Meridian Prime Headphone Amplifier
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Discontinued 19th August 2020. This page has been left available for informational purposes only
Reference Quality for Headphones
Meridian’s Prime Headphone Amplifier is a reference-quality analogue headphone amplifier that can replay audio from both analogue and USB-based sources. Built into an elegant and compact metal case, the Prime also provides a preamp output to drive an external audio system or analogue active loudspeakers.
The Prime Headphone Amplifier has been designed to reproduce the best possible performance from conventional analogue audio sources including personal stereo players, or from a computer via USB, listening on headphones, a conventional audio system or analogue active loudspeakers.
Analogue Spatial Processing
Meridian Prime’s headphone outputs also include two “Analogue Spatial Processing” modes, i and ii, which replace the typical “in the head” experience of headphone listening with a smooth, natural feeling of spatiality that is much more like listening on a pair of loudspeakers in front of the listener.
The Prime Headphone Amplifier’s Analogue Spatial Processing simulates these effects with pure analogue circuitry and a choice of two settings (plus bypass – useful if you are listening to binaural or coincident-pair recordings). The processing is carried out entirely in the analogue domain and is switched in and out from the front panel by logic-controlled analogue switches, ensuring that the audio signal path through the unit remains as short and pristine as possible.
Multiple headphone sockets
Dual 1/4in stereo headphone sockets are provided,
with separate-wire grounding and an extremely low impedance (around 3mO): these may be used with separately-wired headphones in which the left connector picks up the tip and sleeve of the socket and the right connector picks up ring and sleeve.
Both channels appear at both sockets, so they can alternatively be used to support two pairs of headphones. In addition, a 3.5mm stereo jack is provided for personal headphones.
Versatility without degrading performance. The preamp out can drive analogue active loudspeakers or an analogue power amplifier and
conventional loudspeakers, allowing the creation of a simple audio playback system with the minimum possible audio path, maximising quality.
Prime Power Supply
Housed in matching casework, the Prime Power Supply can be used to power the Prime Headphone Amplifier. With engineering that was developed from the new generation of linear power supplies used in Meridian’s 800 Reference Series components.
The Power Supply features multiple levels of regulation and acts as a high-quality, stable power source for the Headphone Amplifier and any audio devices requiring 12V/500mA or USB power. Centralising power to several devices, the separate supply allows improved performance from the devices it powers, providing a clean and noise-free supply.
The Prime Headphone Amplifier features a new, elegant and durable metal enclosure design by Allen Boothroyd. Double-skinned for lower noise, it offers the distinctive Meridian look with no visible fasteners.
The Meridian Prime Headphone Amplifier includes a USB mini-B type connector for the replay of computer music sources.
The USB conversion system is powered from the interface, so that when it is disconnected, all digital circuitry in the unit is deactivated. The fully asynchronous USB 2.0 interface supports signals at up to 192kHz/24-bit sampling and the USB input features a full complement of Meridian Resolution Enhancement technologies including an Apodising filter that improves the quality of digital signals, and upsampling of 44.1/48kHz sources to 88.2/96kHz prior to the built-in DAC.
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- 1x pair Phono (stereo) (A1)
Gain 3dB; 1.4Vrms in for 2Vrms out
- 1x 3.5mm analogue stereo (A2)
Gain 12dB; 500mVrms in for 2Vrms out
Analogue inputs overload capability >40dB
- 1x USB
Asynchronous USB 2.0 interface, 44.1–192kHz =24-bit. Jitter <90ps p-p.
Apodising filter and upsampling of 44.1/48kHz inputs to 88.2/96kHz
- 1x pair phono (stereo) preamp out
Maximum output 3.1Vrms @ 1kHz
THD <0.001% @ 1kHz up to 3V rms
Crosstalk <–70dB @ 1kHz
Output can be disabled via power button
- 2x 1/4in A-type stereo phone jacks
Maximum output 3Vrms off load,
Output impedance <100mO
Power output 250mW up to 42O
- 1x 3.5mm stereo phone jack
Max output 3Vrms off-load, THD <0.002%
Output impedance 2.2O
Overall Audio performance
- Output noise (input A1)
< –100dBV CCIR or A weighted
- Frequency response
Suitable for impedances in the range
16–1kO or more. Suitable for open, closed, in-, on- or over-ear models. Recommended sensitivity >80dBspl/mW or >96dBspl/V
- Volume with precise tracking, 70dB range
- Input switch
- Processing (off/i/ii)
- Power including rear output mute
- ‘Out-of-head’ Analogue Spatial Processing with dual settings plus bypass (headphone outputs only)
- 12V DC
- Consumption <0.5W standby
- <1W in quiescent
- Silver metal finish similar to G Series
- Width: 160mm (6.3in); Depth: 150mm (5.9in) plus connectors; Height: 50mm (2.0in)
- 0.9 kg ( 2.0 lbs)