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M6 Digital Active Loudspeaker

Here you will find all of the information that you require to get the most out of your M6 Digital Active Loudspeakers.

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With power applied to the product the indicator at the top of the loudspeaker will illuminate blue. If it does not light up, the mains supply and the mains inlet fuse should be checked.

An M6 comes out of Standby mode when it receives an appropriate communication signal from another Meridian product. This signal is received on the Speakerlink input socket of the loudspeaker and is produced when the rest of the system is brought out of Standby. When this happens, the indicator on the top of the loudspeaker illuminates white.

Each loudspeaker uses a maximum of 500W.

The loudspeaker on the left (when viewed from the listening position) should be set to “L/C” and the loudspeaker on the right should be set to “R”. The switch is required because the Speakerlink lead feeding the loudspeaker carries both left and right audio channels. The switch “tells” the loudspeaker which channel to pick up from the lead. This is true even when each loudspeaker is fed with a dedicated Speakerlink lead.

Loudspeakers in use as main-left, side-left, rear-left or centre channels should be set as “L/C”. Set the switch to “R” for loudspeakers in use as main-right, side-right or rear-right channels.

The pair of loudspeakers can be connected in a “daisy-chain” arrangement. The input of one loudspeaker should be connected to the Speakerlink output on the controller-product. The output of this loudspeaker is then connected to the input socket on the other loudspeaker.

Yes. If cabling arrangements or other physical considerations preclude star-wiring, daisy-chaining can be used for a pair of M6s. This applies as long as the two loudspeakers are a “pair” as defined in a Meridian system, i.e. they are the left and right main channels, the rear-left and rear-right channels or the side-left and side right channels.

If the M6s are amongst the smaller loudspeakers in the system, the general advice is to set them to “Small”. This will divert low-bass (as defined by the crossover setting in configuration) away from the loudspeakers in question and send it to the subwoofer and/or the “Large” loudspeakers in the system. The exact route of the bass is determined by several factors within configuration. However, in a system with no subwoofer, the main (front) loudspeakers are forced to be “Large”, regardless of their physical size.  If all the other loudspeakers are defined as “Small”, the main loudspeakers will be asked to playback all the bass for the system. In such cases, defining M6s as “Large” could help spread the bass load across the system. This could result in improved bass reproduction at low to mid volume levels and, as the M6s feature bass-protection, even at high volumes the risk of “bottoming out” a bass drive is minimal.

Bass output can be increased, but it may require some configuration. Refer to our support documentation relating to the DSW for further information.

No. Most subwoofers require to be fed with a variable analogue audio signal. This does not exist in a two-channel Meridian system. Even subwoofers which feature a digital input are unlikely to offer any practicable method of integration due to issues with controlling volume evenly across the system.

Yes. There will be no need to use an external PSU with the Media Source 200.

Yes. There will be no need to use an external PSU with the Distributor 1.

Power will be provided to the specific Distributor module connected to the M6. However, the three modules within the Distributor 3 are completely independent, so power will need to be provided from elsewhere to the other two modules if they are in use.

Yes. By default, the loudspeakers have EBA enabled and the internal switch for EBA is set to change only if a loudspeaker receives the relevant command on its Speakerlink input. This behaviour can be changed by sending the appropriate RS232 command via the Speakerlink input. Options exist to set EBA to On or Off regardless of any commands received over Speakerlink. Details of how to do this are found on this TechNote.

No. Meridian DSP loudspeakers feature internal protection which, when activated, can demand high current from the mains supply in order to blow the fuse within the product. This is a deliberate aspect of their design and is a key safety feature. If, under these conditions, anything inhibits the current required to blow the fuse, the loudspeaker will be exposed to circumstances for which it was not designed. Such circumstances could result in catastrophic damage and become a fire-risk. It may be thought that this can be avoided by using a mains conditioner which boasts a current rating which is higher than that required to blow the loudspeaker’s fuse. However, the possibility of the mains conditioner itself developing a problem needs to be considered.  If a problem in the conditioner restricts its current delivery capabilities, and then the loudspeaker suffers a failure as described above, the fuse may not blow and a serious risk of fire will result.

EBC uses the ceiling height of the listening room to counteract undesirable reverberations likely to occur when M6s are used in that room. These reverberations are produced because the bass drive on the M6 fires downwards causing low frequency sound waves to be reflected back and forth between the floor and ceiling. As these waves collide with each other, constructive interference causes particular frequencies to be louder than expected and to ring-on longer than intended.

EBC requires the ceiling height of the room to be entered via the front panel of the controller product. The system uses this setting to calculate the frequencies where these undesirable effects are likely to occur. Appropriate DSP filtering within the loudspeakers is then selected to counteract the problem. The degree of EBC applied by the loudspeakers can be adjusted according to personal preference. The available options are; “Off”, “Minimum”, “Medium” and “Maximum”. This setting can be adjusted to taste on-the-fly while listening to music.

As we tend to live in “box-shaped” rooms, most listening environments have approximately rectangular walls, floors and ceilings. This usually leads to large surfaces which are parallel to each other. When a loudspeaker is played in such a room, a proportion of the sound waves emitted from the loudspeaker are reflected back and forth between the parallel surfaces. There is scope for these reflected waves to interfere with each other as they bounce between the two parallel surfaces. This interference can cause particular frequencies to be unnaturally resonant; sounding louder and ringing-on longer than they should.

The pressure of sound waves diminishes as they travel over distance through air. This means that more interference is likely to occur between parallel surfaces which are closer together then those which are further apart. In most listening environments, the distance between floor and ceiling is the smallest of the three main dimensions i.e. it is shorter than the width and length of the room.

The amount of reverberation contributed by any surface is also related to its physical make-up. The materials used and the method of construction affect which frequencies are reflected and by how much. In general, the more solid a surface is, the less likely it is to resonate when subjected to low-frequency sound waves. For obvious functional reasons, walls and floors tend to solidly built. However, ceilings often have no serious load-bearing role to perform, so their construction may mean that they resonate when subjected to low-frequency sound. For example, some ceilings are made from a single layer of plasterboard (drywall) – it’s easy to imagine such a ceiling acting like a drum when sound waves hit it.

The M6 loudspeaker features a bass drive unit which is both downward-firing and close to the floor. As a result, a relatively large proportion of low-frequency sound waves are reflected from the floor up towards the ceiling. Given the two factors above; the relative short distance of the ceiling height and the likely construction of the ceiling, it is possible for the M6 to “set-off” resonances in many rooms. This is undesirable so Meridian has designed EBC to help deal with it.

The frequency of a sound is inversely proportional to its wavelength so the longer the wavelength, the lower the frequency. Resonance caused by interference occurs when wave “peaks” meet to combine creating an increase in pressure. Between a floor and ceiling, the frequencies which cause resonances have wavelengths which relate to the ceiling height by a simple arithmetic relationship.

The lowest frequency ( f ) which we need to worry about has a wavelength ( λ ) which is equal to the distance from the floor to the ceiling and back again. This is because the time taken for the peak of such a wave to travel from the floor, reflect off the ceiling and then arrive back at the floor is such that the next peak will be leaving the floor. The two peaks will combine to cause a resonance.

i.e. 0.5 λ = ceiling height

The next lowest frequency we need to consider has a wavelength which is equal to the ceiling height. In this case, a peak leaving the floor will reflect off the ceiling and then, half way back to the floor, it will interfere with the next peak which is on its way up.

i.e. λ = ceiling height

The next frequency up the range will have wavelength equal to two-thirds of the ceiling height, i.e. the ceiling height is 1.5 x wavelength. Here, a peak will combine with the next peak one third of the way down to the floor.

i.e. 1.5 λ = ceiling height

This sequence continues with the factor for the wavelength increasing as an arithmetic progression:  0.5, 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5…

If we take an example of a room with a ceiling height of three meters, the equations above give us wavelengths of 6m, 3m, 2m, 1.5m, 1.2m…

If we then take the speed of sound to be the commonly-used value of 343 metres per second, these wavelengths lead us to frequencies of approximately 57Hz, 114Hz, 171Hz, 229Hz,etc. As we are concerned with sound from the bass drive only, we do not need to consider frequencies further up the audio range.

EBC carries out such calculations on whatever value for room height is entered via the set-up menu. DSP filters are then employed to dampen down the anticipated reverberations at these frequencies. The degree of filtering applied is selected by choosing from the set-up options via the menu system; “Off”, “Minimum”, “Medium” and “Maximum”. This setting can be adjusted according to personal preference on-the-fly while listening to music.

 

This causes the M6 to play a balanced mix of the left and right audio channels feeding the speaker. This allows a single speaker to be used on its own in a room where installation of a more than one speaker is inappropriate or undesirable. The Mono setting also allows for the M6 to be used in installation situations which do not feature clearly defined “left” and “right” positions for the speakers. Such applications include hallways, corridors and open areas without fixed seating arrangements. 

M6

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