Golds and HPDs test session using birch ply Tannoy GRF replica cabinets

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi and General Audio' started by speedy.steve, Jul 25, 2010.

  1. speedy.steve

    speedy.steve

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    A few months ago a pair of Golds came up for sale - the instant I saw them I was onto them but was pipped to the post by Mozza by 5 minutes! - No hard feelings really:)

    Well, Mozza generously offered to lend me the Golds to try them. Time came in the way and he went on to build his own GRF cabs out of birch ply http://www.pinkfishmedia.net/forum/showthread.php?t=82513&highlight=tannoy
    Nice job!

    Curious about Golds and HPDs we agreed to have a get together to test them out at my place using my trustly Rect replica GRF's made out of 21 and 24mm birch ply.

    Mozza, I_should_coco (one time Golds owner now off in bassless horn land :rolleyes:) and a couple of Tannoy interested folk, Jim, and Graham came along too.
    Graham brought cake!

    Firstly we listened to some great tracks on the HPDs: jazz classics like Louis Amrstrong's and Duke Ellington's Together, Piano Stan Kenton I think it was, Al Haig / Jamil Nagger combo, Yello, Tori Amos and more...
    We even put Shine on you crazy diamond requested by Graham:cool:

    Comments like good bass, handles the full range of piano well, scale and presence and how easy they are to listen to on a wide range of music...
    40 yr old drivers just should not be sounding this good...but they do!

    Cake was served by Graham, some drank tea, some drank beer;)

    The source (Coco's old SP10, my 12" modded Pioneer L-71 Acos arm, SPU Silver Meister cart:
    [​IMG]

    Then we swapped my HPDs for Mozza's Golds. Straight swap as both are the 8 hole basket type. At first something was not right with the bass on the L.H driver - all mixed up. This we diagnosed as bass leaking through the seal at the magnet cover. Re-positioned felt / more felt fixed that but then we had a buzzing / scratching- that turned out to be a washer that I'd accidentally left in the space between driver and surround:rolleyes:
    All sorted we started listening. Same sort of tracks + Money (Graham's request), nice and loud - boy that sounded good - 70s pressing - none of your 180g etc.

    The Golds did something a bit different - bear in mind this is in the same cabs, same crossovers (mine are the early HPD / late Golds type - not sure if the all the electronics are the same as was sold with the Golds though...), so it is just the drivers difference we were hearing.

    I was expecting the Golds to have a bit rolled off bass - but none of that. If anything they were bassier, more immediate and vivid. Perhaps as the beer took over we upped the vol a bit too - Coco was vol man for a while and it did get louder:D
    I looked for the logical difference and put it down to the lighter more responsive cone - no spiders as the HPDs have, different surrounds (Mozza's had been back to Lockwoods and re-doped / were still sticky.

    More great music and the Golds played really well. A bit more alive and visceral somehow.

    Perhaps these slightly more efficient lighter cones suited my Class A KT88, PP, fully differential triode amp more?!

    Then I put the Bar-B on and we sat outside, ate our fill and drank beer.

    After some more listening it was time to take the Golds out - sort of :( cos I would have liked to evaluate them longer.
    Time to go arrived and the guests left. Coco and I put the HPD's back in and played Tori Amos, Leather and following tracks for a while.
    The B to A comparison was the HPD's are more polite and perhaps the word 'Hifi'. A strange word to use but searching for descriptives I use it not to mean good or bad. A bit less visceral and attention grabbing - still detailed fully and doing great things. A bit calmer and composed on something like Tori Amos - Edgy and difficult is how I would describe her - bet she's hard to live with:eek:

    So, a great afternoon, time well spent. Good company - some new vinyl to source and the feeling Golds and I will definitely have a future.
    I need to own a pair to really assess them and decide TBH.

    Some pics:

    Golds mounted in my new curved top and bottom cab
    [​IMG]

    Golds in the first cabs I made (intended to take the 3828's)
    [​IMG]

    A pair of HPD's
    [​IMG]

    A contented Mozza
    [​IMG]

    Coco and Graham
    [​IMG]

    Jim (directing traffic?:D)
    [​IMG]

    3828's re-foamed by yours truely;)
    [​IMG]

    Some of my arm projects - 12" is the way to go
    [​IMG]

    My new curved top and bottom cab with full length grilles - Still building the other one - will be ready this week I reckon.
    [​IMG]
     
    speedy.steve, Jul 25, 2010
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  2. speedy.steve

    Dev Moderator

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    Sounds like a great way to enjoy an afternoon.

    So are you after a pair of Golds now Steve?
     
    Dev, Jul 25, 2010
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  3. speedy.steve

    RobHolt Moderator

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    Excellent work Steve.

    Is the SP10 your main TT these days?
     
    RobHolt, Jul 25, 2010
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  4. speedy.steve

    speedy.steve

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    Yes.
     
    speedy.steve, Jul 25, 2010
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  5. speedy.steve

    speedy.steve

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    Yes again.
     
    speedy.steve, Jul 25, 2010
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  6. speedy.steve

    nando nando

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    yes steve, super job, i love my chev's not for sale anymore,
    nando.
     
    nando, Jul 25, 2010
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  7. speedy.steve

    Jimbo

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    Very interesting findings Steve. You would think Tannoy would have made an improvement on the Golds. They do seem to have a certain rightness to the sound, not perfect as nothing is really.

    I believe the 70's seemed to be the best for hi fi and music as a whole. Just my opinion as it was my decade for growing up in. Things like the Quad amps and Tannoy of course. I wonder what the old Quads would sound like with the Golds?

    Jim.
     
    Jimbo, Jul 26, 2010
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  8. speedy.steve

    Richard Dunn

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    They deserve better amps than that either valve or solid state.
     
    Richard Dunn, Jul 26, 2010
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  9. speedy.steve

    RobHolt Moderator

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    There are no better amps than those when used within their rating - IMO of course :)
     
    RobHolt, Jul 26, 2010
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  10. speedy.steve

    Richard Dunn

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    Well bring it round and bake it off then.
     
    Richard Dunn, Jul 26, 2010
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  11. speedy.steve

    Jimbo

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    Yes they would go well with valves as i think they are 93db and a low wattage. I have a 150 watt per channel hybrid amp which is perhaps a bit of overkill for the golds.

    What suggestions would you say for valve amps to go with golds.
     
    Jimbo, Jul 26, 2010
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  12. speedy.steve

    RobHolt Moderator

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    I've baked it plenty of times which is why I still use it.

    You won't like it in your system - but then you aren't the one using it.

    I'd quite like to do an amp bake (blind) later in the year thought, including a tube amp though the latter can be a problem as technical vagaries make them sometimes sound odd. A good strong push-pull with low output impedance would be good to slot in.
     
    RobHolt, Jul 26, 2010
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