NJ/NY Area-Introduction of the Merrill Audio Tape Head Preamp- this Saturday


New Member
Jun 9, 2010
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 Element 118 Monoblock Amplifiers, and listening through the world-renowned Tidal Audio 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.

There will be 3 levels of the Tape Head Preamplifier. All will be physically the same in the standard Merrill Audio gold metal faceplate with separate power supply and all will be essentially the same from a sonic, exceptionally-high audio quality standpoint. The differences will be largely in the feature sets.

The base-level version available for delivery now is the PURE. Its philosophy is to keep the signal path as "pure" as absolutely possible with almost fanatical attention paid to minimizing phase shift and maximizing channel tracking accuracy. These are hallmark design traits of all of Merrill's electronics. The PURE is a preamp that is a maximum performance, plug-and-play unit (except for setting tape speed and NAB/IEC EQ).

  • Price: $9,000 MSRP
  • EQ available.
    • 3.75 IPS NAB
    • 7.5 IPS NAB
    • 7.5 IPS IEC
    • 15 IPS NAB
    • 15 IPS IEC
    • 30 IPS IEC2
  • S/N: better than 110dB
  • Gain: 71dB, with -6dB cut. Lower gains can be factory configured
  • Input: Balanced
  • Output: Balanced
  • Output Impedance: 50 ohms
  • Maximum output voltage: 24 Volts (+/- 12 Volts)
  • External power supply Standard
  • Dual Mono design
  • Remote Control
  • Display: Dot-Matrix; configurable for brightness, delayed dim or off.
  • Saved last used settings
  • Footers: Isoacoustics GAIA III
  • Dimensions:
    • Dual Mono PURE Tape Head Preamp
      • 430mm (17”) x 400mm (16”) x 85mm (3.4”) without footers
      • 430mm (17”) x 400mm (16”) x 125mm (4.9”) with footers
    • External Kratos II Power Supply
      • 153mm (6”) x 88mm (3.5) x 310mm ( 12.2” )
The middle level preamplifier is the MASTER, and will retail for $15,000.00. Audio circuitry is similar, but this version adds more flexibility and adjustability for users who want more features. Included will be a touch screen display, VU meters, and some level of HF "tone controls" as requested by mastering engineers. Other details are being finalized and the release date for the MASTER version is this Summer.

The top of the Tape Head Preamplifier product Line is the "Pro" retailing for $22,000.00. In addition to the features of the other models, it will have highly sophisticated Equalization. Final details and specifications are in development in consultation with leading industry users and engineers.

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.

Please feel free to contact me for any questions,


New Member
Jun 9, 2010


Well-Known Member
Jun 18, 2011
Hong Kong
Mr. Merrill Wettasinghe has designed the tape head amp with brain and heart!
It's so easy for Ampex owners to try/apply the Merrill tape head amp onto their Ampex tape decks.

Some photos taken from Merrill facebook :


Very thoughtful indeed!

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