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#272066 - 2018-01-20 10:00 Thiel: a warning from today
Registered: 2004-04-15
Posts: 12,325
VirusKiller Offline
Don't Panic
VirusKiller Offline
Don't Panic

Registered: 2004-04-15
Posts: 12,325
Loc: nr. Milton Keynes, UK
Much as some of us might not like Meridian's current direction and/or be frustrated by a lack of communication and upgrades that *we* want as customers in the retail sector, here's a timely reminder of why you simply have to have a brand strategy and rock solid business plan to survive in high-end audio in the digital age.

Demise of Thiel Audio


Roon Developer and ex-moderator of this Forum
I am #25 in the HH1 photo of fame.
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#272068 - 2018-01-20 10:10 Re: Thiel: a warning from today [Re: VirusKiller]
Registered: 2004-12-09
Posts: 6,243
ChrisLayerUK Offline
President of the Imperial Galactic Government
ChrisLayerUK Offline
President of the Imperial Galactic Government

Registered: 2004-12-09
Posts: 6,243
Loc: Colchester, Essex, UK
Something from the article Meridian may like to consider

“When the consumer’s are confused, They don’t buy”.


No 18 in the Hall of fame smile I have simple tastes; I am content to settle for the best: GIK monster bass panels, rear wall.
MC200 500GB, QNAP TVS 471i3. Roon into 2 MS200's. Explorer 2. Bluesound Pulse 2 and Mini. 596 v1.89.2, 518, G61R, M60.2 Rosewood, M33C, M33 Rears, M1500 Sub, Foxsat HD, Sony Blu Ray, Pioneer 5090, 2 Chromecast's for LRB videos.
Edited by ChrisLayerUK; 2018-01-20 10:10.
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#272078 - 2018-01-20 12:38 Re: Thiel: a warning from today [Re: ChrisLayerUK]
Registered: 2003-10-04
Posts: 1,986
spinaltap Offline
Knows where his towel is
spinaltap Offline
Knows where his towel is

Registered: 2003-10-04
Posts: 1,986
Loc: Bournville, UK
‘Stick to the knitting’ was/is a fundamental messsge from the ubiquitous management textbook ‘In Search of Excellence’. That is, stick to what you’re good at rather than spreading yourself too thinly in selling other products.

While Meridian remain focussed on rebranded Panasonic car audio than developing their pedigree in high-end home audio, their future doesn’t look too bright.


My Mac can go all the way to XI - Mac user since 1988.
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#272081 - 2018-01-20 13:00 Re: Thiel: a warning from today [Re: spinaltap]
Registered: 2004-08-07
Posts: 7,454
Ian Offline
President of the Imperial Galactic Government
Ian Offline
President of the Imperial Galactic Government

Registered: 2004-08-07
Posts: 7,454
Loc: Surrey, England, UK
Does that lower the pedigree of the likes of Adobe who don't make the PC's their software runs on?

Meridian are as much about installation, software and IP as they are manufacturing hardware. It’s not just a badge, it’s Meridian’s knowhow and software that's in JLR, just not their hardware.

Meridian, and I am sure as are the other audio branded car audio systems, are constrained by the hardware platform, space and budget that a vehicle manufacturer give them. TBH I would rather the hardware was not done by Meridian as they are hardly experts in building hardware for the harsh environment of a vehicle.


Meridian owner since 1992
DSP5000 96/24, MC200, Prime & PSU, Focal Elear, Explorer 1 & 2, F80, 200/203 and various Sonos.
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#272083 - 2018-01-20 13:06 Re: Thiel: a warning from today [Re: spinaltap]
Registered: 2004-04-15
Posts: 12,325
VirusKiller Offline
Don't Panic
VirusKiller Offline
Don't Panic

Registered: 2004-04-15
Posts: 12,325
Loc: nr. Milton Keynes, UK
Originally Posted By spinaltap
While Meridian remain focussed on rebranded Panasonic car audio than developing their pedigree in high-end home audio, their future doesn’t look too bright.
I'm not sure I agree with that assessment. You need to be a profitable business with healthy cashflow to invest... IMO Meridian has never really been a successful business; it's been more of a technology developer/demonstrator [and the world of audio is all the richer for that]. Leveraging its considerable existing IP in new markets (for presumably relatively low in-house cost) is a sensible way to generate profits and cash and build a solid platform for the business. Until they have that, they can't really invest in new technologies at the high end.

Unfortunately for us, it's going to take some time, but I'm encouraged at some of the B2B relationships they've established, most notably the one with LG.


Roon Developer and ex-moderator of this Forum
I am #25 in the HH1 photo of fame.
Edited by VirusKiller; 2018-01-20 13:08.
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#272099 - 2018-01-20 16:58 Re: Thiel: a warning from today [Re: VirusKiller]
Registered: 2003-10-04
Posts: 1,986
spinaltap Offline
Knows where his towel is
spinaltap Offline
Knows where his towel is

Registered: 2003-10-04
Posts: 1,986
Loc: Bournville, UK
In management terms, if you evaluate Meridian via a Boston Matrix..

Cash Cows: Car Audio.

Stars: Custom Install.

Dogs: Hi-end Audio.

Cash cows are low-growth products with a high market share. These are mature, successful products with relatively little need for investment. They need to be managed for continued profit - so that they continue to generate the strong cash flows that the company needs for its Stars.

Stars are high growth products competing in markets where they are strong compared with the competition. Often Stars need heavy investment to sustain growth. Eventually growth will slow and, assuming they keep their market share, Stars will become Cash Cows.

Dogs refers to products that have a low market share in unattractive, low-growth markets. Dogs may generate enough cash to break-even, but they are rarely, if ever, worth investing in. Dogs are usually sold or closed.

The remaining block in the Boston Matrix is...

Question Marks: MQA

Question marks are products with low market share operating in high growth markets. This suggests that they have potential, but may need substantial investment to grow market share at the expense of larger competitors. Management have to think hard about “Question Marks" - which ones should they invest in? Which ones should they allow to fail or shrink?


My Mac can go all the way to XI - Mac user since 1988.
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#272103 - 2018-01-20 19:18 Re: Thiel: a warning from today [Re: spinaltap]
Registered: 2004-01-04
Posts: 1,894
gIzzE Offline
Knows where his towel is
gIzzE Offline
Knows where his towel is

Registered: 2004-01-04
Posts: 1,894
Loc: Norwich, UK
I agree with VK here, the partnerships with the like of Panasonic/JLR and LG are what is needed for them to generate the cash needed to move the 'Hi-Fi' side forward.

A while ago I was saying this is exactly what Meridian should be doing, approaching cash rich manufacturers who already have the facilities in place to manufacture at a decent rate.

My only gripe with Meridian now is their complete disregard for current owners in regard to letting them know the road map ahead. I would argue this usually happens for 4 reasons, either you have a product that is so out there and genius you can't give a glimpse to the competition for fear of being beaten to market with a stolen idea, because you don't know what your next product is, or you are not sure you will be able to fund the product you want to bring to market, or finally because you haven't got a clue what you're actually doing next yourself.

I will be honest, I sold my Meridian system as I genuinely thought they were done with true home audio moving forward, after waiting what seemed years for something new I nearly gave up and then MQA was announced, however, after months and months of waiting to hear how I could get it in my system it seemed after 2 years I was pretty much told "Sorry, you can't."
I was gutted that I needed to spend the best part of £11,000 to get true MQA into some DSPs, but thought I would just keep my 5200s and get another system to experience MQA.
Problem with that is the other system sounded better, hence selling my DSPs and G68.

Maybe Meridian have actually realised that HiFi in the classic sense is dead and rack mount unit hidden away is actually the future, hence the 251 and 271 etc.?
To be fair to them I am now running a Roon endpoint with a power amp all hidden away, it doesn't need to be seen, which is pretty much the way Meridian seem to be heading. But just explain your reasons to your customers Meridian, tell them what your plans are and give them some confidence.


No Darling, I've had it months!
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#274044 - 2018-03-08 02:09 Re: Thiel: a warning from today [Re: gIzzE]
Registered: 2016-10-31
Posts: 113
Nstzya Offline
Hitchhiker
Nstzya Offline
Hitchhiker

Registered: 2016-10-31
Posts: 113
Loc: Indianapolis, USA
Originally Posted By gIzzE
I agree with VK here, the partnerships with the like of Panasonic/JLR and LG are what is needed for them to generate the cash needed to move the 'Hi-Fi' side forward.

A while ago I was saying this is exactly what Meridian should be doing, approaching cash rich manufacturers who already have the facilities in place to manufacture at a decent rate...
After recently hearing what can be accomplished with an all-in-one DAC/DSP active coaxial driver based compact unit in the form of the KEF LS50W’s and the Devialet Phantoms, if they can’t partner with one of those two, maybe getting the excellent Thiel coaxial driver technology might be a prudent move?

Originally Posted By gizzE
...I was gutted that I needed to spend the best part of £11,000 to get true MQA into some DSPs, but thought I would just keep my 5200s and get another system to experience MQA.
Problem with that is the other system sounded better, hence selling my DSPs and G68.
What is your “other system to experience MQA”?

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#274048 - 2018-03-08 08:30 Re: Thiel: a warning from today [Re: Nstzya]
Registered: 2004-01-04
Posts: 1,894
gIzzE Offline
Knows where his towel is
gIzzE Offline
Knows where his towel is

Registered: 2004-01-04
Posts: 1,894
Loc: Norwich, UK
I wasn't going to mention that, as it was also considerably cheaper.

Roon - Meridian Explorer 2 - Quad 405 amp (refurbed) - Quad S2 speakers with a Rel Strata sub.

I then went on an upgrade binge trying speakers from Focal, Harbeth, Scansonic, Logan and Quad 988s, and amps from Croft, Bel Canto, Quad 909 etc. but in the end still preferred the little S2s with the 405 amp.

That whole system cost me around £1000 in total, it is sublime.


No Darling, I've had it months!
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#274055 - 2018-03-08 09:25 Re: Thiel: a warning from today [Re: gIzzE]
Registered: 2007-09-23
Posts: 1,561
Syles Offline
Working on the ultimate question
Syles Offline
Working on the ultimate question

Registered: 2007-09-23
Posts: 1,561
Loc: London, UK
Originally Posted By gIzzE
Quad 988s
What were these like and why didn't they make the cut?

All the best,
Steve


-
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#274057 - 2018-03-08 10:48 Re: Thiel: a warning from today [Re: Syles]
Registered: 2010-07-19
Posts: 79
Dubya Offline
Mostly harmless
Dubya Offline
Mostly harmless

Registered: 2010-07-19
Posts: 79
Loc: Lancashire, UK
Hi, do you actually get the full benefit of MQA though with limited bandwidth speakers? ie. < 20k.

I ask because I have some vintage B&W's that go up to 22K.

Regards
W


808.6, Bryston 4BSST2, B&W 802
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#274059 - 2018-03-08 11:48 Re: Thiel: a warning from today [Re: Dubya]
Registered: 2004-01-04
Posts: 1,894
gIzzE Offline
Knows where his towel is
gIzzE Offline
Knows where his towel is

Registered: 2004-01-04
Posts: 1,894
Loc: Norwich, UK
Steve, Quad 988s were awesome, I had them before I had the rest, they were in the other room.

In all honesty if they didn't look they way they do I would still have them now, but they are ugly beasts and they were never going to be allowed to go into the main room where I actually want to listen to them.

It was owning the Quad S2s, that sound so similar, amazingly so, that allowed me to move on the 988s.





Regarding the band limited, I had already bought the S2s for a second system, I was enjoying so much that I bought a pair of Scansonic MB2.5s to replace the 5200s and a Quad 909 amp and agaibn used the Explorer 2 as an endpoint.

The Scansonics are rated up to 40khz, but in all honesty I prefered the S2s, not bad for a speaker that is 1/5th the price and that MB2.5 is also highly reviewed with many saying it itself beats most speakers at 4x the price.
The little S2s impressed so much that I bought a pair of the larger Z3s to replace the Scansonics, however, in all honesty still preferred the smaller Quad S2, the integration between mid and tweeter is seamless on the S2s in a way very few speakers truly manage and as I was using a Rel sub the smaller speakers and the way they imaged was just better.

When I heard the S2s in Martins HiFi I could tell they were going to be good, even with a Cyrus amp and no sub!! (Sorry Ian, just kidding). But there was something there in the midrange that reminded me of my electrostatics, so I bought a pair for the second room.
I have been seriously impressed.

You can definitely hear a difference between the MQA and non MQA tracks on them still, but, and I am probably going to regret saying this on here, I am not a fan of MQA.
The odd album I have heard has sounded nicer, but in general I just don't like it as much as a well recorded lossless version. There is generally more space, more detail, more of a forward sound, but to me I just don't like it as much. The best way I can describe it is when you jump from 18bit 5000s to 24bit 5000s, the 5000s sound smoother, more laid back, more grown up, where as the 18bit 5Ks have more bite, more PRAT as Naim would say, but that is not a sound for me.
The other thing is I sound the soundstage a bit......I don't know? Just not as accurate with MQA, a bit too left and right.

I loved the idea of MQA, I even sold my system to get MQA, but now, after living with it and trying it on loads of different amps and speakers I have come to the conclusion that I'm not bothered about it.
Now, if I went back to a Meridian MQA system, which would being Meridian, super smooth anyway, I might find that extra bite truly wonderful, but I can now see why so many listeners out there really don't like it and are worried that if everything gets MQA'd it could be for the worse.


No Darling, I've had it months!
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