Ocellia vs Tannoy?


After having been in this hobby for a while and having tried and owned different systems with speakers like Dynaudio, Coincident, Brentworth, DIY speakers from Lynn Olson and Troels Gravesen and most recently Vapor Audio Cirrus (an excellent speaker but without the high efficiency I'd like), I had the oportunity to hear a good SET amp in my system and was blown away by the musicality of it, specially the fluidity, platicity, tunefulness of the music. As I'm mainly into opera and classical, this fluidity reminded me of what I love about going to the concert halls. Unluckily, this SET didn't have the power to reproduce big scale symphonic in my 87.5 dB efficient Cirrus.

I haven't been able to erase that experience from my mind, so now I'd like to make myself a system which puts the musical values first and not the usual audiophile values (tone, dynamics, timing and fluidity vs soundstage, extension, ultimate detail, etc.).

So, in the search for a really musical speaker, I've narrowed my search to two options: Ocellia (either the .21 or the .30 Signatures), or Tannoy (either Kensington, Yorkminster or Canterbury), which many people regard as superbly musical speakers. Even of they're not the same technology (wide-bander vs Dual concentric), I think they share many of the same characteristics which I'm after: paper domes with Alnico magnets with point source emittance for vibrant, colorful and solid imaging, excellent micro and macro dynamics, a very fluid sound and good eficiency to be able to use low and mid power amps.

I know it'd be ideal to listen to both of them first, but that's not possible since I live in Mexico and neither of them has distributors here, nor do I know anyone who has either, so I'd appreciate the opinion of those of you who have heard them.

Also, my room is a bit small: 3.3 x 5 m (10' x 15'), so I don't think it could handle big speakers well.

Amplification would be a DHT SET or PP amp.

Hope you can help me
Since you like Vapor, what about the Cirrus White at 91 db? Maybe not ideal, but perhaps enough in your room with you listening preferences.

From what I understand, the Tannoy’s efficiency rating can be misleading. SET amps are not recommended. But then again, maybe in your space. At any rate, the Canterbury will probably be too big.

Regarding speakers using PHY drivers, the reactions to them can be very polar - some love them and some hate them. I would try to hear them before committing.
My only listening experience with the PHY drivers were in a pair of Musical Affairs Grand Crescendos driven by a Leben CS 300 integrated Amplifier. The Leben could offer more than needed in that small Manhattan apt, but the match was more than impressive to me!!!
I alternate from 300B and 45 SET amplifiers through Beauhorn Virtuosos with Lowther DX4 (106 db) in a slightly smaller room. With even 45 amplification I have an abundance of volume.
If I had some more space, PHY based speakers would be a prime consideration for me!! Not to bash Tannoy as I feel Westminster Royals (as example) are some of the most desirable to me , Tannoys in general may need more than SET power to open up. You have good taste!!
Art Audio Jota HC monoblocks will drive with ease any of the Tannoys you mentioned to thunderous volumes. My system has beautiful bass down to 20 Hz. My advice is to buy the Tannoys, and build your system around them. With anything less than Tannoy, you (deservedly) will end up having a bad case of buyer's remorse.
I've heard the Tannoy Ken units, and if you have the space go for them. My first speaker purchase, sixty years ago was a Tannoy in a custom cabinet which I ran with tube Marantz and McIntosh. Wish I had the space for Ken's. They will be the speaker of choice when I get to heaven.
You have good taste in amps(DHT based) and speakers.Either speaker could potentially work out great, as others have said Tannoys may need more power than the Ocellia.I find the Ocellia a fascinating design by an ultra talented builder who ideas and concepts on music reproduction seems so right. Tannoy is a much bigger name and well established with an earned reputation, they're much easier to sell if things don't work out(Ocellia is a small purist company, not well known). All I can offer is a gut feeling but in your size room, I'd go Ocellia with the 21 cm PHY driver with the twin tweeters and silver wired(although the 30 cm model may also work in that space).This combined with a high quality DHT amplifier could possibly be pure sonic heaven. Just my 2 cents worth. I wish you could audition both of them first.
Best of Sucess to you,
Thank you very much for your answers.

As some of you say, the problem I see with Tannoy is that I think my room is too small for them, which makes me think the Ocellia's would be better suited to my room. Also, the bigger implementation needed for Tannoy is something to consider.

Phaelon, your comment about the polarizing opinions on PHY drivers intrigues me, do you know the reasons why some people hate them? That could help me realize if they're what I'm after or not.

I did thought about the Cirrus white, but I don't like the sound of the ceramic drivers I've heard so far (or Berillium), as they usually have whitish and lean tone colors, and I'd like something a bit bigger and efficient.

Jjbraham, I haven’t heard any speaker using PHY drivers myself but would like to very much.

In retrospect, I probably shouldn’t have made that comment about PHY speakers without the qualification that the people, who I know, who didn’t like them, don’t like any speakers using wide bandwidth drivers full range. Comments include: They don’t play loud enough, they suffer at the frequency extremes, are too colored, sound congested when confronted with complex music, and are dynamically challenged. These, of course, are opinions and are relative. But because I respect some of the people who feel this way, and have equal respect for those who disagree, I would not make an uninformed purchase unless I was buying them used at a good price - just in case I had to sell them.
To be honest, for your size room I don't think either one is optimal.

The Tannoy is obviously too big for your room.

Everything I've read about the Ocellia suggests they need adequete "room to breathe". If you look at some of the pictures of people that have deployed them (especially Ocellia's own listening room), it seems to support this. They are semi open baffle, which means that room interactions are probably going to play a more critical role in the sound than usual, so you'll need the space to be able to move them around until they are "tuned" properly to your room.

Rear ported speakers like AN-E would probably be perfect because they require corner loading and these happen to be small also. Back loaded folding horns would be a good choice also for the same reason; although they'll be bigger than AN-Es. Other horn designs like the labrinth loaded Rethm (shameless plug I know as I'm selling a pair) would also work better than your choices in terms of size occupied, positioning, and ultimately sound quality all IMHO.
The Ocellia has an adjustable door/port on the rear lower cabinet to allow placement in rooms of different dimensions.That 'may' be of some benefit in a room this size.
The Tannoy Kensington could work very well in your room size with DHT SET amps of 8 watts or greater. These should excel at vocals and classical music, unless you play your music at extreme volumes. The dual concentric design offers exceptional imaging and coherence. The higher sensitivity rating of the Canterbury may be misleading, and higher power may be required to adequately control that large driver.
Tannoys work well in smaller rooms near field or close to it as well. They are very versatile with placement. One of their best markets is the Far East where there are plenty of small rooms.
I use Tannoy K'tons in a 11x14 room. it works well, but feel they would breathe a little easier in a larger room since I do prefer them away from the rear walls in order to get better depth . Despite that they sound very good as you really connect with the music well.
I am not sure of the SET though. My guess is a good PP will do far better in terms of getting the best out of the Prestige series.
which model speaker from Coincident did you have ?

I have a pair of Coincident Total Victory IV that I purchased used 4 years ago and they are very good with classical music.
My room is 11.5' x 17.5' .

I intended to purchase a pair of Super Victory speakers but I came across a good deal on a used pair of TV IV's that I couldn't pass up.

I would recommend the Super Victory's call Israel and get some info.
They sound very good with set amps.

12 years back I sold a pair of Coincident super eclipse and regretted selling them.

I won't say want I replaced them with but for Classical I enjoy the Total Victory IV.

I have an 8 watt and 15 watt dht set amps that I enjoy .

If I came across a good deal on used Referance Extremes I would buy them.

Good Luck, I know it's a tough decision when you can't audition .