Tube Amp Recommendations

Dear All
Can anyone recommend suitable tube amps to use with Merlin TSM-MX Speakers. I have not yet finalised the budget so a range of selections from US$1,000 upwards (perhaps to US$6,000) would be much appreciated - including those which can then be upgraded at a later date with the addition of power amps/monoblocs. I was considering the Audiopax Model 5 (I now it is a solid state) with a future purchase of the Audiopax Stereo 88 tube amp just to give an idea.
Many thanks
Joule Electra amps seem to work well with Merlin speakers. The Stargates are in your price range.
I love the Von Gaylord amps, they are within your price range. The sound is rich, full and very detailed. Another I like is McIntosh(tubes). Always demo before buying. Good luck.
I read your post as looking for an integrated with a future upgrade. If you only have two sources, you might consider the Berning ZH-270, which can operate as a two source "integrated". Well known to operate well with Merlins and you could add a pre-amp later if you want, since it can also be used as a power amp. has an upgrade path and is within your price range new or used.
Another vote for Berning.
When I owned my VSM-MX's, I almost went with the Berning ZH-270 myself, very hard to beat considering it's price point, and performance. I choose instead to go a different direction... Perhaps, in retrospect not the best move after all. Keep it simple, and enjoy the music. 8^) Also, ping Bobby P. about the Integrated amp he's been working on.
cheers, & happy holidays to all

p.s. Very nice system Mr. ArtG
thank you everyone. I have read that tube amps are a good match for the Merlins but in an effort to hear more recommendations I would also consider solid state amps if anyone feels these can be a good match. I have read the Berning website and it appears to be a fantastic product - unfortunately as I am based in Brazil any listening prior to sale is nigh on impossible.
James, understood. Again the best way to get the information your seeking is to contact Bobby @ Merlin. Afterall, he designed these bad boyz so who would know better of what will, or will not work. Just a thought...I know this will save you a lot of time and disappointments.
Cheers and good luck.
Blue Circle works well with them..
I think any of the EAR amps would match quite nicely. All of them (well, I've heard two and own one) are slightly warm, properly detailed, and very musical. These are the qualities you need with Merlin speakers as they tend to be a bit on the lean and analytical side. That's why Bobby recommends Joule amps. The Berning can also be on the cool side of things so an audition is definitely a must.
I spoke to Bobby when I was ordering my VSM-MX's and ended up going with the integrated he started distributing, (ARS Sonum Filarmonia SE), thinking as others have stated that given he designed the speakers he should know what works best with them. That coupled with some very positive feedback from other users of the combo made me pull the trigger. Of course I've received neither yet, (should arrive in the next few weeks), so I don't have a clue how they'll sound together, (great I'm hoping). Cheers


I have the TSM-MXs and I am currently demoing a ARS Sonum Filarmonia. I ordered one today. Very tonally balanced sound. I love it. I hope you will to. BTW, also ordered the new AA Prima to go with it (unheard).

Thanks for the additional info Ed. Funny, I've been contemplating the AA Prima as well, (currently have the Marantz SA-8260 cd/sacd player). Haven't heard it yet either but some feedback from other Merlin users has been very positive. Thanks again.