Saturday, February 19, 2011

Meridian A500

My visitors often ask about my unbranded speakers (logo not visible from front) once they hear it. My usual response is  "... don't worry just enjoy the music".

View from sofa

Curiosity usually gets the best of them after about 5-10mins .  . . 
Angled view

Frequent reactions upon eye-ing the well known logo include these for real?, how old are they?, where did you get them from?, and, don't remember this model?

The A500 was the last passive model speaker from Meridian e.g mid 90's. Judging from my visitor responses of the reproduction, one can easily imagine why the model is rarely available in the resale market.

Removing the sock (aka dust cover) reveals the two 6-inch units for mid and bass. Treble is provided by a horn loaded tweeter. Each speaker weights 25kg.

Without sock
Sock for speaker

Although rated at 90dB with maximum wattage of 100W, it is a surprisingly power hungry unit. I was using the Celestion SL6s (well known power hungry model) paired with a 100W subwoofer before switching to the A500. The SL6s were rated at 86dB and 120W. I expected the volume to increase after the swap. Received a most nasty shock as I had to turn the volume up a little more from the same setup, to obtain the volume as per the SL6s when using the A500!!!

From experience the A500 is at it's best when driven in a horizontal bi-amp mode. Bass is then superbly firm and sounds extremely realistic. High power amps are required to do so. Otherwise you will hear the polite bass, as per hifi reviews from the past. I previously used a pair of Arcam Alpha 8 power amps (50W RMS per channel; my mistake to use the newly recapped Sansui AU-5900 as pre-amp!!! Buyer wanted that as well)  for the task. Sold the Arcams as they were hardly used once I had my Sansui B-2101 and Sansui B-2102 power amps recapped since these were more capable (each rated at 200W RMS per channel).

Another unique feature is the method to re-sock the speaker. There are no pugs or pins to hold the sock in-place. Instead the grooves towards the front of the speaker are the holders. These grooves run the entire front parameter of the unit. Once you place the sock into them, you need to use a credit card (or similar plastic item) to push the sock firmly back into place.
Before "sock-ing"
The base of the speaker has four spikes which are adjustable. My A500 was adjusted to be just slightly higher on the front than rear to permit better image projection nearby.

The original boxes for the A500 now store my SL6s.


  1. friend yah "unbranded speakers" haha rem i asked the same Q anyway am i the first one in the reserve list of this pair if you decided to sell ;)

  2. Hi SK,

    Sorry not the 1st. Think 5/6 in Q.

  3. Hi, Was wondering if you might be able to help with the repair of the crossovers in a pair of A500's I acquired. I have the circuit for the v1.0 of the crossover but the version in the speakers is 1.3RJH. some components are completly burnt off the board and I dont know their values.v Any help would be appreciated

  4. Apologies as never had a reason to open them up. Suggest you contact Merdian and explain. They have been helpful to myself in the past

  5. Corrected some specs above after locating the PDF @

    Apologies for any inconviniences caused