Review: Merlin Music Systems VSM millennium Speaker

Category: Speakers

This is my Merlin story. Having been in hi fi for over 30 years, I was always in the upgrade mode. I had built my system up over the years into a solid performer, but felt that the weak link was my speakers. After exhausting research via the hi fi pubs and Internet, I became intrigued by the intense loyalty and consistent reviews for Merlins. The only reservations that I had were their ability to play loudly in my fairly large room (20 X 20 with a high ceiling) and their base response.

Listening in person to a typical setup at a high-end retailer convinced me of the tremendous clarity and detail of the Merlins. But the tube powered system seemed to lack the dynamics and bass that I wanted. So I called Bobby and shared my concerns. He assured me that the robust drivers could handle a lot of power and would rock. He also convinced me that with some system tweaks I could experience very satisfying bass response. In typical fashion, Bobby’s passion, knowledge and belief in his product came through. I was convinced.

I was able to purchase a pair of VSM-Ms with BAM, less than 1 year old, from a private party in my area. What a break. They were in mint condition, properly broken in and at a handsome savings. I moved out my old Mirage 1090’s (very decent speakers for the $$) and hooked the Merlins to my system. The detail, soundstage and clarity were amazing. My only complaint was a lack of bass.

After talking again to Bobby, he suggested some tuning pucks for my CD transport and DAC. I added these and they seemed to tighten things up. But the big difference was replacing my Kimber PBJ interconnects with Cardas Golden Cross. It was amazing. My wife and instantly heard a deeper, more authoritative bottom end. Hate to admit that “wires” could make so much difference but it did. I’ve added new components that didn’t make so much difference.

I now am very happy and content with my system. It sounds great with voices and acoustic music. Performers AND their emotion are in the room! When I am in an AC/DC or White Stripes kind of mood, the Merlin pump out satisfying waves of clean, loud rock with no distress. I babied them for a while but no need, the quality of parts and build of these speakers is amazing. I find that using a tube preamp (BAT-Vk3i) with a solid-state amp (Aragon 8008ST) provides me with a sweet, smooth sound with plenty of authority and bass control. It’s a rocking combination!

I feel relieved to have the speaker selection issue put to bed for me. Like many others have stated on this site, I am into enjoying the tunes and not worrying about saving for my next upgrade. I now listen to music, not my hi fi.

Thanks Bobby, for a rare and satisfying product!

Associated gear
BAT preamp
Aragon amp
Audio Alchemy transport
Cardas cables
one of the best things about the merlins is that while being supremely musical, they allow you to really test the waters w/ this hobby. things as small as an AC outlet are clearly audible----every tweak can be evaluated w/ the merlins, something most speakers cannot do. makes approaching the penultimate more likely...
Hi RD,

I do not have Merlins, but have some very articulate speakers too. Folks talk about not hearing changes in this and that, and while I have not tested every tweak out there, I know a lot of them do work. I think far too many people have systems that are lacking in resolution, thus they do not hear what others can on their system. Hope they bring you many years of joy.