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Thread: The Odyssey

  1. #21
    Join Date: Sep 2010

    Location: Near Buxton

    Posts: 44
    I'm Mike.

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    Thanks Paul.

    I don't know if you remember but I actually spoke with you about building me some crossovers for the Reds at the time. Yours was a voice of reason in all the madness...I came close to selling all but fortunately managed to get out of the Tannoy predicament before it got any worse.

    Re the Lockwoods, I know that they were originally the orange pair from a studio, and I could hear that the bass went lower than with the GRFs, however the drive units were such a mess that I never really gave the cabs that much of a chance.

    I think Toms GRFs are a bit of a one off TBH as they were more tuned than just dampened...
    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. #22
    Join Date: Mar 2012

    Location: Gloucestershire

    Posts: 3,861
    I'm Paul.

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    Yes Mike, I remember now. It was something of a learning curve which everyone who dips their toes into the Tannoy pool seems to go through. Unfortunately for many, it becomes a minefield very quickly, with so much misinformation doing the rounds, plus finding the best combinations, drivers to use, or knowing the cabinet designs to avoid or which are best suited are all an education and that's before it comes to crossovers! I think that Tom has got it spot on now but it has taken him many years to arrive at that point.

    The Lockies look remarkably similar to a newish pair which did the rounds a few years ago, sold on by Lockwood Audio, which are the one's I heard.

    I've often wondered about the speakers you now have and one day hope to hear a pair. Best of luck with the continued journey and hope you arrive at your destination soon!

  3. #23
    Join Date: Sep 2010

    Location: Near Buxton

    Posts: 44
    I'm Mike.

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    One of the nice/bad things about all the forums is you can see who has bought the very thing you wanted!

    I also realized that this pre was a bit of a one off being based on 6H30Pi and other than the steel case very much a Model 2, so once I knew who had it I messaged them to ensure I had first dibs…Well I didn’t have to wait long…

    I also had the opportunity to try some other Power amps and this confirmed that I still very much liked the 300b sound. In fact I was shocked when 8w of SE300b provided more extension with the RAs (both bass/treble) than almost everything else I had to hand, including PP 845s…



    One of the problems of buying second hand is that you cant pick and chose when it suits you financially, so 3 days after the SJS pre arrived when a Border Patrol P20 came up I went for it!

    This had bass but was missing much of what I had heard with the SE300b. I guessed something wasn't quite right, and so it seemed prudent to have it looked at. Once I had the case off it was apparent that a number of components that had been very hot.

    I decided to have it overhauled and typically got a bit carried away which ended up with a rebuild most of the audio section. This made a huge difference and now I have a better balance, close to 'right' in my room....
    Last edited by Mike Adams; 15-01-2017 at 19:28.
    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

  4. #24
    Join Date: Sep 2010

    Location: Near Buxton

    Posts: 44
    I'm Mike.

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    By now I had a more refined sound and whilst the voicing of the Axia suited my system I was beginning to feel I was missing some refinement. Tom offered to sell me the Kansui back and so some 12 months after I sold it to him, Ive now bought it back!



    I still am finding it darker than the Axia, but it is much more tonally resolved, great detail, beautiful timbre and the mid-lower frequencies are so 3D…
    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

  5. #25
    Join Date: Sep 2010

    Location: Near Buxton

    Posts: 44
    I'm Mike.

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    You are probably right Paul but I struggle to think that most keep with it if they have a similar experience to me...Crossovers were the least of my problems as you can build them from scratch and I know the man to go to

    The Lockwoods weren't from Lockwood Audio, though they had a pair of oak clad ones at the time which I believe Tom tried. Your comments on their sound are familiar to my experience though the issues with the drive units were far more prominent...

    If you are every up this way you would be welcome to call in...
    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. #26
    Join Date: Mar 2012

    Location: Gloucestershire

    Posts: 3,861
    I'm Paul.

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    Thanks Mike, I'd love to pop in for a listen if I'm ever up your way.

    I love the TT by the way and you and Tom both have ended up with a dream vinyl front end there.

  7. #27
    Join Date: Sep 2009

    Location: Staffs

    Posts: 6,653
    I'm Josie.

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    I remember speaking to someone at Lockwood about their cabinets, he said just keep an eye out for some original ones. So, they didn't have much confidence in the remakes.

    It really pains me to see Major's stripped of their Formica too to which makes a marked difference on how they sound.

    The Major cabinets seem to be getting harder to find too.
    Preamplifier: Croft Epoch Elite - Dual external PSU & Upgrades
    Amplifier: Tube Distinctions Copper Amp No. 5 using KT150's
    Digital: Raspberry Pi & ALLO Piano DAC & KALI - IQAudio DAC with SBooster Linear BOBW PSU & Trio DP700 CDP
    Turntable: Thorens TD124 MkII - Schopper refurbished
    Tonearm: SME 3009 S2 None Improved - Audio Origami modified
    Cartridge: Ortofon SPU GT
    Speakers: 15" Tannoy Monitor Golds in Lockwood Majors with Tannoyista Spec 3 crossovers
    Cables/Mains: Mark Grant Black Series mains cables & 6-Way power bar
    Cables/IC's: Mark Grant HDX1 Pure Copper + Custom made Silver/Gold interconnects
    Mains Other: Tube Distinctions/Mark Grant 'The Power Works' Digital noise mains power filter TD2414-MG - Nick Gorham DC Blocker unit constructed by Mark Grant

  8. #28
    Join Date: Sep 2010

    Location: Near Buxton

    Posts: 44
    I'm Mike.

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    Well these were original, and personally I think orange formica would have been an interesting look!

    They would have need a fair bit of work to sound anything like OK IMHO, I accept that it is contrary to others on here but I really felt that they weren't close to Tom's GRFs....

    Paul, I think Tom's Vinyl front end is some way ahead of mine still, both arms and TT...Still I would hate to have nothing to change!
    Last edited by Mike Adams; 10-01-2017 at 18:27.
    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

  9. #29
    Join Date: Sep 2009

    Location: Staffs

    Posts: 6,653
    I'm Josie.

    Default

    LOL... well, Orange would be very interesting.

    Regarding the sound, GRF's are a different kettle of fish and I wouldn't like to compare them both as they are very different in design. And with Tannoy reds or golds they are very picky about what they are put in.

    Personally I love my Majors and they are the most natural sounding cabs I've had, but hey... we are all different
    Preamplifier: Croft Epoch Elite - Dual external PSU & Upgrades
    Amplifier: Tube Distinctions Copper Amp No. 5 using KT150's
    Digital: Raspberry Pi & ALLO Piano DAC & KALI - IQAudio DAC with SBooster Linear BOBW PSU & Trio DP700 CDP
    Turntable: Thorens TD124 MkII - Schopper refurbished
    Tonearm: SME 3009 S2 None Improved - Audio Origami modified
    Cartridge: Ortofon SPU GT
    Speakers: 15" Tannoy Monitor Golds in Lockwood Majors with Tannoyista Spec 3 crossovers
    Cables/Mains: Mark Grant Black Series mains cables & 6-Way power bar
    Cables/IC's: Mark Grant HDX1 Pure Copper + Custom made Silver/Gold interconnects
    Mains Other: Tube Distinctions/Mark Grant 'The Power Works' Digital noise mains power filter TD2414-MG - Nick Gorham DC Blocker unit constructed by Mark Grant

  10. #30
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 66,425
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

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    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for your detailed reply. Just to go over a few of your points:

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Adams View Post
    I heard Golds vs Reds in York cabinets and to me it wasn’t just the midrange that was better, I found them more transparent too, though I will caveat this with the knowledge that the crossovers were probably not quite right/ideal at the time.
    No worries, that's interesting. I did the comparison (15" Reds vs. 15" Golds) in the same Lockwood Major cabinets I'm using now (using the respective crossovers for the speakers), and I agree with your comments about transparency. The Reds were more transparent and also had the more open/expressive midrange.

    However, the trade-off (and sadly in audio there always is one) was that for such large drivers they lacked bass impact and authority, and conversely sounded rather lean and tonally 'cold' on certain material. I could've lived with the Reds if my musical diet consisted solely of small jazz quartets, light classical, female vocalists and acoustic music, etc.

    Thing is, as much as I love all of that, I also enjoy listening to heavy rock music, reggae, dance and electronic music, and many things with a nice 'meaty bass-line', which didn't cut it with the Reds, as I suspect that because they were designed before most of that music came about, they weren't optimised to reproduce it properly. That was certainly my experience anyway, and I persevered with the Reds for many weeks before (somewhat reluctantly) changing over to Golds.

    When I did so, I lost some of the transparency and midrange magic of the Reds, but gained massively at the opposite end of the spectrum, where the sound was now fuller, richer and warmer, but not in a euphonic way.

    It was simply that the lower frequencies, rather than being strangled and somewhat 'held in check', as they had been with the Reds, were now liberated, allowed to 'breathe' and develop their full tonal envelope, and this brought rock and dance music alive in a way that simply wasn't possible with the Reds, whilst the midrange and top-end were still very open, detailed and clean sounding.

    It took quite a while for me to get a proper 'handle' on what the Reds were doing wrong (after initially being very impressed with them), which the Golds ably fixed, albeit by introducing their own inherent sonic signature and limitations, as all speakers have. The balance with the Golds, however, in my system was eminently more satisfying and 'correct' with the majority of the music I listened to.

    I should also add that this was achieved in conjunction with a relatively modern valve amp (Tube Distinctions 30W Class A P/P Copper amp), which only had 6-8ohm taps, and so might not have suited the 15ohms Reds. Therefore, that may have had a bearing on proceedings. I didn't want to change my amp, or have it fitted with transformers wound for 15ohms, especially when it gelled really well with the 8ohms Golds. Results may have been different with a vintage SET amp, fitted with 15ohm taps.

    I also found that they drove off a lower power valve amp more easily. As my knowledge of the drive units improved I began to understand that there were more changes from Golds to Reds than I had thought. (For instance the HF unit/magnets etc are all different)
    Absolutely. One other thing I noticed right away when swapping from Reds to Golds is that the former were notably more efficient! Thus, as you say, suiting a low-powered valve amp rather well. In that respect, my rather 'gutsy' P/P one may have been a little too much for them. I don't know. Either way, the results simply weren't optimal.

    When I got my Lockwoods, they actually had re-coned early Golds. Its hard to say what exactly was wrong with them but dirt in the magnet gap, and wrong crossovers left with a harsh HF and resonance on key frequencies on piano repertory.
    Getting the crossovers right with those is mandatory. I simply couldn't have lived with the original Gold crossovers, as they made the speakers sound tubby and old-fashioned, with a rather rolled-off top end and crude overall tonal and musical delivery. Having new crossovers built, complimentary to the design of the loudspeakers and using the best modern components, however, changed all that... Once fitted, never had I heard a pair of loudspeakers so fundamentally transformed for the better!

    I went for the Lockwood cabs as whilst I liked the better midrange of the Reds, I could hear that they were missing the LF of the Golds. The bigger volume cabs were the answer to getting the LF extension.
    However they were quite resonant being lightweight ply, with little bracing and old dampening cloth. Consequently they resonated at certain frequencies and made the sound quite coloured.
    As Jo has also commented, this is rather strange... Firstly, are you sure that the Lockwood Major cabs you had were original?

    Mine definitely are, and have the rosewood formica finish. The cabinets are also very well-constructed, heavy and inert, and most definitely not resonant in the way you describe. Consequently, the bass they produce is tight and deep, but also 'free' and unrestricted, not overly damped and somewhat too 'controlled', as I've often heard with some modern large Tannoy DCs, which to my ears have had the musicality 'strangled' out of them, in the quest for notional greater 'accuracy'...

    In my experience, you can brace the buggery out of speakers, which improves certain aspects of their musical delivery, but strangles others, so you have to be very careful and get the balance right between control/accuracy and musicality, which is where good ears and fine-tuning comes in, as opposed to relying too heavily on measurements. I've heard many different large Tannoy DCs, in various cabinets, both HPDs and Reds and Monitor Golds, and I wouldn't swap my Lockies for anything else that I've heard so far!

    That said, I've yet to hear any of Paul's excellent creations, so that view might change after I've been to visit him later in the year. As ever, this hi-fi game is a continual learning curve, so when presented with good reason, I'm more than happy to reassess my opinions

    Marco.

    P.S If you're interested in reading it, this is the original thread documenting my Tannoy journey: http://theartofsound.net/forum/showt...to-Tannoy-land
    "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.


    My system:

    Modified Technics SL-1210MK5G/Mike New high-precision bearing & baseplate/Mike New ETP platter/Bruil record weight/Nagaoka GL602 crystal T/T mat. Paul Hynes SR7EHD PSU (plus regulator modules)/DCSXL pure-silver DC lead. Ortofon RS-212D tonearm/'Speedy Steve' custom-made Ebony armboard. Yannis Tome 423.5 Phono Silver-Litz tonearm cable, with Furutech CF-DIN(R) and Eichmann silver Bullet Plugs. Cartridges: Denon DL-S1 in AT MG-10 headshell with AT-6106 Quattro Hybrid lead-wire. Denon DL-103C1 in '103U' headshell with AT-609 silver lead-wire. Vintage Denon DL-103AU in AT-Ti15ANV Titanium Headshell. Shure M55E in Denon PCL-300 headshell with 6N silver lead-wire. Shure original USA SC35C. Audiocom-modified Sony X-777ES/DAS-R1 transport/DAC. Raspberry Pi-3 Model B and IQaudio Pi-DAC+/Paul Hynes SR3DR-05 linear PSU. Heavily-modified Croft Charisma-X preamp. Modified Goldpoint SA4M-47 passive preamp. Stereo Coffee LDR. Head-amp: Paul Hynes design/SR5 PSU. Also modified Lentek. Tube Distinctions 50W Class A P/P Copper amp with cryo-treated Tung Sol KT150s. Speakers: 'Lockwood Majors', using 15" Tannoy Monitor Golds, modified with bespoke crossovers. Also Celestion Ditton 15XRs. Stands: Mana Acoustics (non-magnetic stainless steel 'clones’). Hi-Fi Racks Podium T/T wall shelf. Sony ST-5055L tuner. Cables: Furukawa EE/F-S 2mm & 2.6mm solid-core mains leads, fitted with Furutech FI-50 IECs and FI-1363Rs. Stereo interconnects: Sommer Carbokab 225 (with silver-plated MS Audio non-metallic POM RCAs). Speaker cable: VDH 'The Wind' Hybrid II. Digital coaxial cable: 1m Trompeter Electronics Triax TRC-75-2, with MS Audio ‘Starline' silver-plated RCAs. Mains block: Mark Grant 6-way, modded with Furutech FP-1363R sockets and Furukawa cable. Tube Distinctions digital noise filter. VPI HW 16.5 record cleaner.

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