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Tannoy PA
Old 3rd November 2019
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Tannoy PA

Hi there, this is my first post, I finally registered because I have a problem I can't find a solution for.

I'm looking for a mobile PA system that will allow me to reinforce some small-to-medium-scale music events (mostly guitars and voice plus some analogue synth maybe, plus announcements of course, and recorded music). I'm not a professional and therefore wouldn't like to spend much, and used gear is fine as well. I have everything I need up to the main mixer which gives me balanced output on many channels. So I need speaker(s) and some power amp(s).

Recently I tested a 10" two-way powered PA speaker that I could easily afford (in fact, it was a Behringer B210D, nothing special, but not no-name either), and decided that using this speaker would be an insult to my audience. The small stereo Hifi speakers I have sitting on the shelf at home do a much better job in every respect. What struck me most is that the PA speaker starts creating horrible distorted mushiness in the bass at volume levels easily handled without any loss of clarity by my Hifi system (whose power amplifier is rated something like 45W per channel only). Maybe the PA is just a bad unit, but my memory of PA systems at parties and other events in the past tells me that this is in general how cheap PA systems tend to behave.

So the question is: is it worth spending some more money (<$1000) and going JBL/EV/RCF/etc. instead of trying to spend <$200 on a speaker? Would a PA speaker costing 4-5 times the price of the Behringer behave significantly better?

Then I read about Tannoy and how they blow every other brand out of the water with their PA speakers (I also remember a technical discussion on this related to the tweeter horn's geometry). Looking around, I find that I can get (with luck) concentric speakers second-hand for a fair-looking price, anywhere between 6" and 12". I imagine a single 12" (or maybe two) units (V12 or VX12) in my set-up and like the idea, or even just a single 8" for a start. Problem number one is finding them, problem number two is powering them, as they are all passive speakers, whereas everything else I looked at was powered.

So, if I find a Tannoy or two for a fair price, can I really expect a much better audio experience than that Behringer or the standard EV/JBL/Yamaha/Mackie/etc.? Is there anything I have to watch out for, specific weak points, tell-tale damage pointing to some more serious issues the seller doesn't even know about?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2
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Bstapper's Avatar
 

I have a pair of powered Tannoy VXP12 concentric speakers for my portable rig and love them. However they were leftover installed product and I got a deal on them - no way could I have afforded them otherwise. While they are excellent speakers, it is perhaps difficult to justify them based on the cost of the competition these days. Note that several of the Tannoy products are intended for the install market so products such as the VXP require an additional pole mount attachment that retrofits in order to use them for portable pole-mount duties.

Word was just passed down that due to tariffs if you are in the US pricing for Tannoy and Turbosound is about to increase a bit. Just FYI. November 11th being the date new pricing will be officially released. I don't doubt other MusicTribe products will follow but no official word on other brands as of yet.

If you can spare the money for the Tannoy then they are reliable and robust in power to size and perform very well. And, as if you said, you can locate them on the used market there isn't a lot of knowledge about them so you can find some decommissioned installed product for a good deal if you are willing to take the time and energy to dig some up.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #3
Here for the gear
 

Thanks a lot, in fact I pulled the trigger on a second-hand (ex-installation) VX12 last night. That was after another A-B comparison between my home Hifi system and the Behringer B210D (which, from the reviews I read and heard, is pretty much representative of that class of PA system, it seems it won't get significantly better until you start spending >$1000 per speaker). I won't go into details, but my little Hifi speakers (half the size of the B210D, maybe 6") completely destroyed the B210D, especially in the bass and sub-bass department where you expect it least. Maybe the B210D will play at higher volume than my Hifi before damage occurs, but your ears don't want to be anywhere near them when they do.

I'm planning to modify the VX12 and install a plate amp. Sadly, those are quite expensive as well, and even so, the less-expensive ones don't look very solid. So, overall, my expense would be around $500 for a modified powered VX12.

I might have a chance of buying another of those VX12 from the same installation in the future. Do you think it's worth having two, or will one do for most rooms as well?

BTW, this is a VX12 "made in the UK", I believe the more recent VXP12s are "made in China".
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hcn View Post
BTW, this is a VX12 "made in the UK", I believe the more recent VXP12s are "made in China".
If they're built to the same spec, so what? The UK certainly has no monopoly on build quality!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #5
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Bstapper's Avatar
 

Worth having two.

It wouldn't make sense for the Chinese tariffs to impact goods not made in China. ;~)

On those particular speakers I believe retail is increasing 15% here in a week or so for the US market.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #6
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlecSp View Post
If they're built to the same spec, so what? The UK certainly has no monopoly on build quality!
Nothing to do with China per se, but I keep reading that current Tannoy products tend to be not quite as good as older ones. And, by coincidence, the older ones were made in the UK.

From my own experience, I own two NAD Hifi tuners, the newer one being easily recognized by the "made in China" label, having more functions but clearly the inferior build quality. (I still use the Chinese one though because I can remote-control it.)
Old 4 weeks ago
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bstapper View Post
Worth having two.

It wouldn't make sense for the Chinese tariffs to impact goods not made in China. ;~)

On those particular speakers I believe retail is increasing 15% here in a week or so for the US market.
Thanks, I'll try and grab the other one, too!

I don't live in the US. I also didn't react to your 15% figure because I believe the VX(P) series is no longer made, so it should be quite hard to find them new, therefore the 15% don't apply, or do they?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #8
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Bstapper's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hcn View Post
Thanks, I'll try and grab the other one, too!

I don't live in the US. I also didn't react to your 15% figure because I believe the VX(P) series is no longer made, so it should be quite hard to find them new, therefore the 15% don't apply, or do they?
The price increases are not uniform across the product line. The latest retail pricing (soon to be released) definitely shows them as a current product. Most retailers are offering the product as a special order. So while it may not be as common in the MI market versus the commercial install market I would say they are definitely still being manufactured.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #9
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Answering my own original question: yes, the VX12 is totally above and beyond anything PA I've known. I have only one right now, but even that was enough to convince me that, for me, this is the way to go. Maybe some "standard" PA systems can create higher SPL than the V12, but in every other respect, the Tannoy is the clear winner.

In short, the VX12 sounds very similar to my Hifi speakers, and that's true for a very wide range of directions. Whereas PA systems are strongly directional, you have to really hide behind the Tannoy in order to experience significant changes in tone.

Now I just have to work out how to drive this thing. I thought of a plate amp, but those are big and expensive, and I'm not sure I want to cut up that nice plywood in order to fit it. A rack-mountable 2-channel 400W amplifier would be cheaper and easier, but would introduce special cabling I'd have to buy and carry around with me (short XLR from mixer to amp, Speakons from amp to speakers). Haven't decided yet.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #10
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Bstapper's Avatar
 

Mounting amps in the speakers is a horrible idea for a lot of reasons.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #11
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Pro Sound Guy's Avatar
 

EAW has a new RS line for around 1k for a 12" two way.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bstapper View Post
Mounting amps in the speakers is a horrible idea for a lot of reasons.
The more I think about it, the more I agree.
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