Review: Tyler Acoustics Linbrook Signature Monitors Monitor

Category: Speakers

I've owned Tyler Linbrook Monitors for about 2 1/2 years, following ownership of Ty's fine Taylo Reference Monitors. Simultaneously I've had PMC FB1 floorstanders, Joseph Audio RM25s, and Musical Fidelity MC-4s. As an audio hobbiest for about 35 years now I can look back on some very nice speakers I've owned over that time, including Spendor BC1s and SA3s, Rogers LS3/5As, Quad ESL-57s, amongst many, many others.

For me nothing I have had in my home has quite equalled the Linbrook Monitors. They are the most refined sounding dynamic speakers I've had, meaning that they are able to present detail equal to the old Quads and, like the Quads, do so with no trace of false brightness. I am constantly amazed at how they get so much information through without any bite. On Eva Cassidy's Live At Blues Alley, for example, I can track the position of her mouth as she turns her head a few inches this way or the other before the mic; I can virtually "see" the plastic tips of drumsticks tapping a cymbal. The shimmer of cymbals, the pure silver tone of bells and triangles simply exist in space against a black background. A test for me is excess sibilance in female voices and here is an area where the Linbrooks sail through the best I've ever heard without adding any grit or "shhh." At the other end of the spectrum I find bass capabilities remarkably deep for the size of the cabinets (22' x 10" x 15"): powerful into the 30 - 40 Hz range and with really excellent definition. They are the most "full range" standmount type speakers you're likely to hear. Another standout quality of the Linbrooks is their open, spacious sound, something that is dear to my heart provided there is no sacrifice in soundstaging abilities. I have used a couple of nice solid state Class A amps to drive the Linbrooks in the past but it was not until I put in a Lectron JH30 EL84 amp that I was able to hear the outstanding depth and palpable imaging properties of these speakers to best effect. Note that the JH30, with only 30 watts per side, seems never close to running out of steam with these 92 dB sensitive, 4 ohm speakers and I am forced to admit that in the "nearfield" set up I prefer (about 7' distant) I listen pretty loud...louder than my audiophile friends do by a couple of dB, anyway. The Linbrooks have never sounded stressed, nor do they get hard sounding, by anything I've thrown at them, whether full symphonic, stentorian tenor aria, Kitaro, Rock and Roll, or big band.

Looking for negatives about the Linbrooks is not easy for me, either because I don't hear any to speak of, because I'm missing something, or because I am just so taken with them. I should point out that I have never tried any speakers which retail above $4500 (and can't!), so that is the caveat when I say they are the best I've had in my home. I will say, however, that they are rich sounding speakers if that is the opposite of lean; others might rather say warm. But not at the expense of detail.

My Linbrooks needed about 200 hours of break in to sound right, prior to which they had some of the "voice in a barrel" coloration. Being rear-ported the accepted wisdom would be that they won't work near walls behind them. I have not found this to be the case. In a previously used room (our family room) I had them on the long wall with plenty of space on either side, but only 8" to 10" away from the rear wall as dictated by the WAF. They sounded excellent in that room.

Anyone reading this probably already knows that Ty Lashbrook's products are beautifully made and he uses only the highest quality drivers and components. And Ty is one of the finest people you will meet, too, truly one of the good guys in audio manufacturing.

Associated gear
Simaudio Eclipse CD player, Lectron JH30 integrated amp

Similar products
PMC FB1s, Spendor BC1s and SA3s
Thanks for this. Is that okay to do without harming either speaker or amp? Also, I'm thinking the 24" stands might be a bit high, and Ty says he'll make me some whatever height I wish. Maybe 20-22?

I am also going to audition the speakers with my re-issue 275, and compare them directly in the cabin with Spendor SP100s. And the winner is???? :)

No damage to amp or speakers will occur. Re the Spendors, they are an excellent speaker. Big difference will probably be in the bass. The Tyler monitor won't go as low but what there is will be a lot tighter, and you may think there is less bass as a result. Mids and highs from the Tyler should be much more revealing than the 100's and they should image much better as well. I suspect the image will be higher, deeper and wider at similar volume levels with the 100. What you will like more will depend on the size of your room and the interface of the electronics. The Mac should drive either w/o a problem. Stands should elevate the speaker so that the tweeter is at eye level.

Let us know how your audition turns out.
A few more words about break in: Since I wrote the above mini review I have purchased another set of Linbrooks from Ty so that I can use one pair as mains in my HT set up. This pair are used trade ins with very few hours on them. As with my first new pair they didn't sound quite right at first: a little too much upper bass, lacking the last bit of air and treble extension, imaging not quite fully focussed. As before,I found that after 100 hours I was getting maybe 90% of the improvement from break in and the final 10% by around 200 hours. After break in bass is more extended and powerful. In my modest sized room it not only shakes the walls but sets items to buzzing (the buzzing showed up at 100 hours). Moral: if you try these guys please give them a good thumping for at least 100 hours before assessing them!
I have owned both the Taylo monitor/sub system and Linbrooks w/o a sub. I think I enjoyed the Taylo speakers more than the Linbrooks, but this wouldn't be because one was "better" than the other. These speakers simply produce a different sound, as one should expect. In fact, I really liked the Taylo without the sub, though generally I used the sub. As for the Linbrooks, I enjoyed them thoroughly, but I guess I was hoping for the Taylo sound, only on a much grander scale.

Again, this is all so questionable, as I had combined the Taylo with combinations of Musical Fidelity, Audio Research, Mark Levinson, and Classe; with the Linbrooks I used Pass Labs and Wadia.

If I had to buy either again, I think I'd choose the Taylo.

I now enjoy Cain & Cain Super Abbys, one Bailey sub, Pathos amp, and Shanling SACD. Great sound.
Hey Beem and other Tyler fans. Like to point out my comments posted in the speaker section on my recent session of the Linbrook Signature System (LSS).
Like Beem says, it would be difficult for me to come up with even one weakness of the LSS. I thought my little JOR would not ahve the power to deliver on a 5 driver speaker. To the contrary, bass galore. I see on the Excel specs that they are 87 db driver, but somehow Ty has the xover at a much easier load. There was no issues with my JOR of being over pushed.
The LSS a combination of the Lin Sig Monitirs (LSM) with the addition of dual Excel 8's, 'dedicated bass section" as one guy put it.
I heard the one piece, which has a a slightly smaller Q cabinet than the 2 piece. but from what i've been told the differece is slight to none.
The one piece is slightly lighter and compact.
I prefer the one piece for room intergration of looks, that bottom of the 2 piece "sticks out" a tad. Both are beautiful speakers.
I own the Thor, its basically the LSM in a tall cabinet. I though Ty has his upper MTM crossed with a better tonal character than the D Apoloito design of the Thor. I need further listens at my home to determine that. D Apoloito is the very highly respected designer that works closely with the Seas comapny. Ty may have a slight edge on his xover of the dual 7's/tweet. Both are fine in that dept.
Where Ty really shines with stunning results is the intergration of the dual 8's with the upper MTM. The dual 8's deliver bass with a lush softness yet with authority as well.
I did not realize just how much of the bottom end I was missing with the Thors until I heard the LSS and its dual W22's.
You owe it to yourself to audition the LSS, ck Ty's web for a owner near you, or send a Emial, as TY may know of a recent buyer who is willing to have you over.
In my 30 yrs experience of audio, the LSS was for me the deepest experience I've had with music.

I see someone left feedback in Ty's seller account, says he upgraded from the Linbrook series to the ....WOODMERE. That boasts the dual 10's. Doesn't get much better than that. Don't believe there's anything like it. I hope to visit Ty's studio later next yr. I want to hear those Woodmere's.
Fellow Tyler fan

Kind Regards
Baton Rouge