Music with Tannoy 3818 driver sounds wonderful

Music and Tannoy testThe Tannoy 3818 driver is one of the best sounding drivers that I have ever heard and really good for all types of music.

The range of the driver is very wide and so much information can be heard but to get the very best performance a really good enclosure is required.

The search

Over the years, I have owned many Tannoy Loudspeakers but when I decided that I wanted a Loudspeaker for testing audiophile cables, I had to really think because different drivers have different sonic signatures. The best sounding music that I had heard was from the Tannoy “Glenair” and this was why I wanted to use that driver but I decided the only way to what I wanted was to build everything myself from the ground up.

It took me a few months before I finally found a 3818 driver from a company in London and I considered myself very fortunate to have found it. The 3818 driver is a 15″ dual concentric with Tulip waveguide and was made and fitted to the Tannoy “Glenair” enclosures.

The driver

driverThe Driver is made very well and has ten mounting bolts and is of the dual concentric design. The driver has a low frequency 380 mm (15.00”) treated paper pulp cone with HE twin roll fabric surround. The voice coil is 52 mm (2.00″) and is edge wound.

The high frequency is 33.00 mm (1.75”) aluminum alloy dome with Tulip WaveGuide. The Recommended power is from 50 – 225 Watts and continuous power handling is 135 Watts RMS. The Driver has a frequency response from 32Hz – 25kHz and Sensitivity of 95 dB with nominal impedance of 8 Ohms.

The crossover

The crossover fitted to a driver can actually make or break the final sound you hear and I have known people to build beautiful cabinets but when they actually sit down to listen they find the sound is not what is should have been. This in most cases is the incorrect selection of crossover.

crossover fittedThe crossover necessary for this driver to perform correctly should be 1.10 kHz and I had been given a few ideas from one of my friends in London regarding the build. I used components from ClarltyCaps and Mundorf as I considered those to be amongst the finest in the world. The cabling that I used was pure oxygen free copper and after completion I have the crossovers cryogenically treated. I have carried out tests with and without cry treatment and prefer the transparency it offers.

The enclosure

I designed the enclosure after I heard a pair of Tannoy Reds fitted into Lockwood audio enclosures. Read more 

I wanted to get more response from the bass and so it was decided to use slightly deeper cabinets to achieve this.

"Driver in Bed"The enclosures were built using 25 mm MDF and were designed to give a capacity of 300 Litres.

The build was done very carefully with every panel screwed and then glued into place. The same was done with the cross members and bracing bars.

The enclosures were then filled with two layers of WoolRock and a single layer covering the crossover and the rear panel as this gave the best results.

Result

When completed the system sounded exactly as it should be and I was very pleased with the results. I have had many audiophile friends visit me to listen to the music on my system. We have changed amplifiers, CD players and tested many different cables and the results in every case were better than expected. I think the words that I will always remember are “that is one of the best sounding systems that I have ever heard in my life” and these words have been said by many of my friends who have heard my system.

Conclusion

Tannoy drivers are all so very different and the enclosures are so very different and sometimes I wonder why things are changed so much. Maybe it is something to do with marketing and always introducing a new model. I personally do not like the sound offered by some of the very latest Tannoy models and I think that music still sounds the best from a 15″ dual concentric.

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