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Unique Melody Merlin Impressions Thread (All review and impression links located in the 1st and...

post #1 of 189
Thread Starter 

So after completing my long overdue review of the UM Merlin, I thought I'd start an official appreciation thread.  I plan to keep all the review and impression links in the first 2 posts.  I'm also using the next couple of posts as a photo gallery for prospective buyers to get ideas from.

 

If you have a link or pics you want to share, please post them and I'll update these first posts as time permits.

 

The review that started it all, Project86 review with pics: 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/566965/review-unique-melody-merlin-hybrid-dynamic-balanced-armature-custom-iem

 

My personal review with pics:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/596839/review-unique-melody-merlin-future-additions-future-sonics-mg6pro#post_8160469

 

 

 

Maguire’s impressions: http://www.head-fi.org/t/569341/um-global-deal-the-lucky-25-all-slots-filled-so-please-stop-pmn-me-to-join/495#post_7813456

 

Maguire’s mini review with pics: http://www.head-fi.org/t/566965/review-unique-melody-merlin-hybrid-dynamic-balanced-armature-custom-iem/90#post_7819232

 

Phntmsmshr’s impressions with pics:  http://www.head-fi.org/t/566965/review-unique-melody-merlin-hybrid-dynamic-balanced-armature-custom-iem/45#post_7762989

 

Bajaiman’s impressions: http://www.head-fi.org/t/566965/review-unique-melody-merlin-hybrid-dynamic-balanced-armature-custom-iem/45#post_7764598

 

Mochan’s quick and dirty summary: http://www.head-fi.org/t/566965/review-unique-melody-merlin-hybrid-dynamic-balanced-armature-custom-iem/135#post_7880462

 

Sorensiim's impressions: http://www.head-fi.org/t/566965/review-unique-melody-merlin-hybrid-dynamic-balanced-armature-custom-iem/390#post_8192632

 

kckc mini review: http://www.head-fi.org/t/596878/unique-melody-merlin-appreciation-thread-all-review-and-impression-links-located-in-the-1st-and-2nd-posts-pics-in-posts-3-and-4#post_8193443

post #2 of 189
Thread Starter 

reserved for review links.

 

 

Unique Melody Merlin venting explained:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/566965/review-unique-melody-merlin-hybrid-dynamic-balanced-armature-custom-iem/345#post_8134938

post #3 of 189
Thread Starter 

Project86

 

86 1.jpeg86 4.jpeg

 

Shotgunshane

 

ss 1.jpegss 4.jpeg

leckerton.jpg

 

Kckc

 

kckc 1.jpegkckc.jpeg

 

Maguire

 

mag 1.jpegmag 3.jpeg

 

Dannybai

 

dan 1.jpegdan 2.jpeg

 

Phntmsmshr

 

phn 1.jpegphn 2.jpeg

 

-y0-

 

y0 1.jpegy0 2.jpeg

 

Shamrock134

 

sham 1.jpeg

 

Sorensiim

 

sorensiim.jpeg

 

AnakChan's Merlin, iPhone and Venturecraft Go-Dap

 

AnakChan.jpg

 

mman824

 

mman824 v2.jpegmman824.jpeg

 

ValentinHogea

 

vh1.jpegVH2.jpeg

 

UniqueMelodyBR

 

 

 


Edited by shotgunshane - 9/19/12 at 7:06pm
post #4 of 189
Thread Starter 

Reserved for pictures

post #5 of 189

Nice job Shane!!

post #6 of 189

Nice thread, I'm probably going to go with the Merlin once my TF10 reshell dies

post #7 of 189

It's been almost 5 months now, and I'm still not interested in buying any more IEMs. The Merlins have pretty much cured my upgraditis for the forseeable future, such is their perfection for my needs - heavy impactful bass but striking clarity in mids and treble, really good separation. 

post #8 of 189
Thread Starter 

Added pic of Sorensiim's Merlin.

post #9 of 189
Thread Starter 

Sorensiim's impression's link added to the first post.

post #10 of 189

Could I add my picture to the collection you have above please?

Merlins.jpg

post #11 of 189
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnakChan View Post

Could I add my picture to the collection you have above please?


Absolutely!  

 

Done.  If you have any impressions somewhere, just send me the link and I'll add those too.

 

post #12 of 189

I realized I never wrote down my impressions and they are loong overdue. So while this isn't a full review, I've been listening to the Merlin a lot the past couple days and I've just got to give them some love here on head-fi. 

 

I ordered through Stephen Guo of custom-iem.com and the turnaround time was 20 days (including weekends) from when they received my impressions to when they were shipped off. Unfortunately, I needed a refit so back to China they went. This time, the turnaround period was 26 days (including weekends) which is still much faster than people in the group buy. I thought about it, and realized that although I paid almost 2 months after people in the UM Global group buy and sent in my impressions a couple weeks after UM got theirs, I received my refitted Merlin before many people from the group buy got anything back.. So I'm quite happy with the turnaround times and Stephen was a pleasure to deal with. 

 

Starting with the build quality. the Merlin has one of the best, if not the best build quality I have seen. I don't see any bubbles in the shell and the faceplate turned out exactly the way I wanted it. I love how my artwork "floats" above the beautiful titanium plates when look at them from the right angle; they did an excellent job.

 

Before I get to the sound, let me just say that I had very high expectations for the Merlin with them being my most expensive pair of IEMs at the time. I actually had to tell myself to lower my expectations in case I get disappointed with what I hear. When I finally plugged them in and put on my favorite track, I was blown away by what I was hearing. They are exactly what I was looking for. People who choose the Merlin usually have one thing in common, we're looking for boosted bass from the hybrid design. As advertised, the Merlin has bass that extends very deep into the sub bass, lots of it too. It has more sub bass than mid bass and can really make a track rumble. It also has great texture and detail, reminding me highly of the FX700 but with more control and refinement. The Merlin bass is super clean and has better speed than I anticipated. I think what really "made" the bass for me is how organic and natural the bass sounds.

 

As usually the case with my preferred sound, the "V-shaped sound", mids are always recessed. I was very happy to find that the Merlin's mids are not. Although I don't find them to be more forward than the bass, vocals are certainly a little forward. They are lush and quite intimate actually. There is also a lot of emotion and great detail. So while I feel the bass still has a stronger presence in the spectrum, the mids are still beautiful and upfront - a very pleasant surprise. Now to the treble. I'm generally quite sensitive to the higher frequencies and can find a bright pair of phone fatiguing fast. The treble on the Merlin never gave me that feeling despite having crisp highs and lots of sparkle. Cymbals sound just right with no harshness and there is lots of detail and clarity in the top end. 

 

What can really make or break a pair of phones for me is the soundstage. I highly enjoy a big spacious soundstage and once again, the Merlin did not disappoint. The stage is very wide with lots of depth and a huge amount of space. There is still excellent placement of instruments and performers despite the large amount of space between them. 

 

Overall, I love my Merlin. I had a very positive experience with UM and my final product came out looking exactly the way I wanted it to be. After hearing the Merlin, I didn't and still don't want to hear any of my ~20 pairs of universals that I have in possession anymore because they simply can't compare. For people in North America, it's too bad that their lab is located in China as it accounts for a longer turnaround period and more shipping charges. But in my opinion, if the Merlin has the sound sig you're looking for, they are worth the wait. 

 

Pictures in the first post but here's an extra one.

 Merlin

 

 

post #13 of 189

How is the Sound isolation on the merlins? i never thought to look that up. Since it has a dynamic driver i'm curious.

post #14 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnakChan View Post

Could I add my picture to the collection you have above please?

Merlins.jpg


Where did you get that Go-Dap??? Is it for the 4?
 

 

post #15 of 189
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your impressions kckc.  I've added a link to the first post as well.

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shoulon View Post

How is the Sound isolation on the merlins? i never thought to look that up. Since it has a dynamic driver i'm curious.


Isolation is pretty darn good.  More so than any of my universals.

 

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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › Unique Melody Merlin Impressions Thread (All review and impression links located in the 1st and 2nd posts. Pics in posts 3 and 4)