The complete Tannoy Revolution Signature range comprises four stereo pairs and two centre-front (dialogue) models, each available in real wood 'light oak' or 'espresso' colour finishes.
The stereo pairs come in two-way standmount and two-and-a-half-way floorstanding versions, and use either 150mm or 100mm dual-concentric main drive units.
These are housed in the appropriate-size enclosures and with a matching bass unit in the floorstanding versions. (The LCR models also come with the larger or smaller dual concentric drivers, this time with a matching passive radiator.)
The subject of our review is the £800 per pair DC6, which is based around the larger 150mm dual concentric driver, mounted in an attractively finished and interestingly shaped enclosure. Of the real wood veneer options, 'Espresso' is currently proving the more popular by a significant margin.
'Espresso' might well be the height of current cabinetwork fashion, but the same cannot be said for a wood veneer which has a resolutely matt finish.
Speaking personally, I think this type of surface treatment (probably originating from Eastern Europe) looks much more natural than the typical high-gloss approach that seems to be favoured by Far Eastern sources.
Inside Tannoy's speaker set
The cabinet encloses a volume of 11 litres, and is loaded by a port at the front, below the solitary dual-concentric drive unit. Although the front panel is wide enough to accommodate the 150mm drive unit, the back panel is exceptionally slim - only just wide enough to accommodate the strip of five terminals.
Although the front and back are flat and parallel, with the top and base likewise, the sides are formed into a tight curve so the depth corresponds quite closely to the width. This has the multiple advantages of stiffening the sides, spreading out the horizontal standing waves and dispersing reflections.
The five terminals? One pair feeds the bass/mid, another pair the tweeter, while the one left over is connected to the drive unit chassis. Like a similar feature found on Tannoy's more upmarket Dimension and Prestige models, the idea is to allow the chassis to be earthed back to the amplifier in order to reduce RF interference.
But there's little evidence of cable brands making appropriate five-conductor speaker cables available, so the feature's practical relevance must be questioned.
A refined design
Tannoy's famous dual-concentric driver began life way back in 1948 and, in various forms, has been a cornerstone of the company's loudspeaker technology ever since.
A co-axial drive unit, which places a horn-loaded tweeter down the 'throat' in the middle of a bass/mid cone, shows how the concept continues to be refined and developed with a shorter tulip waveguide and much modified tweeter.
Built on a 150mm cast alloy frame, the flared doped paper bass/mid cone is 115mm in diameter, driven from a high-power-handling 44mm edge-wound voice-coil. The 25mm diameter tweeter has a titanium dome just 25 microns thick, with a claimed extension to 54kHz.
The crossover point is set at 1.8kHz, with a second-order roll-off feeding the bass/mid section and a simple first-order feed to the tweeter.
Under our in-room far-field measurement regime, the DC6 comfortably met its 88dB sensitivity rating and did so alongside a relatively straightforward nominal impedance of 8 ohms, with an easy-to-drive minimum at around 200Hz. However, the pair match between our two examples was not particularly close, which is a little disappointing.
Although the port tuning is 50-55Hz (depending on the sample), a frequency which usually leads to some mid-bass excess in our test room, our measurements reveal a surprisingly dry bass alignment.
When the speakers are mounted on open 60cms stands well clear of walls, relative output rolls off very gently and progressively below 200Hz.
Close-to-wall siting fills in the midbass zone very nicely, lifting it up to match the broad, slightly projected and impressively smooth and even upper midband and presence, though there remains some lack of output through the upper bass and lower midband.
These measured findings were clearly reflected in the listening results. Close-to-wall siting normally leads to a clearly audible increase in voice band coloration, but that didn't seem to be the case here.
With their backs to the wall, the DC6s somehow seemed to dissociate themselves entirely, sonically speaking, from the stereo soundfield they were creating.
There is, perhaps, an associated reduction in stereo-image depth, but this is only mild in degree and did little to spoil the party (especially since such depth is usually an artificial studio construct).
This Tannoy isn't perfect by any means, but it does the most important things very well indeed.
The bass is smooth, clean, even and fast, with no evidence of thickening or overhang. And if ultimate weight and extension is somewhat limited, that's hardly unexpected in a compact standmount.
The voice band is particularly impressive, too, sounding attractively open, expressive and coherent, with the sort of delicate and subtle detail that seems to be a feature of well-behaved paper cones. The top end is very well-judged, too ,if anything erring a little on the side of restraint, which is arguably better than tending to draw unwanted attention to itself.
This is a speaker that knows how to rock and roll, as timing is invariably excellent. Few bands have ever made greater demands on timing precision than Little Featstykes and on these speakers the live Waiting For Columbus album builds superb tension throughout.
Orchestral material is equally effective, the texture of massed strings reproduced with a realism that is thoroughly convincing.
Brass instruments are amongst the most difficult to handle, with a tendency to sound aggressive, but happily the Tannoys are smooth as well as forward, so brass has good punch and vigour but avoids sounding over the top.