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Tannoy Monitor Golds

Discussion in 'classic' started by Tony L, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. John

    John Rack’em Up!

    Coming up on three years in October, time flies!


    Tony, that DC driver looks small in that cabinet!
  2. Holloway88

    Holloway88 John

    Hi Tony,
    Indeed we were blown over by the........Tablettes LOL! Yes when we walked into the room, we really thought the Tannoys were blasting out the sweet music hehe. Shame we didn't get the chance to hear the Tannoys! BTW love those Tablettes! I am hoping to upgrade the amp soon to get the best out of them, will ask for some advice soon if you don't mind. Happy listening......
  3. simonheys69

    simonheys69 pfm Member

    Love how you've framed it just so we can see the spare valve sitting in the fireplace. Completes the picture for me.

    Out with the new, in with the old.
  4. Joe P

    Joe P Memory Alpha incarnate / mod

    We should start a series...

    Royd Sorcerers on Tannoy Berks

    Tony's Yorks eating ProAcs

  5. speedysteve1

    speedysteve1 Registered User

    This one always sums it up for me.


    What exactly are you trying to achieve with that LITTLE speaker - ah yes WAF!
  6. Patrick Dixon

    Patrick Dixon Imagineer


    Big Dittons, little Dittons.

    (66 & 10)
  7. Joe P

    Joe P Memory Alpha incarnate / mod

  8. Sandy

    Sandy pfm Member


    Are there any known advantages to the old corregated surround over the later foam surrounds?


  9. Richard C.

    Richard C. pfm Member

    A more pertinent question would be "Are there any known advantages of the newer foam surround had over the older corrugated surround?" The response would be a simple "No!"

    The bio-degrading foam was introduced to reduce manufacturing costs; the tricoethylene-based/wool etc. plasticiser of the Gold was much too expensive for the new American management in 1974 - a management very much more concerned with quantity rather than quality. The foam also modified the affects of the inertial characteristics of the HPD cones with their Girdacoustic reinforcements. The speaker efficiency was reduced, thus making it possible to quote a higher power capacity - something of considerable appeal in the market sector at which Harman was now aiming.

    Although the differences in perceived reproductive quality between the HPD series and earlier DC models readily are discernible from studying the relative prices in the current markets, the former being dramatically cheaper, bargains are to be found with the HPD for whilst it was not in the same league as its forebears, it remains a speaker better than most and can offer particularly good value for money today.

  10. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    The HPD seems unfairly maligned, a read of the Yahoo Tannoy group will find many fans including many who find no preference between them and Golds. The problem with HPDs is as you say that the surrounds fail after time, so by this point unless they've been properly reconed they are not performing to spec. There is now apparently an option to recone them with a hard edge driver too. The lower market value is mainly to do with the work needed, IIRC reconing is £350+ a unit. The value of HPDs certainly seems to be creeping up of late as Reds, Golds etc become ever-more scarce and valuable.

  11. Richard C.

    Richard C. pfm Member

    I agree that much of the criticism leveled against the HPD often is unwarranted but it has to be admitted that it was, by comparison with earlier products, inferior.

    However, if you replace the HPD cone, surround and spider with one having the paper edge (i.e. the Red) and it seems that this is now possible, you will for all practical purposes have the "real McCoy" as the HPD employs the same chassis, high frequency unit and divided Alnico magnet system of earlier variants. This would be a sensible way to go unless you subscribe to the lunacy of the importance of such things as red dust caps etc.

    Certainly, whilst Silver, Red and Gold values are a little less hyped than about five years ago, they remain unattainably high for many and a converted HPD could provide an affordable entry into the magic world of Tannoy. Now is the time to bite the bullet for, as you say, prices are going up - do you know what a decent Morris Minor goes for these days? Astonishing!

  12. cooky1257

    cooky1257 pfm Member

    I think this is an oft repeated myth. Harmon also owned JBL, their bass units and countless other manufacturers around the world moved to foam for sound engineering reasons, the foam however degrades under UV/time, something that Tannoy, JBL, Bose, Wharfdale ,Celestion, Gale and countless others were to find out. The move from AlNiCo to ferrite in the later 38** series was due to cost and the world shortage of Cobalt.
    Lowering sensitivity does not increase power handling, new high temperature voice coils/formers/adhesives did that.
    The girdacoustic struts were introduced to prevent cone break-up, the cones were made heavier to lower the resonant freq to around 20hz, JBL added a mass ring to their 2231a drivers.
    The AlNiCo motors are the same as the Golds but with more consistent throat machining as the process became automated.

    What owning a HPD will let you do that a Gold can't is benefit from the new hard edge double roll cone surround as used on the current Prestige range-should you want to of course(I'd keep Golds as they are regardless-they are 'right' and shouldn't be molested)

    @Richard; Dropping Red cones into a HPD is an interesting idea assuming the gap clearances between the chassis hadn't changed with the newer hight temp voice coils of the HPD's.
  13. Patrick Dixon

    Patrick Dixon Imagineer

    Tony, I'm curious as to why you've decided not to touch the crossovers on your new pair after messing around with the now 'rejected' ones? ISTM that the capacitors are quite likely to be out of spec by now, and even if you don't want to change the original design parameters, a 'service' would be worthwhile.
  14. Robert

    Robert Tapehead

    Interesting stuff.

    Aren't the foam surrounds also more compliant, and therefore they lower the driver Fs meaning potentially more extended bass in smaller cabinets?
  15. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I'm having some fancy crossovers built from scratch, Phil (Early) is currently knocking me up some using some nice Mundorf air core inductors, Mills resistors and Clarity Cap SA caps. This leaves the original crossovers, switches etc unmolested from a collector perspective but gets them completely out of the picture sonically.

  16. cooky1257

    cooky1257 pfm Member

    Yes in combination with the heavier cone and new spider, it is a complete system.
    The Cheviots, Devons, Eatons and Berkeleys were part of that first HPD family.
  17. Patrick Dixon

    Patrick Dixon Imagineer

    Ahh, I see. That makes sense.
  18. Joe P

    Joe P Memory Alpha incarnate / mod


    Amongst some Tannoyistas the earlier the driver the better, so I think people are using the desirability of orange dust caps as a surrogate for desirability of having early Monitor Reds.

  19. Markus S

    Markus S 41 - 29

    Just as they like the 301 better than the 401 when the 401 is actually the (slightly) better record player. It's just retro snobism.
  20. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    IIRC some Tanoyistas consider the orange-dustcap Reds to use the cone from the Silver, which is apparently the best of all Tannoys. To be even more precise the 12" Silver is allegedly the hot spot. If I understand it correctly Silvers have no crossover at all on the bass cone which apparently gives it a freedom, ease of drive and efficiency that is allegedly compromised in later designs, and this works at it's most successful with the 12" cone. I'd love to hear some someday.


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