Interesting review. I also liked your review of your Kia.
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Nice review Rob. The TSMs are the speakers I recommend to those non-audiophiles seeking my opinion, and quite a fe have entered the Merlin fold. While at their price point there are other choices that might provide more full-range performance, I really stear folks to the quality side of the equation, in their frequency range, there are not many speakers that can compete with the Merlins. The next for many, at some point, is the VSMs and for many, even well-healed folks, they are the end game for a world-class system. Congatualtions on your "find".
I wonder how many non-audiophiles would shell out for any stereo system costing over 1500 complete? Most people are shocked if they ask me what systems like these cost.
I had a few friends over last night and we were listening to Beatles Anthology & a bit of Sheryl Crow. Everyone was impressed, but my buddy's wife was curious to see how the "little Merlins" would compete against the huge Definitive Technology 7004 towers used for the theater system. Using the same music and the Stingray amp (which, by the way, makes the Def Techs sound almost Snell-like!)we spent about 20 minutes listening....ZERO comparison. The transparency, tonal balance and detail on vocals was removed on the Def Techs. Now for the audiophiles who don't know how good the Def Techs can sound, let me point out that the TSMs also do a better job than my previous Magnepan 1.6 speakers and everything I've heard from Totem and Focal.
But I say get the speaker that suits you and your ear in the end. The Merlins are sophisticated, but I'm not always in the mood!
"Coherence and continuity is [sic] at such a high level as to challenge monitors I heard costing 3 times the price." -- from the Merlin TSM review
Please tell us what speakers those were, Capt. Rob, as that would lend some perspective to your review. Also, is it an MXr or XMr -- you identify it both ways -- or are there perhaps two versions of the TSM? Thanks!