Tyler Acoustics Decade D3M review

I've been happy with my front end electronics for about two years now, but had some issues with getting the sound I wanted from what tends to be the weak link - speakers.

I've been through quite a few this time around, and while they each had their strengths and weaknesses the seemed to lack that certain "something, something" one might find in the ultra-expensive, exotic speakers. My last monitors, ACI Sapphire XL's were gems but were probably more suited for solid state amplification (I'm running 22 watts of tube power) and I was looking speakers with bit more bite.

The much acclaimed Vienna Acoustics Mozart Grands where on my short list but then I saw a pair of D3M's on Audiogon for a very good price that were tough to pass up. I found the Tyler's more unique anyways. The problem is there is virtually no reviews of the new Decade line so it's a bit different than buying say a pair of Sonus Faber or Audio Physic speakers.

While the D3M's are monitor speakers they are beasts, weighing in at nearly 50 lbs apiece. I very nice size if you want a bit more than monitors but not towers (I use mine mostly for nearfield listening). They look a bit odd in pictures but are rather stunning in real life. Mine have the biwire option.

I'll start with the bass. Most of the speakers I had either had weak bass or boomy, overpowering bass. The Tylers have good bass slam but a deep, very controlled bass. I didn't find them to be finnicky as far as placement.

Mids are spot on as well, and what I really like are how the percussions kick out to you, fast and articulate, with plenty of air around each instrument.

A speaker's crossover is extremely critical component to a speaker's success, and I suspect Guy Ritchie's (GR Research) design of the crossover is a major contribution the success. They seem to mate very well to tube gear as well.

In conclusion even if I try I can't seem to find one weak spot in the sound, which is a major accomplishment for a speaker in this price range. Thanks to Ty for wonderful product.
I like my D4 floorstanding monitors alot. They are as you describe quick and punchy and lots of detail with plenty of extension with no listener fatigue whatsoever.
As the guy Jk121764 bought these speakers from "for a very good price," I'd like to add my two cents about these speakers. Backing up a bit, I owned Ty's Taylo Reference Monitors, which I enjoyed immensely in conjunction with my dual subs (I'm a monitor/sub guy). I happened to hear a pair of Harbeth 7 es-3s at a dealer's showroom, and had to own them. So the Taylos were sold. A month with the Harbeths told me I had made a big mistake; they were not liking my Tempest II, were way too laid back and lacked any visceral energy whatsoever (I am not alone in this assessment of the Harbeth line, by the way). The tone was spectacular, but there was no palp factor at all. Anyway, out went the Harbeths and in came the D3Ms, which I bought from Ty (great guy, as we all know). After four months with them, I sold them. The "bite" that Jk121764 references was, to me, the very weakness of these speakers. For me, they were way too energetic in the upper mids/ lower treble. They were the fastest cone speakers I've ever owned (I've owned at least twenty pairs of speakers). They had a great stage (not as large as the Taylos, however), and excellent palp factor. On "perfect" recordings (especially those that had been recorded AAA or with tube gear), they were wonderful. Okay, that's ten CDs. But for regular CD fare, I found them too forward and unforgiving in the areas mentioned.

Danny Ritchie (not Guy Ritchie) is generally given credit for this crossover. I don't know if it was the crossover that was the "problem" for me, but I will say I auditioned another popular monitor he designed the crossover for, dragging a couple of friends along. We all thought they were way bright. As in "you are listening to a lousy CD and I am going to show you just how bad it is." This was also a dealer showroom with good CD gear. So hey, I don't know, but maybe it's just that my flavor of speaker is different than his.

What I find interesting is that the D3Ms are spectrally so much different than the Taylos as to be unrecognizable as coming from the same manufacturer. The older line was "criticized" for being a bit "warm." So I guess this was the answer. I am now using Merlin TSMs, which although a bit lean in my room, are pretty nice. An audio buddy of mine (who writes occassionally for Affordable Audio) came over with some room correction software, and of the eight choices available, all of them "warmed" the sound of the Merlins....to about exactly where the Taylos were on their own in my room.

The Taylos were, in my view, much happier with my tube gear than the D3Ms. They made my Tempest sound like it was 200 watts a side. A big, open, fun sound, if a bit uncontrolled in the bass (I have tubes!). The D3Ms were not as big and open sounding nor as deep in stage, but were better controlled and had better detail in the mids, which was to be expected as they were very "showy" in this region.

My guess is that the D3Ms would do well either with slightly lower-fi stuff than I have, or with better hi-fi than I have, and with vinyl in particular. A mid-fi CD feed (a tubed Ah Tjoeb modded player), even through my decent amp, was more ruthlessly honest than I wanted. I lost the music.

All of this is, of course, my reaction only, in my room and with my stuff and with my tastes. However, the comparison with the Taylos I think would carry to other places and gear. The differences were just so clear.

These are incredibly well-built speakers and the quality of drivers and parts is obvious. I just have to say I'm quizzical why a guy who designed the Taylos would also be enamoured of this sound.

I wish Ty nothing but the best. He's one of the nicest, most honest, well intentioned and fairly-priced dealers I've encountered in almost 40 years of kicking around in this hobby. But I will take the Taylos, thanks.
I called Ty about a year ago while considering purchase of new speakers. He did say that the new line is more on the "detailed, transparent" side of things than the previous lines. He was very honest saying the new "sound" of tyler was "open, detailed, very revealing". Sounds like he was right. This is not my style of speaker music making, however,

I agree 100% with Greenink as regards the Harbeths. I owned the C7-2s and found them exactly as Green described. No visceral energy, too thick and opaque. Nice, natural sounding midrange, though. However, my ACI Sapphire XLs have wonderful midrange but with the added bonus of open and involving music making. They just pull me right in.
Interesting, the last two posts. I had the Linbrook monitors for some time, as well as the Harbeth SHL5's, both at the same time in the same room, and now own the Decade D2's.
The Harbeth's were better than the Tyler's for softer music, and the Tyler's were better for heavier music - they 'never' (never say never - but so much better) break up. The Tyler's also had almost as good a midrange as the Harbeth, and that's saying a lot. If I only listened to jazz or chamber music the Harbeth's would have been my choice hands down. See my review/comparison here on Audiogon.
The Decade line in my system is different from the earlier models (I have also heard the Taylo's) with better definition and neutrality, and better bass. The midrange is nicer with the Linbrooks, but not necessarily more musical. I think the newer Decade line is more balanced, and the bass is really quite spectacular (the D2's I own have quite a large cabinet, which could contribute to this quality. Whatever the case, having owned REL subs, the D2's bass quality is like REL). So, in my opinion the Decade series are different but definitely not worse than the older series. I could happily live with either in general.