Recently added a pair of JL Audio subs (F112 V2). Adding their CR-1 Active Crossover made everything nearly seamless

. Incredible This is my 2-channel vinyl playback and computer audio system that I also use as a 5.1 home theater. Future upgrades?  Recently upgraded to the BAT VK-51SE and Merlin VSM-MXMs. For the first time ever, I love the sound of the music produced by my system!

Next step:  find quality center channel speaker (like Merlin VSM-CC) that uses Dynaudio Esotar tweeters and Scan Speak 5" to 6" woofers. 


Room Details

Dimensions: 21’ × 14’  Medium
Ceiling: 12’

Components Toggle details

    • Merrill-Scillia Research MS-2
    Outstanding Turntable. It was a Merrill Heirloom III upgraded to Merrill Scillia MS-2 by Anthony Scillia. Incredible!

    Stereophile Class A Component
    • Ortofon RS-212D
    Incredible tonearm
    • Ortofon Cadenza Bronze
    Excellent Cartridge

    Stereophile Class A Component

    • Ayre Acoustics P-5xe
    Phono Preamplifier

    Stereophile Class A Component
    • Cardas Audio Clear
    Phono Cables (DIN to XLR)

    • Aurender N100
    • Wireworld Platinum Starlight
    USB Cable
    • Wavelength Audio Cosecant v3
    With High Speed Motherboard and Sabre ESS 32/192 Asynchronous USB DAC featuring triode tube

    Stereophile Class A Component
    • Lacie 4 TB & 5 TB Hard Drives
    • Roon Labs Computer Audio Music Interface
    • Tidal Audio Music Streaming Service
    • Oppo Digital BDP-205
    Outstanding universal player that is being used to play all discs, but because of digital inputs (coaxial, toslink, USB, HDMI) it is also used as a DAC or video processor for all of my digital sources
    • Magnum Dynalab MD-105
    Incredible, balanced FM Tuner
    • Cardas Audio Clear Reflection
    These are Cardas Golden Reference Interconnects that were upgraded to Clear XLR Connectors (CG XLR) by Cardas

    Cardas Golden Reference interconnects with CG XLR Connectors = Cardas Clear Reflection
    • Balanced Audio VK-51 se
    Outstanding preamplifier. Next to my speakers, this is thr best component in my system

    Stereophile Class A Component
    • JL Audio CR-1
    Active Electronic Crossover
    • Cardas Audio Clear Interconnects
    Wonderful interconnects
    • Cary Audio Design Cinema 11a
    Awesome Pre/Pro

    Stereophile Class A Component

    Stereophile Multichannel Product of the Year
    • Wireworld Platinum Starlight
    Awesome HDMI Cables
    • Ayre Acoustics V-6xe
    Awesome 6-channel amplifier. Output impedance (damping factor) mates perfectly with my Merlin VSM-MXM and TSM-MMM speakers

    Stereophile Class A Component
    • Cardas Audio Clear
    Incredible Speaker Cables
    • Merlin Music Systems VSM-MXM
    OUTSTANDING Floor-Standing Speakers! These are the newest version - VSM-MXM (2014) - and they are an awesome upgrade over the previous model! 

    Includes Master RC Networks, Cardas Clear cabling, and Master BAM

    Stereophile Class A Component
    • JL Audio Fathom F-112, Version 2
    Amazing pair of subwoofers
    Try JL Audio subs in stereo - spectacular!
    • Merlin Music Systems TSM-MMM
    Awesome upgrade over previous TSM!

    Included Cardas Clear cabling and Master RC Network
    • Morel Hifi Soundspot SA-2MK II
    Outstanding Left & Right Surround Speakers that Feature Morel Tweeters & Morel Woofers - like the Merlin TSMs. Excellent Voicing across all 5 speakers!
    • Panasonic TC-P65VT30
    Great 65" Plasma TV
    • Audience AR-6T
    Awesome Power Conditioner. Sold my first one a year ago to upgrade cables. Bought the new cables, but sound quality got worse. When I re-inserted the aR6-T, everything sounded MUCH better. This is not a 'tweak' but an essential component!
    • Audience AU-24
    The only power cord I have used that is better than the JPS Labs power cords that I have used
    • JPS Labs Digital AC-X
    Great power cable
    • Oyaide Electric Inc. R-1
    Using 4 of these outlets for my system - very nice
    • Stillpoints LLC Ultra SS
    Outstanding product! 

    Currently use them under my Ayre V-6XE amp (major improvement) and my Balanced Audio Technology VK-51SE (nice improvement)
    • Stillpoints LLC Ultra AL
    These are used under my Merlin VSM-MXM Speakers. Nice improvement!
    • Stillpoints LLC Ultra Mini SS
    Excellent products!

    I currently use Stillpoints Ultra Mini SS under my Ayre P-5XE Phono Preamp and Wavelength Cosecant V3 DAC (nice improvement!)
    • Harmonic Resolution Systems Nimbus
    Couplers and footers
    • Vistek Vibration Isolation Bearings
    Two sets: (3) VIB320-0630 and with Vistek Isolation Foundation and (3) VIB320-0812 without foundation. Best vibration isolation devices I have found!

Comments 15

Hi,  I tried the Audiance SX speaker wire. Seemed to be to much top end for me   
 I went back to Golden Presents 
 I just needed to have someone else's though. I can't Get the Clear speaker wire.   I just might try the. SX wire again.   
  My VSM BM. Are
 56in out just under
7feet wide.   Really depends on recordings.  Rock thin sounding %85
 Jazz is fine.  Love the speakers.   Still
Looking for more
Bottom end.  Thanx for your time reading this 


System edited: Upgraded to Cardas Clear Interconnects - system no sounds much "cleaner" while imaging extends both higher and deeper Highly Recommended!


System edited: Added Ayre K-5xe MP preamp and corrected a major mistake in judgement. I sold an audience aR6-T to upgrade cables, as I thought the cables would make the type of difference I was looking for. I just purchased another aR6-T and learned that it made MUCH more of an improvement than any cables!


System edited: Added Wavelength Cosecant DAC - digital now sounds like music!!


That is a pretty extensive equipment list. Anyway that you are considering a few photos to compliment it.


System edited: Computer audio at 16 bit 44.1kHz (Mac Mini, Audirvana, and Wavelength DAC) sounds much better than I had hoped. In fact, the CD layer on my hybrid SACDs sound clearly better via this computer audio gear than the SACD layer sounds on my Oppo BDP-105.


System edited: I am very happy with the upgrades I have made since December 2012: (1) Upgraded TSM-M speakers to TSM-MMM (Master Series). WOW - HUGE improvement! I have owned the Merlin TSM-m speakers since 2000, and am always surprised that minor tweaks and other upgrades are so clearly evident through my TSM-m speakers. In fact, I have been so happy with them that I have upgraded everything else in my system and didn't desire to upgrade my speakers to the latest version. I have not owned any other equipment in my current system for even 5 years, but now that the rest of my system has improved, I decided to upgrade them to TSM-mme. While performing this upgrade on my speakers, the owner of Merlin, Bobby Palkovic, invented the TSM-mmm. I am one happy customer - these speakers are awesome! (2) On Bobby's recommendation, I had Cardas upgrade the spades on my Golden Presence Speaker Cables. They used their cold-forge process (the one they introduced with their Clear speaker cables) to connect their best spades to my GP cables. Very nice improvement! (3) Now that my speakers were sounding better than ever, I upgraded my subwoofer from a REL Storm III to a REL Stentor III. I never knew that bass frequencies could be reproduced this clearly in a home audio system. Each bass note sounds as well-defined and musical as a piano or acoustic guitar. Truly amazing! (4) After upgrading my speakers and sub, I am listening to more vinyl than I have since the 1980's. I wondered if a greater investment in my phono state would increase my enjoyment of vinyl, so I upgraded my phono section from the Monolithic PS-1 and H1-Cb Power Supply to the Sutherland PhD. Monolithic is an OEM supplier for many highly regarded audio companies (like Perpetual Technologies), so their phono stage is better than everything I have tried $1500. I found a great deal on a Sutherland PhD, so I decided to give it a try, and I am very glad I did. Everything I have read about this phono preamp was correct - records now sound incredible! I will probably keep my Merlin TSM-mmm speakers, REL Stentor III sub, and Sutherland PhD phono stage or a 10+ years!


System edited: Upgraded from the Monolithic PS-1 Phono Stage and HC-1b Power Supply to the Sutherland PhD. I also upgraded from the outstanding REL Storm III Subwoofer to their Stentor III Subwoofer. These are two of the best upgrades I have ever made to my system.


System edited: Added vinyl playback to my system (Harman Kardon T-65C turntable, Grado Sonata I cartridge, and Monolothic PS-1 phono preamp with HC-1 power supply), upgraded Oppo BDP-95 to their new BDP-105, and upgraded speaker cables from Supra 6.0 to Cardas Golden Presence (with cold-forged spades). I thought that listening to vinyl would be an improvement over traditional CDs, but I wasn't expecting it to sound better than most SACDs and DVD-Audio discs. This H/K T-65C is an outstanding turntable and the Grado Statement Sonata I cartridge sounds great with it. After auditioning the vinyl rig in one of his systems, my audio dealer said I would have to spend $2,500 on a new turntable to upgrade turntables. The Oppo BDP-105 definitely sounds a little biy better than the BDP-95 but all of the digital inputs (coax, TOSLINK, USB, and HDMI) makes it a major upgrade over the BDP-95. The Cardas Golden Presence speaker cables with cold-forged spades(like their Clear speaker cables) were a major upgrade over the Supra 6.0, and the Supra were very good.


Equipment upgrades include Theta Intrepid Multi-channel amplifier, Oppo BDP-95 Universal Player and audience teflon power conditioner.

Cable upgrades include the following:
- audience power chords and power chord-e cables on all audio gear.
- Most interconnects are audience au24e
- Most digital cables (coaxial and HDMI) are WireWorld Gold or Silver Starlight.

Currently in the process of replacing remaining interconnects with au24e's and remaining digital cables with WireWorld Silver Starlights. All of these cable upgrades have made my system MUCH more enjoyable.


System edited: Upgraded Amplifiers and Surround Speakers. HT now has all Morel drivers in the 5.1 speakers, as Merlin TSM-MMs and Soundspots contain premium Morel Drivers, so excellent voincing throughout HT. Also added another Dual-Mono Balanced 2 Channel Amp - Hafler 9303. Excellent Amp!!


System edited: Included My Power Cables


Updated with recent purchases: Marantz AV8003 Pre/Pro (upgraded in early July 2010) and Hafler Transnova 9505 Amp and Hafler Transova 9300 Amp (upgraded in late May 2010).

Each upgrade was a significant improvement over previous equipment:
(1) Marantz AV8003 sounds much better than my previous Pre/Pro, the Onkyo PR-SC885P, although Onkyo had much more features.
(2) Hafler Transnova Amplifers replaced excellent sounding EAD PM-500 Amplifier (5 x 100).
- EAD Amp ia a great amp, but Hafler's Transnova amps are worth much more expemsive ($3,550 vs $1,495) and their MOSFET design is a much better match with my Merlin TSM-MMs than EAD's Bipolar transistors were.
- Also, I was only using 4 channels of EAD, so I was getting 125W x 4, now I have 250W x 2 from 9505, and 300W x 1 from bridged 9300, so I now have approx 265W X 3 of cleaner, less distorted, and more tube-like power for my Merlin TSM-MM Left, Ctr, and Right Speakers.


sound's like a great system. greg


System edited: Added Monster Power Signature AVS 2000 and HTPS 7000


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