Merlin Music Systems VSM-SE Floorstanding Speakers

4.97/5 (121 Reviews) MSRP : $6000.00


Product Description

Floor Standing 2 way


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

Reviews 1 - 5 (121 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

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

Date Reviewed: November 22, 2008

Bottom Line:   
Note to Bobby at Merlin Music Nov 22 2008

Hi Bobby
I have not had a lot of time with these speakers yet as I travel a lot in my work but at first blush I am quite pleased with them. They seem exactly suited to the music I prefer mainly jazz in small groups, roots music and vocalists. In particular the mids are amazing I am hearing music I have owned for years as new again because of the difference in sound quality. They are on my list of prize possessions which by the way is very short.
Your packaging was excellent absolutely nothing left to chance the thought and care that went into it is quite remarkable. A minor item is that I regret not ordering the ruby red speakers had I heard these before purchase I definitely would have chosen the red.

Thanks once again

PS
The speakers bring out wonderfully the piano work in the attached Bebo & Cigala piece from Lagrimas Negras one of my favorites.



Expand full review >>

Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2008



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

Date Reviewed: August 29, 2007

Bottom Line:   
Merlin Music Systems VSM MMe review:I've been enjoying Merlin VSM's since 1997 and have had them upgraded throughout the years.They have never ceased to amaze me with through each new upgrade.I received the new MMe's 2 weeks ago and am blown away by the improvement over the MM's.The first thing I noticed was the "see through" quality with layers of veiling totally lifted.Nothing ever gets lost in the mix.In fact there is so much more musical information you can actually enjoy the Merlins at lower listening levels.You don't have to crank it to hear all the extra detail. Instruments were more harmonically complete which boosted the believability factor bigtime.Also dynamic resolution is greatly improved.Both micro and macro dynamics are better resolved with greater nuance which is very important to me when listening to classical music,especially piano.I find the MMe's soundstage is more expansive and better able to fill my room with a highly transparent focused 3 dimensional soundstage than ever before.These speakers have made it possible to enjoy many older recordings in a way that I have never experienced.In short, these speakers are a stunning achievement that I will enjoy for years to come.Asscociated equipment:Audio Aero Prima SE dac/preamp,OCM800 amp,Jps superconductor 2 cables, Audio Research CDT-1 Transport Theta DataII transport.



Expand full review >>

Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2006



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by James11 a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: June 22, 2007

Bottom Line:   
First things first…the following is my humble opinion…your mileage may vary.
This review is completely unsolicited and I only felt compelled to write a review here so others may gain from my experience.

Some background on me... I’ve been in this hobby for longer than I like to admit. It’s over 35 years ago now that I put my first system of separate components together purchased at Pacific Stereo. I’ve had so many different components…the list would go on and on and on. Just in the last 10 years I’ve owned speakers by Celestian, Martin Logan, Apogee, Revel, Maggie’s plus a few others I have wiped from my memory. This is really more than a hobby for me. I grew up in a very musical family. My parents were professional singers during the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. My dad was also a big band drummer for many years. All of my brothers were and continue to be musicians. We always had several instruments in the house from grand piano’s to synthesizers, guitars, flutes, bass, all sorts of percussion instruments and of course drum sets. I began playing the drums at age 5 and play almost daily to this day. I’ve played in every kind of band or group from orchestra’s to several rock bands. I’ve also spent countless hours in recording studios. Enough about me and on to the review…

About five years ago I was introduced to Merlin speakers. Those were the TSM’s. I was immediately drawn into their seemingly neutral tonality and lifelike imaging. Soon after purchasing the TSM’s I sent them back to NY for the M upgrade. Things just got better and I started dreaming of owning VSM’s. A couple of years later that dream became a reality. Then I started on the VSM upgrade path which leads us to today’s review. I still own the TSM’s and in fact have 3 that are the center of my HT set-up.

My VSM’s were originally Millenniums. They were upgraded immediately to MX’s. I then did the Super BAM upgrade and now finally the “piece de resistance” the “E” upgrade. “E” is the removal of most of the lead solder in the speakers.

I say the “piece de resistance” because for me the “E” upgrade is by far the most dramatic. The “e”’s are like MX’s on steroids…fuller, wider, deeper, sweeter. Even when playing at very loud levels during complex passages there is no congestion or harshness at all. Additional harmonics are audible now making them even more resolving and tonally accurate. They have become totally CONTINUOUS, from top to bottom like a one-way. It’s like the tonality has been shifted down. Where before more energy seemed to come from the tweeter it’s now the woofer. The speakers now have bass that will vibrate the furniture in your listening room. You can feel the music which makes them better for rock then before. Their personality has shifted form a mini monitor to a full range speaker. Believe me, this is not subtle. If you have any reservations about Merlin’s being this or that (lean, bright, not enough bass) you owe it to yourself to listen to the new versions. If you own any other version you MUST go for the “E”. They are so tonally perfect now it’s hard to explain. IMHO they are without fault.

P.S. The TSM-M’s are on the way to Bobby to have the lead removed from them as well.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2006

Purchased At:   Authorized dealer



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by James11 a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: June 19, 2007

Bottom Line:   
First things first…the following is my humble opinion…your mileage may vary.
This review is completely unsolicited and I have never felt compelled to write a review here before and in fact have not.

Some background on me... I’ve been in this hobby for longer than I like to admit. It’s over 35 years ago now that I put my first system of separate components together purchased at Pacific Stereo. I’ve had so many different components…the list would go on and on and on. Just in the last 10 years I’ve owned speakers by Celestian, Martin Logan, Apogee, Revel, Maggie’s plus some others I have wiped from my memory. This is really more than a hobby for me. I grew up in a very musical family. My parents were professional singers during the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. My dad was also a big band drummer for many years. All of my brothers were and continue to be musicians. We always had several instruments in the house from grand piano’s, synthesizers, guitars, flutes, bass, all sorts of percussion instruments and of course drum sets. I began playing the drums at age 5 and play almost daily to this day. I’ve played in every kind of band or group possible from orchestra’s to numerous rock bands. I’ve also spent countless hours in recording studios. Enough about me and on to the review…

About five years ago I was introduced to Merlin speakers. Those were the TSM’s. I was immediately drawn into their seemingly neutral tonality and lifelike imaging. Soon after purchasing the TSM’s I sent them back to NY for the M upgrade. Things just got better and I started dreaming of owning VSM’s. A couple of years later that dream became a reality. Then I started on the VSM upgrade path which leads us to today’s review. I still own the TSM’s and in fact have 3 that are the center of my HT set-up.

My VSM’s were originally Millenniums. They were upgraded immediately to MX’s. I then did the Super BAM upgrade and now finally the “piece de resistance” the “E” upgrade. “E” is the removal of most of the lead solder in the speakers.

I say the “piece de resistance” because for me the “E” upgrade is by far the most dramatic. For me they changed so dramatically that I called Bobby first thing on the Monday morning after receiving them the week before and asked him “what the hell did you do to my speakers?” I truly thought he had made some major component changes and was pulling my leg. How could solder make such a difference????
It’s like Bobby fed them steroids…fuller, wider, deeper, sweeter, no harshness and at very high spl's all congestion is gone. They have become totally CONTINUOUS, from top to bottom like a one-way. It’s like the tonality has been shifted down. Where before more energy seemed to come from the tweeter it’s now the woofer. The speakers now have REAL bass that will vibrate the furniture in your listening room. You can feel the music which makes them much better for rock then before. Their personality has shifted form a mini monitor to a true full range speaker. Believe me, this is not subtle. If you have any reservations about Merlin’s being this or that (lean, bright, not enough bass) you owe it to yourself to listen to the new versions. If you own any other version I recommend you go for the “E”. They are so tonally perfect now it’s hard to explain. IMHO they are without fault.
P.S. The TSMM’s are on the way to Bobby to have the lead removed from them as well.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2006

Price Paid:    $10500.00

Purchased At:   Authorized Dealer



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by pubul57 a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: June 16, 2007

Bottom Line:   
I have previously reviewed this speaker on August 4th, 2006. Well, sort of. At the time I had the VSM-MX, this review is for the new, lead free VSM-MXe. Why did I make the change? Seems to me that every update to this classic is an improvement. The speaker looks the same (got it in the same piano black), in reality, this speaker has basically looked the same for the past 20 years; the upgrades tend to be "behind" the scenes. This is a mature, evolved speaker with years of learning and testing to wring out the best performance, or one man's vision of it.

I will not repeat what I previously wrote, since what was true then remaoins so, but the speaker has indeed been improved. The speaker is even more cohesive. By that I mean the integratation between drivers is seemless, like a single driver or electrostatic. But even more important, it is cohesive from bass to treble. There is no apparent emphasis on any particular part of the spectrum, it does not empahsize this at the expense of that. The speaker is spectrally neutral, neutral in the best sense of the word. It does not impose itself on the music. What do I mean? Is the speaker bassy or bass light? Does the speaker have a deep sound stage/ or flat? Is localization of instruments precise, or blurred? Are she speakers warm or cold? Does the speaker get timbre just right? or do altos sound like tenors? etc. The answer is yes. But the key is that these characteristic don't belong to the speaker. They belong to the recording, to the source equipment. This is what I mean when I say these speakers do not impose themselves. They open themselves to the recording and sources. Every recording sounds different through these speakers, that is there gift. They let the music come through as recorded, with little impose signature, and so they will live up to whatever you put before them. Great recording, Great Source equipment, great amp and pre - well through the Merlins, very few speakers will sound better.

The "new" speakers do everything a little better, but the one trait that seems most noticible is the ability of the speakers to disappear and release the notes. They are more effortless than before, and the bass, which is always found to be very good and satisfying is better yet - more natural, present, palpable. In short a great American, classic speaker has upped the bar yet again. Don't let the fact that there are just two little drivers fool you - that is part of their brilliance, with the BAM - these are in the upper echelon.

Many professional reviewers, when they really like something, will tell you they bought the review piece. Well, I'm not a professional reviewer, but I do love listening to music, and I bought these not once, but twice - well sort of. I've stopped looking, these speakers do it for me, and if you are a music lover, you owe to yourself to audition these speakers.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2006




Reviews 1 - 5 (121 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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



PSB Speakers:



PSB Speakers: