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Thread: The Odyssey

  1. #31
    Join Date: Sep 2010

    Location: Near Buxton

    Posts: 58
    I'm Mike.

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    Hi Marco, thanks for your reply.

    That is interesting regarding your experience of the Red’s lacking bass impact and sounding lean and cold. It certainly wasn’t my experience. I suspect that they differ somewhat given their age and condition. Were yours all original, re-cones, with modern HF diaphrams or….?

    I would agree that the Golds sounded to have more bass impact but as you know there are a number of influencing factors. Did you do any measuring as quite often when part of the audio frequency is more audible it affects your impression of the other frequencies? (Ie if there is more bass you perceive there is less treble) They did have upgraded crossovers in them but in hindsight I suspect that they weren’t that well optimised.

    For reference I was listening near field, in a small room, and used various power amps along with the Puresound L300. Contrary to my (and others) experience with Golds, you could drive the Reds well from a SE amp, and I tried both with various models including Art Audio Diavolo 300b, AA Concerto with split core output Tx, and a Consonance Cyber 880-2A3.

    I decided to keep the AA Concerto (running KT88) and should I have sorted out the Reds then having some 15ohm transformers wound was next on my list.
    (There are some Art mono block versions of this amp for sale ATM which I think would be very nice BTW ☺)

    I don’t listen to a lot of heavy rock, or much reggae but I do like large scale classical and early drum and bass, which I think is at least/if not more demanding.

    Re. the cabs, Im pretty sure they were original and reputedly were the orange formica models that came from a well known studio.
    They were heavy but as a large box, made of thin-ish ply they weren’t inert. I’m not implying that the panels were flapping about but that they didn’t sound ‘tight and deep or free’ in the way you describe.



    Tom’s GRFs did have less extension, but I found them less coloured and more open/natural sounding. As I think Ive implied they obviously had been through some iterative improvements and I suspect were/are a bit of a one off. If I could of got a ‘perfect’ set of drivers I would have kept them, but by this point it had been around 12 months and I probably had done some 2000+ miles to various ‘experts’ trying to sort them…

    I would suggest that there are a number of similarities between Paul’s designs and my T & F RAs. From what I have heard of Paul’s I think they have slightly more dynamic swing, and are more revealing. Whilst the RAs drive off less watts, are more neutral, and have greater extension.
    Lenco B51/upgraded bearing/slate plinth
    DIY Schroder/Kansui/Axia/HM7
    Schick/Zero/KSW
    Art Audio Vinyl 1 Ref
    Mach modified Mac Mini/Weiss DAC 202
    SJS Model 2
    BP P20 (SJS upgraded)
    Trenner and Friedl RA

  2. #32
    Join Date: Jul 2011

    Location: Northamptonish

    Posts: 1,550
    I'm Peter.

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    Hi Mike ... interesting journey!

    I've heard both SJS and Border Patrol in different systems in the past, and I can imagine how they'd be pretty much top-notch as a combo. Old Tannoys are a minefield that I managed to by-pass, but you are right about Tom's turntable ... it really opened my ears to what a properly-fettled TD124 can do, bettering any other vintage turntable I've ever heard. Having owned both a Transfiguration Spirit and a Miyajima Shilabe, I'd also agree with your description of the relative 'house presentations' (post 24).

    Anyway, I used to live in your neck of the woods (Cressbrook/Monsal) ... got any snow yet?
    Last edited by petrat; 13-01-2017 at 09:45. Reason: typo

  3. #33
    Join Date: Feb 2010

    Location: Berkshire, UK

    Posts: 1,865
    I'm Tom.

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    Missed this thread!

    Nice to see Mike participate here, we've been on similar sorts of journeys for years and quite a bit of gear has gone back and forth. (As indeed, it has with Peter and Adey).

    Those GRFs of mine were a bit so-so when I first bought them, but I had them comprehensively worked over by Russ Collinson of 'Layers of Beauty' fame, who did an absolutely superb job of bracing and damping - meant that they imaged very well indeed and weren't in the least boomy, which a lot of GRFs are.

    They suffered from what all GRFs suffer from which is a steep roll-off from just under 50hz, but the bass just above that was lovely and tuneful (rather than one-note as so many speakers are) which to a large extent made up for it. With Golds in them I thought they were great and to be honest I don't think the Autographs, while measuring better, were half as much fun especially in a normal-sized room.

    I still need to get up and hear Mike's 'new' speakers, I'm really curious about them - hopefully in the coming couple of months if not sooner.
    Speakers - 'RFC' Tannoy Canterburys with custom crossovers; Amp - Radford STA100; Preamp - EAR 912; Vinyl: Thorens TD124 MkII with Ikeda IT345-CR1 and Ortofon 309 Limited tonearms; Cartridges: Miyajima Madake, Zero Mono 0.7 and Premium 1.0 retipped by Ana Mighty Sound with bamboo cantilever, Ortofon SPU Royal N and Shure M3D with Jico stylus; phono stage and SUT from EAR 912; Esoteric Sound Re-Equalizer for equalisation of early mono and 78; Digital: Audio Note CDT2/II transport.

    'Wer nicht liebt Wein, Weib und Gesang der ist ein Narr sein Leben lang.'

  4. #34
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 71,485
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Adams View Post
    That is interesting regarding your experience of the Red’s lacking bass impact and sounding lean and cold. It certainly wasn’t my experience. I suspect that they differ somewhat given their age and condition. Were yours all original, re-cones, with modern HF diaphrams or….?
    Don't get me wrong, if you'd walked into the room where the Reds had been playing, I doubt you'd have thought: 'That sounds lean and cold'... What I meant was lean and cold in comparison with what the Golds delivered instead, and the response I would have expected both from my system, which I know well, and 15" drivers housed in huge cabinets.

    The Reds, as superb as they were in all the areas you mention, which I fully acknowledge, made the LMs sound like medium-sized floorstanders, with limited scale and low-end heft, compared with the effortless controlled scale and bass authority I get with the Golds, inside the same cabinets, which do the 'huge speaker thing' with aplomb. To my ears, there's no doubt that Golds produce better bass response than Reds, which I'm sure would be measurable, as would the superiority of the Reds in the midrange.

    Oh, and both the Reds and Golds I used were near mint examples of their kind, with no visible or audible defects. Both were also used with modified crossovers, not the stock ones from Tannoy.

    I would agree that the Golds sounded to have more bass impact but as you know there are a number of influencing factors. Did you do any measuring as quite often when part of the audio frequency is more audible it affects your impression of the other frequencies? (Ie if there is more bass you perceive there is less treble) They did have upgraded crossovers in them but in hindsight I suspect that they weren’t that well optimised.
    Nope, I didn't do any measuring, as I don't have the wherewithal to carry that out. I'm strictly an 'ears only' guy, but I'm very fussy and know a good sound when I hear it. I also regularly attend classical and rock music concerts, including small venues where acoustic music is played (often jazz quartets), and so know how real instruments are supposed to sound, which I use as a benchmark for reproducing them through my system.

    Yup, you really need to have Reds or Golds fully optimised before judging them properly and thus arriving at a conclusive opinion of them.

    For reference I was listening near field, in a small room, and used various power amps along with the Puresound L300. Contrary to my (and others) experience with Golds, you could drive the Reds well from a SE amp, and I tried both with various models including Art Audio Diavolo 300b, AA Concerto with split core output Tx, and a Consonance Cyber 880-2A3.
    That all sounds fine. I also listen near-filed in a smallish room, so we're judging the sound in similar circumstances, even though our rooms will be different. The fact is, as you'll know yourself, large Tannoy DCs sound superb when listened to near-field in a small room. It just seems to suit their natural sound dispersal characteristics, and some of that 'magic' is lost when they're used in the size of rooms you'd expect to see them in! I know, because I've tried it...

    I decided to keep the AA Concerto (running KT88) and should I have sorted out the Reds then having some 15ohm transformers wound was next on my list.
    I do think that the 15ohm thing is significant and rather important, and probably why the Reds didn't really work in my system. I suspect that if I'd had a valve amp with transformers wound for 15ohms, things would've been somewhat different, although the fundamental sonic characteristics of the Reds and Golds, as described, would have remained so, regardless.

    I don’t listen to a lot of heavy rock, or much reggae but I do like large scale classical and early drum and bass, which I think is at least/if not more demanding.
    Absolutely, and I fully agree! I also love large-scale classical (currently enjoying Mahler's 10th, with Riccardo Chailly conducting the Royal Concertgebouw, and being blown away by the grandiose intensity and sheer majesty of the orchestra in full flow), and indeed many other forms of classical music, which big Tannoy DCs reproduce so convincingly and realistically.

    Re. the cabs, Im pretty sure they were original and reputedly were the orange formica models that came from a well known studio.
    They were heavy but as a large box, made of thin-ish ply they weren’t inert. I’m not implying that the panels were flapping about but that they didn’t sound ‘tight and deep or free’ in the way you describe.

    Looking at your pic (above), the wood seems rather 'flimsy' in comparison with what's used on my cabs... The colour of the base-wood also seems different (lighter). When rapping your knuckles hard on the sides of the cabs, what sound are you met with? I get a very dull thud!

    As rodthebod said today, on the Celestion 66 recap thread, in reference to cabinet bracing:

    Quote Originally Posted by rodthebod
    From what we learnt, it's is very important to have a liveliness, which is frequency friendly akin to a musical instrument, to a loudspeaker cabinet otherwise the life or pace literally dies from the music...
    I completely agree, as his observations mirror my own experiences in that respect, and for me that's what the cabs of (proper original) Lockwood Majors succeed so well at, which is why the sound they produce, with appropriate Tannoy DCs, is convincingly musical, rather than falsely generated, in order to comply with someone's measured notion of 'accuracy'.

    You have to let the music 'breathe', as naturally as possible, and preserve its 'life' and dynamics accordingly, rather than strangle it by bracing the cabs to buggery and implementing principles that may seem, on the surface, to be sound engineering practice, but simply don't suit a particular application. That's my opinion on the matter anyway.

    The problem is, no-one to my knowledge has yet invented a set of 'one-size fits all' design principles, which can then be applied to the construction of every loudspeaker cabinet...

    Tom’s GRFs did have less extension, but I found them less coloured and more open/natural sounding. As I think Ive implied they obviously had been through some iterative improvements and I suspect were/are a bit of a one off. If I could of got a ‘perfect’ set of drivers I would have kept them, but by this point it had been around 12 months and I probably had done some 2000+ miles to various ‘experts’ trying to sort them…

    I would suggest that there are a number of similarities between Paul’s designs and my T & F RAs. From what I have heard of Paul’s I think they have slightly more dynamic swing, and are more revealing. Whilst the RAs drive off less watts, are more neutral, and have greater extension.
    All very interesting indeed... I've been invited both by Tom and Paul to hear their respective speakers in their homes, so will definitely take them up on that later in the year, as apart from anything else, it would be good to meet them finally, after chatting to them on here for years!

    Marco.
    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do" -- Milan Kundera.

  5. #35
    Join Date: Sep 2010

    Location: Near Buxton

    Posts: 58
    I'm Mike.

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    Well I was using the Reds in the GRFs which I found more open and natural. They did lose on extension as there was significant roll off, but what they did well was really good.

    I did hear the GRFs with Golds at Toms (so different room/amp) and TBH I felt the Reds had more detail, and transparency. I also felt they didn't lack any scale, though were less extended. Having said that Im not a bass kind of guy, and often where people have additional subs, usually want them turning down or off (more often due to the lack of speed/integration)

    The only speakers Ive heard do low frequency well are DIY taped subs; these made you realise that everything else really doesn't do bass/impact and they are soo fast (in comparison...)

    Reds are getting on a bit now so obviously are going to vary between examples, and my Golds were definitely not good examples. I also accept that I didn't have the opportunity to hear them in ideal circumstances, but TBH for me it wasn't that close and given the opportunity Id take a set of perfect Reds over Golds everyday. Thats the nice thing about this hobby-we can pick and chose to suit our musical taste/preferences.

    I do agree about your comments over near field listening I think its really underrated, and agree that getting the balance right with cabs is a tricky mix.

    I think that Paul/Toms are a great balance and give everything Ive heard a real run for the money, if I didn't have my RAs its certainly where I would be going...

    Now I wonder whats next....
    Lenco B51/upgraded bearing/slate plinth
    DIY Schroder/Kansui/Axia/HM7
    Schick/Zero/KSW
    Art Audio Vinyl 1 Ref
    Mach modified Mac Mini/Weiss DAC 202
    SJS Model 2
    BP P20 (SJS upgraded)
    Trenner and Friedl RA

  6. #36
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 71,485
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

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    That's fine, Mike. At the end of the day, it's just what you're into, and also what best suits the music you like. I also love Reds, but I'd want to use them with a vintage SET amp, with traffos wound for 15ohms, playing music that optimises their strengths, in order to hear them at their best

    Anyway, next time you're due in Wrexham, give me a shout, and you'd be more than welcome to come round and have a listen to the Lockies

    Marco.
    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do" -- Milan Kundera.

  7. #37
    Join Date: Sep 2010

    Location: Near Buxton

    Posts: 58
    I'm Mike.

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    Well a disastrous set of circumstances where I somehow (mis) aligned the Kansui with the aid of my sleeve meant that I had chance to look at a couple of issues whilst it went back to Miyajima. (Unfortunately to find out they can’t repair it !?!)
    Whilst this was going on I had the Lpad on my vinyl one removed and some nice caps and resistors swapped, and the SUT which I had built re worked to have a ground lift.
    I also had the TT looked at to try to reduce the mechanical noise.
    Turns out my TT is quieter than most, and according to Inspire is as good as it gets.
    The Axia is back and WOW it’s all I remembered and more. I never was 100% with the Kansui, whilst the Axia is very right in my system. (If lacking the absolute authority of the Kansui LF)
    The changes to the phono have reduced the background hash and there is more 3D/resolution etc….Very happy at the moment, though at some point I may be tempted to try a Phoenix-Proteus….
    Lenco B51/upgraded bearing/slate plinth
    DIY Schroder/Kansui/Axia/HM7
    Schick/Zero/KSW
    Art Audio Vinyl 1 Ref
    Mach modified Mac Mini/Weiss DAC 202
    SJS Model 2
    BP P20 (SJS upgraded)
    Trenner and Friedl RA

  8. #38
    Join Date: Apr 2015

    Location: Vancouver

    Posts: 243
    I'm Don.

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    I'm sorry to hear about the damaged Kansui. Fingers crossed, I haven't done that yet, but it can happen to any of us! Were they able to offer a trade in against a new unit? Any way to salvage a mishap?

    Don
    Vertere SG-1 Turntable / Audio Note IO Gold MC
    Audio Note AN-S8L MC Transformer
    Audio Note Pallas I/C (SUT-Preamp)
    Audio Note M6 Phono Preamp
    Audio Note CDT 3/Audio Note 4.1X Balanced Signature DAC
    Audio Note Kassai Monoblocks
    Audio Note Lexus Biwire Speaker Cable
    Audio Note AN-E SPE HE speakers
    Audio Note ISIS Power Cables
    Loricraft PRC-4 Record Cleaning Machine

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