Getting the

					                                                               f o c u s


Getting the
           f all the questions I get asked, one     volume control, the same button layout and                       it naturally also has single-ended inputs
           of the most common is, what is           even the same display.                                           and outputs.
           better: separate components or              If you rotate both models through                                On the specification front, the G02 has a
integrated components?                              180 degrees, you will however note quite a                       signal to noise rating of better than 96 dB.
   I wish that there was a simple answer to this    few major differences.                                           This is a full six Decibels better than that of
question, but the truth is that both integrated        Obviously the G02 doesn’t have speaker-                       the G51, which itself proved to be a superb
and separate components have their own and          binding posts; it is after all a pre-amplifier. It also          and quiet piece of equipment.
unique set of Pros and Cons.                        doesn’t have a headphone out or FM and AM                           Under the skin performance enhancing
   One advantage that separate components           aerial inputs.There’s no built in tuner.                         features include the use of audiophile-grade
have over integrated components is that that           What is does have, and this one of the keys                   components and a large, low-field power supply.
sonic degradation caused by the close proximity     to its superb sonic ability, is balanced inputs                     To allow me to adequately test the G02,
of varying high and low power transformers,         and outputs. It’s also equipped with the option                  Sound & Cinema supplied a set of balanced
circuits and the like, is virtually non existent.   for either a MM or MC phono stage - with                         Audioquest and Van den Hul cables, a Meridian
   With a separate pre and power amplifier for      vinyl apparently outselling both SACD and                        G57 power amplifier, and a Meridian G08
example, you wouldn’t hear any noise caused         DVD-Audio, this is a good option - and just                      CD player. Naturally all components featured
by amplifier circuitry radiating energy into the    in case you only have unbalanced components                      balanced inputs or outputs.
pre-amp side, as the components would be in                                                                             System set-up comprised of connecting
separate boxes.                                                                                                      power and audio cables to all components, and
   Meridian has both an integrated amplifier,                    •   p e a k s                      •                connecting Meridian comms cables between
the G51, and separate pre-amplifiers and power                                                                       the G02, G57, and G08.With this done, I
amplifiers in its acclaimed G series.                VERDICT                                                         powered all components up and set the input
   I’ve already listened to the G51 integrated       Sonically and visually, the Meridian G02 is                     level trim which is adjustable in four steps
amplifier, and was mightily impressed with its       near flawless. It combines the good looks                       from 0.5 to 2.5 volts for both single ended
overall performance.This review looks at the         of the G Series range and delivers music                        and balanced inputs.
larger, model-wise if not physically, of the two     with authority and verve.                                          After letting the entire system run in for
pre-amplifiers in the range, the dual mono G02.                                                                      50 to 60 hours I pulled out some of my
   From the front the G02 looks identical to         PRICE ................................................R31 660   favourite discs and began listening in earnest.
the G51.There’s the same large push to mute                                                                             Sonically, the G02 is simply a delight.
                                                     SUPPLIED BY                         Sound & Cinema

                               A U D I O            V I D E O                    36               M A R C H             2 0 0 5
                                                             f o c u s

balance right
   Firstly, the unit was extremely quiet.This        leading to a greater sense of depth to the       accused of. Accurate the G02 was, fatiguing it
meant that when compared to lesser equipment,        overall spaciousness.With the G02, I was         was not.
there was simply more low-level resolution.          more aware of the environment in which             Are there better sounding pre-amplifiers out
This proved to be both good and bad.                 music was recorded than even with my own         there?
   Good in that some music had more texture          pre-amplifier.                                     Depending on your taste there may well
to it, and bad in that background noise, tape           High frequency response, as one would         be. If there were, they’d probably sell for a
hiss and poor recording techniques became            expect, was also good to listen to.The G02 was   whole lot more than the G02, which in high-
more evident.To the G02’s credit, whilst it did      capable of playing these frequencies without     end terms offers a whole lot of music at a
reveal these flaws in music, it wasn’t so critical   some of the almost brittle glassines that some   reasonable premium.
as to impair my enjoyment.                           ultra accurate components are sometimes                                            Joel Kopping
   Low frequency extension and control was out
of the top drawer, and here too the superior
resolution helped, as for example, the decay in
double bass and low piano notes was audible
for longer.
   Midrange frequencies, including both male
and female, were multi-textured, a tad more
defined and forward in the soundstage,

                                A U D I O            V I D E O            37          M A R C H          2 0 0 5