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Magic is in the air

DB Schenker managed to route my new Merlin VSM-MXR speakers through an extra state or two, so that I finally received them at 8pm the night before Christmas Eve. Needless to say, all I was able to do over the weekend was unpack them and fondle them a bit.

So, today got them up and in.

Some impressions? Wow that was a lot of masking tape. I opted for the piano black finish (which looks spectacular but will be pretty much impossible to photograph), so that meant a lot of care was taken to preserve that finish through shipment until such a time that I could fuck it up all on my own. Which meant a big box with spacers and foam — and a ton of masking tape on all the corners and whatnot. I should have taken a picture, but I didn’t really have a lot of time to get through the setup this morning. C’est la vie.

Another thing: Z-Feet are not your friends. One, they’re sharp as shit. Carpet piercing? Sure. But armor-piercing is probably more apropos. There’s the spike, the nut, and the pad — all of which must be assembled into a perfect alignment in order to get the speakers upright and level. Which brings me to issue Two, their wicked hard to get into the sockets. They’re slick, pointy, and those sockets are insanely snug. What ought to have been a trivial task of moments instead took an hour. Note to self — winding steel spikes with left-over masking tape can provide the grip one needs to drive a screw into a socket without maiming, puncturing, or otherwise ventilating one’s self. Ok, good to know.

I opted for the whole Master-thing enchilada, so my MXRs shipped with a pair of Master RCs, each sporting their own Duelund capacitor. After laying out all the bits of my shipment on my pool table, I was alarmed to find that my Master RCs were … not. I scoured the box innards, the bits, the speakers … nada. Emailed Bobby and was about to bludgeon him about the head and face (verbally, at least) when he kindly failed to call me a total idiot and helped to locate them within the bag housing the grills. Sheesh. I’m a tool sometimes. Anyway….

I need to find a better place for the Master BAM. For now, I’ve tucked it into the rack by snuggling it down onto the top of my Berkeley Alpha DAC. I had several 8.5″ x 11″ sheets of StillPoints’ ERS cloth, so those went between them (just in case). I grabbed another pair of interconnects off the pile and wired the Master BAM between the pre and the amps.

All connected, I started fiddling with positioning. Bobby has some really nice directions on this that I’ll put into a review, if I ever get around to it.

I dialed the feedback on the amps to zero, cranked the variac over, switched everything from standby, and waited for the amps to settle. Turned on the server, pumped the tunes, and … and ….

Everything sounds great. Right out of the box, they’re great. Not good. Great. Color me in with a big smile.

Hee hee!

Anyway, it’ll be a couple of weeks before I’ll have enough time on them to do a proper listening test, so stay tuned ….

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About Scot Hull (979 Articles)

Founder, Editor and Publisher at Part-Time Audiophile and The Occasional Magazine.