Don Naples Reveal of the Linkwitz LX521 Reference Speakers



On November 6th, Don Naples hosted an SFAS listening event at his home in Healdsburg. Not long ago, but before the Delta variant, Don had hosted a phono stage event at his home.  The event’s focus this time was a showcase of the latest iteration of the Linkwitz LX521 speakers that are now being built in Germany.


I admit that I am a Linkwitz fanboi. Or fanboy? I built a set of Orion speakers (with Don’s help) in 2006. Later, Don offered our audiophile society the extended loan of a pair of Orion’s for use at our Hilltop Mall meeting space. We accepted the offer and we all loved them.

But the Orions were not Siegfried Linkwitz’s final creation- he had one more idea to implement, thus the LX521. They are a 3F design. Form Follows Function. That philosophy resulted in the unusually shaped top baffle. The name happened because the 21st iteration of the baffle was the one that measured and sounded best. And it was May 21. Hence, the LX521.


I went to listen to the LX521 soon after its original creation but I found it too similar to the Orion, and maybe a bit less satisfying to listen to.  Then things changed. Mr. Siegfried Linkwitz left this mortal coil on 9/11/2018.


But before he left, Siegfried Linkwitz handed the keys of Linkwitz Labs over to Dr. Frank Brenner in 2017. Now Frank sells the LXsirious series and LX521 Reference.


During the world shut down, Dr. Brenner was grounded from his day job as a pilot. He decided to tackle the writings Siegfried left on his website. There is a note on the website where Siegfried expressed that he wished he had tried a design change in the active crossover. Frank dove into that design change and noted that Siegfried’s intuition was right.


That change and a different lower-mid driver created the LX521 Reference.


In my opinion, the finished product is a significant step up from the Orion.


Most of our members who heard the LX521s at Don’s were impressed with these speakers.


Let me clarify. I say speakers, but we heard a ‘back end’. Crossovers, amps, and speakers. All of these items are included in the LX521 order. That is not the ‘norm’ for most other brands. But it is a big part of the magic that you get when you get the LX521’s. Frank has made it much more convenient than it was with the Orions. Pretty simple plug-and-play.


I could get more technical, but you can read all of the other details on the link to Frank’s Linkwitz store below. For me, the proof is in the listening.


Thanks again to Don Naples for hosting. And Don’s wife, Janet for putting up with us.

Frank Brenner was at the second event at Don’s 2 weeks later. Thank you, Frank, for flying in and speaking.

This fanboi has the invoice for a full LX521 Reference sitting on his desk. Happy-Happy


.LXspeakers –

San Francisco Audiophile Society

San Francisco Audiophile Society