Best Tannoys for mid-field listening?

I'd like to know if any of the Tannoy gurus in Audiogonland could recommend one of the larger 12" or 15" vintage (or modern) models for midfield listening. I have my speakers arranged along the long wall of my 12 x 28' living room on either side of my fireplace, firing across the short dimension, about 9' from drivers to listening position. I had the 10" Glenair for a while (Tulip waveguide), but couldn't seem to get far enough away from the speakers for them to resolve.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Bob R
Hi Bob,

I have a pair of custom-built 12" Tannoy HPD's (ca 1975, but with new hard edge surrounds), in my large 16.5 X 34' room w/cathedral ceilings, and my speakers are about 8 1/2' from my listening position.

Sound stage is deep, nearly to the back wall, and the speakers are 5' out into the room. Imaging and placement of instruments is good, too.

This all sounds good, but my speakers are positioned on the short wall, and fire into the large area.

I arrived at this positioning after reading the speaker positioning tips on the Cardas website. I would advise you to read this, or similar, to get more ideas.

Other than that, IME, your Tannoys will most likely sound best oriented the other way in your room, BYMMV.

All of them will work for your distance. I can listen to my Tannoys at 4 feet away, with the speakers 10 feet apart on center, and get great, immediate sound. For 4 feet or closer extra toe in is required.

Something was wrong with your placement, your lateral position (were you anywhere near the centerline of the speakers and were they equal in toe-in from your position?) or your system: they should have worked if you were 5 or more feet from them and equidistant from both speakers.
Hi Kiddman-

My Glenairs were about 2-3' out from the back wall, about 8' apart on either side of my fireplace, and my listening position was about 9' away, right in-between the speakers. I can't think of a more correct setup - the tweets and woofer didn't smoothly resolve and the speaker sounded too bright. I've had many other speakers in the same position without any issues.

Your thoughts?

Thanks, Bob
Confirm Kiddman. They will all work in near and midfield but you can't just drop them, or any other speaker in the room at random and expect them to work their best. You need to know and understand how to set the speakers up properly to optimize their performance. But the first thing you need to consider is your room acoustics and that it will have the most impact on your speakers, you might have picked the worst spot in the room for convenience and aesthetics.
Hi Bob,

I believe that this issue you have of more a speaker placement matter than the speaker's fault. I have a pair of Glenair 15 and they image very well at diverse listening positions (it's not clear to me what you mean with "resolve").
It's worth it to read this review, where the reviewer much enjoyed listening to the 15' Glenairs from a close listening position, as if listening to headphones:

All the best,
Thanks all for the helpful tips. Keep them coming!

Alberto, to clarify what I meant by not "resolving," the treble was too bright, and didn't seem to blend seamlessly with mids. I always had the feeling that if I was somehow able to back up a few feet, things would fall into place. Could this be an effect of the horn loading?

Hi Bob Rodgers,

Who knows....the speakers can easily work there. But I forget - are the Glenairs the Tulip waveguide? If so, I don't find them as coherent, and I find them brighter.

Then there's amps, cables, on and on.
I've always used my tulip and then pepperpot Tannoys in similarly-distanced configurations. I've also heard the Glenairs (both models) many times. There are differences in sound between various models, but all were coherent at short distances. Though the Glenairs are not my favorite Tannoys, I do like them, and they're pretty neutral -- certainly not bright. It's unfortunate to hear about your troubles, and I'd suggest spending some time investigating whether any upstream gear or even connections may be the culprit.

Though you may be dealing with significant back-wall reflections, since you're firing down the short dimension, in my experience it's still very difficult to "drag a Tannoy down with the room". Thus, I would suspect some kind of electrical/matchup issue before room acoustics.
Hi Bob,
9-10ft distance should be just fine if you toe them in enough.
But as Dan inferred, best is still to set them up along the short wall (if at all possible).

Also, have you tried playing with some room treatments - diffuser/absorber in front of
fire-place? I'm guessing there could be a suck-out causing the anomalies (coherency
issue) you are experiencing.

That said, if you plan/ready to step it up a notch I'd get these..
One of my favorite mid sized Tannoy :

*And oh btw., I just love how that Kenrick guy set up his various Tannoys and JBLs..
So damn musical with what seems to be minimum fuss! Far more musically compelling
than most of today's highly touted brands, yes discernible even through YouTube,
imho. ;)

*What are rest of your rig?
I'm listening to my Canterbury's in not the largest of rooms. They are placed on the long wall, fairly close to the wall. My listening position is about 7.5 feet away and they sound awesome! I can only imagine what they would sound like in a larger room, alas, not available in my San Francisco Edwardian. It just seems to me that they aren't as sensitive to speaker placement as some other speakers I've had (e.g. Merlins. Don't misunderstand me, when optimized, I'm sure they are incredible and would image deeper and wider, but in general I don't think they are a particularly "fussy" a speaker. Bright would be about the last way I would describe them.
Bob...make sure your flu is closed on the fireplace...all your bass can be exiting that way. Also, make sure that any glass is covered - especially on the left and right hand sides facing the speaker. It surely sounds like a room problem to me.
Great responses - yep!

FYI, my current rig is Karan KAi180 Mk2 integrated amp, JMR Offrande Supreme Mk2 standmount speakers, using Meridian CD as source and AU24 wire.

The Offrandes are most everything I could desire in a speaker, except they don't charge the room with bass. Would probably rather move to another speaker (therefore the Tannoy question) rather than try to integrate a sub with them.

Best and thanks again...