|New Processor Offers Meridian Performance at an Attractive Price Point|
|Home Theater News Preamplifier News|
|Written by AVRev.com|
|Thursday, 24 November 2005|
UK-based Meridian Audio Ltd., has introduced the latest addition to its popular G Series line of players, processors and amplifiers: the G61 Digital Surround Processor. The G61 builds on the technology that went into Meridian’s flagship 861 surround processor, and is a further development of the G68. It is a surround controller in a compact case matching the G Series players, with a retail price-tag of $5,495 US.
At the heart of the G61 is a DSP engine delivering 500MIPS (million instructions per second). Processing is performed at high sample rates and with 48-bit precision throughout. For high audio quality, incoming analog signals are converted to 24-bit, high-sample-rate digital data via multibit Delta-Sigma converters as soon as they enter the processor, and all digital signals are reclocked to minimize jitter and maintain total data integrity.
The G61 includes two 6-channel S/PDIF digital inputs (coax), six stereo coax digital inputs and five stereo Toslink optical inputs. In addition, there’s a 6-channel analog input, and five stereo analog inputs. All the inputs are reconfigurable for an high degree of flexibility.
The G61 combines controller and surround processor functions, meeting THX Ultra 2 specifications and includes AAC, MPEG, DTS, Dolby, Trifield and Ambisonic decoding.
The G61’s ‘Smart Source’ feature monitors the digital inputs and automatically loads the correct decoding software for the format, speaker layout and encoding of the incoming signal. This capability is enhanced by MHR SmartLink, which provides a digital link between a Meridian optical disk player and processor, carrying information about the nature of the datastream as well as encrypted high-resolution digital signals from DVD-Audio discs.
Users can also store separate user parameters for each source (such as DVD) depending on whether the incoming signal is stereo or surround, so that any source material is played with the DSP mode of your choice.
The G61 features eight analog outputs for front, rear, center and sub connections, plus two additional outputs for other applications. Ten digital surround outputs are provided, including front, rear, side, center/sub and again include an additional configurable output pair.
The G61 can be configured with a powerful Windows graphical set-up application (downloadable from the Meridian web site: www.meridian-audio.com), which allows access to all the unit’s functions and configuration. However, the G61 can also be configured extensively from the front panel, thanks to the ‘soft-key’ based user interface which is common to all the G Series components. ‘Wizards’ lead the user through the configuration procedure, allowing a powerful degree of customization without having to hook up a computer. The G61’s firmware can be updated via serial link with files downloaded for the Meridian web site.