Tannoy owners

bonzo75

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Feb 26, 2014
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Who are the Tannoy owners here, and what drivers do you have? Anyone with Black, Silver, Reds?

15 inch Monitor Golds?

HPD 385 and 315?

etc

What amps and analog?

Ta
 
No experience with the vintage series - since that's all you listed, are you interested only/primarily in those? I've owned 5 pairs of modern Tannoys, and heard more models at my dealer and elsewhere. Currently own Canterbury GR with the new 15" alnico, and they are superb; best Tannoy sound I've heard so far. The Kingdom Royals are very technical and very very good at that, but I haven't yet been emotionally swayed or drawn into the sound with them like with Canterbury GR. Probably didn't help that the KR's were sourced by either Esoteric digital or Ortofon Anna (which might as well be digital), when I favor a more romantic analog sound.

I use Rogue Apollo Dark monoblocks, lots of tube power 275+ Watts. ARC REF 6 preamp though I'm keeping an eye out for something just a hair more relaxed up top, ideally with a midrange like VAC but can still rock out. No digital source. Fidelity Research FR64S and Koetsu Coralstone, with a Blue Lace Diamond coming. Extremely lifelike, yet beautiful sound. It's all come together since the 64S, Coralstrone, and EAR SUT got teamed up - what a difference!
 
Tannoy Arden Mk II speakers. They have the ceramic 3828 drivers.
Driving them with a single Technics SE-9060 power amp.
Small room, sounds good.

Also have a set of small-cabinet Chertsey (Surrey-series) speakers with 3128 drivers. They're in my living room being driven by a random Pioneer amp. Also have a set Tannoy 615s for my home theatre setup, driven by a random Kenwood amp. Assorted other smaller Tannoys as well...
 
15” monitor golds in retangular york (awesome).

10” monitor golds in ported 3lz (very good).

Single 15” silver in corner grf (not living up to hopes and expectations — may be the crossover that has gone bad).

Used to own a pair of westminster royal se but they were completely outclassed by the vintage speakers.
Generally, the other new old tannoys (prestige series) that i have heard dont do much for me. Big scale but slow and muddled.

Be careful the quality of vintage drivers and xovers can vary a lot.

Amps: radford sta 25 (great), leben cs300 (ok).
Analogue: garrard 301, ptp lenco 9+12, 2xlenco l70. See the rest in my profile.

Jesper
 

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Hi Jesper, one of the best rock, blues and jazz I heard was on tannoy 15' golds in Lockwood cabinets with modded crossovers and Luxman integrated. We listened for 8 hours with zero fatigue.

A couple of friends had the Radford STA 25 on their tannoys (one Gold 12 and the other HPD 315a) in modded York cabs. The Radford 25 was better than the Radford 100. However it was easily outclassed by the Silvercore 833c at 20w that replaced it, and also the KR.

That said, tannoy gold 15 is a speaker I am keenly looking at, and also looking at Altecs now.

I don't like the modern tannoys, though do have sufficient exposure to the Westminster models.
 
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Hi Jesper, one of the best rock, blues and jazz I heard was on tannoy 15' golds in Lockwood cabinets with modded crossovers and Luxman integrated. We listened for 8 hours with zero fatigue.

A couple of friends had the Radford STA 25 on their tannoys (one Gold 12 and the other HPD 315a) in modded York cabs. The Radford 25 was better than the Radford 100. However it was easily outclassed by the Silvercore 833c at 20w that replaced it, and also the KR.

That said, tannoy gold 15 is a speaker I am keenly looking at, and also looking at Altecs now.

I don't like the modern tannoys, though do have sufficient exposure to the Westminster models.

Ive listened to mine for 5 years without any fatigue ;-) but I also tend to stay away from synthetic music.

The radford is a classic. Original mullard valves give punch and an octal valve pre sweetens the sound.
For driving tannoys you'll have to search wide and dig deep in your pocket for something better.

Is this your friend ?

https://theartofsound.net/forum/sho...lvercore-833C-monoblocks-not-your-typical-SET
 
Ive listened to mine for 5 years without any fatigue ;-) but I also tend to stay away from synthetic music.

The radford is a classic. Original mullard valves give punch and an octal valve pre sweetens the sound.
For driving tannoys you'll have to search wide and dig deep in your pocket for something better.

Is this your friend ?

https://theartofsound.net/forum/sho...lvercore-833C-monoblocks-not-your-typical-SET

Hi yes that's him, he is on this forum as well though quieter
 
Btw, some people say that push-pull 300b's (or other triodes) work well with tannoys.
But I have not heard it myself...

Jesper
 
Btw, some people say that push-pull 300b's (or other triodes) work well with tannoys.
But I have not heard it myself...

Jesper

Hi, I'm the chap Kedar referred to earlier.

I've tried literally dozens of amps (around 40 at last count) with Tannoys, having owned quite a few different set of tannoys in many different cabinets, including 12in and 15in Golds and 12in and 15in HPDs. I've heard many modern Tannoys as well, though prefer the vintage ones, properly executed.

300b push-pull can work ok for Golds but you have to be careful of high output impedance which is often an issue with 300b designs. At one point I had four Audion 300b monoblocks running 15in Golds, used both active and passive with a split crossover. Generally speaking I found pentode amps worked best (has a few of those as well, the better ones were the Radfords above and some Jadis monoblocks). I wouldn't use them with HPDs which need more grunt to work properly compared to Golds. With all these vintage Tannoys you are balancing the need to have a decent of damping factor to keep the big cones under control, without going overboard and sucking the life out of them.

Different people have their view on Tannoys, having owned them for almost a decade I totally get the romantic appeal of 15in Golds and they do most things beautifully, but I concluded having owned both Golds and HPDs simultaneously that ultimately more of just about everything can be got from 12in HPDs. (15 HPDs have the down sides of 15in Golds - all mainly the consequence of a fairly high crossover point for such a large cone - but without that sweetness which is the Golds' big plus point). I consider the essential choice to be between 15in Golds and 12in HPDs - HPDs need more power but in the right cab go just as deep as 15in Golds, and being 12in rather than 15in suffer fewer woes around the crossover point. But I don't really argue the point - its mainly a personal preference. HPDs were the final point in the evolution of the Monitor series going back to Black and Silver iterations - in my view Tannoy never again made a driver that was quite so successful in a musical sense.

The Silvercores have shaken a lot of what I thought I knew but I've taken a decision not to ask too many questions and just enjoy them. There must be something in their design that provides the neccessary control as the bass control, depth and overall quality on them is exceptional for single ended amps.
 
Hi, I'm the chap Kedar referred to earlier.

I've tried literally dozens of amps (around 40 at last count) with Tannoys, having owned quite a few different set of tannoys in many different cabinets, including 12in and 15in Golds and 12in and 15in HPDs. I've heard many modern Tannoys as well, though prefer the vintage ones, properly executed.

300b push-pull can work ok for Golds but you have to be careful of high output impedance which is often an issue with 300b designs. At one point I had four Audion 300b monoblocks running 15in Golds, used both active and passive with a split crossover. Generally speaking I found pentode amps worked best (has a few of those as well, the better ones were the Radfords above and some Jadis monoblocks). I wouldn't use them with HPDs which need more grunt to work properly compared to Golds. With all these vintage Tannoys you are balancing the need to have a decent of damping factor to keep the big cones under control, without going overboard and sucking the life out of them.

Different people have their view on Tannoys, having owned them for almost a decade I totally get the romantic appeal of 15in Golds and they do most things beautifully, but I concluded having owned both Golds and HPDs simultaneously that ultimately more of just about everything can be got from 12in HPDs. (15 HPDs have the down sides of 15in Golds - all mainly the consequence of a fairly high crossover point for such a large cone - but without that sweetness which is the Golds' big plus point). I consider the essential choice to be between 15in Golds and 12in HPDs - HPDs need more power but in the right cab go just as deep as 15in Golds, and being 12in rather than 15in suffer fewer woes around the crossover point. But I don't really argue the point - its mainly a personal preference. HPDs were the final point in the evolution of the Monitor series going back to Black and Silver iterations - in my view Tannoy never again made a driver that was quite so successful in a musical sense.

The Silvercores have shaken a lot of what I thought I knew but I've taken a decision not to ask too many questions and just enjoy them. There must be something in their design that provides the neccessary control as the bass control, depth and overall quality on them is exceptional for single ended amps.

Your extensive experiences noted and appreciated.

When I compare my 10" vs 15" golds, the 10" actually have a clearer midrange and let through more detail. More hifi.
But the 15" have a certain authority that just makes you "forget-about-it". It's like comparing a 4 cylinder engine to a V8.
This authority has more to do with transient response than bass extension -- I think.

Jesper
 
Your extensive experiences noted and appreciated.

When I compare my 10" vs 15" golds, the 10" actually have a clearer midrange and let through more detail. More hifi.
But the 15" have a certain authority that just makes you "forget-about-it". It's like comparing a 4 cylinder engine to a V8.
This authority has more to do with transient response than bass extension -- I think.

Jesper

Tom always advised 15 inch Golds or 12 inch HPDs. The 15 inch HPD apparently does not have a good crossover point to mod.

15 inch golds seem to be better for rock and blues. I would love to hear them with silvercores as currently Tom's Silvercore HPD 12 plays classical better.
 
Tom always advised 15 inch Golds or 12 inch HPDs. The 15 inch HPD apparently does not have a good crossover point to mod.

15 inch golds seem to be better for rock and blues. I would love to hear them with silvercores as currently Tom's Silvercore HPD 12 plays classical better.

The challenge with any 15in Tannoy for classical is that the crossover point is something around 1.2khz ... that means you are crossing over two octaves above middle C or right around the top of the soprano range - this is a lot to ask such a large cone to do. To their credit, Tannoys do generally pull this off this pretty well but the 10in or 12in cone handles those high notes a bit more comfortably. The 15in driver does have more impact there's no denying that but the 12in HPD comes close, and it also goes just as low as the 15in Gold (albeit it needs a shade more power to do achieve this). It's all compromise though and while the 12in HPD is my favourite especially as a big Lieder and chamber music listener majoring on tone/timbre and expression, I can easily see though why the 15in Gold's greater impact would be another person's choice, perhaps for rock music, big orchestras or if they were less of a listener to vocal music.

Though it's easy to get hung up on the differences. 12in Tannoys in the right cabinets can have plenty of impact just as 15in Tannoys can certainly do expression - the commonalities are far greater than the distinctions between them.
 
Not to necro this thread, but I recently auditioned a bunch of speakers in London (on a visit) and, to my surprise, ended up liking a vintage (80s?) pair of Ardens. Among other things, I also heard Magico A5 and the newest Harbeth 40 monitors. The Magico really impressed with their bass extension and weight. They made drum sets, in particular, sound weighty in a way I'd not previously experienced. The Harbeths, despite having a sweet top end and a good mid-range, I didn't connect with for some reason. They sounded too restrained, too polite. Maybe they weren't broken in....

Anyway, I quite liked the Tannoy Ardens. What they really got right--as they're meant to according to this and various other forums--is the coherency. One of my test albums is Kenny Burrell's Midnight Blue. It's a toe-tapper, but a speaker needs to be able to follow the nuance and phrasing of Kenny's lines, and the Ardens did this very well. They also made decent bass, but it wasn't in the realm of the Magico (no surprise). The guy at the hi-fi shop (Audio Gold in north London, nice people) felt that I'd find the Ardens too soft for more rhythm-driven stuff (I'm a jazz guy, mostly, with some rock and electronic in my playlists). But what I didn't experience is the Ardens being too dark.

I've previously auditioned the Tannoy Legacy stuff (I believe it was the Canterbury or Westminster), but found them too muffled for my tastes. Probably I need to go and give them another go. But this thread and @montesquieu comments have also got me interested in the RFC Tannoy restorations. Since I'm likely moving from Chicago to London in the autumn, the RFC is a semi-realistic proposition. Maybe the RFC Cheviot (in what I'm anticipating will be a small to medium-size flat). My Magnepans won't be coming, sadly.

@montesquieu Are you still using your RFC Canterburys?
 
I had a pair of vintage 12" Tannoy Monitor Golds with the doped paper surrounds in custom cabinets that are were well braced and made of baltic birch and walnut veneers, crossovers redone with audiophile parts and hardwired in bypassing the compensation controls.

1641264008187.png

They had unbelieveably great tone, they were dynamic, uncolored and simply a joy to listen to. I listen to primarily acoustic music, from small jazz combo's to big bands and from small classical works to big symphonies.


1641264115206.png

They did a great job, sounded wonderful with tubes. I used my 8 watt per channel single ended triode Wavelength Monoblocks using Western Electric 300B's...

1641264304987.png

as well as my custom 15 watt per channel push pull EL84 amplifier using all vintage NOS German tubes... I felt the push pull EL84's had better control of the big cone woofers and and still had great tone. The 300B's had that undeniable single ended magic with simple music. Don't get me wrong... the Wavelength has great frequency extension, top to bottom and wonderful dynamics, but I just don't think they were the best match for the Tannoy Monitor Golds, IMHO.

Best wishes,
Don
 
Thanks, Don. Those look great.

One thing that confuses me: I see a lot of reports of Tannoy drivers being mounted in custom cabinets. Does this then mean that tonality and bass response (among other sonic attributes) vary widely among these custom jobs? How can you know if the right principles are being followed? If I go this route, I'd have a semi-established maker (like RFC or Lockwood) make them for me. But I'm still curious how you'd know if one cabinet design is better than another (besides being well braced, etc).

Or is it just that these Tannoy drivers are more cabinet agnostic?
 
Thanks, Don. Those look great.

One thing that confuses me: I see a lot of reports of Tannoy drivers being mounted in custom cabinets. Does this then mean that tonality and bass response (among other sonic attributes) vary widely among these custom jobs? How can you know if the right principles are being followed? If I go this route, I'd have a semi-established maker (like RFC or Lockwood) make them for me. But I'm still curious how you'd know if one cabinet design is better than another (besides being well braced, etc).

Or is it just that these Tannoy drivers are more cabinet agnostic?
Hi,

Excellent questions! I'll be perfectly honest with you. These were the first and only pair of Tannoy speakers that I have ever owned. I bought them from a fellow audiophile living in a neighboring state. He was kind enough to allow me to drive to his home (6 hours each way) to audition in his system, and if I liked them, I would pay him cash and bring them back home with me.

I personally think the cabinet design would certainly affect the tonality and bass response. That is why I wanted to be able to hear them in person prior to purchasing, or I wouldn't have taken the chance on buying them blindly. I thought they did a great job, and I do know that the person that I had sold them to has enjoyed them for the last decade :)

I'm really not sure who would be a great cabinet builder for these drivers.... I've been out of the Tannoy scene for far too long. If I remember correctly there is/was a Tannoy Group on Yahoo. There might be people on A' Karma or Asylum that might have some helpful information for you.

I sincerely apologize for not being able to be of more help to you on this.

Best wishes,
Don
 
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No worries, Don, and thanks anyway.

Pure speculation, but I wonder if the concentric drivers make the Tannoy stuff more cabinet agnostic. No doubt bass response/extension is variable with cabinet design, but maybe tweeter response is less so??
 
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Not to necro this thread, but I recently auditioned a bunch of speakers in London (on a visit) and, to my surprise, ended up liking a vintage (80s?) pair of Ardens. Among other things, I also heard Magico A5 and the newest Harbeth 40 monitors. The Magico really impressed with their bass extension and weight. They made drum sets, in particular, sound weighty in a way I'd not previously experienced. The Harbeths, despite having a sweet top end and a good mid-range, I didn't connect with for some reason. They sounded too restrained, too polite. Maybe they weren't broken in....

Anyway, I quite liked the Tannoy Ardens. What they really got right--as they're meant to according to this and various other forums--is the coherency. One of my test albums is Kenny Burrell's Midnight Blue. It's a toe-tapper, but a speaker needs to be able to follow the nuance and phrasing of Kenny's lines, and the Ardens did this very well. They also made decent bass, but it wasn't in the realm of the Magico (no surprise). The guy at the hi-fi shop (Audio Gold in north London, nice people) felt that I'd find the Ardens too soft for more rhythm-driven stuff (I'm a jazz guy, mostly, with some rock and electronic in my playlists). But what I didn't experience is the Ardens being too dark.

I've previously auditioned the Tannoy Legacy stuff (I believe it was the Canterbury or Westminster), but found them too muffled for my tastes. Probably I need to go and give them another go. But this thread and @montesquieu comments have also got me interested in the RFC Tannoy restorations. Since I'm likely moving from Chicago to London in the autumn, the RFC is a semi-realistic proposition. Maybe the RFC Cheviot (in what I'm anticipating will be a small to medium-size flat). My Magnepans won't be coming, sadly.

@montesquieu Are you still using your RFC Canterburys?

I moved to London after two years in Chicago almost 20 years ago.

If you liked the Arden I expect you will like Montesquieu's tannoys much better. And yes, both will be better than Magico that is the easy part. There are also smaller (12 inch golds) near London and 15 inch golds in Glasgow, when you choose to visit Scotland. There are very nice horns in other parts of UK and Europe you could easily check those out
 
Thanks @bonzo75

Yeah, I've been wanting to live in London for a long time. Doing it on a lecturer's salary, but no time like the present.

12in and 15in Golds... You mean in private systems? I'll probably try to go and hear what Lockwood and RFC have to offer in Tannoy restorations. Maybe see if I can hear some Dynamikks and other horns at some point.
 

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