Lead free Merlins

have anyone listened to the new lead free Merlins? And if so, what`s the difference?
you would have to know what the earlier versions sounded like to be able to give an opinion and i do not know of anyone that had mm or mxs that now have the e-versions in the us. we have many that have mme or mxe versions in the us and they all seem to really like them even with ss. there is a string further down where a fellow with tsm mmes voices his opinion on them (string comparing tsm m and proac res 2), his name is capt.
i know of many in europe that have followed my product very closely for years and have owned ms, mms, mxs and now the e-versions and these people in particular think the e vesions are very superior in sound. i have my own opinion of lead and its effects but that is better discussed in a personal fashion. e-mail me at bobby@merlinmusic.com or call 585 367 2390 during business hours and i will be glad to tell you my feelings on the subject. or you can contact rich at signature sound (richb@sigsound.com) for his thoughts as he follows my work very closely. there will also be an addition to the main page of the merlin site (www.merlinmusic.com) discussing this very point hopefully this weekend.
Hi Merlin1310...As Bobby said, I haven`t heard any of the previous tsm or vsm series speakers. I owned a pair of merlin sig. 4`s about 16 yrs. ago and loved them. I knew if I ever got back into the hobby, I`d start with merlins and build a system around them, hence the new tsm mme`s.

If I were to sum up my impression of these speakers, it would go something like this....

Clear and natural. To me, the music flows in an absolutely clear, natural and beautiful manner with realistic imaging and sound stage. They are never bright and even seem to make inferior ancillary components sound good. I have an old denon1420 front end for now.

Hope this helps.
I currently own the Merlins VSM-M speakers and have for the past 5 years. My experience with lead-free solders is very positive. Over the last 8 months or so I have removed and replaced my previous Cardas leaded solder with Johnson Mfg IA-423 lead free solder on my preamp. The sound was cleaner, clearer and livelier in general. My experience with lead solder is that it adds heaviness and certain dullness to the sound. The lead free sound is faster with better definition across all frequencies. The Johnson IA-423, with a 6.4% silver/copper content (see link below), is the best sounding solder I have experience with and easily out performed the cardas and WBT solder I was previously using.

I have not heard the newer lead free “e-version” Merlin speakers but I strongly suspect they will sound superior to the previous leaded versions based on my personal experience. I am in the process of trying to remove as many leaded solder joints as possible in my audio equipment and replace them with high silver content lead free solder joints.

Link: http://www.johnsonmfg.com/temp/SOLDER.HTM

hi johnny,
hopefully by day's end a discussion will be added to the main page of the merlin website regarding the sound improvements that one can expect from our lead free construction. this is more than just solder as the rest of the components in the networks and the drivers themselves have to be totally lead free. what i hear is a more continuous/complete sound, more room filling, clearer/purer with less fizzle, a more expansive soundstage and superior micro and macro dynamics. the sound is just more right and lifelike with better pitch definition in the bass.
testing different solders, i ended up preferring the cardas tri eutectic tin, silver and copper blend. your preference for a higher silver content is understandable seeing that you have vsm millenniums which are not as continuous sounding as the mm or mx which have cryoed crossover parts.
it is hard to describe but the sound is more continuos and complete which does result is a slightly more present sound quality but it is interesting that it seems more relaxed overall. everyone receiving the e versions (without lead) using ss seems to be having a really great time of it and this was a pleasant surprize for me. but i am still a tube guy.
Hi Bobby,

Glad to hear of the positive results of your new lead free model. I was looking to trade up to the MX model in the next six months or so but will probably settle for a used leaded MX I can pick up locally hear in So. California for now. I hope more manufactures, even those that do not sell in the EU, will get the lead out of there audio products. I believe the sonic benefit of removing lead out of the signal path is even more critical upstream in the audio chain. The phono preamp with its very delicate signal I think would benefit greatly by removing the lead and increasing the silver content of the solder. Unfortunally my Manley Steelhead phono stage is not user friendly for internal tweaking since the female rca jacks are directly soldered on to there circuit board. I would like to remove there chepo brass rca's and remove the solder but that is not possible with the steelhead design. The Aesthetix IO looks much more user friendly for tweaking so when I upgrade some day and purchase the IO signature I will install new pure copper vampire connectors and use lead free solder.

I am running my Merlins using a Cat JL2 stereo tube amp and a Jadis JPS2 preamp which I am in the process of upgrading using much better internal wring, better connectors and lead free solder. Thus far the JPS2 sounds better and better each time I remove the old internal wiring and re solder lead free.

Good luck with your new VSM-Mxe as I know it is a real winner. It is amazing how far you have taken this design since 2000. Your "e" version is just a continuation of pushing the envelope.