We have just heard of the passing of Allen Boothroyd. Allen was one of the founding members of Meridian Audio – initially called Boothroyd-Stuart Meridian.
I was aware of Allen’s genius well before we opened LWA. The previous store I worked at carried Lecson Audio, a high performance, yet radically designed, pre-power amplifier and matching speakers. The amplifier was visually a work of art and is still on display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London (and we still have one on static display in our showroom).
Lecson Audio was sold in 1974, and Allen Boothroyd and Bob Stuart eventually established Meridian. I distinctly recall listening to my first pair of Meridian active speakers, a pair of M2’s, at an Australian Hi-Fi Show held at the Shore Inn in Artarmon during the late 70’s. (We also have a pair of these waiting to be restored). Many music lovers have a soft spot for amplified speakers, and most consider the M2 to be the product that popularized the concept.
The rest is history. Meridian Audio has gone on to become one of the finest, and most respected, companies in our industry. They still push the boundaries of performance, and with Allen heading up their design work they continue the distinctive look that they have become famous for.
Allen was involved in many projects outside of Meridian. As far back as 1972 be designed an electric bicycle, which earned him the Prince Philip Designers Prize. He designed the BBC Microcomputer – Europe’s most successful educational computer of the day, communication devices for hospital applications and speakers for other companies such as Canon, KEF, Celestion and Russound. His design prowess extended beyond electronics, designing products as diverse as the Aga Masterchef range cooker, a coffee machine, a parking meter and timpani drums.
When Allen was diagnosed with cancer in 2018 one of the first things that he did was book a holiday in Australia!
Allen will be missed, but his proud legacy will live on.