Musical Fidelity Round Table record player and Merlin integrated amp
Musical Fidelity were at The Headroom Show and presented their new Merlin digital amplifier and streamer as well as a turntable dubbed Round Table.
The Merlin integrated amplifier features two 24-bit/192kHz DACs along with twin, high-grade amplifier modules. These modules run as separate monoblocs in an effort to keep noise and distortion levels to a minimum.
Peak power from the amp into the Merlin loudspeakers is 50W per channel.
An integrated headphone amplifier is also available, based on Musical Fidelity’s own V90 HPA.
Inputs include phono, isochronous USB for updating the system or connecting to a PC, Bluetooth aptX and a line input: digital or analogue.
The system also boasts a built-in analogue-to-digital converter (ADC) and a configurable output: analogue or digital, fixed or variable. This allows the Merlin system to be directly connected to a computer so that any of its inputs can be ripped to the hard drive – including your vinyl.
This output also allows users connect to a subwoofer or active loudspeakers.
The Round Table turntable has a polished, high-carbon tool steel bearing for longevity and “friction free” performance. An inert chassis and suspension system along with a high-quality pick up arm has also been used.
Finally, the Merlin 1 loudspeakers benefit from the company’s “diffraction multiplier” system. This is said to allow the relatively small speakers to deliver a “huge but accurate stereo soundstage.” They look really good and sound pretty good given their size.
That may in part be due to the speakers featuring a multi-stepped front baffle, rather than the traditional flat front. This method, combined with a single wide-dispersion Balanced Mode Radiator (BMR) driver in each speaker, aims to produce a “real hi-fi sound quality”. It certainly sounded to do the business.
The sound from the Round Table through the Merlin was impressive, even with all the other noise to be expected at an audio show.
I can really see this system coming in to its own in a typical London flat where room is a premium or in a home where the listener appreciates quality audio but baulks at some of the prices asked for components.
Either way, the Merlin and Round Table offers a great compact package for vinyl lovers – you even get a choice of colourways. The speakers are available in red, silver or black, the Round Table turntable in red or black, while the Merlin amplifier is available only in a black finish.
The Musical Fidelity Merlin 1 system can be yours for £1300.