Merlin Music Systems TSM Bookshelf Speakers

4.97/5 (66 Reviews)


Product Description



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Reviews 1 - 5 (66 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by jayson a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: December 9, 2012

Bottom Line:   
I went from Focal tower speakers/Sony 5400es cdp to Merlin TSM-MMM / Marantz sa-8004 combo and i could not be happier.
Even with a cheapo dvd player the Merlins were good right out of the box. For my listening taste they are SPOT ON. I was looking for balance and focus on vocals. No glare or brightness which contributes to no listening fatigue. Their ability to play live music is just great. If you love music and shopping for speakers give these a try. High end audio can be very frustrating at times...money does not equal good always. If you read about products and see them described as "musical"...i believe this is what they are talking about.
I believe they are very revealing of components up stream so they deserve good company.
My current system:
-Marantz sa-8004 sacdp
-Thor TA-1000 tube linestage
-H/K Citation amp (150wpc)
-Merlin TSM-MMM
Nothing speacial as far as IC's and speaker cables.
On top of being a great product...the owner Bobby is a easy to reach and a true enthusiast.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2010



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by mosa gary a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: September 18, 2012

Bottom Line:   
Just upgraded my 2006 tsm's.Called bobby up to talk about possible upgrades. He
recommended sending them back to him and upgrading my tsm's.So Glad he did. I got the upgraded tsm's back about 1 week ago. After setting them up and burning them in about 5 hours I sat down to give them a listen.WOW they sound far better than they did before the upgrade. The thing I noticed most is the amazing clarity I hear, you can actually hear the reverberation of the strings on the guitar.I am now going to need to upgrade the other parts of my system because these speakers reveal every weakness in the audio chain. Thanks bobby.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2006



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by willimusk a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: May 12, 2011

Bottom Line:   

Back in January, I initiated a thread on Audio Asylum about the viability of using Merlin TSM-Mmi speakers in a wall unit. I had just ordered a Manley Stingray II at the time. Based on feedback from Inmates there and conversations with Bobby P, I went ahead with the purchase of the Mmi with Master RCs. I'm extremely glad I did.

The TSM/Stingray combo, as others have reported, has excellent. But most important for my installation, the Merlins sound remarkably good in my wall unit, despite being placed on their sides and only 8 inches from the front wall. I was primarily concerned about two things: humpy midbass because of the close wall, and excessive HF energy because my large living room is untreated, with many hard surfaces (hardwood floors, 18 feet of stonework along a side wall, 60 sq ft of picture window on the short wall opposite the speakers). At first, right out of the box, I did have a midbass hump and the sound was a bit bright. But after 120 hours or so of break-in (the manual says 60 but don't believe it), the bass smoothed out and the brightness almost completely disappeared.

The Mmi integrate beautifully with my little sealed-cab Von Schwiekert sub at 50 Hz, providing full range, even bass response with no humps. Playing CDs and SACDs through a Marantz SA11S2, HFs are sweet, detailed, extended. Overall tonality is very natural and transparent. I am still getting a touch of midrange glare or brightness, probably because I'm using silver speaker cables, which are not recommended. I've ordered some Cardas copper cables; I expect them to cure this slight hardness in the mids. Imaging is surprisingly good if just slightly diffuse--better than I expected, given the speaker placement--creating a decent soundstage in width and articulation of players, though the depth definitely suffers from placement. I really couldn't ask for more and was expecting much less.

I have a couple of other systems in the house, including one that's fully tricked out in a dedicated room. This TSM/Stingray combo gets pretty close to that one in musical satisfaction, at a fraction of the cost, and in a truly challenging context.

Over the 12 years or so that I've been an Inmate here, I've read with some skepticism all the exuberant fan postings about Merlin speakers, finding them at once intriguing and a little off-putting. Now I get it. I have to say, the TSM-Mmi really are excellent and very versatile. Just thought I'd pass it along for the benefit of anyone trying to get good sound out of bad placement. Kudos, Bobby P.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2010



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by innhitman a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: March 6, 2011

Bottom Line:   
I must start off by revealing I have owned several pair of Merlin speakers over the past 10 years... Both VSM's and TSM's... I have not been an owner of ultra high end gear for a few years now. Cashed out about 7 years ago for no good reason.

Over the past 7 years I couldn't listen to music. None of my friends were into high end audio.. so I couldn't listen to their systems for more than 5 seconds before begging them to turn it off. I couldn't listen in the car, because I gave up spending 5-10K on a car system back in '99 ( the last time I had a full Macintosh system in my car - later sold that car with the system in it)... I know... wasted money... story of my life.

When I decided to assemble a system for my living room, I made my first call to Bobby to see what was new. He told me about the new mmi version of the TSM's. It didn't take much for him to sell me on his product because I knew he and I shared the same taste in audio reproduction. However, when he told me how much of an improvement his speakers had undergone over the past 7 years, I was all-in.

This review didn't leave me a choice to state it is a 2011 product, but it is... I even got the first pair with mirror matched front face plates....

Now to the sound... improved in every way you can ask for.... deeper bass... richer, fuller presentation, all while retaining the purity and top notch refinement I had come to expect from Merlin. Bobby loves his speakers on tubed gear, but I am using them on the Luxman 550 integrated along with the Luxman CD/SACD player, D-05... I don't regret using SS on these speakers one bit. NO listening fatigue whatsoever... I haven't turned the system off for 10 days now..... I even slept on the couch a couple of nights because i couldn't tear myself away from listening.

Although I listen at moderate to low levels normally, I can't get over how much louder I can play this version than I could in the past.... and it still sounds first class... If these aren't a class A+ recommended speaker system, then something fishy is going on.

I have heard 6-8K monitors that don't match the wide refinement achieved here.... If you think $3500 (got the master networks) is too much to spend on speakers, you have to listen to the competition and see the crazy coin they want for their gear.... just amortize the cost over the 20 years you could own these.

This is a great starting place if you want true state of the art music reproduction... choose your front end and amp according to your taste....

Very happy customer!

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2010



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Don a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: December 9, 2010

Bottom Line:   
I've had my trusty Merlin TSM-se speakers for about 5 years, and had a moderate system. I ran them with mcintosh gear and was mostly happy with them, but craved more, as do most of us in this hobby. So I started reading some reviews on the TSM MMI, called up Bobby and asked about upgrading mine to MMI status. I was informed that I couldn't as the cabinet material was different but he could get the internals upgraded to between MME and MMI status, so I packed them, shipped and them off.

Well, a month later got my speakers in the mail, along with a shiny new Stingray II I ordered. Hooked everything up, first song I played was the Jeff Buckley version of hallelujah. From the first note I knew something about these speakers were special. Sounded like he was singing in my living room. Another big thing I noticed in this upgrade from the SE was how much more mellow they are, even with my SS mac gear. I can listen for hours and hours and my ears don't fatigue. The imaging on these speakers is superb. You can literally point to where all the instruments are on stage.

How much better can these get, they are amazing speakers. I'll update this review when I get my Master RC networks. I am extremely happy with this upgrade, and for those who wonder if this upgrade is worth it, HELL YAH :).

My system for those interested
Manley Stingray II
Merlin TSM MME (what they are labelled as)
Using a macbook pro as a source with crappy monster 3.5mm to rca adapter
Cardas SE9

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1997




Reviews 1 - 5 (66 Reviews Total) | Next 15

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating


Merlin TSM-MX-r Review

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TSM-MMe BURN-IN

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Subwoofer for Merlin TSM-MMe?

This is my first post so here it goes.... I am in the process of creating my first quality stereo/home theater system and am planning to start with Merlin TSM-MMe paired with the NAD VISO Five DVD/receiver (to be released soon). I know the later is far from ultra high-end audiophile equipment, ... Read More »

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