TANNOY: Vintage Tannoy 12″ monitor golds vs. Harbeth

I am thinking about assembling a secondary system in a small den (12.5ft x 13.5ft) for listening to combo jazz, female vocalists, acoustic guitar music, cello sonatas, and the like.

I have come across a pair of vintage Tannoy 12" monitor golds(from the sixties) that are mounted in custom cabinets made of baltic birch and walnut veneers, heavily braced and lined with acoustic foam (weighing about 70 pounds each). The crossovers have been rebuilt with new audiophile components and the compensator dials have been removed and hardwired in. The cabinet is about 40"tall, 15"wide, 13 inches deep and have twin ports on the front baffle towards the bottom of the cabinet. I am told that it is tuned to about 40hz which may be ideal for the small room they would be used in as well as the music that would be played on them most times.

Being that I have never heard vintage Tannoys, I wondering if anyone would be willing to speculate how these would sound compared to perhaps Harbeth Compact 7's or maybe classic Spendors?

I have been told that the Tannoys are very sensitive speakers, so I would probably being using one of my lower watt tube amps....a very dynamic, full sounding 15 watt EL84 tube amp to drive them.

Thank you for any and all comments that you are willing to share with me.

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One thought on “TANNOY: Vintage Tannoy 12″ monitor golds vs. Harbeth

  1. I can only bring to the party my own experience of these things, bu5 it’s based on over 50 years of experience of high end HiFi and pro audio. The speakers you ask about are from the opposite ends of the monitor speaker spectrum, the BBC did use Tannoy, in Lockwood cabinets and of course the Spendor/Harbeth type unit came directly from BBC research.

    I had Spendor BC1s and 12” Monitor Golds in Lockwood cabs, and wanting to use a valve amp, I used an Art Audio Quintet to drive them. While it was OK, I found the BC1s needed more power and used a Musical Fidelity P140 to drive them. Both systems sounded great, but for me the Tannoys had the edge, with a more accurate and involving sound. Six years on, the BC1s are long sold and the MGs still here. Having said that my ears an£ preferences are not yours, you relly need to have a listen to them.

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