11 January, 2009

Return Visit: Tannoy Canterbury/Counterpoint 5000/Verdier

Return Visit: Tannoy Canterbury

Danz' system has been changing fast. When I first visited, his system consisted of an AYRE combo driving the Tannoy Canterbury (pre-HE version with foam surrounds).

As noted in the previous report, when Danz decided to go tube (as it should be for Tannoy) we took the SUN AUDIO 2A3 to his place, but it was not quite enough for his large place.

A little later, he got the VERDIER L'amplificateur 6550 PP amp, and I got to listen very briefly. Sound was certainly an improvement from the Ayre amp, though with the Ayre preamp still in the chain, gain setting still posed problems for Danz.

Pic: The beautiful Verdier

Things moved quickly! Now Danz has a Counterpoint 5000 full tube preamp and the updated equipment list is as follows:

-Music Server (EAC/Foobar) - USB - Benchmark DAC (also Musical Fidelity X-Ray)
-Nottingham Hyperspace TT/arm/Shure M97x
-Counterpoint 5000 MM/MC full-function preamp
-Verdier L'amplificateur 6550 PP amp
-Tannoy Canterbury

It's pretty amazing, in the large room, with more than 10 people jammed into the room, sound was still quite easeful, and more than loud enough. How many systems can you say that about? "No, no more than 2-3 people!!! Otherwise there's no sound!" Does that sound familiar? That's what you hear frequently even from people who regard themselves as sifu (optimistic in most instances). I never buy that sort of thing.

The interesting thing about Danz' Canterbury is that with every change in partnering gears we could/needed to adjust the Treble Enery and Treble Rolloff, both accesible from the front and adjustable while music is playing. This time the center seems a little bit less filled; so we toed in the speakers a little and that improved, but not completely resolved, things. A perceived bass excess was cured by balancing the curve, by upping the treble energy and rolloff.

I have to say Danz' system has improved by leaps and bounds. Now, with excellent tube gears driving the Canterburys, sound was pretty much tonally correct and easeful. The system excells in big orchestral pieces, which were delivered with confidence. Paradoxically, with the resident digital source, small combo's and solo instruments could use a little more spice. This is the reverse of the usual situation you find in an audiophile home.


  1. DJ,
    I have to add my bit to this thread. There are limited reviews of the Tannoy on the web, thread bare in fact. Tannoy seemed to be happy not to promote their product and are oblivious to the requirements of the trade?
    I am not sure where I fall in DJ's number of Tanned converts? Perhaps the 5th. With the Canterbury I may have firmly anchored myself to a sonic peg around which I can actually build my magical, mystical sonic kingdom. I would only like to add a footnote to state that music is now in control.
    Thanks DJ

  2. Dear Karma, I am really happy for you!