Tonian TL-P1 MK II
I am not a professional reviewer; nor am I affiliated with any products. I’m just a guy who likes music but have also enjoyed experimenting with different gear for close to 30 years. More recently, I have found myself in a low-powered amplifier groove (both tube and solid state -- First Watt J2, Crayon CFA 1.2, trusty old Dynaco ST 35). I just find such amplifiers immensely musical. About 9 months ago, I started looking for suitable speakers – something with higher sensitivity; something that plays well with the different amplifiers I like to rotate. Several years ago, I heard the Tonian TL-D1’s – to me they sounded natural, life like, clean and fast with a separation of notes that seemed so accurate (but not thin or bright). At the time, I did not have enough space in my small listening room – l tucked them away in memory to discover again in the future. Fast forward about 10 years, and it was time for me to look into Tonian seriously. First stop was the Tonian Laboratories website, which I found is under construction. Then, I searched the Audiogon forum – not a ton of recent activity related to new purchases. Hmm are they still in business? A quick email to Tonian Laboratories was met by a quick response from Tony Minasian, and we were off talking through the right speaker for me based on budget, amplifier, taste in music, etc. – a really nice interactive experience. We settled on the Tonian TL-P1 MKII (95 dB, 8 ohm) based on NOS Philips 9710 drivers, supplemented by ribbon tweeters, and finished in walnut. I have been using these speakers for about 6 months, so the thoughts I am sharing are not a knee-jerk reaction to a new/different piece of gear. The following are my impressions:
-- There is some nice cabinet work that went into these speakers. The walnut finish is rich in appearance. The walls of the speaker are thinner than traditional speakers – more like a musical instrument. They are certainly worthy of display in our family room. I posted pictures on my virtual system page.
-- The blending of the drivers is seamless. There is an even tonal balance.
-- Detail and clarity keep coming to mind; but also rich, open, spacious and warm sound.
-- The live cabinet that is tuned to perfection is just amazing with violins and cello and acoustic guitars. Upright bass is quick, clean, and full.
-- I am listening to piano again and loving it.
-- The highs just seem to sail beyond limit. There’s this sense of air around notes.
-- Just really satisfying and non-fatiguing with all the amplifiers that I use.
In general, this purchase has satisfied me to the point of wanting share impressions and highlight the talent of Tony Minasian. My TL-P1’s are one of his more modest offerings, yet he took the time to make the buying experience special and delivered beautiful, finely tuned musical instruments. If I could borrow a few words posted here on Audiogon by AudioKinesis on 9/30/2018 : “imo Tony Minasian is a wizard.. I honestly do not know how he gets the results he does. Every speaker of his that I have heard sounded rich and warm and lively and totally non-fatiguing, and it doesn’t matter whether his design choices made sense to me or not…”
I am getting a good dose of that Tonian magic with the TL-P1 mk II’s.