Merlin VSM/MMe with Berning ZH-270

I have just acquired a ZH-270 to use with my Merlins, I have the following setup Mark Levinson no37/360s, Berning ZH-270, Merlin VSM/MMe with the SBAM connected between DAC and Amp as there is no tape loop. My Problem is that on most CDs I get a distorted sound, especially at Norm or Med feedback settings?.
Thanks in advance
Have you tried it with the BAM out of the system?I didnt know it would work the way you have it hooked up,good luck,Bob
I also use the Berning ZH 270 with VSM speakers (MX version). I found that the Berning benefited from the use of a preamplifier. My source is the AA Capitole. The insertion of a preamplifier (Joule or First Sound) in the chain significantly improved the sound. I use the bam between the source and the preamplifier. I was much happier with the Berning (which I really like) after I used it with a preamplifier.
You may have bad batteries in the BAM. Does it sound any different if the BAM is plugged in to AC?
Low feedback sounds best anyway.
I have a horrible feeling it is the SBAM, going to try tonight, I'm interested in trying it with a pre-amp, but those mentioned are not available in the UK, I was wondering about C-J ET3 SE?.
I also have mme's with Berning ZH 270 and second the recommendation of a pre-amp. I have a modest Herron vtsp1 preamp and the system is excellent. I do find on mine, best to keep volume control on Berning not too high (10 o'clock maybe) and crank the pre for volume. Do you still have distortion with BAM out of the system?

Couple other tips, I found that the mme's like to be "dead" level. Also ZH 270 responds well to upgraded power cord. I like JPS AC+. I found noticeably improved dynamics with power cord upgrade.
Yes, it was the bam on battery only and not fully charged.
I intend to try a pre-amp as I want to make the most of the Berning / Merlins and a tape loop would be nice as I have CDP and Turntable sources and only a single input BAM.
Planning an extended listening session this weekend
Best David
david, a pre with a tape loop is a must for multiple source systems and best sound with the merlin's.
check and see how long the charge lasts and let me know.
we can also add another input to the bam with a switch. this works well and i inexpensive to have done.
a tube pre would be even better. the tube line output stage will buffer the bam and make it sound more robust, expansive and real.
I'm glad to hear you got the distortion issue resolved Agathe. The Merlin/Berning combo really requires a pre-amp to get the most out of it. I have tried it direct cd out to BAM to Berning. On all settings it was always clear but a bit too lean again, regardless of the feedback settings. As Bobby notes, a tube pre-amp will enable you to tailor the sound to your taste. I have lived with this combo for almost 10 years continuously and I can't overemphasize the importance of system matching to maximize what these two components together can realize. The Berning is so transparent and resolving it is susceptible to vibrations and RFI because of the high frequency used to carry the signal. Tubes also are important to get a desired result. There are plenty of threads on this amp and the Merlin/Berning combo that go into details concerning pretty much all you need to know.
Thanks for the replies, looks like I'll have to get a Joule Electra LA-150 SE or similar shipped over to the UK. Tube rolling has come up as well, so I'll be looking into this as well.