Tannoy 15″ Challenge OB/300 litre. Tannoy makes some of the world’s best loudspeakers or “Drivers” as they are called. One of the most interesting drivers that Tannoy ever made was the Tannoy GRF Memory and so I decided to have a Challenge using this driver.
The drivers had been mounted in the Open Baffle configuration and were placed in my listening room and set up using our own cables and system set up techniques. It took a lot of time to actually position the drivers because Open Baffle is not the same and you have to allow for the correct placement to get the best bass response.
The drivers were in beautiful condition and came from a very good home. And, had been housed in the original GFR memory cabinets that Tannoy produced at that time. The cabling was all original on the drivers and there were no cracks or rips in the paper so everything was in great condition and we were really in for a treat!
I wish to add that the original Tannoy crossovers were not being used and a pair of special custom made crossovers which had been cryogenically treated were used as they gave a much better response and flavour to the music.
The sound from the drivers in the open baffle was just amazing so very open and relaxing and it was the same feeling with all types of music. All we wanted to do was just keep listening and whatever the volume we felt no fatigue at all. The music had that 3D quality to it and the overall experience was indeed very satisfying, The Open Baffle has a very specific sound and brings a whole new meaning to the music and all I can say – something that once heard you will never forget!
The next step was to remove the drivers from the mountings and take and fit them into the 300-litre cabinets or Enclosures.
Drivers were mounted from the front to the front baffle and firmly screwed into place. The Enclosure was then lagged and had secondary lagging fitted using a special material that is well suited for dampening.
Enclosures were made from 25 mm MFD and were braced to prevent any vibration. The rear panel housing the crossover was also fitted with the sound absorbent material but only one layer was required to give the necessary dampening.
The drivers had been mounted in the Enclosures and all cabling attached and then came the very tricky part to put the Enclosures on Spikes and as they weighed 65 kilos each it was a very hard job to do and I prayed that we had got the positioning correct as it was very hard to move around but where there is a will there is away!
It took a few small adjustments but everything was set up correctly and now we could listen to the music. I always use a few test CDs which are cut. Because it does give a much better sound to the music. And I would strongly suggest that everyone should.
What can I say? many things but the first things that grabbed me was the incredible bass that was heard which just seemed to go on forever. It went so deep actually deeper than anything I have ever heard in my life and that is saying something.
At first, it seemed just too much and so I played a different CD but this time, it was perfect so very dependent on how the CD had been recorded. But one thing I found is that I have to turn the amplifier up just a little to get the same volume as we had when using the drivers in the OB configuration.
Conclusion Tannoy 15″ Challenge
We have the same Tannoy 15″ drivers that have been put into two different configurations which are a really interesting test on the drivers and the Enclosures. Also, the results were very different. But, at the same time very revealing and also compelling. They both showed amazing strength and speed whatever the music. And, they also were very dynamic and filled with detail. Which, one did I prefer? Well, I think is the hardest question I have ever been asked. I love the sound of the GRF’s in both setups.
But, because I am a real bassman (used to play bass in a rock band many years ago) I would say the GRF’s in the 300-litre cabinets are (as a famous saying goes) the best thing since sliced bread! I hope you have enjoyed the above challenge because writing this for me has been one of the best experience in my life (as an Audiophile!)
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