When it comes to system design, sometimes simplicity is the key to a great-sounding—and great-looking—system. Such was the case for this homeowner, who wanted to enjoy her extensive vinyl collection that was given to her by a family member in a high-performance two-channel system while maintaining simple design that makes a big statement. Jason Bellanti, VP general manager at
Spire Integrated Systems, had worked with the client’s family in the past.
“When she came into the showroom with her interior designer, we had the Meridian DSP7200 speakers on display,” Bellanti said. “When the interior designer and the client saw them, she knew she wanted to include them in her room as a functional design element. Then when they listened to them, they were sold.”
Spire Integrated Systems had the black DSP7200s on display, but the client and interior designer opted for a bold, stark white finish to tie the room together.
At the time, the room was being remodeled, so integrating the two-channel Meridian system was, like the design, relatively straightforward. A gorgeous cabinet was installed on the left side of the room to house the homeowner’s vinyl collection. That’s also where the lime green Project Debut Carbon (DC) turntable is housed, another bold design element in the room.
The Meridian DSP7200 speakers contain internal amplifiers that deliver all the power needed for robust room sound, eliminating the need for separate amplifiers in the rack. The rest of the equipment is housed in an equipment closet down on the lower level of the home. That’s where the Meridian HD621 HDMI Audio Processor and G65 Surround Controller reside. The HD621 is the link between the client’s Meridian speakers and sources, including those she uses to watch the TV located above the fireplace. The HD621 seamlessly integrates multiple HDMI sources into her system, including a lip-sync delay to ensure sound and the picture onscreen are in perfect unison. It also separates the HDMI signal from the sources into pure audio and video elements, maximizing the audio quality and eliminating video noise. When partnered with the HD621, the G65 can accommodate a wide range of audio and video sources, including digital music from a Sonos system, controllable from a Control4 system accessible via her iPad.
“The G65 accepts the signal from the HD621, allowing for the best audio signal to come through the audio and video sources to be played in the room. We find a very good value in the G65, even though it’s not Meridian’s highest-end processor because it sounds very very good, and the speakers do most of the heavy lifting,” Bellanti said.
The G65 also features Meridian Room Correction (MRC) technology for the best possible sound from the speakers given the room’s layout, surfaces, and any acoustic anomalies. “Luckily, there are a lot of soft surfaces in the room, like thick carpet and plush furniture,” Bellanti added. “After we performed room correction, the speakers, and the room sounded incredible on both music and movies.”
Because this two-channel system is very simple, design was very much in the details. Bellanti worked closely with the contractor and the electrician to ensure that wires were kept tidy, with power outlets directly behind the ideal speaker locations and speaker wire going down into the floor rather than traipsing over the floor with reckless abandon. The Spire team prepped the cabinetry for a subwoofer in case the homeowner wanted more bass after the speakers were installed. “But the beauty of the Meridian DSPs is that you really don’t need a subwoofer,” Bellanti said. “She heard the speakers in action and decided that there was plenty of low end.”
In fact, the Meridian system overall is so powerful, it can fill multiple rooms with sound. In this case, the listening room is right next to the kitchen and the foyer. Speakers in those areas were not required because the DSP7200s fill the adjacent areas with sound. “You don’t need three pairs of speakers to fill all those rooms with music. Instead, we focused all our lifestyle and budget on one high-performance room.”
Now, every time Bellanti visits the homeowner, the Meridian two-channel system is on. “She wasn’t sure at first how much she would use the speakers, but every time we stop in, they are playing music. She uses them every single day.” A testament to the simple design of a highly sophisticated system executed with finesse by Spire Integrated Systems.