Tuesday, March 19, 2019 10:14

Tannoy’s Precision: some unsound observations

That’s “unsound” in the sense that I have not yet listened to any of the loudspeakers in this new line of residential speakers from Tannoy.  I have heard other systems from Tannoy that use their Dual Concentric drivers and have been impressed.  I’m expecting that the Precision line (or “range” as Tannoy would have it) will similarly satisfy musically.

The idea of locating a tweeter inside and at the center of a woofer cone isn’t new.  Here’s a Jensen Flexair coaxial driver as seen in the 1961 Allied catalog.  Obviously we’ve come quite far in terms of the integration of the woofer and tweeter in the intervening years.  But the notion that it can be a good idea for the full range of music to emanate from an acoustically coherent point in a home speaker system has a lot of history behind it.

Way back in the 1940s Tannoy came up with the much more sophisticated  Dual Concentric design and has stuck with it and improved it over the decades, establishing a long history of innovation, quality construction, and dedication to music.

As usual, Tannoy adds interesting features to its new Precision series.  One of those is the Mass Loaded Cavity or MLC accessible at the underside of the floor standing models.  The idea of weighting an enclosure with some sort of ballast also goes back a while.  Wharfedale made great hay with their sand-filled baffle concept in the 1950s and ’60s.  They put the sand in at the factory.  The cool thing about loading up the enclosures yourself is that you can fuss with other audiophiles about how much to put in, what materials might have what effect on sound quality, and similar issues that sometimes provide as much fun and entertainment as actually listening to music.

An important “unsound” matter is the appearance of the speakers.  Even the most dedicated listener will be seeing his or her speaker more time out of the day than he or she listens to them.  Tannoy makes that viewing a pleasure with great attention both to design and to fit and finish.  The specs on their website says that the Precision 6.1 is available in high gloss dark walnut or high gloss black.  The floorstanding 6.2 and 6.4 can also be had in a more traditional satin walnut.  I say go for the gloss in whichever tone you prefer.

Something to consider when your shopping the Precision line (among others) is the matter of porting.  You’ll notice that Tannoy uses the term stand-mount for the small 6.1 rather than calling it a bookshelf speaker.  One reason for that is certainly the rear-firing bass port.  You simply can’t use a speaker with rear port up against or even very close to a wall.  Yes, I know that getting speakers away from a wall is a very good idea, but not everybody can do that given constraints of room size, decor, furnishings, and spouses.

Many rear-ported enclosures come with a plug that can solve the wall problem, but at the cost of changing the enclosure’s bass alignment.  This may or may not be acceptable to you.  Talk it over with your dealer.

That rear port, by the way, is a major difference between the Precision 6.2 and Precision 6.4, that and a couple of inches in height and 5 Hz at the low end.  I imagine there’s a price difference, too, but as I noted in my introduction to Tannoy’s announcement over at theSoundscape, those numbers aren’t out yet.


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