Review: Merlin Music Systems TSM-MM Monitor

Category: Speakers

I’ve had the MM’s for around 6 weeks now, and am ready to submit my review. I lived with the TSM-M for approximately 15 months before getting the MM’s, so I seriously wasn’t expecting a huge difference between the two; I was wrong.
After receiving the speakers, unpacking and cussing Merlin for packing them so well, I plopped them on my stands without aligning, tacking, etc., and sat down for a listen. I listen to rock mostly, so I probably was playing Zeppelin, or something like that. I noticed a marked improvement immediately, and my amp wasn’t even warmed up yet. Raging guitars, and better bass. Wow, can it get better? Yes, it can.

These speakers are truly amazing creations. Prior, I had noticed on a few of my recordings that the emphasis would lean a little left, or right. I haven’t found that to be the case with the MM. The balance is wonderful. I can actually “hear” the quiet spots behind the music, as strange as that may sound. The bass is so much better as well. My reference recording; don’t laugh, is David Bowie’s “Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust“. The first time I played it with these speakers, I wasn’t even sitting in the sweet spot, I was upstairs. I heard the bass lines, and ran downstairs. It actually sounded like the bass was under Bowie’s vocals, and this isn’t a MOFI recording or anything like that.

Another thing I’ve noticed about the MM’s; sometimes when I may be standing up, or in another room, or upstairs, they still sound great. They’re not sweet spot dependent at all. I can be anywhere in my place and smile. On half way decent recordings, I can follow an instrument throughout the whole song; not real easy to do when you’re listening to rock.

I haven’t found a CD yet that doesn’t sound good with these things. I have a Coltrane’s “Blue Train“, and the highs were mostly ear piercing. Not now, it sounds great.

These speakers don’t disappear, they can’t because you’re always looking at them with amazement. On recordings that I’m very familiar with, I continuously hear things that I haven’t heard before.

I could go on with pretentious audiophile terminology, but I won’t, it’s not needed here. I’ll end with this. I’m a 46 year old, grew up listening to and still listen to Kiss, Midwesterner. I’m not an audiophile snob. I’ve listened to products and can almost always find something I like about whatever I hear. I like everything about these. These speakers are good. I really feel like I own something that’s unique and very special. When my girlfriend, who knows nothing about audio, wants to come over to listen to music, that says a lot.

Associated gear
Manley Stingray, Arcam FMJ-CD23T, ACI Force Subwoofer
Nice review. What cables are you using?
Nice review. Now go yourself a turntable and hear what your fine system is really capable of! Cheers,
do you have [or need] a sub with your merlin?