what subs for merlin vsm-mx

hi gang, since i last posted, i have opted against going with soundlabs. i have happily settled on purchasing merlin vsm-mx speakers due to the fact that i may have a chance to go for a house and do a real deal listening room (read converted bedroom) and the fact that i do not want to deal with lugging big gear( for now) i have been greatly impressed with press i have seen the tbi magellan VIIIsu passive sub get as of late. i am seriously considering powering it with a ml 33H:here is the planned gear list:

audio aero capitole cd player
stereo sacd player
grado statement phono cartridge
nottingham deco turntable w/ space-anna tonearm
w/ deco power supply
art audio vynil ref phono preamp
mac mcd205 cd changer
vtl 7.5 main preamp
1pair thor audio tpa-60 60 watt mono tube amps
1pair merlin vsm-mx speakers
tact audio rcs 2.2x (will only use on the subs)
1pair mark levinson 33H 150 watt mono solid state amps (will use on passive subs)
2x tbi magellan VIIIsu passive subwoofers
shunyata or cardas cables (undecided)

this is the planed setup. the only areas i am trying to review are the cables and the passive subs. any ideas for subs? and yes i will run stock electrical(untill i get to winter and sart the room revamp)

I am also awaiting the arrival of my Merlin VSM-MM. I am using a REL Strata now and am very please with the low bass detail.
Bobby at Merlin likes Cardas with Merlins.
Congadulation in your choice of speakers.
From what my friend w. Merlins same as yours says, he was told by Bobby the Rel Britannia series. Sorry about using your amplifier.

How do you like your Decco. I have a Hyperspace. Fremer didn't give it a positive review.
Buy the VSM-MX Merlins and match with a suitable OTL amp eg. Berning,Joule-Electra or Atma-Sphere and you perhaps wont need the sub.If you still find the need for a sub ,look at the Rel active subs ....

>>Fremer didn't give it a positive review.<<
Big deal. I wouldn't lose much sleep over that.
Agree with Chris.
I had a REL Storm III paired with my Merlins (VSM-M at that time) and, in short, sold it after getting gear more suitable for the Merlins. In my case it was a preamp switch (from a Sonic Frontier Line 2SE to a Joule Electra LA 100 MK III).

I own a Revel Sub30 and have been able to achieve a staggering level depth and detail in the bottom octaves. The balance between sheer power and finesse is truly uncanny. The built-in 3 band EQ and additional controls certainly help to dial things in. I've also been able to integrate the sub30 more seamlessly than any other sub i've owned before. I've never owned or listened to REL, so I can't comment other than some models in their line-up do come highly recommended. You owe it to yourself to add Revel to your shortlist of potential subs. Also if the 30 is a bit too pricey, the B15a is also terrific and has many of the qualities of the 30. Best wishes!!
Dear Audfile74: The integration of subwoofers in an audio system is more much more than only " more bass ". Take a look to these links:




Now, the best way to go is with powered-subs not passive ones. Please read very carefully to those links.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Here are the " active " links:




Regards and enjoy the music.
Hello all, I have struggled with suitable components for my Merlin VSM MX series I have some premium upgraded Counterpoint pieces NP220 gold upgrade and SA5000 premium upgrade the Merlins do not like this equipment very much I bought all Cardas golden ref interconects and speaker wires helped some tamed the highs down but still very disappointed. any suggestions?
Good morning,

Please list all of your current associated equipment.
How, exactly, do you have them setup in your room?
What are your room dimensions?

There are many owners of the VSM speakers here that can help.

Hi David; Sold the speakers I bought from you and got the Wilson Sophias. What I can't understand is how both speakers,on paper, would appear to go down to about the same figure + or _ a few hrtz. I gave all kinds of thought to picking up a sub while I owned the speakers. They certianly have their charm. They image like nothing I've ever owned. Their upper mid/treble is in that same league. I feel they just leave out so much energy at the low/mid .-- Small wonder;they give up so much in cabinet volume and driver size;--Compared to say the Sophia and the Montana EPS I used to own. To me this is all fun; and finding out what floats my boat. As you know I live in an apt. so 16hrtz organ notes aren't my cup of tea---Just what musical information in the normal range is there. It actually ended badly with Bobby. He just about demanded I remove my ad--the day the speakers sold.--3 emails later,I gave in.--I feel the new owner should be able to look back at my ad to see if I made any unfounded claim etc.

Punctuation would help quite a bit. Kinda got a headache reading your response.

I had TSM-MXs for a while and they really need a warm, musical tube amp. Joule Electra would work nice but, damn, are they expensive. I bet Quicksilver V4s would sound good as would the Dehavilland stuff which can be had used for a decent price. In going the "Merlin route" I ended up with a Joule Electra LA150 II and Cardas Golden Ref wires. All are keepers and I use a Plinius 50wt SS amp with Harbeths. Am happy camper now. However, it took some getting used to a SS amp after nearly 20 years of only tubes.
i asked you to remove the ad after you had marked the speakers sold.
i sent you a few messages that you completely ignored.
i also offered to upgrade your bam to a super bam for you with no reply.
and why don't you describe what the listening room was like, you did for me when i e-mailed to ask why you were selling.
i never crossed the line of being a gentleman.
i never do.
I don't have Merlins (I have Selah Incredarray line arrays) but have used the VBT Magellan VIII (~same as TBI) and also use a Tact 2.2x.

The VBTs are really tuneful, agile and quick and blend easily and well with everything I've paired them with. Their only weakness is they don't move a lot of air compared to subs with larger drivers. If your room isn't too big and you mostly listen to jazz, chamber, etc. they may be the best choice around (though I'm not sure a ML 33H is necessary to drive them).

I wanted more 'oomph' in my 24x16x10 room, and I decided to cross the subs higher than my VBTs were comfortable with (though there's a newer version that goes higher in Hz) so I ended up with a pair of RBH 1010s that fit the bill nicely, giving up just a touch in speed and articulation but compensating nicely in air and power.

But I'm now going for broke to try to get the best of both worlds and am assembling a quartet of Linkwitz Dipole woofer cabinets using four 12" Peerless 830500s per side--see bottom of page here if interested:

I've heard these at a friend's and was really impressed. I used to have Genesis speakers with dipole subs and I really like the way dipoles load the room. Never had as good a bass again--until I got the Tact, which does an amazing job with the bass. Most people don't realize the extent to which the ragged bass humps and dips the room is generating can mess up the sound (esp the mids).

Good luck and let us know what you end up with.