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Tannoy Chesters- what do I need to know?

Discussion in 'classic' started by JTC, Aug 16, 2008.

  1. JTC

    JTC PFM Villager...

    I've recently bought Robert's Chesters (10" DC from around 1980) and I should have them by this time next week.

    I was wondering about them, where they fit in the overall line-up (of their time) and if there are any do's and don'ts that I need to know about.

    I'm hoping to be able to use them close to a rear wall and driven by a fairly beefy integrated s.s. amp. I'm quite excited to be getting the chance to dip a toe in the water - and if it all works out then I might bide my time until I can find a pair of more modern Prestiges, but in the meantime it would be good to find out more about them. Especially things like optimal positioning, toe-in, height, etc.


  2. DSJR

    DSJR Between us and them

    ...And when you've had 'em a few months and wish to upsize to "real mans" 12" or 15" ones, perhaps you could give me a shout....(I've been reading the thread on ZG............... IIILZ's are too expensive right now and Devons although cheap to buy, may need expensive work!)

    Apart from that, I can't add anything to what's been said here and elsewhere ;).

  3. JTC

    JTC PFM Villager...

    Well, if I like 'em the 'real man' 12"/15" would certainly be my goal. Problem is two fold:

    (1) Price - the best ones are pricy.
    (2) Size - my 'ideal' (which I haven't heard so this is just whimsy) is the Canterbury SE, with the 15" but in a much much more compact package than the Westminster SE. Still miles too big for my room, probably.

    So, more realistically I'd be looking at something like the Turnberry, but that's only a 10" DC. Problem being that the 12"+ options tend to be much larger, and I can't really figure out where they'd go in my modest sized room (18'x16'x11' (LxWxH))

    All of academic interest until I get the Chesters and decide if the Tannoy DC sound is for me... I only hope they are representative enough of the bigger models to give a flavour of what lurks down that path... :)
  4. MarkS

    MarkS pfm Member

    The plastic cones honk and do not sound crisp like the paper cones on larger Tannoys(ie. flabby bass). I had a pair of Chesters for six months...

    Problem can be solved by reconing as SRM 10B, but an expensive solution.

    (former Tannoy service manager)
  5. JTC

    JTC PFM Villager...

    So do the Chesters have the plastic cones? I'm only going on what Rob Holt posted over on Zerogain, where he claimed they were 'the best £150 (he'd) ever spent on hifi' or somesuch. Shouldn't have thought he'd have written that if they honked...

    Anyway, they're bought so if they honk I'll find out for myself, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed...
  6. MarkS

    MarkS pfm Member

    Applies to all 2528 DC driver based Tannoy's, ie. Ascot, Chester, Dorset and Mayfair. This was Tannoy's first foray into plastic cones. By comparison the DC1000's illustrate very clearly how much the design of similar plastic cone based Tannoy's has evolved over the intervening years.

    I would agree that the speakers are worth £150. A pair of SRM10B's, if you could find some, would set you back £500 upwards.

    My earlier comments are based on extensive comparisons of all their speakers from that era and earlier in many professional and domestic setups.
  7. NeilR

    NeilR pfm Member


    If you want real mans speakers on a budget, don't forget the System DMT 12" or 15" speakers provided you can put up with the ugliness.

    I paid a pittance (£280) for my 10 year old System DMT 12 II. To my ears, they sound better than the older big Tannoys I have heard. In fact, they are bloody brilliant.
  8. andy831

    andy831 pfm Member


    I must have written this twenty times on various forums.

    IMHO You can`t have a big enough Tannoy cabinet and cone no matter what size your room is.

    My room is consderably smaller than yours and I use 15" tannoys. In fact the room is so small you could almost describe the way the spaekers are use as being Near Field.

    They don`t seem to suffer and I really enjoy them.
  9. NeilR

    NeilR pfm Member

    The 15" DMTs are described as midfield monitors and work in typical UK sized living rooms!
  10. Robert

    Robert Tapehead

    John, don't worry - no honking that I can detect up against the LGMs (paper).

    Tonality is a little different but that's all. Plastic cones and a different sonic signature to paper in most cases but that holds for many speakers.

    My advice is to put all Tannoy threads on your ignore list until you've spent some time with them because folk will say all sorts :)

    .... and another thing that I must admit annoys me slightly..... this 'only 10" business.
    10" bass drivers are large by todays domestic standards.
    There are far more similarities between the sound of the Chester and LGM than differences.
  11. hifi_dave

    hifi_dave Hi-Fi Retailer

    I agree totally. 10 inch drivers are massive by today's standards where a 6 inch driver is a sub-woofer. You'll have no shortage of bass with a 10 incher. I'm using Turnberry and 3LZ at the present time and the bass is effortless and you can feel it. Wonderful.
  12. JTC

    JTC PFM Villager...

    Cheers, guys. I'm looking forward to getting these babies... :)
  13. MarkS

    MarkS pfm Member

    All Tannoys up to and including the 38xx DC drivers(SRM and similar) use the same horn and compression driver, together with essentially the same hf section in the passive xover. It is what defines the Tannoy sound in all these speakers. Other than that you get either more or less bass depending on bass cone diameter and/or cabinet size.
  14. Robert

    Robert Tapehead

    Bass driver free air resonance also features here. The smaller Chester driver and box go lower than the larger LGMs, or should I say the -6db point is higher on the latter.
  15. NeilR

    NeilR pfm Member

    Just a bit of willy waving, Rob!

    If you've got it, flaunt it! lol
  16. Mick P

    Mick P Retired and content


    I must admit, I would not buy a 10" tannoy, the 15" ones are so much better, so yes, only 10" is relevant.

    It is like buying a 3.4 Jag ................ why?


  17. JTC

    JTC PFM Villager...

    But, Mick, you have piffling little Briks, so aren't entitled to comment ;)
  18. Mick P

    Mick P Retired and content


    That is true but I actually like Briks. This is my dilema, I like bloody Tannoys as well. I sometimes pray to the almighty for my Briks to blow up so I have the perfect excuse to buy a pair of Tannoys.

    I actually heard a pair of 15" ones in a small cottage last year, I bet the room was only 12 ft sq and yet the sound was perfection.


  19. Robert

    Robert Tapehead

    Oh yes I agree, if you are comparing to other Tannoys but they still embarrass a lot of smaller domestic speakers and in that context a 10" bass driver is large.

    8" is a rarity these days.
  20. JTC

    JTC PFM Villager...

    Well, they're in place and I am very impressed. Far better than they have any right to be for the money (as compared to modern hifi prices). And absolutely no honking, I'm pleased to report.

    Will post more in a few days once I've had a chance to let them settle in and listen to them a bit more... suffice to say my PNPs are up for sale... :)

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