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Lockwood Tannoys -good news

Discussion in 'classic' started by canonman, Feb 8, 2017.

  1. canonman

    canonman pfm Member

    I'm a long standing fan of big Tannoys and many years ago I used to own Lockwood Majors with 15 in Reds.

    Completely by chance, I met the grandson of the founder recently who is not in the hifi industry but he owns a few pair that are in use at his home. He is passionate about them, also having a Major cabinet in his office.

    He owns a woodworking company specialising in exhibitions and they are taking delivery of a new CNC machine soon so he's decided to start making Lockwood Majors again. 3 pair due for production in March, identical cabinet build to originals but with a much better finish.

    It is just a fun project for him and he is planning on demonstrating them at Chester Group's Birmingham show in September.
     
    Whaleblue likes this.
  2. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Excellent news. I hope there will be Formica! Like many Lockwood users I am convinced the Formica is a key part of their sound, it kind of turns the cabinet walls into a constrained layer damping system and seems remarkably inert. They kind of pull the BBC thin-wall trick off of being dead and pretty low mass. I'll be interested to see what he comes up with.
     
    prince5cent likes this.
  3. canonman

    canonman pfm Member

    I know what you mean about the original Formica but he has a modern version in mind. I hated the look of Formica and it was so brittle but we'll know more I guess in a few weeks or so. He is serious about the project.

    Showed me his lovely scrap book that had pictures of early speakers, Lockwood televisions, hifi shows and studios resplendent with big Tannoys!
     
  4. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I'd be very interested to know what pictures he has! I'm still trying to find a pic of my pair in place in Cine-Tele Sound Studios in their original Bayswater location as that is apparently where they started their journey towards me (via ToeRag Studios and likely others given how old they are). They lost their original Reds along the way and I have Golds in them now, but the cabs are in remarkably good condition for an early '60s pair. I really would love to get some more insight as to their history.

    [​IMG]

    They are Universal Majors, the variant designed for flying from the ceiling hence the mounting adapters on the side.
     
  5. canonman

    canonman pfm Member

    The studio photos didn't have captions but I think they were early BBC pics. Next time I see him I will ask what else he has. There was a lovely original Lockwood exhibition sign too.

    Roger Francis, who ran the recone business, is also a family friend so he may have access to more records.
     
  6. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Excellent, I really would like to research this pair as I suspect they have had a very interesting life. If they were as I believe the CTS main monitors at the first Bayswater lovation they will have been used on so much well known stuff (Bond movie soundtracks, Bassey's Goldfinger, a fair bit of Henry Mancini, maybe even the Yellow Submarine soundtrack etc etc). They ended up in Toe Rag Studios where they were used to record the White Stripes Elephant amongst other things, so they've seen some range of material!
     
    Mintsauce likes this.
  7. Shuggie

    Shuggie Trade: Ammonite Audio

    The original Lockwood Major design has a coupled lower cavity with a felt layer forming a resistive divider, so hopefully they will carefully reproduce that part of the design.
     
  8. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Yes, here's a pic to illustrate that aspect:

    [​IMG]

    The standard floor-standing Major has the large port/vent facing downwards rather than on the front like my Universals. I think the floor standing ones may be an inch or two bigger, but I'm not sure about that. Some original Tannoy York cabinets feature the felt shelf thing too, but very few seem to have been built that way.
     
  9. canonman

    canonman pfm Member

    Indeed they will, the new one will be identical. He has an original in the office for reference.
     
  10. canonman

    canonman pfm Member

    I think you are right. My Majors looked a bit taller and they were also on massive wheeled plinths which I still have. They came from Carlton TV. Talking to Roger a few years back, he reckoned that just about every pair of Lockwoods could be considered as prototypes though!
     
  11. hermit

    hermit obsessive

    Thanks to the kindness of Richard (Toto Man) of this parish who offered me first refusal, I've been lucky enough to acquire his MG15s in Lockwood Major cabs and it's been a real treat to finally hear them in my system. Now I understand what all the fuss is about.

    They're clearly a step up in class from my Berkeley 2s and are likely to be my last speaker purchase. Truly awesome.

    There appears to be three types of Major cabs. Although mine are not labelled as Majors, a google search throws up other examples in identical cabs.
    Nonetheless I was wondering if anyone can confirm that they are indeed Majors or some other design. Here are mine:

    [​IMG]



    However, in addition to Tony's type and mine, this pair were advertised on ebay and have a photo of a label on the rear confirming they are Majors.
    They don't seem to have the port on the front like mine and the driver is positioned lower in the cab. Also the cab seems not to be as deep.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Superb stuff, I'm sure you will find them to be a keeper. Mine are 'Universal Majors' which have the vent on the front rather than down-firing and are more suited for flying/wall-mounting. Here's a pic of mine when they were at Toe Rag studios (White Stripes Elephant etc) that shows them flown from the ceiling:

    [​IMG]

    Yours are rather unusual as they appear to be a front-vented Major rather than a Uni or the more usual down-vented Major. Note I say vented rather than ported as the loading is aperiodic, not a conventional port. There will be a shelf of thick (and probably quite manky) felt between the driver chamber and vented cabinet section. I'd phone Lockwood up for a chat as they are a very interesting speaker. Roger is retired now, but there are others there who know a lot and I'm sure they'd be able to ask him if they didn't know, I'm pretty sure it is a family business.

    PS Don't whatever you do be tempted to replace the Formica with veneer as word is it doesn't sound anything like as good! I'm amazed how inert mine are for what is really a thin-wall construction in an almost BBC style.
     
  13. hermit

    hermit obsessive

    It's great that you were able to track down a picture from their first home. They look superb when suspended. You must be tempted ;)

    Thanks for your advice on the formica. Richard made some cosmetic improvements to the cabs since they were last pictured on this forum and, as a result, I don't have plans to refurbish them in the short term. They're nowhere near as nice as yours but I'm hoping that I can live with them long term as they are. I did see this gorgeous example online, so renovation along similar lines in gloss black formica is tempting but not really necessary. It's nice to leave things original too.

    [​IMG]

    I am going to have a chat with Lockwood about them as I need some advice on how to tackle the grilles. I can live with them for a wee while but they are more than a little shabby. I'll be interested to learn more about the cabs. Richard took a couple of photos for me and internally they look a lot like yours other than the location of the vent.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. canonman

    canonman pfm Member

    The person you really need to talk to is the father of pfm member Lockwood76. He owned Lockwood when these were built. A mine of information.
     
  15. hermit

    hermit obsessive

    I spoke to Nick at Lockwoods today and he was very helpful with regard to the construction of the grilles. He also confirmed that my cabs are indeed Majors.
     
  16. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Can Lockwood still supply the original grille material at all? It is odd stuff, I'm not even sure how one would describe it, but probably a plastic mesh of some kind. Whilst mine has discoloured a little it has remained amazingly taut, almost has a note to it like a drum! Seems to be very acoustically transparent.

    PS I assume you have to unscrew and remove the front baffle? The Lockwood cabs look very 'BBC' in many ways with a bolted front and back. I suspect this is part of the reason they sound so good!
     
  17. hermit

    hermit obsessive

    Lockwood can't supply the original cloth and suggested the cloth sold on ebay by Mark Pitcher. The grille fabric on mine goes all the way over the top for a good few inches and is attached to an L shaped board. Nick explained that this board can be unscrewed from inside the cab so the front baffle can remain in place.

    Unfortunately, Nick explained that the nice metal trim most likely has to be sacrificed to get the board out and it is quite likely that the formica underneath will be marked. This trim is also unobtanium. My upholsterer can trim the new grills with braid or ribbon to hide any damage to the formica which will most likely look ok. I'll have to ponder as I like the trim. I might just leave them as they are.
     
  18. canonman

    canonman pfm Member

    Things moving on at a pace. Spent 30 minutes listening to the new Majors this morning. Wow! Top pic shows new Majors, original Universals refinished and original 10 inch, as used in Broadcasting House.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  19. cooky1257

    cooky1257 pfm Member

    I've always liked that part way grill look of the Majors.
     
  20. mjkelshaw

    mjkelshaw pfm Member

    Given my probably unforgivable ignorance (in present company) of Tannoy models, might I have the temerity to ask about the 'small' white finished speaker shown in one of the photographs?

    Mike Kelshaw
     

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