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.
Originally Posted by Mike Adams
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.
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.
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.
Yup, you really need to have Reds or Golds fully optimised before judging them properly and thus arriving at a conclusive opinion of them.
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...
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
As rodthebod said today, on the Celestion 66 recap thread, in reference to cabinet bracing:
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'.
Originally Posted by rodthebod
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...
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!
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.
"You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way and the only way, it does not exist" - Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche.
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