Review: Merlin Music Systems vsm-mx Speaker

Category: Speakers

This is a review of Merlin Music's VSM-MX loudspeaker.First
let me say that i have have know Bobby Palkovic for almost 20 years.I worked for him at Merlin Music from 86 to 96 before moving to northern virginia.I respect him very much as a person and as an engineer/designer.His dedication to building the best speaker systems at any price is something to behold and i thank him for it.

My system is made up of a pair of stunning piano black VSM-MX's,a Music Reference RM9 MK2 amp,Joule Electra LA-150 line stage,Cardas Golden Reference interconnects and speaker cables and a Rega Jupiter 2000 cd player( soon to be used as a transport only.The MX's have been in my system for about a month now and they replaced the M version of the speaker. My room measures 19'L x 13'W x 13'H.The speakers are placed 42.5" from the side walls to the center of the woofers and are 57.5" from the back wall to the front of the speaker. They are 5'10" apart measured to the center of the woofers.

My taste in music runs from jazz,rock,classical to progressive.The recordings i use for testing are just ones that iam most familar with.I use Chris Isaak,Norah Jones,Moya Brennan,Mark Knopfler,Clannad, Sarah McLachlan and others.

The Merlin VSM-MX's are a speaker that has not a hint of glare. It is not bright sounding nor wiry sounding.It has a glorious midrange that is rich and full and the highs are silky smooth and extended.The imaging and staging are fantastic.The speaker justs disappears within the music.The listener is treated to tremendous resolution and layering of the music. The bass is very well defined and fast never ponderous or bloated sounding. So do not let a 6.5 inch woofer scare you off.It offers plenty of punch down to 28 hz.The music is never forced and it is presented in a relaxed way never fatiguing. You will find yourself listening for hours on end to old cd's that you thought where unlistenable in the past.This speaker justs reaches out and grabs you and will not let go from low volumes to high ones.It never sounds stressed.What this speaker offers is a neutral tonal balance.You hear the music just as it was intended to heard and isn't that what it is all about?

Thanks Bobby for making listening to music enjoyable again!!!

Rob walters.
I completely agree with Spencer. My MMs are driven with what amounts to mass market junk ($4000 Sony receiver). I can't wait to hear them next year, once I've saved up to put an Anthem processor and multichannel amp in place!
hi spence,
careful set-up? well maybe but it is really quite obvious why. We have designed a speaker that does not control the directivity pattern so a thoughtful placement in the room will give you the best results. since the speakers have a high q and a neutral tonal balance they like to be closer together than the listening distance. the listening distance of around 9 1/2 feet is just about perfect to get the most out of them (depending on the room and set-up). the distance from the wall behind them is not as important as the listening distance. then you find a spot in the room where boundary reflections are minimized and boundary reinforcements are adjusted to taste. then bingo, you are all set.
if you want great sound/performance in any room you have to be thoughtful of what you are trying to achieve. the more neutral the speaker and critical the listener the more effort will be have to be made.
i am really glad you are all so happy.
and yes dautch, the anthem will make a huge difference.
let meknow how it sounds wnen you get it, okay?
remember, if you guys ever need anything, let me know and i'll give you a hand.
Can you tell me the difference between the MM and the MX. Is it primarily in the cabinets or is the crossover also very different. How close are they in performance. Rough guess.
i just responded to a personal e-mail that sounded a lot like this one. are you vt?
if not, i will respond here.