Review: Tyler Acoustics Linbrook Signature Monitors Monitor
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.
Simaudio Eclipse CD player, Lectron JH30 integrated amp
PMC FB1s, Spendor BC1s and SA3s