I auditioned both and ended up buying the Canterbury GR's. They are sweeter sounding with no "honkiness". I found the Yorkministers GR's still had that last hair of honkiness. The Yorkministers also don't fill the room like the big Canterbury GR's.
Give the Canterbury's a 100+ hours to break in and I think you will be very happy.
Technically, I shouldn't respond, as I've never heard either one. I have acquaintances that have one or the other, and they are thrilled with what they have.
The Canterbury SE, though, would probably be the best option, based on what I've been told. I love my HPD 315's, and wouldn't part with them for love nor money.
Welcome to the Tannoy club, enjoy!
Though at different times, I've have had the SE versions of both setup in my room, with the same gear behind them. Note that the Yorkminster SE doesn't have an equivalent in the new GR line, and thus may be considered discontinued.
In both cases, the speakers were basically new, with few hours. The Yorkminster SE was first, on audition/loan. I was looking to upgrade from the Kensington SE. The bass -- quality quantity, and extension -- were all significantly improved over the Kensington. This is NOT subtle. Treble quality was very similar between the two, as it should (same tweeter). In the midrange, clarity and detail were similar. However, the Yorkminster had what I'd consider a slight hardness (perhaps a mild boost somewhere in the upper kHz-4kHz region). The Kensington has a lovely sweetness in its mids that was absent in the dryer-sounding Yorkminster mids. That's not to say the Yorkie mids were bad -- it's just a matter of preference. My local Tannerd buddy absolutely loved the Yorkminster from top to bottom (at least sonically; neither of us love that Teak finish), and he's got better hearing than me.
Though I thought some of the midrange flavor might be attributed to lack of break-in, I decided it wasn't worth the risk to upgrade, and set sights on the Canterbury SE.
When I got the Caterbury SE (purchased outright), it was clear that this was a darker sounding speaker than both the Yorkminster and Kensington. It can even edge into "wooly" territory in the wrong setup. The midrange is far more akin to the Kensington (i.e. sweeter), which I was relieved about. However, I did find myself making tweaks/adjustments to bring out the presence and treble regions (e.g. +1.5dB treble shelving in the crossover panel, went from Mullard to Telefunken 12AX7 in amps, etc). The bass is more powerful and effortless compared to the Kensington, but it doesn't really delve much deeper like the Yorkminster does (the spec sheet is quite accurate here). The Canterbury excels in scale; images are bigger and more life-like than with the Yorkminster and (especially) Kensington -- this is displayed at it most spectacular with large orchestras. I noticed that break-in didn't change these characteristics; it only made the speakers more articulate over time. This leads me to believe I made the right choice over the Yorkminster. That said, the Yorkminster should be viewed more as an alternative than as a step-down to the Canterbury. If you don't need sweetness in your midrange, then the Yorkminster may be the right choice -- it certainly extends deeper in the bass, though make sure you have enough room to handle that. It can also prove to be troublesome to poorly isolated turntable, or a table with any amount of rumble!
if you go over to audio shark,there is a fairly extensive post about tannoy speakers-don't know if it will answer your questions ,but it might
Also, I should point out that the Canterbury is the only speaker of the 3 that has
a tweeter-height issue. You'll need either some really beefy pedestal stands
(about 8-10" tall) or something like hockey pucks up front to tilt the
tweeters up to ear level (I used 2 pucks per speaker). This is caused by the
slightly shorter cabinet coupled with the very large 15-inch driver pushing the
tweeter further down towards the floor.
Also, I listen to much more rock than classical, and there too I prefer the
Canterbury over what I heard with the Yorkminster.
Yeah, the Canterbury GR is probably going to be a better sounding option over
both SE's (Mbovaird -- there is no Yorkminster GR that I know if?). That said, the
new GR prices represent dramatic price increases (almost 40%), which may be a
factor. I'm still super-happy with my Canterbury SE (closing in on 2 years going),
and have finally reached a point where I'd rather spend that kind of cash on
things other than my 2ch system.
Thank you guys much for the thoughtful response. Sounds like a confirmation of what I had heard previously. I reckon I will work out a deal for Canterbury's.
Does anyone know exactly what the improvements were going to GR from SE line?
GR vs. SE: The crossover parts are further upgraded and cryogenically treated.
The compression driver (tweeter) diaphragm and surround is updated to a
new material (should have better extension up top). The woofer cone material
has gone from all paper fibers to a blend of synthetic and paper fibers.
Supposedly these upgrades are trickle-down from the Kingdom Royal project.
Finally, the fit & finish is higher quality.
Sonically, I have no first-hand experience here. A while ago I read another
guy's brief SE vs. GR comparative account on another forum -- he said that
the Canterbury GR sounded more "open" than the SE; he clearly
preferred the GR and bought them. I forget whether this was the same guy
that quickly upgraded to Westminster GR, which of course he reported as
more MOAR better :)
Personally, I'd much rather have a Westminster (GR or SE) than the Kingdom
I had read some forums a while back of people upgrading the crossover caps and stuff to open them up... Hopefully Tannoy has fixed this.
I agree, I would rather have the Prestige line than the Kingdoms. I know the Westminster is the flagship of the Prestige line but does not look like I will be able to fit them properly in my room... Too narrow.
But, I cannot believe that I will be missing anything (given my restraints) as only organ really gets that low. I just will not be able to ever listen to Westminsters - ignorance is bliss, right?! haha
Anyway, just ordered a pair -- WOOHOO!!!! cannot wait
Grateful, congratulations, I'm very happy for you! You're going to love them.
Congrats man -- I was so exited to get my Canterbury SE, and it turned out very well...your GR will be even better!
Congrats on your speakers, you can't go wrong with any tannoy. With regards to yorkie vs canterbury I'm firmly in the yorkie camp. It's true what people are saying they can get honky but I have found that's more a function of which amp you have them paired with. They demand quality and are very transparent despite being very musical. Very few ss amps will pull it off, sugden and lfd being a few. I have found good synergy with quality 300B or 845. I found I could not live with the lack of bass the canterbury offered but to each his own.
Just stumbled across this and figured I would post an update. Still living happily with the Yorkies and continually amazed at their ability to excell at all genres. When I here other peoples setups often I am left underwhelmed at the "thin" presentation. The bit of edge I used to encounter at the high end seems to be gone completely. When I got them I had the treble controls shelved back one but now I run them flat and never notice any honk. Maybe I've gotten deafer :) one of the hazards of being married I guess. Or maybe they are broken in further?? Either way I'm totally happy and am listening an average of almost 2 hours daily.
One thing I would like to try is buying an older pair of drivers and building a pair of custom enclosures.
Since you made mention of using custom enclosures and Tannoy drivers, it gave me license to mention mine, HPD 315's in 150 liter bass-reflex, 1 7/8" thick MDF, cones converted to "Hard Edge", and custom crossovers using copper ribbon inductors, Mundorf SIO caps, and Dueland resistors.
I have used many different amps with these speakers, and have arrived at my holding point, with two completely different types of amps, an SET 300B, which matches beautifully, and Class D Audio CDA 254 amps, of which I am using two in bridged mono configuration, at 500 Watts into 8 Ohms.
The SET hasn't seen much use since I built these Class D's, the Tannoys sound spectacular with that much power (they sound spectacular with the SET 300B too, but with the additional power, there's no contest, as the Class D sounds very much like the SET on steroids).
I encourage you to pursue a project pair of Tannoys. Back when I built mine (ca 2009+-), I found my drivers on Ebay UK for around $700. They have gotten much, much more expensive since then, and will most likely continue to do so.
You should check and see what's available now, and if you're not too discouraged, get started. Done right, a vintage custom pair of Tannoys can give nearly any speaker a run for their money.
Enjoy, and regards,