Vintage Tannoy Gold vs Harbeth 30.1


It seems the vintage Tannoy has a cult following.  I heard one of the reason is that those old magnets are better.  They don't lose strength over time.  But besides that, what are the benefits or reasons to choose them over new production such as Harbeth 30.1?  I guess the new production may have better technology and design.  Which one would you choose?
gte357s
gte357s,

The vintage Tannoys (pre 1980s) were not active.

Later iterations and models were sometimes also labelled Golds, hence the confusion, but they were a totally different speaker. Tannoy also made studio monitors but these are not what audiophiles usually enthuse about.

The real legend of Tannoy was mainly built in the 1960s around various dual concentric drivers of which the best were said to be the ones with the rare alnico magnets. These drive units were large with some of them going up to 15 inches.

There was never any real consensus as to whether 10, 12 or 15 inch drive units were the best.

Without subs, a large Tannoy will naturally produce a larger and deeper sound than the smaller M30. It will also be more efficient when it comes to amplifier choice. After that, the advantages start to move towards the more strictly measured accuracy of the Harbeth.

A large Tannoy should really be compared to a large Harbeth, eg M40. Amazingly enough, even here some folks still prefer the Tannoys!

This is why they have a cult following like the vintage JBLs, QUAD ESL 57s and the BBC LS3/5 etc. These were all outstanding speaker designs of their time.
For the driver below, is it active or passive?  I think that box is the cross over, and I believe it has a power plug.

https://skyfiaudio.com/products/tannoy-12-gold-dual-concentric-drivers-with-crossovers
gte357s,

They look passive to me.

Yes, the crossover and the controls for the bass and treble have been removed from the original cabinet but that’s totally different from running them active.

It was a feature of many vintage designs, and one coming back into fashion now, to allow the user to make subtle changes to the treble/and or bass output to suit various rooms via passive level controls.

The classic JBL L100s have something similar.

These look ok, re-coned and all that, but you weren’t thinking of building a cabinet for them were you?

A decidedly tricky business.

If I were you, I’d only consider a ready made pair you could listen to first.

It would be far easier to go with the Harbeths and add a sub later if you wanted. 😃