Review: Merlin Music Systems TSM-MXe Monitor

Category: Speakers

Review of Merlin TSM-MXe

This is my opinion and thoughts of the merlin TSM-MXe speakers.

I purchased them thru Rich Brkich of Signature Sound in late march of 2008 and took delivery July 10 2008.
The speakers arrived very well packaged in a single box. They were covered with masking tape which should be removed carefully.
I did notice a tiny chip in the finish of one of them. When I brought it to Bobby Palkovich of Merlin music's attention he suggested I send them back to have them fixed professionally . As of yet I have not done so.

A rundown of equipment used, room dimension and listening distance.

I am using: Monster AVS 2000 and Monster HTS 5100 for voltage conditioning, Antique Sound lad Aq1003DT with Response audio mods, Subwoofer-Valodyne SPL800-R,
NAD 541i CD/HDCD player, SONOS music system with Rhapsody, and a Parasound Ultra 2000 DAC.
My speaker cables are 45' of Belden 5000 series Cable from Blue jeans and 45'of Blue Jeans Cable LC-1 for the sub.
Interconnects are VDH 102 MK III Hybrid. I am using ATS Acoustic Panels behind the speakers.

The listening Room is my living room and Dining room 33'LX13'WX8 1/2'H.

The Speakers are sitting on a 10"W X 14"L X 1 1/4" thick butcher block.
The butcher block is mounted to a flat panel cantilever mount. This cantilever mount is secured to the wall beams
and are positioned 8' apart.
I custom made this stand because it allows me to retract the speakers up against the wall.
When I am doing some serious listening I extend the
cantilever mounts holding the speakers up to 28" off the back wall which improves the sound all around .
The center of the speakers are 48" off the floor so I
adjusted the height of my chair to bring me back into the sweet spot.
My listening distance is 6'to 7' from the face of the speakers.

Listening straight out of the box the music coming out of these speakers blew away the pair of B&W SCMS wall speakers I was using.
I compared them to a pair of Vienna Acoustic Mozart's that I am using for home theater and I found them to be as clear but tight.
The first few nights my wife and I spent at least 2 to 3 hours choosing music and listening to the wonderful detail and clarity.
We toe-tapped and danced around to music from bands like The Talking heads "The Great Curve", Thievery Corporation "Liberation front",Delirium "Terra Firma", Gypsy Kings, Rusted Root, Steely Dan, Allman Brothers, Cash and many others.

Its been now well over two months and I must have well over 700 hours playing time. They have opened up dramatically and disappear.
The music and sound seems to come from a larger area in front of me rather than 2 speakers. Listening to Dire Straits -brothers in arms CD Track "Ride across the River"
gives me goosebumps and made my scalp tingle. The separation in the instruments finally gave the music a 3D effect
I've been reading about but, not truly ever experienced. Now I know what is meant by audiophile review terms like "Air
between instruments", "Depth", "wide sound stage". I truly love these speakers!

I am amazed by the rich and full sound coming out from these 2-way monitors and adding the Valodyne SLP800-R Sub improved the low bass. The music seems to extending into
the room. It's dynamic,lush and deep.

The Merlin TSM-MXe's are in my opinion Fantastic speakers. I know I have a great foundation to build upon.

I'm not sour what it's weaknesses are yet but I have
improved on my system by re-tubing my amp with Mullard CV4003 and Cyro SED winged C EL34's.

Thanks Witchdoc

Associated gear
Antique Sound Lab Aq1003DT Modded
Valodyne SPL800-R
Monster AVS 2000
Monster HTS5100
Parsound Ultra 20090 DAC