They sounded nice. Nice really says it all. Nothing special. Merlins new speakers are much more resolving of low level detail. The cabinets are more inert etc.
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They could be from anytime in the late 80's to early 90's. Older if they have foam wrap grill... newer if they have cloth wraped grill.
They are nice little buggers... not the level of refinement you will find in the current TSM-MXe, but a nice two.way. Reasonable bass, good dynamics and the dissapeared pretty well.
If you have a pair of these, you may get a kick out of this page from a old Audio Advisor catalogue I had lying around!
I had a pair of the Merlin 1b that I bought in 1986. These speakers where absolutely wonderful to listen to. Being a classical musician I expect my sound to in speakers to make instruments sound like they should sound and the concert Halls to also be properly represented. At the time I bought the speakers in 1986 I could not find a speaker under 2500 thaqt even was in the same league. Of course my new TSM's are far better but still the old 1B's where always a fine speaker. I met Bobby when he was at Paul Heath ( not sure of spelling) Audio in rochester when I was studying at the Eastman school of music and Bobby has always been a pleaser to talk to. The only issue if you are thinking bying some used 1B's is the wrap around the speakers may be dried out but I think you may still be able to get some cloth from MERLIN
I had 4b+'s driven by McCormack dna-1 monoblocks and then VTL 225 monoblocks and the sound was fantastic;
There was imaging,focus, and proper timbre (especially on strings).
This was my first pair of high end speakers and they were great; I think the 1b's are just smaller than the 4b+'s with not as many drivers.
The only negative I can think of was the black foam that wrapped the speaker made it a little harder to perform repair as I did have a driver smoke and had to replace it; service advice and the replacement from merlin was excellant.