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TDL Electronics Reference Standard

Transmission Line Loudspeaker System

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TDL Electronics Reference Standard


Type: 4 way, 7 driver loudspeaker system

Frequency Response: 16Hz to 35kHz

Recommended Amplifier: 50W (minimum)

Crossover Frequency: 200, 3500, 13000Hz

Impedance: 8Ω

Sensitivity: 87dB

Bass: 2 x biradial 300 x 210mm

Midrange: 2 x 150mm doped polymer cone

Tweeter: 2 x 25mm magnesium alloy dome

Super Tweeter: 1 x 20mm dome

Enclosure: dual transmission line

Finish: walnut, black

Dimensions: 558 x 496 x 1180mm

Weight: 70kg

Price: GBP £3450 (1992)


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Reviewed Mar 06th, 2015 by desertdog

Good by any standard, but IMF were better. Posted 2015



ondrej's picture

re: Reference Standard

to desertdog >>>

I'm not sure whether you've really heard both, TDL Ref Standard and IMF Reference Standard Professional Monitor MkIII or IV in your system side by side as I did.
First of all, these speakers are both extraordinary masterpieces of high end speaker's sound.
But their purpose is slightly different and consequently they also sounds differently a bit.
While IMF were dedicated to be high end studio distant field monitors, their also sounds more "analytically".Sound signature towards lighter, spacier but also "sharper", less pleasant sound, especially by listening some low profile recordings, when using in typical, non dumped home rooms without special acoustical treatment.
On the other side, TDL Reference Standard, I actually keep, was meant to be Reference Home speaker. Sound characteristic is tuned slightly to the warmer, more pleasant, practical sound, especially in reflexive home enviroment.
TDLs RS are definitely more suitable for long hours of exciting listening sessions.
So I would not say that one is better than other or vice versa. They are just made for different places and purposes.
But one thing is absolute true, without any single doubts.
Bass-subbass response of TDL RSM is second to none!
Even IMF RSPM can not come close or compete that TDL beasts within this specifical parameter! TDL RSM seems to be end of the road with regards to ideal "bass extasy" :)

re: Reference Standard

Hello Ondrej,
I agree entirely with your viewpoint on IMF v TDL, both were extremely good and accurate monitors, both demanding good partnering ancillaries, speaker cables and interconnects, and amplifiers to give of their best.
The IMF's were quite analytical in their presentation, whereas the TDL's had a comfortable and warm sound, as you say, both very good, both slightly different.

Having progressed from IMF TLS50's, through to the mk2, then TLS 80's, then when the TDL Reference monitors came on the scene, and having heard them under less than perfect hifi show conditions, listened to a pair in the right surroundings, they ticked all the boxes for me, until the TDL Reference Standard arrived, that was a whole step change, deep clear musical bass, an articulate midrange, and clear musical treble and super treble.

I did however notice that the TDL's benefited from being partnered with Tannoy 'stand alone' Super Tweeters, not that there is anything wrong with super treble in the TDL's, they just added a little high treble 'sparkle' without being over the top or adding any sibilance, personal preference.
It was after I bought the TDL Reference monitors that I acquired the second pair of Alecto Monoblocks, bi-amping these speakers presented me with one of those very rare 'Adio Nirvana' moments, it couldn't possibly get any better than this, which leads me to ponder the question; Why don't All speaker manufacturers supply their speakers with separate bass and mid/treble inputs, allowing the use of bi-amping? To me personally, the proof of the benefits is crystal clear.

Both the TDL models were driven by Mark Levinson pre, and two pairs of Michel Alecto monoblocks, modified.
These TDL's, and indeed the IMF's before them, are both in a class of their own, and only bettered by such as Appogee Scintillas, but then of course you needed massive power amps, and possibly your own personal power station.

Kind regards,


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