just auditioned tannoy yorkminster

heard them at a dealer with moscode amp, conrad johnson pv-12 preamp, bat cd player, and unidentified vinyl gear.

the yorkminster with super tweeters were very revealing, transparent, truly full range, had great retrieval of details, but somehow not as engaging/musical as my setup. female and male voices were clear and smooth. full orchestras and small jazz ensembles sounded very natural and lively. but of the 2 piano recordings we've heard (including one of mine), none connected with me. my piano cd sounded choppy, incoherent, and harsh through the yorkminster, but never through my system.

1. i am too used to my system's warm and golden sound
2. my room is much larger
3. my cds were not well recorded and my system is too forgiving
4. the yorkminster is not fully broken in yet
5. the dealer's electronics were not on par

i am still a tannoy fan. i was also a bit surprised how reasonably priced the legendary westminster royal ($24k) is comparing to the yorkminster ($14k) and the likes of b&w original nautilus ($40k), jm lab grand utopia be ($70k?), acapella (rocket lift off)...

sorry for the rather inconclusive, unscientific, baseless report : )
>>sorry for the rather inconclusive, unscientific, baseless report<<

you give yourself way too much credit.
Piano and bowed violin and viola are the toughest instruments for a redbook CD player to get right. Sometimes these instruments will sound harsh, grainy, or brittle.

Your Wadia may have a DAC that gives better performance than the BAT for these instruments. It could also be that the dealer's speakers or other equipment in the chain is not fully broken in.

Go back in a few weeks, and give another listen.
i'd like to say that i'm just plain disheartened to read opportunistic and mean-spirited replies such as the one above. they diminish us all.
thanks for everyone's comments. i just wanted to vent out some of my thoughts and didn't mean to waste anybody's time.
Musicdoc, are you referring to my post? If so, I don't understand.
I believe Musicdoc is reffering to Cornfedboy's post.
That's just Kelly having a bit 'o fun.
Nothing wrong with a little chuckle here and there.
We can't take ourselves too seriously here.....or we'll realize how crazy we are.
I'd prescribe some nice music for you Musicdoc.

Good to hear from you Kelly, you should drop by more often. See how you liven things up?


You have to consider (and you seem to know this) that you did not listen to just loudspeakers, but a complete system. So you have a totally different chain of electronics, different cables, and a different room, any of which could cause the effects you've described.

The only true way for you to know how good or bad the speakers are would be for you to borrow them and install them in your own system. That would be the basis for a solid opinion as opposed to much speculation and doubt.

The main thing you can take from the demo is that the speakers have wet your apetite to see what more they may or may not be capable of...
Hey Gang. Interesting thread here. Plato... well said. To put it in perpective here: While I have never heard the new Yorkminster, I am very familiar with the voice of vintage dual concentric Tannoys... from the reds, the golds,on up to the modern prestige drivers employing the alcomax drivers. I personally use a pair of original Westminsters [circa 1984] with either vintage 60's Gold drivers or the original drivers that were employed with the speaker.Mine are heavily tweeked... crossovers were removed from the cabinets,updated with new wire, caps, precision resistors and in true bi-wire configuration. I have never heard a 15in Tannoy speaker that sounded harsh or incoherent on any decently recorded piano music and to be candid here... I believe the reproduction of the piano to be one of the major strengths of the Tannoy sound. Regarding large rooms?....another major advantage of the larger tannoys as they should have no problem pressurizing a very large room. Regarding break in..... a significant issue to be sure. That said: The NYAL deigned moscode amplifiers are rather mediocre at best: unrefined , unfocused and incoherent when compared to your fabulous Jadis's not to mention the colour of the CJ preamp. I have had your exact amps in my own system and they were nothing short of magnificient to say the least.While my rig has been voiced with vinyl as my primary source,like yourself, I too employ the Cardas golden reference IC's and speaker wire[on the tweeter]in my rig. Comparing the electronics and accessories that the dealer used for demonstrating the Tannoy to what your using,is like comparing a 1960's volkswagen beetle to a new model. Your own equipment is in a completely different leaugue altogether.
Plato, i totally agree with you. i went to the audition with very high expectations and hoped to be blown away. well, the experience was not enough for me to bring the big speakers home to try (even if the dealer would let me). i wish the dealer would invest in better electronics.

Ecclectique, thank you for your kind words. i aspire to hear the westminsters in their full potential one day.
We currently have a Demo pair of Tannoy Westminster HE on display and could connect them to the New McIntosh Reference system for audition.
e-me for more info mike@audioclassics.com
The Tannoy speakers with dual concentric drivers normally sound excellent with turntables and reel to reel decks. This has been confirmed a few times over. CDs are flawed, but some of the newer digital gear may sound good with the Tannoys.
It's the super tweeter! The smooth musical nature of the Tannoy's is ruined by the super sweeter IMO. Original Autograph's with Lamm's cannot be touched in terms of musicality.
I heard some people said that the Kensington and Canterbury are better than the yorkminster.
I also just heard them at a dealer in Denver and was totally unimpressed!

The sound was laid back and not open and had a sort of smeared bass, piano was poor (cluncky) vocals had good tone but wanted them to pop out a bit but never did! To be fair I believe they do require quite a long break-in but if they sound this bad un-broken-in it's up to Tannoy to burn them in a bit before shipping! Profits first I guess!
I heard them at a show in Denver (same dealer) and was put off from Tannoy by the weird presentation. Luckily, I finally, concluded it was a bad demo (associated equipment made them fat, dull, with a strange midrange) and bought some on a hunch. Never been happier.

That dealer...well, you met him, nuff said. Not talking about the original owner, may he RIP.
The Tannoy Prestige Pepperpot models are *extremely* revealing of upstream gear. And, this is the rare exception where that doesn't mean the speakers themselves are sterile / analytical / bright / unmusical. Just put together great sounding gear that works well together, set them up reasonably in a decent room, and they'll sing to you. I have heard them sound bad, and it's a damn shame -- care for them appropriately.
I don't know if I would go so far as to say *extremely* revealing. As a speaker that's known to be "musical", and I agree with that, with limited top end extension, they are less revealing than quite a few speakers I've used. I don't necessarily mean that as a positive about the other speakers. The ease of the Tannoy makes them a little more forgiving of recordings or gear that might not be the absolute best in smoothness. I think of the pepperpot as being revealing enough to make valid decisions about recordings and upstream gear, but forgiving enough to give some "wiggle room" for recordings and gear that are not the absolute best.

The lousy demo I heard of them that I referred to a couple of posts above this had to be due to pretty poor setup, amps with not enough drive, and not the speaker being excessively picky about associated gear. Some dealer incompetence definitely came into play. It was not a break-in related thing for sure.
I'm pretty sure it was the equipment. I own the yorkminsters and find myself listening to more and more classical and piano as it sounds so phenomenal! They put out quite a bit more base then most of the Tannoy line
Aside from the Westminster. This causes them to overwhelm someone's and sound fat and bloated. Room treatments are more important than ever. And I have found mine to be extremely revealing as well. This surprised me as they do this while retaining their incredible musicality.