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REVIEW: Unique Melody Merlin - hybrid dynamic/balanced armature custom IEM - Page 7

post #91 of 1069

Quote:

Interestingly I got a PM from a Head-fier mentioning that the ZO has bridged the gap between the Miracle and the Merlin bass wise. I've got my name down for the ZO v2, so can't comment yet, waiting for release info. But this could be a very good option for most.

 

Thanks for the info Aaron, but IMO a Balanced Armature bass driver still has a different sound on the low frequency even when amped or EQ'd to +DB compared to a Dynamic Bass Driver. This can be heard when you have natural recorded instruments like the Cello or even a Bass Guitar. If you are a fan of dynamic headphones, you will hear a lot of differences with the BAs and you will group the DD headphones as very natural sounding. Well from what I hear with 2 DD iems, which is the FX700 and the EX1000, their superb timbre cannot be found on most BA iems. Just my 2 cents.
 

 

post #92 of 1069
Quote:
Originally Posted by kingice10 View Post

Quote:

 

Thanks for the info Aaron, but IMO a Balanced Armature bass driver still has a different sound on the low frequency even when amped or EQ'd to +DB compared to a Dynamic Bass Driver. This can be heard when you have natural recorded instruments like the Cello or even a Bass Guitar. If you are a fan of dynamic headphones, you will hear a lot of differences with the BAs and you will group the DD headphones as very natural sounding. Well from what I hear with 2 DD iems, which is the FX700 and the EX1000, their superb timbre cannot be found on most BA iems. Just my 2 cents. 

 


I tend to agree with you. I'm not convinced that the ZO will really make the best of both worlds...

But this is just my assumptions, I haven't used the ZO so cannot comments on it sound signature once applied.

 

But for those wanting a little more bass out of their Miracle, this might be a good option, not necessarily as good as the Merlin's but still a sufficient 'bridge'

 

 

*I feel the need to once again mention this is all speculation on my behalf, but has definitely piqued my interest...

post #93 of 1069

UM Merlin Review

 

Merlin5.JPG

 

I Finally got into Custom IEM's, after scouraging through many reviews, i opted to go with UM.

After meeting Matt, im glad i did, his customer service has been awesome, he even made time from his busy schedule to drive out to my place to first demo both the Merlin and The Miracle.

Then after I decided on getting both...biggrin.gif He even delivered them personally to my home, as i have a ill father, and am on call.

Anyway, I chose my Merlin with White face plates and clear body opting for a purple tip on the RH'S. The Workmanship on these guys is amazing. As far as my Artwork went, i chose to keep it standard looking with UM logo, but as a difference i also wanted Merlin underneath in the same metal print.I am quite happy with their looks, although if i had to be picky i would have Merlin a little bigger and slightly lower..but its OK cos once in your ear its all about the sound......

 

merlin 1.jpgMerlin7.jpgmerlin6.jpg

 

BOOM BOOM WOW.........Yep i asked for Bass and for me the Merlin delivers the Goods. After giving them a full week of burn-in just playing all kinds of different music through them, i found their sound gradually became clearer and evened out.  With these guy's in your ears the Bass comes to the forefront Pulsatingly Deep and Low, Reverberating my brains, Very Big sounding sounstage & of course Bass. I have had some bassy IEM's, IE8's, but they don't hold a candle to this Brute. He does not bloat, or bleed into the other frequencies, in fact i find the bass fast, keeping up with Techno and Trance, which by the way i generally don't listen to but was interested to hear how they fared. It kinda just wants you to try Electronica, Hip Hop etc.

 

 For me its sound kinda like  turning back the clock when i used to frequent clubs back in the day, where you FELT the bass.

It's like sub woofer in your head literally. I have 2 massive SVS PB13 Ultras in my home rig and........... Mr Merlin delivers this to me ears.

I don't have any issues regarding driving them from my Classic, Computer files sound amazing  so amping would even improve these to my opinion.

I even tried matching them with my Cary Xciter, Dac combo, using NOS Mullard Quad EL84's & 4004 ax7's .

Sonically speaking they were breathtaking it extended the highs even more toward the Miracle country, mids also opened slightly and the bass tightened more refined but definitely still present, my only gripe is noise, hiss yes that dreaded word.... sorry Mr Merlin i guess is a bit too sensitive, damn what a shame.....

 

On a more positive note, Live Music is really where Mr Merlin gets the points...Led Zeppelin's Song Remains The Same SHM recording just transports you into the 3rd row (which i have to my self) at Madison Square Gardens, Jimmy's guitar blisters and cranks while the thud of Bonzo's Drum kit is making me want to get up and jump around...Plants screams are clear and well positioned and JPJ bass playing can really be appreciated, as he goes on those amazing runs every detail is there.

 

I have been to many a rock concert in my day, and these just sound right to my ears, you really cant ask more than that.

 Man i am so involved in the music, and hey.... isn't that what its all about?

 Rock & Roll baby...Try Listening to Hotel California Live,,, Yep The Merlin is one hell of a S.O.B . Now I'm getting excited....well I'm listening as i type.

What I'm really noticing is you al lknow all those classic Rock & Blues albums that just don't seem to have that punch needed? i mean compared to today's recordings, well the Merlin just gets in there and makes them come alive. But if you feed this guy iffy recordings well you gonna be disappointed.

I have tried and also liked Classical,  Orchestra's,  Chello suites & piano solos.

 

Sure i can see some folks being slightly distracted by the Big Bass, but overall i find the signature to be fun sounding, smooth laid back mids, with high's that are definitely there but not fatiguing, and oh ye that Bass, BOOM BOOM WOW.

 

Thanks also, goes to Project 86 for his insight into Mr Merlin, it was his well written accurate review that swayed me to try these, and not the Demo pair that sounds way off. I know my review is nothing of the style & sophistication  of the formentioned Gentleman, but dare i say... its the best way I can explain what I am hearing and feeling when on.  

 

        

 

                                                                                           

 

 

post #94 of 1069

Nice. Thanks for the review. Sounds like you are really enjoying them and makes me excited to receive mine. 

post #95 of 1069

Great review, I'm probably getting a pair of these from someone to reshell.

post #96 of 1069

Thanks guys ..glad you enjoyed .......biggrin.gif

post #97 of 1069
Quote:
Originally Posted by dyl1dyl View Post

Great review, I'm probably getting a pair of these from someone to reshell.



Good luck finding some my friend :D

I think there's only been 1 person on Head-fi who didn't really like them and sold them... Best bet is hope for another UM sale and jump on board.



Quote:
Originally Posted by maguire View Post

Thanks guys ..glad you enjoyed .......biggrin.gif



Great review mate. Really enjoyed reading it.

And I do tend to agree that while the bass is still HUGE is does seem to calm down a little bit over time. Might be 'Brain Burn-In' on my behalf though. haha

post #98 of 1069
Quote:
Originally Posted by rrahman View Post

How would the iem know to play bass or not?


Speed and control of the driver.  It's not knowing but behaving as asked to that gives that impression.

 

post #99 of 1069

The Merlins have really rekindled my enjoyment of using iPods - I have a Classic and a Gen 3 Nano, EQ set to "Piano" and away I go. The deficiencies of the iPod's default EQ settings are nicely compensated by the Merlin's response. And that's with or without an amp. 

post #100 of 1069
Thread Starter 

Maguire - thanks for the impressions/mini-review! Very well done. I completely agree with you. The bit about classic rock is something worth repeating. I find that I have a hard time listening to stuff like Hendrix, The Raspberries, Spirit, Black Sabbath, etc. with most headphones because they are just so thin sounding compared to what I'm used to with newer albums. Merlin is perfect for those.

 

The same thing applies to other classics as well - as I type this I'm listening to the 24/192 version of Marvin Gaye "Let's Get It On" (recently acquired from HDtracks). It was just a tad underwhelming on the JH13 but with the Merlin it is super enjoyable. 

post #101 of 1069

Wow, that's a revelation. The last time I *really* had a satisfactory rock listening session on my own system, was before I sold my JBL L100s. My upgrade paths are becoming so simple. :)

post #102 of 1069

After reading Maguire's review above it's sparked even more interest in me about the Merlins. I'm still looking for my first customs, with the Merlins currently at the top of my list, the JH16 a close second and the Miracle third. I'm looking for bass and a sound quality that's an improvement over the FX700, although it seems as no one has heard both. I've always been more of a fan of dynamic speaker's bass than BA bass and that's why the Merlins are currently sitting above the JH16 on my list, but I'm concerned that I'll be losing out on some detail and clarity with all this boom that the Merlins supposedly has. People who has heard the Miracles and Merlin stated that the Merlins have too much bass in some songs, leading me to believe that the bass of the Merlins may be too much. I'm not a big fan of analytical phones, and I like my music to have weight but nothing overly warm. I do like bass very very much, I've just never heard a custom before and simply cannot imagine what they sound like and if I were to get one, I'd want it to be a clear upgrade over my universals.

Would the Merlins be the right customs for me? 

post #103 of 1069

I've been a fan of the FX700 (just sold and shipped them), own the JVC FXT90 (which is similar) and have a pair of Merlins coming in about 4 weeks, so I may be able to help with your questions then.

post #104 of 1069

I remember reading your review on the FX700 a couple months ago and it's one of the reasons that led me to purchase the FX700. It'd be great if you could help me, and many others I'm sure, by doing hear a comparison between the FX700 and the Merlins. I'll be waiting anxiously for that and congrats on your Merlins purchase beerchug.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by shotgunshane View Post

I've been a fan of the FX700 (just sold and shipped them), own the JVC FXT90 (which is similar) and have a pair of Merlins coming in about 4 weeks, so I may be able to help with your questions then.



 

post #105 of 1069

Oh Ye .....Just Remember to be patient with Mr Merlin, as he needs a bit of burn-in.

When you first hear it will sound flabby, but the more you play the more he will open up, so do not be alarmed on first listen.

 

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