Merlin Music Systems TSM Bookshelf Speakers

4.97/5 (69 Reviews)


Product Description



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Reviews 1 - 5 (69 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by ssand1 a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: May 13, 2015

Bottom Line:   
I have been a long time Magnepan user and really felt I would never use anything else but based on a change in my listening area even the MG-12's that I was now using were just too big.

I had heard Totem Hawks at a audio show and really liked them and started looking for a used pair. As I am a voracious reader of audio sites I had read a lot of very positive comments on Merlin speakers so when an older pair of TSM's became available I reached out to Bobby at Merlin for more info. To say Bobby is helpful and loves and knows what he is talking about is doing him a great disservice, the man is a terrific owner of his company and a great fellow audiophile to speak to about our hobby.

After several conversations I bought his Black Magic TSM speakers because he told me they would outperform anything used I would pick up, he convinced me they would satisfy me even more than my beloved Maggies.

I quickly sold my Maggies and waited for my new TSM's to arrive. In the time it took them to be manufactured Bobby and I spoke many times and taking his advice I upgraded all my cables to Cardas Clear light.

Finally I got the email that the speakers were on there way, I could not have been more excited. I was like a kid coming down to the best Xmas morning ever.

After getting them hooked up and playing it took me a while to get them dialed in correctly. The simple wooden device Bobby provides is a great help but? I still did a lot of fiddling. To say I was impressed out of the box would not be correct, they sounded really good but felt a little tight and too polite to me. After an email exchange with Bobby he told me the cables needed to burn in and just keep playing them, and that's exactly what I did.

Fast forward three months and I am in listening heaven, these are just great speakers. My system is made up of a McCormack DNA 225 amp that has been modded by Bob Backert and an Audiable Illusions M3A preamp, also very heavily modded by Bob. Bob is local to me and if you have never heard of his work look him up, the man is a magical with tubes. I mostly listen to vinly throught my VPI Scoutmaster table. The sound I am getting truly makes me feel I am center row at a concert. The warmth, soundstage, clarity and sense of everything being just right is there with these speakers. My listening area is small and these really fill it with sound, bass is more than enought for what I listen to which is classic 50's and 60's jazz and acoustic guitar music. Male and female vocals are outstanding, with every breath they take being heard.

If you on the market for an outstanding small footprint speaker do yourself a favor and give these a listen. I am looking forward to hearing the VSM speaker one day but can't imagine I will want to make the jump (I say that now).

Have I forgotten my Maggies, there was real magic when I had the 3.5's in my system but they were overwhelming for my listening area. The new version of the TSM speaker is outstanding and gives me everything I could ask and want from a high quality speaker.

I am one happy new member of the Merlin clan and can now see why his speakers have such a devoted fan base.?

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2010



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

Date Reviewed: May 12, 2015

Bottom Line:   
Impressions of Merlin Music and the TSM Black Magic Monitor

Merlin Music is unique in its approach by providing the end user with a fairly complete outline of the speakers design, component selection, and a perspective of the methods and techniques used in the construction of the TSM. Another attribute of Merlin Music is there inexhaustible service. If you are unable to find what info you're looking for on their web site, just give them a call, the personnel is very friendly and helpful.

From its 1 and 1/2 inch front baffle, top and rear panels; proprietary Cardas wiring , and selection of some of the best driver and crossover components available, together with its computer engineered and modeled design, it's very apparent that the TSM Monitors are a high grade audio component in which it is a reasonable hypothesis to conclude why the monitors have the ability to produce a very reallistic life like reproduction of music.

Tonal characteristics of instruments are rendered with such realism; the presence of the instrument is projected and staged into the listening area as an image closely representing the full musical body and size of the actual instrument. While the speakers disappear, sound is emitted and staged throughout the listening area, extending well beyond the inner and outer boundaries of the speakers

A passage of music containing the simultaneous play of several instruments is presented in well balanced, separated layers, accurate in the instruments tonal characteristic and make up of exact and precise notes.

While limited in its volume and extension of the lower register of the bass scale, the bass has realistic clarity, and presents the reverb of the upright hollow body to the growl of the electric bass string vibrating over a pickup very accurately, with tuneful and well defined leading and trailing edges. There's always an exception, but I think most monitors do benefit from the augmentation of a sub woofer; where what is left off with the monitor is picked up with the sub-woofer . There's no obvious frequency seam integrating the TSM with a sub woofer. I am very satisfied with how well my sub blends with the TSM's.

Based on computer modeling, Merlin has developed a procedure utilizing a template tool, provided to the end user for aligning the TSM 15 degrees toe-in. Another feather in the Merlin Music cap.

The statement commonly heard in audio component reviews, i.e. "for the price" is inappropriate here. With regard to value, the TSM would suit well as a measure to the audio industry.

Above all else said here, the TSM's sound like music, and all the components thereof; voices, instruments and venue ambiance, that make for a very enjoyable listening experience time and time again.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2010



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

Date Reviewed: April 19, 2015

Bottom Line:   
I became aware of the name Merlin in 2012 (sorry Bob ...), thanks to a review published by TNT-AUDIO, but cause there isn t an official distributor in Czech Republic, i don t give a weight. In any case, since then, the Merlin TSM Black Magic entered in my head ... and from a month now also in my heart .. !!!. The speakers are unique ... transparent, neutral, nothing is missing in the sound ... any kind of music is played so 'as it should be ...
The professionalism and kindness and enthusiasm of Bob Palkovich are very engaging .., as well as the speakers TSM Black Magic. Unique in the panorama of sound reproduction today, just a beautiful 2-way closed box !!
Do You have any doubt about your environment, stands, positioning? Bob will help you to solve them ... just ... immediately ..
My thanks to Bob for his help and friendly behaviour, and I m a the only one in Czech Republic that own his really great sounding bookshelf speakers.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2010



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




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