Musical Fidelity Merlin 1 System gets a makeover

New speaker finishes for all-in-one digital music system

by Mark Hodgkinson Jul 9, 2015 at 11:42 AM


  • Hi-Fi News

    Musical Fidelity Merlin 1 System gets a makeover
    UK specialist hi-fi manufacturer Musical Fidelity has updated its popular Merlin 1 system with three new colours for its unique elliptical speakers.
    They are now available in ‘super deep, luxurious’ white, yellow or silver grey.

    The Merlin 1 System features the Merlin digital amplifier and Bluetooth apt-X streamer and the Merlin 1 Speakers for a combined price of £799.

    All of the system has been designed to Musical Fidelity’s bespoke specifications and feature many components found in the company’s more expensive audiophile products, plus some unique technologies to ensure the sound quality is top-notch.

    Merlin is also the first digital streaming system that has been designed from the ground up with the LP very much in mind, and includes the option to purchase the system with the dedicated Roundtable turntable for an all-in price of £1300.
    The loudspeakers have a subtle elliptical shape with very fine finish in an initial choice of red, black or silver now joined by the three new finishes. The amplifier is available in black with a custom made extrusion.

    At the heart of the news system is the sleek and compact Merlin digital amplifier/streamer which carries a very high specification featuring two 24bit, 192Khz DACS and twin high grade amplifier modules - running as completely separate monoblocks to minimise unwanted noise and distortion.

    Peak power into the Merlin loudspeakers is claimed at ‘a comfortable’ 50 watts per channel, allowing the system to replay music with high resolution, fast dynamics and accurate transients.The integrated headphone amp is also of a very high quality - being based on Musical Fidelity’s dedicated audiophile V90 HPA model.
    System inputs include: phono, USB (isochronous for updating the system or connecting to a PC), Bluetooth aptX and a line input (digital or analogue).

    The Merlin system also includes an inbuilt analogue to digital converter (ADC) and a specially configurable output - analogue or digital, fixed or variable – which allows direct connection to a computer so that any of the Merlin’s inputs can be ripped to the hard disk – including LP. Alternatively, it allows for the addition of a subwoofer or the connection to active loudspeakers - either digital or analogue.


    The Merlin Loudspeakers also include a new Musical Fidelity innovation via the company’s exclusive diffraction multiplier system that allows the relatively compact speakers to offer a bigger soundstage.

    Rather than the normal flat front baffle, the Merlin 1 features a multi-stepped baffle which combines with a single wide-dispersion BMR driver in each speaker to offer near-field flat frequency response and low distortion.

    The impression, MF tells us, is of a far larger system, with the sound seeming to be omnidirectional, giving a feeling of space and air whilst still giving a very wide but very focused image.

    Musical Fidelity has a long heritage of designing turntables and the Round Table is produced to the same bespoke specification, the new turntable also includes a unique feature; much effort has be made to ensure that, for the first time, all of the decks components have been designed and placed to guarantee that the product is perfectly, statically balanced and that its centre of gravity is at the pivot point of the main bearing.

    Other top spec components include: a polished high carbon tool steel bearing, an extremely inert chassis and suspension system and a very high quality pick up arm, usually used on products several price categories higher than Round Table.

    The Merlin 1 system will be available specialist hi-fi stores. Consumers can choose to mix and match their system with the Merlin 1 Speaker being available in yellow, white, silver grey, red, silver or black; the Round Table has a choice of red or black finish while the Merlin amplifier is available in black.

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