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Tannoy Reveal 502 /802 vs JBL LSR305 /308 Studio Monitors
Old 11th March 2014
  #1
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Tannoy Reveal 502 /802 vs JBL LSR305 /308

Hi Gearslutz! I'm excited to join this community for the first time!

I wasn't sure if this should go in *Low-End Theory*, or if i should have asked inside another thread. But i wanted to specifically compare these 2 monitor ranges.


I was dead-set at first on getting the JBL (either LSR305 or 308). Then Tannoy released their new Reveal 502 /802. Professional reviews of the Tannoy are still mostly non-existent, but a few early user-reviews claim it is very good, some say even better than the JBLs (similar wide sweet-spot, smoother treble, at same price point).

My assumption is that Tannoy released these specifically to compete with the JBLs, the feature list is similar ("sweet-spot" marketing, etc).

I would like to hear the opinions of those who have compared these 2 ranges. What are the differences in sound? How is the bass on the Tannoys especially on the 5 incher when compared to the JBL? (The 49hz vs 43hz frequency response specs might not paint the whole picture)

I'd appreciate it if there are no "go listen for yourself" posts. Hard to audition these brands over here, I'm probably getting them through delivery.



A little about me: I'm upgrading from KRK Rokit 5 G2s (i didn't know any better, i thought monitors were *supposed* to sound bad so that you could hear all the ugliness in order to fix the mix...)

I usually mix in a small room (14'x10') but might shift to the hall (much bigger). Only minimal treatment (thick curtains, blankets) as I'm only a hobbyist singer-songwriter.


Thanks beforehand for your input!
Old 12th March 2014
  #2
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It's been a day, maybe this should go into "Low-End Theory"?

I've searched other threads and there's comparisons of the JBL's with the *older* Tannoy's (501a, 601a, etc). These new ones sound different, so a new comparison is needed...

Thanks beforehand for any replies!
Old 13th March 2014
  #3
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I can’t speak to the new Tannoy's but I do have the older Tannoy 501a's as well as the KRK Rokit 5's you are using now. The Tannoy's I have are brighter than the KRKs -- so I would guess the NEW Tannoys will be brighter (then the KRK's you are used to).

The 501a's are also not shielded while the KRK's are. Again, not sure if the new Tannoy's are shielded or not - or if that matters to you. But if it’s a consideration you might want to check the specs.
Old 19th March 2014
  #4
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Thanks for the reply DougS!

Generally it is accepted that KRK Rokits are not accurate or natural sounding. They have a V-shape frequency response, have over-hyped bass and scooped high-mids. With harsh treble.

From what i've been reading (on greatslutz & elsewhere), the JBL LSR305 & 308 are now the most *pleasant* sounding (while also being accurate) in this price range.

JBL LSR 3 Series Active Studio Monitors - A Review and Comparison / Sonic Sense Pro Audio Blog

Now the new Tannoy 502 & 802 are claiming that they have a similar wide sweet-spot & have improved their accuracy & low-end. I need to know how both of these compare before making a decision.

I can't test them currently, & there are still no comprehensive reviews on the new Tannoys.
Old 19th March 2014
  #5
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Psysword's Avatar
 

tannoy 502

Well happy people, I have recently bought the Tannoy 502s from guitar center and let me tell you they are the best. An unqualified yes. They meet all and above expectations. I have only had audiophile equipment before this so I'm not very good, but note that I'm into making music, I'm going with the Tannoy Reveal 502. The frequencies are beautiful, from low to high, just perfect and honest. The Rokit 5 inches are terrible. That was the competitor and the tannoy smoked it out. So it's a no brainer. On the whole you can't go wrong with them.
Old 19th March 2014
  #6
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Thanks for that awesome recommendation! Sounds like a true budget winner!

Have u heard the JBL LSR305 though? Coz just a few months ago they had this similar glowing praise on Gears & elsewhere. Same price point. How do they compare?
Old 19th March 2014
  #7
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Brian R's Avatar
 

I bought the Tannoy 802's, and loved the sound & the look. But they HISSED. Way too much electrical hiss, and it wasn't ground-loop related.

Took them back, got the JBL LSR3's and they sounded even better.

And that's saying a lot because I loved the way the Tannoys sounded in my (highly treated, I might add) room.

The JBL LSR 8"s are Glorious. Not as cool looking in my personal taste, but who cares. It's about the sound. And in reality, they actually look more professional by not being so colorful. (Even the wife agreed).
Old 20th March 2014
  #8
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Wow, that's great input thanks!

Yeah i've read elsewhere that the new Tannoys sometimes have noise that can't be gotten rid of. They assumed it was caused by cheap components in the amplifier.

The JBL on the other hand, some people noticed noise too, but much fainter & only when very near to the speakers.

Yeah i wish the JBLs had a nicer design, but the specialized waveguide does give a sophisticated look!
Old 20th March 2014
  #9
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A buddy of mine got the JBL LSR308's and I got a chance to listen to them last week. I mainly use 1031's. No experience with the Tannoy model you mention. The JBL's look cheap, are very light in weight and are so inexpensive that I was not expecting much. Have to admit they sounded pretty good with very good imaging. Certainly very much worth the asking price.
Old 21st March 2014
  #10
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As an owner of the Reveal 502, my suggestion is to save up for a better set of monitors.

For the price though, I prefer the 502. The 502s do all have considerable self-noise though, and don't have as many frequency attenuation options.
Old 21st March 2014
  #11
Gear Nut
 

I like LSRs more than Tannoys. Im not a fan of super bright sounding monitors.
Even though it looks cheaply built, LSRs are great for the money.
Old 21st March 2014
  #12
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MisterFeather's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hawon View Post
I like LSRs more than Tannoys. Im not a fan of super bright sounding monitors.
Even though it looks cheaply built, LSRs are great for the money.
Well the 502 isn't overly bright to be fair. It's slightly more bright than the LSR305.

I found the 502 to have more clarity than the 305, but that's my experience.

Either way, both are cheap. Ultimately you get what you pay for, but the LSR305 and Reveal 502 are comparable in performance and price (LSR305 is going to be a little cheaper).
Old 21st March 2014
  #13
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May I suggest you stop using 5" monitors?

If you're having any issues being "underwhelmed" with the sounds try the 8's, a good interface, treated room, adjust EQ trim to appropriate levels and review it again.

Nothing "Cheap" about these 3 Series unless you compare it to Genelec-Level monitors, and if persons have the capital for that, then why even be discussing 5" versions of these in the 1st place.
Old 24th March 2014
  #14
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Thanks for all the comments! I'm seeing that the JBL's are slightly ahead in this matchup, but the Tannoy's are pretty good too for the price (albeit with higher self-noise).

Hmmm about the Tannoy's having more clarity, that's great! But I'm looking for a more balanced, natural, frequency response. So any comments on how the sub-bass of the Tannoy's perform?


I'm not comparing 5 inch to 8 inch, but rather the overall sound and quality of these 2 competing product ranges. Whether i get 5 inch or 8 inch depends on the pricing deals that i can get over here. Also getting a sub further in future can elevate the bottom-end weakness of the 5 inchers. Plus i have a small room :P

And yeah, there's nothing "cheap" about these monitors. I'm only an amateur hobby songwriter, for us this price range is the *only* one for consideration at this point. So we look for value, the best performance at this price.

Anyway thanks for all the replies!
Old 24th March 2014
  #15
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Posted by MisterFeather on the other thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by MisterFeather View Post
Hey there,

Just wanted to throw my two cents into the pot as a 502 owner.

I had a real tough time deciding between the LSR305 and the Reveal 502. I had bought into the hype of the 305 and was ready to just buy it blind, but I decided to take a trip to guitar center to give a listen and compare. As I had expected the 305 stomped on the KRK Rokits, HS50 (god I hate those speakers), M Audio BX-5, and the new Mackie 5 incher (though the mackie was a good runner up). But then I switched on the 502s which I had heard next to nothing about (there is still virtually no analysis on these monitors). My jaw dropped. I was using classical music, EDM, and good ol' elton john as test material and when the 502s kicked in the mix just opened wide. I felt like I could reach out and touch each instrument. I noticed that the 305s handled lower frequencies with considerably more accuracy, but, mid-low to high end frequencies just shined on the 502s.

After this experience I became deeply troubled. I had heard so many good things about the 305s. I had listened to the monitor shootout that Sonic Sense did more times than I could count. I was sure that the 305 had to be the better speaker and that the 502 simply "sounded nicer" as opposed to more accurate or revealing. So I did more research on the web, looked for professional reviews of the 502 (to no avail of course) and decided to go to a different guitar center to test the 305 vs the 502, because surely they must have ****ed up when they set up the 305s.

When I got to the other guitar center the same thing happened. The 502 just opened up the mix. So much depth in comparison. I couldn't believe it. So I decided to pull the trigger on the 502 and managed to get them at a phenomenal price (less then the 305s, have to thank the manager that I worked with at guitar center).

When I got home and set them up, I was very disappointed to find almost 0 frequency attenuation options. I am in a very untreated room and the monitors might as well be flush with the wall, so I was actually counting on having a -4db to -6db low cut. I flipped the switch to "boost high" and noticed a minimal difference, but, I'm still quite bass heavy. Then, I noticed a rather audible hiss from the tweeters on both monitors. I unplugged everything, checked to make sure that my audio cables weren't near power cables, even bought two separate power-conditioners (that I immediately returned) to no avail. The hiss is completely independent of clean power, and input. It is simply self-noise. I wrote a support ticket to Tannoy and received this reply:

"I can't say for certain if there is a way to reduce the amp noise on the speaker, nor if this is considered an issue at this point. I can also here a bit of noise from the speaker when I turn it on, but I need to be close to the speaker to here it. I cant say we have found this to be an issue at this point. There isn't much more I can offer with the speaker at this point besides returning them to guitar center if you are not satisfied with them."

I am now deeply confused and troubled. How can I be confident of my mix if there is high frequency "pollution"? How can these sound better and more revealing than the 305, but have such an inherent flaw? At this point I have decided to keep them with reservations. I got them for a steal, and they sound good. However this has simply taught me that there really isn't a low price monitor that can give high-end performance.

I'll be saving up for a pair of Focal CMS50s in the mean-time.

I can't say that I can suggest, or endorse, these monitors. But, you get comparable performance to the LSR305. I should add that I went to guitar center to test whether it was simply my pair, and the hiss exists on every single 502 I've heard. Also, the 305s have a hiss as well. A bit less audible, but, it is still there.

TL;DR:

The 502 and the 305 are pretty comparable, but, the 305 has more options for attenuation, and less self-noise. The 502 has more depth and clarity in the high-end, but has virtually no attenuation options, and has a lot of self-noise.

My suggestion:
Save up for a pair of quality monitors, unless you want to buy a pair of really big media speakers.

Thanks for those observations!
Old 3rd May 2014
  #16
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I read a lot of reviews about the JBL LSR305. Excited to get my new studio monitors, I went to my local store to try and buy the LSR305, thinking it were the best for the price. The seller told me they don't keep the LSR305/308 in inventory anymore because they didn't like them. He recommanded me the tannoy reveal 502. Surprised and doubtful, i went to another local store to compare the two models. Reveal 502 has a well balanced frequency response, better than LSR305. I was really disapointed how sound the LSR. Mids to high frequency aren't enough present. To me, guitars sound very thin through the LSR compared to Tannoy. I can't comment about the self-noise reported by lot of people on Reveal 502, I have not noticed this in the store. Unfortunately, the limited tweaking options of the Tannoy Reveal was an issue for me. So, i ended up buying a little more expensive Yamaha MSP5. It's all I need, flat soundind, great frequency response and a lot of tweaking options. Between the JBL LSR305 and Tannoy Reveal 502, no questions I take the Reveal because sounding is my priority. I just don't understand the craze for the LSR305. Jbl is good in high-end monitors, but not in the price range of a lot of people. For their entry-level monitors: make your own opinion. However, they are better than KRK Rockit.
Old 3rd May 2014
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rikmold View Post
I read a lot of reviews about the JBL LSR305. Excited to get my new studio monitors, I went to my local store to try and buy the LSR305, thinking it were the best for the price. The seller told me they don't keep the LSR305/308 in inventory anymore because they didn't like them. He recommanded me the tannoy reveal 502. Surprised and doubtful, i went to another local store to compare the two models. Reveal 502 has a well balanced frequency response, better than LSR305. I was really disapointed how sound the LSR. Mids to high frequency aren't enough present. To me, guitars sound very thin through the LSR compared to Tannoy. I can't comment about the self-noise reported by lot of people on Reveal 502, I have not noticed this in the store. Unfortunately, the limited tweaking options of the Tannoy Reveal was an issue for me. So, i ended up buying a little more expensive Yamaha MSP5. It's all I need, flat soundind, great frequency response and a lot of tweaking options. Between the JBL LSR305 and Tannoy Reveal 502, no questions I take the Reveal because sounding is my priority. I just don't understand the craze for the LSR305. Jbl is good in high-end monitors, but not in the price range of a lot of people. For their entry-level monitors: make your own opinion. However, they are better than KRK Rockit.
I think you are the first person in history that's dissapointed with the LSR's.
Fair enough
Old 21st June 2014
  #18
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It can be very sketchy,trying to offer the ideal recommendation to any particular individual....but here is my personal experience;

I had bought the Tannoy 502's and after the first 3 hours of auditioning them,I boxed them back up to ship them out for a refund.
No noticeable clarity in the Tannoy's over the JBl's....but then,the Tannoy's amps made too much goddamn noise for me to gauge it honestly.

I immediately placed an order for the JBL LSR305's and got them yesterday and to my ears,the JBL's blow the Tannoy's out of the water in every way!

The JBL's have better controls in the rear of the cabinet,the clarity is honest,the stereo field is wider than the Tannoy's and very engaging and the bass response is nothing short of incredible in comparison....deep,well rounded and the level of low end is perfect for small rooms!
I have the volume at 50% and there is a very slight amp hiss,but nothing that presents a problem whatsoever and this is to be expected at this price point.

These JBL's are so utterly impressive,that they win out over my $1,000 pair of Adams(because the mid range clarity of my A7's are ****,in comparison)!

I don't think there is anything that matches the quality of the LSR305's under $500(the Equator D5's have a bit more clarity in the mids,but the bass level just doesn't make it)....which is why I had sold my D5's.
Old 24th June 2014
  #19
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SLVIN's Avatar
 

Future owner of Reveal 502's

Hi all,

First-timer here.

I recently decided to switch my older monitors (Mackie MR8mk2's) to a pair of smaller ones (5 inch) because of lack of space. I was going to buy the Mackie MR5mk3's but then I was told that the new Tannoy Reveal 502's might be of interest. I did some googling and found some very good reviews (the final ice-breaker was the front ported bass which will help positioning).

And then I found these comments/discussions about a "hiss" or "hum" when the monitors are idle. I felt sad.. Could it really be true?

I just wanted to share that I contacted Tannoy Support today (24th June 2014) asking if they are aware of this hum / hiss, and if some hum / hiss is "normal".

This is what I wrote:

"Hi,

I just ordered a pair of Reveal 502's, after reading a bunch of reviews - and I am very excited.

The only thing worrying me is that on some forums there are a few persons complaining about a "hiss or hum" sound when the monitors are idle and no sound is being played.

--> Should I expect them to hiss a bit or not at all? I know, you have noticed this, but I want to know what to expect so I can return them to the shop if I happen to have a "bad pair".

Sincerely,
BLANK"

This is the first reply that I got:

(And yes, I also got the reply today)

"Hi BLANK,

Thank you for your enquiry. This was an issue with early versions of the Reveal 502, however, modifications have now been made to eliminate this buzz and any product bought from our dealers now will not have a problem.

If you have purchased an earlier version and you can hear a buzz then please return to your dealer to have them swapped out straight away. We definitely would not want you to expect to hear a problem with your monitors straight out of the box.

Hope this helps

Best Regards
Fraser - Tannoy Support
Phone: +44 (0) 1236 702 503"

I wanted to share this information as I really am excited about getting a pair of the 502's and also because it's fair to give Tannoy a chance. "Bad" products get out all the time - the thing that separates good manufacturers from bad is how fast they respond to any rumors. I believe Tannoy has taken action and fixed this.

Br,
SLVIN
Old 25th June 2014
  #20
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elwoodblues1969's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SLVIN View Post
Hi all,

First-timer here.

Tannoy Reveal 502's might be of interest. I did some googling and found some very good reviews (the final ice-breaker was the front ported bass which will help positioning).

And then I found these comments/discussions about a "hiss" or "hum" when the monitors are idle. I felt sad.. Could it really be true?

This is what I wrote:

"Hi,

I just ordered a pair of Reveal 502's, after reading a bunch of reviews - and I am very excited.

The only thing worrying me is that on some forums there are a few persons complaining about a "hiss or hum" sound when the monitors are idle and no sound is being played.

--> Should I expect them to hiss a bit or not at all? I know, you have noticed this, but I want to know what to expect so I can return them to the shop if I happen to have a "bad pair".

Sincerely,
BLANK"

This is the first reply that I got:

"Hi BLANK,

Thank you for your enquiry. This was an issue with early versions of the Reveal 502, however, modifications have now been made to eliminate this buzz and any product bought from our dealers now will not have a problem.

it's fair to give Tannoy a chance. "Bad" products get out all the time - the thing that separates good manufacturers from bad is how fast they respond to any rumors. I believe Tannoy has taken action and fixed this.

Br,
SLVIN
If you insist that Tannoy is legitimate about their budget monitors then fine..it's your choice,but be aware....that the noise I experienced(as well as MANY others have),is something much more,than just your average amplifier hiss.
The noise I heard(which occurred even at zero volume),sounded like some sort of electrical interference and the Tannoy's are the first monitors I've ever had,that DIDN'T have a 3 prong electrical plug on the power cords.
The characteristic of the sound,is more like a buzzing,rather than a hissing sound.
The type of hissing sound that the guy from Tannoy is referring to,is an amplifier hiss found on entry to mid grade monitors(around the $500 range and under).
This sound is only present at high volumes.For example,my new JBL LSR305's...have some slight hiss to them,but I have the volume set to 50%(which is perfectly normal and acceptable in this price range)and this does not interfere with my mixing at all.

Aside from all this though,I have found the JBL's to have a much wider sweet spot in the high end and much more depth in the low end than the Tannoy 502's and in fact,the LSR305's are my favorite to date(out of any monitors that I've owned in the last 10 years...including my Adam Audio A7's.

Tannoy has a good reputation for their high end monitors,but unfortunately,their low end stuff does not compete with the competition(as even their earlier Reveal models have had issues as well(as I have discovered,as I researched deeper into the entry level Tannoy product lines).

Last edited by elwoodblues1969; 25th June 2014 at 04:32 AM.. Reason: typos
Old 26th June 2014
  #21
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SLVIN's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by elwoodblues1969 View Post
If you insist that Tannoy is legitimate about their budget monitors then fine..it's your choice,but be aware....that the noise I experienced(as well as MANY others have),is something much more,than just your average amplifier hiss.
The noise I heard(which occurred even at zero volume),sounded like some sort of electrical interference and the Tannoy's are the first monitors I've ever had,that DIDN'T have a 3 prong electrical plug on the power cords.
The characteristic of the sound,is more like a buzzing,rather than a hissing sound.
The type of hissing sound that the guy from Tannoy is referring to,is an amplifier hiss found on entry to mid grade monitors(around the $500 range and under).
This sound is only present at high volumes.For example,my new JBL LSR305's...have some slight hiss to them,but I have the volume set to 50%(which is perfectly normal and acceptable in this price range)and this does not interfere with my mixing at all.

Aside from all this though,I have found the JBL's to have a much wider sweet spot in the high end and much more depth in the low end than the Tannoy 502's and in fact,the LSR305's are my favorite to date(out of any monitors that I've owned in the last 10 years...including my Adam Audio A7's.

Tannoy has a good reputation for their high end monitors,but unfortunately,their low end stuff does not compete with the competition(as even their earlier Reveal models have had issues as well(as I have discovered,as I researched deeper into the entry level Tannoy product lines).
Well, I know what budget monitors are about as I've had / heard a couple of them.

I actually continued the discussion with Tannoy and indeed there was a faulty component on the amp board in some units.

I don't believe that grounding has anything to do with hum or no hum - if a electrical device is not grounded, it has to be double shielded, meaning any surge of unwanted electric current can't reach the outer frame of the device. The only thing grounding does is direct any surge of unwanted electrical current to the ground, instead leaving it to the metal to circulate.

So - if the hiss would be caused by a grounding issue, you would have had an electric shock when touching the monitor - that is, if the isn't so that the monitors are still on and you are listening to the hum.
Old 26th June 2014
  #22
Gear Nut
 
elwoodblues1969's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SLVIN View Post
Well, I know what budget monitors are about as I've had / heard a couple of them.

I actually continued the discussion with Tannoy and indeed there was a faulty component on the amp board in some units.

I don't believe that grounding has anything to do with hum or no hum - if a electrical device is not grounded, it has to be double shielded, meaning any surge of unwanted electric current can't reach the outer frame of the device. The only thing grounding does is direct any surge of unwanted electrical current to the ground, instead leaving it to the metal to circulate.

So - if the hiss would be caused by a grounding issue, you would have had an electric shock when touching the monitor - that is, if the isn't so that the monitors are still on and you are listening to the hum.
I'm familiar with the budget market as well,as I've owned various Behringer,Samson,M-Audio and KRK monitors and until I bought the Tannoy's,I had NEVER seen an un-grounded power cord.
The issue that Tannoy was referring to is probably true....but the problem I have with Tannoy,is this; Tannoy is not some recent company just breaking into the monitor market,as they have been around for about 67 years.
A company like Equator Audio,was relatively new to the business(in contrast to the competition) when they came out with their D5 monitors and as a result,they had some defects to work out...before they had their new line of monitors running smoothly.
Bottom line is...Tannoy's focus was more on under-cutting the competition's pricing and less attention was paid to quality control and as a result I incurred a return shipping charge from the retailer I bought the Tannoy's from.

I sincerely hope you are happy with your new Tannoy's...but as for myself,I want nothing to do with this company(and honestly,in my opinion,the JBL's out-perform Tannoy Reveals anyhow).

Good luck with your Reveals,I hope they hold up well for you.
Old 27th June 2014
  #23
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SLVIN's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by elwoodblues1969 View Post
I'm familiar with the budget market as well,as I've owned various Behringer,Samson,M-Audio and KRK monitors and until I bought the Tannoy's,I had NEVER seen an un-grounded power cord.
The issue that Tannoy was referring to is probably true....but the problem I have with Tannoy,is this; Tannoy is not some recent company just breaking into the monitor market,as they have been around for about 67 years.
A company like Equator Audio,was relatively new to the business(in contrast to the competition) when they came out with their D5 monitors and as a result,they had some defects to work out...before they had their new line of monitors running smoothly.
Bottom line is...Tannoy's focus was more on under-cutting the competition's pricing and less attention was paid to quality control and as a result I incurred a return shipping charge from the retailer I bought the Tannoy's from.

I sincerely hope you are happy with your new Tannoy's...but as for myself,I want nothing to do with this company(and honestly,in my opinion,the JBL's out-perform Tannoy Reveals anyhow).

Good luck with your Reveals,I hope they hold up well for you.
Fair enough.

I'll come back and share my thoughts once I receive & hear the specific pair I ordered.

I just wanted to clarify that the "hiss / hum" people are discussing here is not normal (at least according to Tannoy).
Old 28th June 2014
  #24
Well I just bought the 501a's this past February when Guitar Center was blowing them out on a hidden webpage on their site for like $100 each.. I upgraded from a really bad pair of M-Audio SP-5s Id been using for 12 years (and wasnt aware just how horrible they were til I got the Tannoys hooked up)..
I dont have the greatest room (its not treated with anything other than all the junk that wont fit in the rest of the house), and out here in Coachella, the utilities are not exactly top notch and on the ball, but I have no issues with rampant noise and hiss from mine. Theyre dead quiet.
I would assume the 502s would be an 'improvement'? As for the brightness, thats why the 501s come with a high cut switch on the back. I had been using them with it off until I realized they were too bright and my mixes were still lacking 'air' so couple weeks ago I turned on the cut and now theyre just about perfect..
Theyre extremely detailed in the midrange compared to the muddy M-Audios, and the roommates brother has both the older 5" KRK's as well as an 8" pair he bought about a year ago and Id much rather have the Tannoys than either of those..

I was pretty dead set on getting the Equators to be honest (which everyone I know that owns a pair say THOSE are really harsh in the upper end and very tiring to listen to for a long time), but it was between the D5s and the 502s. When I found that page that had the 501s for so cheap (they were only available at the Rancho Cucamonga store which is like an hour from my house), I couldnt pass that up, even if they werent the 'quality' that the D5s were. I shouldve bought those damn active Reveals I wanted originally but I got suckered into the salesmans BS at Sam Ash in hollywood and went home with those crappy M-Audios all those years ago.. Over the last month Ive remixed 2 of my bands old albums that we were never happy with after fighting for months just to get the mixes we did with the M-Audios.. The first one took a couple weeks to do because of some plugin swapping/drum replacing.. But the second one I did last week in literally one day, and now both those albums are as perfect as theyre going to get (we had some crappy tracks initially so that didnt help)..
Like any monitor, get used to them and you should be good to go..
Old 31st August 2014
  #25
Here for the gear
 

Let's start with, both the Tannoy Reveal 502 and JBL LSR305 are on sale at Guitar Center and a bunch of the other big gear sites this weekend (Labor Day 2014). The Tannoys are on sale for $99, the JBLs 2 for $225.

I just joined Gearslutz, but I've been reading various comparisons here on speakers and other equipment for my jobby studio. I've been mixing video commercials for webcasts for the company my wife and I own, with relatively low end headphones (Koss UR20s, which are great listening phones, but not very accurate). Speakers were the hardest decision to make of all the equipment I bought. Thanks to Gearslutz, I narrowed it down to the Tannoy Reveal 502 and the JBL LSR305 (you guys are argumentative, but in an articulate way that sheds light on the variables a person can expect). Which both happen to be in stock and on sale in our local Guitar Center this weekend.

Let me tell you, of all equipment, nothing is as subjective or debated as hotly as speakers. And I had to make my mind up about what I wanted to accomplish with these speakers. So I went down to the local GC and A/Bed them. They happened to have a much better than CD quality version of Pink Floyd's "Money" available. It's a song I've heard for 40 years, and one of the most intricately produced prog rock songs of the mid analog multitrack era.

The Tannoy 502's (which had no hiss or other pathologies), had super clean, super linear mids from around 200hz to 2000hz. It imaged spectacularly. But I know the song, and I know that even when you don't have a V-EQ on your system, that there should be more punch to the bass, even on a 5" speaker. The highs on the Tannoy seemed to be a bit more of an afterthought too. It was only when I was right in the sweet spot for imaging, that the highs just didn't feel "right".

The JBL LSR305s, OTOH, imaged impressively. But after listening to the Tannoys back and forth, the mids seemed to be a very small amount more detailed on the Tannoys. For that particular room, which was less crap than the room my workstation will be in, setting the attenuation down in both lows and highs on the JBL, made them near equals. Overall, I can just sum it up by saying, "Money" sounded more the way it's supposed to on the JBLs than the Tannoys. Back in those days, they probably would have mixed with 12" monitors of some sort, and there is supposed to be bass. My final tests included a variety of acoustic and vocal based music. The 5" on the JBL does a reasonable job projecting a "big" sound for big sounding music, the Tannoys being more adept at acoustic music and voices in the tenor range and up. Deeper voices seemed reedier on the Tannoys.

If you were just listening to the chorale portions of Beethoven's Ninth, the Tannoys shine like a beacon over the JBLs. But when the full orchestra is playing, it's back to the JBLs ruling the roost. I think the JBLs are more representative of what people listening with headphones, a decent computer speaker or home entertainment system, will experience. I think the Tannoys are more representative of what people listening with a good Jambox-esque speaker system with their smart phones, will experience. If only a Jambox actually sounded as good as the Tannoys...

I think it's unfortunate that we have to make a choice. But these are budget speakers, and if you could have everything for around $100 a speaker, no one would buy $2000+ studio monitors, would they?

Disclaimer: I'm an old man of 56. There's no way my highs aren't attenuated above 7K or less, so I have to very consciously avoid speakers that overrepresent high frequencies, because I'll hear things I normally wouldn't, and like it. Neither of these speakers had that problem.
Old 15th October 2014
  #26
Here for the gear
 

I did the listening at Guitar Center I liked the Yamahas would have bought them if they werent a hundred more speaker. They only had the fives(Yamaha & tannoy's) in the store both sounded awesome clean. Yamaha 5's beat the tannoy 5's by pubic hair in my opinion. Tannoy 5's lacked jus a little in low end. I knew the 8in driver would make up for it so, I went with 802's set up on the $99 wood speaker stands and isolator foam these things are so clean aimed jus right soundstage sets right on top of my ableton push. Buy the 802 not 502 if you want more bass. 502's would be great if you had a sub. I have them in my basement and you can feel the bass up on the 3rd floor thats not even coming near max.
I noticed the most minute amount of sound noise not even decerniable except that I was really looking out for it. From what other people have said I think their may be some defective speakers or people with super sonic hearing or it may just be an issue with the cheaper 502's. 802's pull the trigger. Oh yeah and they are so sexy.
just as a side note I was dead set on getting the ROKIT 8's before i walked in to GC absolute garbage compared to anything muddled mids no highs and unaccurate bass.

Last edited by wildlyfe; 15th October 2014 at 01:10 PM.. Reason: grammer
Old 20th December 2014
  #27
Gotta say, I'm a huge fan of the Tannoy 802's. Tried the Yamaha's out but for me, the Tannoy's had the edge. Exceptional clarity and tight, controlled low end - so no need for a sub.
Old 13th February 2015
  #28
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian R View Post
I bought the Tannoy 802's, and loved the sound & the look. But they HISSED. Way too much electrical hiss, and it wasn't ground-loop related.

Took them back, got the JBL LSR3's and they sounded even better.

And that's saying a lot because I loved the way the Tannoys sounded in my (highly treated, I might add) room.

The JBL LSR 8"s are Glorious. Not as cool looking in my personal taste, but who cares. It's about the sound. And in reality, they actually look more professional by not being so colorful. (Even the wife agreed).
My LSR 308s have a bit of hiss to them, but it's only noticeable if I'm within a couple of feet of the monitor, and nothing is playing. I liked them so much that I got a pair of the LSR 305s for my office. Amazing monitors for the price. I got the 305s for 128 each and the 308s for $375 for the pair when they had the buy one get one half off. Amazing, especially considering that the Event TR5s that they replaced cost me $300 for the pair when I got them.
Old 13th February 2015
  #29
Lives for gear
Heard both of these recently. 802's won hands down IMO. I was shopping for higher end monitors, but I tried the JBL 308 and Tannoy 802 just as a comparison since they were there. The Tannoy's really caught me off guard. I found them more even across the spectrum than the JBL's and tighter in the low end. Lower end JBL's always seem to have a tubby sounding low end to me, and I didn't like the mids either. Imaging seemed to be the only thing the JBL's had going for them IMO. The Tannoy 802's on the other hand, really stood up to monitors costing significantly more. I was never a fan of Tannoy so it was hard for me to come to terms with what I was hearing, but I couldn't deny that these stuck out as darn good monitors, price aside.
Old 4th September 2016
  #30
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Psysword View Post
Well happy people, I have recently bought the Tannoy 502s from guitar center and let me tell you they are the best. An unqualified yes. They meet all and above expectations. I have only had audiophile equipment before this so I'm not very good, but note that I'm into making music, I'm going with the Tannoy Reveal 502. The frequencies are beautiful, from low to high, just perfect and honest. The Rokit 5 inches are terrible. That was the competitor and the tannoy smoked it out. So it's a no brainer. On the whole you can't go wrong with them.
Hey, how is the level of hiss from your Tannoys?
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