Bob Stuart and Allen Boothroyd, the founders of Meridian Audio, the renowned British manufacturer of state-of-the-art audio and video entertainment systems, have collaborated to produce a Limited Edition 40th Anniversary Sound System to celebrate 40 years from when their creative partnership first began.
Since the company was founded in 1977, Meridian has gone on to claim more than 165 international and prestigious awards for their product designs. The business has equally been responsible for the development of the first audiophile CD player, the world’s first consumer digital surround controller, in addition to creating the MLP lossless packing system included in Blu-ray, and today supplies Land Rover with in-car entertainment systems for the three and five-door Range Rover Evoque compact luxury off-roader.
The commemorative Anniversary System, which is limited to only 40 units worldwide, and priced at £60,000 or $100,000, comprises a pair of flagship DSP8000 loudspeakers and a special version of Meridian’s 808 Signature Reference CD Player. Each edition has been individually signed by Bob and Allen, and comes with an engraved plate showing its unique system number. The model also encapsulates several additions that make it a truly special purchase; the new system is offered in an exclusive “Ruby” finish, not available on other products in the range, and this sleek colour skin is complemented with coordinated glass inset panels, loudspeakers grilles, and tweeter surround. The drivers have been treated with a new polished bezel.
The 40th Anniversary System is a complete package that exemplifies the state-of-the art sound technology which Meridian is respected for. The 808 Signature Reference product features a CD-ROM-based drive which allows for data recovery and error correction many times better than that employed in standard CD systems. A master clocking device and timing circuitry minimise jitter for improved sound source localisation, clarity, and imaging, while unique Meridian DSP technologies add new accuracy and clarity to CD replay, even correcting faults in the original track. This all combines to make CDs sound like high-resolution recordings.
Every Meridian product is constructed from the finest materials and each electronic part is individually selected for sound quality, a philosophy adopted by the company since they first began production in Cambridgeshire back in the 1970s. In order to achieve the sleek design and spotless finish for which Meridian loudspeakers are renowned, cabinets are coated by HQ Lacquer, a family-owned British business established in 1986 by spray finisher John Hennessey and cabinet-maker Michael Quirke.
Once Meridian loudspeakers arrive at the workshop of HQ Lacquer in Southern England, they are first inspected for uniformity and consistency, and then sanded thoroughly before entering the spray booth where they receive a dozen coats of lacquer applied over the course of three hours. When ‘touch dry’, the cabinets are moved into heated rooms where the temperature is maintained at the optimum level for proper curing, a carefully monitored process that can take up to three days. Following a further phase of sanding, and subsequent polishing, a glaze is applied with a lambswool bonnet polisher to remove any marks, and achieve the familiar high gloss finish for which Meridian is renowned.
Each owner of a 40th Anniversary system will receive a book illustrating the rich history of Meridian’s exceptional Digital Signal Processing (DSP) loudspeakers, which has also been hand signed by Bob and Allen. Reflecting the high-level of customer service which Meridian prides itself on, owners of the Anniversary system will be offered the opportunity to receive a Meridian Engineer to fine tune the sound system in their homes following installation.