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Merrill Audio Veritas Monoblock Amplifier Review

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Installation and Break-in

It became clear from the moment I started to unpack these amps that indeed Mr. Wettasinghe must have a background in marketing and sales.  The amplifiers instantly make an impression, since they are enclosed in a soft silk drawstring bag, with a separate bag which holds the custom Triode Wire power cord, and yet another bag which contains the Stillpoints; also included with the amplifiers.  The particular amplifiers I received for review were in a handsomely anodized (Bordeaux) Red aluminum chassis.  I understand that they are also available in anodized, NanoCarbon Black and in Platinum Silver.

Each amplifier fit nicely on my Billy Bags monoblock amplifier stands.  I had several misguided attempts at ascertaining proper footing for the amplifiers.  As I mentioned, the amplifiers came with Stillpoint footers.  However, I first simply placed the footers below the amplifiers.  This led to a cycle of “tuning” the amplifiers using different platform materials as well as delrin pieces on top of each chassis in order to optimize the focus and bass response of the amplifier.  Later, I discovered that the Stillpoint footers can also have their platform disks removed and they can be screwed directly into the bottom of the amplifier’s aluminum chassis.  This, as it turned out, was the optimal solution.  The amplifiers no longer seemed affected by their surrounding environment at all.  This is a real testament as to the isolating qualities of Stillpoints!

The particular amplifiers I received were freshly built, so I had a quick listen and then began the break-in process along with their custom Triode Wire power cords.  There really is not much to say with respect to break-in.  The Veritas amps sounded quite good with perhaps an overly ample bottom and warm glow to their sound.  During the course of a couple of weeks, this

signature did change some as the bass became more defined and the high frequencies opened up. One important aspect to note is that the Merrill Audio Veritas clearly sound their best after about an hour of warm up after being powered down.  During the course of the review period, I powered these down more often than not due to an unseasonably active electrical storm season here in Florida.

Initial Impressions

My first set of listening sessions served as introduction to the Merrill Audio Veritas’ overall signature.  They were rather informal since I had already been advised by the Veritas’ designer, Merrill Wettasinghe, that the amplifier was sensitive to changes in power cords.  I therefore began the process by getting to know the amplifiers with the included custom cords.  Since these are Class D amplifiers, I first allowed my prejudices regarding amplifiers of this type to control

the music I played in this first session.  I started off by playing some very well recorded rock albums such as Synchonicity by The Police, Neil Young’s Are You Passionate ?Thud by Kevin Gilbert,  and Toy Matinee’s self-titled CD.  Each of these I know very, very well and none of them are particularly challenging for any decent amplifier to navigate.  That said, by the time this listening session was over I found myself realizing that I had become completely immersed in

the music and indeed my system was rocking!  I was not necessarily in review mode and even if I were, I don’t think it would have lasted.  Suffice it to say, the Merrill Audio Veritas amps had made a very positive first impression.  A key area in which they really made their mark in my mind even this early in the evaluation process was in their ability to deliver a large, enveloping, and powerful performance without any obvious warts or grand omissions.  OK.  So I was stoked.

Over the couple of months during an extremely busy time of year in my regular line of work, I squeezed in as many listening sessions as possible and intently evaluated the Merrill Audio Veritas amps with as many power cords as I had available in pairs.  This process proved to be loads of fun as it gave me the opportunity of hearing these amplifiers on many different types of music, a couple of different speakers, and even on different phono cartridges.  My conclusions at this stage of the game were unmistakable.  The Merrill Audio Veritas monoblocks are remarkably clean, engaging, develop a huge soundstage, and are powerful, very powerful.

To proceed with the next phase of the formal evaluation of these remarkable amplifiers, I needed to settle on the optimal power cord of the group that I had on hand. Each had its strengths and weaknesses, including the “stock” Triode Wire cord.  To me, it was a toss-up between the  Aural Symphonics MagicGem v2t and the Enklein Taurus.  In the end I chose the EnKlein.  Despite having a slightly forward quality in the midrange, I found this was better than the slightly dark perspective of the Aural Symphonics.  In either case, they both clearly bested the “stock” Triode Wire in detail, P.R.A.T. and high frequency clarity.

So, the reference system was set: Pass labs XP-20 linestage,  Zesto Audio Andros PS1 phono stage, Merrill-Williams R.EA.L. 101 turntable, Tri Planar Ultimate tonearm, ZYX Universe phono cartridge, Eficion F300 speakers, Enklein Taurus power cords, Zephyr interconnects and Titan speaker cables.

2 Responses to Merrill Audio Veritas Monoblock Amplifier Review

  1. Dan Williams says:

    Great review. The testament is that you bought them for your stats.

  2. James Romeyn says:

    Do the stats allow single amp, or is biamp required?

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