Both Speakers are in Great Condition!
Includes Speaker Grills.
The VSMs use what's rumored to be the finest tweeter available, the Dynaudio Esotar, along with a Scan-Speak carbon-fiber woofer. These two drivers are incredibly expensive--by my brief research, around $850 for a pair of speakers--and are used by other manufacturers as well. The Esotar, for example, handles the highs in the Eggleston-Works Andras and the Sonus Faber Extremas (both of which will cost you over $10k per pair), and the Scan-Speak woofer has shown up in ProAc models, among others. The internal parts list is equally dazzling: Hovland Music Caps, Caddock resistors, and Cardas Cross internal wiring, along with Edison-Price binding posts for connecting the speaker cable du jour. Add in the drivers, and there has to be well over $1000 in just parts--for a speaker that lists at $4500.
Beyond the parts, however, is the execution, and here the Merlin VSMs also impress. The cabinet is made of 3/4" MDF with a 1 1/2"-thick front baffle and ample internal bracing for control of resonance. Inside, killing all of the music-robbing vibration it can, is a chamber filled with 23 pounds of sand. The corners of the cabinet are smoothly rounded to cut down on diffraction and give the speaker a very finished look--even with its lack of the almost-obligatory wood veneer.
Perhaps the VSMs most unique design feature is the R/C networks that affix at the speaker terminals--"between the terminal caps and the speaker cable only," as Bobby let me know. The R/C networks perform some very specific functions, and they are not optional parts. First, they act as "high-frequency RF filters and EMI ameliorators" (in Bobby's words)--takin' out the trash, so to speak. Furthermore, they present the amplifier with an extremely high-impedance load--8 ohms nominal, 6.5 ohms minimum--making the speakers an ideal dance partner for tubes. Finally, the R/C networks get rid of ultra-high frequency resonance and in turn stop a form of interference that occurs between the speakers and the other components in your system.