Merlin VSM SE Speakers - Opinions

I am looking at the possibility of upgrading my Speakers. The Merlins keep on catching my eye but not my ears; there is no local dealer. Reviews are great and they seem to possess all that one can ask for in a 2-way. I have reservations in the fact that there are so many of them for sale in Audiogon - WHY? If anyone out there can tell me more about these speakers and other matching components other than the Joule Electronics they seem to have a synergistic match with, I would be greatful. These speakers almost sound too good to be true, what's the scoop?
IN owning the vsm-se and the tsm-se,I must say that they are incredible in the imaging department,THE High quality drivers are found in the most expensive designs,MY only reservation and the reason i sold them was the lack of weight at the low frequency end.I tried the subwoofer route but could not get the proper intergration.TUBEGROOVER please take into consideration that you didn't mention the size of your room,and also your musical taste.THE merlins are fairly dynamic for their size,But prefer not to be played loudly. COMPONENTS i tried with my merlins:REL sub,CJ PRIMIER 12xs in triode mode amps:CJ PRE-AMP also AR VT200.
I owned the VSM SE's w/battery bam for a year and loved them. They are the most neutral and coherent two way I have heard. They are hard to beat in a medium to small room. Be sure to get the battery Bam and the latest version with all the latest upgrades. The designer upgrades often. They will reveal flaws in your system so make sure you have all bases covered. I found a very good match with Harmonic Techs copper cables. The only reason I moved on is because I moved to a much bigger room and went to full range speakers. I had to spend 3x the price of the merlin to get comparable quality. I used them with Atmasphere M60 OTL amps to good effect. I also used the Bel Canto Set 40 which was a good match. The Pathos Twin tower w/capacitor mods was the best. I have also heard them with little solid state integrates like the Audio Analog and Electrocompanient and they sound exceptional. They are sensitive and an easy load so they work well with alot of amps but will reveal the true colors (or lack of) of any amp. I am partial to their sound with tube gear. I am also curious why there are so many for sale. I have never talked to anyone who didn't really like these speakers. The gentelman I sold mine to loves them. At their used price I think they are very difficult to beat and a real bargin. The build and parts quality are first rate.
Gts87 My room size is 13'2" wide X 19'long x 12'-8' high Cathedral Ceiling. I currently run ARC D115 Mk2 with SP-8 harmonic tech cables. The speakers will have to be on the long wall spaced approximately 7.5' apart and about 9' from the listening seat. The room size doesn't appear to be too much of a problem. Current speakers are quite good in the bass department but not as ultimately refined in the mids and high's as I would like. Will play in the high 90 spl's in my room with no problem. Will this work in my room?
Glide3 did you notice the same shortcomings in the bass department in your room? One major consideration for me is that I want a speaker that doesn't "specialize" in one type of music over the other to answer Gts87 question as to the type of music I like. I like jazz, rock, Classical vocals, even a little opera on occasion so I want a speaker that plays it ALL well. My benchmark is always full scale orchestral recordings to determine what a system does best and what area it has shortcomings. The Merlins must pass this test with flying colors for their price. Can they play Beethoven's 9th without compressing at reasonably loud levels in my room? Thank you both with your insight and advice it is much appreciated and helpful.
TUBEGROOVER,my room size is 13'widex22'longx9'high.I used them along the the long wall.I must specify that i also had the bamm unit and for a short time used them with the patho twin towers.THESE will work in your room,YOU just won't have that tight bottom end.I agree with the above gentlemen,they are REFERENCE caliber 2 way's and by far superior then many other brands costing twice as much. IF you decide on buying a pair, make your you get the latest which have a batt powered bamm and the new cardas tool-less cable post.IF bottom weight and strong dynamics are not #1 on your list when buying speakers.YOU will be happy with the merlins.ONE last thing,i was told merlin is working on a sub to accompany both the vsm and tsm.god luck.
I'm in agreement with most of what the others have stated; the one area I'll disagree on is the amp choice. I owned a Pathos Twin Towers for abt a yr, and loved it. However, it doesn't get the most bass from the Merlins. It's true that you can get by with low power, but you won't get the bass. I now have a Sierra Whitney and I hear bass from the VSM's like I've never heard before. I also sometimes play them very loud, into the 100db spls, and have never had a problem. I also use the bam. Also, you don't necessarily need the latest version; I've heard both and think his version with the edison price posts sounds best. The Cardas posts can also be a real pain. I've spoken with Bob Palkovich (mr. merlin) and he hopes to have the subs out before year end.
I was very happy with the bass response with the Merlins and any of the quality low powered tube amps I paired them with...the modified Pathos being the best. My personal taste is for the quality of the bass as opposed to the quantity. With battery bam these go down to about 30hz and the bass is tight and well defined...based on my room and associated equipment. I think your room volume is about the limit for these speakers.
they are great speakers,very true to the music,but do not have the dynamics to fill a medium to large room.these speakers might stress in trying to fill your the dimensions you mentioned.the best advice is audition them first.
Thanks one and all, all imput has been helpful.