Thanks for the excellent review Project 86!
I had a chance to listen to the Merlin demo some months ago - I think it was the revised version (2) - and I had similar impressions from it as you described. With the mid range being a bit distant and bass being too loud for some genres of music.
I ordered a set of Miracles after that - however now reading your review think I would have ordered the prototype (v1) Merlin if it was available. Miracle style mids and highs plus dynamic bass would be amazing.
If only UM would offer both versions for sale...
thanks again for writing honest and quality reviews.