IMHO d500 and d700 are the speakers to pay attention for. Churchhills are much more expencive. WAF is unacceptable on all these models -- simply ugly.
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While back home in Ireland over Christmas, I bought the British Hi-Fi News Record Review year-end special on hi-fi awards. In the magazine, the TD12 won best speaker of the year or some such award. Here's the speaker:
Looks like it would score very high on the WAF.
i couldn't disagree more with marakanetz about the aesthetics (read: WAF) of the tannoy churchill's. until tannoy decided to stick that crazy flying saucer (super tweeter) into the top of the cabinets, the churchill's in rosewood were, IMO, one of the most attractive "large" speakers available. the V-for-victory front ports and silhouette of winston on the speaker diaphragms are way cool. moreover, these beasts, coupled with low output tubes from airtight, have produced, for me, some of the most startling nearfield listening i've ever experienced. i dream of using a pair of these beauties as fronts in a gigantic tube-powered ht system.
Listened to the D900 last year and fell in love with it, but could not afford to buy it. Spent 2 hrs in a audio shop with many types of music. Boy did they ever excell in female and male vocals. Felt like the people were right there with me playing their instruments. Even took my amp to audition with, which was 300/ch McIntosh. I have a large listening room 13' x 25'. Tannoy is definately my next speaker purchase. And If I ever want to go to tubes, no problem with them.
I owned the D700's for 1 year... Depends on what you like... they have ton's of dynamics and "slam" and a solid three dimensional soundstage... they can play extremely loud and they don't lose any detail when played at low volume... I ran them with 80w of quality tube (monoblock)power... not enough... even though sensitivity is high, the nominal impedence is stated at 6 ohms and drops quite a bit...to get the best out of these speakers you need a good solid state amp with power to spare... I say a good solid state amp, because the one weakness of this speaker is the highs can be bright... ultimately, that was the reason I got rid of them... I was simply getting listener fatigue on anything but the most perfect recordings... I talked with the distributor and he agreed that my findings were not uncommon and suggested a fix where I would have to slightly modify the cross-over... I decided not to... One other consideration, the D700's move a lot of air... they have dual ports at the back of the speaker...you need to keep them a good distance from the wall... I think this speaker is a better choice for home theater, but if you decide to go with it don't underpower it and make sure you have good upstream components that mitigate the potential brightness..... now, the Churchill is a whole different animal and none of what I stated above applies to it...good luck....
Try to find the D-70 (8" drivers) or D-80 (10" drivers). This line was replaced by the Saturn line, in my opinion because it was almost identical to the (twice the price) D-500 and D-700. Same drivers, same crossovers, just not ported, and the cabinets are few inches shorter. I run the D-70's with a Mesa Baron amplifier, in full Triode mode with Zero Negative feedback, which is about 100 watts per channel (tri-Tube model with 12 EL34's), and must disagree with "Gotog". They're 91db efficient, and I can NOT turn my preamp above 1/2 way, EVER. Infact, 1/3 is about the limit in my 11x15 room (even with 6 sound abbsorbtion panels on the side walls to soak up the bright plaster lathe walls). They work incredibly well with Tube amps, and I would have to assume that "Gotog" had them hooked up to the 4 ohm taps on his amps, because the 8 ohm taps sound 100% better, and actually are more efficient. Not sure why, but they sound much better with a slightly Higher ohm load (with a tube amp, and I think the theory goes that tube amps work opposite of SS amps in this department), and you get much better bass response, and a better blend of the midrange. On 4 ohm taps the midrange jumps out in your face, infront of everything else. These opinions are with the speakers Bi-Wired, and using a Sonic Frontiers SFL-1 Hybrid preamp with 20db of gain. Don't use MIT interconnects with a Tannoy/Tube amp combo, there's already plenty of Midrange (I made this mistake for 1 year, went through 3 preamps before I figured it out). Good Luck!
I settled on the D500s and could not be happier. They are sweet with any music, good bass, even at low volumes, and not harsh in the high end like so many speakers today. I would have preferred the D700s, but the box was bigger and my wife would not have been so happy. But the D500s are plenty good enough. The sound is so natural and clean. Lyle Lovett sings from inside my living room and Bach is smooth. I don't hear speakers; I hear music.
I'm also very pleased with the deal I found online for these speakers. If you're in the market for some new equipment I recommend searching online for something that is not (or is, if you're lucky) virgin in the box unopened for significant savings. Just make sure you feel comfortable with the seller. Cheers.