Tannoy CRF ?

Congratulations.. It's yer Lucky Day :bigeyes:
Have a set since new .. Adequatly supported (equipment) these are likely the last Speakers you will want.
These REQUIRE a decent Amp with significant Current capabilities.. 20+ amps as a Minimum. This produces Deep Clear bass.. -3 db at 30 hz. and the dynamics are v good. sadly Tube types, just don't manage Bass in these V well at all.. But that depends on What yer Musical tastes run to.. Vocals, soft Jazz is V god on a decent SET.. But Rock is not Very.. yer choice.

Firstly Remove all that White stuff someone has stuck in there.it's garbage. Suggest Joining the Tannoy group at Yahoo and follow the Links to Crossover Upgrades (minor) and possible Speaker refoaming sources.. If yers Have Foam surrounds rather than the Earlier superior Butyl Rubber ones (they ae Permanent:)
Beyond that just start listening to them.
I have 30 yrs experience with these.. so ask, if theres more info you want.
Oooops.. Fer Free!..
Current Market Values for those is approx $3000 a pair.
thanks for the heads up!

i used some tannoy monitors at my last internship so i knew they werent ****.

anyway the guy who i got them from got tehm from a coworker who was getting divorced and had to give them away, then a guy who works part time at my bike store took them home, and his wife yelled at him.... and i said ok, because i cant say no to free speakers. thanks for the heads up.

also is there a more specific model number? i see more descriptive product names for GRFs. also the inputs where pretty cheesy but didnt look original,.

Firstly These are GRF's .. Guy Fontain.. (tannoy founder's.. best design) Rectangular horns. These require NO work other than to reverse the Ravages of Time. Hopefully they are Few.. BUT are absolutely worth reversing.. whatever it takes.
Uhhh.. where are the Treble and Energy Controls.. They fit into that Rectangular cut out? Some have removed these in the delusion that they 'got inna way' sonically. they don't.. But if you don't have em there is a Work around.. Hopefully the Crossover is intact Beige Plastic coffin like Box which Via a black Cable plugs into the Speakers input plug... the Xover IS critical/essential.. It can be reproduced but NOT without serious Hair pulling.. Don't Ask :)
Power ?? ..4 watts onna Set is Plenty.. Reference to hi current refers to the ability of the Amp to adequately control the Cones.. they are Big and heavy.
Damping Factor is just words.. Meaningless nes in my Experiences.
Exposure, Arcam. Krell all have serious Current capabilities.. You choose :) Hafler Dyna will be OK.. (I have an old One Too).. But do not judge the Speakers on the sounds produced by the Dyna/haflers.. They simply don't do the speakers justice..
But will work Fine.
You will soon find that the sound simply 'grows' on you.
Tannoy GRF

saletel said:
i picked these speakers up yesterday for free, just wondering what you all knew about them....
the drivers are 12" in diameter on the cone. thanks for any info

Hi Saletel,

The drivers you have are the famous Tannoy Reds. Among the most sought after items on Ebay. These drivers, clean as yours, can fetch prices between $2000 and $3000 easily, and sometimes more. Have a search among closed auctions.

There is no "refoaming" necessary, since your drivers have cloth surrounds.

Here's the course 101 on vintage Tannoys. Tannoy have not made many series of these vintage drivers. Its easy. The first Tannoys were the Black serie, a model that established the main guidelines at Tannoy for decades: enameled ironcast frame, paper cone, crossed over at 1000hz or so, to a coaxial mounted compression tweeter (horn) using the same alnico magnet as the woofer. This the recipe that remained... til'.. well, it's over. More later anywayl.

The series based on this design are: the Silver (mainly 40-50's) same design with Silver coloured frame,
then, the Reds, mainly made in the 50-60's I think, Same basket, but silver/blueish enamel, and the famous "Red" dustcap, while the previous serie had a cotton cloth covering the whole driver.
And then came the "Gold" serie, same driver with Gold basket,Then, in the 70's, the transistor amp, and the need of more enduring drivers, and smaller boxes.. lead to the HPD serie (High Performance Dual) with Gold baskets, and... "Girdacoustic" reinforcing ribs.. (for extra pleasure.. oops, extra rigidity.. ;) ) and.. the damn foam suspension, and extra power handling.

You have it. The best Tannoy ever produced, all used the same baskets, Alnico magnets, Compression horn tweeter.. and they were produced for over 40-50 years..

These drivers, or some equivalents are still produced, but as a rule, Tannoy did hide the fact that almost all their recent drivers no longer use compression horn tweeter, but rather, a less expensive metal dome tweeter, mounted in that horn.. .whew.. too bad.
Reds. Reds. You lucky, lucky...
Ahem. I shouldn't go on, I've an early pair of 12" Golds in immaculate condition, which I'm quite happy with, so I should not covet my neighb... damn! There I go again! (silver dreams, silver dreams;-)
I beg to differ that tubes don't work with these in the bass regions; I had a pair of World Audio Design KEL80 monoblocks which drove my 12" Gold DC drivers quite nicely thank you. In the horn a SET will do fine (not that I'm much of a fan of SETs) Mine were in scruffy Lancaster cabinets (terrible) when I bought them. In fact, they're back in them again until I have a MONSTER listening room (Ha! I can dream, can't I?). I did, for fun, rough up a pair of 8' tall TQWTs for them in MDF, although I dismantled quite quickly: in a small UK room, these were just comically large.
You'll never feel the need for another speaker again once you've set them up properly. The DC drivers are the best all-rounders I've ever heard for filling a large space. I even like the HPD variants, providing they've been serviced properly. Congratulations on your aquisition.

saletel said:
i just set them up a few hours ago in my bedroom (just got done with school live with folks) sound great. definately not the perfect room for it, or the perfect source material.

now i just need some audiophile amps and turntables

Hi Saletel,

Just keep in mind that these 15" drivers were aimed at big rooms, and that horn tweeters can sound terrible when listened to closed in, and as well, the Silver, Red, and Gold series were designed around Tube amps.

My Tannoys sound dead with most SS amps I have tried, and truly sing with a small SET amp..

So, just try and listen, have an opened mind.
Noooo.. you don't NEED Audiophool Amps /Sources.
These speakers will sound 'Fine' on almost anything.. .
But they respond v well to improved equipment... in fact you may run out of Equipment before the drivers become the bottleneck
Tannoys.. from the Golds onwards WERE designed for SS.. It was the "Holy Grail" of the time
IF.. one has not yet noticed, the Real differences that a "hi current capable" SS amp gives..Certainly on Golds and later drivers
Then It's about time you tried :) The difference is Not subtle.

Note that not all SS amps are thus capabl;e.. and that includes many Oversold "boutique" ones... Exposure, Some Nads and Some Arcams do this quite well... as do the Krells.. at the other end of the price spectrum. Read the specs.. fortunately it has not yet been entirely reduced to Brochure Babble.
Bought My Tannoys new in '71 along with the requisite tube amplification.. SS has currently proven far superior sounding.. and frankly If someone gets me to audition a Gainclone that proves to sounds even better, I'm gonna be all over it :)
An open mind is a wonderous thing
Do your own experiences and compare

Bare said:
Noooo.. you don't NEED Audiophool Amps /Sources.
These speakers will sound 'Fine' on almost anything.. .
But they respond v well to improved equipment...

The Tannoys are overly revealing of what's upward the audio chain. I sure agree.

I know it's only "my" experience, and I won't start an argument here, for sure.

I had Meridian, Naim, Conrad Johnson, Krell, Audionote, Marantz, Radford and still own a big A&R Cambridge (now Arcam) 2X100w, all of them dull and boring, except the CJ with different speakers. I still have good amps accumulating dust on the shelves, but I can't stay away from my 300B se for long periods of time. Too thrilling. And true, my little Gainclone is a marvellous amp too.

<<An open mind is a wonderous thing>>

That's exactly what I meant. Thanks for mentioning it.

Different ears, different needs.

Decades of piano tuning sure help me alot make my choices. My only criteria now is "how much fun do I get?" not how much THD..

Have fun

Err; the drivers we're talking about are Reds I believe. Those came before the Golds (which I have) and were still being designed as the front end to the (usually lousy) valve amps of the era.
My Golds don't seem too fussed about what's driving them. I've fired major Audiolab combinations through them (a disaster that they were bought out by TAG Maclaren and their prices pushed thrugh the roof. And very interesting that the same products again have been re-branded back to Audiolab, at sensible prices!), and they didn't blink. They work best with my Nait 5, budget Rotel and big old Sansui Quad reciever. Works for me at any rate. I remain unconvinced that spending a fortune on amplification and (digital) sources will yeild major benefits. The major issue is surely what you are actually listening to: the speakers, and their interaction with the room, which no computer program can accurately model (perhaps TACT room correction aside, but that's not the same thing.)
mine are 385HPDs from new, about '78.
The biggest improvement came from converting the crossover to bi-wire. Easy to do but time consuming to work out without a circuit diagram. The schematic is freely available for most models now and you should be able to see where the mod needs doing.

For the hpd pcb it involved scoring one track and removing that tiny bit of copper then drilling two holes into the new free ends of the tracks to feed in the hot bass and treble cables.
I also brought the returns directly from the speaker plug back to the rear terminals as well as the original route into the crossover.

Soon after the first mod I removed the plug and soldered into the rear of the speaker socket and bi-amplified (crimson1704s - SS) with the passive xover. SUPERB!
Re: Tannoy GRF

Originally posted by Sylver300B Tannoy did hide the fact that almost all their recent drivers no longer use compression horn tweeter, but rather, a less expensive metal dome tweeter, mounted in that horn.. .whew.. too bad.

But what is a compression driver, but a dome tweeter mounted in a compression chamber? True the big ones i usually see are concave, not convex. Below is the dead butterfly from the baby Tannoys i have.



  • tannoy-butterfly.jpg
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Tannoy Reds

a pair of the best Dual Concentric speakers ever made, congratulations!

I own the Red 12"s myself
$3,000-$4,000 US$ in the cabinets would be my guess

Driven with tubes, a dream

But very revealing; ******** in will be ******** out
Whatever change in the Amps and front-end you put in front of these you will notice the difference; for the better or worse

El Gippo