You are here

My Tannoy Reveals

For everything after the recording stage: hardware/software and how you use it.

My Tannoy Reveals

Postby jimh76 » Thu Feb 27, 2020 2:30 pm

Hi.

I have some Tannoy Reveals that I have owned for about 15 years now and I have a couple of questions.

As they are 15 years old now, will they have deteriorated to a point now where they will be affecting my mixes? They have just been used as a hobby and never loud.

They are about 10cm away from a wall and have the rear bass extension tubes. I've heard about tuning these with socks? I don't have any sound absorb things on the walls or bass traps etc., so should I leave well alone?

I tend to find my mixes can be a bit bass heavy at times although very rarely add bass eq to things.

Thanks for any responses in advance.

Jim
jimh76
Regular
Posts: 59
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:29 am

Re: My Tannoy Reveals

Postby James Perrett » Thu Feb 27, 2020 3:37 pm

At 15 years old they're probably just about run in ;)

If your mixes are turning out bass heavy it sounds like your mixing position is bass light. If this is down to the bass cancelling itself out then you might want to try changing the speaker position and adding more acoustic treatment. The best way to check for cancellation is to listen in various different positions - is the bass stronger in other parts of the room? I would expect it to be stronger close to the walls but if it is stronger in other positions it points to the need for acoustic treatment.

Putting socks in the ports will change the port tuning and usually reduce the bass but the bass that remains could be less boomy. However the exact effect depends on how the ports are designed and how highly tuned they are.
User avatar
James Perrett
Moderator
Posts: 8925
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2001 12:00 am
Location: The wilds of Hampshire
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration. JRP Music Facebook Page

Re: My Tannoy Reveals

Postby John Willett » Thu Feb 27, 2020 3:41 pm

One old trick was to fill the port with straws (of varying length - but flush on the outside) to reduce port turbulance.
User avatar
John Willett
Jedi Poster
Posts: 6868
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2000 1:00 am
Location: Oxfordshire UK
John
Sound-Link ProAudio
Circle Sound Services
Sound-Link are UK Distributors for: Microtech Gefell, ME-Geithain, AETA, HUM, Håkan, Meyer Turtle

Re: My Tannoy Reveals

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Feb 27, 2020 4:40 pm

jimh76 wrote:As they are 15 years old now, will they have deteriorated to a point now where they will be affecting my mixes?

Very unlikely. Loudspeakers, like microphones, are generally very long lasting devices. And if they are suffering from old age problems -- some bass drivers with foam surrounds are known for failing after many years, for example -- they are always very obvious problems!

So if they still sound okay, you can rest assured that they are okay!

I've heard about tuning these with socks?

Tuning is a misnomer! The speakers were 'tuned' to give their best by the designer. Stuffing ports with socks (or acoustic foam) changes the speaker response away from what the designer intended, often very dramatically. The bass response will change in some partially unpredictable way, with changes affecting things like the corner frequency of the bass roll-off, the shape and steepness of the roll-off slope, and the resonant frequency. In some specific cases, this can be beneficial... but in others it will degrade the performance and balance quite significantly. You're unlikely to do any damage in experimenting, fortunately ... but don't assume it will inherently improve things... usually, it doesn't -- at least not in speakers which are well-designed in the first place! If the speaker ehas a very obviously hyped 'one-note' low-end then adding some loading to the port can give a smoother and more natural bass end, but typically, you will end up with a significantly leaner-sounding speaker at the very least.

I don't have any sound absorb things on the walls or bass traps etc.... I tend to find my mixes can be a bit bass heavy at times...

These two things are almost certainly related -- as James mentions above. I wouldn't be surprised to find that your room is more or less a cube shape, maybe roughly 8 or 9 feet wide, deep and high... most bedroom studios are (mine included!) and the problem with that shape of room is that reflected low frequencies tend to cancel out in the middle of the room where, inevitably, you end up sitting in front of your DAW. Consequently, you hear less bass than is really present and mix to compensate for it... resulting in bass-heavy mixes.

There are two solutions.

1: install effective bass trapping and other room acouystic treatment to imrpve the sound within the room.

or 2: mix -- or at least reference -- using headphones so that the room acoustics are removed from the equation.

By the way, the same acoustic issues will also affect any acoustic recordings you make in the room, of course!

H
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 26402
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound

Re: My Tannoy Reveals

Postby ef37a » Thu Feb 27, 2020 6:26 pm

My Tannoy 5As are on wall brackets in a 1275cuft almost square room and are about 10 years old and seem to sound much the same to me as they have ever done, in fact 'I' have probably changed more than those!

The room is not treated but full of junk which probably helps a bit. I have not used them in earnest recently but I recall they did not have 'in yer face bass' but I was often taken aback by the sound of low bass from instruments like cello and organ. I think the Reveals HAVE bass but not 'hyped'. But then, I chose the Tannoys because they have been making speakers for more than my lifespan and should know thing or two? They also don't make every other electronic gimmcrack as well!

In the same room are a pair of Mission 770s, 2x 6" units in boxes over a mtr high, reflex loaded. They produce quite alarming amounts of bass! I am sure they need a bigger room.

Lovely to listen to and produce a pin sharp stereo image but not 'monitors' perhaps?

Dave.
ef37a
Jedi Poster
Posts: 11300
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 12:00 am
Location: northampton uk

Re: My Tannoy Reveals

Postby Arpangel » Fri Feb 28, 2020 11:10 am

ef37a wrote:Lovely to listen to and produce a pin sharp stereo image but not 'monitors' perhaps?

Dave.

I don’t differentiate between what are called hi-fi speakers, or so called monitors.
I know about monitors and transparency, an uncoloured sound, and that's preferable for a lot of people, but I believe that if a speaker sounds lovely, and has the benefits of say, good imaging, then why not use them for monitoring?
I have 70's hi-if speakers for monitoring, and also a pair of Behringer Truths, both have their own strengths, and I’m happy with them.
I can only judge by what others say, and how my recordings sound in other places.
That recording I sent the BBC recently sounded fine on the radio, and they didn’t ask for anything better, so that’s fine.
I think if we knew what speakers we all used here, and what have been used on recordings we know and love we’d be very surprised!
User avatar
Arpangel
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 3085
Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2003 12:00 am

Re: My Tannoy Reveals

Postby John Willett » Fri Feb 28, 2020 11:33 am

ef37a wrote:In the same room are a pair of Mission 770s, 2x 6" units in boxes over a mtr high, reflex loaded. They produce quite alarming amounts of bass! I am sure they need a bigger room.

Lovely to listen to and produce a pin sharp stereo image but not 'monitors' perhaps?

The original Mission 770 (Mk.I - the one with the white front) was designed to be the Mission equivalent of the Spendor BC1 - with a polypropolene bass unit that was stiff and light (lighter than the Bextrene coated driver of the BC1).

They actually made good monitors and I had a pair for many years as my first monitors.

Image
User avatar
John Willett
Jedi Poster
Posts: 6868
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2000 1:00 am
Location: Oxfordshire UK
John
Sound-Link ProAudio
Circle Sound Services
Sound-Link are UK Distributors for: Microtech Gefell, ME-Geithain, AETA, HUM, Håkan, Meyer Turtle

Re: My Tannoy Reveals

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Feb 28, 2020 11:56 am

Arpangel wrote:That recording I sent the BBC recently sounded fine on the radio, and they didn’t ask for anything better, so that’s fine.

I fear you may be putting rather too much faith in 'the BBC's ability to accurately and qualitatively assess such things, and in their overall quality standards! :silent:
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 26402
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound

Re: My Tannoy Reveals

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Feb 28, 2020 12:02 pm

Arpangel wrote:I don’t differentiate between what are called hi-fi speakers, or so called monitors.
I know about monitors and transparency, an uncoloured sound, and that's preferable for a lot of people, but I believe that if a speaker sounds lovely, and has the benefits of say, good imaging, then why not use them for monitoring?

It depends on the 'monitoring situation' and the quality of the hifi speaker.

The higher the quality of the 'hi-fi' speaker, the closer it inherently becomes to a 'professional monitor' anyway -- lower distortion, wider bandwidth, flatter response, better driver matching, etc etc...

As has been said, there are plenty of commercial tracks that have been recorded, mixed or even mastered using what would normally be classified as 'hi-fi speakers.

However, there are professional monitoring situations where few hi-fi speakers would survive. Not many would like solo'd bass or kickdrum tracks at realistic studio levels, for example. Pro monitors these generally have built-in protection circuitry to prevent damage when exposed to potentially damaging signals... very few hi-fi speakers do!

H
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 26402
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound

Re: My Tannoy Reveals

Postby Arpangel » Fri Feb 28, 2020 12:18 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
Arpangel wrote:That recording I sent the BBC recently sounded fine on the radio, and they didn’t ask for anything better, so that’s fine.

I fear you may be putting rather too much faith in 'the BBC's ability to accurately and qualitatively assess such things, and in their overall quality standards! :silent:

What! Sacrilege! :)
You probably guessed I’m a bit frugal when it comes to spending "real" money on gear, so I tend to mend and make do, comes from back when I had little gear, and no money.
As long as I can hear what I need to, that’s fine, I listen at low levels anyway, and the room isn’t that much of a problem. I’m sure if I had a pair of Neumann's Barefoots or whatever I’d be perfectly happy using them, but my existing speakers are still working, and do the job, I’ll get something new eventually probably, and it’ll probably be a pair of ATC's, but you know me, it could also be a pair of JBL's.

:)
User avatar
Arpangel
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 3085
Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2003 12:00 am

Re: My Tannoy Reveals

Postby John Willett » Fri Feb 28, 2020 12:55 pm

Arpangel wrote: I’ll get something new eventually probably, and it’ll probably be a pair of ATC's, but you know me, it could also be a pair of JBL's.

It ought to be a pair of ME-Geithains - much better ;)








(yes - I distribute ME-Geithain in the UK - that's why I put a winky, before someone complains)
User avatar
John Willett
Jedi Poster
Posts: 6868
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2000 1:00 am
Location: Oxfordshire UK
John
Sound-Link ProAudio
Circle Sound Services
Sound-Link are UK Distributors for: Microtech Gefell, ME-Geithain, AETA, HUM, Håkan, Meyer Turtle

Re: My Tannoy Reveals

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Feb 28, 2020 1:08 pm

:lol: :thumbup:
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 26402
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound

Re: My Tannoy Reveals

Postby Martin Walker » Fri Feb 28, 2020 2:31 pm

Arpangel wrote:I can only judge by what others say, and how my recordings sound in other places. That recording I sent the BBC recently sounded fine on the radio, and they didn’t ask for anything better, so that’s fine.

I'm still intrigued by the noticeable improvement in sound quality between the version you sent them and the one that got broadcast ;)


Martin
User avatar
Martin Walker
Moderator
Posts: 15206
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:44 am
Location: Cornwall, UK

Re: My Tannoy Reveals

Postby The Elf » Fri Feb 28, 2020 4:03 pm

Arpangel wrote:You probably guessed I’m a bit frugal when it comes to spending "real" money on gear
Korg 2600? Erica Syntrx? :blush:

A case of selective frugality!? :lol:
User avatar
The Elf
Jedi Poster
Posts: 13841
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Sheffield, UK
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.

Re: My Tannoy Reveals

Postby ef37a » Fri Feb 28, 2020 6:11 pm

John Willett wrote:
ef37a wrote:In the same room are a pair of Mission 770s, 2x 6" units in boxes over a mtr high, reflex loaded. They produce quite alarming amounts of bass! I am sure they need a bigger room.

Lovely to listen to and produce a pin sharp stereo image but not 'monitors' perhaps?

The original Mission 770 (Mk.I - the one with the white front) was designed to be the Mission equivalent of the Spendor BC1 - with a polypropolene bass unit that was stiff and light (lighter than the Bextrene coated driver of the BC1).

They actually made good monitors and I had a pair for many years as my first monitors.

Image

I erred John, mine are 775s http://www.nrpavs.co.nz/archive_1_10/So ... on773e.htm, a quite different pair of beasts I am sure. They are variously rated at 85 and 92dB/W/mtr sensitivity and 25 to 125 W power handling. I am inclined to believe the higher sens' figure as the 50Wpch Arcam 6 Alpha+ power amp they came with produces some seriously high sound levels. Not surprising since the system came from my son-in-law who is into Heavy Metal and Punk.

How well they would be as monitors is hard to tell. I only have the rather budget end Tannoys for comparison and even that would be difficult to set up. The missions are the other side of the room and it would be a monumental task to get them aside the 5As.

However the room DEFINITELY needs sorting out and if some of the **** life has chucked at us both keeps away in 2020 maybe it shall be done!

Hugh's point about hi fi speakers not being so robust or protected as true monitors is well taken. I found out 50 years ago the destructive effect bass guitar had on woofers and the effect distorted guitar and tape screech had on tweeters!

Dave.
ef37a
Jedi Poster
Posts: 11300
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 12:00 am
Location: northampton uk

Next