tyler linbrook signatures vs. b&w 802

I have narrowed it down to these Two speakers. I have heard the B&Ws but not the Tyler on piece system .Which would be the best choice ..Thanks everyone...Joe
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B&W is one of the most overrated and overpriced speakers on the market. Kudos to companies such as Silverline, Tyler, Merlin, Coincident, etc. as mentioned for offering superior speakers at lower prices.
I've not heard the Linbrook Sigs, but have heard a smaller speaker in the Taylor line. I remember the 802's clearly.

I did not like the sound of B&W's speakers. Last year while visiting San Antonio I stopped by a place that happened to carry the top-of-the-line B&W's. I couldn't stand their sound. I preferred the Dynaudios and Definitive Techs to the B&W's despite the former costing about 1/5 (or less, depending on the model) of the B&W's.

The Taylor speakers, which I heard in San Diego earlier this year, were incredibly transparent. I had a musician (non-audiophile) friend with me. One of the CD's I used for the audition has a part where the guitarist slaps the body of the guitar with his palm twice and then the heel of his hand once. I didn't know what this sound was, but the Taylors were so transparent and accurate he recognized the sound immediately, and couldn't believe the system could reproduce that sound so clearly and accurately. When I dropped him off at his house he demonstrated the guitar slap and sure enough, sounded the same.

I didn't buy the Taylors, but they're on a short list to re-audition when I do get the urge to upgrade my speakers.

In short, B&W has a "sound." If you like their "sound" you should happily go that route. The Taylors are, IMHO more accurate and transparent regardless of the source material. I also the the Taylors will be less forgiving of your front end.

good luck!
I've demo'd the B&W 802 several times and though it's a very nice speaker, I prefered the Tyler Linbrook Signature System (one piece) which I purchased. I have nothing against B&W, in fact my office system has a pair of B&W 602s and I gave a pair of 602s to an employee as well.

When you're at this level, it really is the sound, not the name that matters. The way Ty voices his speakers rings true for me, it may not for you. Take a look at his Home Demo page and find a local owner who will let you come over and demo the speakers in a real setting. If that's not possible, order the speakers and if you really don't like, send them back. Ty will not hassle you in any way - he really wants you to be happy with the purchase.

Some may want to diss Tyler because it's a small operation. No big deal in my book - it's neither an advantage or disadvantage. What you're not paying for with the Tylers is all the massive overhead including huge ad budgets and nice dealer margins. Plus, you get to deal with a really nice guy, instead of a salesperson who thinks B&W is the end all and be all of high-end. Right.

BTW, if you look at the most recent issue of The Absolute Sound, you'll see they give them a thumbs up in their Rocky Mountain show review.

Sounds like you are in a similar situation thinking wise than I was. I had seriously considered the 802'a also- in part due to them being a great sounding speaker and in part due to the B&W store being in my area. I have NOT heard the Tylers, I now own the DB-99's which Drseid compares to very similarly in regards to the Tyler's.

So- here were my thoughts and audio impressions between the 802 and the DB-99SE. Should mean a similar comparison between the Tylers and the 802 speakers with an assumption that Drseid's ears are aligned (as a caveat in part I bought the 99's due to Drseid's comments regarding them).

You must decide what you want to do with your system now, and what you may want to do later. Do you want solid state or tubes? How about SET? You can read many posts on here- the general conclusion is that the 802's need CURRENT to drive them. Not a prob- just a potential limitation to versatility. I am using Consonance Cyber 211 mono blocks (read Dec review of them on enjoythemusic.com- compares them to 90K amps). I prefer tubes so I can tube roll and create different flavors of amp- my amp then is versatile also so I feel I have a *living* system and not one fixed to one audio sound.

If money is no object skip this thought. Alas it is to me so..B&W does not sell via internet so there is no internet break/tax break etc unless you buy used. While VSA does not sell via internet many of the dealers are active on line and I found VSA and consonance amps at GREAT price and was able to get a great deal. I think Tyler does sell on line.

Small companies mean you can speak to the guy who built the speaker. This is VERY IMPORTANT. There is nothing like knowing what amp the speaker was voiced to find the synergy. People spend thousands of $ and a lifetime of headaches searching for synergy in there system. Wisdom from the speaker maker can save you $$$$ in the long run. B&W probably has someone also- but for me this personal feel with a company is cool. I can't stress this enough as it cuts out the middle man- the dealer who may say this is the BEST amp may be trying to push the inventory of (insert brand) amps because there are too many in the back before the season runs out. The speaker maker will give you the straight and skinny on what is magic and what amp was used when they voiced the speaker.


You need to ask yourself what kind of music you listen to now, and what kind you may season into in the future. To me 802's do very well with wood based instruments- cello for example is amazing. Something to do with the cabinet makes this instrument magical. More so than in the 99's (Tyler’s if audio signature is similar). The 99's are NO SLOUCH. But there is a greater depth/magic to this instrument in the 802's.

That being said. Brass/vocals/guitar/drums to me, in the 802 seem recessed compared to the 99. To explain-the 99's are DYNAMIC. The drum jumps at you- the brass has texture. Multiple rhythms are easily heard and felt in the songs. The music is clean. Some have commented that it's as if the guitar is plugged right into the speaker- it's THAT clean. This speaker takes you into the venue. 802's are GREAT for classical music. There is a reason why many classical recording studio's use them. But what I have found is that this grand audio feel carries over into other music played through the 802's which was not acoustically recorded to be grand. The 99's take you from one venue to the next. Small jazz bar to orchestra hall.

Sound stage is amazing on the 99's when set up properly. REALLY. There is no need for center speakers or surround. The speakers bring all that. I have had too many people in my listening room looking around for the rest of the speakers I may have hidden. I can't comment on the 802's sound stage as room acoustics are so critical here. But I can say that when I listen to them in the dealers show room about two months AFTER I bought the 99's ( I had gone back to check if I made the right decision) This is what occurred.

I sat and the dealer turned them on and "Oh my god" fell out of my mouth. The dealer said "yes they sound great don't they?" What I was thinking was- I didn't realize just how awesome the 99's sounded. I was used to the musicians being in the room and being outside of the speaker. With the 802's the guitars and vocals were somewhat trapped in the speaker. No bash on the B&W's-- they are a GREAT speaker. But to me I have found magic with the 99's and SET combo.

Anyway- hope that helps- should if the 99's are very similar in sonic signature and efficiency as the Tylers. You don't know me so take it for what it's worth. I am NOT a dealer. Just trying to give back. Many people on this forum helped me find a system I am very happy with and just trying to add my two bits to you that it may help you in your audio journey.

Also, no disrespect meant to B&W either- keeping perspective we are really talking about the two/Three best in the class.


Building drivers in-house, or having exclusive use of drivers is irrelevant. I have heard speakers that used exclusive drivers that have sounded excellent, and others that sounded poor. I could say the same about speakers using "drivers you can get off the Internet." In the end, it mainly comes down to the capability of the driver (created in-house or not), and what the speaker designer does with it (implementation).

As for B&W being a big company, can't disagree there... but again, that means nothing with respect to end-product quality to my thinking. Bose is a big company too. I am sure you would not compare *B&W* to Bose... Again, size of company and distribution channels are irrelevant, it comes down to what the end product sounds like (and its build quality). Is a box created in a large scale assembly plant necessarily more effective than one created by hand, or with manual tooling?