Meridian Trifield?

Reading "TAS" editor Robert Harley's book "High End Audio", and am intrigued by his comments regarding Meridian's Trifield playback algorithm for playing back 2-channel sources over more than two speakers. He writes "it fills the center of the soundstage, presents a wider sweet spot . . . profound ability to solidify the soundstage."

I cannot help but wonder, if the results are so compelling, why is it not more utilized? Are forum members able to offer views on this or relate experience with Trifield?

I have also heard "anecdotally" about negative reliability and usability issues with Meridian product. Is anyone able to comment on this as well?

Thank you.

I can't comment on reliability of Meridian products, as I am not familiar with them. 

Regarding the center channel for two channel playback, it does require an additional speaker and another amplifier, which is mono.   Center is R+L and you can add two back channels for ambience with two more speakers and a mono amplifier, the two back channels are R-L.   That makes a total of three more speakers and a stereo amplifier.  The front speaker has to match the L & R speakers, while the ones in the back can be smaller bookshelf as long as they don't sound too different from the fronts.  The amplifier should be the same as your main amp.

While L+R gives you mono without noise, L-R gives you ambience plus noise so back in the analog days, that is when LP playback and FM were your only options, adding noise to the rear channels was really annoying.   Now with digital sound, it might be well worth revisiting this concept.     

Why is this not done?  Well, it is.   Almost all home theater receivers have all channel stereo sound and the internal DSP does the work for you.   For us purists, well, I don't know why.   I know at least one of us on this board have done it as I was at his house when we experimented with the concept.   The big advantage of this approach is the analog processing is all passive - no active devices are required other than the amplifiers.

thanks for your input and I agree with your remarks, however, my question relates specifically to Meridian's proprietary"Trifield" algorithm derived from Ambisonics for extracted ambience. According to
Harley's book, the effect is subtle but profound. So, I am wondering if any forum readers have experience with "Trifield", have the same experience, and if so, why are so few audiofiles  familiar with it.

I suspect that the cost and complex nature of Meridian components may be a factor.

For decades I was a two channel purist. Fast forward now and I enjoy three Meridian Trifield setups in my home. I first heard the Meridian Trifield setup many years ago at a CES show in Vegas. Three DSP6000 in the front and was sold on the presentation. At the time the price of the package was way beyond my ability to buy. Fast forward now with some patience and searching one can assemble a nice Trifield setup for very little outlay. IMO to get the best out of a T setups is to utilize exactly the same speakers across the front stage. I found using most of the horizontal centers being a compromise. There is a great group of Meridian users over at the Meridian Hitchhikers Forum. 

thanks for your input on this; i appreciate your response. Did you experience any set-up difficulties or operational issues with the Meridian?

Bump, google ‘meridian forum’ and you’ll see hitchhikers, go there for all things meridian.