Jan 092014

Here’s a real treat: a video of Dr. Paul Mills talking about ‘The History of Tannoy and the new ‘Prestige Gold Reference”.

Screen Shot 2014-01-09 at 6.57.13 PM

Watch the video HERE.


 Posted by at 6:59 pm

  12 Responses to “Dr. Paul Mills on ‘The History of Tannoy and the New ‘Prestige Gold Reference””

  1. Watching the video,I do not quiet understand what are sonically the differences, if any, between the SE and GR version of the Westminster Royal. Is it only a facelift of the SE model??

    • That’s a good question, Pambos, I’ve been wondering the same thing. Aside from the video, what I heard is they designed a new Dual Concentric driver for the WRGF using the same technology used for the Kingdom Royal, which is supposed to pay tribute to the revered Monitor Gold of olde. In the video my take on what Paul said was that they designed a new driver (new tweeter unit, new fabric in the LF cone), modified the bass horn to improve its performance, and updated the cosmetics to pay tribute to the Monitor Gold legend. Paul seemed to be emphasizing greater transparency, more detail recovery, and more resolved bass presentation. I forget where, but somewhere else I heard the the WRGF has a smoother & richer HF presentation. The description of the crossover seemed to be similar as the WRSE but with more emphasis on cryo treatment. In other words, the Golden Ref seems to be an evolutionary change rather than a revolutionary change. Cheers, Jeff

  2. Hi Jeff
    Found this on you tube though you might want to have a look , a bit long but a good insight on formats http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNmBrQanwFc . Like to know what you think ?

    cheers Lance

    • Hi Lance,

      Many thanks for providing the link for this! I’m watching it right now and it is a fascinating discussion!

      More to come after I’ve watched the whole video.

      Ok, I just finished the video by Mark Waldrep – very interesting. Mark really knows his stuff, that’s for sure.

      What does it mean for the music lover and Hi-Fi enthusiast? Well, I think Mark said it himself: “If it makes music for you it’s the right way.”

      I’m pretty open to music formats. For now, my favorite formats are vinyl records (analog tape machines sound great too), followed by FM, followed by streaming digital like I hear from NWPRs new jazz station. All of those formats have problems (and some significant ones at that), but they unfailingly communicate the music to me in a way that makes listening a rich experience.

      One day I hope the recording industry can close in on a format and style of recording that puts us closer to live music, but until then I’ll just keep listening to the sources I have now, and enjoying every minute of it!

      While the music format matters a lot, I hear a much more meaningful difference in having a good set of speakers, or good amplification, or Duelund silver CAST capacitors (!) than I do between different formats. I suspect that the existing formats have much more to offer than most people ever hear from them.

      A Facebook friend – I think it was Steve Guttenberg – said that he experimented with playing back low-rez files through a large theatre horn system (not in the home, but in the theatre), and that it sounded really, really, good – much better than he would have expected. I’m not sure what the message is there, but I can tell you that streaming low-fi jazz over my Duelund-WRSEs makes for an engaging presentation, more so that 99% of the Hi-Fi rigs I’ve heard. That’s not a dig at anyone’s system at all, I just think that the musical result is much more than just the format.

      Does that make sense?

      Kind regards,


  3. Very interesting discussion indeed!

    I’ve been listening mainly to vinyl lately. Despite all its flaws, it still gives my ears the most naturally engaging music experience, never matched up by digital. I have been waiting for the day the high resolution formats catch up, of course when the original masters do them justice.

    But recently I was very surprised by listening the good ol’ red book CDs through the Audio Note level 5 DAC+Transport. I have never hear anything as natural. I never thought this was possible with red book format, it was a game changer to me, having listended to dCS Vivaldi in two different setups already.

    I have no stake in AN, this is just an opinion I’d like to share.

    All the best,


  4. I can verify Alberto’s statement above. When it happened and I listened to DAC5 + CDT6 Transport by Audionote UK I was shocked. But I was also shocked when I asked the price…

  5. Hi Pambos

    I had the chance to have a close look at the new Westminster GR at the Bristol Show at close qurters. Sadly Tannoy were not demonstrating the WR at the show but the Kensingtons which they were playing sounded was very disappointing. The set up was very poor indeed. I know the speakers are light years better than they sounded at the show. If Tannoy are not prepared to put the effort into providing a good listening experience for prospective customers it might be better if they left it to their dealerships. They did a similar thing at Whittlebury with the Kingdom Royals a few years back – they sounded very poor indeed and the only people who did not seen to appreciate this were the guys doing the demo who thought it was great.

    There were a couple of changes which I saw which resulted directly from a meeting I had with Dr Paul Mills and Andrsej Sosna a the same show in 2012 when I berated them face to face about the appalling quality of the internal connectors and binding posts. The Molex washing machine connector of which I was particularly critical has now gone (and not a moment before time!) and they now fit better quality WBT (but still not top quality) binding posts. Though I could not verify it, I think the internal push-on automotive connectors have now gone. The cabinet support system as far as I could see remained unchanged so there is still something for them to go for in the future.

    The cosmetic changes were very impressive and the cabinets looked lovely, as they should at £28,000.

    If customers keep nagging them eventually we might turn them into committed audiophiles who take their customers seriously.


  6. I have said that several times before.

    Loudspeaker manufacturing companies have the same goal like any other company. To make profits. To give dividends to the shareholders. So I am not surprised at all.

    I am sure Dr Paul Mills would like to do better but he is only an employee who has to corporate with the company on the main target.

    Unfortunately buyers are buying products today for the outside look than for the inside value. Companies know this and pay more attention on that than on the substance….

  7. Hi Jeff. Really enjoying read your blog. Thank you for share. Just wondering if you have a chance to hear the Westminster GR yet.
    I’m thinking to purchase one and I would appreciate your input. If now would you shoot me an email ? Thanks,

    • Thanks for the kind words – appreciated. I haven’t had a chance to listen to the Westminster Royal GR yet, so I don’t really have an opinion about it, although the new cosmetics looks really nice in the photos I’ve seen. The new driver is supposed to be considerably different than those in the WRSE, and Paul Mills at Tannoy tells me the crossovers are an all new design as well.

      Thanks for stopping by!


  8. Hi all at Jeff’s place.

    I have through the years moved through Michell Gyro to full Orbe and SME309 and koetsu black, humble Sugden A21a, and seperate transformer phono (sadly not valve), and Tannoy Cheviots via big Ns1000,s, Spendor, Celestion 66s and wierd modular early Nightingales etc.

    Mixing similar vintage amps and speakers, and some attention to the mains (kimber powerkords, star grounding) and avoiding metal&glass racks produce fairly coherent sounds, especially Tannoy DCs.

    Everything from early Django Rheinhart John Lee Hooker to acoustic Led Zep’ to Kraftwerk to Alison Krauss etc.

    Now prefer my Turnberry GR with 10″ to larger drier sounding 15″ driver but you get nowhere/conflicting advice on coherent cable loom unless going Nordost, kondo mortgage money. Tannoy merely recommended sometime back their van den hul made cable which homogonises sound, Townshend isolda seemed good but prices shot up and especially for a sme tonearm cable £800!

    You guys have Graham and kimber at less cost, and my current kimber 8tc capable of ‘frying’ my Sugden through excessive capacitance delivery according to one Tannoy builder/engineer.

    Dealers recommend what they stock here in ‘blighty’. Wouldn’t mind the ‘Oyaide’ jumpers that Tannoy supply for ‘premium’ Prestige if I could get entry level matching 2.5m speaker runs with dct treated possibly and analogue phono leads. You would easily explain pros of a Benz or Lyra if advising on cartridge flavour.

    Any thoughts to long background question. Did Dr Paul Mills have links to LFD cables.

    Regards David.

    • Hi David,

      I’m not sure I follow your comment completely, but it sounds like you’re asking about a good set of matching cables for an affordable price. Is that correct?

      If so, with my Tannoy’s I’ve have exceptionally good results from the Duelund DCA series of cables, and they are very affordable.

      You can read more about them here.

      I hope that helps.



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