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September 2019
Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine
Best Audiophile Product Of 2019 Blue Note Award
Best Of 2019 Blue Note Equipment Awards

 

Merrill Audio Element 118 Solid-State Monoblock
Price: $36,000 Per Pair
Click here to read the complete review.

 

Merrill Audio Element 118 Solid-State Monoblock Amplifier Review

  In the past three years Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed four Merrill Audio components. In 2015 Ron Nagle reviewed their Jens phono stage, which won not only a Blue Note Award 2015, but also an Enjoy The Music.com's 20/20 Award. Plus, that year I reviewed Merrill Audio's Thor monoblock amplifiers, and later that year the Taranis stereo power amp. In May of 2017, I reviewed the Merrill Audio Christine Reference preamplifier, which was awarded a Blue Note Award 2017. Readers of Enjoy The Music.com might think that Merrill Audio has given to us some sort of under the table enticement to its writers, particularly yours truly. No, we have not received any payola. The truth is, besides being fantastic components, Merrill Audio components have been well received by not only the audiophile press, but they've also been well received by the audiophile community, who have been purchasing many of their products, and in doing so have kept Merrill Audio Advanced Technology Labs founder, President, and Chief Engineer Merrill Wettasinghe quite busy.

There are some audiophiles that still discount Class D power amplifiers because of the poor way in which they were introduced earlier in this century. Other than for use in subwoofers and the like, they were obviously not ready for primetime, yet many popular manufacturers insisted in introducing new Class D models. Just because you can, doesn't mean you should. But that was then, and this is now. Manufacturers have now had years of experience with this type of amplifier, and it is obvious that they have discovered the proper way of making this type of circuit. Regarding Merrill Audio, they've had so much success with this type of amplifier it's gotten to the point where it's unnecessary to even state what type of circuit they are using. Merrill Audio designs and manufactures some great amplifiers, period.

After an audition, and especially after one takes a look at these handsome amplifiers, I can imagine that these monoblocks would be difficult for one to resist.... A transparent, very powerful, refined, good looking, but admittedly pricey brute. I could imagine a well-healed audiophile purchasing a half a dozen of these amplifiers to power the speakers in the home theater/media wing of their house. If this is done, I would hope that they would also donate a chunk of funds to a charity that they (or better yet, I) find worthy. But I would not attempt to talk them out of it. I would have no reason to.

 

 

Click here to read the complete review.

 

 

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Previous Annual Blue Note Awards

Best Audiophile Product Of 2019 Blue Note Award

Product of the Year Awards 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, and 2001.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
 

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