Merlin Millennium Series
VSM-SE & TSM-SE
The Merlin SE series was produced from June 1997 to July of 2000. While in production, the SEs found a home in numerous recording studios, digital mastering houses, and audio/video production facilities. We are very proud of the fact that 26 manufacturers use these products as a reference tool. We also have 22 reviewers, publishers, and editors using the speakers in their own reference systems. Additionally, the speakers have received many awards (Reviewers Choice Award from Soundstage!, Product of Exceptional Merit from Bound for Sound, and the VSM-SE was chosen by Soundstage! as their very first inductee to be honored in their Hall of Fame!). Over a three year period the SE series has garnered 24 best of show comments from various magazines, been reviewed ten times and praised across the board for its exemplary quality and performance. They are considered by many to be the best in their class, and possess qualities that many price no object designs have yet to realize.
You may ask, "Why would you stop making products with these credentials?" Because, WE CAN MAKE THEM BETTER, MUCH BETTER!
Issues & Considerations
Audio enthusiasts should understand this basic premise: No one piece of equipment will please every individual in every application.
Proper equipment matching is a necessary step to achieving the best possible performance. While certain speaker characteristics are commonly considered when making equipment selection (design, electrical etc.), there are some very important issues which we feel are not being considered. To wit, is the speaker maximally flat and damped or under-damped?
The VSM-SE is an example of a maximally flat,critically damped design. It requires ancillary equipment that is under-damped (fuller sounding) to achieve best results. Many enthusiasts, however, have systems that have been voiced around under-damped speaker systems. Therefore, the associated equipment has been selected to deliver a more definite character. When placed in such a "environment", the VSM-SE could sound overly damped (with a leaner and/or more forward presentation). Under such conditions it would be easy to lay blame on the speaker and not on the true source, the equipment that preceded it.
In hindsight, two things became very obvious. One, we designed a product that worked great with certain gear and two, we felt we had an obligation to make a product that would be more compatible with a wider variety of systems.
You cant please all of the people all of the time or can you?!
After two years of research, we have developed proprietary "S" and "T" wiring harnesses for the Millennium series. The "S" harness was developed around solid state equipment so it will flesh out a damped bottom end, juice up the mid-range (and relax it slightly), while making the top end more forgiving. This is tailored for the needs of damped sounding systems. Conversely, the "T" harness was developed around tubed equipment and will exhibit great clarity and control with extreme dynamics which is exactly what is needed for under-damped systems. Though specialized, in either case both harnesses are vastly superior to the ones used in the SE series. They exhibit less microphonics, and resonance while improving resolution, image density, stage size, and dynamics.
To take full advantage of the wiring improvements, changes in torque settings, damping materials (quality & quantity), and electronic circuit damping had to be implemented. The VSM Millennium also incorporates a new speaker foot design, our "Z" foot. This foot is a design marvel because it radically reduces sheer effects and is continuously adjustable while the foot body stays snug to the bottom of the speaker. The enhanced dynamic coupling produces a much fuller, clearer, relaxed, and more uniform sound. Though designed specifically for the VSM Millennium, our research has shown that the "Z" foots design and resulting ultra-low resonant frequency can significantly improve the performance of virtually any damped, high Q speaker system.
So, how can some speaker feet, hook-up wire, etc. make such a dramatic improvement?!?! One word, optimization. Years of R&D, have resulted in finely tuned designs which bring these beneficial changes clearly to the forefront. To those of you who think you know what the VSMs are all about, to quote Al Jolson, "You aint heard nothin yet!"
How Much & Upgrades
New products are usually associated with major price increases. Good news!!! In this case the obligatory price increase has be waived Please see our price list for current prices on all Millennium series products.
Owners of TSM-SE and VSM-SE products please call or e-mail the factory for Millennium series upgrade information. If you have a pre SE series product call or e-mail to inquire about improvements that are available for your speakers.
Web-Site by: Richard Brkich