Everybody loves vinyl, or so it would seem. Sales of vinyl records hit an 18-year high in the past 12 months with forecasts of more MERLIN 1 RED SYSTEM on White Hi res (1)than 1.2 million discs sold by the end of 2014. Now Musical Fidelity has created the Merlin 1 system – “the first digital streaming system that has been designed from the ground up with the LP very much in mind”.

Merlin 1 features the Merlin digital amplifier and Bluetooth apt-X streamer, the Round Table turntable and the unique Merlin 1 speakers for an all-in price of £1300.

The loudspeakers have a subtle elliptical shape with finish in a choice of red, black or silver.  The amplifier has a custom made extrusion, machined top form and elegant front panel while the turntable offers a simple, minimalist style in a high-gloss red or black finish.

All of the system has been designed to Musical Fidelity’s bespoke specifications.

Merlin digital amplifier/streamer

Although, sleek and compact the amp/streamer features two 24bit, 192Khz DACS and twin amplifier modules – running as completely separate monoblocs with peak power into the Merlin loudspeakers being 50 watts per channel and the integrated headphone amp is based on Musical Fidelity’s V90 HPA model. System inputs include: phono, USB (isochronous for updating the system or connecting to a PC), Bluetooth aptX and a line input (digital or analog).

The Merlin system also includes an inbuilt analogue to digital converter (ADC) and a specially configurable output – analogue or digital, fixed or variable – which allows direct connection to a computer so that any of the Merlin’s inputs can be ripped to the hard disk – including LP. Alternatively, it allows for the addition of a subwoofer or the connection to active loudspeakers – either digital or analogue.

The Round Table 

Musical Fidelity has a long heritage of designing exceptional turntables and the Round Table is no exception: Produced to Musical Fidelity’s bespoke specification, the new turntable also includes a unique feature – “all of the decks components have been designed and placed to guarantee that the product is perfectly, statically balanced and that its centre of gravity is at the pivot point of the main bearing”.

Merlin 1 Loudspeakers

The Merlin Loudspeakers also include a new Musical Fidelity innovation via the company’s exclusive diffraction multiplier system that allows the relatively compact speakers to offer a bigger stereo soundstage. Rather than the normal flat front baffle, the Merlin 1 features a multi-stepped baffle which combines with a single wide-dispersion BMR driver in each speaker to offer “near-field flat frequency response, low distortion and a real hi-fi sound quality”.

The Merlin 1 system will be available in December in Richer Sounds, Superfi and other leading specialist hi-fi stores. Consumers can choose to mix and match their system with the Merlin 1 Speaker being available in red, silver or black; the Round Table has a choice of red or black finish while the Merlin amplifier is available in black.


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