Linbrook Signature monitors...questions

I have a pair of new Silverline SR17 version III & a new Rogue Audio Tempest II both of which I was able to buy near or at dealer cost .I had a Creek CD MkII that I shopped quite carefully for unlike the other pieces as l recently became a semi shut in due to a neurogenerative disease.

I bought some wires & a IC very inexpensively from designer Alan Yun who seems like a real good guy as he even sent me a beautifully recorded CD that is full of the most inspirational & well recorded instrumentals & vocals you can imagine .I still have several pairs of JMLabs speakers(Cobalt 816 & Daline 3.1) that I would like to sell up here in Canada along with my newly acquired SR-17V3. The 17 are just a liitle bit too hard in the upper mids as I am very sensitive to sibilance plus at a real world 85 db efficiency & my low current tube amp I just can not get much in the way of dynamic range from these speakers .Not-with-standing a little sibilance(which most people don’t even notice) the speakers are amongst the best I have heard especially if I add a little of my top of the line Stratus series PSB modified sub to them from the pre out

.I also have some Analysis Plus Oval 12 cable & thier crystal oval IC which is the top of line in AP. The single wire arrangement Alan suggested sounded better than the biwire AP as well as thier IC. I am keeping the AP products because they sounded so good on both JML speakers & will sell the Silverline audio conductor cable along with the IC because it is obviously “voiced” for the17V3 .I need a slightly warmish smooth in the upper mids but accurate speaker(the Silverlines are dynaudio driver based & thus very musical & accurate) that is fairly efficient.

Well I think from all my research & many emails that I just described the Linbrook Signature Monitors from Tyler Acoustics. I talked to Ty, & he always seems to have some nicely broken in used ones that are still warrantied for around 2K.What a deal.I just need to sell the 17 around $1500 then one pair of JML about $750 each(they were in the $2300 range new 6 years ago)& I am into some Linbrooks. This may take me a while even though my speakers are on CAM(our Audiogon) up here but I am willing to be patient even it takes a year to complete the whole deal. I have to move slowly in that I am somewhat dependent on my adult son due to a illness I have,

I have several questions remaining about the Linbrooks however most of them to do with sonics have been answered by a never ending list of enthusiastic owners.

My first question is will these match up with my Tempest II ?.It does have a 4 ohm tap however only produces about 25 watts at 4 ohms in my favorite triode mode. Which will rival most SET systems I have heard..

I am need to get more bass which I am sure,l even at 25 watts should be there at abot 40 Hz obviating the need to use the sub except when one wants to R & R a bit..The amp is actually rated at 90 wps into 8 ohms but only produces about 60 into * ohms in regular mode .It uses 4 inexpensive KT88 output tubes that are independently biased which saves on matching tubes & allows for a little tweaking .Evidentially, these amps really respond to tube rolling, however that would come last.

I love this amp with the Creek as the two are very synergistic. If my Silverlines were just a tad less agressive in the uppermids (I had to put 500 hours on them just to get them to reasonable HF wise)& would play louder with more bass I would keep them as with a high powered SS amp & the right environment, cables,jumpers,perhapos a zodel ciciut, etc they would be fantastic.It’s just that I don't have the coin to make them sing the way they can plus I think I want something a little more mellow without losing a lot of detail & musicality..

Also ,how are the stands? I have some sand filled beefy 26 inchers however is it worth the money & the shipping (I live in Canada) to buy the stands? Are mine too high at 26"?.Does anyone have experience with the Rougue Audio tube gear or the analysis Plus cabling & the Linbrooks?

Any & all feedback would be welcomed

Bill Mc

Kelowna B.C.

Interesting. I've had all three versions of Alan's SR17's and currently own the VIII as well. The VIII is certainly the most refined of the lot, and all have been very impressive, coherent speakers, so that is saying alot. I haven't had the same impressions of the upper mids, in either this version, nor any of the previous ones. I have had similar impressions of the speakers not quite living up to their 89db claimed efficiency. I don't know if I'd say they're as low as 85 though. My first thought was break-in, but 500 hours certainly covers that. I biwire as well, but haven't noticed much of a difference. I wonder if you just got yours, whether they are bone stock, or whether Alan incorporated the newer crossover from the V. IV? I've found the best results with the SR17's to come from throwing some power their way. I know they are voiced for tubes, according to Alan, but I've also had great results with at least two SS solutions, currently using a 180wpc Odyssey Dual Mono. If I asked anything of them, it would be to go a bit lower, though I'm still amazed at how low small boxes like these can go. I certainly can't complain about the quality of the bass though. No experience beyond that to convey, except to suggest trying something with more muscle behind them, tube or SS. Perhaps you have a friend with a system with more muscle that you could try them on. Speaker height should allign your ears with the tweeters by conventional wisdom. That will depend on your measurements and the seat you use to listen. My SR17's are on 28" stands.

Thanks Marco for your reply. Many have found the esotec driver to be sibilant both those who used it DIY & those with the DA 1.4 & the 17v3 .See some of the recent post under speakers on the audio asylum. It may well be that driving these speakers with lots of power effects the upper mids in the 2K to 4 K range where this phomenon occurs..My speakers were Alan's demos & were one of the first verson III made so i doubt that the vesion IV was used as a experiment .If you read the review of this otherwise excellent tweeter that is also in the new Sonata III in 6 Moons you will find thatthey too find the esotec driver a tad sibilant. I can put up with lack of dynamic range in that I listen to jazz,vocals & acoustical therefore the Bob Marley,Dire Straits & Stevie Ray CDs albums etc not being optimum are not a huge issues. If I could just rid them of this sibilance & I have tried everything, I would keep them. Overall they are the best ,clearest,cleanest,most dtailed & ultimately musical speaker I have ever heard or had inclding my original quad ELS & it almost unparalleled midrange. I really have a hard time with sibilance & if you read my posts on AA yo uwill see that riding myself of this amusical audio gemelin was the reason I went to soft domes & tubes & away from SS & two much beloved JMlabs speakers which I still have for sale & will have to let go for a song (if you will pardon the pun) up here in Canada.

In the final analysis I will go with the always smooth detailed & musical Linbrook signature monitors.

Please excuse the clumsy grammar & the typos. I may have a neurogenerative disease, however I am not really that dumb just a little tired & lazy. I post regularly & it is easy to spot my morning posts, usually on the asylum.

I have had many systems over the past 30 years and even moonlighted at several local highend stores over the many years I spent as a chemical dependency counsellor(how we spell it up here in Canada).I had a half descent system both in my office & group room with appropriate music for every topic and every piece of work a client would do in a group session .Music really is the universal lanquage & I often used it to great healing effect with clients .Now that I am a semi shut in, I just want to put together one more good system that I can use to help with my own healing & pass on to my eldest song who turned out to be a much better audio video salesman than me having set a number of national sales records in the two large box stores where he was both a salesman & a manger. He has a good ear & appreciates the good stuff as opposed to the midfi stuff that most people want...or think they want.

Anway ,I am off topic here. I would appeciate any & all feedback around the issues I am experiencing with sibilance & some of the questions I am asking about the Linbrooks.

BTW,I am currently using three 8 inch square concrete blocks per side as speaker stands (24”high) & some blue tak.I often thought that using a quality cement glue(any suggestions) plus adding a large 2 inch thick flagstone base that this would be a way to create a super heavy non-resonance speaker stand for less than $20 other than cometics (and one could use some black concrete paint ) & this could be a very effective speaker stand.Are there reasons you techies have out there why this would not work? .Are there other elements to add to the construction to improve the isolation? Perhaps concrete is not a good medium for some reason...your comments would be welcomed.

I haven't had the same experience with ssssssibilance on the VIII's as you describe, but then I've always used the VIII's with at least 100wpc SS power. In previous encarnations I've had I've used tubes, and do recall at least one combination that produced distracting sibilance, but I cannot recall which combination and it's probably irrelevant as Alan used a different tweeter, didn't he? The V. IV I was referring to is the SR-17.5 actually. My VIII's are late production. Don't know if any changes took place, but I doubt it.

I used concrete blocks as amp stands for a while and they worked fine. For the amps I topped them with rubber anti-fatigue matt. I bolted 2X6 boards through the middle to cover the openings on either side. For a bit more investment you could do the same with your speaker stands. One 2X6 board on either open end of the cinder blocks with a bolt going through to squeeze one to the other. A single long piece and 2-4 such bolts would hold the unit together as a unit that you could move around. Countersink the holes, paint the boards whatever you like to make'em look to your liking. Add spikes or rubber, or whatever works to make them more effective for your room. Sounds like a good, economical solution to me.
I have a 90 wps Rogue Audio Tempest II KT88 based amp so it should sound good with no sibilance not withstanding the negative report by other audiophiles & several highly respected online reviewers state that this tweeter is sibilance.Dynaudio spent some huge time & dollars to make this tweeter as good as it is in other regards & Alan is a Whiz with crossovers so it makes me wonder since I use both his cables & IC & the brass jumper on the speaker couple with the best sounding CD player I could find under 5K which was the Creek CD MNKII which is very smooth in the mids & upper mids .Perhaps those KT 88 do not like that tweeter or perhaps they matched electrically the SS load many variables .Even though I am considering the ultra smooth Linbrook signatures with the Seas millennium & the refined crossover would rather make my 17 V3 work because they are so incredibly musical in ever other respect…..a fine speaker from a very talented designer & all around good guy.


I will try the boards & bolts with the stands ..did you do anything to the bttoms like add a large flag stone to stabilze them?.Did you need a concrete drill to run the bolt through the concrete … or have I got the wrong idea here. One last thing the V3 has the Esotec D280 whereas the 17.5 uses the more common you know what the differnces are?
I will try the boards & bolts with the stands ..did you do anything to the bttoms like add a large flag stone to stabilze them?.Did you need a concrete drill to run the bolt through the concrete … or have I got the wrong idea here. One last thing the V3 has the Esotec D280 whereas the 17.5 uses the more common you know what the differnces are?

No concrete drill is necessary. The boards would go on the open sides of the cinder blocks to cover those large, square holes (two in each block), thus creating a solid collum (in appearence). The bolts go from board to board, through the center of one hole, with only air in between them (they do not even touch the concrete). The whole thing is held together by tension of those bolts. They have to be large bolts. I think I used 1/2 inch or 3/4 inch bolts. I did NOT build speaker stands. I built simple amp stands from only one cinder block and two pieces of 2X6. I'm only speculating on how to do this. Your project would require two cinder blocks and two pieces of (longer) 2X6, and perhaps as many as four bolts. You could stabilize them with a wood or stone base I suppose, but you'll probably want to spike either to minimize the surface area for ground contact.

I've been listening more carefully to my SR17's with many different kinds of material since reading your post. I'm still not sensing anything like what you describe. Rogue certainly is a fine option for amplification, and given your experience and other choices I have no doubt your front end is up to the task. Have you spoke with Alan about this? If so, what did he have to say on the subject? I don't know the specific differences between the two Esotec tweeters. I do know that he made a tweeter change in the VI-VII-VIII evolution also, but I'm not sure which jump anymore. As I said, I do seem to recall one combination of one of the previous encarnations having some distracting sibilance, but I just don't remember which, and what combination it was. It's been too long, and too many changes in my systems since then. I guess I should keep some notes.

not withstanding the negative report by other audiophiles & several highly respected online reviewers state that this tweeter is sibilance.

I've not read any reviews at all of the SR17 VIII, either real-world comments, nor reviewers. If you know of any would you point them out with a URL.

All the speakers with the esotec that I could find including posts from DIY builders from 2 years ago when Dyaudio still sold to the public vary. About half the reviews report sibilance & some almost the opposite. I know DIY builders were not often happy however Alan does not get stock drivers.-if you read the site they are built to his specifications. Now that could be anything from just a fit thing to something more functional.My speakers where one of the first built by Aaln using the new esotecs & are actually 14" high as opposed to the 13” mentioned in the specs. So who knows, perhaps mine are some earlier version the speakers both with the esotec I could find including posts from DIY biulsersfrom 2 years ago when Dyaudio still sold to the public vey abot hlf the reviwrs report sibilance & some almost the opposite .I know DIY builders were not often happy however Alan does not get stock drivers.If you read the site they are built to his specifications. Now that could be anything from just a fit thing to something more functional. Alan sent me a pair of jumpers that has a resistor in line that rolls off the HF & gets rid of the sibilance or most of it at the expense of that lovely shimmer the HF has & a lot of the openness & airyness of this driver. It does make them more listenable especially with the Analysis Plus Crystal Oval IC which is very quick & open. He also said that if I sent the speakers back( I live in Canada so read big expensive) he could fix the sibilance so perhaps there is a crossover adjustment made in a later model. If I thought he could eliminate the sibilance without rolling of the HF I would go for it & just wait for a good deal on a powerful hybrid or perhaps even the new Plinius 9200 if I could get a decent buck for my RA Tempest II tube integrated....that is how much I like the speaker in virtually every other respect. There are, however too many ifs for me consequentially I am in the process of selling the JML at fire sale values ...I always get good deals on things so I am never too far off.I will also sell the 17v3 but with the proviso that they may be a tad aggressive in the upper mids.I wish someone from my community were interested that way I am not selling somebody something they don’t want.I would be more comfortable with someone auditioning these prior to buying them.

What to do?I wish I was more certain about the nature of the issue.It is hard to believe Dynaudio would invest that much R & D & produce a sibilant tweeter that is good in every other way.It may be tricky to use since they were tying to get as much of the Esotar sound as they could for $200.Therein may lie my problem ...perhaps this driver is tricky loas wise

Everything sold, I will have enough to buy either a set of Linbrook sigs or if I am tight the Tylo Monitors.

One last thought… the final issue may be this.KT88 based tube amps are the most SS sounding of the tube genre according to the tube crowd. I had a RA Cronus which is EL 34 based before the TII which even made my JML sound sweet in the highs.Pehaps another direction might be tube rolling.You did mention one amp did make them sibilant…was that perchance a tube mentioned that you could not recall.

Anyway,lots to think about & experiment with.

Thanks for engaging me in this conversation. It is always fun & often helpful to compare notes

Let me ask you this; is your sibilance problem something that bugs you on all vocal material you listen to? On the other hand, could you be focusing on only a handful of selective offending CD's? I ask because I know too well the obsessive nature of most audiophiles, myself included to some degree. There are certainly specific CD's that I know to have problems with sibilance - so much so that I wonder how much of it is in the recording and mixing. For instance, I can play Casandra Wilson's, "New Moon Daughter" or "Blue Light Til Dawn", and be sure that no matter what speakers either is played on that there will be some pretty hot "S's". Certainly it can be worse on some systems than others. In the case of my SR17's I can sense that hot 'S', but I've heard it much worse and it has never occured to me as offensive on this setup. It is no worse than on the two other speakers (neither using Esotec tweets) in my home. Same thing with Diana Krall's, "Live in Paris". Now I could see if you were focusing on challenging recordings like those, and nothing else, where you could get caught up on focusing on S's. Then you'd be missing the rest of the music, and that would be really annoying. Have you tried any other speakers side-by-side on your system, or taken your SR17s to play on a friend's system with similar offending program material? Before making serious changes, especially with gear you seem to otherwise like, I'd want to make sure that it was, in fact, the specific gear I was considering giving up that was the offending link in the chain. The other component I'd carefully consider is your front end - have you tried anything different?

Just a thought.


I hear you .It just seems that a lot of my favorite albums are like this … vocals. I have a lot of audiophile recordings by JVC ,Chesky etc. where this is hardly even a minor issue whatsoever, I just don't enjoy them as muc.h

.A number of years back Mark Knopfler left Dire Straits to go solo .The last album was "On every Street" which like all the DS albums before them had great non sibilant vocals however the many solo albums which just kept getting better as he matured are dogged to some degree by sibilance .I was using one of Arcams top offerings switched to the Rega Apollo but found it had a little upper midrange bump sold it it ,,,lost a little money then got a demo Creek CD 50 MkII which is a much better player all around & is one of those rare pieces that gets over looked as I have a hard time hearing the value in my friend’s 5 K & up units…. especially in the critical midrange...I even used the expensive Cardas Golden Cross IC but settled on the Analysis Plus Solo Crystal IC with the resistor loaded jumper Alan supplied as the best combo that still gives me some HF without tearing my ears off with Ssss & Ch even T & g at times. I am sure the front end is OK other then getting a tube based unit like the popular Raysonic 128 up here in Canada. That may be a option as "digital is digital"

Anyway things are under control despite missing a little air on the top. My system has lots of the PHRAT as they call it. I may experiment a little with jumpers 7 may even try something like a zodel cicuit as the difference between sibilance & no sibilance is on a very thin line,I suspect.I have spent a fairamount casing this down & just don’twant to drop another chunk of change and then have no change(pun intended)

You are right about the obsessing. I have yet to meet the audiophile who does not have some of this in thier personalty. I have just decided to enjoy the speaker with a little less air for now. If I were to get a decent price for the 17 having sold my JML dalines & on the verge of selling the Cbalt 816,then I will go with the Linbrook signatures(or what is ever reasonable at the time with the tylos) because there is a speaker that I am absolutely sure does not"add" anything in the way of sibilance & is in the same quality range. Many have even gone out of their way to mention how the seas millennium with the high quality crossovers are in particular good at resolving sibilance. In the end if I just ended up with the 17v3, I will still be happy as they are so musical & match up with the Tempest II the Creek & even my sub so nicely.I would be careful when selling my 17 if I got say $1500 for them to say that they may be tad aggressive in the upper mids .I would prefer to sell them to someone who heard them with thier equipment first. In the end, it may be my sensitivity to sibilance however I think one need still needs to follow the golden rule.

The only real irony here is, I was after getting rid of this problem only to have it follow me with this tweeter. Perhaps a tweek down the road will be the answer.In the interim I will just have to tweek my brain & enjoy the music.

Happy Listening

I have purchased a pair of used Linbrook Signature Monitors from Ty along with the model 3 stands which I am given to understand match up well with these speakers .I will sell the 17 & the wires ,IC & jumpers that are designed to go with them & did seem to sound the best.Many people swear by their 17s however they invariably have a lot more power than I do & would appear to be the key to get that 4” voice coil moving…you just need the current & I have mentioned these issues in my ads up here in Canada.

I have several questions about the Lin sigs that you folks with them may have some experience around.

A) how much sand would seem to be the optimum for the stands.I don't imagine filling them to the top is necessary however I don’t have a lot of experience with stands since I have always had floor standers prior to buying the Silverlines, so.your input is welcomed .I have a really good sub that sounds great especially when crossed over around 50-60 hz however my sense is I may notneed it much with these speakers.I have always found a large signal 40 Hz to be adequate for rock & jazz…nice to have none-the-less.

B) some have said they preferred the 8 ohm tap as opposed to the 4 on thier tube amps with the sigs.I would be interested in the experience of others in this regard although I imagine it depends on the amp.Mine has a toggle switch for triode mode which appears to be a little cleaner & more resolved in the mids without appearing to diminish the output.Everyone is talking about the triode revolution however I find the differences minor. Perhaps, it will be more noticeable with the sigs since the mids with the 17 tend to be a little on the recessed side like most Dynaudio systems (their perspective on sound however is extremely uncolored & accurate tonally)

Any tips that Linbrook owners might have would be useful .I have 3 or 4 weeks to wait as Ty, needs to build the stands then ship them.He sure is a great guy to work with & would appear to bend over backward to make his customers happy. His speakers are the only ones to date that almost everyone agrees are of very high quality which is a real oddity in the speaker world..I would certainly be hard pressed to find drivers & components that are any better.The pricing is quite remarkable when you find these drivers in much more expensive speakers that are quite frankly out of the price range of most middle & upper middle class folks.I imagine he will do quite well as the word spreads but hopefully not get so big that he looses that personal contact with his customers.