And to add to Ronnies questions I would like to know what makes the Westminster Royals so special? How do they sound compared to, let's say Wilsons?
Unfortunately I cannot answer Ronny's question but I can answer yours, Dazzdax. The Tannoys have what I call "high efficiency dynamics" - which sounds very different to "low efficiency dynamics". The leading edge of transients on the Tannoy is softer leading to an overall presentation that emphasizes musicality. In contrast, the Wilsons have an aggressive, sharp leading edge which makes music sound more exciting. They are good for different types of music - Tannoys are more pleasant with female vocals and classical, but sound lifeless when given some rock. Wilsons are better with rock, but more fatiguing with classical.
Also, the Tannoys have that "British" sound - laid back, warm, and engaging. Mids and top end are sweeter and the overall tone is just lovely. I think of the British hi-fi industry as a spectrum with more "American" sounding hifi at one end (think ProAc and Mission), and more "traditional" British sound at the other (Quad, B&W, Meridian). The Tannoys occupy a position at the extreme "traditional" end. The Wilsons would be way off the scale on the "American" end - big dynamics, big sound, harder grain, and so on.
major difference in sound between the original Westminsters and the newer Westminster Royale HE and SE models, especially in the speed of the bass?Hardly what I'd call major... there's a small taming of mid-bass & lower mids region in the newer model vs the (very) old ones. Maybe the upper register is more pronounced in the new ones as well -- can't tell definitively.
Not sure what exactly you're referring to by "speed" of the bass. Bass isn't very "fast" in the first place... upper bass? mid-bass? Cheers