Musical Fidelity unveils Merlin 1 digital streaming system

The Merlin digital amplifier and streamer 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, asynchronous USB, 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.

For the Round Table turntable, Musical Fidelity has used 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."

The speakers feature 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".

Customers are able to mix and match colour choices. 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 will be available later this month (December) for £1300.

MORE: Read all our Musical Fidelity news and reviews

Max is a staff writer for What Hi-Fi?'s sister site, TechRadar, in Australia. But being the wonderful English guy he is, he helps out with content across a number of Future sites, including What Hi-Fi?. It wouldn't be his first exposure to the world of all things hi-fi and home cinema, as his first role in technology journalism was with What Hi-Fi? in the UK. Clearly he pined to return after making the move to Australia and the team have welcomed him back with arms wide open.