Oh gawd, I've done it again.

edited April 11 in Loudspeakers
Just bought these on ebay.
I put in an offer a couple of weeks ago. It was rejected, but the seller came back today and asked if I was still interested.
Apparently I was the only person willing to collect (from Leamington Spa, when the lock-down permits).

I've wanted to try a pair of old Tannoys dual concentrics for a while. But, wanted the drivers in decent condition, and didn't want to pay over the odds. These have 10 inch HPD drivers. 
10 inch means not too expensive and HPD means (or at least, so I understand) a slightly deeper bass than their predecessors, the Super Gold drivers.

I was in a band that recorded a demo in a studio in Cardiff in about 1991. It was the first time I'd ever heard a good sound system. I recall the studio had big dual concentric monitors. Possibly 12 or 15 inch HPDs I think. They blew me away. Possibly a large part of why I started getting into hifi.

I'm not expecting to prefer them to my DIY Goodmans 18 inchers, but at least I'll get a reminder / re-taste of what Tannoys do. Absolutely no idea where they'll go. I already have 4 or 5 too many pairs of speakers stashed around the house and shed. 
Resale value on these is pretty good (possibly better if I sell the drivers and crossovers without the cab and offer postage), so I shouldn't lose too much if I'm disappointed.

No idea when I'll get to pick them up tho. 
Hope everyone's safe and well out there!
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Comments

  • At the back of my mind, I'm thinking I'll build some closed cabinets for them.
    But I'm supposed to be rebuilding the Goodwoods cabinets too, along Alan's double 9mm sandwich philosophy. :-/
  • With closed cabs you could add a sub and let the HPDs concentrate on what they do best.
  • Some Tannoys I've heard sound fantastic. Others need to be escorted to the nearest skip!

    I had some DC2000s back in the 80s. Loved 'em at the time. Had a mate who bi-amped his with an Exposure set up he kept upgrading. It had a certain character.

    Why closed cabs, Ben?
  • uglymusic said:
    Some Tannoys I've heard sound fantastic. Others need to be escorted to the nearest skip!

    I had some DC2000s back in the 80s. Loved 'em at the time. Had a mate who bi-amped his with an Exposure set up he kept upgrading. It had a certain character.

    Why closed cabs, Ben?
    You’re right.
    I have no idea what I’m getting.
    Hence my comforting myself with the reliable resale Plan B.
    Good question about the closed cabs. I think I’m biased in their favour based on recent my preferences / builds. I’ve sort of gone a bit closed mind. The last pair of ported speakers I used were Dynaudios maybe 10(?) years ago. And they were perfectly fine. So let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
  • edited April 11
    If you can sell them for what you paid, well, why not?
    It's funny. My bias is the other way around. Most of the speakers I've had that I've really enjoyed have been reflex ones. Except for the Impulse horns.
  • uglymusic said:
    If you can sell them for what you paid, well, why not?
    It's funny. My bias is the other way around. Most of the speakers I've had that I've really enjoyed have been reflex ones.
    That’s reassuring. :-)
  • edited April 12
    Docfoster said:
    uglymusic said:
    If you can sell them for what you paid, well, why not?
    It's funny. My bias is the other way around. Most of the speakers I've had that I've really enjoyed have been reflex ones.
    That’s reassuring. :-)

    It may not be. It could mean my bias is loudspeakers is as bad as my musical taste :s
  • uglymusic said:
    Docfoster said:
    uglymusic said:
    If you can sell them for what you paid, well, why not?
    It's funny. My bias is the other way around. Most of the speakers I've had that I've really enjoyed have been reflex ones.
    That’s reassuring. :-)

    It may not be. It could mean my bias is loudspeakers is as bad as my musical taste :s
    I don't think that's possible. ;-)

    And anyway, I think our audio tastes are probably similar given the equipment we have had in common.
  • Docfoster said:
    uglymusic said:
    Docfoster said:
    uglymusic said:
    If you can sell them for what you paid, well, why not?
    It's funny. My bias is the other way around. Most of the speakers I've had that I've really enjoyed have been reflex ones.
    That’s reassuring. :-)

    It may not be. It could mean my bias is loudspeakers is as bad as my musical taste :s
    I don't think that's possible. ;-)

    And anyway, I think our audio tastes are probably similar given the equipment we have had in common.

    I couldn't possibly comment!
  • edited May 13
    cj66 said:
    With closed cabs you could add a sub and let the HPDs concentrate on what they do best.
    Well,  I've wrigged something  up. A bit makeshift, but it is working.
    It's a bass (sub?) crossover. Splits off frequencies below 75Hz. (Those inductors are physically enormous. :-D )
    My thinking is this would give me more control over lower bass frequencies. In the first instance possibly sending the >75Hz signal to one of the new Tannoys and the lower bass to one of my larger speakers. The Magister's woofers run straight off their binding posts, so maybe those. (Physically have the Tannoys sitting on top of the Maggies of course.  B) )
    Sonically, it may cause more issues than it solves. And almost certainly I'll have to tweak the relative levels to each speaker to make the whole thing work (easy enough now with the bass shelf in JRiver set at 75Hz). We shall see. Just a bit of creative fun atm.
    I've only made one of these, but if results are promising I'll buy the bits for a second. Possibly even think about new cabinets.


  • Picking up the Tannoys on Saturday. (Responsibly and at 2m.)
  • You'll be able to do the social distancing announcement over the Tannoy(s).
    I'll get me coat!
  • Ba dam, tish!

    Happily the Tannoys will sound good at least 2 metres apart ;)
    Who knew that stereo image was just social distancing!
  • edited May 14
    He’s here all week!
  • Guys, your humour is wasted here.
  • edited May 16
    Okey-dokey.
    They're here.


    First problem was that speaker cables in the 1970s must have had the same diameter as a human hair. No way any of my usual cables were going to squeeze into the tiny spring loaded binding posts.
    Managed to find some old scraps in the box in the shed that I quickly lashed up to the Eatons. Can't be doing with that if I'm going to check out these properly, but will do for now. (Have already ordered some new binding posts.)

    Second problem was that on first listening the Tannoys sounded anaemic. Oops. My bad. Despite triple checking polarity I had got it wrong.

    So now I'm listening.
    A few things I like. A few things a bit meh.
    Very dynamic. More bass than I was expecting. Even just perched up on top of the DIY cabinets. Treble pretty good (with both the adjusters set at "Level").
    Mids (vocals and snares) are bit squishy-squashy...congested...lacking air.

    Only initial judgements of course.
    Will need to get the new posts fitted and play around with positioning before I decide where I'm going with these. Leave as is...? Recap / replace crossover...? Base a whole new build around the HPD drivers...?
  • They're super tweeters for the DIYs, aren't they?
  • Well the highs are pretty good!
    Doing some late night listening (lower level) with Buena vista social club.
    I'm liking them more.
  • edited May 17
    A bit more listening this morning.

    It's quite remarkable how my ears need some time to become accustomed the sound of new components.
    I like these more today than I did yesterday. And obviously these 40 year old speakers haven't changed overnight or with a few hours of playing. As I've written before, when I hear something new, at first all I hear are the difference. That I hear as big differences.

    Been fiddling with the Levels too. One seems to attenuate the compression driver tweeter, the other adjusts the roll-off of the the tweeter. Fiddling with these has helped me to get vocals and snares closer to my tastes. Smoother. (Though the switches probably need cleaning. Sometimes they don't work in a particular position.)
    These are the first pair of 70s speakers I've bought which I could live with without any work.
    The HPD 295A drivers are to my tastes. Perhaps not surprising as it was a pair of 12 or 15 inch HPD drivers in a studio that first got me interested in hifi!

    But, I will do a bit of work on the speakers...
    1. Fit new binding posts. (Below the existing ones. I'll leave the old ones in place.)
    2. Build new crossovers. Then fiddle digitally with levels to bass and tweeter, then fit appropriate L-Pad to the tweeters. I don't want to start working on the old crossovers for fear of breaking them. I will leave the old crossover and switches physically in place.
    3. Possibly some new internal wiring. Depends what I find when I open up.

    The one thing they lack is an iota scale. Not bad for 10 inch drivers. But the main reason I like bigger drivers is not the bass specifically, but the overall general scale they offer. So in time I may continue to look at ways of using the Tannoys together with a larger woofer on the lower bass frequencies.

    But overall. Good. I'm glad I made the purchase. A nice addition to the collection! Within the same acoustic oeuvre, but offering some different things.
  • Seems like they could be another part of the jigsaw,
  • edited May 19
    New binding posts fitted. So I can start properly now.
    Made one of the external secondary crossovers that allow the Eatons to leave the <75Hz stuff to one of my 15 or 18 inch woofers. Results were hilarious. So I'll crack on with a second for the other channel.
  • Hilarious?
  • uglymusic said:
    Hilarious?
    Being able to dial up a <75Hz bass speaker to way beyond 11 is fun!  :p

    (The electronic crossover (below - check out those physically enormous inductors!) splits the signal at 75Hz, and a JRiver digital shelf controls the level.)


  • And I've decided what I'm going to do with this project.
    There's something charming about the Eatons. I've fitted the new binding posts, but beyond that I'm going to leave them as they are.
    BUT, what I am going to do is to build a separate closed cabinet (probably along the lines of the double 9mm sandwich construction we discussed here with Alan recently) with a simplified crossover, as a parallel alternative cabinet to the Eatons cab.
    The HPD 295A drivers are easy to take out (just 4 bolts and an 4 pin connector), so switching the drivers between 2 pairs of cabinets as and when I want will be no biggie.
  • Docfoster said:
    uglymusic said:
    Hilarious?
    Being able to dial up a <75Hz bass speaker to way beyond 11 is fun!  :p

    (The electronic crossover (below - check out those physically enormous inductors!) splits the signal at 75Hz, and a JRiver digital shelf controls the level.)



    Gottit! Thanks.
  • Docfoster said:
    And I've decided what I'm going to do with this project.
    There's something charming about the Eatons. I've fitted the new binding posts, but beyond that I'm going to leave them as they are.
    BUT, what I am going to do is to build a separate closed cabinet (probably along the lines of the double 9mm sandwich construction we discussed here with Alan recently) with a simplified crossover, as a parallel alternative cabinet to the Eatons cab.
    The HPD 295A drivers are easy to take out (just 4 bolts and an 4 pin connector), so switching the drivers between 2 pairs of cabinets as and when I want will be no biggie.

    Which will lead you to looking for another pair of Tannoys :)
  • Suddenly, I had a different image of you, Ben:



  • uglymusic said:
    Suddenly, I had a different image of you, Ben:



    Prepare for disappointment with my figure.
  • uglymusic said:
    Docfoster said:
    And I've decided what I'm going to do with this project.
    There's something charming about the Eatons. I've fitted the new binding posts, but beyond that I'm going to leave them as they are.
    BUT, what I am going to do is to build a separate closed cabinet (probably along the lines of the double 9mm sandwich construction we discussed here with Alan recently) with a simplified crossover, as a parallel alternative cabinet to the Eatons cab.
    The HPD 295A drivers are easy to take out (just 4 bolts and an 4 pin connector), so switching the drivers between 2 pairs of cabinets as and when I want will be no biggie.

    Which will lead you to looking for another pair of Tannoys :)
    You know me well, Dave.
  • Docfoster said:
    uglymusic said:
    Suddenly, I had a different image of you, Ben:



    Prepare for disappointment with my figure.

    Figures...
  • I've been able to make progress with the new sealed cabinets for the Tannoy 295A drivers this week.
    25mm MDF all cut to size. Will assemble tomorrow.
    Spent today building the (very simple) crossovers. As mentioned above, the old style 4 pin connector to the 295A drivers will make it easy peasy to switch them between their original (ported) cabinets and my new DIY sealed ones.


  • Joinery went OK. Not perfect. But fine enough for me.
    I'm awaiting some gasket tape and some proper bolts and inserts to properly secure the drivers so it's not quite done yet.
    But initial listening tells me everything works and , with some digital attenuation of the compression driver, that it sounds promising.
    Once those last bits arrive, I will do some proper comparisons with the original ported cabinet and Tannoy crossover of the Eatons (bottom right of photo).


  • Update...
    L-pad sorted after lots of listening and some calculations, some fiddling and some trial and error.
    Delivering about 14.3dB  attenuation.
    Here's an inside shot.

  • Calculations???
  • Yes. I was able to calculate, to a high degree that of accuracy, that the total number of speakers I was working on was two.
  • Never!
  • Ben, I thought you said it was an art course you attended, not quantum physics :#
  • I am the real renaissance man.
    They are all finished.


  • The nobblers. Is that form following function?
  • Sweet! If Matalan sold Tannoys...😝

    Seriously Ben, I couldn't manage half of what you do, and I hope they sound awesome.
  • Alan said:
    Sweet! If Matalan sold Tannoys...😝

    Seriously Ben, I couldn't manage half of what you do, and I hope they sound awesome.

    It's all beyond my abilities, too. I'm only up for a little minor software tweaking.
  • edited June 3
    At the rate these well formed boxes are multiplying you'll need to strap them to the walls and open "Club BenRave".
    I hope the dome heads are all anechoicly tested for ideal curvature and density :s

    Maybe if you loosened them like rivets in a cymbal, raggle taggle gypsy style...

    "What care I for my house and my land?
    What care I for my money-o?
    I'd rather have a bass bin from the Tannoy 12 inch equips
    I'm away wi' the raggle taggle gypsy-o!"

  •  LOL!
  • edited June 4
    Alan said:
    Sweet! If Matalan sold Tannoys...😝

    Seriously Ben, I couldn't manage half of what you do, and I hope they sound awesome.
    Thanks Alan.
    I honestly don't think it's true that you couldn't do this.
    None of the individual bits is very difficult. (Soldering two wires together...screwing two bits of MDF together...etc.,...)

    This project was pleasing because it was more creative than my previous efforts. All from scratch (e.g. crossover and cabinet volume).
    I am happy with the way they sound.

    The drivers are not very well matched though. One has a far more lively top end. I tried to remedy this by cleaning the magnet gap in both HF units, but it didn't make any difference. That sort of thing irritates me, although there is an upside. The balance in my living room is terribly asymmetrical, so having one speaker that pulls the sound in one direction can actually be quite corrective!

    Also during the work I discovered something of an anomaly.
    The label on the original cabinets clearly states that the units are 295A. But, on the back of the units themselves the lable is 295/8 (/8 for "8 ohms" I think). I understand that these were the previous model, and that the original run of Tannoy Eatons did have the 295/8 instead. But the plot thickens. The 295/8 had a foam surround. The ones I have are definitely rubber. Maybe they have been replaced. If so, it was a very good job. There's no evidence of replacement.
    Anyway. No biggie.

    Certainly the best sounding 70s HF drivers I've heard.
  • cj66 said:
    At the rate these well formed boxes are multiplying you'll need to strap them to the walls and open "Club BenRave".
    I hope the dome heads are all anechoicly tested for ideal curvature and density :s

    Maybe if you loosened them like rivets in a cymbal, raggle taggle gypsy style...

    "What care I for my house and my land?
    What care I for my money-o?
    I'd rather have a bass bin from the Tannoy 12 inch equips
    I'm away wi' the raggle taggle gypsy-o!"

    You're operating at a higher level! :-D
  • edited June 4
    Docfoster said:
    Alan said:
    Sweet! If Matalan sold Tannoys...😝

    Seriously Ben, I couldn't manage half of what you do, and I hope they sound awesome.
    Thanks Alan.
    I honestly don't think it's true that you couldn't do this.
    None of the individual bits is very difficult. (Soldering two wires together...screwing two bits of MDF together...etc.,...)

    This project was pleasing because it was more creative than my previous efforts. All from scratch (e.g. crossover and cabinet volume).
    I am happy with the way they sound.

    The drivers are not very well matched though. One has a far more lively top end. I tried to remedy this by cleaning the magnet gap in both HF units, but it didn't make any difference. That sort of thing irritates me, although there is an upside. The balance in my living room is terribly asymmetrical, so having one speaker that pulls the sound in one direction can actually be quite corrective!

    Also during the work I discovered something of an anomaly.
    The label on the original cabinets clearly states that the units are 295A. But, on the back of the units themselves the lable is 295/8 (/8 for "8 ohms" I think). I understand that these were the previous model, and that the original run of Tannoy Eatons did have the 295/8 instead. But the plot thickens. The 295/8 had a foam surround. The ones I have are definitely rubber. Maybe they have been replaced. If so, it was a very good job. There's no evidence of replacement.
    Anyway. No biggie.

    Certainly the best sounding 70s HF drivers I've heard.

    Ben Poirot, the Hi-Fi Detective is coming to cinema screens near you! :D
    S'rously. Interesting stuff.
  • I'm more like a Williams mechanic these days...


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