Merlin TSM vs the other top monitors

Hello all - I am looking to downsize my speakers (currently have Thiel 2.3) due to space limitations in my NYC apt. ($2200 a month in rent doesn't go too far in manhattan!!!)

I am looking into several of the top monitors including dynaudio special 25, b&w sig 805, jm labs mini and micro utopia...all are generally well reviewed on here (i've already read most of the archived posts)...but i keep hearing great things about the Merlin's, and would also love to help out the little guy instead of throwning more $ towards a giant company (the populist in me), though sound quality will be the determining factor.

my current system consists of:

plinius sa 100
CJ premier 17 pre amp
cary 303 CD player

room is approx 15x9

while i've liked the thiels, they are too big for the room and i'm also looking for a speaker that is a little more musical and engaging

thanks for your thoughts
Listen to the Talon Audio Khites befor you make a purchase. They are the best monitors I've heard (including the merlins, which are very good).
Hi Eric,

Interestingly, a buddy brought over his Thiel 2.3 to compare in my system against my Merlin TSM's. The Thiels sounded good, but a very flat soundstage and a bit bright on the top end. I've had my TSMs in my system now for about 2 months and still find them unbelievably detailed and smooth. I'm driving them with a BAT VK-60. You can see my system config at and my review of the Merlins at If you want musical and engaging, look no further than the Merlins.

Eric, I am not going to comment on the TSM since I haven't heard them but have owned the VSM for over 3 years. What did compel me to respond was your comment about helping the little guy.

What I have learned about audio since owning these speakers and dealing with one of, if not the best manufacturers in the business (at least as far as I'm concerned) I would say that not only would you be helping the little guy but he would pay you back 10 fold by helping you realize what his little gems are capable of. And since they are designed by the man that designed the VSM I would expect they are quite capable indeed. Give him a call if you haven't already. You'll find out soon what I'm talking about.

In our little world of hi-end audio there are many really good guys and of them Bobby P shines bright. Always there to take a call and always helpful in giving sound advice on his products.
I suggest you to purchase a pair of Rosinante Dulcinea monitor speakers from Ric Cummins of I had the Talon Peregrine monitors but I prefer the Dulcineas over the Talon. I own right now the Dulcineas and love their sound very much. Good luck.
Never heard the Merlin, I ended up with the 805 Signature
with my system: MC 352 amp and the C2200 Pre. My dedicated
music room is 12 x 16. I would put the 805's up against any other Monitor on the market.
I live in NYC, and I feel your agony. I ended up, and will keep as long as I am here, Sonus Faber Signum. The sound is gorgeous. In my room size, I firmly believe that I can't do better. Since this model has been discontinued (to make room for Cremona line, I heard), from time to time (in fact right now!) there is a good deal on here. This is a gem. Grab it while you can.
BUT, it depends on your taste on music. If you are mostly classical, chamber, or other acoustic music lover, you won't regret.
I have owned the TSM and the Talon Khites and other
All were bested by the Reference 3A MM deCapo's IMO
Heard the prototype Harmonic Precision Caravelle's about three months ago. They are the most dynamically coherent speakers I have ever auditioned. Sent a deposit a week ago. Waiting for the grand finale..Tom
I like several suggestions, and will add my own. So far, the TSM's and Reference 3A De Capo's would be top choices. A couple others to consider are the Totem's, either the 1's or the Mani-2's; or the JM Reynaud Twin Mk 3's (I own these). VERY musical.

My 2 cents. Much luck on your choice.

Todd - chams_uk
I don't think you're getting any bad suggestions. I have a small 12x12x9 foot room and have done some experimenting. I have found that my small room does very well with a sealed speaker. Looking at your current choices, I think this would point more to the direction of the Merlin TSM as it is a sealed speaker designed in a true monitor philosophy. I am using the Harbeth HL-P3ES-2 driven by the Levinson 383. The Harbeth is the evolution of the traditional sealed monitor; it may be a consideration and match well with your Plinius.

PS... Don't forget good stands.
Have fun!