With strong traditions and a keen eye on the future, Tannoy is still growing, even after nearly a century.
When is a loudspeaker like a box of tissues?
When it's a Tannoy.
Just like Kleenex (and Xerox, Band-Aid, Frisbee, Jacuzzi, and many more), Tannoy is a trademark that has become so much a part of daily life that it has been “genericized.” In England, Tannoy is so synonymous with public address systems that at a railway station, you can listen for the status of your train “over the tannoy.” It’s also used as a verb, so you could, say, be asked by your supermarket manager to “tannoy” a request for clean-up on aisle two.
While neither longevity nor ubiquitous daily use conveys much about the high-fidelity performance of a brand, these help explain why Tannoy is such a revered institution of high-end audio. Founded in 1926, Tannoy became a supplier of PA systems for the Ministry of Defence throughout the war. It was soon a part of the social fabric post-war, with systems at sporting events, holiday parks, and civic infrastructure.
As Tannoy made its way from the platforms of Abbey Wood station to the control rooms of Abbey Road studios, it further insinuated itself into sonic history by becoming a part of some of the greatest recordings of all time.
In 1973, Abbey Road Studio 2 installed Lancaster cabinets with Monitor Gold drivers, and Pink Floyd began recording its eighth studio album on them. Today, Tannoy fans feel a great sense of completion when they drop the needle into the lead-in groove of Pink Floyd’sDark Side of the Moonand know they are hearing it the way it sounded to a world that had never yet had their heartbeats speed up to ‘Speak to Me,’ leading into the scream that opens 'Breathe (In the Air).' No doubt, many of you remember the exact moment you first heard this all-time great album opening.
Tannoy was known as the Tulsemere Manufacturing Company for two years after its founding in London. In 1928, Guy R. Fountain went with the far more catchy coinage derived from “tantalum/lead alloy,” which was used in the manufacture of its rectifiers. The company moved to Scotland in the 1970s, and while it has become well-settled in Scottish culture, it is still a very British brand.
We’re thinking about Tannoy's history this week because there will be a new product launch next week at Axpona, and we’re so proud to be a part of a brand that’s nearly a century in and still going so strong. We’re constantly asking Tannoy how far we can go to reveal what’s coming and have been told no hints, eye points, or nose-tapping. We can only say that it’s a passive loudspeaker that’s true to Tannoy tradition. Whether you know your Tannoy history better than a senior Tokyo audiophile or are totally new to the brand, we’d love for you to join us on this journey, living both the history and future of high-fidelity sound reproduction.
Come hear the new PrimaLuna EVO 100 Phonostage at Axpona this year.
Upscale Audio is sending a team and several pallets of goodies up to Chicago for this year's edition of AXPONA (Audio Expo North America), from April14-16. We will be in three rooms on the 12th floor and at a double-size booth at the Ear Gear Expo.
Inroom 1244, peek at our static display of products from Cabasse, Tannoy, Sbooster, Pathos, Feliks Audio, and PrimaLuna.
Room 1243will host an active demo featuring, first and foremost, Tannoy and PrimaLuna. We are proud to host the North American debut of a new product from Tannoy. Most of the electronics driving this new loudspeaker will be from PrimaLuna: the EVO 100 Phonostage, EVO 100 DAC, and EVO 300 Hybrid Integrated Amplifier.
Sources will be a Feickert Trio SE turntable and the new Lumin U2. Cardas is generously providing all cabling for this room.
Nearby,Room 1242will house the Cabasse demo room. Jean-Michel Polit and Alexandre Paul from Cabasse will demonstrate up to three separate set-ups. Experience the full-range wonder of the Riga 2 satellite speakers with The Pearl Sub. The new Abyss streaming amplifier will drive the beautiful Minorca MC40 speakers. Explore even greater simplicity with Rialto, an all-in-one system you must hear to believe.
Down atBooth 8211at the Ear Gear Expo, we will set up some of the world's best personal audio products for demo. These include the Feliks Envy, Pathos InPol Ear, Feliks Euforia EVO, Feliks Echo MKII, Chord Hugo TT, and a PL EVO 100 Integrated. Headphones are from Sennheiser, Dan Clark, HiFiMan, Focal, Abyss, and Meze Audio.
See you at the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel and Convention Center, Schaumburg, IL.
Upscale Audio customer Charlie Puzzo tells us his story about growing up around music as an avid collector of recordings in almost every format. Learn about Charlie's record label and how his father owned a storied Seattle jazz club. We're grateful Charlie chose Upscale Audio as his resource for honoring his vast music collection.
Highlights of his system are from Tannoy and PrimaLuna, but here's Charlie's complete equipment list. We're not joking when we say he can play nearly every format!
Charlie's Equipment List
Source Dr. Feickert Volare turntable, Kuzma Stogi 9" tonearm, Hana Umami Red cartridge Rega P78 turntable with 78 cartridge Akai GX-77 reel-to-reel player Marantz TDR-830 8-Track player Akai GXC-570D cassette player Marantz MV5100 Super VHS player Marantz SACD 30n disc player Sony MDS-JB930 Minidisc player Marantz DD-82 digital compact cassette deck Technics SV-DA10 DAT player Sony X800M2 4k disc player Marantz LV510 Laserdisc player
Amplification Manley Chinook (Upscale Edition) phonostage Primaluna EVO 400 integrated amp Marantz Cinema 60 AV receiver
Video/Surround Epson Pro Cinema 4040 projector Emotiva Airmotiv B2+ surround speakers, four Emotiva Airmotiv C1+ center speaker
DJ Technics SL1200MK2 turntable, two Mastersounds Two Valve MK2 mixer Korg Kaossilator Pro synthesizer Korg KAOSS Pad processor/sampler
We're Open on Saturdays
The Upscale Audio store at 2058 Wright Avenue in La Verne is open on Saturdays from 9 to 5. We will be running with a smaller crew, and there are a couple of important things to note:
1) As with all other days, you'll need tocall ahead and set up an appointment for a specific demo. If you decide to drop by, you won't be turned away, but your auditions will be limited to our headphone station and—only if the rooms are free—whatever systems we already have set up.
2)The warehouse will be closed, so if you need to pick up something, please call ahead, and we'll ensure we bring it over by Friday. If you buy something while you're here, it might be cheaper to ship it! After all, shipping is free above $49, and you'll save a little on La Verne city tax. Unless you live in La Verne...
Please call 909.931.9686 to make a demo appointment.