Merrill tables

Anyone have experience with the "New" Merrill table? I owned one in the past. Bought it brand new in '84 for $900.00. The new ones look the same but they cost about ten times the original. I sold my table in '96 (should have just put it in storage). I'd like to get back into analog, I kept all my records but in these recessionary times reaching for a New one is tough! Are the new ones worth the price?
I may be biased because I sell them but I can tell you every customer has been extremely happy with the purchase.
Also, the price has been dropped from $9500 to $5995 so it is only 6 times the cost in '84. For that, you get new and much improved components, most importantly, the machined springs that are superior to any wounded springs in other suspended tables. If you live near NJ, you may audition it at my showroom.
Vinh Vu
Authorized Merrill-Scillia Dealer.
there are lots of inexpensive and great tables out there. occasionally used merrill tables turn up as do modded ar's.
As I see it, the Merrills are most likely on par or even better than many tables from other's firms. But the problem I have with them and at the price point of 6000.00 as stated above
there is no sex appeal with this design. I mean 6000.00 and you get a table that looks like a somewhat pumped up AR table. I would rather have a table for that price that was more in tune with the term "Eye Candy". Thats just my thought on the Merrills. Sound is very important but I also want my other senses stimulated to.
I do not own or have ever owned a merrill but i did get to know george a little when i lived in memphis and did audition both of his new tables. They sound great in the showroom. i will only point out that the heirloom rarely comes up for sale used and when they do, they are snapped up quick. How they compare to other similarly priced tables i do not know
I heard the TT at the Montreal show 2007 with a Tri-Planer Mk-7 and really enjoyed my time in the room. I thought it was a $12K TT I was listening to? A price rollback from $9500 to $5995 retail sounds like a smashing bargain as it's light years ahead of the mid 80's designs. Gosh in 1984 $900 must have had about the same buying power as $6,000 today, as the home you bought for $30K now is valued at $180K.

Are upgrades available for the old Merrills? I have an original from way back when---late 80s. Do the springs make that big of a difference? I would have thought the subchasis was the critical piece.

The home he bought is probably valued at $15,000.00
Yes the springs are definitely a worthwhile upgrade. They are machined out of a single metal stock, with double helix counter-wound geometry to prevent binding and swaying. With the flat top and bottom, they are really easy to install too, no more turning to dial in the sweet spot.
For all of you lucky enough to own an old Merrill Heirloom out there, rescue them out of the attic and contact Anthony at MSR LLC ( for many worthwhile upgrades.
See this page for pricing of upgrade options:

You will end up with a table sounding much better than contemporary TTs in the same price range.
Vinh Vu
By the way, here is a page out of a Jeff Day review on 6moons talking about the Heirloom restored TT:
Vinh Vu
$900 in 1984 = $1895.14 in 2008 dollars.
The government calculation is based on inflation rate of less than 3% a year. I wish that is the case every time I fill up my car. I suspect audio inflation rate would be more because of the small market demand on which high fixed costs have to be amortized.
One would think that audio manufacturers must be making a killing with all these exorbitant prices. Remind me of a joke I heard in the elevator at a recent audio show: "Do you know how to make a million in high-end audio? Start out with 2" :-)
I own a Merrill Heirloom and it is in Anthony's hands as I write. I am going for the full refurbish and I am going to have a new Ortofon arm installed. I always said the Heirloom was going to be my last table, but knowing Anthony's work and George's ideas, I decided to take a leap.

When I get it back in a few weeks, I will be sure to come back and write a review. For more Merrill info:

i'd love to hear any turntable that is 'lightyears' ahead of another. the price is lightyears ahead for sure, even with the rollback.
>>i'd love to hear any turntable that is 'lightyears' ahead of another<<

I think he was exaggerating.

What he meant to say was, 10,000% better.
Nah he was absolutely serious - he's talking about one of those newfangled TT's - no belt drive - no direct drive - you know with the latest crystal clocker - dilithium crystals to be precise - the latest warp drive TT!
I hear there are even new turntables that do-away with vinyl and encode the music stream in 0s and 1s. This has the huge advantages of no noise, huge dynamic range, and media that never wears out. And they're smaller discs too. Truly, perfect sound forever.
ooooo's and 111111's dang
I owned a Merrill Heirloom before I moved to the dark side and began manufacturing turntables.

Other than the following possible exceptions, it is the only American turntable in current production which conveys the essence of music to this listener ... :

1. The Rockport Sirius which I have never heard.

2. The Saskia - another 'table I've yet to hear. Unfortunately, I was nailed down to my room at the Rocky Mountain Audiofest, but people who's ears I trust tell me that the Saskia falls in to this rarefied air as well.

3. My rigs and the other members of the Galibier Family Tree ( ... doh! You thought this was an unbiased post? They don't exist, and we collectively vet each other in this dialog.

With these exceptions (most of them at a significantly higher cost), I consider all other American turntables to be crude appliances in comparison with the Merrill. Others will certainly differ with my opinion.

I was very excited for Anthony and George when I learned that the Merrill flame would continue to burn. I'd love to hear how Anthony has built on George's work.

Now, Anthony ... if you'd just rid the design of springs completely ;-)

i believe all the 'new' turntable companies survive,thrive, and will continue to offer up the essence of music that is lightyears ahead....even if we have to settle for justslightlywarm stampers.
What i dont understand is if this turntable can now be sold for $6000 why was it first offered at $9500 ??

My understanding is the new price is a kind of "factory direct" price. It's no longer being sold at a true retail level. The cost saving is a resut of no "middleman."

Perhaps VTVU can explain it better.

Other than the following possible exceptions, it is the only American turntable in current production which conveys the essence of music to this listener ... :

Does it matter where a product is made? If I would buy a new turnable I woudn't care if it was made in North Korea, Cuba, US, Europe etc. If the product and service is good I truly woudn't care where is was made.

As we all know Cuban cigars are the best.
what happens to the customers who paid 9500 bucks too. this whole post seems fishy.
I don't see a rebate in their future.
Hi Mordante,

Good point when you said:

Does it matter where a product is made? If I would buy a new turnable I woudn't care if it was made in North Korea, Cuba, US, Europe etc. If the product and service is good I truly woudn't care where is was made.

I was pointing toward the tendency of national design schools. Ameicans and Germans in my experience tend to place a high value on full range hi-fi systems for example.

In the case of many American decks, this has in my experience resulted in the turntable equivalent of the American muscle car - great straight line acceleration (bass, quiet background in this metaphor), but will slide of the road at the first sign of moisture on a curve (lack of finesse, nuance, subtlety, and delicacy).

We seem to be (in the past 6-8 years), reinventing ourselves however.

Thom @ Galibier
Hi Thom,

I don't have the experience you have with turntables and I don't think I will aver have. You have me at a slight disadvantage there but so you should since you make turntables. Right now I own my 2nd turntable I went from a Rega P25 to a VPI Scout. I prefer the Scout.

Would like to hear a Galibier turntable one day, but I don't think there is any shop here that sells them. Besides that they are waaay out of my price range.

My set is US, Dutch, German and Japanese I think.