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

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  1. aLm0sT

    Unfortunately, I've sold off most of my gear since I decided to get a one-box solution.

    So far I've tried them through my iphone 5, Macbook Pro, iphone -> Arrow 3G and B&W MM-1 which has an built-in DAC. Haven't noticed any hiss or anything.

    I'll go to my local shop tomorrow and see how they pair with the AK120 and ZX1.

    Also, I'll be attending the Highend show in Munich next week where they'll have the AK240 and HUGO. So definitely looking forward to that.

    What is your setup?
  2. White Lotus
    Oh sounds like you're all set!
    I have no issue with my Fiio E18, or iPad mini..
    But my Galaxy S4 (i9505) has a 4-8ohm output impedance, so it doesn't sound great with the incredibly low 12ohm impedance of the Merlin.
  3. aLm0sT
    Today I had the chance to try the Merlin with different DAPs. While I liked the X5 a lot, the AK240+Merlin is just on another level!
  4. White Lotus
    Great shot mate! Glad to see you're happy!
    Tried it with any bass boosts? The Merlin is happy to oblige.
  5. aLm0sT
    Nope, didn't use bass boost. IMO, Merlin already have more than enough bass already.
    Picked up my SE846's today. Initial impressions, SE846 sound more refined than Merlin. Bass detail is better than Merlin but it sounds a bit dry and lacks the weight/body of a dynamic driver which can make it sound unnatural at times. Mids are very smooth and lush. Highs are a bit more extended but still too rolled off for my liking, even with white filter. 
    Overall I would say SE846 are technically superior to the Merlin. But for Pop, RnB or EDM I think I would still prefer the Merlins over the SE846.
  6. fL.
    If anyone wants to sell their Merlin, please PM me.
  7. DeepGroove
    NO! [​IMG]
    I'll see you mine if I find an upgrade.
  8. White Lotus
    Good luck!
    DeepGroove likes this.
  9. BooBoo91

    I want the tralucent ref1 so bad. Due to many review i think it maybe my next upgrade, >< but the price really a nightmare T_T
  10. DeepGroove
    Haha seriously guys what would be the ultimate upgrade from the Merlin? By reading reviews all TOTL customs are tuned kinda neutral... and there is no way i'm giving up this full, fat and groovy bass. Anyone can compare with SE5, 8C, K10, Roxanne, MH335...?
  11. DeepGroove
    Did you get the chance to try AK120? It gives the Merlin a thicker, fatter bass without being boomy. Quite a unique flavor, which I love.
  12. project86 Contributor
    I vote for Noble 8C or maybe K10 depending on how much bass you want. The K10 is more similar to my prototype Merlin, while the 8C is more in line with the production Merlin with a larger bass boost. The rest of the spectrum isn't an exact match but it's in the same general spirit. 
  13. aLm0sT
    Yes, I did and I actually quite enjoyed that pairing as well. It provided a warmer and thicker sound than the AK100 & AK240 which are both more towards neutral. 
    I'll be testing the new AK DAP's soon which I expect to be an improvement over the previous versions. Particularly interested to see if the AK120II's sound can match that of the AK240 since they now have the same chip. 
  14. DeepGroove
    You don't know how many times I've read your reviews... definitely helped me chose the Merlin over 8.A last year!
    K10 and 8C are definitely on my list, but laudatory K10 reviews and some users being disappointed in the 8C turned me off a bit.
    At the same I fear the K10 sounds might be too neutral for me. (For example LCD2 bass is a no-no for me. While the quality and tonality is fantastic, it is not massive nor deep.) 
    And the SE5 and NT-6 are reportedly one step above Noble. 
    Too many choices hehe...!
  15. project86 Contributor
    The only people I've heard of being disappointed in the 8C, were folks who heard a universal demo and found it more neutral or almost thin compared to the K10 demo. That's gotta be some mistake, because the real 8C is not at all thin.... certainly warmer and more full downstairs compared to the K10 or most anything else out there. 
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