Anyone using Joule Electr VZN100 MKIII amplifiers?

I´m considering the purchase of a LA150/VZN100 combo to drive Merlin VSM-M speakers in a small listening room. Any detailed comments about sonic quality of this system will be very appreciated (please, only people who has really heard it or own it...I´ve read all the show reviews but I really need first hand comments). What´s about the noise level with this preamp-amp combo? Is the combo really silent dead? If not, how much noise can I expect?
I owned a Unison pre amp, but it had no phono section, so I purchased a Joule 100 with phono. I have had it about 2 months and I could not be happier. The bass responce is great, mids are rich and seductive as is the case with most high end tubed units and the highs are detailed and extended without a trace of harshness. It is a unit that one can listen to for hours without tiring. The unit is dead quiet and although I don't own a Joule power amp I have heard the combo on many ocassions and have been impressed by the performance each time, so much so that I am looking for a Joule power amp as we speak. There have been a couple of Marquis on Audiogon but when the price is right they don't last long. I heard a Stargate with a pair of Maggies 3.6 and IMHO it didn't drive them to their full potential but the Marquis and Grand Marquis are wonderful with planar speakers. Good luck with your purchase. If you come across a good deal that you are not interested in, please let me know.
James [email protected]
I have been doing research on the Merlins, and many many people are using them with Joule electronics. It appears to be a match made in heaven, esp. when you color match the finish on the amps and the Merlins. There are recent CES pix of the Joules with the Merlins too.
I can testify to a LA150/Berning ZH-270 combo with the Merlin VSM-MX. Magnificent!
I believe that 100 watts of Joule OTL power would be too much heat and more power than required in a small room although you don't give specific dimensions. I had a Joule VZN-80 in my 16X18 12X9 L-shaped room and it was more than enough power but oh my, the heat!! Carefully consider this before committing to the 100 watt Marquis in a small space, it may be more than you bargained for unless you like listening to music in a sauna, only half kidding but you get the picture, 800 watts at idle can heat up a small space fast.

Sonic wise I heard that specific combo under show conditions set-up by the Master but not in my own listening space. I did listen to several pre-amps through the Merlin Joule combo, a no brainer it is so good. As Danamc notes, the Berning is also a superb alternative although the amps are sonically different enough that one will be preferred over the other. The noise level of the Berning is lower than the Joule. I found the Joule to have an unobtrusive hum from the power transformer which didn't at all interfer with the music.
Depending on your tastes, you may prefer the LA100 MKIII to the LA150. That has been the case for some owners of the LA100 who upgraded to the LA150.