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Tannoy Monitor Golds

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

  1. donutuk

    donutuk Registered User

    holy mary mother of god... well done!
  2. bottleneck

    bottleneck pfm Member

    Hey Steve

    Just spent about twenty minutes reading the thread on DIY audio. Interesting stuff.

    I see a lot of folks are pushing you towards active.

    I'm not so sure.

    Basically, for home / critical listening - I didn't find reasonably priced studio crossovers to sound as good as a passive.

    It was a relief to go from 3 power amps and an active crossover to just one amp.

    A good friend had an active crossover by Pass Labs, and that was a different kettle of fish - it was many thousands though.

    I think if you're going to go into Marchand or better Pass Labs terrirtory fair enough - but you're not going to beat your passive for "normal'' money.. at least I didn't.

    Mid priced active crossovers are best saved for live music venues IMO.

    YMMV of course.

    the noise floor of active was unacceptable with horns and valves for me, so it wasn't just the added colouration of the active crossover.
  3. speedysteve1

    speedysteve1 Registered User

    Yes, I am sceptical - hence the welcome and kind test of Paulf's DEQX lined up. Something like the DEQX Express is perhaps good enough, we'll see.
    My interest was sparked in the need to tame the Tapped horns in room performance. Measuring at the throat they perform pretty much as modelled. In room there are saw teeth - got pretty much the same with the GRF's actually. In reality our ears do not work quite like that and smooth things out.
    They actually work very well.
    L-pad removal was a revelation.
    Perhaps to build 5 mini SET's...

  4. bottleneck

    bottleneck pfm Member

    Hi Steve

    Interesting what you say about L-Pad removal (for me) too.

    I have L-pads, used a bit like a quad-tilt system to bring tweeter levels in line with bass.

    I'm sure this could be removed, and a resistor put in it's place.

    Just how much of a difference did you find replacing L-pads with resistors? (presuming this is what you did).. and do you fancy a trip to Reading to help me do the same ! lololol.. just kidding, I know you are busy.
  5. Pete MB&D

    Pete MB&D Pete Maddex, the one and only!

    Hi, Speedysteve1

    Vey nice work, I take it you live on your own ;-)

  6. speedysteve1

    speedysteve1 Registered User

    Oh no. Happily married and 2 teenage daughters. They grow so fast don't they!
    Have dedicated music room that we built last year;-)

  7. Pete MB&D

    Pete MB&D Pete Maddex, the one and only!

    Hi, Speedysteve1

    Dedicated room!, now I am jealous.

  8. Eric L

    Eric L pfm Member


    Very cool. I saw on the other thread that you are experimenting with a DSP. Have you tried putting a few ms delay in on everything but the tapped horns?

    I use a Danley tapped horn subwoofer, and it has about a 9ms delay according to the designer, so it's slower than my Tannoy main speakers. I have the crossover for the sub set so low (45-50 Hz) that I don't think I can notice it, but I've never put in a delay on the Tannoys and so still wonder if it would make a difference.

    I'm guessing that your tapped horn subs are also slower than the rest of your horns, so I'd be interested in knowing if you've experimented with this.
  9. Holloway88

    Holloway88 John

    And no neighbours on either side of house I guess:D
  10. speedysteve1

    speedysteve1 Registered User

    I have not got as far as using DSP or DEQX yet. I have carefully time aligned the 4 normal horns both with tape measure and impulse recording.
    It's not possible to do a sensible measurement of the tapped horn. I do have the tapped horns physically closer by some way over the other drivers but if it is enough I do not know. I will def try delay on rest when trying DSP.

  11. speedysteve1

    speedysteve1 Registered User

    I don't need to play it that loud. However when I do the low test tones and sweeps my wife can hear the really low stuff very clearly down the end of th garden. Deep bass travels through the ground!

  12. sybil

    sybil pfm Member

    1. What are peoples opinions of having banana sockets on the treble energy plate? I have 1 pair of Gold XOs where one had it (1972) and I added the same arrangement to the other (1967). I have just found another pair that do not have it (earlier XOs, 1967 again) and wonder if it would detract from the value to add these? I rather prefer the arrangement with the banana plugs as it negates the need for another terminal panel or a hole with flying leads.

    2. Having a look on the web at some of the info about the various Monitors it seems all models from Red to HPD used the same tweeter diaphragm:

    Is this correct even though Reds are 15ohm and the rest are 8ohm, and given the various different crossovers?

    3. I still need to remove one of the black plastic knobs on a Gold treble energy panel to tighten the pot. It will not pull off easily - has anyone tightened on of these before and could lend some advice.

    Many thanks, James.
  13. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Yes, it's the same part number, though it has substantially changed in construction over the years. The current HPD replacement part has the diaphragm firmly bonded to a fairly thick black plastic back, the diaphragm originally shipped with Golds was in two parts, the diaphragm itself and a separate felt-coated black metal back plate. I found the HPD assembly exceptionally hard to align in my first pair of Golds as it was such a tight fit, in fact I gave up and went back to the original diaphragms - I prefer the original design as it is far easier to tweak the alignment, which is necessary if you want both speakers to sound the same! Changing the diaphragms in Golds is anything but plug and play IME, only fiddle with them if you really need to! There are some pics of the Gold diaphragm somewhere earlier in this thread or on my Flickr account here. It's also worth noting that the new HPD replacements are too thick to get the magnet covers back on again after fitting.

    The Reds are 15 Ohm overall due to the bass cone.
  14. sybil

    sybil pfm Member

    Thanks for that Tony, your photos are really instructive.

    Am I right in saying that all tweeter diaphragms/modules are in principle interchangeable from Reds to HPDs?

    By the way, your crossovers look really nice. How are the Yorks performing since you put them in.

  15. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Yes, that correct, but with the caveat that you may not be able to get the magnet cover back on and may find the current type a bit of a challenge to align.

    The crossovers are very good indeed, though I've still not quite got the voicing right. I'm actually running a modified pair of original Tannoy crossovers at present, a pair I've recapped myself and hard-wired to flat on roll-off and one step lower than flat on level. The fancy crossovers are currently too bright for me, I don't think I've quite got the value of the resistor over the inductor in the notch filter right, and also they are set flat, when I feel on the stock crossovers 'one below' is actually right for me once the switches are bypassed - just removing the switches brightens the Tannoys up a lot, far too much for my ears. The thing that's hard is keeping the midrange presence without pushing the top-end too far forward.

    I'll be going back to the bespoke crossovers once I've lived with my tweaked original pair for a good while (I want to give the new caps a couple of hundred hours to burn in) and I'm certain that's what I'm looking to duplicate- the bespoke ones are beautifully laid out so very easy to tweak once I'm sure that's where I'm heading. I've found it all fascinating finding out just how critical crossovers are, a real learning curve, and I've huge respect for what the Tannoy engineers achieved here - the voicing is just spot-on with the originals even if the quality had drifted a little over the years (dirty switches, failing caps etc).
  16. sybil

    sybil pfm Member

    What impact does alignment of the diaphragms have? Does this significantly alter the voicing of the unit itself?

    [Q] I've huge respect for what the Tannoy engineers achieved here - the voicing is just spot-on with the originals even if the quality had drifted a little over the years (dirty switches, failing caps etc). [Q/]

    I agree that the original Tannoy drivers and XOs have a remarkable ability to age gracefully. Each component seems to weather in a complementary fashion to each other; whilst overall performance may very slowly deteriorate they never seem to be way out of whack unless obviously broken. There are products less than 10 years old I would trust less than some 50 year old Tannoys.

    I am sure you will get your bespoke XOs right once you have decided what exactly you want from them. Too bright? A 5-position treble energy switch sounds like it might be what you need. I intend to build similar soon, but want to pair up the drivers I have with original crossovers before I start anything new (although I may knock one up for the Red).

    On another note it seems my concerns were unfounded about using a Red driver with a Gold XO if all the HF units are essentially interchangeable. I have been using the Quintet in Triode mode a lot more with the 15s, as it always seemed on the edge of hardness with 12s, especially the HPDs. Guess they just need more than the 10 or 15w 4 EL34s can give in triode. What amp are you using these days?

    OTD: I Am A Wallet - McCarthy
  17. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Yes, very much so. The diaphragms fly very close to the pepperpot and also need to be *very* precisely centred in the magnet gap. The manufacturing tolerances of the baskets, magnets, pepperpots themselves are not perfect, these speakers clearly date from a time before micron perfect CNC machining etc so the diaphragms are spaced off by a varying number of paper spacers and minute movements in the gap or slight alteration of the tension of the four machine screws that hold the diaphragm assembly are all clearly audible (hint: finger-tight is about right here). As I hinted at I had a nightmare with my first pair with the current spec HPD diaphragms, I just couldn't get both speakers to sound the same, one either sounding thinner or quieter than the other. In the end I just replaced the original diaphragms as there was more 'wobble-room' with them so I could tune them better, i.e, what I'd thought would be a nice upgrade in replacing some 40+ year old tweeters simply wasn't. It's not a job I'd recommend, and whilst this was all new to me I've got a good natural instinct for this kind of thing, e.g. I can set musical instruments up etc. I'd spent a lot of time in advance on the phone to Lockwood too so did know the theory of what I was trying to achieve.

    Excellent choice, I must dig that out for a spin sometime. I saw them around that time too in some tiny dive of a venue, in Warrington or St Helens IIRC, a superb gig - I was standing right at the front, just a few feet from them.
  18. sybil

    sybil pfm Member

    Tony, the moment I heard them open the album with 'An MP Speaks' I was smitten. Some of the best rhythm guitar since Marr IMO.

    As far as alignment goes I take it this is in 3D? Shims to space away from the pepperpot, then 2D on the shimmed face, controlled by tightening the plate? Sounds like a lot of trial and error, especially without test tones or pink noise to accurately identify the correct alignment at all frequencies.

    Here's a question for all Tannoy fans: Am I dreaming or did Paul Messenger actually have a pair of 15" MGs built into the wall of his listening room? Ultimate IB implementation? Pretty oddball nonetheless. Anybody actually hear them?

  19. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    If you haven't already got them I strongly advise hunting down the 12" singles Red Sleeping Beauty and Frans Hals. The B side of Red Sleeping Beauty, From The Damned, is one of the high water marks of 1980s indie IMO. A simply amazing track.
  20. sybil

    sybil pfm Member

    I know the track Tony, but I haven't got it on 12", let alone on my computer where all my music is these days. Truly awesome bass, I can't imagine what that and the percussion are like at wide-groove 45rpm. Don't know Frans Hals, will check it out.

    Cheers, JC

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