Merlin TSM comparisons


Hi,

I've been reading up lately on all kinds of monitors, and have been intrigued by Merlin's TSM. The latest iteration is the mmi, I believe.

If you've heard the TSM lately, especially in comparison to other, current monitor offerings out there, I'd love to hear your opinions. I know that there are other Merlin threads on Audiogon but I am especially interested in hearing from folks who have compared them to others, especially if you've lived with them.
rebbi
we start in exactly the same location and work from there.
in essence the set up is designed to minimize boundary reflections and maximize boundary reinforcements.
so yes the tsm may like a little more bass help by the room and the vsm may be aided by more extension.
this is 1/3 to 1/4 wave aligment.
best, b
On another note, thought I'd toss out there that I've been using Supra Classic 6.0 cables with my TSM-mmi's. My budget wouldn't accommodate Cardas, even used. On Bobby's advice, I looked for a finely stranded copper cable with a 9 gauge diameter. The Supra 6.0 matches these specs, and each strand of the copper is plated with tin, supposedly to decrease "skin effect."
The system is sounding increasingly gorgeous to me, as I dial things in and the speakers break in and settle in. Unfortunately, I don't have experience using other cables with my TSM's, so I cannot compare them to other cables. But given the current economic climate, I thought a potential "budget alternative" cable for Merlins might be useful to someone.
As for acquiring them, Madisound has them, or you can order direct from the distributor, sjofnhifi.com .
As for price, my 3 meter pair, with termintations (which I attached myself) ran less than $150, including shipping!
Bobby, love to hear your opinions on these one day.
i have to get some to try.
b
I got some Supra Classic 6.0 and I think it works very well with the TSMs and for the money it offers fantastic value. Thank you Rebbi. I think this will suffice until I can afford some Cardas cable. Also Lars at Sfojn Audio is a pleasure to do with.
Guppy,

Thrilled to hear that you like the Supra Classic 6.0. I'll be really eager to hear what Bobby P. thinks, since he has the basis for making a comparison with the more expensive stuff.
I have been using Supra 3.4 and Rondo with my TSM's. I also own Cardas Quadlink and Borrowed some Cardas Cross. In a direct comparison the Supra 3.4 gave me the best sound. Great speaker wire and Interconnects at very reasonable prices.

This might be one of those really good match/synergy mates for the TSM's.
Hififile,
Thank you for the info, maybe the Supra 3.4 is the logical upgrade from the Supra Classic 6.0.
BTW it is Sjofn HiFi not Sjofn.
guppy, hififile and rebbi, just spoke to brian at madisound and he is sending me some 6.0 to audition so i will be back to you on this.
the design philosophy and gauge are perfect, imho.
should be a good product.
b
Excellent, Bobby, thanks! Eager to hear your thoughts in comparison to other products!
I'll be looking forward to what Bobby thinks too. I'd love to find something good and inexpensive for my beloved TSMs.
hi, got the wire and it looks very interesting but i need connectors and am waiting for them now.
bobby
Great. Yes, I had to order the connectors, too. :-)
rebbi, guppy, hififile, got the connectors today and have the supra classic 6 in my ref system. it is not broken in but wow!!!! this stuff is really very good and stupid good for the money. imho, for around $50 with connectors this product puts a lot of high priced cable to shame on merlin speakers.
makes me want to try their litz pressure stamped wires.
as i said, the design philosophy makes perfect sense.
i had an idea it would be really good.
best, b
Hi Bobby. What is it about the design philosophy that makes sense?
Is this the same company that makes the cable called the "Sword"?
Tabl10s,
Yep, this is the same Swedish company that makes the Sword.

Pubul57: I can't speak for Bobby, but when I was looking for a reasonably priced cable, Bobby gave me two requirements: it should be 9 gauge and made from finely stranded copper. The only currently made cable that I could find that met these specs was the Supra Classic 6.0 -- not even Monster makes anything in a 9 gauge wire anymore. Additionally, the Classic 6.0 features copper strands that are plated with tin, to increase conductivity and reduce (supposedly) "skin effect." From Bobby I've gleaned, and he can correct me if I'm wrong, that the 9 gauge requirement has to do with making a match to the Cardas jumpers. The rest of the design rationale I can't explain.
rebbie and paul, the tin plated wires will reduce skin effect by increasing the resistance on the out side of the strands forcing more of the signal through the middle of the strand. brilliant!
you always start with a 6 guage difference or more from jumper or hf wire. these hf wires should be no bigger than 15 gauge. so 9 is a good place to start.
stupid good for the money is what it is.
just went for a quick listen again.
b
Rebbi and Bobby,

Did you get Supra connectors? Spades? If so, I'm wondering which size. I see both a standard size and XL on the SJOFN website. Also: did you need solder them? I'm not very handy - at all - with a soldering iron.

Thanks!
John
Hello, John,
I bought the larger, spade connectors for the speaker, and the banana plugs for the amplifier end. The distributor will solder them for you, if you like, but I think it costs something like 30 bucks per connection (or maybe that's per pair, I don't remember) and Lars, who runs the distributor, said that they cannot really hear any positive advantage to soldering the connections. The small, spade connectors have a little tightening screw. The only tricky thing about using it, if our member correctly, is that it requires a metric hex wrench. The banana connectors are kind of interesting, as they allow you to have the cable coming in either flat to the banana plug itself, or at a 90° angle. You'd have to see it, it's hard to describe.

I spoke to somebody at Merlin, it wasn't Bobby, who said that while they love the Classic 6.0 cable, they had some doubts about the connectors causing some “smearing.” Bobby, is that correct?
i am using a copper tinned o ring connectors now. the spades i got from the dealer were were just a pressure fit (no solder) and gold plated. so i would think what we have now is better sounding but i will know more in a few days.
sorry.
best, b
Post removed 
Tvad,
I'm assuming you also see me hitting the Texas lottery in your crystal ball, too! ;-)
Bobby,

Are those the same kind of o-ring connectors you find on the RC's?
Thank you, Rebbi. Since you said, "I bought the larger spade connectors...", I'm assuming you meant to say "The LARGE spade connectors have a little tightening screw"?
rebbi, yes but a much larger size.
on the rc's and jumpers i much preferred the o ring connectors i use to anything else i tried. not much to look at but the sound is superb. and the tinned copper makes sense to me.
b
Rebbi,

Should you hit that lottery, remember your friends.

I could use an upgrade to newest Walsh 1000 series drivers myself!

Or you can donate the funds to a good charity and I will understand.
rebbi the supra connectors may be better than the ones i got. that is why i need to speak to him (the rep). do you have his e-mail?
b
Bobby,

It's Lars@sjofnhifi.com. His cell phone number is on the website, too.
rebbi, lars called yesterday and he is sending me the supra copper/gold spades and some of his interconnects to try. thanks for the contact info and i will let you know.
bobby
Cool! Delighted to help.
Great...I'll be interested to know what you think too.
Received my new Manley Mahi-Mahi's yesterday. Haven't yet had a chance to hook them up, but will report back when I do – due to my work schedule, it'll probably take me a couple of days. :-(
Hi Bobby,

Any idea how good the Supra cable with Supra connectors are yet? No big hurry. Just wanted to check.

John
no connectors as yet john.
i hope soon.
:-)
b
john the supra spades make the cable sound very good. better than with anything else i have tried. easy to use too.
i spoke to a person who liked the cable but thought it sounded a little soft. in comparison to my reference i would agree but remember that the aligment of the speakers can ameliorate this to a degree. use the aligment tool and instead of having it aimed at the ears, aim towards your nose. a degree of two more toe angle and the hf will come up a bit. that is how a soft dome works and can be optimised. the nice this about this cable is that it is not additive in the hf like many are.
very reasonable too.
b
This is very interesting to hear, Bobby. Thanks for the information. So you like the gold spade connectors, huh? The only minor beef I had with them is that they don't supply a cheap hex tool to tighten the hex head set screw... and it's metric, so I had to go to Lowe's and buy a whole set of hex wrenches to get the right size. But considering how "cheap" (by insane audiophile standards) the cable is, that's a really minor quibble. Thanks for the info about toe-in and tonal balance, too... good to know.
yes all is good with this except for the fact i only got 7 spades.
:-)
b
Hi Everyone,

I finally got some Supra 6.0 speaker cable, along with spade connectors. I am very happy. I was using a smaller gauge stranded copper cable prior to this, and the Supra makes the system that much more open, revealing, AND smooth sounding. Sometimes when we get more detail, we also get more irritation. This was the opposite; in fact, the result is what I think is the audiophile/music lover's greatest gift: everything is now better.

Only one small nit-pic to make: Lars was a very big help. When I asked about the need for a 3mm metric hex wrench, however, he said one could use a pen or a regular, non-metric hex wrench. I found the regular wrench to be satisfactory in getting the screw started (a pen was of no use at all). When it came to getting it really tight, though - tight enough to REALLY hold the speaker wire - I found I needed to use a 3 mm metric. Again, a small nit, as I got a set of metrics at Lowes as Rebbi did.

To end on a positive note: Lars sent the cable and spades priority mail, with no shipping cost. It was exciting to get the package only two days later; and from across the country, from coast to coast.
jfz, enjoy!
now you have new speaker wire and metric wrenches.
:-)
b
jfz,

Yeah, Lars is really nice. But I agree that there's no substitute for a real, metric hex wrench to tighten down those set screws. Anything less and the wire will work its way loose from the connector, at least in my experience.
Would these cables work with the vsm's?
They should. Bobby describes them as "stupid good" for the price.
I agree that they should. Bobby has said nothing to indicate any reservations with regard to their use with the VSMs. I'd check with him if you're unsure, though.
p, they should be very good for you on the vsm.
i have tried them on both the tsm and vsm.
they can be slightly on the forgiving side of things which is a joy for many.
best, b
Bobby,

The Supra cables seem to be one of the best values in the high end cable industry, but if price were not a factor, how well would the Supra cables perform between the merlin tsm-mmi's and a high quality solid state (mosfet) amp compared to other speaker cables you have recommended? More specifically, if I could buy the cardas se-9s and the supras for the same amount of $$, which would you expect to work better (in general) between this ss amp and the tsm-mmi's?

Thanks!
Dave
dave, my guess is that the supra 6 would be more to my liking with ss. the se 9 would be a fantastic cable but i think more suited to a good lower powered tube amp.
ok?
i think you'll love the supra 6.
b