Meridian don't often launch new products. The 100 Series was introduced in 1977, the Component system in November 1983, 200 Series in 1991, 600 Series in summer 1992, 500 Series in February 1998 and the 800 Series in 1999. There is a 300 Series CD player.
The G Series dates from 2003 and resembles the 800 reference series featuring heavy metal cabinets and glass panels. Although the reference series has seen many updates it's modular circuit board design has allowed for those. Updates to the G Series is more complex and requires new models.
In December 2003 the line up was like this:
On the two channel side the G Series includes two CD players, the G07 (£1,595) and the G08 (£2,250), two pre-amplifiers, the G01 (£1,450) and the G02 (£1,750), a receiver, the G51 (£1,995), and two power amplifiers, the 100w G56 (£1,495) and the 200w G57 (£1,995).
On the Home Cinema side there is a DVD-A transport and DVD-A player, the G98DH (£3,350) and the G98AH (£3,625), four processors, the G68D (£3,895) G68ADV (£4,995) G68AXV (£4,995) G68XXV (£4,995), and a 5 x 100w power amplifier, the G55 (£2,695). There is also a new learning system remote, the MSR+ (£85).
The G Series is in silver or black. To understand how these components work you can review the guide. It seems complex but that is because of the flexibility and would have been set up by a dealer making it as easy as pressing the on button on the remote.
Power Output: 5 channels at 100W into 8Ω, or 2 channels at >300W into 8Ω (bridge mode)
Distortion: Less than 0.01% input to output
Signal/Noise: Better than –100dB
Inputs: Balanced on XLR-3F connectors and unbalanced on phono
Outputs: 2 output sets per channel, terminal posts
Construction: 25 pairs of 15amp output devices and 68,000µF of audiophile-grade PSU smoothing capacitors. Ultra low impedance error-corrected output stage. DC coupled, with no capacitors in the signal path. Soft start and thermal management in main assembly. Optimised magnetic design based on DSP8000. Meridian black or silver finish in metal & glass
Dimensions: Width: 440mm (17.32in); Depth: 350mm (13.78in) plus connectors; Height: 132mm (5.20in)
Rack Mounting: Kit available from Meridian authorized dealers
Weight: 20 kg (44 lbs)
Controls: Rear-panel power switch; per-channel switches for balanced or single-ended input; Bridge/Stereo mode switches on channels 1 and 5
Trigger: Wide voltage-range (5–30V, AC/DC) trigger input for remote standby/on switching
Display: Power/Fault indicator and per-channel operation LEDs
click on thumbnail to see full size.
I purchased the black G55 in July 2009, for an experiment with surround sound
using five JR149 speakers (four of which I already owned along with the LPA and
JR Super woofer) and a B&W PV1 active sub woofer. The JRs date from 1978 and
1984 so mixing modern and vintage designs.
The input for this being the Terratec DMX6Fire USB sound card and controlled by the computer interface. This may not be the way most would test out a system. It lacks all the refinements of placing the speakers and affects for home theatre (Trifield, Ambisonics, THX, Pro-Logic, etc.) and easy of control as seen in the Meridian G68.
Before purchased I did spend sometime reviewing the amplifier with a Meridian control unit and floor standing speakers (I wasn't buying the speakers, so forget what brand and model they where - Linn something or the other) in Audiofile, Cambridge. A system that I feel most could happily live with if deep enough pockets and large enough room. Two sets of outputs are provided per channel for bi-wiring, the outer pair of channels can be operated in bridge mode.
The Terratec sound card provided analogue outputs for front left and right, rear left and right, centre and sub woofer channels. I obtained long RCA gold plated leads. The G55 has an on/off switch and 5 LED which are always on even if only receiving a stereo signal. With a Meridian control unit the remote would power on and off the system via a trigger connecting cable.
I had a demonstration at Graham's Hi-fi of my JR149 used with Meridian 105 100Watt power amplifier. I knew these speakers could deliver when fronted by a more power amplifier than the Cambridge Audio P80 and possibly by the 30Watt Meridian MCA that fronted the JR149MkII.
I tried the JR LPA and Super Woofer but for reasons unknown and with both the G55 and LPA being checked out fully the G55 did not like having the LPA plugged in - blowing the fuses in the JR149 speakers. As the mains powered Lower Pass Amplifier and Subwoofer worked beautifully with the MCA and as the Super Woofer was not an independent active sub woofer there was no point in resolving the issue.
So the G55 powers five JR149 from the controlling Terratec DMX6Fire USB and PC. My digital juke box includes my CD and DVD collections and conversions to wave files of my vinyl albums. The Terratec also has digital inputs from a Sony DVR-HXD970 hard disc recorder and a LG SL90 47" LED TV and the computer's second screen is the LG. The PC includes a blu-ray drive and iPlayer for TV and Radio catch up. Most of my media is stereo and the Terratec makes a good job at creating a surround sound from two channels. Unlike the on-board sound card there are no room acoustics or layouts on screen to balance the speakers just a few sliding bar settings for volume input and output.
Basically the G55 sits there, does nothing, just deliver a wonder sound experience whether in stereo, true 5 channel surround or a pseudo surround sound from a stereo source.
Finally, a couple of small points. As the G55 is one unit and internally contains 5 amplifiers, lots of heat sinks and Massive twin toroidal transformers, it is heavy weighing 20Kg. It gets warm, never hot, even driven hard but you still need adequate ventilation and in stand by mode a standing voltage is maintained on the power rails and supply components. As a result you don't have to wait for half an hour for optimum performance to be achieved.
Recommended retail prices was £3500.
The G55 provides clean, superb quality amplification for
surround sound and other applications requiring a block of five channels.
Each channel delivers 100W into 8Ω.
Massive twin toroidal transformers and over-engineered power supply ensure that power is always available on demand for high levels and heavy transients. 25 pairs of selected, thermally and electrically matched output devices maximise inter-channel uniformity and the highest efficiency and performance.
The result is a clear, open sound with detail as well as punch where it’s required – at any volume.
Both balanced and unbalanced inputs are provided; unbalanced inputs are balanced before they enter the amplifier itself. Two sets of outputs are provided per channel for bi-wiring etc on sturdy binding posts, capable of handling large-diameter high-quality loudspeaker cables. The output terminals are connected to the amplifiers by Van den Hul silver-strand cable to avoid signal losses.
Fully DC-coupled, the signal path contains no capacitors, while those in the power supplies are audiophile grade components. The amplifier is of a unique low-feedback design for minimum transient and interface inter-modulation distortion, offering superb clarity and transparency right across the audible range, with an output impedance that is close to zero and suitable for virtually any high-quality passive loudspeaker system.
06/09/09 1285GBP (black)
08/05/05 1834USD (939.45GBP, silver)
08/10/22 746GBP (silver)
09/02/04 1200GBP (black, with warranty)
09/07/17 1550GBP (black, with warranty*)
09/08/13 1270.79GBP (silver)
10/08/19 1700GBP (silver)
11/04/24 840GBP ()
11/08/03 707GBP (silver, untested)
11/08/03 643GBP (black, untested)
13/03/13 1216GBP (black)
14/01/10 1795GBP (silver)
14/08/22 1500GBP (black*)
Meridian brochure https://www.meridian-audio.com/data/print/G55_ds.pdf
Guides and datasheets http://www.meridian-audio.info/show.php?compid=22
Human Computer Interface Limited was employed to write the
user guide for the Meridian G series.
Last updated 22nd August 2014