Calling Merlin upgraders

I am a long time Merlin fan who has had most generations of the VSMs. I currently have the VSMMs and have been thinking about the newer VSMX speakers. I would love to hear what thoughts you have if you made this change. How big of a step is it from the VSMMs to the VMSX? What's your system, and what sonic differences do you hear.

I am currently waiting (anxiously) for my new pair of VSM-MM (studio black). I have listened to 2 pairs of VSM-M and a pair of VSM-SE (with my own equipment, I might add) prior to placing my order. While I have not had an opportunity to listen to the MM or MX (premium finish designation), the new versions are said to be somewhere in the order of a full third more open, relaxed, natural, detailed, and spacious than the VSM-M. From what I heard from the VSM-M, I would be flattened in my chair with the newest version, and I CAN'T wait!
Just my 2c. Hope it helps.
I have the VSM-ms now, and am interested in hearing from owners of the VSM-x. There was a huge improvement from the SE's to the M's, and I'm sure the upgrade from the M's to the X is also significant, but it would be great to get some real world feedback from users.
I don't own these speakers but a friend does and I go to his home often for critical listening sessions. He sent his off for the upgrade and recieved them back around the first of the year. Out of the box they were superior. After about a 300 hour break-in the difference was staggering. IMO they deserve the long anticipated subwoofers. What's up with this delay?
to put the subs into production will cost close to $200,000.00 and to be honest we are so busy building our four speaker systems we do not have the time to put something new in the works. if you really want the last octave then get some subs but the speakers can produce huge bass in tonally balanced systems in the right sized room and listening distance. if they are set up to go after the lowest octave they can get down into the mid twenties with room reinforcement. i had them in a room 22 by 24 by 10 and 30 to 40% of the people at the ces asked me where the sub was.
as far as the improvement of the ms and mxs are concerned, have a look at some of the comments on audioreview and in the archives on audioasylum in the speaker chatroom.
there are plenty of comments there.
84audio, what ms do you have? studio or premium finish?
studio ms cannot be upgraded to the mx only clear coat versions.
please let me know what kind of system you have to see if you would even bebefit from the mx version. they are capable of more than the mm but only if you have the gear and wires to get it out of them. mms are a big improvement over your ms too.
Does this mean there will be no Merlin sub? Which other subs measure up in your opinion?
the sub concept that we will employ is very different than any currently on the market. so do any available ones measure up, only partially? and by that i mean in the bass extension but not in the stratification or placement of the output. and man, that is is the only clue you will get.
you will want a sub that crosses over at 30 hz at 12 and 24 db peroctave. one that can adjust output, phase and maybe even damping but that will be hard to find. one that will filter out of band energy and that will be even harder to find.
i do not know how your friend has them set up or what gear/cable he is using. your issue may be more one of bass quantity than extention. but unless i heard it with you i can not tell from this conversation.
by reinforcement we are talking about a very specific placement of the speakers in a given room. rooms can and will most times help extend the response of any speaker. i will help when you get yours.
I would like to know why the studio finish MM's cannot be upgraded, but gloss finish MM's can be upgraded. Is this just a marketing move?
the vsm m in studio black can be upgraded to the vsm mm and the vsm m in clear coat can be upgraded to the mx.
the m cabinet with the clear coat finish is more damped so we can cold temper more parts and improve the uniformity and resolution.
marketing move??
nice try.
and if it was a marketing move do you really think i'd say yes?
does upgrade possibility apply to the tsm m high gloss finish as well? how much is the upgrade to tsm mx?
Yes the premium ("high gloss") finish version of the TSM-M can be upgraded to the TSM-MX. Give Bobby Palkovic a call at Merlin and he will discuss the cost and turn around time with you.

I know Bobby has passed on and it was tragic but is there anyone out there that knows the TSM line of speakers he made? Did it start out just as a TSM?
I keep hearing all about the incremental upgrades and some seem to think it makes a profound impact on the sound?How is that possible using the same drivers??? What did he do,sprinkle the cabinets with Black Magic Powder....
I found a set(TSM-M i think) and he had put out so many iterations of the same speaker( stand mount TSM only) its hard to have m,mm,mmm,mmi,mx,mx bam?? Are they just stickers on the back that he changed?Can anyone shed some light on this Black Art??thx.
Hopefully I can help... I should know a few things about this (having worked with Bobby/Merlin as a Merlin dealer and consultant if you will to the company). The stickers on the back are custom made lettering which while can be removed, unless you have the letters you can not add to it.

TSM's were made for about 20 years....

Early models were not available in clear coat finish and had the Edison Pirice copper binding posts on the back (TSM-RC,). The Cardas posts started being used in the late 90's

Later versions (maybe not in exact correct order - this is off the top of my head so excuse me if I miss a version ): TSM-SE, TSM-M or Me, TSM-MM TSM-MX, TSM-MXE TSM-MME, TSM-MMM TSM-MXM,  TSM-BM.

Some of the model designation differences where just to notate between studio black finish (MMM, MME ...) from the clear coat finish versions (MXM, MXE etc) of the speakers. 

Changes made over the years included refinements/changes to the internal wiring, crossover parts used, driver changes (Renaissance audio tweeter in later models), changes in cabinet material (always MDF, but different formulations from certain manufacturers) .

TSM's never used or came with the BAM - that was specifically designed/made for the VSM.

Rich Brkich
Signature Sound