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Calling all TapeHeads! Introduction of the new Merrill Audio Tape Head Preamplifier

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  • Calling all TapeHeads! Introduction of the new Merrill Audio Tape Head Preamplifier

    Merrill Audio & XtremeFidelity will be holding a premier and demonstration of Merrill's new Tape Head Preamplifier in XtremeFidelity’s listening room in River Vale (Bergen County) New Jersey on Saturday, July 13th.

    The just released, state-of-the-art tape preamplifier will be demonstrated on a system consisting of an ATR Services fully-remanufactured Ampex ATR-102 1/2 track reel-reel deck, Merrill Christine Reference Preamplifier, the amazing new Merrill 118 Monoblock Amplifiers, and listening through the world-renowned Tidal Agoria loudspeakers.

    Each session will consist of a personal presentation by principal and chief designer Merrill Wettasinghe on the architecture, design goals and road map of the multi-unit tape preamp product line; listening comparison with the Ampex ATR playback electronics; and an extensive tape listening session through the Merrill Tape Head preamp.

    The new Merrill Audio Tape Head Preamplifier is a solid-state unit for decks wired with direct head outputs. It will be available in three levels of similar audio performance but varying displays, features and options, up to a “professional” version. All versions utilize the sophisticated Kratos external power supply.

    The introductory price of the base level version that will be demonstrated is $9,000.00.

    Presentation sessions will be held at 10AM and 2PM on Saturday, July 13th. Availability for these sessions is very limited and is available first come by email reservation only at tcanavan@xtremefidelity.net

    River Vale is located approximately 20 minutes north of the George Washington bridge; less than 10 minutes from either exit 172 of the Garden State Parkway or Exit 6W of the Palisades Parkway. Unfortunately, there are no good public transportation options.

    Please feel free to contact me for any questions,
    Tom
    tcanavan@xtremefidelity.net
    www.xtremefidelity.net
    TIDAL Audio Agoria Loudspeakers; VAC, Merrill Audio & Bricasti electronics; Spiral Groove SG-2 TT with Centroid Arm & Transfiguration Proteus D Cartridge; Ampex ATR-102 with Merrill Audio Tape Preamp & Ampex electronics & Tape Project/Technics RS1500 reel-reels with Bottlehead Tube Repro Pre; Sonore Signature RenduSE Network Player; Bricasti M12 DAC/Source Controller; Ansuz Cables & Power Distribution

    INDUSTRY AFFILIATION: Dealer- XtremeFidelity.net (VAC, Bricasti Design, Merrill Audio, Sonore, Ansuz, Aavik, Synergistic Research & others)

  • #2
    Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...... interesting...... Professional version?? tempting..........

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    • #3
      I've heard the Merrill head amp is seriously good. Wonderful to have a new addition to the field. I've never heard a head amp better than a properly done ATR 102 using its own electronics so it should be a revealing comparison.
      JLH

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      • #4
        I have been listening to this preamp on my ATR 102 for some time now. I don't want to steal Tom's thunder, but I will say that this is an exceptional preamp. It has very impressive transparency and speed and is just so pure sounding

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        • #5
          I will say that the preamp worked flawlessly with my ATR 102 (with 1/4" and 1/2" Flux Magnetics heads). Instead of having the cables run out from the head, I replace the ATR amp cards with two cards that have XLR cables and run them into the preamp. All the tapes I played sounded nice and flat. I had also used the King Cello for awhile, but found I preferred the sound of the internal amps. In this case, I preferred the preamp.

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          • jonathanhorwich
            jonathanhorwich commented
            Editing a comment
            In my opinion that says a lot as the Ampex is superb on its own.

        • #6
          Hi all,
          In order to keep this thread to its original purpose of announcing an industry event ( Introduction of Merrill Audio Tape Head Preamp on July 13th), I've created another thread in the "All Things Reel-To-Reel / TapeStages" Forum to provide more detail and foster any discussion. Thanks for the interest. https://www.audionirvana.org/forum/t...plifier-series
          TIDAL Audio Agoria Loudspeakers; VAC, Merrill Audio & Bricasti electronics; Spiral Groove SG-2 TT with Centroid Arm & Transfiguration Proteus D Cartridge; Ampex ATR-102 with Merrill Audio Tape Preamp & Ampex electronics & Tape Project/Technics RS1500 reel-reels with Bottlehead Tube Repro Pre; Sonore Signature RenduSE Network Player; Bricasti M12 DAC/Source Controller; Ansuz Cables & Power Distribution

          INDUSTRY AFFILIATION: Dealer- XtremeFidelity.net (VAC, Bricasti Design, Merrill Audio, Sonore, Ansuz, Aavik, Synergistic Research & others)

          Comment


          • #7
            Come in out of the heat! Join us for our Introduction and Listening Sessions for the new Merrill Audio Tape Head Preamp on Saturday, July 13th at XtremeFidelity in River Vale, New Jersey. Merrill will give a talk on the design goals of the product; we'll do a listening comparison to the original electronics of the Ampex ATR-102; and then do a lot of listening to some great music on tape! RSVP and info: tcanavan@xtremefidelity.net
            TIDAL Audio Agoria Loudspeakers; VAC, Merrill Audio & Bricasti electronics; Spiral Groove SG-2 TT with Centroid Arm & Transfiguration Proteus D Cartridge; Ampex ATR-102 with Merrill Audio Tape Preamp & Ampex electronics & Tape Project/Technics RS1500 reel-reels with Bottlehead Tube Repro Pre; Sonore Signature RenduSE Network Player; Bricasti M12 DAC/Source Controller; Ansuz Cables & Power Distribution

            INDUSTRY AFFILIATION: Dealer- XtremeFidelity.net (VAC, Bricasti Design, Merrill Audio, Sonore, Ansuz, Aavik, Synergistic Research & others)

            Comment


            • #8


              Hope to see some fellow tapeheads at the event this Saturday!
              Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
              Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
              ________________________________________

              -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
              -cj 40th Anniversary ART300 monoblock amplifiers
              -Merrill Audio Elemente 116 monoblock amplifiers
              -cj GAT preamplifier Series 2 preamplifier
              -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
              -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
              -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
              -Lyra Atlas SL, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
              -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
              -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Allnic cables, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, MG Audio, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies Power Cords
              -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

              Comment


              • #9
                Great day yesterday for the Introduction of the Merrill Audio Tape Head Preamp at XtremeFidelity in New Jersey. Our own Myles joined us for our Event which started with a talk by designer Merrill on the background and his design philosophy for the new tape preamp product line of 3 units- the PURE, MASTER & PRO. This was followed by playback of some selections from the beautiful music of Anne Bisson on the Blue Mind tape through the Merrill PURE preamplifier. Playback was then switched to the stock Ampex ATR-102 electronics. It was pretty safe to say that it took the listeners maybe 5 seconds, if that, to start shouting out their preference, and it wasn't Ampex... And yet, arguably many believe that the Ampex electronics was/is the best sounding pro tape playback electronics ever made. I personally was extremely happy with mine, until...

                After this comparison session, it was fun time, and many hours followed filled with some amazing selections from the guests' libraries, with a very special thanks to our Rich Cohn (Cohnaudio).

                Demonstration system was my ATR Services fully-restored Ampex ATR-102 through the Merrill Audio PURE Tape Head Preamplifier; Merrill Audio Christine Reference Preamplifier; Merrill Audio Element 118 Monoblock Amplifiers; TIDAL Audio Agoria Loudspeakers; and Ansuz cabling and power distribution.

                Thank you to all who came out! If you couldn't make it, no worries, contact me for a personal demo. The Merrill Audio Tape Head Preamp is available now!
                Photos to come.
                Tom

                TIDAL Audio Agoria Loudspeakers; VAC, Merrill Audio & Bricasti electronics; Spiral Groove SG-2 TT with Centroid Arm & Transfiguration Proteus D Cartridge; Ampex ATR-102 with Merrill Audio Tape Preamp & Ampex electronics & Tape Project/Technics RS1500 reel-reels with Bottlehead Tube Repro Pre; Sonore Signature RenduSE Network Player; Bricasti M12 DAC/Source Controller; Ansuz Cables & Power Distribution

                INDUSTRY AFFILIATION: Dealer- XtremeFidelity.net (VAC, Bricasti Design, Merrill Audio, Sonore, Ansuz, Aavik, Synergistic Research & others)

                Comment


                • #10
                  Adding some photos of yesterday's Merrill Audio Tape Head Preamp Event at XtremeFidelity
                  TIDAL Audio Agoria Loudspeakers; VAC, Merrill Audio & Bricasti electronics; Spiral Groove SG-2 TT with Centroid Arm & Transfiguration Proteus D Cartridge; Ampex ATR-102 with Merrill Audio Tape Preamp & Ampex electronics & Tape Project/Technics RS1500 reel-reels with Bottlehead Tube Repro Pre; Sonore Signature RenduSE Network Player; Bricasti M12 DAC/Source Controller; Ansuz Cables & Power Distribution

                  INDUSTRY AFFILIATION: Dealer- XtremeFidelity.net (VAC, Bricasti Design, Merrill Audio, Sonore, Ansuz, Aavik, Synergistic Research & others)

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