Playback Designs Merlot?

I was wondering if there were any owners or comments on this DAC?

Is it resolving, delicate highs, good base, sound staging , etc

Any comparisons?

Thanks,. Jeff

Sorry for the delay. Don't peruse these forums anymore. Came across your question from google search and was shocked to see no responses. I have the Merlot Dac and Syrah server connected to an Audible Illusions L3A preamp (Class A, single gain stage, single ended circuit, tube), Pass Labs XA30.8 amp (alternating with a First Watt SIT-2) and Vaughn Barbera II speakers with Dukane Plasma tweeters. I'm off the merry-go-round of equipment auditions and trials and just enjoy my music. The Merlot is hands down the best DAC I've ever heard. Andreas Koch is highly regarded in the industry and was involved with DSD from the beginning. I suggest you do some research on his credentials. It's interesting. I rarely agree with reviewers but they have it right with this one. It matches playback sonics on par with the L3A and XA30.8. All have similar character. Incredible sonics. Highly resolving but musical, no harshness at all. Alive. Like the XA30.8, highly resolving and layered soundstage. But, only way to tell if YOU like it is to listen for yourself. As a note, it says quite a bit that you rarely see any Playback Designs on the used market. People tend to keep them. I've only seen one Merlot for sale used ever and he had two and replaced one with the new Playback Designs Dream DAC, MPD-8. Best...

I spent 2 weeks with the Merlot with my home system
I agree with you

i’ve listened to the Meridian Explorer2 ( current dac), Exogal Comet , Chord Quetest and spent 2 weeks with the Merlot 

The Merlot had big bass, not very forwTd tonality ( good thing) and lots of details , but not edgy

It made poor 80’s re ordings sound good

I like the DSD sound

Has anyone compared the Merlot on DSD to EMM labs (thanks in advance)?

I’m a huge fan of EMM on SACD/DSD, but they do not make a small format DAC that can fit on my desk.
I am specifically asking about DSD file performance.
Thank you.

I’ve not listened to the EMM dac vs Merlot 
my guess, as both are DSD, that they sound more similar than not

The DSD sound is big bass, great soundstage , great details, but a tad soft in highs that makes 80’s album sound good
PCM I find very overtly detailed

my opinion

I too have come across this post from Google :).  I concur with the above observations.  Merlot is extremely musical. I find it lot better than DACs priced above it.  Not just DSD,  MP3 a very well handled and enjoyable. I am using Oppo 103 and find the OpBox (PLink) to be much cleaner and superior. I have not found a need for Syrah with OpBox and Oppo connected to NAS.  I would have taken Syrah had it included a PLink output, unfortunately, USB and ASIO did not excite me to invest on it.