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#286626 - 2019-08-02 10:26 Meridian Audio sold in 2014 to fund MQA Limited
Registered: 2003-10-04
Posts: 2,386
spinaltap Offline
Senior Shouting Officer
spinaltap Offline
Senior Shouting Officer

Registered: 2003-10-04
Posts: 2,386
Loc: Bournville, UK
In a Financial Times (subscription required) article today, it states that Meridian was sold in 2014 for £25m to partly fund MQA.

I was not previously aware of this golden nugget of information.


My Mac can go all the way to XI - Mac user since 1988 - Meridian owner since 1993.

Music: M6, 218, 210, 504, 506.2, AC12, Mac Mini Server, Roon | B&O H8
Movies: Loewe Bild7.55, ATV4K, B&W PV-1
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#286628 - 2019-08-02 11:03 Re: Meridian Audio sold in 2014 to fund MQA Limited [Re: spinaltap]
Registered: 2012-10-22
Posts: 832
Albert Offline
Paranoid android
Albert Offline
Paranoid android

Registered: 2012-10-22
Posts: 832
Loc: Shanghai, China
To whom?


HT: Audiocom LX800CE W/HD621/LPS 861v8, DSP7200SEup DSP5200SEVCup, DSP5200SE(side),DSP5200sl(rear)
Revel sub30*2 AntimodeX4 JVC NX7
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#286629 - 2019-08-02 11:27 Re: Meridian Audio sold in 2014 to fund MQA Limited [Re: Albert]
Registered: 2003-10-04
Posts: 2,386
spinaltap Offline
Senior Shouting Officer
spinaltap Offline
Senior Shouting Officer

Registered: 2003-10-04
Posts: 2,386
Loc: Bournville, UK
Indeed. The article didn’t say.


My Mac can go all the way to XI - Mac user since 1988 - Meridian owner since 1993.

Music: M6, 218, 210, 504, 506.2, AC12, Mac Mini Server, Roon | B&O H8
Movies: Loewe Bild7.55, ATV4K, B&W PV-1
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#286631 - 2019-08-02 12:35 Re: Meridian Audio sold in 2014 to fund MQA Limited [Re: spinaltap]
Registered: 2008-05-23
Posts: 8,005
Carl Offline
President of the Imperial Galactic Government
Carl Offline


President of the Imperial Galactic Government

Registered: 2008-05-23
Posts: 8,005
Loc: Central England, UK
Companies House - Meridian Audio Limited lists John Buchanan and Reinet Investments as persons with significant control.

There was speak of management buyout but I didn't follow up with any investigation.

Regards,
Carl


861v6+ID40, HD621, 8000.2, 7200HC, 7200.2, SKYQ Silver, PS3, PDP-LX6090, QNAP TS870-Pro (8*6TB), Roon, iPadAir2.
[In Reserve] C15, MD600 (2*3TB), TwinStore RM (2*2TB)
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#286633 - 2019-08-02 13:16 Re: Meridian Audio sold in 2014 to fund MQA Limited [Re: Carl]
Registered: 2004-04-15
Posts: 12,640
VirusKiller Offline
Don't Panic
VirusKiller Offline
Don't Panic

Registered: 2004-04-15
Posts: 12,640
Loc: nr. Milton Keynes, UK
MBO happened last year. The 2014 thing was probably just the change in ownership; that's old news. I expect the £25MM was the cost of 5 years of research, not the sale price of the company.


Roon Developer and ex-moderator of this Forum
I am #25 in the HH1 photo of fame.
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#286634 - 2019-08-02 13:34 Re: Meridian Audio sold in 2014 to fund MQA Limited [Re: VirusKiller]
Registered: 2003-10-04
Posts: 2,386
spinaltap Offline
Senior Shouting Officer
spinaltap Offline
Senior Shouting Officer

Registered: 2003-10-04
Posts: 2,386
Loc: Bournville, UK
The complete Financial Times article...
Quote:
Like Heinz’s famous range of condiments, there are some 57 varieties of digital music format currently available. Most are open-source and free for music companies and fans to use. They run from highly-compressed and dull-sounding MP3 to huge WAV files, bulging with juicy music data.

A new and widely, though not universally, acclaimed digital format developed by a 70-year-old British electronics engineer might not then seem to stand a chance of capturing a slice of the market — not least since it is a paid-for software.

But the invention of Bob Stuart and a 29-strong team is gaining remarkable traction. Mr Stuart’s MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) format has just been adopted by Alibaba’s Xiami music-streaming service, with its 14m subscribers in China.

That deal, Mr Stuart says, could earn MQA “several millions” a year in royalties. It would enable the company to start recouping the £25m that went into developing MQA, which was funded in part by selling the high-end HiFi company, Meridian Audio, in 2014.

MQA promises to replicate the “emotion” of a live performance or studio master-recording, even when listened to on mobile phones. Extra audio quality, Mr Stuart claims, can even be teased from old magnetic tapes, 78rpm records and music cylinders.

Additionally, MQA files are “folded” in such a way — he calls it “music origami” — that they are under half the size of rival high-resolution audio formats. This means, when downloaded, you can get more, and arguably better, music on a device.

MQA’s Xiami contract follows agreements with Warner Brothers and Universal Music in the US to apply the format to their back catalogue as well as new music. Tidal, the high-quality streaming service partly owned by the rapper Jay-Z newly features MQA.

The software is popular in Japan, especially when encoded into CDs, which are still popular in the market. Elsewhere, Mr Stuart says some broadcasters are considering using a version of the software, MQA Live, to transmit concerts.

But is MQA better than the competition?

Most people probably cannot hear the difference between one HiFi product and another. Leading scientific sceptic James Randi once offered $1m for a journalist to submit to a blind test of speaker cables. No one accepted the challenge.

Yet I think one can tell the difference. I pay £19.99 a month to Tidal for their highest quality Masters version, because it streams MQA. To me, it has a clean, rich quality I enjoy. I probably would not pass a blind test of MQA against another fancy format. Similarly, I prefer more expensive wine without being able to explain quite why. I like to believe I’m experiencing the best.

Audiophiles are notoriously discordant. For all those endorsing MQA, there are some online angrily decrying it. Yet others post passionate arguments that all high-resolution audio is nonsense and only a dog or a scientific instrument could tell the difference.

“Human perception is complex,” Mr Stuart told me. “There are ways neuroscientists can convince people they’re drinking coffee when they’re drinking tea. But we love the art of what we do, the bringing of pleasure through high quality to millions of people. For those millions of people to translate into millions of dollars of revenue is almost secondary.”

“The jury is still out,” says Thomas Steffens, founder of Primephonic, a new Netherlands-based, classical-music, streaming service. “When you listen to MQA against the best format we use, I would almost say it’s a matter of taste . . . I like MQA’s vision, I hope they will be successful producing the highest audio-quality possible, but it would be a big technical overhaul for us to adopt it.”

It seems that the new digital music format MQA could yet become a valuable, invisible, supply chain-free export for the new-format, post-Brexit UK. But like post-Brexit Britain, it is not yet clear who is going to like it.


My Mac can go all the way to XI - Mac user since 1988 - Meridian owner since 1993.

Music: M6, 218, 210, 504, 506.2, AC12, Mac Mini Server, Roon | B&O H8
Movies: Loewe Bild7.55, ATV4K, B&W PV-1
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#286637 - 2019-08-02 14:10 Re: Meridian Audio sold in 2014 to fund MQA Limited [Re: spinaltap]
Registered: 2012-04-17
Posts: 2,318
3dit0r Offline
Senior Shouting Officer
3dit0r Offline
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Registered: 2012-04-17
Posts: 2,318
Loc: South UK
I like MQA, but I like Meridian audio equipment a whole lot more. My Meridian equipment gives me endless music and movie joy on any format available, of which MQA is a truly tiny portion.

Very sad to me the way the company appears to have lost its way in recent years, with the real innovators and leaders like Bob Stuart and Richard Hollinshead gone. MQA may have been worth it to Bob, but to my mind, I'd say the decline of Meridian is a bigger loss at this point than anything which was gained from MQA.


818v3, DSP7200.2, HD621, Oppo BDP-105, Sony VPL-HW55ES projector, Kimber Mains Cables, Russ Andrews Rack and Mains Filtration, GIK Room Treatments
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#286640 - 2019-08-02 15:01 Re: Meridian Audio sold in 2014 to fund MQA Limited [Re: 3dit0r]
Registered: 2003-10-04
Posts: 2,386
spinaltap Offline
Senior Shouting Officer
spinaltap Offline
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Registered: 2003-10-04
Posts: 2,386
Loc: Bournville, UK
I don’t subscribe to any music streaming service: I prefer buying/owning physical discs.

The one-and-only MQA CD that I own, fortunately, is by one of my favourite musicians - and cost less than £10. Any other MQA CD that I’ve seen for sale (that I would like) is prohibitively expensive.


My Mac can go all the way to XI - Mac user since 1988 - Meridian owner since 1993.

Music: M6, 218, 210, 504, 506.2, AC12, Mac Mini Server, Roon | B&O H8
Movies: Loewe Bild7.55, ATV4K, B&W PV-1
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#286646 - 2019-08-02 16:51 Re: Meridian Audio sold in 2014 to fund MQA Limited [Re: 3dit0r]
Registered: 2008-02-29
Posts: 1,851
Asa Post Offline
Knows where his towel is
Asa Post Offline
Knows where his towel is

Registered: 2008-02-29
Posts: 1,851
Loc: Devon, UK
This significant news explains so much. Meridian is now a moribund company. No-one apart from here seems to have heard of them. They have no new products and have difficulty launching those that have been announced.

I agree totally with 3ditOr who has summed up the situation very well. No wonder Linn and Naim appear so vigorous in comparison.

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#286657 - 2019-08-03 12:00 Re: Meridian Audio sold in 2014 to fund MQA Limited [Re: Asa Post]
Registered: 2004-01-04
Posts: 1,925
gIzzE Offline
Knows where his towel is
gIzzE Offline
Knows where his towel is

Registered: 2004-01-04
Posts: 1,925
Loc: Norwich, UK
I think Bob knew that Meridian could no longer compete with the competition and needed to find a new thing to play with, MQA.

Meridian could have worked with others to create some products at kenner prices, I mentioned this a couple of years ago.

A high end Meridian/Sonos/Roon bit of hardware would get the M name out there with some serious upgrade possibilities and with it some serious sales for Meridian.


MQA killed Meridian as far as I'm concerned.
Bob shouted so loudly about the virtues of MQA and by doing so killed off loads of Meridian customers who saw no upgrade path with Meridian to get this fabulous new format into their home.

The way I tested out MQA was with an Roon - Explorer 2 - Quad 405-2 - Quad Z4 speakers.
Problem was, although I was not over impressed with MQA, I was seriously impressed with the set up and preferred it to my MS600 and DSP5200s.

It was that moment I realised that for me, my Meridian journey was over.
I actually found it pretty tough to let go, I had after all been running Meridian gear for nearly 25 years. There had been times I had moved away, but not for long.

If I am honest I still think the DSP speakers are amazing, especially for low level listening, but I feel buying into them now you are buying something that feels like it has been left behind.


No Darling, I've had it months!
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#286660 - 2019-08-03 12:22 Re: Meridian Audio sold in 2014 to fund MQA Limited [Re: gIzzE]
Registered: 2012-04-17
Posts: 2,318
3dit0r Offline
Senior Shouting Officer
3dit0r Offline
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Registered: 2012-04-17
Posts: 2,318
Loc: South UK
Although I share your feelings at how Meridian was seemingly the sacrificial lamb at the altar of MQA, my listening impressions are the opposite.

I was greatly impressed by MQA through SEs, it’s just that I don’t consider it the be all and end all - well recorded and mastered music sounds fantastic whatever the format, in my experience.

I continue to buy and support Meridian because, to my ears, the gear they produced under Bob/Richard et al. is still the best I’ve heard and their DSP speakers and 800 series endpoints are still very hard to match, let alone beat. That’s why it’s so utterly frustrating to see an apparent decline for the company.

I suppose at least if they keep producing DSPs and world-class endpoints and DACs, but I fear greatly for them that if they’re perceived to be has-beens, it won’t be sustainable in the long-run. Sad times and I greatly hope I’m wrong.


818v3, DSP7200.2, HD621, Oppo BDP-105, Sony VPL-HW55ES projector, Kimber Mains Cables, Russ Andrews Rack and Mains Filtration, GIK Room Treatments
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#286680 - 2019-08-04 22:03 Re: Meridian Audio sold in 2014 to fund MQA Limited [Re: 3dit0r]
Registered: 2004-01-04
Posts: 1,925
gIzzE Offline
Knows where his towel is
gIzzE Offline
Knows where his towel is

Registered: 2004-01-04
Posts: 1,925
Loc: Norwich, UK
Originally Posted By 3dit0r
I was greatly impressed by MQA through SEs, it’s just that I don’t consider it the be all and end all - well recorded and mastered music sounds fantastic whatever the format, in my experience.

I continue to buy and support Meridian because, to my ears, the gear they produced under Bob/Richard et al. is still the best I’ve heard and their DSP speakers and 800 series endpoints are still very hard to match, let alone beat.
I totally agree with you, it is just a shame that it was MQA that led me away from Meridian as I couldn't afford Meridian's cheapest way into MQA.

In hindsight thought I wish I had just kept my non MQA Meridian system, but once you have sold up and moved out of Meridian getting back in is not cheap.


No Darling, I've had it months!
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