Review of Merlin Master VSM by Abrown
“I received these gorgeous speakers about 3 weeks ago. They replace a pair of VSM mme’s with master bam, which I thought were very good speakers. What amazes me is that other owners who upgraded from previous versions reported incremental improvements. I think the MXM’s leave previous versions in the dust. As the speakers and the new bam broke in, I was astounded by what these speakers were capable of.
I wish I had my camera ready when a friend came over to hear the speakers. I played the Shostakovich Piano Quintet hi-res. After about 30 seconds he turned to me with a look of shock and awe and said, “they’re right here in the room.” That reaction from a non-audiophile sums up the difference between older models and many other speakers I’ve heard – namely the ability to project an event with a palpable presence into the room.
Basically the system is capable of not only greater transparency and detail throughout the whole audible range, but they are also fuller sounding and more relaxed with greater impact. The bass is just amazing, full, and powerful and contributes greatly to a soul satisfying sound. Instruments and voices are reproduced with nuance and refinement and just sound more real. Being able to toe these speakers in more than the old ones has given me a better center image along with much improved soundstaging. With some recordings, I am completely surrounded by the sound. I can differentiate between tonal qualities of various pianos in recordings I listen to more than I ever could.
The only potential problem is you can’t listen to these speakers casually. I tried, and it doesn’t work. They command your attention. Every recording is a revelation. I should also say that when I first hooked the speakers up and played them, I was using the old master bam. I noticed a slight emphasis in the lower treble, and the soundstage wasn’t as developed as I’d hoped. Bobby advised me to install the new bam asap. That change addressed those issues instantly and completely. Amazing when you consider the major difference is an internal change to Cardas Clear wiring. I plan on changing over all of my cabling in the future and reporting back on the improvements. Based on what I heard in the new master bam, I expect them to be significant.
In short, I love these speakers. They are gems, and I couldn’t live without them. My system consists 0f PS Audio PWT, Audio Aero prima dac, PS Audio P10, and OCM 800 amplifier and JPS labs cables.”
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