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Meridian introduces 861 v6 reference digital surround controller

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I wonder how much the upgrade will be from version 4.75?

MERIDIAN INTRODUCES 861 V6 REFERENCE DIGITAL SURROUND CONTROLLER

International CES, Las Vegas, January 4, 2010, Venetian Tower, Suites 235 and 236—Since its first appearance in 1998, the Meridian 861 Reference Digital Surround Controller has consistently offered the industry’s highest standard in surround processing and system control. Its modular architecture allows each unit to be individually specified and manufactured. Modular architecture also means that as technology standards advance and new features are developed existing 861s can be upgraded – adding new processing features and connectivity - a service that maintains the value of the customer’s original investment.

Now, Meridian Audio is proud to unveil its sixth version of the 861 Reference Digital Surround Controller – the 861 V6. This new model incorporates SpeakerLink output connectivity for up to eight channels of Meridian DSP Loudspeakers and an eight-channel MMHR input as standard features. The 861 V6 also includes a number of other connectivity and performance updates, which makes it arguably the most advanced and user friendly high-end Digital Surround Controller available.

At the heart of the ultimate movie system, 861 V6 links all audio sources with flexible switching and control, provides advanced audio processing to ensure all sources deliver the highest quality sounds, and manages the system’s loudspeakers to ensure perfect performance in the chosen listening environment. SpeakerLink output connectivity makes specifying and installing a Meridian Digital Theatre system easier than ever before and at the same time lifts performance to an even higher level. The inclusion of a digital output card (OE14) as part of the 861 V6 core means all 861 V6 Surround Controllers will be available as standard with sufficient output connectivity for a full Meridian Digital Theatre. The Meridian Multi-channel High-Resolution (MMHR) input on the IE44 card allows a simple single-wire connection to be made between 861 V6 and a Meridian HD621. This link functions at up to eight-channels and allows a system combining 861 V6 and HD621 to deliver the full multi-channel experience from Blu-ray Discs with the latest soundtracks.

SpeakerLink inputs on IE44 and optional ID26 cards allow simple high-quality connections to be made between Meridian Sooloos products (e.g. Control 10) and the 861 V6. The SpeakerLink input carries digital audio at up to 96 kHz, 24-bit resolution as well as Meridian Comms. SpeakerLink provides a simpler and more robust method of connection than legacy digital audio and Comms connections, especially over long distances, making installations quicker and more reliable.

The optional ID40 Sooloos Card enables 861 V6 to connect directly to a Sooloos network. It allows the 861 to render audio from the Sooloos system and for control commands sent through the 861 (IR, Comms, and Serial) to be used to control the Sooloos current Play List. 861 V6 can upsample and process (for example using Trifield) the audio stream from Sooloos to enhance sound quality and presentation on a multi-channel system. ID40 Sooloos Card and 861 V6 allow for the highest audio quality integration of Sooloos in to a Meridian Digital Theatre system. Analogue inputs provided by IA04 offer superior audio performance compared to analogue inputs on older versions of 861. IA04 can be configured to provide up to six stereo inputs or up to two six-channel inputs. This level of performance and flexibility minimizes the need for additional analogue input cards to be specified, reducing complexity and 861 configuration prices for many customers.

861 V6 will be offered in three standard 800 Series colors; Graphite, Silver and Black as well as the full range of Meridian Select color options. An upgrade program will be offered so that owners of existing 861s can upgrade to this latest specification where appropriate.

The Meridian 861 V6 Reference Digital Surround Controller is expected to be available in February at a suggested retail price of $25,995.
post #2 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by ken6217 View Post

I wonder how much the upgrade will be from version 4.75?

Maybe someone going to the show can ask.
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hey, how are you? Long time. I forgot if you were a Saints fan. If so, you finally had a good year.
Ken
post #4 of 22
Yeah, we are having a good year,finally. I laughed when I say your exchange with Criag. I remember speaking with you via telephone, right after you spoke with Craig and about Meridian going out of biz. As we say in New Orleans,"I ain't mad at-cha." Meaning I do not blame him for being a good salesmen. But he did go a bit over-board on that one! Sometimes these kinds of things are true. I remember a few years ago being told about Krell's problems. Glad it is not true about Meridian but I see there was some truth there as with Krell. Are you doing 7.1? We need to find out who is Meridian's number one dealer so that we can see if he can talk as much @#$$ as Craig. Craig's good.
post #5 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by ken6217 View Post

I wonder how much the upgrade will be from version 4.75?

Nobody outside of Meridian knows yet. You might want to check out the Meridian Hitchikers forum for further discussions. There are a few hikers at CES, one of whom has a meeting scheulded with M. Lot's of questions about how the migration from v4 to v6 will work - including the difference in the new analog output cards.
post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ca1ore View Post

Nobody outside of Meridian knows yet. You might want to check out the Meridian Hitchikers forum for further discussions. There are a few hikers at CES, one of whom has a meeting scheulded with M. Lot's of questions about how the migration from v4 to v6 will work - including the difference in the new analog output cards.

Thanks!
Ken
post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogger View Post

Yeah, we are having a good year,finally. I laughed when I say your exchange with Criag. I remember speaking with you via telephone, right after you spoke with Craig and about Meridian going out of biz. As we say in New Orleans,"I ain't mad at-cha." Meaning I do not blame him for being a good salesmen. But he did go a bit over-board on that one! Sometimes these kinds of things are true. I remember a few years ago being told about Krell's problems. Glad it is not true about Meridian but I see there was some truth there as with Krell. Are you doing 7.1? We need to find out who is Meridian's number one dealer so that we can see if he can talk as much @#$$ as Craig. Craig's good.

A good salesman? Up here in NY we call that being full of sh*t.

Yep, definitely going to upgrade to 7.1

Glad everything is OK with you.
Ken
post #8 of 22
Meridian tells me 2 months before they'll have the upgrade (and pricing) sorted out.
post #9 of 22
Dennis, any insight into whether

(1) Apodizing will be available on the spdif digital inputs of a v6 861, or, will that only be available via the 621 and other Meridian sources?

(2) Is the analog output quality (the new analog output cards) supposed to be materially better?
post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine View Post

Meridian tells me 2 months before they'll have the upgrade (and pricing) sorted out.

Gee, I hope they designed the new boards with both new v6 and upgrading prior versions in mind. For example, the ability to add in the new digital input board (IE44, hopefully with apodizing on all inputs) without needing to move fully to the v6 core that many of us may not need (that would get expensive). I guess we'll find out in due course.
post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brucemck2 View Post

Dennis, any insight into whether

(1) Apodizing will be available on the spdif digital inputs of a v6 861, or, will that only be available via the 621 and other Meridian sources?

(2) Is the analog output quality (the new analog output cards) supposed to be materially better?

1. Yes.

2. Yes. Improved and based upon the 808.3 CD player.

Also, a new clocking system
post #12 of 22
Nice! Sigh, gonna have to start saving.
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by ken6217 View Post

I wonder how much the upgrade will be from version 4.75?

This quote is from another high-end forum, "
The 861V6 is a completely new unit from the ground up. To upgrade your current 861, you will need to replace everything except the case. There is a new backplane, which means all of the new cards are neither hardware nor software compatible with the old cards. The new digital cards also have new DACs." I guess 20k or so would be a ballpark guess.
post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by bulldogger View Post

this quote is from another high-end forum, "
the 861v6 is a completely new unit from the ground up. To upgrade your current 861, you will need to replace everything except the case. There is a new backplane, which means all of the new cards are neither hardware nor software compatible with the old cards. The new digital cards also have new dacs." i guess 20k or so would be a ballpark guess.

$25,999 msrp
post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post

$25,999 msrp

Yea, but I still have the case
Ken
post #16 of 22
The overall case may be the same, but if you look at the pics on Meridian's sight the face has indeed changed.


Jim
post #17 of 22
If this is a product from the ground up then shouldn't Meridian call it something other than an 861 v6? It would be better to rename it an XXX v1 and use this as a reference point for future upgrades rather than carrying on the name of the "861" with v6 as the current model.

The 861 has done it's fair share to remain current since its introduction in 1998 so it wouldn't be a bad thing to give a new name to the new reference controller which appears to be something brand new rather than a mere 'upgrade' improvement over the previous version.
post #18 of 22
Anyone actually HEAR the new 861? If so, impressions?
post #19 of 22
Wow. $26K for an SSP. It must be me but I don't see this part of the system as that critical... for movies.
post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brucemck2 View Post

Anyone actually HEAR the new 861? If so, impressions?


There wasn't one available until it was flown in middle of last week for CES, so if it has been heard it would have been there (assuming it was used in their demo).


Jim
post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by thebland View Post

Wow. $26K for an SSP. It must be me but I don't see this part of the system as that critical... for movies.

For me the 861 was about state of the art (at the time, and with the v6 hopefully again soon) music performance. Trifield offers synthesized surround of redbook CDs (the vast majority of my music collection) that's, IMO, head and shoulders above anything else I've heard, and, IMO, superior to straight two channel.
post #22 of 22
Agreed, to me the 861 surround modes are superior and completely configurable/tweakable as well.

I'm trying to figure out if we can order the 861 V6 with just OA18 cards and the required digital input card.

I'm also assuming that we will use a CAT 5/6 cable to connect the HD621 to the V6.
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AVS › AVS Forum › Display Devices › Ultra Hi-End HT Gear ($20,000+) › Meridian introduces 861 v6 reference digital surround controller