Review: The Merrill Audio Veritas Monoblocks

The Goal
For decades I have been trying to assemble a sound system that would begin to approximate real music. Starting in the 1990s with Audio Research tube gear, by 2010 I had moved to an all solid state configuration. I made that change because I thought that I would find it easier to achieve a "neutral" sound by avoiding the colorations of tubes. However, once I had my solid state system together, I found it didn't sound like real music. So the changes continue and the latest iteration of my system is now built around a tubed preamp and the Merrill Audio Veritas Monoblocks. Yes, Class D amps.

Associated Equipment
The Veritas monoblocks replaced my Pass X600 monoblocks. To provide some context, the rest of my system is composed of the Revel Ultima Salon2 speakers, Nordost Tyr interconnects, and Mojo powercords on everything but the amps where Kimber PK10 Palladians are used. Sources are CD/SACD, computer/DAC, and vinyl. My Music collection is still predominantly vinyl, but I am listening with increasing frequency to high-definition downloads.

The Merrill Audio Veritas Monoblocks
I have now been using the Veritas Monoblocks for 2 months. Before purchasing , I took advantage of Merrill Audio's trial program to evaluate them. Using the Hypex Ncore NC1200 module, and crafted from a 66 pound block of solid aluminum, they are an understated but elegant design that demonstrates careful attention to every detail. The result is an amplifier that not only sounds good but emanates quality. Included with each amp is a set of Stillpoints Ultra-Mini footers and a good quality power cable. The icing on the cake is their eco-friendly nature: unlike large and heavy class A and A/B amplifier designs, the Veritas monoblocks produce their power (400w @ 8 ohms/700w @ 4 ohms) from a device that weighs 35 pounds and runs cool, using relatively little energy when they are not playing music. In North Carolina, where the summers seem to be getting hotter each year, not to have to worry about using two space heaters to play music is no small thing.

How Do They Sound
Together with my Cary SLP-05 preamp, the Veritas amps produce a sound that is, to my ears, a huge step toward achieving that ineffable goal of the "absolute sound." They are neutral, open, quiet, fast, and immediate. They throw a soundstage more immersive than any amp I've ever heard before. They are also very revealing: they make good recordings sound wonderful and poor recordings sound just that. Their neutrality and openness will reveal the deficiencies of any upstream sources.

Sound Examples
The Ravel String Quartet (192k/24bit download)
I have never heard an amplifier that can so beautifully situate the members of a string quartet, including the viola which so often in my experience gets lost in the mix of strings.

Antonio Lysy at the Broad: Music from Argentina (vinyl - A Latin Grammy Award Winner)
The second cut on side 2: Piazzolla The Grand Tango is a congested soundstage occupied by a piano, violin, bass, and cello. This could lead to confusion among the stringed instruments, but the Veritas monoblocks clearly separate them spatially. That distinction is aided by a beautifully colored and rich tone from each instrument.

Pink Floyd 2011 Wish You Were Here (180gm vinyl re-master)
Welcome to the Machine is a cut I've listened to more times than I can count since its release in 1975. The Veritas amps throw a surreal soundstage that is downright scary, putting you in the very heart of the machine. The dynamic soundstage is beautifully presented and punctuated by a well-defined, throbbing, and ominous bass line.

Miles Davis Kind of Blue (180gm vinyl reissue from Legacy)
Throughout So What there are several times when Davis, Coltrane, and Adderley punctuate the music with simultaneous short phrases. The delicately distinct timbre of each of their horns is clearly heard. The pace and the rhythm of the piece are presented with a natural grace that demonstrates why it's a classic recording.

Soundstages: From the mundane to the sublime
The cd of Rachmaninov's 2nd Piano Concerto on DG with Lang Lang and Valery Gergiev has a disappointingly small and shallow soundstage. Anyone who has ever heard this piece live knows how the soaring motifs can fill a concert hall. The recording is honestly portrayed for what it is via the Veritas monoblocks. Put on a great recording, though, and you get it all with these amps. The 1959 recording of Stravinsky's Firebird is available as a 192k/24 bit download (from a DSD transfer from tape). Played through the Veritas amps, the walls of the listening room just go away. They are replaced by the sound of the Watford Town Hall. It's all one could expect from a reproduction, and a thrill to experience.

Do You Want to Hear the Truth
I had no idea what to expect from these amps when I decided to try them. Given what I'd heard about Class D, I was curious if not skeptical. Let the Class D critics take note, these amps give up very little if anything to their Class A and A/B counterparts. Their honest and neutral sound will not satisfy those looking for a euphonious coloring to make poor recordings sound good. Provide them recordings with merit and surround them with commensurately fine equipment, though, and they will be all the amp you need.
Addendum to the review:
The recording of the Stravinsky Firebird referred to in my review is of course the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Antal Dorati.This is a recording of the complete ballet.
Great review thanks. I just recently acquired the VERITAS Mono blocks and am finding them to be a absolute revelation

Hi HFL and James, how many hours of break-in time have the Veritas monos required before they stabilized completely?

Thanks, Guido
The amps took a good 200 hours to settle in. Like a lot of equipment, I think they continue to improve a bit beyond that, but at 200 hours you are pretty close to what you will get.
On a whim - I tried out my Lessloss Signature power cords on the Merrill Amps - I am going directly into my outlets.
Going into this test I was not expecting any improvement since the sound was already quite good with the TWL.

I have Wisdom Audio L75 speakers so I am using these on the planar magnetic portion only (240Hz-20kHz)

However, to my pleasant surprise, there was a significant increase in musicality.

The speed and timing definitely improved - and I could hear more detail - and also better imaging as a result.

Of course, the Lessloss Signature PCs are $1300, whereas the TWLs are $300, so in theory one should expect an improvement.

But I guess I was a little surprised at the level of the improvement - it really showcased what these amps could do

Has anyone else had a similar experience or heard improvements swapping power cords?
To All: Welcome to the club! Over a year ago I heard that Hypex was coming out with the new Ncore amp modules. That summer I had the opportunity to hear the NC400 DIY amps in my and other systems. I was shocked at what these new class D amps could do. At that time I was looking for an amp for my system that could do it all. But I new that the NC400 would fall short of the level that I was looking for. So I decided on acquiring the NC1200. I figured that the "big brother" would have what the "kid brother" was just a little short on.
I had already demoed many other amps in my system. Some I owned and others I just tried. All were very good. But many fell short in one way or the other sound wise. However at the time there were two amps I thought sound wise might fill the bill. But they each had drawbacks. The Pass Labs Class A monos, wow sound wise, HOT, HEAVY, use TOO much electric, and $$$$ (just the 100 watt is $16,500). Then the Spectron monos. They needed all the options to sound their best and then I was over my budget. And a few minor issues.
I then had the chance to hear the Veritas in my system. End of game on so many levels. First and foremost the sound. Plus not hot, heavy, little electric, or very $$$.
IMO you would have to spend a lot more to compete sound wise.

On the power cables all I can say is it is a hit or miss deal. Some I know tried very costly cables that made things worse. I would say demo before you buy. And let it stay in the system for at least several days, more if you can.

I can tell you that it is worth upgrading to the Stillpoints Ultra SS footers over the Mini that come with the Veritas. Email Merrill about it.
It is an easy to hear improvement. And it was in more then one system.

They clean up the sound, more focused, the instruments are more distinctive and musical. All in a very natural way. Now as owners we all know that these amps already do this but you are missing their full potential.
Actual, I would recommend using the Mini or the SS under all your equipment. So far they have made an easy to hear improvement on anything I have tried them on.
Here is the Dagogo review

One thing is certain, the Merrill Audio Veritas was designed and built with a much greater purpose in mind. Its ability of delivering things like subtle dynamic shadings, expression, and emotion are skills and talents that are not in the vernacular of such amplifiers; and so too is its price. The Merrill Audio Veritas challenges audiophiles on many fronts. It is a high-end, high performance power amplifier with an MSRP of $12,000/pr. and it must be judged in these absolute terms without the crutch or footnote of its topology. It is only then, that the real value of what is being offered here can be fully appreciated. The Merrill Audio Veritas is a sonic delight that is not only engaging but rises to the status of a guilty pleasure. A hearty congratulations to Merrill Wettasinghe for an outstanding product execution. The Veritas is not only a beautifully crafted amplifier to the eyes but also to the ears. Highly recommended.
hfl - Thank you for a tremendously well-articulated review, albeit, I seem to be a bit late to this party!  I am currently seeking an upgrade to our 12 yr Simaudio W-5, and the goal is very much like your own as-stated above.  As professional musicians, my wife and I often utilize our 2-channel system for recording project edits, etc.  We auditioned a pr of Pass xa60.8's, but were disappointed when compared to the W-5 (strange as that may sound to many), partic. where low amplitude presentation was concerned.  We will have an opportunity to audition a x250.8 soon to hear if any improvements. Another on our radar, interestingly enough, is a SET design by NAT (Se2Se monos).   The Veritas have piqued my interest greatly, and I hope to audition as well - Again, thank you for your perspectives!

MBump, If you were interested, my own take on the Veritas is at:


Ah yes, Guido.  Your name I know well as a respected source of information and insight, partic. as concerns JR and Esoteric, the latter I referenced often in prep for our upgrade to an Esoteric K-01 from an X-03se.  Your PF review was an early introduction to the Veritas for me - thank you!

Hi Michael, I responded to your PM.... BTW, love the K-01.... Too bad it was not in the cards when I had the opportunity of purchasing the review unit.