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Those Lonnie Donegan HPD 12 inch Tannoys of mine

Discussion in 'classic' started by ian r, Feb 11, 2019.

  1. ian r

    ian r 401's Nakman

    Whilst the virtuous are tucked up in bed and a long time since able to be here on the fish after the move to Ireland.

    I only recently unpacked the now naimed Tannoys.
    old farts will recall these HPD 12' s were once in Lonnie Donegans home/ garden studio from 1957 till his bank manager ended up with them.... which sounds like a tale in itself but not one i can shed much light on....

    In my first year of owning them ....only one worked as the voicecoil was farked 20 years ago and within the year the next one was wasted ...mostly due to age so they both ended up at Lockwoods at different times.

    They were sad to be unable to save the original cones which were notably thicker than their replacements and a different colour....anyway gents please realise the HPD are the pre DC Tannoy... so they have no tweeters.... Lonnie was recording 78rpms ( apols for those who know all this ) and that medium didnt encode officially much above 13k and background and surface hiss/noise was the norm.

    Anyway here in my Saddam Hussein like Palace of a unfinished irish boom house i have got the expensive kit unpacked and am really playing thse Tannoys for the first serious extended use since reconing........

    so no xovers, tweeters, neu cones, old snaps new Ryan cards..... turns out Im listening thru the running in and after 3 nights serious listening my old mate and I are wondering if someone has spiked us with something...

    we are amazed at the punch, these ancient things utter capability of coping with any crescendo or quiet subtlety of signal eg artists etc. counting down to start up, even hearing George Martin on Sgt pepper re release... more and more the sound especially acoustic and live is so true in scale and oomph its almost unreal.... no amber nectar or substances involved and speaker cables from 1957 hard wied in but horrid black and red twin core ....

    I have esl57's, a set of JBL's, modern smaller DC Tannoy 611's and a set of ballsy missions minis

    all of which are amazing items... only the JBL's get ANYwhere near this pleasurezone where the timbre of instrument strings on albums i have owned for years is phenomenal... i know the words but i have never felt ..viscerally

    I use a Nac 12 pre with Ryan Lab chipset cards and a 110 nap. The Ryans are some awesome upgrades and let some very very lownoise pristine signals through so the hpds have as sweet an input via cd I can devise for now (no decks set up yet)

    various Nak tape decks also used so its not just that clear clear CD input into tweeterless speakers which gives a hf input undreamt of in 1957 from speakers officially unable to reproduce that HF......So here we are...midnite with speaker. its that we arent missing the tweeters at all as the sound is so clear and simple almost like listening to valves....

    which will hopefully be the next joy....

    the mate im listening with made me some Tannoy corner cabs which i havent fitted the hpds into yet

    so happy the running in is prooving so rewarding ... presently the Ozark Mountain Daredevils, previously Ray Charles, John Jorgenson, Henry McCulloch, BBKing 80th birthday

    no sign of sleep yet... but nice to share the ongoing lonnie donegans
  2. Darmok

    Darmok "A Priori Teleology."

    ^ Good call on the Ozarks.:cool:

    Reminds me of the time I blew both treble horns in my Goodmans Tri-Axiom 1220s.

    Still sounded amazing, a PA pal called over and when I told him about the blown treble horns, his reply was he couldn't tell.

    So much for yer average sound teckys hearing eh?
    ian r likes this.
  3. ian r

    ian r 401's Nakman

    Hi Darmok

    yup bin there and benefitted had my first esl's from a buy in Ulster 40 years back ... he thought they were a disappointment... but it took me a week to realise one needed a new treble panel....


    finally switched off but may sleep on the sofa... its funny all through the session tonite banjos in particular sounded crystal clear in the mixing... the ghost of Lonnie...
    Darmok likes this.
  4. ian r

    ian r 401's Nakman

    saw ozarks live on their 2..? early tours...one of my all time faves ...a genuine happy band who turned their back on fortune and decadence soon enough andreturned home to family values etc and apparently are hugely respected locally where they still play ...10 year old info tho
    Darmok likes this.
  5. calorgas

    calorgas pfm Member

    I think they must be 'Direct Radiators', definitely not HPD (which are dual concentric and date from the '70's).

    Sounds like you're having a great time with them, regardless :)
    ian r likes this.
  6. ian r

    ian r 401's Nakman

    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
    calorgas likes this.
  7. ian r

    ian r 401's Nakman

    I might actually getround to screwing in the back panels again ....yikes these things work beyond most speaakers even in these cabs and in spite of the cables and the underspec leads and holes drilled in the front in the1960's for tweeters... long since lost before i was GIVEN them.

    we are still listening to them this morning..... with alll the building moving selling and stuff i had forgotten i hadnt run them in.... Is it Karl at Lockwoods ? He was so sad to loose the original undamaged cones.... it was voice coil damage the cones were grand.... however i have no concerns at all about his lighter newer ones ... it works for studios around the globe and for me.

    having had my esl's forcibly rebuilt after water damage i found them unlistenable... not the case with Lockwoods.
    calorgas and Darmok like this.

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