Well, well – a bit of hype to say the least. I have read in the below review how these monitors outperformed some serious top notch contenders. I am here to tell you otherwise and the difference is such that I MUST conclude that the previous reviewers do not own and did not test these speakers against the others they claim. NO WAY ON GODS GREEN EARTH. I have now thoroughly tested the Tyler Acoustics Reference Monitor in three rooms. Bedroom 18X22, living room 20X48 and music room 14X16 music. I will clearly state that they are not as musical as the Merlins, Gallo 3.1, any Sonus or Silverline. First and foremost we ALL know they don’t move much air so on large scale music – we wont even go there. They reminded me allot of the Mirage MRM1’s. They most definitely prefer my 150W Solid State equipment to my 50W KT88’s. For those who have their feet better planted on earth and honestly want to know how they sound - along the lines of a Dynaudio Contour S 1.4 . Don’t by the Hype guys. You can buy the same sound for under 2K in most decent monitors. They prefer smaller rooms and don’t like cranked Rock & Roll. Images like other good monitors, but you must keep your head in a vice. They do disappear when things are set up correctly, but so do at least 3 dozen other monitors at half their price. Sonus, Silverline, DeCapo and many others eat them for lunch. For 4K? – no way Jose. Way over priced. Now if they were - $1,250 - then it would be a good deal.
Where to begin? Would you like to build these speakers as a DIY project? Sorry, but purchased "used" (of which I saw little sign), you can't buy the parts, MDF and veneer for the price charged. So you will build them at a loss. And they won't be these speakers anyway.
If you look below and on Audiiogon reviews, you will see that people who use these speakers (and other Tyler designs) have come to this line after trying and using some pretty formidable speakers. In my case, the comparables were Gallo Nucleus References (the old "robot" ones) and Merlin VSM with battery BAM. I've also used planars and many other dynamic speakers. But you get the point - this group isn't easily "wowed."
Wow. And HooWee.
Now, I wouldn't think of using the Ref's without a sub or two (I use two), but that is often the set-up of choice in a smaller listening room. Sub adjustment is a pain, but with larger speakers, you're left (with a few exceptions, I admit, that allow for tailoring bass) at the mercy of the designer for location, amount, and crossover point of bass notes. Bass in a smaller room is by far the hardest thing to control and get right, so subs become a necessary evil. I digress.
There is less box coloration than the Merlins, and the Merlins are, short of planars, as free of box coloration as I've ever heard before this.
There is a more exacting treble than the Gallos, and the Gallo tweets are world-famous.
They are spacious. They are subtle. They are raucous if called for. They move a lot of air and are therefore dynamic in the best sense. This is the first set of speakers where I can walk up to the plane between them and still hear the singer center stage, with the band behind, left and right. Vocals are stunning. Timbre is uncanny. But mostly, there is the sense of "easy detail" that allows you to relax and enjoy the entire listening experience behind the speaker plane. That is, "you go there." This is quite a trick, really - to get incredible detail without getting constantly bombarded wth electronic artifacts that remind you where you are. A tremendous balancing act. Maybe a bit too forward for you? Roll some different tubes for $30 (as I did), and you find exactly what you want. Amazingly responsive to small changes, but not fussy about set up.
No speaker is right for everyone. Last I checked, there were still a lot of speaker companies doing pretty well. And as I haven't tried every speaker in the world, I can't tell you these are the "best" for the money. You might like a slightly deeper soundstage (my little Linn Tukans did this, for example). You might like a darker sound (darker in the sense of less treble energy, which can be compelling, especially when attempting to layer an orchestral soundstage properly - here, my Eminent Tech LFT VIIIs were wonderful). You might enjoy the openness of electrostatics (which my Gallos most closely emulated). That's all fine. But the point is this: for $1,200 "used," you are now talking about matters of taste, and not matters of competence. These speakers aren't "almost as good as" anything. They are just plain good. If you're looking for speakers for a smaller room to match with a sub or two, want a good "kick" from the mid driver and tremendous articulation and staging, well, start concentrating on the sub purchase, because you just found your mains.
OK folks. We've all been there. Spent hundreds of hours haunting your local high end audio emporium with your favorite CDs, praying for a pair of the right speakers at the right price. And they all sound wonderful in the showroom with $50,000 worth of electronics and $5000 worth of room treatment. But when you get 'em home, they sound just OK. Well, have I got the speakers for you! Taylo Reference Monitors! These speakers are built like tanks by a craftsman who really cares, have extremely expensive drivers and crossover parts, and smoke the competition by a large margin. I won't bore you with all the usual audiophile details, except to say that with decent equipment, proper stands and appropriate room placement, they are simply stunning!
Over the last several year, since I became really active in audio, I have auditioned/owned over 12 pairs of speakers. My goal was to acquire a pair of speakers that provided three requirements; 1) smooth liquid highs, 2) cleanly articulated midrange, and 3) solid/tight bass (though not necessarily at the very bottom octave). I found my requirements in the PBN Audio Montana SP3s. Is this a review of Montana SP3? No. But my point is that the $2400 Tyler Acoustics Tylo Reference Monitor acheived 90% of the sound of the $5000 per pair floorstanding Montana SP3s. They sang with clarity and articulation as did the Montanas in the midband frequency and returned the sweetly extended highs without strain. What they didnt posses was the solid chest-felt low frequency that stretch the dynamic range that only a floorstander could. However, what they did have down to 40hz was a taught, quick responsive bass that gave me a great deal of satisfaction. Rectified with a decent B&W subwoofer for recovery of the lowest octaves, the Tylers were no less than excellent. Just for comparison the follow list of speakers (which I have owned) included: Boston Acoustics VR975, Vienna Acoustics Bach, Triangle Zerius/Titus, Meadowlark Audio Kestral 2s, Soliloquy 5.3s and 5.0s, and, of course, the Montanas. However, next to the Montanas the Tyler were hands down next in line.
When my DVD/CD player went on the fritz, I decided I'd take the opportunity to upgrade my set-up. I did a lot of research on Audiogon and this site, and spoke with audiophile friends. Since already had an extensive SACD collection, I settled on the well-reviewed Denon DVD-5900 universal player ($1545 at All Home Theater). But I knew that if I wanted to get the most out of my system, I needed to upgrade my speakers: more online research. I went to a dealer and listened to Revel M22a’s and a slew of B&W speakers, both floor-standing and bookshelf (which were going to work best for my set-up). All had positive qualities, to be sure, but I wanted to try and hit closer to $1,000 than $2,000 if possible. In the process of doing all that research, I kept coming across these incredible reviews for speakers made by Tyler Acoustics. I went on the site, checked out some of the used Taylo’s, which fit my budget to a “T”, and gave Ty a call. He couldn’t have been nicer or more accommodating. He explained the pro’s and con’s of his various speakers, and made me very comfortable that the Taylo’s were the right fit for me. They arrived looking like new with beautiful fit and finish (in fact, Ty said these were so little-used they’re going to need additional break-in time).
I guess that from there, I start to sound like many of the other folks in these reviews, in that I now feel like I’m hearing my music -- and the instruments contained therein -- for the first time. The accuracy is amazing! It was quite a transition, especially once I realized that between the Denon and the Taylo’s I was now hearing just the music, absent the distortion and coloration I was undoubtedly used to.
I have a friend who is quite the audiophile, with a system to match. I remember the rapturous astonishment I felt when I first heard his system. Now, my own gives me similar enjoyment (at a fraction of the cost). My next upgrade will be to replace my amplifier and get one of Ty’s sub-woofers. All in good time…