May 012010
 

My Tannoy Westminster Royal Special Edition article just went live in the May/June 2010 edition of Positive Feedback Online. You can read it here.

 Posted by at 2:20 pm

  40 Responses to “Tannoy Westminster Royal SE Article Live at Positive Feedback Online”

  1. As someone who’s trailed in your footsteps over the years, it’s good to see you reach an ‘End point’! Over the years, your reviews of things have spurred me to try/buy things; Zigmahornets -mine are made of 1+1/2inch Polystrene!; Avantgarde Duos; Leben CS600. And, as you write in the current West’s review, (several times!) I’ve bought sight/sound unheard.
    I keep telling folk to stop reading Hi-Fi sites! But for the same reason s your ‘finality’ comment. Be content with your sound! Of course, not everyone has the funds to go as far as you have, but it IS possible to reach a very good level for less.
    My current ‘End point’ is a set of Ocellia Calliope .21 Silver Signature speakers-Full range, hand crafted wonders that create a really wonderful sound. Coupled with either the CS600, or -possibly even more suited- my Nelson Pass F3 j-Fet amp and Lightspeed Attenuator.
    Great to read your “ahh……!!” review on the Westminsters! I feel much the same with the Ocellias.
    (If you ever get near a set of Ocellias, have a listen. They won’t change your mind, but they DO sound excellent)
    Chris in Bristol, England

    • Hi Chris,

      Thanks for the cool message and kind words – very much appreciated.

      My Ziggies are currently over at a friends house in his system, and I just listened to them on Sunday night for the first time in a while. I’m always impressed with how amazingly good they are.

      I’ve still got the Leben CS600 paired with my Harbeth Super HL5s too – just wonderful (in fact they’re playing right now as I type this message). And I’ve got another smaller rig based on the Leben CS300 and Omega Super 3 loudspeakers in another room, and it is just as you say, Chris, there’s great systems to be had at every price point, and I’d hate to have to give up any of the three systems I have, so hopefully life will not pull any nasty tricks on me in that department.

      I keep telling myself having 3 systems really helps me keep perspective on what is available at different price points, and you know what (!), I really am content with each of those systems! The high priced gear is great of course, but price and musical satisfaction have little in common, and musical satisfaction can be found at any price point.

      I’ve never had a chance to hear the Ocellias, but I’ve always heard good reports about them. Hopefully one of these days I’ll be able hear them.

      Thanks for writing!

      Best,

      Jeff

  2. Hi Jeff
    I did not read many of your computer based writing as i am not into that.
    Your 6 moons Sony/Leben,Harbeth caught my interest
    My System is now 80% xindak with no issues period/reliability etc.
    My centrepiece is the A600e Class a 160 wpc monster (there top amp
    All Xindak gold cables and interconnects and power cords,i have a pair of ther Compass 1.6 speakers with a 3 volt battery between caps,Morel tweeter.
    Now my latest purchase!! Aurum Cantus Leisure 3 Mk11 speakers
    Awesome speaker.Oh yes i have auditioned at home 9 cd players $500- $2500 and i still use my SCPH 1001 wit a PlayStation 2 remote with joy an reliability.
    Keep up the great work,and if you can listen to these Aurum speakers and xindak eqpt. i think you will be VERY pleased
    Best,Nigel

    • Hi Nigel,

      Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll keep an eye out for Aurum and Xindak gear.

      Happy listening!

      Jeff

  3. Hi Jeff,
    conratulations for one of the best blogs and comments around. I feel I can listen to the music thru your writing. Well done.
    I recently acquired a pair of 1998 Tannoy GRF Memory TW’s, a long time dream of mine. They carry the 3840 15″ dual concentric driver: impressive to look at and more so to listen to. They are great, even if not up to the Westies I auppose.
    I am playing them with a vintage Marantz 2270 70 watter receiver, another great piece of audio gear.
    Following your commentary, I am considering adding a tube amp and am thinking about: Leben CS660P; Mcintosh MC275; BAT VK55SE; or Quad QII-40. The GRF manual suggests at least a 50W amplifier. Which do you think would best match the lovely Tannoy’s? I would appreciate your opinion on each of these.

    Best regards,
    Andonis

    • Hi Andonis,

      Thank you for your very kind words – they are much appreciated. Congratulations on your Tannoy GRF loudspeakers, they truly are one of the most important loudspeaker designs in the history of audio. I have not actually heard the GRFs, though I really hope to one day, so I don’t think I’ll be very useful on any really specific recommendations.

      All of the tube amps you have mentioned have very good reputations, and it’s hard to imagine you could go wrong with any of them. I have heard most of those amps at Hi-Fi shows at one time or the other, but the only one of them that I have extensive experience with is the Leben CS660P.

      Another tube amp I would add to your list is the deHavilland 50A http://www.dehavillandhifi.com/ which I have heard in my own system, and I was extremely impressed with its performance. Its voicing is remarkably similar to the Leben CS660P, which is high praise indeed, and it is actually more refined in the bass region – it may be the best sounding amplifier I have ever had in my system, and the level of build quality is incredible. Like the Leben, it allows for flexible tube choices so you can voice it to suit your system balance (my favorite tubes were the Russian 6n3cE).

      If I remember correctly, the GRF has 94 dB sensitivity (is that right?), so I think you would be able to drive them to very loud levels with anything of about 10 watts or greater. I know my Westminsters will almost blow the windows out with anything over 5 watts.

      Another idea would be to follow the guidance in the post ‘A Simple Guide to Creating a Musically Satisfying Hi-Fi System’ here: http://jeffsplace.me/wordpress/?p=662

      Those particular combinations in ‘A Simple Guide’ are extremely good, astonishingly good actually, and if I had to downsize all my Hi-Fi systems today into only one system it would be along the lines in ‘A Simple Guide’ and consist of my Westminsters, a Leben integrated vacuum tube amplifier, the Leben RS30EQ phono stage, the VPI Classic record player with Clearaudio Virtuoso Wood cartridge, and the Acoustic Revive cable set. I could very happily live for ever with that system.

      I hope that is of some help. Let me know how your Hi-Fi journey goes, and any magical combinations you discover, as I’d like to hear about it.

      Thanks for writing!

      Best,

      Jeff

  4. Hi Jeff,

    I could not pass up on a deal to get a pristine pair of Westminsters Royal SE, and after reading your review, I decided to bite the bullet and go for it.

    All I can say now is I don’t think I can listen to other speakers anymore. It is that good. Every disc I picked up, just made me shake my head in disbelief that music could be reproduced at this level of high fidelity.

    Keep in touch and perhaps we could exchange notes. I am driving them with Mcintosh MC2600. Superb scale and control, in addition, the sweet highs that is unique to Mac amps. Will try a 275 soon but I doubt it will have the same bass control as the 2600.

    Cheers

    • Hi David,

      Congratulations on your new pair of Westminster Royal SEs!

      They really are amazing speakers, and my reaction (and most people who have heard mine) has been much like your reaction – they are amazing speakers! I still shake my head in disbelief every time I listen to them, they are so good that high-fidelity takes on a whole new level of meaning!

      I haven’t ever had the opportunity to try the Mac gear, but I’ve always wanted to. Keep me posted on your insights as you get more time in on the West’s, I’d be interested in your thoughts and discoveries.

      Thanks for writing!

      Kind regards,

      Jeff

  5. Traveling around the US, voicing the systems of some of my readers, I get to hear a lot of really fine speakers.

    Recently I voiced a system for a reader in Texas who has Tannoy Canterbury speakers, which as best as I can tell, is the smaller version of a Westminster. It uses the same 15″ concentric driver, but I think it’s intended for somewhat smaller rooms.

    I immediately ran into a problem when I began to evaluate his set-up.

    While I could hear some issues that needed to be addressed, somehow it didn’t seem all that important! I am not exaggerating.

    When I was actually working and making adjustments to the set-up, I’d find myself listening to my source material for the sheer joy of it and forgetting to put on my “expert” hat.

    Almost without exception, I use this reaction as a kind of inward test that the system I’m voicing is getting very close, because it becomes more musically involving. Although I ultimately got the system to sound dramatically better – his account of the experience is on Audiogon – I will never forget the uncanny feeling of living with these speakers for a day or so.

    If ever there was an ultimate desert island speaker (meaning that there is no need to look back, you cannot replace it), it must be the Canterbury, or if space and budget allow, the Westminsters.

    There is much more I could write about these speakers, but I’ve taken enough space now.

    Bravo Tannoy!

    • Howdy Jim,

      I chuckled when I read your note, as that’s exactly what happened to me with my Westminsters!

      Tannoys with those 15-inch drivers are just so musically enjoyable to listen to that they bypass my critical faculties, and I just end up sitting back and having a good time with the music, which seems like the ultimate recommendation. :-)

      All I can say is that your Texas reader is a lucky and smart man having you stop by to dial in the sonics!

      Thanks for the note!

      Kind regards,

      Jeff

  6. Hi Jeff:
    I live in New brunswick canada. My first pair of Tannoy speakers were the GRF windsors from 1971 to 1996. !996 to june 2010 GRF Memory. I read your recent article on line and at about the same time a new demo pair of Westminister SEs became available in Florida.Your story was enough. My Memorys are underneath the stairs and sitting in my 25ft x 18ft livinng room are my long thought of Westminiisters. My wife has already said, ” I didn’t hear that before.” My amplifier is the 20 watt KR VA 340 Integrated with the 300 BXLS tubes. My turntable is the Linn LP12 with the Ekos arm and Akiva cartridge. My cables are the Van den hul Inspiration bi-wire and the Van den hul Orchid interconnects. Thanks again and I hope we can keep in touch as i relisten to all my records. How can i send you a picture?

    Frank

    • Hi Frank,

      That’s really cool about how long you’ve been a Tannoy owner, I sure wish I’d been one sooner – there would have been a lot more music in my life!

      Congrats on your new Westminster SEs, they are a wonderful loudspeaker, and it sounds like a really nice system you’ve put together, you may not leave the listening room for a long, long, time. :-)

      I’d love to see some photos, you can send them to me at jeffday777@gmail.com

      Thanks for writing!

      Kind regards,

      Jeff

  7. Jeff,

    Maybe you will post a photo I am going to send in your reply? …

    It is very grainy, as it was taken using a polaroid camera without my knowing. I was taken by my DIY audio mentor and buddy Antonio Rotondi at his house in West London, about 6 or 7 years ago.

    I had been working on a DIY chip amp at the time and had brought it round to his place one afternoon, when his wife was out, for him to have a listen. The photo perfectly captures that afternoon when I first experienced his vintage 15″ Tannoy Monitor Red DIY speakers (which, incidentally, he inherited from his mentor British audio designer Thorsten Loesch ). It was my first initiation into the T DC ‘club’.

    They say a picture paints a thousand words and the look on my face just says it all. I should add at this point that the only ‘substances’ in my body, at the time the photo was taken, was copious amounts of Antonio’s excellent Italian coffee. (Italians are very serious about their coffee – and think that no-one else can make it properly!)

    Antonio told me a funny story that day: When he took the speakers home from Thorsten’s on the first day, his wife – when she saw them – curled up onto the couch in a foetal position and wouldn’t speak to him for 2 days afterwards! … LOL … Actually, she had a point: Those DIY speakers were massive corner units, so ugly, that only a mother could love them {and Antonio, and me..}.

    The child in the picture is Antonio’s youngest son, who is ‘DJ-ing’ with the CDs.

    The addendum to this story is, that afternoon COMPLETELY changed my life.

    I remember skipping down the road afterwards almost clicking my heels like Fred Astair or Gene Kelly in Singing in the Rain – still buzzing from the sound I’d heard from those big monsters. Within a year I had packed in my job and started to get involved in manufacturing/ distributing audio gear.

    Jeff will report on how far the journey, started that afternoon, has taken me in a forthcoming review.

    • Hi Malcolm,

      The comment feature of WordPress, as far as I know, does not allow the posting of photos, so folks reading this comment will just have to trust that Malcolm’s photo reveals a ‘Whoa!’ look on his face that was the result of listening to the vintage 15″ Tannoy Monitor Red DIY speakers with his DIY chip amp. I know that look well – I call it the Tannoy 15-inch look – as I see it every time someone new listens to my Westminsters. ;-)

      Also, for full clarification, those reading this comment may be wondering what Malcolm is referring to where he mentions a “forthcoming review.” Malcolm contacted me today about reviewing a high-performance, hand-crafted, exotic, integrated amplifier called the Gramophone (www.gramofone.co.uk) for Positive Feedback Online, which I have agreed to do.

      Malcolm works for a company called Tone Distribution (Europe) S.a.r.l, and they are currently trying to get word out about the new Gramophone integrated amplifier. The Gramophone piqued my curiosity, and its appearance reminded me of some of the vintage table radios enjoyed so much by my Grandfather early in the last century (a couple of which I still have), so it gave me a warm fuzzy positive impression.

      Those of you who visit my site know that Jeff’s Place is purely my personal blog, an enthusiast site where I prattle on about things that interest me in oddio, musico, and foto. It is not a commercial blog, and I have zero advertising here by choice, which makes me beholden to no one in my writing, and is my version of the separation of church & state. For those manufacturers reading this, if you desire advertising you are best served by contacting those cool guys over at Positive Feedback Online, Dave Clark & David Robinson, where your precious advertising dollars will be put to the best use in reaching the largest number of readers.

      Malcolm, I can tell you are clearly excited about the performance of the Gramophone, which of course intrigues me, but for the full scoop on the Gramophone everyone will have to wait for the article to appear in Positive Feedback Online, about 90 days after I receive the Gramophone. I do like to let people know what I’m up to, so you can expect to see some preliminary impressions of the Gramophone (with photos) after it arrives here at Jeff’s Place for the PFO article, and at that time I’ll also include Malcolm’s aforementioned photo with the ‘Tannoy 15-inch look’.

      Thanks for stopping by! :-)

      Kind regards,

      Jeff

      • Thanks Jeff for explaining things to readers, pity they couldn’t see my facial expression in the photo I sent.

        “Whoa?” … might be the reaction for a lot of people, but for me my first taste of 15″ Tannoy Dual Concentrics in large cabinets left me somewhere between a blissed-out Indian yogi and a grinning Cheshire cat that just ate the clotted cream! …

        BRs

        malcolm

  8. I heard the Tannoy Westminsters at a local dealer in Glasgow Scotland http://www.music-room.com/ with an Esoteric front end and Esoteric Valve amplifiers with a Brinkman LaGrange turntable. It was awsome, not the ultra detail hifi sound but pure unadulterated music flowing into the room. Out of my budget though!!!

  9. Jeff, those Westminsters look amazing!
    Out of curiosity, how did you position them in your room? I see that they are close to front wall, but how wide apart are they and how far do you sit?

    • Howdy AV,

      The Westminsters are 50 inches out from the wall behind them (measured from the front of the speaker), they are 7 feet 6 inches apart (center to center), and the listening position is about 12 feet back from the speakers.

      Best,

      Jeff

  10. Hi Jeff,

    Thought I’ll give an update on my fine tuning effort for my Westminsters. I tried many different speakers positions, toe in etc but I could not get the same bass might as my JBL 4350A in the same room. I could feel the floor vibrations indicating the presence of really low bass, but I just could not hear it like I do with the JBLs. I went on to experiment with the ENERGY and ROLL OFF adjustments. I suspected that since our hearing is more sensitive to HF, the HF level may be too prominent thereby masking the bass. After some experimentation, I discovered that the ENERGY sounds optimal at LEVEL. Any changes for ENERGY changes the sound quite significantly and should be attempted with careful listening. I then experimented with the ROLL OFF one notch down. I was amazed how this allows the bass to come forward in the mix. I was surprised the ROLL OFF has such an effect on the balance of the overall sound. When I examine the manual, I noted that the roll off starts at 5 khz which is rather low i.e. the ROLL OFF controls quite a substantial amount of HF energy too. At this setting, it allows me to really shake the house with my Mac MC2600 without too much HF getting in the way. Would like to hear others that experimented with the LEVEL adjustments.

    David

    • Hi David,

      I too have been experimenting with speaker positioning, toe-in, and the roll-off & energy controls. I suspect that there will not be one optimum setting or position that will work well for everyone, as all of those factors will be highly dependent upon the listening room’s size & acoustics (and the associated equipment).

      After some experimentation, I eventually went back to flat settings for both adjustments, which seemed to work the best for my particular room & Hi-Fi gear.

      However, after reading your message I can see that I should do the same thing again, and this time write down all the results, and then post them to give other Westminster owners and idea of what to expect when using the controls.

      Thanks for your terrific post!

      Best,

      Jeff

  11. Jeff,
    Here in the east the die hard audiophile have always resorted to Tannoys, JBL, Altec and the other similar offerings. Even after reading your fantastic review I wondered if there were any other reviews out there extolling the virtues of these units and found very few. Much earlier Harvey “Gizmo” Rosenburg had waxed lyricals on these babies and had attained nirvana before he passed away. I am sure and glad that people will forget Tannoy very soon and leave this to true discerning ones to partake in the sonic bliss.
    I am in the process of aquiring one myself. It is beoming very difficult to ignore them any more.

    • Hi Karma,

      I know exactly what you mean, once having heard the big Tannoys, JBLs, and Altecs, it’s pretty hard to adjust back to anything else. Tannoys are almost unknown where I live, even though they are the longest established loudspeaker company on planet earth.

      I suppose the big Westminsters are not for everyone, as they seem to work best when you sit a ways away from them and play them at natural volumes (i.e. kind of live music-like loud). I have a dear friend who has a hearing disability who can only listen to music at very soft levels, and as a result he has never really been able to hear what the Tannoy’s can do, as you can’t know what they’re about unless played fairly loud when they transform into something altogether different than when played at background levels. Definitely not the speaker for those who are limited to low-level late night listening in small spaces so as not to disturb the family. When played within their design envelope that are truly other-worldly!

      Kind regards,

      Jeff

      • Thanks Jeff for your comments.
        I am inclined at this time towards the canterbury. I will definitely try the westminster also, keeping in mind your warnings; I would also cherish the joy of sharing the tannoy sound with my neighbors. Possibly late at night :)

        • A man after my own heart! ;-)

        • Karma.I’v had TC HE and now playing Tannoy W.Royal(original) and found huge improvment which I did not expect.Soundstage was a lot bigger,everything hihgs,mids and bass was a lot better.Bass was not as huge as TC but is more articulate,a lot more developed and i can hear exactly what instrument produced this bass.First I thought there is a lot less bass then what I was used to with TC,it may be true with TW Royal,maybee TWR SE are diffrent.The main diffrence,Tc shaked the house with bass,TW Royal shakes the house with music and bass is not missing!!!!

  12. Hi Jeff
    Your article on Westminster partly inspired me to search for plans on the internet to build my own(as I couldn’t afford to buy same)

    Have now started building a pair from plans posted on the net in Serbia.

    I am very much enjoying your coments.
    Regards Dave

    • Hi Dave,

      Good on ya’ man! Let me know how it turns out.

      My old friend – Terry Cain (now deceased) – of Cain & Cain loudspeakers fame, had a big blow-up of the Westminster plans in his workshop. He told me that he had often thought about building a pair, but after looking at the plans he decided it was just too much work, almost like building two large China cabinets.

      I wish ol’ Terry would have got a chance to listen to my Westminster Royal SEs, I think he would have loved them. I’ll also bet he would have wanted to modify them to kingdom come to suit his tastes!

      Kind regards,

      Jeff

  13. Hi Jeff
    Nice to hear from you. I decided my old Arden Monitors(hand built in 1974) could use a rebuild……..I strengthened the cabinets and redid the xovers, new dampening and sealed them again.
    After hearing the amazing “new sound” and upon reading your review. I decided to renew efforts to find some plans.
    Here..http://www.diyaudio.rs/topic/2723-diy-tannoy-westminster-royal/page__p__54067#entry54067
    I am not sure how close to the original these plans are………a little disconcerting, however I am in for the ride now. It’s too late.

  14. Hi Jeff
    I noticed in one of your threads you were showing some friends the internal build of your Westminsters….at least it looked like you were.
    Do you have perchance any photos of the internals.
    Kind Regards Dave

  15. Jeff
    Have you read this, if not I suggest you do.
    http://www.meta-gizmo.net/tri/tannoymanianew.html
    Dave

  16. Dear Jeff:

    It’s been over a year since you had the pleasure of “creating live like music” out of your amazing Weestminster Royal SE.

    I happened to come across your review in July this year and was simply awed by it. Having said that, my pair of WRSE should arrive in about two weeks. Like you I also have the Harbeth 40s listening to it close field, 5ft to 6ft placed in fromt of my desk and I am keeping it there, The WRSE will be placed about 15 feet away closer to the walls. The live size instruments, dynamic imoact and visceral sound field is what got me hooked to your Tannoys. Thank you indeed for your clear and wonderful write up of the WRSE. No need to audition. I had originally planned to purchase the Magico Q3 (due to JVs review of the Q5 using TB electronics) but after reading your review I am absolutely sure that the Q3s (no matter what is driving it) won’t project the sound field the way WSE will. Here’s the other article that finally convinced me to purchase the WRSE – ears unheard.

    http://www.hilberink.nl/codehans/tannoy117.htm

    Whoever the author NK is, he wrote this fabulous artcile on the orginal Royal (not the SE) when he visted the Tannoy factory with then his deputy editor of Hi-Fi World, Alan Sircom who is now the editor of Hi Fi+.

    Jeff, if I may bother you with a placement question – its effect on the LF response. It seems that the WRSE LF response is dependent on the placement – closer to the walls in order to elevate the lower bass registers. I can’t imagine at 1 watt input one will get 99db at 30Hz unless the folded horn is somehow coupled to the room. The LF response is specified as 18 Hz at -6db. I wonder how Tannoy measured the FR. Surely not in an anechoic chamber, like the Harbeths, or are they? There’s a link (below) to, I think a German magazine, Stereoplay’s review of the WRSE. If you turn to page 4 you will see the FR and impedence measurement of the WRSE at I assume 3m. The -3db point is a high 57Hz and drops rapidly. Again we don’t know where and how the author was measuring the FR.

    http://www.hilberink.nl/tannoy/tannoystp0707.pdf

    I don’t really pay attention to measurements. The key is simply how it sounds reproducing music and how we are drawn into it as if it is softly or loudly live like. Thank you again for discovering for all of us a hidden gem of a speaker.

    Best regards,

    Peter

    • Hi Peter,

      Congratulations on getting a pair of Westminster Royal SEs for yourself! There is no other loudspeaker I have listened to that comes close to the sheer musical emotional intensity the WRSE is capable of, and I consider it the single best purchase I have ever made in my Hi-Fi pursuits. I suspect that you will be very, very, pleased with your WRSE.

      I have my Westminsters placed 8 feet apart, center-to-center. I have the speakers toed in a couple of degrees towards the listening position. The front of the cabinet is 51-inches from the wall behind it, leaving about 29-inches between the rear of the speaker and the wall. From the outside edges of the speaker to the sidewall is about 55-inches. The listening position is about 15 feet from the speaker measured on the diagonal from the front of the speaker, and there is about 12-feet of space from the listening position to the wall behind the listening position. The levels on the speaker are all set to ‘level’.

      Thanks so much for your comment and the interesting links. I really enjoyed reading Tannoy and the Royals, I would love to have been on that visit to the factory! I absolutely love Noel’s description of listening to the Westminsters: “The Westminsters are an acoustic volcano: they produce a fierce eruption of sound then fall ominously silent. This is a feat that only a big horn can achieve. It couples with the air of the room so well, so completely, that the air moves around you. You are enveloped by the sound and shaken by it. The experience is a strange one, unlike anything achieved by other loudspeakers – even big ones … the Royal remains an obscure rarity in the UK, which is a pity. Few people will ever experience the sense of awe it can produce.”

      It is so true what Noel has said in his article. Listening to the Westminster is like experiencing a force of nature, like being out in the blowing wind of a thunder and lightening storm, where all your senses become super-charged and your heart pounds from the intensity of it all.

      I would tend to trust Tannoy’s rating for the bass. What the German magazine has said doesn’t seem quite right to me, and doesn’t match what I experience in my room. Puzzling.

      Enjoy your new Westminster Royal SEs and be sure to report back!

      Kind regards,

      Jeff

  17. Dear Jeff:

    Thank you so much for your quick reply. I will of-course report back once I have connected and fired up the music pressure wave generator – the “acoustic volcano”. NK is one heck of a fabulous writer. You know him as Noel but where is he now? I wonder how many of “us” you have converted to the WRSE. Between the both of you writers it’s almost impossible not to be convinced that the WRSE is the ultimate speaker.

    I was half way writing to you when I accidentily clicked on another URL. Returning back to this page, what I wrote was lost.

    I will keep close to your placement description. Only thing is I don’t have your 55″ from the side walls. maybe 18″ at most. The back wall is about 20 feet away from the listening position. I hope this placement provides a superb musical sound field.

    The upchain amplification link is a hybrid of a ss pre-amp (Krell KRC HR which will be replaced shortly) and tube power amps (CJ Premier 8XS – EL34s in triode) together with a soon to arrive McIntosh 2301) cabled (power, interconnect and speaker) with MIT Magnum MAs and Oracle MA-Xs. One amp will drive the WRSE, the other the Harbeth. Both driven from a single pre-amp. I can only listen to one pair of speakers at a time being in the same room – the pleasant one or the “volcanic” version. I will probably need your advise on these upchain links once the WRSE has settled here.

    Once again many thanks for your insights.

    With best regards,

    Peter

    • Hi Peter,

      I just picked up NK’s first name as ‘Noel’ from the other writer in the article, but other than that I don’t know anything about him. He sure is a great writer, I’d enjoy seeing more from him!

      There’s nothing magical about my room’s size, and more often than not it’s a pain in the behind for audio because it’s so irregular and has a cathedral-style ceiling, which complicates everything during setup. I suspect your room will be wonderful, and you may very well get better results in it than I do in mine. Which brings up a point about the Westminsters: they have been the easiest speaker to integrate into my room and to get sounding good of any speaker that I’ve had here. I think its because of what NK points out in his article – the Westminsters couple to the room differently than just about anything else, and by doing that they seem to be easier to set up and optimize.

      Equipment-wise, my thoughts continue to evolve as I try different gear in the system. You can read a little more about my thoughts lately in this post and this post.

      So far my experience has been that to get the best out of my West’s that a vinyl front end with an EMT TSD 15 phono cartridge, Sablon Audio Panatela interconnects, vacuum tube amplification everywhere (with 300B mono amplifiers), and Auditorium 23 speaker cables is pretty hard to beat. But time will tell as I do more experimenting.

      Kind regards,

      Jeff

  18. Dear Jeff:

    I was hoping you knew NK (Noel) for the same reason – to enjoy reading more of his passionate and very well articulated audio articles. The other writer you were referring to is Alan Sircom, the editor of Hi-FI+. Perhaps as the contempary audio reviewer you should drop Alan Sircom an email to find out the whereabouts of NK. See if he still fully recollects the visceral realism he experienced 20 years ago with NK.

    Out of convenience and having to raise a family or laziness (your take) I dropped out of vinyl over a decade ago and stuck with CDs played through an Accuphase transport and separate DAC. Close to vinyl but not quite there in the air around instruments and stage venue. Recently becoming even lazier, I chose to rip all the CDs I had into SSD via J Rivers Media with some guidlence provided by Computer Audiophile.

    The Accuphase is now hardly used and the bit/byte chore to analgue taken over by a Weiss DAC 202 and an Ayre QB9. One of your other reviewers in PF has a Playback Design DAC. I was wondering how he liked his PD DAC versus vinyl. I was looking at adding the PD to the DAC chore. Depending on the recording (and type of music) each DAC presents a slightly different “canvas” to the musicality. Listening mainly to Jazz and R&B, I tend to switch DACs (easily done within windows sound manager or J Rivers Pref) to provide a musical canvas that I think better portrays realism. Its a merry-go-round again and I thought I had stepped out of it a decade ago.

    I can’t switch back to vinyl but I will audition the cables you highly recommended in PF. Since they provide a 30 day money back trial there is I hope the better cable than MIT or Transparent which are IMO quite ridiclously priced. Coming out of Nordost to Cardas and to MIT I am hoping to find a cable system that will convey the best of the three for the system I have – at a reasonable price. Speed (dynamics), bass grip/slam, the right timberal balance w/o sounding too bloomy or bright and with “air” around the instruments and stage. Then you still have power conditioners to decide, not to mention dedicated electrical circuits. So far the SR V Ray II fronted by the enormous transformer of Silver Circle Audio 5.0 was the best combination.

    After possibly adding the PD and updating the pre-amp, I am done going this second merry-go-round.

    Best,

    Peter

  19. Dear Jeff:

    I tried to provide an update after receiving the WRse but the page keeps on timing out and I lost the eritten content.
    Its just as you wrote in your review. Thanks for steering me to this amazing horn.

    Cheers,

    Peter

    • Hi Peter,

      Congrats on the new Westminsters! :-)

      They truly are a milestone in loudspeaker design, and for what I value in musical reproduction nothing else even comes close.

      Let me know your thoughts as you get more time in on them. Not sure why the web page was acting up, I’ll investigate.

      Kind regards,

      Jeff

      Le

  20. Hi Jeff:
    My Westminister royals keep striding along especially the bass. I’ve upgraded and supercharged my Linn sondek LP 12. Also, I have Nordost power cables with the Nordost Mains Purifier Qx4. Thanks again for giving me the needed push to the ultimate.

    Frank

  21. NK is Noel Keywood, who started Hi Fi World in London. He wrote two excellent reviews of the Tannoy Westminster Royal and the Yorkminster, in the April 2006 issue. The articles inspired me to seriously progress beyond my 12″ Monitor Golds in 3cf cabinets, and today I own Canterbury SE’s! Your writings have also helped, Jeff, thank you.

    • Hi Doug,

      Thanks for the tip on Noel Keywood. I really enjoyed his Westminster article, it was a fun read. Cool on the Canterbury SE’s!

      Best,

      Jeff

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