AXPONA 2012: Tyler, Rogue and Silnote

I like Tyler Acoustics. Ty has been selling speakers since 1998 and will be the nicest guy you meet at any show. He’s totally down to earth, just loves what he does, and what he does — which is make speakers — he does very well.

At AXPONA 2012, Ty was showing off his big Decade D20. This is a b-i-g speaker, nearly 5′ tall. Unfortunately, they don’t weigh more than me — but I am losing weight, so maybe some day not too soon, I’ll manage to approach their robust 180lbs (each).

Usually priced at about $10k, Ty had the speakers on a show special of $6500. Missed out? Aww. Too bad! Because for a speaker that does 25Hz easily, that’s a great price.

The drivers he uses are not SEAS, which is one of the reasons his designs are even close to affordable. On the D20’s, he’s using dual 10″ woofers, and all the drivers, woofer, mid range and tweeters, are custom-made for him. Danny Richie of GR Research designed the crossovers.Of course, all his cabinets are made in KY and all assembly is done in-house.

The other gear in the room? Yeah. Um. I had this sheet somewhere … ah. Yeah. Well, a quick call in to Ty (did I tell you he’s a real gent?) turned out the following:

  • VPI HW19 turntable
  • Rega 205 tonearm
  • Sumiko Bluepoint cartridge
  • Rogue Tempest III tube integrated amplifier
  • Rogue Stealth phono stage
  • Olive Music Player
  • Musical Fidelity DAC

The Rogue Audio Tempest III puts out a healthy 90wpc, but for those of you looking for a place to use your low-er power tube amps, Ty commented off-hand that the Manley Stingray (32wpc) had more than enough oompfh to drive his Decades and sounded just great matched that way. Ditto the Rogue, here, which sounded unflustered and quite muscular.

All cabling came from Silnote Audio. They had a large selection sitting on the table in the room, too, with prices that range from “audiophile” all the way down to “down right affordable”.

All in all, in summary, to sum it up, at the end of the day …

The room sounded extremely inviting. Sound quality was very relaxed and easy. Mid range was uncomplicated and warm. Bass, when called on, could knock you over. Treble was sweet and extended. Oh, and it looked great too.

The level of care and the build quality on offer here is enough to make you seriously doubt the wisdom of spending elsewhere. Manufacturer-direct sales can really, amazingly, bring some serious quality within reach.

Looking for some Made-in-the-USA audio candy? Now you know.

About Scot Hull 1063 Articles
Scot started all this back in 2009. He is currently the Publisher here at PTA, the Publisher at The Occasional Magazine, and the Executive Producer at The Occasional Podcast. There are way too many words about him over on the Contributors page.


  1. I was at Axpona and my wife and I liked the Tyler room; very good sound. I also have the Silnote Referece II RCA interconnect hooked-up between my Primaluna Dialogue 1 and Tekton Lore, nice combination.

  2. Look a bit like the Dunlavey’s, form vs function debate will always be there in speaker world but ultimately the sound prevails.

  3. I’ve read a lot of good things about Tyler but to me the speakers look bad aesthetically. They’re clunky, boring, unrefined and look homebuilt. I’m sure they’re built to a high standard but we also appreciate gear firstly with our eyes as well as our ears. It’s like food, even if the food tastes delicious, if it looks boring and unimaginative our visceral pleasure in it would be lessened. Mr Tyler sounds like a good guy, so I mean this statement constructively.

    • You are so far off.
      These speakers are definately large, but there is nothing boring or unrefined about them.
      I have a set of the D1’s in my listening room.
      They command respect and sound much better than speakers i’ve owned at twice the price.
      I have found my last set of speakers.
      They are sitting on the short wall of a room that is 9′ X 22′ X 8’H.
      When I saw these speakers online, I was afraid for the same reason.
      Now that they are in my house……….wow in the looks and sound department.

      • I agree, but I also didn’t say they were boring or unrefined. Tyler does good work.

  4. Although attractive on a cost per pound basis, I suppose, I really wonder who actually wakes up in the morning and decides to pull the trigger on a pair of Decade D20’s? What else is in their consideration frame, all classes of ginormous loudspeakers capable of diving down to 25hz that can be set right-side up or upside down without effecting either audio performance or aesthetics?

    Just wondering…



    • No one, of course. Which is why the little regional audio shows are so helpful. You can sit down and chat with the dude who’s going to build your shit for you. It’s freakin’ fantastic to be able to do that!

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