A pleasant couple of hours listening to the Shindo made Tannoy GRF Autographs! It’s been a couple of years since I last got to listen to these BIG boxes, nothing works as well as big horn loaded boxes. These have Tannoy Reds with original crossovers, driven by a DIY 300b single ended amplifier, now using Emission Labs 300Bs. As before, the sound was open and effortless, and with the Emission Labs bottles even more power and punch. For a comparison we changed over to a Jadis 6550 push-pull amp. Still sounded fabulous, maybe a little more bass but probably not quite as realistic an image of the performance.
This cutaway is at http://www10.plala.or.jp/bam-craft/index.html
Recently a visit to listen to a pair of DIY Westminsters was another special occasion. The builder of the beautiful boxes has been refining them for about the last 12 months. For the latest fine tuning the crossovers have been replaced with custom built crossovers, now as well as the Tannoy warmth it also had ultra fast transient response and as well as sharp leading edges to the music, there was no overhang. An interesting effect was that CDs now sounded better than vinyl. Most interesting with both these horn-loaded Tannoys is that the bass is quick, no “thump” but the natural sound of a bass drum or double bass, no blur or smearing. Sometimes it seemed as if there was less bass than with sealed boxes or reflex tuning, but in fact the bass was there in full but less hi fi and more true to the original instrument.
An interesting article about buying a pair of Westminsters is at the following link: http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue49/tannoy.htm He begins his journey by writing: I did what a lot of us have to do with exotic Hi-Fi equipment that’s not easy to audition, due to their scarcity, I ordered a pair without having heard them and hoped for the best. That’s a little scary when you’re talking about a loudspeaker that sells for about as much as I paid for my Toyota 4Runner when it was new, which was my single largest purchase ever next to my house. So for an average guy like me, it was a huge step to place that order for the Westminster Royal Special Editions.
By Jeff Day