I was lucky enough to find a pair of the Tyler Acoustics Linbrook Signature System speakers at at a reasonable price. My interest was piqued from the Seas Excel drivers and Millennium tweeters but they do not come up for sale very often.
I've heard the Linbrook Signature monitors and although I liked they way they sounded I was left wanting more. To my surprise the addition of the bass modules provided a completely new sound. I found out later there are crossovers in the boxes to make it a complete 3 way system. Once the monitors were crossed over to completely do mid-range it even helped the highs and overall presentation.
I moved my Martin Logan Montis and Totem Element Earth out of the listening room and decided to spend some time with the Signature System I. It took at least one day to get my ears used to what I was hearing, initially I hated the sound. They couldn't be farther from electrostatic speakers in every way. By day 2 I'd fallen in love with what I was hearing. They are extremely warm and musical. The bass response is tremendous even if they are large speakers. The dynamic swings with electronic music have left other listeners in awe. For the price they are a hard speaker to beat.
I'd leave any future buyer with 2 warnings...
1. Make sure you have the room! the cabinets on the bass module are very deep and deserve at least 4ft from a back wall. They are much larger than pictures may indicate.
2. If you don't like warm sounding speakers stay far away from the Tyler Acoustics Linbrook Signature System I. If you like Egglestonworks, Dynaudio and Dali speakers you will probably love this product.
Okay, so I'm not going to bore people with a recitation of the components that go into these speakers - you can look at Ty's website to determine that he's using some of the best components money can buy (Seas Magnesium and Millenium drivers) in these speakers. Also, this review isn't going to contain a lot of audiophile critic language. Suffice it to say, I've written such reviews before, but the more I read and write such reviews, the more I believe that they aren't helpful for people looking to purchase great equipment.
That said, let me begin. I stumbled on to Ty Lashbrook purely by chance a little more than a year ago (some how found his website). I gave him a call, and was immediately taken with his down to earth genuine approach. Ty is all about offering the best products money can buy for the price. The guy needs to make a buck to keep the lights on, but I don't know how he can do it at his prices. There's so little profit margin in his product that I'm actually concerned he isn't making enough to stat in business for the long run. Anyway, Ty and I got to talking and he had just built a pair of Signature Monitors with Kewaziinga wood veneers that he was going to take to an electronics show (I believe in Colorado). Anyway, we agreed that I would buy the Signatures from Ty and upon returning from the show he would ship them out to me.
When I received the Signatures, I was immediately taken with the beauty and craftsmanship that had gone into these things. They were aesthetic beauties, and for me a speaker is about more than just its sound (one of the reasons I'm not a Harbeth fan - just can't get past the look). Anyway, I just sat there admiring these things as they sat atop a pair of Ty's speaker stands. Finally, I hooked them up to my system and began listening to them. Talk about a joyful experience. Even prior to full break in, these things sounded like nothing else I had ever heard before. The highs were tight and crips, the lows were deep but not slopy in th slightest. Vocals were as true as anything I had heard before (even from speakers that retailed for considerably more).
Well, I became so impressed with these babies that I got to thinking - if the monitors sound this good, think what the full Signature System must sound like. I called Ty to get his opinion about my upgrading - and he was anything but salesy (once you talk to Ty, you'll know what I and the rest of his clients are talking about. This guy just wants to ensure that you have a great listening experience). Long story short, I had Ty make me a pair of the bass modules about three or four months after my initial purchase of the monitors.
Here I am about eight months down the road, and this review is long over due. However, in waiting this long, I've had the opportunity to ensure that these speakers are fully broken in. I've also had the opportunity or luxury of being able to mix them into what I'll call multiple systems (I have one set of tube mono blocks and one set of solid state mono blocks. I also own multiple sets of speaker cables and have found what I believe to be the optimal match for the Signature System.)
So, what can I tell you. I can tell you this. For roughly $6,000 (a little less), I will gladly match these speakers against any system in the $15,000 or under range (would probably go to $20,000, but there is another system at $17,500 I've heard that I wouldn't mind owning). The Signature System has brought to me a renewed love for all of my old vinyl as well as every CD that I own. I have extremely varied tastes in music from classic rock, to jazz, to blues, to classical, to flamenco guitar (you cannot believe how accurately the Signature System reproduces the guitar work of Johannes Linstead and other Spanish guitar players). The sound staging is phenominal. The coverage of highs and lows is truly amazing. There is a warmth to the music that you cannot believe could exist for a speaker that is this accurate. What I mean here is that for most any other speaker that I've heard described as "accurate" or "detailed" or "fast" or "neutral" - they are all sterile. No warmth or life. Not with the Signatures. They are warm, accurate, precise -and a genuine joy to listen to.
I have always loved listening to music - no matter the system or location. At work I have a Bose Wave Radio to which I have hooked up a Nachamici CD player. In my truck I have a JBL system (pales in comparison to my old Alpine) - that I'm listening to at least two hours a day (commute time). What the Signatures have done for me is instilled in me a level of enthusiasm to get home from work as quickly as I can so I can crank up the tunes and listen for a while. Better yet, much as I love my wife and four daughters, in the summer when they are gone for about a month, the only highlight to being away from them is that I get to really crank it up - every night.
The Signatures are just a listening experience - they are a truly musical experience. My system is in the basement - and not the most ideal of rooms (probably an average to above average listening room). It's not tricked up with a lot of acoustical treatments or anything like that. Yet, absent the best of conditions, these speakers produce such great quality sound - highs/trebles, mids, and lows - that every time I throw on a disc or an album, I get caught up in the music. I cannot tell you how many times I've been involved in a project in another room in the basement, turned on my system, started listening to background music, and then said to myself "man, that sounds just like Fleetwood Mac [pick your artist] is in the next room" - only to find that I'm abandoning the project and sitting in my listening chair loving the music.
So, how dedicated am I to Ty and the Signatures? After buying these, I had him build me a pair of the Taylor Mini-monitors (but subsituted a Seas Millenium tweeter for the ScanSpeak).. Shortly after that, I had him build me a pair of the super minis (go out to his website and look at the super mini under the Linbrook series - the picture there is of the pair that he built for me). Anyway, I'll be writing great reviews for those two sets of speakers at some other date in the future. The point here is that I wouldn't have had him build these other speakers for me if I thought that the product was anything less than the best my money could by for the price. One cannot go wrong with a pair of Signatures. Each day you listen to them, you will become more and more absorbed by the music.
While one should never say never, and while I've been purchasing and upgrading my audio equipment off and on over the past thirty years (I'm 44 now and got into mid-fi/hi-fi at about the age of 14), I honestly cannot envision ever buying another pair of speakers (unless it's an additional pair of SIgnatures). I truly believe the I have found audio nirvana - and have finally jumped off the audiophile upgrade treadmill.
One final comment or piece of advice. I had been listening to my system using Nordost Blue Heaven speaker cables for the past 4 years. About two months ago, I substitued a pair of Maple Shade Doiuble Golden Helix (plus versions) cables for the Blue Heavens. Up unitl that moment, I would have told you nothing could have improved my system. I was wrong. The Double Golden Helix cables have really enhanced the listening experience. If you buy a pair of Signatures, I would really recommend spending the extra $425 or so to get the Maple Shade wires. What a great combination!!! You can't go wrong - and you'll thank me for suggesting it.
Tyler Acoustics product had put my speaker searching to a stop. I posted my first 5 star review here for a pair of Taylo Ref Monitors
before this site changed its format and it is not there anymore. With in the same year, I upgraded to a pair of Linbrook Ref Monitors
which are just as good as every ones opinion below. It has been over 5 years and they are getting much better regardless what I
driving them up the line within all these years. Recently I had final ed on my pre and amps and moved into a bigger listening room,
also added the Linbrook bass modules. They showed up in a week with great craftsmanship's quality detailed cabinets just as good
as the monitors. I can't wait to write this review for just a couple of days of listening. Acoustically, they perfectly fit with the monitors with unbelievable bass extent ion that I don't need the sub around for just in case. needless to say, the sound stage and imaging are greatly increased comparing with just the monitors that I can stand any where in the 20x19x12 room and be able to spot the singer and the instruments. Sound quality is natural and clear as usual; in one incident, my wife told me to hush up and see if I can pick up the foot dumping sound of the acoustic guitar player, (I wouldn't sure, but it may be a good thing in all aspect:)) Well, shell I say my sound system is complete or what! Again, costumer service is job number ONE !
I was first introduced to Tyler Acoustics speakers when I took a chance and bought some used Taylo Reference Monitors to replace my previous mains of 7-8 years (Legacy Audio Studios). Low bass was handled by an ACI Titan II subwoofer. After using the Taylos for a few months, I was so impressed, I decided to upgrade within the Tyler line...
I first upgraded direct through Tyler Acoustics to their Linbrook Signature Monitor for use with my front three channels (the center channel being magnetically shielded), while moving the Taylos to the rear three channels (I could not part with the Taylos, as they are just an unbelievable value). The Linbrook Signature Monitor features two Seas Excel magnesium mid/bass drivers and the excellent Millenium tweeter in an MTM formation (all of these are super pricey).
When I did this, I noticed the Linbrook Signature Monitors had better bass extension than the more diminuitive Taylos. Midrange was about the same with a slight edge to the Linbrooks (possibly due to the 2 Seas Excel 7 inch drivers as opposed to the 1 Excel driver used in the Taylos), and the highs were possibly a hair in favor of the Taylos (the Taylos use the Scanspeak Revelator tweeter that is a bit more detailed, IMO).
While I was quite happy with the Linbrooks overall, I was not completely satisfied with using them full-range without a sub for some pieces of music, as they did not get quite low enough for my taste by themselves. The Taylos *always* needed a sub, but I felt that if I was going to upgrade to a speaker that cost 2/3 more money, I would like to avoid using the subwoofer at all, as it can cause minor integration issues (even though the ACI Titan II used is a great sub)...
That slight lack of bass regret led me to "bite the bullet," so to speak, and pony up for the Linbrook Bass Modules to complete the front L/R speaker "System." Each Linbrook Bass Module takes the place of the Linbrook Signature monitor stand, and contains 2 8 inch Seas Excel bass drivers in a very deep, but attractive housing (that lines up perfectly with the Linbrook Monitor for a seamless look). You hook your amp up to the bass unit (unpowered), and then the bass module hooks up to the Linbrook monitor through high-quality jumper cables (DH Labs). The bass unit has a crossover built in, and filters out the high frequencies from its section, also freeing up the monitors from low bass duties. This in effect makes the Linbrook System a three-way system.
Before describing the sound, I should mention the build quality on all Tyler speakers is phenominal... I bought mine in real Rosewood (including the bass modules) to match my other Tyler speakers, and they all look superb... 1 inch MDF is used on all Tyler speakers, and both the Linbrooks and Taylos use internal DH Labs wiring and Hovland caps, Alpha-core inductors, as well as many other high quality crossover components... Very impressive inside and out!
Now for the sound...
With the bass modules dialed into the system, I can honestly say the Linbrooks go from being an "excellent monitor" to a world-class killer full-range speaker.
Imaging is spot-on accurate, soundstage depth is quite impressive, as is hieght. The midrange just seems to effortlessly put out the pure notes, while the highs seem better balanced with the bass modules included as well... And then there is the bass...
The bass is just absolutely fabulous. Not only is there plenty of it, but it is low, can get loud if needed without audible distortion, and it is super tight and clean. The Linbrook System has by far the best sounding bass I have heard in the 10K and lower price range. The only speaker giving them a run for their money is the Von Schweikert DB99s mkII. The DB99s, just for reference, list at 10K.
The end result is that the Tyler Linbrook System is one of the true values in audio... It is very natural sounding, has the tight clean low bass to deliver the complete audio performance (conservatively down to 25 hz), highs that never fatigue your ears, but capture all of the detail, and has a pure midrange that can make you cry.
Needless to say, I am a very happy customer, and like the wonderful Taylos, they replace in the front, my Linbrook System speakers are going *nowhere*! They are true full-range speakers that allow music lovers on a budget (I realize that 5K still is a lot to spend for most) to feel like they are not compromising in the least, but instead get everything they could ask for at a *super* reasonable price (considering the high performance level and cost of the drivers alone).
Also, I should mention that Ty Lashbrook is as honest and easy to deal with as they come. Anyone who fears dealing with an Internet only company, should have absolutely *no* worries here. Ty has given me lots of good advice... Many times that advice has saved me money (frequently at his expense). What more can you ask for from a business vendor/partner?
I have audited many speakers (Budget wise,and sound,and space) and found out Linbrook is the best to fit in these categories.I am a subscriber of Stereophile magazine,I have seen the pictures of same drivers( If the image of the pic is not misleading me ) -Scan speak,and revelator tweeter in the advertisements of some famous speaker designers with the price of whopping thousans of dollars ! Ofcourse I'd go for Tyler acoustics.If you have a hybrid or Tube amp, you will get the best of these babies.Especially if you,like,and play the paticular song as a test;By "38 Special" "Homeless Guitar"