Tannoy Westminster GR or SE?

I've been reading quite a lot about the Westminsters and I happen to have an opportunity to purchase either the SE as the GR versions, at the same price, but won't have a chance to listen to them before deciding.

I love the paper cone speakers, like the Glenair, and got very anxious when hearing that the GR model has some new synthetic fibers added to the paper cones, it really gave me the chills!

I use the Audio Note Ongaku UK and the listening room is 31x20x11 feet. I listen mostly to symphonic music and jazz.

Has anyone listened to both SE and GR and could advise me which way I should go?

Good luck finding a good opinion in a "blind leading the blind" industry such as this. Almost everyone assumes newer is better, that every "upgrade" is really a huge push forward in the discovery of new physics, and where reviewers parrot the manufacturer claims like.....well......parrots.

Let's face it, almost nothing is different except some fibers and a change in the diaphragm. I doubt Tannoy would be dumb enough to go backwards in sound (though we could say the tulip was backwards.....).

I respect them for resisting the urge to rape and pillage with new pricing for supposed upgrades.


Actually the GR's MSRP is $10k higher than the SE's...
I totally agree with Kiddman on " Tannoy would be dumb enough to go backwards in sound"
just wait for the newest model that comes out at the time of your purchase.
Wow, I thought they were the same price. I'm sure they are making up for years of not raising the price and a new model change is the way to do it, even if the costs are not high for the change (and certainly those tiny changes cost them next to nothing). I'm not saying they are taking advantage, I've been wondering when they were going to raise the price on these, even without changes.

My guess is that they sound very similar, and that the main difference in sound is the diaphragm - if you can even hear a difference. I suspect the availability of two models is temporary until parts and built units of the SE are exhausted. I'm not a bit concerned about getting rid of or updating my SEs. Now, if there were major horn geometry changes, a fundamental change in the cabinet, or if there were a change from foam surround to pleated (obviously not the case, it was already pleated) I would be exceedingly curious to hear the new ones. As it is, no concern, I love mine as they are.

If you have plenty of money and don't care much about the $10k, get the latest and resale will be higher. If the money is really meaningful get the SE before they are gone (or at least find out if they are going to keep making it, which does not make a lot of sense to me but might be true).
The only available SEs are the ones available at the resale channel at this time.

I think I'll go for the GRs. I'll let you know how it sounds in a couple of months.

Thanks for the helpful input.


I owned the Tannoy Westminster Gold Reference speakers.
First off. Now the GR series price at $ 49K in USD. It was big jump up versus to SE version. If you look at the Tannoy web site or Google the difference of SE VS GR its not only the paper cones.

The sounds is marvelous. I'm happier than ever in my audio life. I know they used to have a mid hump on the SE series and the GR series doesnt have that problem anymore.

Go with the Gold Reference it might the speakers for life.

I agree, go for the GRs. They look absolutely fantastic on paper. I wish I could afford them, haha. :D
All the Tannoy Se versions can lack bass in some set ups, the trebel over 14k starts to roll off too. The newer GR has more bass and goes higher in the treble before rolling off. Using the SE with a super tweeter is still better than the GR though.
Some more infomation .
The first version of the HE speakers had a hard edge around the main driver. The later version SE has a soft edge which gave more speed and defenition. Tannoy in their new GR have used the same idea and aplied it to the tweeter. The tweeter in the new GR has a better suround which means it can play faster/higher before it starts to roll off. This means that you dont NEED? a super tweeter.If you can get a SE for a good price then get it!! add their ST200 and its better than the newer GR.
The bass is another issue. The GR is faster and tighter. If you are using valves then i doubt you will notice a difference however with solid state it has a lot more speed and punch. In my room the Canterbury SE has more than anough bass with speed and punch but it is room and system dependent.
In the end, Tannoy make fantastic speakers and after hearing the GR i wound rather keep the SE with the the ST200 and spend the extra money on CD's
Hi Americano,

Just checking in............did you or anyone else buy the Westminster GRs? I have access to a great deal on a pair of GR's and I am pretty close to pulling the trigger. Just looking for some user insight. Thanks in advance.
I know the topic is old, but it might be for someone!

I had a TW Tannoy Westminster, which I traded for a Westminster Royal HE, and I heard Westminster Royal GR, are three big boxes with good paricularities! The TW has a tendency to "hi-fi" play very well with tubes, the Royal HE is a bit more "hi-end" without being analytical, Royal GR I heard this playing with Ongaku UK at the Americano house, was Alright, if I had $$$ I would have traded my Royal HE for a Royal GR !.