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Meridian M2 - a journey

Discussion in 'classic' started by Chris Tarling, Oct 26, 2021.

  1. Chris Tarling

    Chris Tarling Yellow Hound

    Long round trip to pick up the pair of Meridian M2 loudspeakers that became available.

    A few pics to introduce them:

    [​IMG]M2-1 by Chris Tarling, on Flickr
    [​IMG]M2-2 by Chris Tarling, on Flickr
    [​IMG]M2-3 by Chris Tarling, on Flickr
    [​IMG]M2-4 by Chris Tarling, on Flickr
    [​IMG]M2-5 by Chris Tarling, on Flickr

    I have yet to power them up but they look in pretty reasonable condition.
    The drive units especially look good - despite the white paint splatters(!)
    The differing tweeter plates are puzzling but they are a genuine matched pair of M2s - according to the serial numbers.
    Biggest surprise (disappointment?) is the stands. They are the original M2 stands and I had thought that I would just refurbish them, but they now strike me as a serious limitation on the speaker performance.
    The base plate of the stands seems to be plywood, the column is very thin steel filled with a piece of foam and the top plate is similarly thin steel.
    I think I'll end up putting them in the attic and getting something more worthy - though the speaker dimensions are likely to make that a challenge.

    Next job - see if they work!
    Jono_13 likes this.
  2. MartinC

    MartinC pfm Member

    Always hankered after a pair - I wonder how difficult access to the amp is, there are so few fasteners on the rear panel, I wonder if it is glued on?
  3. wow&flutter

    wow&flutter pfm Member

  4. Chris Tarling

    Chris Tarling Yellow Hound

    They live!

    I won't post a picture of the Meridian 101B that came with the speakers to spare its blushes!
    But it all hooks up and everything appears to be functioning.

    GruntPuppy likes this.
  5. peterm

    peterm pfm Member

    Good news Chris!

    The rear panel does indeed come off after removing the 4 crews (centre of top, bottom & sides) and unplugs from a socket on the back of the internal panel sealing the drive unit enclosure
  6. Chris Tarling

    Chris Tarling Yellow Hound

    A question regarding speaker stands.

    Does the general advice stand for this type of speaker arrangement to put the tweeter at roughly ear level?
    The Meridian stands put the tweeter far below this level.
  7. earlofsodbury

    earlofsodbury Wastrel.

    I fettled a pair of these a good while back - the original ITT smoothing caps were dry as bones - a couple were sans-lids! ..And yet the speakers still worked and sounded OK-ish. A lot better when the caps were done! They run (well, the pair I had) pretty warm, so I pulled all the electrolytics and replaced the lot.

    They also had pretty basic op-amps (5552s iirc), which if you have something better to hand is again an easy and very worthwhile upgrade.

    The pair I worked-on used some really heavyweight waste-cotton wadding inside (and thick bitumen pads on the largest panels), I replaced the cotton wadding with lightly-packed polyester instead, which opened-up their characteristically sluggish sound a little.

    Some people remove the straws from the ports, but those I left.

    The DIN and RCA sockets were very corroded and I replaced those with XLRs and new Neutrik RCAs - that was more faff than it should have been iirc, but that was probably me...

    Stand-height is a matter of personal taste - if you arrange the spikes on the OE stands long at the front / short at the back, you can give them an uptilt so the tweeter fires towards your ears. I don't personally find speaker stands make much difference beyond height, the rest is mostly psychoacoustics, but decoupling the stands from suspended floorboards can be very worthwhile. YMMV...

    Decent-enough speakers if warm-and-unthreatening is your thing.
  8. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles pfm Member

    A friend has M3s and I do rather like them.
    Very smooth and open with a nice top end.
    The bass end is especially impressive.
    He runs them from a Musical Fidelity preamp. & the combination works well.
  9. foxwelljsly

    foxwelljsly Hawkwind and Fire

    The M2, M3, M20 and M30 are all pretty closely related and seem to be reported to work at their best in large rooms in plenty of free space.

    I use some mint late M30's in such a setup and they are utterly sublime. Stick them in a smaller room or desktop system and they won't quite shine.

    The stands for the m30's are very robust and elegant bespoke black steel stands on 3 spikes which screw into the base of the speaker and tilt upward slightly - maybe you can find some M20 stands for these? Long shot, though, as they seem to be very rare beasts indeed.
  10. IceG

    IceG pfm Member

    Excellent purchase.

    Until recently I was using a pair of the later M33s (similar driver array and layout but unported) on top of very heavy and robust Target R4 stands. This usefully tightened up and enhanced their bass response when compared with lesser installations on shelves or desktops. But the stands left the speakers too low and compromised the treble a little. M2s, being ported, may not benefit in the same way.

    +1 on recapping the amplifiers. There are a few chaps over on the Meridian forum who do an excellent job.

    It is good to see so many people recognising the listenability qualities of Meridian active speakers.
  11. PigletsDad

    PigletsDad pfm Member

    I seem to remember they sounded better run from a balanced feed, rather than single ended.
  12. Chris Tarling

    Chris Tarling Yellow Hound

    Can anyone tell me which 101 variant I have (it came, effectively, free with the M2s)? It was described as a 101B but I'm not sure it is. The case has been disastrously painted in silver Hammerite(!!). I opened the case to have a quick look at the component condition - and it all looks good. My plan was to replace all the caps but I think I will leave it alone for now.

    Apologies for the poor iPhone pic:

    [​IMG]IMG_4772 by Chris Tarling, on Flickr
  13. peterm

    peterm pfm Member

    It looks like 101 to me, not 101B.

    It may not be a definitive indicator but, going on my experience of 101 & 101B (only one example of each mind you) the 101 had the phono input via a 5 pin DIN socket like the rest of the inputs where the 101B had a pair of in line RCA phono sockets on short flying leads.

    You might be able to strip the hammerite off of the case (careful with the front panel though - it's plastic and might be damaged by solvents - and spray the case.

    I ordered the 101B to go with my M2s in satin black, an alternative finish Boothroyd Stuart offered at the time
    suzywong and Chris Tarling like this.
  14. garyi

    garyi leave blank

    I've a pair of M33 in a fairly tight space it has to be said, they still sound great!

    Chris Tarling likes this.
  15. Chris Tarling

    Chris Tarling Yellow Hound

    Some pics of one of the amplifier boards. All looks good but I am going to replace the 4 large PSU capacitors, and also the DIN sockets (as these look pretty poor).
  16. david ellwood

    david ellwood Kirabosi Kognoscente

    Id replace the six 100uF capacitors for 105°c parts as well.
    Chris Tarling likes this.
  17. Chris Tarling

    Chris Tarling Yellow Hound

    To my (admittedly untrained eye) these look fine. Are you seeing something I'm not or...?
  18. david ellwood

    david ellwood Kirabosi Kognoscente

    Well electrolytics when they get over forty years of age are best replaced as a matter of course.

    They might be OK but id be very surprised.
    Chris Tarling likes this.
  19. Chris Tarling

    Chris Tarling Yellow Hound

    You've convinced me - I have just ordered a set.
  20. Chris Tarling

    Chris Tarling Yellow Hound

    So a little bit of listening and...

    ...I'm finding them very strident in the treble. The treble has an unattractive hard, sibilant characteristic.

    Is this a facet of their sound or a pointer to deteriorating components?

    I'm using them with the supplied 101 preamp (actually a 101 NOT a 101B as the seller described it to me) and a Meridian G06.2 CD player.

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