Review: Merlin Music Systems TSM-MMI Monitor

Category: Speakers

Merlin, hmmm what a fitting name for some magical speakers. I first acquired a set of the TSM-MMIs about 4-5 weeks ago having never even heard of them and I'm so glad I did. After receiving them and putting them through their paces with my usual trial discs of Steely Dan, some Sade, Over The Rhine, and a few female jazz vocalists I knew they were winners as anyone who has ever heard them will agree. How much a speaker a will retrieve is important to me and with the layers of Steely Dan and Sade, They passed the test. Some of the strengths I hear in the Merlins are their ability to be so articulate. I can hear and understand lyrics in the music whereas I don't always with other speakers.

After doing a little bit of research I soon found out about the upgrades available that Bobby P. will perform and immediately knew I wanted even more of what these speakers had to offer so off they went to undergo the MMM treatment, more of Bobby's magic so to speak. Within a week I had them back. They did take just a while to settle down but it was worth the wait and the cost. They had a new coherency and tightness about them but what really floored me was that they sounded bigger than they are. Believe me or not when I cranked them up just a bit and closed my eyes I could have very easily believed I was hearing floor standers. And of course they still had that same refinement and smooth sound.

I know that most say they sound better with tubes but with my meager set-up I don't believe there much out there under $3000 that can match them. Like I said, magic.

Associated gear
Plinius 9100
Supra cabling
Shunyata Venom 3

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Hi, did you get the master RC networks?

I have the exact same speakers you have, but I haven't sent mine in for the upgrade yet.

And I've used mine with both solid state and tubes, and trust me -- tubes are a match made in heaven with them. But I'm sure your setup sounds great too.

I'm actually auditioning speaker cables as I type . . .
Yes I did. I think you'll be thoroughly impressed if you through with the upgrade. Man, I've got to hear them with tubes or I'll always wonder what I'm missing.

I'd also like the Cardas cabling but that's just out of my league for now.
You should be able to find Cardas Golden Cross cables used, they are my favorite cables... hmm I keep hearing great things about these Merlins... why are they always for sale? I have Chario Academy 1 and wonder if the Merlins would 'dethrone' them.