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Meridian M2's

Discussion in 'audio' started by Si74, Aug 12, 2017.

  1. poco a poco

    poco a poco I'm Jim

    Both my M1's and later M10's came from Howard Popeck at Subjective Audio. I first heard the M1's around 1976 I think at a hi-fi show in a hotel in Blackheath and despite a not ideal room I was blown away by how much better they were than any amp/speaker combination I had heard and so began my love of active speakers. Subjective were the main (only?) dealer in London and Howard worked then from his home in Palmers Green (as Keith @Purité Audio does now) and the M1's sounded wonderful there and I bought a pair. In fact I thought most things sounded better at his house than at the shop he had later, with dedicated listening rooms, at Mornington Crecent.

    In 1981 After a number of auditions at Howard's shop and home loans I decided to trade in the M1's for the M10's. As I said above it was a close run thing and I can see why you might have preferred the M1's. When I trialed them there were a few things I thought could be improved and after some discussions with Howard and Colin Howard, production manager at Meridian, Meridian customised my pair prior to delivery. The had special (much better) mounting plates for the T33 tweeters made by John Michell and the DIN / RCA inputs were replaced by XLR's, again on a better mounting plate, so that I could run XLR to XLR from pre amp. I also had a pair of low level spiked stands for them that were made by one of Howard's customers.

    I would not describe my pair of M10's as more 'Hi-Fi', but they were more detailed than the M1's that as I said in some areas were still better. Howard Popeck also still preferred the M1's and despite having the pick of some of the best speakers around was still using M1's as his personal speaker years later. I kept my M10's for 38 years and in all that time the only speakers I wanted to change them for was a pair of Apogee Scintilla's. I was going to buy a pair with the Krell power amps needed to drive them, but the very honest Howard Popeck virtually refused to sell me a pair as he said their was no way they would work properly in the room I had then. He was right of course. The only problem I had with the M10's in all that time was one T33 failing due to the ferrofluid drying out after about 25 years. Meridian replaced it fully checked my pair at this time and said nothing else was needed.

    I heard the M10's at Subjective with the Oracle Delphi and FR64x and also with a Breuer 8 arm. I preferred the Breuer, but both were excellent. In the end though I overall preferred the Trio L-07D with it's own arm (I have since added an SME V in addition) that Howard also sold and I'm still running that daily. I also had on home loan from Howard just about every high end pre amp available at the the time including the the Audio Research SP8 and SP10. I did really like the combination of the SP10 with the M10's, but they had reliability problems and in the end I bought Howard's demo Burmester 808 that I also felt had a slight edge sound quality wise. I still have this as well with no real desire to change and it has proved very reliable over all these years.

    I finally traded in my M10's last year with Keith for a pair of D&D 8c's, that I preferred over the KII's, after an long home loan. What convinced me was their ability to pretty much fully take the room out of the equation via DSP. This was despite the M10's being very well behaved in my present room. Keith in fact measured them here before installing the demo 8c's and they were pretty good. The 8c's did measure and sound better though and this was despite my having reservations about the A to D conversion as I'm still analogue about 90% of the time. I was in the end convinced the conversion and the overall result was transparent and the speakers with room correction bettered the M10's.

    I still think a good pair of M1's, M10's and even M2's would challenge most speakers up to around £10K so are a real bargain if you can find a pair in good condition.

    My apologies for taking this M2 thread a bit off topic with these reminiscences.
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2020
  2. poco a poco

    poco a poco I'm Jim

    Hi Keith, I'm glad you still seem to be enjoying and looking after the M10's that you said you intended to keep and I see they seem to have got you back into analogue looking at the picture you posted in the 'beauty in the eye of the beholder thread?' ;) Are you using them and the M1's with DSP as you seem to have them close to the wall? I always preferred them with more space behind especially the M10's. I'll have to come and have a listen if it's OK when hopefully we see some improvement in the current covid situation. BW - Jim
  3. notevenclose

    notevenclose pfm Member

    To be honest I thought there were times when Bob Stuart was his own worst enemy, in particular his incessant fiddling — I was prone to expressing it more forcefully at the time — with the 101/101B pre-amp.

    The early models were beautifully balanced, they had a sweetness and sure-footedness which made them a joy to listen to with M1s and the 103D amp combo in particular. Admittedly they were never the last word in transparency, but their sins were musically benign. But he wouldn't leave well alone, inflicting endless tweaks which to my ears generally took things backwards or at best sideways, particularly with regard to the cartridge modules. The combinations I used to think best were a SD900 into the first generation Supex module, and a Grace F9E into the MM module. Denon 103 series were an excellent match as well. The Asak module went through a number of revisions without ever being 'right' but to be honest by that point I'd gone a bit lukewarm on the Asak anyway, so perhaps my view was a bit tainted.

    Eventually it got to the point where every time you ordered a new batch of preamps they invariably sounded different to the previous order, which was the point at which I started to look for alternatives. With hindsight, my first 101 was probably my favourite, certainly it was the one which got most use. Last time I heard (about 5 years ago) it was still going strong with an early pair of M2s.

    A mate still has a pair of M1s I originally sold him in 1980, he's just in the process of having the amps serviced and likely recapped, they've become a bit noisy I believe.

    When I were a lad, it were all green fields round here etc... ;-)
    poco a poco likes this.
  4. poco a poco

    poco a poco I'm Jim

    I certainly can agree with your findings on the 101B pre amp for a number of reasons including curiosity Howard let me try various versions over the years at home with the M1's and they did all sound quite a bit different! In the end I finally settled for one, I think in 20,000 serial number range (I don't know how these numbers relate to the number produced or date) that had the Dr. T type current driven module. It's interesting that this type of phono is now popular again. Meridian were certaily again well ahead of the game then. Apart from that one my first one was also the best. They were though on the whole very good and good value, seeing off much more expensive pre amps and that is how I finally ended up with the very much more expensive Burmester 808.

    I loved the Supex 900e, I had in into the Supex module on an LP12 with PU2 arm with added mass ring, but I mistakenly changed to the Asak that I never really got on with. I had a couple of different ones and none were very good trackers and the sound was not as good as the Supex. In the end when I bought the Trio L-07D I bought a new original Koetsu Rosewood and that was wonderful, but as the L-07D arm uses interchangeable Headshell I also bought another S/H Supex from Howard to interchange with it. The Koetsu had a couple rebuilds over the years. I still have it, but the suspension has failed and I have not used it for years. I'm not sure it would be worth trying the expense of another rebuild? The Supex got destroyed in a burglary.

    I lived in East London then, but now I have green fields close by. :)
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2020
  5. Purité Audio

    Purité Audio Trade: Purite Audio

    Jim, I pull them out when listening,I still like them very much if I had more space they would be out all the time, just too many speakers at the moment.
    Take care,
    poco a poco likes this.
  6. Stunsworth

    Stunsworth pfm Member

    They're ok on the scale front, but are easily surpassed by something like the big Tannoys Tony has - which I’ve been fortunate enough to listen to. I’d say their strengths are the mids and treble together with their sound staging. They replaced a pair of ESL 63s and I was surprised how closely they resembled those speakers, albeit with more extended bass. At the end of the day they’ve only got two B110s, so are going to be limited compared to the larger Meridian offerings. For their size, and what they cost me, they’re pretty unbeatable IMHO.
    VanDerGraaf and poco a poco like this.
  7. Enfield boy

    Enfield boy pfm Member

    Long while since I heard them but thought they were very good at the time, looked so cool too. Had a dem at a shop called Techno sound in MK (when the shopping centre had lots of interesting shops and a decent Japanese restaurant). One channel failed during the demo, which put me off. I think it was the same day I listened to a cd player (Philips) for the first time and it actually hurt, thankfully they had a Pink Triangle which was more to my taste.
  8. suzywong

    suzywong Wot, no electrons?

    My "pre-marital" 101/103D is currently in service in SWMBO's workroom driving Kans....
    we've got M2s in the dining room on the end of a stack of 200 series kit...
    and the 101B/M20 is on loan to Daughter #2.

    For repairs, etc, there is "Mr. Tech Guy" over Cambridge way. They are, apparently, the "official" Meridian repair shop.
  9. poco a poco

    poco a poco I'm Jim

    Stunsworth what pre amp are you running your pair with currently?
  10. Stunsworth

    Stunsworth pfm Member

    A Musical Fidelity A5CR.
  11. stuwils

    stuwils pfm Member

  12. suzywong

    suzywong Wot, no electrons?

    Stuart, did you re-grille them yourself? If so how did you get the staples right down into the groove?
    I have three pairs that all need new grilles, mainly as a result of being used as climbing frames by she whose picture is on the left.and
  13. stuwils

    stuwils pfm Member

    my grills were an L shape with the inner part standing proud so i could put double sides tape on the flat part and stretched onto that then stapled. My grill cloth was from a pair of irreparable meridian D6000's that I broke for parts years ago. When these were in use in my daughters house I had fitted Tygan grills due to the presence on her cats but they still managed to snag those.
  14. suzywong

    suzywong Wot, no electrons?

    ha, so double-sided sticky tape is the secret. I hadn't thought of that but it makes sense. Nice one.

    From your photo, my frames look to be the same.

    Thanks for the hint.
  15. stuwils

    stuwils pfm Member

    you need staples as well as the tape, the tape will only help to position it and get an even stretch. I have loads of other meridian loudspeaker internal pics on my flickr page

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