B&W Sig. 805 and Merlin TSM

I have a B&W sig. 805 5.1 system that is great. Unfortunately, the bug for a change has hit. I have great interest in the merlin tsm mm/mx speaker also for 5.1. Please help out with comparisons? All input is appreciated.

No comparison. The newer small Merlins make all small B&W's sound broken. I got a pair of TSM-MX's to replace my CDM1NT's. After a couple of days of side by side comparison I disconnected the B&W's and never had a desire to hear them again. I'm very familiar with the 805 sound... it's a little tighter on the bass than my CDM1NT's, but I know exactly what you have and what you could have. The Merlins don't take as much power, but then, they don't need as much. The B&W's require lots of juice just to squeeze the midrange out. I have my TSM-MX's hooked up in my left and right fronts with the remnants of my B&W 5.1 system taking up center, rears and sub--for now. At some point I intend to go Merlin for center as well. Greatest joy is 2 channel, but SACD and DTS Audio sound wonderful as well.
Mutual roads...I had the CDM1NTs,now,Merlin VSM-MMs.Different league,this Merlin speakers ...

How are you,Mr Lawyer ?

Time for a nice stereo amp for the Merlins ? Tube or two,perhaps ...?
I'm glad that everyone likes the Merlins. I have not had a chance to hear them. However, I can guarantee that the sig 805 is in a totally different league than the CDM 1NT. I've owned both. They are light years apart.

TheChair, not sure if you are confusing speakers here. The sig 805 is different, and quite a bit better, than the Nautilus 805.
I have listened to the new 805S 's for close to two hours. The Merlin TSM-MX's are better in nearly all respects. I have not listened, yet, to 805 Signatures, but I'm told the 805S's are a poor man's 805 Sig, and that the sound is the same or close, but that the Sig has the better finish. If so, the Merlins are better.

Most versions of 805 I have heard and the Merlins cut off bass extension at similar levels. I've heard 805's image well, although Merlins are better here. Niether have a decisive edge in dynamics. But where the Merlin TSM's really pull away from the 805's is in the accuracy of midrange reproduction. (Also the coherency of the midrange and the highs.)
hi jwh,
please inform us what kind of electronics you will be using and the cable brand.
bobby at merlin
Yes,the Signatures are much better than the CDM1NTs.The new 805S are better than the Nautilus 805,but not as good as the Signatures.The 705 beats the old Nautilus 805...and so on and so forth.

S7horton,hearing the Merlins is nothing,"living" with them,is what is special.I know,I listen to them every day ...

James is thinking in the right direction.Although, I would think stereo,instead of 5.1,but thats my opinion,only.
I compared the VSM-MMs and the Nautilus 801s...With the exception of absolute bass extension, the merlins were truly in another league. There was nothing, with the exception of low end extension that the N801s did better, or even nearly as good as, the merlins. Low end extension aside, the VSM-MMs bass was MUCH more articulate and detailed.

I also compared the merlins to the N805s, and I found the N805s unlistenable in comparision. I haven't heard the Sig 805s or the TSM series of merlins, but based on my observation and experience with the VSM-MMs and the N801s, I wouldn't hesitate to go with the Merlins over the Sig805s.

Wow, the man himself responding to my thread! I have a meridian 568 pre/pro and am moving up from a rotel amp to a cary cinema 5 as we speak. My cables for L,C,and R are audioquest as are my interconnects. For my rears I use copper that I can run under carpet.

I haven't heard the Sig 805, but for the most part am not a fan of the B&W house sound (I've owned several of their speakers over the years).

I have been using Merlin TSM-MX's in my HT with phantom center and ACI Titan II subs. As someone said earlier, the midrange reproduction and coherance is simply outstanding. It becomes immediately obvious when you hear dialogue and hand clapping on them vs. most others, in my case various Paradigm Reference, Reimer, and Odyssey's. It just sounds more real on the TSM's. I also found we enjoy them from most any reasonable listening position, which is very important in HT application.

I am using somewhat modest components and cables (Arcam AVP700/P1000, Straightwire/Better Cables)in this rig vs. my 2-channel and found that the midrange and overall tonal rightness is still there. Putting Cardas power cords on them helped alot with this. The TSM's will also make the most of whatever great associated gear give you choose to dish out, but bad gear isn't smoothed over by them either.

For whatever reason, for cabling, copper/litz flavors work much better than silver/solids, keeping the tonal balance more intact. Bobby can tell you what works and what doesn't very quickly, mainly because he's heard so many combo's and is so interactive with his customer base.
hi jwh,
i think you are moving in the right direction but i think it would be best if you call me at 585 367 2390 during business hours (9 to 5, est) or e-mail me a bobby@merlinmusic.com to discuss cabling and set up to a greater degree. if you make the change, i just want you to be happy.
the n805 is a great speaker, so is the tsm mm. the 805 is more romantic, glowing,warm sounding and the mms are by comparison tonally neutral, much more detailed and impose no character of their own to the sound. very, very light softer character. the 805's are more "chunky" , they will have more of a hefty weight to them whereas the mm's will be relative to the 805s "lighter" in this respect. However with the superb, perhaps expensive is the right word, equipment this might help the mms in this respect. The treble on the mms is more relaxed and refined. Guitar amps have that chunky sound. in this respect the 805 is better. that "chunk" in bass, midbass is what real guitar amps feel like. its a physical thing and if you associate that with what music should be how in this respect is the tsm mm in another league? this debate in this thread isnt over and the mm is not a clear winner as this thread so far might suggest. both are great in their own respects. one has something over the other.
hi catsmeaow,
you have mentioned a number of very astute things about the tsm's sound and i thank you.
but it is not the expense of the amp that would cause it to interface better with the tsm but the damping potential and the tonal balance. the truth is that these are two very different designs and would sound more right with different wires, sources and amplifiers. they are also designed in a very different manner. the b&w likes to be more toed in and listened to in more of a near field setting, preferably on tweeter axis. the merlin on the other hand, likes to be listened to farther away and 10 degrees off directly on axis because it was designed using its power response. the truth of the matter is that a system that would make one sound more right would make the other sound less right and the same can be said for the set up and listening characteristics.
listening to both in a more synergistic setting may prove to be impossible but that would ultimately be the most fair to both.
thank you for your insightful post.
bobby at merlin