Founded by Guy Fountain in 1926, Tannoy loudspeakers are for me, and always will be. Tannoy is an excellent company who produce the best sound drivers anywhere in the world. And, for my ears. Because I consider they are the best value loudspeakers available today. And, Tannoy loudspeakers for me.
I began my Tannoy journey about ten years ago. I was using loudspeakers made by a French company called JMLab, and the model, Focal Diva and I did not think that anything could sound better. I had been using the JMLab Micro Utopia before these, and it had taken me a couple of years to reach this audiophile level. Tannoy loudspeakers for me
I had been visiting an old friend in England, and he took me to his music room to show me his latest acquisition which was a pair of Tannoy Berkeley’s. They had been built in 1970 but were in very excellent condition, and they also fitted into his room very well. I was interested to hear what they sounded like because, in all my years of being involved with music and audio, I had never listened to a pair of Tannoy loudspeakers before.
My friend had a superior system made by a Japanese company called Esoteric, and the amplifier was the Esoteric A1-10. The Source machine was again from the same company, and the model was the Esoteric DV-60, and I thought well this does look pretty good, but I felt that the speakers seemed a bit on the small size for the room and so wondered how they would sound. My friend was an audiophile for many years as I was and so if he was showing me than I figured that it must sound good, but speakers build in 1970?
The CD was one of the classics from Dire straights, and my friend pressed play. I think the only word that comes into mind as I write this was a shock because that is what it did to me. The sound coming from those 1970 Tannoy cabinets shocked me in such a way I will never forget that experience. I have never heard so much bass and fullness, and it was just so alive. I have the same CD back in Lithuania and often listen with my Focals, but now I realised that indeed something was missing from my sound.
When I returned to Lithuania, I decided that I had to find a pair of Tannoys, as I wanted, to have that Tannoy sound in my apartment. I searched everywhere but could not find anything in Lithuania, so I decided to ask some of my friends if they could help me. As luck would have it, a friend of a friend was getting married and so wanted to sell his Tannoy Edinburgh’s to raise money for his wedding. Tannoy Edinburgh’s have a 12″ driver so one would not expect the same response as from a 15″ driver the Tannoy Berkerleys had.
The Loudspeakers arrived in the Tannoy shipping boxes, and they were in really fantastic condition. They were made in 1997 and had a cabinet volume of 200 litres and fitted perfectly into my room. The JMLab Focals removed, and the Tannoy Edinburgh’s set up and then came the moment of truth, the listening test.
I set everything up to the best way I could and used the same CD from Dire straights so I would be able to hear the difference between the JM Lab Focals and the Tannoy loudspeakers. I was using the Esoteric I-03 amplifier, and the Esoteric X-03 SACD player with cabling was from Nordost. It was a perfect sounding system, and as I said earlier I had no reason to even think about changing until my trip over to the UK
I inserted the CD and pressed play and went back to my listening position and sat down, ready to hear what these beautiful Tannoy loudspeakers would sound. I wanted to use a word that is not suitable for print. But, will just say I was in shock when I heard the lack of depth in the bass. And, sorry to say but the Focal Divas sounded very thin in comparison.
The Focal Divers did give a bit more transparency and edge to the music, but the Tannoys gave a more musical performance. And, this is what I wanted. So from my first listening session with Tannoys to the fact that I now had a pair in my front room was a significant step in the right direction. Tannoy loudspeakers for me
The time has passed, and I have finished with the oil industry and started to work with Perkune audiophile cables. I have been working with and testing cables but after hearing the 15″ Tannoy drivers I decided that I needed to upgrade.
I went over to the UK and visited another excellent friend who has excellent contacts, and I was able to audition some great examples of 15″ Tannoy drivers and came home with a pair of NOS Tannoy 3818. They are called the Glenair and built to fit the Tannoy Churchill cabinets for the North American market. These are very sought after the driver and regarded as one of the best drivers that Tannoy ever produced.
I would say at this point that between the Edinburgh’s and these cabinets, there have been five other sets of Tannoys because I simply love the Tannoy loudspeaker sound. I decided that I needed to build the enclosures with a capacity of 300 Liters, as this would give me the correct feel and speed from the music.
The sound from my Tannoy loudspeakers is just about the best that I have ever heard from any system. The bass is the deepest that I have ever heard, and the realism and musicality again are amongst the best that I have ever heard.
I have heard so many systems in my life. And, also now that I am working with Perkune audiophile cables – I love what I do!
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