In Memoriam: Bobby Palkovich of Merlin Music


I just read this terrible news about the death of Bobby Palkovich of Merlin Music Systems. He was a great guy and this is very, very sad. Rest in peace, Bobby.

http://www.audioasylum.com/cgi/vt.mpl?f=speakers&m=344617
rebbi
Thank you kind words Rebbi.

Rich
Very sorry to hear of Bobbys death.I had the pleasure of meeting Bobby once many moons ago.He was a driving force behind what we all call high end audio today.My condolences to his family and friends...
That is very sad news. My condolences go out to his family and friends. I had the pleasure of meeting Bobby a couple of time as I dropped off my VSMs for upgrades. Always helpful and a dedicated craftsman. May he now rest in peace. Sad day.......
So very, very sad. I am a fairly new owner of Merlin speakers and had many conversations with Bobby before pulling the trigger on a pair of his new TSM monitors.

I just recently spoke to him and ordered a master RC set up and a replacement woofer for a damaged unit in one of the speakers.

I hope they can stay in business without Bobby but it will be hard.

I am going to try and reach out to them after time to grieve and see if I can get my pieces sent out to me.
Terrible news indeed. Very very sad. But thanks for letting us know, Rebbi.

-- Al
This is very sad news! Condolences to his family.
Very sad indeed condolences to his family.
Oh my. How very very sad. Loved to talk to him at shows, loved his passion, loved the music he turned me on to. What a loss! My heart goes out to his family.
I am shocked to hear the news of Bobby's passing. I owned his Merlins for quite a while and we became internet friends over the years. My sincere condolences to his family.
I did not know Bobby, my only interaction with him was at audio shows but he is a highly respected member of the audio community and I feel great sorrow for his family.
My deepest condolences to family and friends. RIP Bobby P. your passion and generosity will stay with the many of us that knew you.
My prayers!
Namaste'
Very sad news for me also. I own a pair of Bobby's VSM-MXe's and had always hoped to meet him face to face and tell him how much I enjoy them. I know I'll think of him every time I listen to my system. I'm sure he's up there with Pubul57 who was also a big supporter of Bobby's work.
OMG, I feel horrible. I've had a pair of TSM's on order since May. Bobby and I had been going back and forth via email regarding the delays and I have to admit that my gut was telling me that something was going on over at Merlin. His last email to me was 2 days before his death, saying he was at home with extremely high blood pressure and to please give him a few more days and he'd get back to me. RIP, Bobby. I'm truly sorry for whatever stress I added to your life.
My condolences go out to his wife Karen, family, business partners, and friends. I knew Bobby well and upon hearing about his passing my heart dropped. He was a great asset to the high end audio community and will always be remembered.
That someone so fine could be in such emotional pain is devastating. I was a customer of his for a couple of years and loved talking to him on the phone. Once you bought his products you were family to him. Such a loss!
Really sorry to hear this! Bobby has always treated me and our customers with 110%. Its hard to imagine he's gone...
A huge tragic loss. I am greatly saddened. Bobby's passion brought so much joy to so many of us.
I had been dealing with him on and off since I bought my VSMs almost 20 years ago. He always had that enthusiasm and zeal for his product that defined him for so many people here. Sad that he's gone.
Sad for his passing. He was among the best of the cottage industry builders who spanned the full arc of the high-end segment since the '80s. Unfortunately that business model is becoming harder to sustain. RIP Bobby.
So surreal, I am away on a business trip and my wife calls to tell me that a box arrived today from Merlin Music. This was the master RC's and replacement woofer I had been waiting on. Bobby sent them right before he passed away, wow.

I was fully accepting that this was something that I was not getting and had
to move on to something new

I am so grateful to get this package and have my speakers up and running again. To think with all the pain he was in that he took the time to prepare and fill my order is truly amazing.

I will forever think of Bobby knowing I have one of the few last pairs of speakers that he ever produced.

RIP my friend.

Sheldon
I already posted in AA, but his passing is tragic. At the shows I enjoyed listening to both him and his speakers.
His speakers provided me with thousands of hours of listening pleasure. His work will live on. Deepest condolences to family and loved ones. RIP, Bobby.
Bobby was an amazing guy when he was feeling well. He had been a huge help in perfecting my system throughout the last year. It's too bad his health had to effect his business and his mind the way it did. He will be missed, and all his helpful information to enjoying his speakers will be forever saved away. Unfortunately now I am completely stuck for that Bobby had a huge amount of my money wrapped up in him helping me acquire Cardas cable for my entire system. I have paid him close to $6K starting in February, and I have absolutely nothing to show for it. I know he meant well, and obviously he wasn't in the right mind and health to follow through with this. If anyone has any contact to Bill at Merlin or ect., please PM me. I've been upset with this entire situation for the last 3 months. And I don't know what to do now. Not trying to be insensitive cause I love Bobby. What an awesome guy!!! But just want to be taken care of as he promised he would have as of last week.
Bobby was an amazing guy when he was feeling well. He had been a huge help in perfecting my system throughout the last year. It's too bad his health had to effect his business and his mind the way it did. He will be missed, and all his helpful information to enjoying his speakers will be forever saved away. Unfortunately now I am completely stuck for that Bobby had a huge amount of my money wrapped up in him helping me acquire Cardas cable for my entire system. I have paid him close to $6K starting in February, and I have absolutely nothing to show for it. I know he meant well, and obviously he wasn't in the right mind and health to follow through with this. If anyone has any contact to Bill at Merlin or ect., please PM me. I've been upset with this entire situation for the last 3 months. And I don't know what to do now. Not trying to be insensitive cause I love Bobby. What an awesome guy!!! But just want to be taken care of as he promised he would have as of last week.
RIP Bobby.
Huge loss for the high end community.
this is still too terrible, too tragic to believe. all our conversations over the years, all the emails, all the innumerable hours spent in front of my own merlins ... thank you bobby, thank you. deepest condolences to his family, and to all the extended merlin family. RIP Bobby Palkovich
Condolences to his family. R.I.P. Bobby.
this is still too terrible, too tragic to believe. all our conversations over the years, all the emails, all the innumerable hours spent in front of my own merlins ... thank you bobby, thank you. deepest condolences to his family, and to all the extended merlin family. RIP Bobby Palkovich
Living pretty close to the Merlin factory it was enjoyable to drop by and speak to Bobby and Bill...Absolutely love the beautiful VSM's they made for me and will treasure them...Sorry for the loss we all share
One reason people loved Bobby P. had to do with the way he treated customers.

Shortly after taking delivery of my TSM-mmi's, I'd written to Bobby asking him about break-in procedure. This is what he wrote back (I still have all of our emails because I'm bad about cleaning out my inbox):

"steve, play them with your best sounding music and at normal listening levels.
and you are in my family now, i will take care of you with pleasure, indefinitely.
ok?
b"

I'll also say that even though I eventually moved on from the TSM's, they were as lovingly made (and packed!) as any product I've ever purchased. Bobby listened to and signed off on every pair that left the factory - they were "his babies." And for a completely handmade product, they were absolutely flawless.
I imported the first Merlins to South Africa in 2004.VSM-MM
Then again in 2011.VSM-MXr/MasterBAM which I still love and own
I also ordered TSM Black Magics now ...dont know what will happen now .....
Very sad news indeed.Bobby made speakers that is absolutely my favourite brand of speakers.
Condolences to family and friends.
A good man who made good speakers. Sad loss indeed.
I had the please of working with Bob and Hoop for a few years. These are and were among the finest people I have had the pleasure to know. I recently (very recently) rekindled my love of fine sound. Bobby took the time, with great patience, to help me fall back in love with Merlin and fondly remember the years I spent with them as 'the kid'. Rest in peace, my friend, and know that you made a significant impact on me and I recall my time with you fondly and regret we will not share more.

Thank you my friend, for the mentorship and knowledge you bestowed upon me.
In 2011 we waited 18 months for our VSM-MXr/SuperBAM speakers to arrive ..a friend and I ordered at the same time.He decided he wanted Merlins after hearing my VSM-MM SurperBAM.I sold my VSM-MMs this year to a very happy new owner and decided a few weeks ago to order.Let me ad this was the first Merlins in my country.Every other Merlin was bought after friends listened to my system.
In spite of being very unhappy about waiting 18 months in 2011,I LOVE their sound.I decided a few weeks ago to order TSM Studio Black Black Magics for my second system.Bobby promised it would take only 4 weeks this time ....I am still waiting and will now most likely never get them.It was fully paid and I really cant afford to lose the money too.I am very concerned.
This news was certainly a bit of a shock. I can't say I knew Bobby well but I chatted with him several times in the Merlin/Joule Electra room at the CES over the years. My impression was for his dedication - to his speakers, to his customers, and to music.

I can only hope he found peace at last.
He seemed very passionate about what he did. That says a lot.
Do the fully paid up buyers have any legal recourse (directed at any lawyers in this forum), other than wait for maybe years for the estate executor to complete his job? (See Bluebulls post)
I had a paid up order for a set of Master RC's that Bobby said he would ship 2 weeks ago and it didn't happen.

I just placed a claim with PayPal but that could be a lost cause as well. While my possible loss of $385 is a lot to me that's small potatoes compared to some of the other posts of pending and unfulfilled orders.

It's really a sad situation all the way around. I have sent emails and left voice messages but so far have seen or heard nothing back.

I don't know the setup of Bobby's company but have to assume it was only him and a couple of other employees.

My wife works in a wills and estate law office and she told me I can place a claim against the estate but this will take years to work itself out....the whole thing is very sad.

I can only hope that somehow Bobbys remaining staff can pick up the pieces and complete the remaining orders before things have to shut down for good.

Beside my speakers I bought a lot of Cardas cables from Bobby. While never the fastest on shipping stuff out (my speakers took 4 months) Bobby always answered emails or phone calls and was very honest on what was going on.

I can only hope that all of us who love Bobbys speakers can get some closure so our ongoing memories of him are nothing but positive.
I am in South Africa...legal recourse will be very complicated and expensive for me.I really cant afford to lose the money paid or spend more money in chasing that may already and most likely be lost for me....If in the States, I would have done everything possible to get either the speakers,which I doubt was even started with, or get my money back.Mr Palkovich was Merlin.Merlin does not exist anymore in a production capacity,but perhaps still as a legal entity.
RIP my dear friend. You'll surely be missed.
I find it a bit disconcerting to find criticism of Bobby Palkovic on a thread that should, according to how I see things, be dedicated to his memory. I understand the problems some folks are now facing. Serious problems. But I feel this is not the time and the place. This could be talked about on a dedicated thread and by contacting the family after allowing them appropriate time to grieve. IMHO.
Sabai, I agree with you.
Sabai,

+1, as they say.
Playing my TSM's in honor of Bobby....
Hope you have a fine wind at your back on the other side...
We all miss you...
I agree with the previous viewvsrated by sabai such poor taste.
If anyone deserves to be in The Audio Hall Of Fame,its the big b.
Redsfan and Ssandl- "A bit disconcerting" is way more classy anf generous than your posts. Maybe you should hire a process server to drop papers on Bobby's wife at the funeral?

1
Swampwalker, your certainly entitled to your opinion but I think the post here including redsfan and my own we're in no way disrespectful or out of line. As a matter of fact, considering the amount of money some of his customers might be losing I think people have shown amazing restraint and respect for the situation in their comments.

Your last comment is stupid, out of line and does nothing but show ignorance on your part. If you had a few thousand dollars involved you might feel a little different. I am fully prepared and have accepted the fact that I have lost my payment. I will never say a bad word about Bobby as a person or his speakers. I intend to keep these speakers for life and be proud to say I own one of his creations.