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

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  1. DeepGroove
    I'm pasting here the feedback I gave to another member 6 months ago. In short: I don't use the IE800 since I have the Merlin.
    - I look for a musical and living experience. I don't really care for neutral. 
    - Both models have a similar, V-shaped signature
    - Both models have boosted bass, however the bass on the IE800 is more powerful or dominant. It's really hitting hard and has a strong mid-bass hump. Bass on the Merlin is more deep-bass focused, so it does not hit as hard and does not have as much thump. However it results in a more natural sound; it was accurately described as "acting as a third party" (sometime I have the impression it is located a bit further the musicians). IE800 has the more "club-feeling" (*** edit: bass quantity varies with your DAP: lots with AK120, less with DX50)
    - Vocal takes the center stage on the Merlin (it's actually a mid-focused monitor ***edit: now I find the mids a bit recessed)  while it's a bit recessed on the IE800, where the bass steals the show. Both mids are liquid and sensual, but clearer on IE800
    - Treble is sparkly on both, but it's a bit thin, splashy (think razor-shaped) on the IE800 and more forward on the Merlin
    - Both have great soundstage. Merlin has the largest, with great height
    - IE800 is more coherent and has a nicer presentation overall. With the Merlin I sometimes feel the band plays in an empty concert hall (***edit: not anymore). IE800 is a bit more intimate
    I spend most of my time with the Merlin which has better technical skills (esp. instrument separation) and delivers better performance across bass-mids-highs , but I was stunned by the IE800 when I first heard it. Maybe because I never heard anything better at that time.
    Both are somewhat relaxed, if you want the feeling that someone put speakers 30cm near your ears, try JH13/16.
    I recommend the Merlin for overall SQ/comfort. It pairs well with AK120.
  2. White Lotus
    Look what came in today!
  3. aLm0sT
    Nice! Should be receiving mine later this week as well. Hope you enjoy them!
  4. hanes
    Great!Thanks for that! This is the kind of description I was looking for! 
  5. White Lotus
  6. White Lotus
  7. CracKinGDucK
    Today i went to demo the miracle, it seems the bass is just too few in the miracle. the se846 had turned me into a basshead i think (AND huge LOVE in forward mid).
    However, i am deeply attracted by the sound signature of hd600 and hope to recreate it from a CIEM.
    I am fairly amazed by the dynamic and deep bass by merlin, and the details and layering in miracle, but i still miss the slightly forward mid in my hd600 so much(which i find less forward than the 846 but still acceptable and less fatigue), which i find both of them are still a bit recessed for me. Can mentor fix my problem? since hong kong has no demo of mentor.
  8. CracKinGDucK
    Finally, I made my choice today and placed my order of Merlin in a local shop.

    As I had an ear wax problem before,and with a different ear tip on the demo, I think Merlin is quite up to my taste and the vocal is up to my standard.I can't wait to see when my Merlin will be finished!!! P.s. I live in Hong Kong so fingers crossed for a quick production.

    However, worth to mention that the jh16pro I demo today would be the first earphone I can't wait to take away from my ears, they gave me a very strange feeling that I can't bear it even I quickly switch between different genre of songs hoping to change my impression to them. The fit was good though, it's just strange.

    Btw, hope the final product of Merlin will be less fatigue though,I can't help tuning up the volume listening to them. Live records sounds exceptionally well from them which is just perfect! Love it!! However, good and non-plain records are really needed to show its power, the old mono records or plain records just cannot show themselves well in the soundstage like they are only using half of it
  9. Bazirker
    White Lotus, those look awesome!!! What do you think of the sound?

    (My phones took a little while for that bass to start to mature and have a presence.)
  10. DeepGroove
    The only fatigue which can come from the Merlins is the "sucking" bass at high volumes! But if you are a basshead, it means you love that :)
  11. aLm0sT
    Finally received my Merlin's today. Perfect fit and immaculate build quality. They sound absolutely amazing! 
    Will post pictures later. [​IMG] 
  12. aLm0sT
    Here they are:
       IMG_3007.jpg      IMG_3022.jpg  
  13. White Lotus
    Oh wow. Great design!
    How are you liking them?
  14. aLm0sT

    Thanks! I absolutely love them! Have been listening to these since I got them.

    I also have a pair of SE846 on their way. Will be interesting to see how they compare.
  15. White Lotus
    Oh! I'd love to hear your comparisons.
    Just thought I'd ask - and this question goes for everyone - 
    What do you drive the Merlins with?
    Their low impedance is becoming a slight issue for me, they are incredibly source fussy.
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