Former Merlin Owners

I own Merlin VSM-MX. For the music I listen to (Jazz, Acoustic) and my room size (20x13) they are the best speakers I have ever heard. I have owned Alon (Nola), Proac, Vandersteen, and a few others - I have also auditioned many others. I am happy with the Merlins and believe they are great speakers and SOTA for two-ways.

I'm wondering if anyone has been a previous owner of the Merlins and found something they liked even better. If so, what speakers? What was it the new speakers did that you prefered to what you were getting from your Merlins. Just curious. I'm totally satisifed with the Merlins, but just curious what experiences others may have had.
owned VSM-Ms and they were / are terrific speakers within their limits. they don't like high SPLs, and they don't do rock & roll as well as what i upgraded to (watt/puppy6s).

very amp friendly, very musical, great customer service. wish i could bad mouth them, but i cannot. they're great speakers.

In many ways I think they are perfect speakers for me. I don't listen too loud, never had a problem with SPLs, and I listen mostly to acoustic jazz (think Blue Note)and other acoustic type of music. I don't feel any lack of bass in my application, in my room. I may consider "upgrading" to the lead free version, but want to consider other options should there be a viable alternative. I agree Merlin is a great company to deal with, and Bobby's understanding of how to make his speakers shine is an invaluable service.
I've been a long time Merlin owner, had at one time or another the Signature 4's, two pairs of VSM milleniums, and a pair of VSM MX, first with the regular BAM and then the superBAM. Each new model I got was a definite improvement over the previous one, and coupled with Bobby's outstanding service, I was more than happy with them. I would listen to other speakers, but always stick with (or buy new) Merlins.
However, about 3 months ago I went in a different direction, with a pair of Peak Consult Incognito X's. Like the VSM's, a two-way floor stander. I was working on a real review, but wanted to wait until full break in. Anyhow, since you asked what I like more about them, it's pretty much everything. Take all the strengths of the VSM's, make them even stronger, and get rid of the bass 'weakness' (hate to use that term, I've defended Merlin bass in other threads, and will continue to do so). Also, the Incognito's have better WAF, not like I care because I have a dedicated listening room, but they are encased in 1 inch thick solid hardwood (not veneer), and the quality of the woodwork is outstanding (my dad was an accomplished woodworker, so even though i can't pound a nail straight, I know good work when I see it).
I have NOT heard the VSm MXe's, so I can't compare to them, but compared to the VSM MX with the superBAM (and even a prototype tube BAM I had for a while), the Incognitos are much superior.
Like everybody else above, I'm NOT knocking the Merlins. They are great speakers, and I'll continue to recommend them to people. I haven't even sold my VSM MX's yet, I'm considering sending them in for the 'e' upgrade, I just think it would have to be a whopping upgrade to best the Incognitos.
Usual disclaimers here--no affiliation with Peak, etc., etc.
nice to hear from you all again!
for those of you that still have your vsms, by all means get the lead free mod done because it is the crowning achievement for the vsm speaker. honestly, not too much can be done to it after that, if anything.
for those that had problems with them being tipsy with small children or animals, we have created a stabalizer that is centered around the feet on the rear of the speaker to stop them from falling over.
they can now play louder, wider, deeper, with better focus and are fuller and more relaxed sounding than ever before.
thank you!!