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.