I have a pair of Fidelio's that I love. I have had them for just over a year now. I am driving them with a Cary V12-I, and an Electrocompaniet CDP. Positioning the speakers was very easy, and they are easy to drive. As I am sure you have heard the mid-range is to die for. I find they have great bass extension and very transparent highs. I can listen to them for hours with no fitigue at all. I cannot say enough about this speaker. I listen to some classical and jazz, but on occasion if I want to crank it up they have no problem at very loud levels. Although they are expensive,IMHO they are worth every penny. I have seen them used on this site every now and then for around $4000.00 which is a great deal on a really nice pair. Good luck!
I haven't heard the Alons, but I spent plenty of time with both the Fidelios and the Merlins so I know what they are capable of. Both speakers are exceptional and if your room is not very large, you would be hard pressed to find anything better at any price.
There is a lot of similarities between these speakers: they are priced similarly (although the price on Verity products has gone up quite a bit lately), their designers really know what they're doing and are willing to patiently guide you with the setup and choice of electronics, and most of all, these speakers sound pretty similar too.
They both offer a very natural and transparent sound with great soundstaging, bass and dynamics that belie their relatively compact size and superb refinement across the spectrum. Both are easy to drive and pair well with tube amps. The differences are subtle and the final choice would depend on your taste as well as the matching electronics.
I personally prefer the Fidelios. They came out as a little more involving and musical, a little more polite, especially in the upper midrange that sounds smoother, richer and more liquid than the Merlins. I found that the Merlins can at times sound a little overenthusiastic, making some recordings too bright and dry. The midrange is excellent in both cases, perhaps with the Fidelios possessing more of the "see through" quality that demonstrates itself in a natural and lifelike presentation of vocals and acoustic instruments. The treble is well extended, smooth and refined in both cases and the bass can hit surprisingly low too. The Fidelios seem to image a little better and the soundstage depth they produce is spectacular.
Go for the Merlins if you prefer a little brighter and livelier presentation and choose the Fidelios if you want something just a touch more smoother and richer.
Lotus Elite Signatures are some of the finest sound I have ever heard. I agree with the other info provided on your other two choices.
I used the Vandy 2Ci's for 6 years before upgrading to some Alon 1's. I loved both the Vandersteen and Alon house sound. But I just got the Merlin VSM's w/battery BAMs and all the latest tweaks about 6 months ago. All I can say is this is such a transparent sounding speaker that it'll take on the quality of whatever you feed it. It won't transform a system with a sound characteristic of it's own, it'll get out of the way and let you hear your components...for better or worse.
That's why I don't necessarily agree with some of the above comments because they're just showing you what your components are sounding like. If someone finds the Merlins too bright or dry....look upstream. They aren't going to tonally change what's being fed to them. This makes it imperative to carefully system match your components to them. If your existing components are complementary, then the Merlins can sound world class. Ask Bobby, he'll let you know if your current stuff will match well or be a problematic.
I own a pair of Merlin vsm & I have to say after a weekends
demo of the Lotus Elite sig they are quite superb
if you like hifi and lightweight bass........merlins VSM
if you like music.. Alons win hands down,no question....
Tmoran nailed it. The Merlins are going to give you a tremendous view of your upstream components. It's hard to fault them as lightweight on bass, let alone being hifi. The MX version has better bass, and with the right components, they are as natural sounding as anything under $20,000.
Although I've also owned Alons, and liked them, I can't see a system built around them providing the world class performance that the Merlins can provide. If your current components aren't a good match for Merlins, and you want to keep them, then the Alons will probably be more forgiving (i.e. colored).
Yaboo, sure would like to know more about your system. The details might help DPE.
Yes, and what version of the VSM you have would be helpful along with the ancillary gear???
this "hi-fi" sound you mention, could you please expand on that and give up some details. Without details it sounds as though you are maybe disgruntled and unhappy, there is hope on the horizon. The VSM's are NOT lightweight in the bass with the BAM at all, I give you my word on that. Do you have the BAM? What amp and wire are you using, set-up etc. I'm sure Bobby P can help you with your system. Please feel free to e-mail me as well.
One thing that I forgot to mention is that the VSM M is no longer in production. DPE, wouldn't you be more interested in what the VSM MM and MX have to offer against the competition??
Bobby, what is the difference between the MM and the MX, apart from their appearance?
The speakers differ in the quantity and quality of very sophisticated components in their dividing networks and BAM.
Both of these models offer a significant sonic upgrade over the Millennium. The MX offers perhaps an additional 10% improvment in sound over the MM but you will really want to have a superb system for them to be at their best. The MMs are a bit more forgiving. Please have a look at the MX page on the main page of www.merlinmusic.com for a description of the sonic enhancements.
Just revisited this thread,
I used teac P30transport/perpetual P3a/P1a/monolithicPSU+modwrights
ARC hybrid pre/krell power & transparent cables
I tried very hard to get the merlins to gel,all the fiddling made little or no difference
I stick by what I said, In my listening room they did not work,the alons do.
I will add a cavet,I sold Merlins too a guy using a Aero Capitole direct to a Jefff Roland 10TI + valhalla cables
his listening room was huge 16 century English Dining Room
now in his room I would have swore they were different speakers altogether,just goes to show how much room interaction affects the sound
in summary,the merlins are wonderful speakers undoubtedly
all the rave reviews speak volumes
I bought them without a demo,just based on the online review data .........That was my big mistake
IMHO in my room the Alons just do bass much much better
following sale of the Merlins
my system has now moved on,
best wishes to all