Merlin owners who have modified x-over?

Who has modifies or would like to modify the merlins, which caps have been used or considered.
p, from what i can remember, you have an older pair of vsms. there have been considerable changes in the product since that time. the addition of an hf q circuit, hook up wires, terminals, lead free upgrades, the cryoing of the filter caps and the litz inductors all made for imho, really significant changes for the better. putting the duelunds in a speaker of early vintage would be a waste imho.
now, i have been in contact with frederik at duelund and he has made proprietary capacitors for my needs. so far i have made a pair of rc networks which are again imho, very superior to the standard rcs we supply.
today, i am receiving an sbam with the duelunds installed. after 100 hours i will offer my opinions.
next step after the sbam is the tsm with the duelunds and last of all the vsm. i like to take my time with these experiments.
these caps are very large so there will be considerable changes necessary to make them work. they are also in the area of 8 times more expensive than my cryoed hovlands so please keep that in mind.
the rcs i have them in, their improvements were obvious if not, amazing.
stick with me.
best, b
pedrillo, i now have the sbam playing with the duelund copper foil capacitors in it and after about 8 hours i would say it is very superior in every way possible. the sbam being an ac circuit shows a faster break in than the passive rc network. the sbam uses them in the signal path, full bandwidth and the rc, above 100 khz. so it makes sense.
best, b
As always looking forward to hearing these at the next show.
By the way, love my merlins(:~}
Of course I will be moving to the mx's but for the time being am enjoying the merlins I have, sweet.

You'll be moving to MXe, the lead free wonder from Bobby@Merlin.

My advice, have some Depends adult diapers handy as you may crap your pants when you hear the MXe carefully set up :-)

Any interest in claritycaps MR? I heard good things about them and at a fraction of the price of duelunds. There are some sites that posted the results of their shootouts including the comparisons of many caps, interesting stuff. I read through them and came to the conclusion that for the introductory level speaker, upgrades are worth the effort with the not so pricy caps that are better than what's commonly found in those speakers. But for those speakers in the same league as Merlin VSM's only the best caps are the sure path to take. If my budget allowed it I would have had the mxe's by now and also would consider the duelunds, instead the clarity's may be in the works.
howard, after about 40 hours on the duelund sbam i am really amazed at what i am hearing. wider bandwidth with a less forced sound. more expanse. fuller tone and more complete. greater dynamics both in a micro and macro sense and just a totally inviting, natural presentation. there are things happening in the sound that i never knew were there like harmonies, toe tapping etc. nothing bright, just clear from a very black background.
should be totally broken in ar 120 hours
best, b
i was asked for a description of what i am hearing after about 120 hours on the sbam with duelunds.
the sound is more real and clear. the background is quieter. better focus, layering and expanse. less congested sounding in a way. wider bandwidth, better pitch variation in the bass and chunkier too. top end more precise and real. the mids are vivid and relaxed.
all mho.
best, b

Thanks for the updates.

Please keep this forum advised as to when/where/how these caps will be worked and utilized into the Merlin product lines.

Best Regards,

jim, more magic happened when i finally got some cardas clear at the merlin plant. in about 2 hours the sound was way more real than i had experienced at the factory before. this wire is uncomplicated, dynamic and natural sounding. and yes it sounds very clear. because it sounds so continuous from top to bottom, it is slightly more immediate in its presentation but with no hot spots, it sounds more relaxed at the same time. i like it!
i know you and one of my other friends have the clear and are saying the same things about it.
what a great tool for my kind of work and your listening too.
best, b
I'm curious about this Cardas clear. Is it available as internal wire for tweeter and mid/bass drivers? I see it on their website as finished cables only.
Sherod, i use a sigle run of clear to the woofers with my merlin made/cardas lead free jumpers to the tweeter.
my jumper wire is 15 gauge radially wound cardas copper litz soldered to copper tinned o-ring connectors with the cardas tri-eutectic lead free solder. did the same in vegas at the ces.
best, b
i misunderstood sherod.
this is a question you should ask the cardas folks. 1 541 347 2484.
the wire itself has a different internal geometry with different terminations. i do not know what they will offer in the future.
best, b

I agree, the Cardas Clear speaker cables and interconnects took my rig to new levels of resolution. They are indeed all that you describe as well as being completely fatigue free. My LA 300 ME/VZN 100/MXe set up has never sounded this good.

They are a must audition for anyone considering a re-cable IMO.

I'll call you next month to discuss the Duelands.

jim, yes all that resolution with a fuller tone and more balance.
remarkable cable for sure.

af, i am sorry, but what am i advetising? the duelunds? i was asked by two people to tell what i was hearing and kept my answers short and sweet. i have said nothing about using them in my product and what the cost would be. nothing mentioned on my site either. only that they sound great, are very large and very expensive. my r&d is not finished yet.

the cardas cable i do not sell and i think there are only three dealers in all of the usa that do. i was just letting jim know that i got some and what i thought of it. what i was implying to those that are serious about their system is that they should make very attempt to listen to this wire. this is not just a little better or more of the same. i do not consider this advertising but useful information to those that care. that is what these forums are for.
best, b
Bobby we appreciate you sharing with us your experience with the cables and caps. This is why your merlins are so popular, you keep bringing out a cutting edge product.
Bobby thanks we're fortunate you'll share your observations with us, you've got the product to back up your talk!!!!!

Pedrillo check with Rename: Adventures in Modding I think he's had Dulands since 03-07-09
Yes thanks for using the forums for advertising under the guise of "information sharing".

Much cheaper than placing an ad.
af, you seem to want to keep this going. even when i have responded to people asking for the information that i have given or people above have expressed gratitude for the same, i am advertising. well i disagree with you. but we do live in a great country and you are entitled to your opinion, as i am entitled to mine.
have a nice day!
Hey AF, the rest of us find these opinions interesting. If you do not then look into another forum and don't troll. You see this site has topics for just about everyone who loves audio. I'm sure you can spend your time much more effeciently reading on something you own or desire rather than being an annoyance.
Feil has nothing better to do than whine away his day dispensing his views on everything.Except to submit bottom feeder lowball offers to other sellers.
af, then how about this, when i get some clydesdale horses you will know i am really advertising.
best, b
AF, as stated you are a troll but I was wondering about your response. You answered "me neither" to whom? The previous replies were positive but you stated a negative? If you are going to persist as a pest at least make your comments appropriate. Otherwise, no one will read your answers/questions and then take no notice of your online shop. Which of course brings up your true motives being in this forum at all??
I find Bobby P's sharing of an on-going R&D project refreshing. There are very few manufacturers who bother to participate in these forums at all. I doubt those who decline to do so are reticent owing to ethical concerns about mixing advertising in an "open forum." Rather than share information, they are as likely determined to wrap their R&D in a cloak of invisibility.
Have any private owners of Merlins modified their crossovers to premium components like the Duelunds?
What changes in sounds are you hearing?
This thread reads like a Billy Mays Infomercial.
The original question was for owners of Merlins to discuss changes they had made to their Merlin Crossovers. Not one response by a private owner!
The only reply is by the owner of Merlin Speakers. Fine to reply, but why not identify yourself as The Merlin representative. Why not post your results in detail at your web site and invite readers to visit that site? Have you tried any other caps besides the Hovelands and the Duelunds. Are these Duelund VSF copper, aluminum, or the Cast series?
If there are any Merlin owners who do want to experiment to obtain a better sound, Parts Connexion is selling Duelunds at 20% off (including custom values)during the month of June.
I am not associated with any Audio company. I do wish "bobby" and "audileil" would both be more transparent in their postings.
David Pritchard
david, everyone knows who i am here, just as you do.
i have posted on this site for years.
i have nothing to post on my site about this because the r&d has not been completed and duelunds are not used in my product at this time.
i reponded to pedrillo and told him what i was doing. he knows me because he owns merlins. this conversation started between the two of us. there was no need to be more transparent.
i was asked by two individuals to say what i have found. they asked so i responded.
i am working with some other cap brands too. no comment.
i elected to go with the vsf because my speaker systems are q circuited and the size of the cast versions. it was my call.
you may not think so but i am very transparent and have always been. why else do people know what i am doing.
you cannot make everyone happy obviously but i will continue to do the right thing for those that are interested.
and david, there are many here that seem to be.
best, b

David P, As Alice said, it gets curiouser and curiouser. Now a post by someone who lambasts a manufacturer and a dealer, has no Agon-listed system, and provides a pointer to a 20% off sale at PCx... BTW, see my system for Merlin modified with Claritycap MR, Duelund, and Mundorf-- all excellent piece parts in this context.
Congratulations on your outstanding work on your crossover networks. Your use of both Duelund and Clarity caps combined with a Duelund resistor are sure to provide sonic bliss. Have you been been inclined to vary inductors? There have been conflicting reports on the sonic attributes of the Solen and the North Creek inductors, and maybe nothing written concerning the quite expensive Duelund Inductors.
I hope you will take the time to tell us the changes you heard as you made your changes or did you take the plunge and do your upgrade in onestep?
I do not feel I have lambasted any party at Audiogon (a verb meaning to wack or pound). I only wish dealers and manufacturers would identify themselves as such.
I do appreciate Bobby identifying which Duelund cap he is evaluating and why, and not leaving it identified as a Duelund proprietary.
I am sure when you bought your expensive Duelunds you would want to know if they could be bought at a discount instead of their everyday price. I have no affliation with Parts Connexion. Since June 30 is the last day of their sale, I thought people buying Duelunds should act promptly.
David Pritchard
The Duelund copper VSF are amazing caps. I just put one on the tweeters of my speakers and it has completely transformed my speakers. Never have I heard cymbals sound so real and palpable. Thanks to Dgarrettson, SNS and other Merlin owner's experimentation with Duelunds in their speakers, their excitement, I believe, has carried over to convince Bobby in trying them out. I'm not a Merlin owner, by the way. My mini-monitors are the Reference 3a Dulcet. Duelund copper VSF caps are the real deal. The Cast models are supposedly better but for a much greater price. Parts Connexion probably have the best price going now, especially with their monthly discount sale.
David P., Actually I use only Claritycap MR and Duelund resistors in xover. Elsewhere in system I have used Mundorf Silver/Gold, V-Cap, and NOS Russian teflon caps-- all excellent and significant improvements compared to stock caps found in even very high-priced components.

The stock inductors in Merlin VSM are heroically large, custom-wound affairs that I don't plan to replace. My only experience with aftermarket inductors is with Alphacore aircore foil types that I use as 95kHz noise filters in analog domain of my modded CDP. I have a switch on that player that allows alternating between filter vs. straight through-- so I can hear what those inductors are doing. They are very transparent, detailed and smooth.

As great an effect as piece parts can have on a system, I have been reluctant so far to accept the significant upcharge for Duelund capacitors. The marketing that accompanies these caps seems to position signal caps (and particularly xover caps) much like standalone audiophile components-- with commensurately exhorbitant prices. My experience modifying every component in my system does not wholely reject this idea, but in the end it seems to me more likely that the psychology at work resembles the marketing of very expensive cables. With cables I know that relatively inexpensive DIY designs can get very close to uber-priced commercial cables. The marginal return (for the DIYer at least)may be is greater putting the expenditure into some other improvement. Of course if cost is no object then anything goes.
david p, once again, pedrillo is a merlin owner and we know each other. most of those posting in this string are merlin owners as well. there was no need to mention my identity, even you knew who i was. if i remember to, i will try to post as bobby@merlin like i do when i think people do not know who i am. i am very sensitive to this. you are preaching to the choir.
*replacing the hovland inductors in the vsms will get you into a lot of trouble because they work in conjunction with the q circuit to provide the needed resistance to negate electrical resonace in the hf. these are very sohisticated pieces, hand made for me by bob hovland. for this application you will not find better regardless of the make or cost. any attempt to change them will surely degrade the sound unless you completely understand the circuit's opperation. dave garretson, i am sure does but he has elected to keep them in the circuit, as well he should.
sherod, i spoke to frederik of duelund about the cast version. i know what they are are and how they are made. they are too large to even put into the vsm's crossover chamber so it was an easy call for me. the benefits of their use "may not" even apply here because my networks are q circuited and shock mounted.
happy 4th to you all!
Thank you for your detailed and thoughtful response. You are so correct in the pricing of the Duelunds. At their cost it is helpful to the community to have detailed user reports about which crossover networks do or do not benefit.
Unlike many cable options, there are no 30 day trials with these aftermarket components.
Did you do your modifications in multiple steps or as a total one step change?
The Clarity MR cap appears to be a particularly good value in the world of expensive caps.
David Pritchard
Claritycap MR and Duelund resistors were broken in and evaluated separately in each section of the crossover. The MRs sound great across FR and are claimed by design to have internal resonance control characteristics similar to Duelund. Duelund graphite resistors (once broken in) have an exceptionally clear, detailed, and musical HF and represent excellent value-- even in view of relatively high price for a resistor.
yes it would howard but that would be self defeating because the wire the follows the networks to the drivers would be many feet longer. i have found that rfi and emi affects this cable length to the greatest degree. i also found dynamic compression evident. that is why i elected to have the networks as close as possible to the drivers. good question howard.
Bobby, Bobby who :-)

The problem is we all know you too well my friend! You have helped each and every one us achieve as much or as little as we desire with our set ups. You are never too busy to take the time to answer questions and do it it as a gentleman even when needlessly attacked in these forums.

You have assisted me 10+ years with the greatest customer service and support and helped me wring out the last degree of resolution in my rig in achieving my goal of the absolute sound. For that I say, thank you!
Hey, let me me add to the lovefest... Bobby (like Bob Crump, and Gilbert Yeung, and Aj Conti,....) has been the best advocate of good sound, good advice (thought we might not always agree)... Bobby just wants everyone to have the best f'in sound they can have. period. and he backs up his product. and his speakers kick ass in my room like no other. nuf said. For me or anyone else that has the Merlin's, he wants them to shine for you 2...

Although, if I had to upgrade from the Mxe to some other MXemore I might need a finance plan nowadays!!!

be gentil on the nexy phase der bob'o...

Thank you for your additional information on your choice of components to upgrade and the rational behind the choices.
Thank you for identifying yourself as a manufacturer.
David Pritchard