors more confidence when specifying Meridian. We all know that our performance levels across the range are best in class and we wanted to make it easy for our dealers to design and specify complete systems.

The Design and Specification service was created to offer reliable, repeatable, high performance systems not just in the theatre room but also around the home.

With Sooloos coming in at a much more affordable £500 per zone, it is a great opportunity for our dealers to make money in an area that has been dominated by Sonos.

The Design and Specification service makes it easy to integrate both analogue and digital sources into our unique DSP loudspeakers, all over the home.

What is Meridian’s aim with this service?

The service shows not only room layout and speaker positions (for two channel and theatre systems) but also wiring diagrams.

This is incredibly useful as the dealers can see how easy it is for us to interface with existing audio and video distribution matrices. It also gives our dealers confidence that they will get a high level of performance in all areas of the home.

What does Meridian provide?

Our dealers need to simply provide us with a plan of the room or house (failing that, we can work from dimensions), then email it to design@meridian.co.uk.

“With Sooloos coming in at a much more affordable £500 per zone, it is a great opportunity for our dealers to make money in an area that has been dominated by Sonos”

Once we receive the proposal, we will typically aim to turn it around in 48 hours. We will provide drawings of the suggested system layout (theatre room, listening room, distributed audio, etc) along with a wiring diagram.

If the dealer has a preferred projector or screen they would like to use, we can also include them in the proposal too.

The more detail we receive (like the preference for in-room or in-wall products etc), the more detail we can put into the proposal.

The proposals can also be used as part of the supporting documentation for a CEDIA award or a website case study.

How will this benefit installers?

Even if the dealers already prepare their own drawings, we can save them engineering time, allowing them to focus on the lighting, HVAC, CCTV and control systems.

The service will also give them confidence when pitching the proposal to their client that the proposal has been created by the manufacturer. The proposals are also co-branded with the dealer logo alongside our own logo, showing synergy between us.

What has the response been to this service so far?

The response has been incredible. It has meant that we are now being specified on more multi room projects, whereas in the past we have been somewhat pigeon-holed as a one-room solution or indeed a high value proposition only.

With Sooloos zones being a much more affordable £500 including VAT per zone, we have much more reach in the home.

Who can benefit from this service?

Primarily, our dealers – in a number of ways. The first being the aforementioned confidence in the proposal, the second is that this confidence will help them to sell at a higher level, increasing the overall value and therefore profit in the installation.

Why has Meridian decided to go the extra mile with this service, and why at no charge?

For a couple of reasons really. First, we know that confident dealers sell more and by being a provider of information, knowledge and experience, we will help to instil that confidence very quickly.

It also means we won’t see under-specified systems with poor performance. This damages our reputation for audio excellence and leaves the client disappointed.

By creating the proposals, we know that we can deliver a repeatable, reliable solution every time. We don’t currently charge as we want to help the dealers’ business (and by default ours too!) grow and see Meridian specified on more and more high quality installations.

What types of applications can the design specification service be applied to?

We offer support on home theatres, basic room acoustics, high performance two-channel systems, as well as distributed audio around the home.

“We don’t currently charge as we want to help the dealers’ business (and by default ours too!) grow and see Meridian specified on more and more high quality installations”

We also have a great deal of experience on the video projection side too (our Reference 810 is still the highest resolution home projection system at 10 mega pixels) so we can give guidance in these areas as well.

Explain about the CEDIA guidelines the service adheres to

CEDIA have been great in setting out guidelines for cinema installations; a huge amount of time, effort, knowledge and research went into these papers so it makes complete sense to adhere to them. We follow the cinema design guidelines for best practice in the CEB22 paper.

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