merlin tsm/primaluna?

As I`m not yet ready to put a system together, I`m not going to bother Bobby P. with questions right now. For me, the tsm mm`s are a no brainer. The only other high end system I`v owned utilized merlin sig. 4`s as my speakers. I can`t tell you how much I loved the presentation with those 3 ways! To cut to the chase, what are your thoughts/experience with this combo (tsm/primaluna)? I`m setting a 4-5k budget for the entire system and from what I`ve read, the primaluna sounds appealing. Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
should work well, if I had to guess. The Primaluna does not have a high damping factor. The TSM is a high(er) damped cabinet (I think), which should allow the speaker to take care of itself & so the combination should sound good. I'm quite sure that Bobby P will see this post & will chime in! :-)
Bombaywalla, thanks for your input. I`m going to try your kitty litter trick which I saw in another thread for my stands! Maybe Bobby will see this thread and give his opinion on my speaker/int. amp question. Any other opinions from audio enthusiasts would be greatly appreciated as well.
the reason i have not commented on the primaluna is because i have not heard one. can't talk about what you haven't heard now, can you? but if this unit uses el34s, odds are it will be fine if the tubes are used correctly. the cable and source issue is another part of this whole thing but use the jumpers that come with the speakers and a single run of speaker cable. perhaps you should give me a call at the factory to discuss the whole system, be glad to help.
585 367 2390 from 10-ish to 6-ish dailey and est.
bobby at merlin
5 years later. bump
I've used the PL 6 monos with my VSMs for about 3 years now, with great results. The PLs allow tube rolling and the character of the amps (at least mine) changes pretty significantly with the choice of output tube. My PL amps are a pleasure and I think most people will be happy with them, but, with highly transparent speakers like Merlins, the question of output tube choice might be as relevant as the choice of amp. At least, that's been my experience with the PL/Merlin combo.

Over the course of the first year or so that I owned the amps, I systematically ran thru a bunch of different output tube types, because I was essentially just running an experiment to see which I would choose for the long run. I ultimately settled on KT 66s as the best overall balance of upper bass definition, bottom end weight and midrange appeal. Depending on your personal priorities, however, your conclusion might well differ.

Further, since the TSM doesn't have the low end extension of the VSM, the issue of bottom end weight probably becomes less important to your evaluation. You'll have to decide for yourself if the relatively subtle difference in reproduction of a kick drum is important to you. I don't think (to be honest, I don't really know the TSM, so I'm guessing and could be wrong) that you'll hear the more evident delta below 45ish hz. (the lowest registers of electric bass, for instance) on the TSM. That might tilt the TSM equation toward Bobby's preffered EL34s.

In any event, with the PLs, you'll have the opportunity to decide for yourself. I think they're very good amps, very versatile, very good value, and - with the right output tube - a very good match for Merlin.

Good Luck,

Marty, Thank you for your insightful reply. I`ve enjoyed the past 5 yrs. with my tsm`s matched with an aa prima mk1 hyb. int. amp/aa prima mk11 cdp combo. I`m now in full tube mode and have narrowed my choices down to the pl dialogue 2 and the cary sli80. Both amps can transition from kt-88`s to el-34`s and you`ve piqued my interest in the 6550`s.

If you`ve had the opportunity to audition the cary, I`d like to hear your impressions about it as well.
I've used my VSMs (again, quite happily) with Cary 300B mono amps. This worked much better in my room than it does on paper. OTOH, I've never tried the sli80, so I can't comment.

Sorry 'bout that - and good luck with the new amp.

sli80 is very good.
a little more pristine than the pl.
34's are what you want with the tsm.
what exact version of the tsm do you have?
Hi bobby. I have the mme`s. I just purchased a sli-80 listed here on a`gon earlier today. Yes, kt88`s wil be replaced by el34`s. I`m hoping that it mates well with my audio aero prima mk11 cdp as well. Any thoughts on that?

will all be wonderful together, guaranteed. :-)
use the search engine in this forum to read about the master rc's to improve the sound further.
good luck.
Another thing. some say that the triode mode in the sli80 needs 89db sensitivity speakers or higher to perform at its best. The tsm`s @87db are slightly less efficient. How do you think this will sound in a 14x17 room?

thanks again.
capt, it depends on your taste in spl's and the music being played. the tsm has a higher than normal nominal impedance and low powered tubes like that because tubes have more power into higher loads. it may be a wash. try it and see.
Thanks Bobby, I`ll post my impressions.
Hi just to make sure: I am very impressed about the MAster TSM's on
Learn > Reviews > Speakers > 1316122840

thanks for noting, e
Bobby know his speaker better than anyone, and hard to argue with EL34s, the combos I have tried with them have been superb, and always preferable to 6550 or KT88s with the VSM. Another tube that takes well to the Merlins is the EL84s, which you would find in the Manley Stingray, which is probably overprices at the new pricing scheme, or in my case, I use the Music Reference RM10s, which replaced the EL34 based RM9 Special Edition (one of the finest high powered tube amps I have owned) - the 35 watts from the RM10 seem more than enough to make them sing (in my room and SPL preferences).

By any chance, did you make any comparisons between the RM10 and the Fila?

I've always been interested in RM amps.

Thank you.

I sold the Fila and kept the RM10 - but the Merlins sound superb with both - the Fila is a bit more in the warmth and tonal richness camp of amplifier design, the RM10 is a more neutral approach and nicely controlled and articulate bass, which I tend to prefer, why I also use Atma-sphere gear Nov-May. One should be able to live happily with the Merlin/Fila combo and I could have, but I love MR gear, so....
Actually, Bobby likes the e34l over the el34 and uses them in the Fila. Thay have 20% more head room. As soon as I get my SLI-80, I`m ordering a quad.
Does anyone in the world, then or now, make an "L" other than JJ?
Groove Tubes! Thank you for your answer, Pubul57. Your descriptions of both amps was very helpful.
There`s an e34l out that`s under the brand name of groove tubes. If my memory serves me correctly, they are also made in Slovakia. They offer a gold or silver series and are more expensive. Whether or not they are made in the same plant (telsa), I don`t know. Bobby did suggest the jj`s tho, and after doing a brief online search, users seem pretty happy with them. They are used primarily in guitar amps.