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Thread: Tannoy Berkeley

  1. #1
    Join Date: Mar 2014

    Location: KY - Scotland

    Posts: 2,487
    I'm Mike.

    Default Tannoy Berkeley

    Berkeley MK1 - worth checking out or not? I've finally persuaded The Boss the we 'need' better/bigger speakers in our living room. I'm limited by what I can see or hear locally and there is a pair that I can go see but probably not hear tomorrow, although I could take an amp and use my phone to play something through them to make sure they're fine.

    Or is there something else similar I should look at instead. The Boss has said the size and look of the Berkeleys is fine so any alternative would not need to be much bigger

    I've read most of the posts on here and other forums and the general consensus seems to be that the 15" drivers need a bigger cabinet, but very little in the way of actual sound quality or reviews.

    For reference they are 33"x"21x12"

    Thoughts anyone?
    Last edited by mikeyb; 30-09-2017 at 16:04.

  2. #2
    Join Date: Feb 2013

    Location: W Lothian

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    I'm Grant.

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    Eatons are highly rated
    Regards,
    Grant ....

    I've said it before and I'll say it again: democracy simply-doesn't-work
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  3. #3
    Join Date: Mar 2014

    Location: KY - Scotland

    Posts: 2,487
    I'm Mike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by struth View Post
    Eatons are highly rated
    Ta, I'll go have a read

  4. #4
    Join Date: Feb 2010

    Location: Berkshire, UK

    Posts: 2,126
    I'm Tom.

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    It;s my opinion not from ownership but from observation (I stand to be corrected if anyone has measurements kicking around) that the HPD in the Berkley is capable of far better performance than the 15in Gold in the earlier equivalent cabinet (Lancaster) mainly because their bass response is better anyway.

    So it's far from a bad option, whereas the Lancaster cabinets will pretty much always disappoint to some extent. (Indeed they sound better with 12in Golds than with the far more common 15in Golds). Lancaster cabs do need replacing with GRF cabs, Lockwoods, or some other option.

    So if you can get the Berkleys for sensible dosh (and I'd hesitate to say what that is these days? £1500?) then go ahead. You might want to have new cabs built later but it won't be essential immediately. I wouldn't put them in a small room though.
    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.'

  5. #5
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Norwich

    Posts: 2,264
    I'm Hugo.

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    Coincidentally, I’ve just bought a pair of Mk1 Berkeleys, with relatively recent Lockwood replacement cone surrounds, to go in a friend’s trendy mid-century modern furniture shop as part of a vintage but stylish system. They do sound quite decent and will look lovely once I’ve cleaned up and re-invigorated the slightly grubby veneer with some Danish oil.

    The Berkeleys are about the same size as the Lancasters that I once bought with 15” Monitor Gold drivers, but clearly the HPD drivers are a much better match for the modest size (and in this case reflex ported) cabinets.

    Art Dudley keeps a pair of Berkeleys as a long term reference, which is a pretty good recommendation. I was pleased to find out that the driver magnets are Alnico.
    Last edited by Ammonite Acoustics; 30-09-2017 at 17:00.

  6. #6
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

    Posts: 29,346
    I'm Geoff.

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    Definitely worth a look.

    Check the cone surrounds, if they have splits or show any sagging then factor in the cost of reconing. Probably getting on for £500 from Lockwood these days. If they have never been done, no doubt they will need it soon. (I do my own repairs, but most wouldn't take it on)

    The crossovers might need recapping. Paul at RFC can help with this.

    The cabinets can be improved with a bit of sensible added internal bracing.

    Don't let the above put you off 'cos it sounds like hassle. It's worth doing. A good pair of Berkeleys can sound spectacular and they are an investment, as values have been rising steadily for years.
    Mr. Tact!

    Main system: MMs/ADCs/Low output MC's/One rare Japanese SUT/One scarce British phono stage/various tonearms/hefty Japanese DD TT and hefty Japanese BD TT and small British BD TT. 4 CD players/2 jitter buster/2 DACs/Valve buffer. TVC stepped attenuator or valve pre-amp or solid state pre-amp. Current dumping power-amp or either of two Class A SS power-amp or Class A EL34 valve monos or big Japanese (part Class A) integrated. Big dual concentric speakers/Smaller dual concentric speakers/Two way British compacts and full range speakers, amongst others. And too much more to list!

  7. #7
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Norwich

    Posts: 2,264
    I'm Hugo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by walpurgis View Post
    A good pair of Berkeleys can sound spectacular and they are an investment, as values have been rising steadily for years.
    Iím not sure if thatís strictly accurate. I did a brief search of Ďsoldí prices on eBay before settling on a price for my Berkeleys, and concluded that the going rate was rather higher a few years ago.

  8. #8
    Join Date: Mar 2014

    Location: KY - Scotland

    Posts: 2,487
    I'm Mike.

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    Thanks for all the info everyone, I'll arrange to go and see them tomorrow. I'll check all the relevant parts etc.

    Will hopefully update tomorrow

  9. #9
    Join Date: Sep 2009

    Location: Bournemouth

    Posts: 4,075
    I'm Dan.

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    Are these the ones mike? https://www.gumtree.com/p/speakers/t...ers/1268364186

    No idea of the surrounds though as no pictures...
    Vinyl -
    Rega Planer 2 with Rega Britain Green 250 Tonearm & Upgraded Van Den Hul Oil Bearing & Ortofon Super OM-10

    Second System:
    Technics - SU-C909U Pre-Amplifier & SE-A909S Power Amplifier & Technics ST-GT 1000 Tuner & Pioneer PDS 505 Precision player & Thorens TD-125 MK1 Turntable & SME 3009 Series 1 & Shure V15 Type II Cartridge & SME 2000 Plinth & Celestion A compact Speakers , Monster Speaker Cable , Cambridge Audio Atlantic Yellow Interconnects.

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    Quad 33/303 , Creek 6060 , NAD 3020 Original , Cambridge P40 , Linn LK85 Power Amplifier , Luxman 507X , Pioneer SA 6300 ,

  10. #10
    Join Date: Sep 2014

    Location: Northern Ireland

    Posts: 677
    I'm John.

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    Quote Originally Posted by walpurgis View Post
    Definitely worth a look.

    Check the cone surrounds, if they have splits or show any sagging then factor in the cost of reconing. Probably getting on for £500 from Lockwood these days. If they have never been done, no doubt they will need it soon. (I do my own repairs, but most wouldn't take it on)

    The crossovers might need recapping. Paul at RFC can help with this.

    The cabinets can be improved with a bit of sensible added internal bracing.

    Don't let the above put you off 'cos it sounds like hassle. It's worth doing. A good pair of Berkeleys can sound spectacular and they are an investment, as values have been rising steadily for years.
    I have very similar Lockwood Academy with the same HPD 385 drivers and have to agree with Geoff. A full recone at Lockwood was £380 two years ago. The scale of sound should blow your mind, it's like having someone actually singing in your room, not a pair of speakers. Bass is surprisingly tight, not overblown at all. They will show any difficiencies upstream, so can sound either fantastic or just ok if fed from lesser equipment. They just get better and better with equipment upgrades.
    The internal cabling and plug into the driver were pretty poor in mine. I rewired with simple tinned copper wire and gold plated plugs from mainlytannoy on eBay. I find the tinned copper wire the best for speaker cable too. They have a natural tone rather than a brightly lit "hifi" sound.
    Hope that helps.
    Last edited by JohnJo; 30-09-2017 at 19:38.

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