|Tyler Acoustics D4M Loudspeakers Review|
|Home Theater Loudspeakers Bookshelf/Monitor Loudspeakers|
|Written by Todd Whitesel|
|Monday, 11 January 2010|
Page 1 of 2
I remember reading a letter in Stereophile several years back from a reader complaining about the magazine's lack of review coverage with regards to certain loudspeaker manufacturers. One of the names mentioned was Tyler Acoustics, an outfit I was then unaware of myself. For some reason that letter stuck in my memory, and here I am in an unexpected position to shed additional light on that very same “neglected” company. It was my pleasure to finally make contact with main man – and name – behind Tyler Acoustics, Tyler (“Ty”) Lashbrook, who runs the speaker-building operation from Owensboro, Kentucky. From the beautiful Bluegrass State, Lashbrook has been quietly building furniture-grade loudspeakers and selling direct to consumers for a decade.
I also found the D4Ms benefited from exacting placement; be prepared to spend time experimenting to find the sweet spot. That means spending a couple hours or more moving the speakers by half-foot (or less) increments, listening, repeating, and finally breaking out the tape measure and marking the final resting point of left and right. This isn't a criticism, but the D4Ms didn't work as a stereo pair if not aligned oppositely almost to the inch. Instead, one speaker inevitably took over and became the dominant voice. My main listening room is approximately 16 feet (deep) x 24 feet (wide) x 7 feet (high). I set them atop a pair of 30-inch stands (Plateau STS-30s), placed 3 feet from the long wall, 4 feet from the side walls and spaced 7 feet apart, with the speakers toed in approximately 15 degrees.
Once setup correctly, expect excellent imaging and clear, engaging sound. Perhaps the greatest distinguishing strength of the D4Ms is their unflappable consistency between low and high frequencies. To my ears, there is no imbalance between bass, midrange and treble response. It's all tight, fast and smooth with no unwanted booms or shrieks. If I found the D4Ms lacking for anything, it would be in broad sound-staging - I would like a bit more “bloom” in the mix. In that respect, they act very much like monitors. Again, not bad, but I enjoyed them best when seated no more than 8 feet away. On the plus side, the D4Ms are very detailed.
Compared to THIEL's SCS4s – bookshelf speakers I've recently auditioned – the D4Ms are a bit warmer. Both are very fast and cleanly reproduce a broad range of music, though I wouldn't recommend either for serious heavy-metal head-banging or bass-dominating rap. It's not that the bass is lacking, it's just a bit too civilized and taut for such fare. Within the realm of rock, blues, jazz and classical, though, the D4Ms are effortless and authoritative. These are very good speakers.