Enter the dual concentric driver. The major advantage of the dual concentric design is that the low and high frequency sound radiation is generated on the same axes – both the vertical and horizontal axis and all the others in between – sending out a single integrated wavefront of multiple waves instead of waves from multiple locations. We have all heard multi-driver speakers which sound a bit disjointed, putting the violins or brass or some other part of the orchestra in a different place than their locations at the time of recording, or creating smearing because the multiple wavefronts are not reaching the listener at exactly the same time.
With the dual concentric driver you have a single chassis that incorporates two separate drive units, integrated into one. The high frequency driver mounted in the middle of the center pole of the bass driver is an exponential horn. The newly designed 15” Gold Reference bass driver is Tannoy’s most powerful and articulate Dual to date, offering over 96dB efficiency. It has a new fiber-enriched paper pulp cone material and the cone is terminated with a twin roll surround of impregnated fabric for improved damping characteristics. The crossover to the bass driver has also been redesigned, featuring Custom ICW ClarityCap™ MR capacitors, low loss laminated core inductors and thick-film resistors, and the final assembly is deep cryogenically treated as a whole unit.
The birch plywood cabinetry has been engineered expertly and if I may say so cleverly with a Variable Distributed Port system allowing low frequency output to be tuned to best fit their placement and room dimensions. And then there are Tannoy’s signature high frequency power switch, which permits fine adjustments to the treble. As mentioned before, the dual concentric 15” woofer and cabinet’s ported design….no matter what piece of music you are listening, there is no traces of “one-note” emphasis nor there any energy loss in the lower midrange/upper bass that is so typical of multi-driver floor-standers.
I say this, once you listen to a speaker with single driver; you would never go back to any traditional multi-driver speaker. I am now spoiled and unequivocally ‘Tannerd’ for life :-)
Among the most notable things one would appreciate from SuperTweeters is cymbals. Cymbals would splash and burst rather than merely exploding (like confetti falling from ceiling). There is definite trails of textural nuances such as reverberation trails and delay repeats adding to the sense of excitement. The track ‘And then there was you’ (live at ronni Scott’s) by Norah Jones is one of the example of how the lower pitch ping reverbs and distinctly audible when Brian Blade (drummer) strikes the edge of the ride with a stick.
I consider them as extension of Canterbury’s rather than a mere accessory that further enhances your listening experience.
My search for an SS integrated ended when I first heard E-650 in my system. The E-650 not only musically satisfying but transparent enough to let other components shine through in my system. Despite of its modest power, my Tannoy Canterbury’s have blossomed from its pure class A 30W. The bass is outstanding, with a wonderful combination of solidity in the lowermost octaves along with excellent control and definition in the mid and upper bass region. In addition to this solidity and weight, the Accuphase allows Canterbury’s 15” woofer to beautifully reproduce the texture of the bass along with its attacks and decays in a way that brings the instruments to life. I can’t stress this enough but getting the proper ‘bass’ is so important for the foundation of music.
The E-650 delivers just the right amount of sweetness and purity in the mids and highs that very few integrated possess. There’s something about the sound of a pure Class A watts that is particularly beguiling. Class A in general, doesn’t sound like Class AB solid-state nor does it sound like tubes. The virtues of E-650 Class A operation were readily apparent on a range of instruments. The E-650’s smooth yet suave midrange and treble beautifully renders a natural and unfatiguing tonality.
The E-650 liquidity with vocals in also unmistakable. I could easily pick out the dense texture and richness of vocal harmonies on one hand and its resolution and transparency on the other. The voices blends beautifully with arrangements without congealing; the rendering of space is exemplary not just in width and depth but more importantly in the precise placement of images within the soundstage. Notably, instruments are presented as individual objects spatially and texturally, making it easy to clearly hear individual parts within the whole. That’s one quality that a meticulously designed component does well; to hear it to this degree from an integrated amplifier is quite astonishing and rewarding. Once you hear the E-650 textural beauty, resolution and liquidity, it becomes very hard to walk away :-)
聖 Hijiri, in Japanese meaning 'maestro' or 'important leader' is the brand presented by Kiuchi-san in 2015 under the Combak Corporation, the mother company. The cables being discussed here are designed by Mr. Kazuo Kiuchi, who also owns the XRCD24 brand. These relationships are even deeper, because his components and accessories, for example power cables, interconnects and speaker cables, as well as anti- vibration elements are used in the Japanese JVC studio.
聖HIJIRI “TAKUMI” Maestro power cord is simply exquisite. The cables feature cotton braid and terminated with custom-made plugs by US company WattGate. This custom-make involves applying wooden barrels on plug's endings that acts as dampening vibrations. Just like Nagomi, you also get wooden element the middle of cable length which act as anti-resonant elements. One look at this wooden element suggests a considerable time spent behind the selection of proper type of wood, size and optimal placement on the cable.
How does it sound? Again, from the very first note, TAKUMI’s sound is deep, dense, with pitch black background. It presents instruments and vocals in a very natural way, without emphasizing the elements that indicative of “tune up" sound many other brands simply can’t escape. The liquidity is simply off the charts. The tone and three-dimensionality is spot on, there is this naturally soft attack and smoothness across the spectrum. You can not hear any harshness (unless present in the recording), because there is none, neither can you point out any signs of coloration, because again, there is none. From the very first to the last album I listened to, I can’t help marveling the extremely well balanced sound. Moreover the cable beautifully presents the differences in tone in instruments placement as well as dynamic range. The TAKUMI excels in vividness, fluidity, saturation and differentiation - a rare combination.
Emotions, the most important element of music and TAKUMI convey them in spades. It is a cable that will improve nothing in the system, neither will it degrade anything. It simply allows recordings to sound in an emotional, naturally soft, full-bodied way. Bravo!
聖Hijiri H-SLC speaker cable showed up in its custom exquisite wooden box just like Takumi Maestro power cord. Apparently, “Million” speaker cable took three years in development and she shares her DNA with the X-DC Studio Master Million Maestro power cable. It’s worth pointing out that each cable is hand made, one pair at a time, custom designed from specially prepared copper that is directional and then terminated with heavy duty solid spades made of silver plated PCOCC.
Let’s delve into how H-SLC (Sophisticated Listener Choice) sounds in my system...
One word comes to mind, natural while delivering delicate musical nuances that were previously imperceptible. H-SLC is a very accurate cable, she digs so deep into the sound that what we hear is no longer just about hi-fi sound or components associated with it but all about music and how IT changes. Therefore, both the vocals and the arrangement on your favorite recordings sound wonderfully powerful and dense. This is the same density XRCD24 discs are known for...I know we are talking about CD format with its inherit weaknesses but if you have heard the K2HD mastered CD’s, knows exactly what I am referring to....on speakers capable of producing larger soundstage (like my Tannoy Canterbury’s) the spatial prowess of K2HD mastered discs is much more discernible, yielding to a considerable more meticulous presentation and separation of instrument bodies.
There is also of course a slight warming of the upper treble, something like "gilding" that makes the cymbals sound nicer, more "friendly" than when presented "raw". There are no colorations to the whole presentation, it is not closed, because the attack and selectivity of the midrange remains strong, stronger than any of my cable brand graced my system in last 15 plus years. And did I mention excellent dynamics. Since the foreground is placed close to us and the way it grabs our attention, we perceive each arrangement very immersive and natural.
The HIJIRI H-SLC "Million" speaker cables conveys tonal richness, depth, resolution and dynamics in spades, just what one should expect from any top tier cable. Together with Takumi Maestro power cord, the speaker cable delivers remarkably natural presentation, reminiscent of the aesthetic choices of what we get with XRCD24 (sorry I couldn’t help pointing out the reference, again). She is a keeper :-)
聖HIJIRI Million “極KIWAMI” HGP-X Balanced Cable showed up in its handsome wooden box (just like PC and Speaker cable). Presentation matters, right :-) The construction and presentation is quickly becoming a norm here, just like PC and Speaker cable. The exquisite cotton coating of the Million "Kiwami" cable is pleasantly soft to the touch, and its tricolor – black-yellow-red – stands out. It’s also worth pointing out that cable is terminated with grounding extensions which can be connected to the ground terminal or to one of those ‘audiophile’ grounding block. A feature certainly worth exploring in very near future :-) In addition, like the other cables in “Million’’ series, the wooden block with the inscription Hijiri on one side and Million on the other side acts as a filter for dampening resonance.
The Interconnect proven to be last piece of the puzzle in my system. After “Million” power cord and speaker cable, the XLR further extends the realism of PC and speaker cable. No added sweetness to voices, softening strokes, restrained sopranos or bass, just audio purity. Not only the sound is fuller and neutral, its also most spatial and devoid of any distortion. It is no surprise that HIJIRI cables are the only ones used in the recording and remastering of XRCD’s.
HIJIRI cables has this speed and their uncanny ability to transmit transients is pretty impressive. The cables with a “soul” that has further elevated the synergy between my carefully chosen components. I always believed, in a well-compiled high end system, you will always hear impact of well engineered cables like HIJIRI’s. And by going a step further and using HIJIRI’s complete loom, you unleash the full potential of the components in your system. I was able to find out about this by adding the HGP-X on my DAC which already powered by “TAKUMI” Maestro power cord. These cables have brought me closer to the state of audio nirvana, from the very first to the last note.
Is this the end of my search for cables, I think so.
The Nova uses PC-OCC single crystal copper in a multi-strand litz construction with an individually insulated silver coated core yielding to high performance and exceptional value. As per manufacturer description, the cable employs generous (3x12AWG) highest purity Japanese PC-OCC single crystal copper conductors.
How is this cable sound….in one word, fabulous. The cable conveys plenty of warmth, naturalness and dynamically impressive. The cable has exceptional low noise floor thus revealing every nuances in your music. Well done Zavfino!
The Supreme³ copper fuse receives the same treatments as the silver-gold option, but uses pure “Cardas Grade 1 copper” produced by American legend George Cardas.
It’s worth pointing out that HiFi-Tuning’s head Bernd Ahne was initially more or less indifferent to the copper thing until George Cardas personally showed him microscope images of different copper types and it became clear that the crystal structure of these types differed significantly. That aroused Ahne’s interest – and in fact his engineers later certified that the conductivity of Cardas copper was the same as that of silver … actually a technical impossibility.
Consequently, caps and fuse elements of the Supreme3 copper fuse consist of Cardas copper and have a wafer-thin gold plating (0.2µ instead of usually 5 to 10µ) since gold conducts less well than the used copper, but it is necessary as protection against oxidation. If you look closely, you will discover the Nautilus logo from Cardas on the front of the copper caps – a rarity that this logo can be used and thus a special sign of relationship between Cardas and Ahne.
I always preferred the slightly warmer presentation hence my choice of Cu fuse over its all silver counterpart. The Cu has a warmer and organic presentation due all copper wire. Aside from aforementioned presentation, this fuse excels in following areas over generic run of the mill fuses.
The first thing that struck me after inserting Cu fuse is the background to the music was figuratively blacker, so the silence between musical passages were more impressive, deeper, more realistic. Everything that emerged from this blackness sounded distinctly clearer and more detailed.
Piano keystrokes were clearer and natural due to the lower sharpness. And the cello is more distinctive with melodiousness and very audible vibrato. On Leo Brouwer:Guitar Sonatas DXD album, the guitar strings sparkled more beautifully, the plucking noises were more detailed and haunting.
I will continue to add my impressions here as I continue to roll through my favorite albums.
Picked these on a whim after reading up a review. So glad I did, mechanical perturbations and electrical radiation in the area of the cinch connectors are real and silent plugs not only eliminate these vibrations, they allow more details, more space around instruments and more emotions to flow through.
Just when I thought I couldn’t have possibly improve my audio system’s performance, them two tiny boxes from Entreq managed to just do that! They’ve unlocked more detail with greater resolution and transparency out of my Tannoy’s. Tannoy’s are known for including a dedicated ground post with their Prestige line. The intent is to get RFI away from the voice coils.
So how does it work? ~ The Entreq ground boxes are designed to remove noise and pollutants present in the signal path. By removing these unwanted pollutants, you lower the noise floor and subsequently improve the performance of the connected product. The addition of Entreq grounding have improved dynamics, detail retrieval whilst remaining natural and organic in presentation.
Before I go further, I need to emphasize that one must experiment with ground box placement in their system. The Entreq suggests that you can connect anything in your system to a ground box – integrated amp, phono stage, dac, streamer, router, network switch. In my system, connecting the grounding box to router and ethernet switch yielded no appreciable improvements in performance of my system. My DAC and Integrated were already grounded by Acoustic Revive RGC-24K which takes a slightly different approach to lowering / eliminating noise pollutants. Another thing, you must allow atleast 24 hours to fully appreciate ground devices optimal benefits.
Back to Entreq, connecting a pair of Entreq boxes to my Tannoy’s dedicated ground binding post yielded to a new order of magnitude in sonic improvement - the bleeding of RFI noise to grounding box allowed me to hear nuances already present in the recording more clearly. The new found clarity in my favorite tracks, and the depth and separation with which each recording is presented is difficult to overlook and live without.
My take away from this experience, the RFI/EMI noise is very real and draining these noise/pollutants out of the signal path of the component is a necessity if you’re striving for audio nirvana.