Cables & Merlin TSM-XMr

Okay, I'm going to try again....

I have a set of Merlin TSM-XMr speakers coming. I've got a Manley Stingray II breaking in as I type. I am also considering a Rega Apollo CD player.

But I really and truly don't want to spend a fortune on speaker wire, at least not at the moment. Bobby and several others have suggested Cardas wire that costs well over 1000 bucks! Ouch. Even if I go with 9 or 10 feet runs of Cardas SE9 it's a bunch of cash.

So, some people have suggested that the anti cables really work well. At least one fellow like them better than the Cardas. Still others like the Audience Au24 (they come up used quite a bit).

Now I know my system will sound great even with low end monster cable, but of course I'd like to start out on a "good" foot before I break the bank on some expensive wire I'll be disappointed in.

So let's hear from some Merlin owners, especially the TSM people!

Thanks in advance....again....

I was in the same boat as you, i just bought a pair of Cardas Twinlink speaker cable to use with my VTL ST 85 tube amp, sounds smooth out of the box, but not broke in yet. I know he reccomends the SE9 but i;ll go with this for now.i was using TG Audio HSR cable and it was good, but i sold to get the Cardas. At least i'm trying some Cardas just to start the merry go round going. I'm also waiting for the Deuland upgrade and will see how the Merlins sound when these are used. Will see............
Tg Audio HSR speaker cables is what I've been happily running for 7 years now.
If I were you, I would start out with cheap Monster or equivalent. Then, after I'd had plenty of time with the system, and I felt certain everything was broken in, I would borrow some cables I could afford from the Cable Company.
Give the Grover Huffman cables a look at, Grover has a 60 day return on them, plenty of time to break in and audition. i would love to have a set of Basis cables but the pocket can't afford but these Grover's i am still breaking in are sounding pretty good so far.
I have the Merlin TSM-mme's. I have tried the following speaker cables. Cardas Quadlink, Audience AU24, Kimber 8TC, Supra Ply 3.4, Supra Rondo. The best sound is with the Supra cables. Supra PLY 3.4 in stereo with the jumpers from Merlin is very nice. I am now experimenting with the Rondo's in a biwire setup.
The Rondos may edge out the PLY. The Audience AU24 was dark and muted in sound quality compared to Supra and Cardas. The Kimbers were somewhere in the middle but not to my liking. My next cable experiment will be with Supra Sword after I save up for them.
One thing is for certain....there's not much agreement with speaker cable. This is probably due to different associated gear, rooms and ears!

I will start off with some Monster and Anti Cable and then after a good break-in, I'll try some more expensive stuff. Thanks for all the comments.

I had the Anti-Cables for about 9 months after initially using Monster Cable. TH\he Anti-Cables were connected the best way possible - I cleaned the exposed wire with contact cleaner, then inserted the exposed wire into the Merlin binding posts and Amplifier binding posts. They were a definite improvement over the Monster Cable, but I still felt that my system's SQ was lacking. COmponents include:
- Pioneer Elite DV-79AVi SACD, DVD-A, CD Player (w/full mods by Ric Schultz)
- Pioneer Elite BD-09 Blu-Ray Player
Marantz AV8003 Preamp/Processor
- 3 Merlin TSM-MMs on Osiris Stands as LCR Speakers which are driven by 2 Hafler Transnova 9505 amplifiers
- 4 a/d/s CM-5s as Surround Speakers which are driven by 1 Hafler Transnova 9300 & 1 Hafler 9270
- REL Storm III Powered Subwoofer
- Pioneer Elite PRO-FHD1 1080p Plasma Monitor
- Monster AVS 2000 SS Volt Stabilizer for all but amps & TV
- Audience aR1p AC Filter/Suppressor for Monster AVS 2000
- Couterpoint PAC-5 AC Filter for Pioneer Plasma
- Couterpoint PAC-15 AC Filter for Hafler 9505 amp

The Anti-Cables weren't bad cables, and they certainly are an excellent value, but I was hoping that the Cardas cables would be an improvement, as I was not happy with the sound of my system. I was looking for Cardas SE-9s and found a pair of used Cardas SE-11s on A'gon for $170. I called Bobby @ Merlin to see if they would work well with the TSMs. Bobby confirmed my suspicions and stated that the SE-11 would be almost as good as the SE-9, and that either Cardas SE cable would be a significant improvement over the ACs. The SE-11s are much less expensive than the SE-9s, so I bought the SE-11s. (I bet the difference in cost between the two SE cables is much greater than the difference in performance.)

I connected the SE-11s and immediately heard a major improvement - the Merlins seemed to open up, both dynamically and in the upper mids and high frequencies. It was like I lifted a thin piece of cloth off of my speakers - significant improvement!

I was enjoying a great listening session when my wife came home - she walked in to my listening room and asked me what I did to the system. Before I could tell her, she said that whatever I did, it sounded a lot better.

Good luck,
A close friend of mine has the Merlin speakers. We have tried many cables on his system. I found that they love full yet clean sounding cables. Au24 will not work, nor will Nordost. Cardas is nice. One cable that works wonder with this speaker is Solitone Model X. It is not very expensive but it kills most cables costing 4 times with this speaker. Try it, you will not regret.
I will be getting the new Merlin TSM MMi speakers soon. I know that the Cardas cables are recommended. But I already have non-active (and non-silver) ICs and speaker wire from Synergistic research in my old system. Will an upgrade to any of the active (silver) ICs and speaker cables from Synergistic Research work well with my new Merlins or should I just stick with the cables that I already have? Does anyone out there have any experience with SR cables matched with Merlins speakers?
Kimber 8TC and 12TC are worth a listen. However, like everything in audio, it'll be system dependent.

Best thing you can do is find a shop that will let you audition several cables.

Also, Audio Magic makes some nice cables.