The Spirit was released with two different handsets, the 6-button and 24-button, and in two different sizes; a 12 line, 24 phone system, and a 24 line, 48 phone system. This system, along with the original Merlin product line, was one of the original phone systems to use smaller cables from the wall to the handset. It is also one of the first modular, programmable systems that customers could make changes to without calling the phone company. Due to its age, it was never offered with display functionality or caller ID, and voice mail was never included on this system.
Merlin 820, Plus, 1030, 3070
This Merlin series will always be remembered as “the phone used by JR Ewing” in the original Dallas series. Heralded for its innovative design and speakerphone-quality headset, it was noted for its leading-edge design. Later versions of the system had displays and built-in speakerphones, both very modern and desirable at the time. Again, it was one of the first systems that customers could make changes on and was never offered with embedded voice mail.
Merlin II, Merlin Legend
As phone system pricing became more and more competitive, AT&T and Lucent began putting more and more functionality into their mid-sized offering, the Merlin II and more commonly, the Merlin Legend. The big brother to the smaller Merlin products, the Legend utilized PC based programming, various voice mail offerings, and some of the newer features we now take for granted, such as voice mail and call forwarding.
The Merlin Magix was the last release of the Merlin before the product line was manufacture-discontinued. Still widely in use today in locations nationwide, the system introduced the first handset that would be migrate to today’s IP Office – the 4400 series handset. This is an example of the attention to investment protection that Avaya applies to its products; a handset that has been around for almost two decades can be used on their flagship IP500 telephone system.