Comments on Tannoy Kensington SE - Room size

I have auditioned the Tannoy Kensington SE at In Living Stereo in NYC with Shindo electronics and I must say the I was extremely impressed. (I have a Monbrison and Quicksilver 6C33C monoblock triodes). There is a dynamic orgainic musicality to them unlike virtually any other speaker I have auditioned. Also very emotionally engaging. No hi fi thrills. No supertweeter or bass down to 20hz, just plain musical. Why don't more people have these speakers or other tannoys? The size of my room is 13.5' x 17 x 8. I do not believe they will overpower the room. Any comments as how they will play in the room or the speakers?
It would be great to get an in home audition.Do you think the dealer would do that for you?When I lived in Germany in the 70's,my girl friend's Dad had a pair of Tannoy speakers.I fondly remember the very natural sound.
Tannoy doesn't much advertise its Prestige line in the USA.
About a year ago, I decided to sell my very fine pair of Dynaudio Contour 5.4's, and go back to Tannoy. I bought a pair of thirty-five year old HPD 315's, 12" Dual Concentric drivers from Ebay UK. I had 150 liter nearly 2" thick, 200lb. (ea.) enclosures built for them. I have just completed one side of a custom designed/built crossover for the right speaker, and have started on the left. These speakers are just inherently musical, and perform very well in my 17'X26' room w/cathedral ceiling.

I owned a pair of 12" DC Tannoy's from 1971 'til 1988, and decided I had to go back and see what Tannoys would sound like with a much better system behind them. They have not disappointed.

Tannoy Dual Conentric loudspeakers are still using the same basic design and technology that was developed in the mid-late forties. They seem to be overlooked to a large degree by the audiophile community, but if you make the switch to them, you probably won't want anything else. That's where I'm at!

I'd love to hear a pair, but no where, absolutely no where remotely close to me to hear them. They are huge in Japan, and you see photos of the biggest Westminsters in tiny rooms, cabinets wall to wall, with the amp dwarfed in the middle.
I would say they'd fit in your room easily, from what I read. It's just that many don't want such a large cabinet dominating their space. I suppose it's no different than the case of big planars.
If they sound like people say they do, I'd give them the space in a heartbeat.
I think that your room will match Kensington just right. Even though your room is half of mine, I can tell you that they are not that finchy on placement. I have them placed between 1,6' - 2' (I hope I got that right, I am used to the European meters) from bounderies behind and on the side; so they do not need a lot of space to breath. But within these bounderies you notice the different by moving them only 0,07'.

I see from your electronics that you may get a stellar setup with Kensington. They really love tubes, and especially dynamic and musical gear. I have only read about Quicksilver, but from the rumours it seems to be about dynamic action. And Shindo is famous for musicality.
Yeah, one more thing: Chasas1 mentioned all the Japanese systems with huge Tannoys in small rooms. I have seen a lot of pictures of these beautifull systems. However, I have the impression that they often pair Tannoys with flea-powered SET amps and conduct near-field listening. I am sure this has its beauty, but it is different from the effect it has when you pair Tannoy Prestige with push-pull amps in a bigger room: they may then project a huge soundfield that energize the room in a liquid, holistic and musical way.
I also own a pair with a Mac 2300 preamp and Mc 275 amp my room is 14x15 and they sound great one of the best sound stages. I would recommend a pair of Tannoy ST 200's.
Hi Kipp, why the ST200's? wouldn't that be a step down in the line? I thought the Prestige series were the beesknees?
A reviewer I pay attention to, Jeff Day, now of positive feedback, is getting a pair of westminsters sometime soon. I hope he posts about them. You don't find a lot written about them. I joined the Tannoy group, but they mostly talk about winding coils or making boxes, and that part of it certainly doesn't interest me.
Chasas1, thank you for your very kind words. I have taken delivery of my Tannoy Westminster Royal SEs and I have to say I am totally blown away by their sheer musicality. I plan on writing them up for Positive Feedback as soon as they are fully broken in (6 months they say!).

These speakers have reinvigorated my music listening in a way that I could have never imagined. I've been getting up early in the morning around 4AM and listening to them before I head off to the office around 6AM. A couple of nights I actually put my alarm clock next to my listening seat in case I fell asleep listening, which I did, spending the night with music playing.

Here's a link to a couple photos of them out on my Picassa web album:

More to come!

Kind regards,

I heard the Kensington SE's with Shindo 20watt GM70 tube SET Mono Blocks. Wonderful! Jazz and Chamber music sounded dynamic and life like. When we put on some more complex classical orchestral stuff the sound seemed to get clogged up, congested and lost a some of the air on top. Why would that happen? Thanks!
That's exactly what was happening to my Kensington SE's, on higher volumes or with high dynamic range recordings, when I was using 25/35/55 Watts/ch push pull tube amps. They still sounded really great to me, so it took a while to catch on. Recently upgraded to Rogue Apollo monoblocks (250 Watts/ch, 1500 Watt transients) and it's a whole new level of dynamics and distortion-free/compression-free music :)

The Kensingtons can yield incredibly clean and life-like full-range dynamics, provided you've got the power available. Their 93dB efficiency is high in a relative sense, but even then it'll still take a good bit of power to get the life-like dynamics.

This is very depressing to hear because I could have become a Tannoy devotee. I absolutly love these speakers. But I have a Pathos Twin Towers (30 watts)and have no plans to change amps and I listen to alot of Classical Orchstral stuff. If anything I may want to build my own SET amp at some point so I really may need to go it another direction...sadly! But I wont give up on Tannoy till I have a chance to hear Tannoy with my Pathos TT this way I'll know for sure.
Yes, the orchestral stuff (a small segment of my LP collection, but a highly enjoyable one at that) is incredibly demanding. You'll need either lots of power or very high efficiency speakers (upper 90's at least). Perhaps someday, go for a 2nd system with Tannoys a high-power PP amp? Or, go for the high efficiency Tannoy Westminster SEs, assuming an accommodating room & budget :)

I do so love the midrange of the Kensington SE. It has a certain "magic" to it that gives me chills. I think it might be due to the Alcomax/Pepper-pot driver used in that model and the Yorkminster/Canterbury/Westminster. The Tannoy tulip-waveguide speakers are also excellent (I've heard Glenair 10, 15, and Dimension TD10), but don't have that touch of sweetness/honey like the Kensingtons.

2nd system is a cool idea. Islandmandan, who has an amazing Tannoy system based on the HPD 315's and cabinets he designed, has given me some very fruitful ideas on how to build a system from scratch by buying used Tannoys Drivers. This way I could get a feel for Tannoy with my Pathos TT and not spend an arm.

Hi guys,

My Canterbury´s sings with anything you drop on the chain but if you want to do critical listening and get the last drop of juice , big bad class A SS amps are the way to go.
I had a lot of vintage JBL , Altec, EV , Monitor silver-red-gold-hpd Tannoy´s and some WECO speaker parts ; them all sounds their best with SET amps.
On the other hand these new Tannoy breed likes power , IMHO them are prepared to manage it but vintage horns does not.
I also have Canterbury's,I power them with one of the best amps in the world Sroll Lyric wih 500w amp.I have tried Leben and Almarro but it was not as good as Sroll by big margin.Many Tannoy owners using them with sets and I don't understand why.Maybee because they listen jazz, chamber and accoustical music?I listen also hard rock and especially progressive rock.
I wonder how would these Canterbury's compare to Westminster's?Anyone have experience with both of them?
A follow-up on my custom Tannoys. I was having problems with what I thought was an amplifier mismatch, but it turned out to be a wiring error I made in hooking up the crossovers to the somewhat confusing star grounding Tannoy uses. Now, just about any amp hooked to them makes them sing, but especially the Plinius SA 100 MKIII. They also sound magical with a VAC 35.35 35Wpc EL 34 amp, and very nice with the Sophia Electric Baby, at 10Wpc.

Now that the spiders are loosening up on the new woofer cones I intalled, the bass is excellent, very extended and tight. These are very natural sounding, great imaging, with a deep, wide, soundstage. Those premium parts in the crossover, and the excellent design (thanks, Arthur and Roger), are really paying off. Couldn't be happier.

waiting on a pair of Kensington SE hoping to get them before Xmas. Using an 18 Watt SET amp. Store only had the Tannoy DCT-10 and the amp drove them easily, so think the Kensington will be even more enjoyable. Anyone with Tannoy and SET experience?

A fiend has them both. He prefered the WM hands down.

The Tannoy Canterbury + Plinius sa-103 was my best configuration until I discovered Chord Electronics.

Is not just about driving , is about getting it all. I insist the SET + new breed Tannoy´s are not the way to go.
Obviouly is just IMHO.
do you have Tannoy prestige speakers Vintagechile?
i noticed you have ATC speakers with high powered Chord amps, bit unsure as why you insist Tannoy and single-ended are a bad match?