Got the good word from Bobby Palkovich yesterday — my Merlin VSM-MXMs are on the way! DB Schenker will be backing up a truck tomorrow. Whoo-wee!
In case you’ve been following the Merlin updates, the name of these speakers is very new — up until last week or so, they were called the MXR, where “R” stands for “Reference”. My speakers got downgraded to “M” for “Master” because Bobby is now looking at rewiring the cabinets with Cardas Clear cables (which he says are the best cables on the market, for whatever that’s worth). Delivery on this new mod is scheduled for the 2nd half of 2011, though should I be so inclined, Bobby made it pretty clear that an upgrade to the Reference wiring should be simple enough. So, until then, the MXMs will be topping out the Merlin lineup — that is, until the new Merlin 3-way comes out.
[Oops. Did I say that out loud? Yes, I think I did. Did I mention that the new 3-way will have an integrated subwoofer (think Vandersteen), good for bass down into the teens? No? Well. I’m told a prototype might, possibly, maybe, make an appearance at a trade show in 2011. But don’t tell anyone I told you because it’s a SECRET. Shhh!]
So, what’s in store with the new MXMs? Well, the cabinets are all new, as in, made from a new material. I expect it’s some new form of Unobtanium that is more inert than whatever it was they were using prior to this rev. Drivers are also new, but more a refinement than anything revolutionary there. And inside, there’ll be some new caps and whatnot.
Probably the biggest updates will be to the external bits. The whole “Master” moniker is derived from the new Bass Augmentation Module and RC Networks. Both make use of cryo’d Dueland VSF copper-foil caps and Bobby is just nuts about them.
My plan is to set them up and start breaking them in. Sometime after New Years, I then plan to pin Bobby down to fill in some design details for me (and find out what he’ll let me talk about) and then write up a nice long description. Stay tuned!