Been a music(hi-fi)lover since i was about 14.The westminster royal he, has been by far the most important addition to the system. After too many years of changing(upgrading?) equipment based on magazine reviews and keeping up with the latest, the Tannoys have given me a new perspective on what can be achieved in the listening room.

I am enjoying music so much again.

Having tried many pre and power amps over the last year this is what sounds best for me.

Also i added Dynavector xv-1s.

Comments most welcome.

Cheers Rob.

Components Toggle details

    • Esoteric dv50s
    cd/sacd/dvda player
    • VPI Industries tnt hrx
    • VPI Industries JMW 12.6
    • Dynavector xv-1s
    new cartridge
    • Amber tribute
    mm cartridge made by grado similar to reference with aluminium body
    • Tannoy Westminster royal he
    Big horns
    • Accuphase E-450
    • Accuphase T-1000
    • Supratek Cortese
    • Nagra VPA
    845 amp
    • McIntosh MC-602
    • McIntosh MC-2102
    new tubes
    • Cary Audio Design slp98p
    tube pre
    • Manley Laboratories steelhead
    • Cary Audio Design cad 805AE
    set 845
    • EAR 890
    kt-90 push pull
    • KR Enterprises Kronzilla
    • Vacuum state dpa 300
    • Varkey lab custom
    tube power amp
    • tannoy supertweeter st-200
    • vacuum state RTP3D
    tube pre
    • Atma-Sphere m-60

Comments 52

I noticed you have a Vacuum state dpa-300. Very interseting design. Would really like to here what it's like. Amps that I have used with my Avantgarde Trios are: Wavac md300, Yamamoto A-08s, Atma-sphere M60, Cary 805C, and my current Viva Aurora 845 monos are by far my favorite. Just recently I aquired a Mactone MA-300b. I noticed you have some of these same amps in your system, How does the Vacuum state compare. Nice system, I've never had a chance to hear any big Tannoys yet.


Hello Rob,

Still admiring your system, though I'm happy to report success in mating Tannoy HPD 315's in custom 200lb. 150 liter (each, w/o drivers and c/o's) enclosures. I am enjoying them, but I'm wondering how they would sound with tube amplification. Since you have a variety of amps to choose from, which do you recommend as your favorite for the Tannoy's?

Thanks, and I know you are happy!

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

Great system .Tannoy's sound is a feeling of music


That is an impressive system!


CHET ATKINS used tannoys in his studio..i have an old chetatkins album showing his tannoys in his studio...

Tannoys are a classic no doubt. Doug Sax of Sheffield Mastering Labs used ML 10 Tannoys with his own crossover design. Al Schmitt (Diana Krall's engineer) uses these hybrid Tannoys still!

Ag insider logo xs@2xshadorne

CHET ATKINS used tannoys in his studio..i have an old chetatkins album showing his tannoys in his studio...


I am green with envy. I love those horn. how do such speakers cost and how can one obtain them ( If one had the money) of course :-)



I can well imagine how happy you must be. I had the pleasure of owning some 12" Monitor Golds, in DIY boxes, that were one of my favorites of all the speakers I've had in nearly 40 years in this hobby. You must have to pinch yourself to insure you are not dreaming. Most excellent, and plenty of great ancillaries to mix things up. How I envy you.

Congratulations on a superb system!

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

i've been thinking about the tannoys. what else have you owned that you prefer these to?


Hi Rwjp
Like you, I made a resolution to simplify my system and bought an Accuphase E-450 paired with Harbeth SHL5s and am extremely satisfied! What a beautiful integrated amplifier, the E-450 sounds very musical in my system.

Congrats on your lovely system!

Best Regards


Think what you could achieve using Both a high and low powered valve amp! Amp Matching is more critical with Tannoy Pepper pot wave guide equipped speakers. I find transistor amps accentuate the IMD though the horns. The treble sounds sweetest and more organic with low feedback or SE valve amps. Problem. the 15in woofer-mids prefer a higher damping factor than the horn tweeter and need big watts for bass headroom and life like impact. Solution. Run them with active crossovers. Then you can run the optimum amp for each driver. This is a long term project that I have been working on. Altec 260A inspired with variable damping and 200 w/rms @ 8 Ohms. Ongaku inspired SE with 45 w/rms @ 8 Ohms. Both amps use 2, 4-125A transmitter valves per channel that NEED cooling.These are very linear, long lasting, ultra-reliable and can pump out the required power using only 2 valves per channel. A near silent cooling system is currently being designed by me for these monsters. Dr Frankenstein would be green with envy! Frequencies are divided by an optimized custom valve crossover. Liberated from high frequency duties frees the Altec to strut it's stuff from Fs to 1200Hz where we can vary the damping factor to optimize balance between tight, life like, dynamic bass and vocal clarity. Lberated from the Achillies heel of SE amps, it's bass slam and impact. It shines at what it does best airy, sweet upper midrange and treble. This greatly reduces IMD and THD in both the amps and the speakers and those amps are running the speakers far more efficiently seeing a smoother impedance load with more phase and frequency linearity than with a "passive" [what an oxymoron!] crossover. This should optimize the spherical wavefront the Tannoys present to the listener that make them such a treat on good "live" recordings. It will also correct the dip in response @600Hz and 1600Hz largely caused by the 24 ohm [Westminsters have a dip in impedance response here] peak around the crossover and other consequences of the "passive" frequency dividing network. The system features a silver wired passive control unit with 30[soon to be 40] position stepped dual mono attenuators[currently on PC duties] XLR fed to an ECC33[have2 NOS matched pairs] valved gain stage then on to the active crossovers. All my life I have fantasized about building something like this. Looking at those big beautiful horns makes me realize what my next step in the evolution of my system will be. Can send pictures of work in progress if anyone is interested. Seasons greetings from Thermonicavenger


Hi Rob if you were not happy with a system like that you would be a very difficult audiophile myself have been a panel guy for almost 30 years BUT as for cone speakers the Tannoy Wesminster is one of the few cone speakers that i would love having and for me to say that it as to be an exceptional speaker and it is very nice system you have there enjoy André


Cheers Mapman,
I'd love to hear a pair of those Ohms.


Hi Shardone, thanks
Yes it will probably get me into trouble, but I have found that room acoustics play a far more important role than swapping in and out electronics. And cheaper :-0

Although it was fairly easy to hear changes when trying different amps OTL, SET, push pull etc.

Probably the most significant improvement I made was free, turning my system around 90 degrees which allowed for a large opening behind the listening position compared with sitting up against the rear wall.
Then it was just a matter of fine tuning with acoustic treatment.

BTW if I was ever to replace the Tannoys those big active ATC’s would be on my shortlist.

Regards Rob


I love this system!

Very cool!


You seem to have taken a path that has led to amazing sound from big monolithic boxes with the highest quality pro drivers! You also seem to have discovered that the room acoustics is a HUGE part of the sound. You are a rare and extremely savvy audiophile - my hat off to you! I'll bet the sound is just heavenly! Well done!

Ag insider logo xs@2xshadorne

System edited: Update, decided to simplify my system, now using an Accuphase integrated amp in place of tube pre/power combo. Also employed an expert on acoustics and studio design to help with measuring and maximizing the speaker/room interface. Repositioned speakers and added Real traps acoustic products to the room. Bass and mini traps in all corners, also RFZ panels at first reflection points and diffusers behind the listening position. PS thanks for the comments above, i don't check my page very often.


Rob, nice set up. I will be upgrading to a 602 from my 252 soon. Besides the Tannoy's, what other speakers have you used with your 602?


The Tannoy's are gorgeous!


Great system! I looked into buying a pair of Tannoy Westminster Royals two years ago, but never pulled the trigger on buying them. I'll bet they sound great. I have a K-9 listening partner as well. Best regards, Stan


Love the system especially the dog! It's something I'd like to hear.

My cats listen with me but somehow it's not quite the same.


I think the "philosophy" behind our setup choice is... quite similar. My compliments for Your "definitive" Tannoy Westminster.


Thank's Pitdog.
Hi Steve sorry for the late reply.
I love the dynamics of horns also, the Tannoys i bought new, i have had them for about two years.
Cheers Rob.


Rob, absolutely beautiful system. I would love to hear your Tannoys. I also run large high efficiency speakers and love the dynamics and clarity they bring to the music.

I can only imagine what listening to your system is like, but I bet it sounds awesome!! Thanks for sharing it.

I am still drooling over your Tannoys. How long have you had them and where did you find them?



interesting system, these tannoys are quite impressive. and - nice dog, i have a very similiar one :)


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