Which tube ampli for Tannoy Canterbury Se

Atmasphere

[Industry Expert]
May 4, 2010
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Tannoy Prestige Gold Reference Canterbury Speakers

Recommended amplifier power20 - 300 Watts
Continuous power handling150 Watts RMS
Peak power handling600 watt
Sensitivity96 dB (2.83 volt @ 1 m)

17 more rows ...
Feb 25 2021
Brand:
Tannoy
Nominal impedance 8 ohms
IEdit:https://www.psaudio.com/article/how-much-power-do-i-need/
These specs are similar to my Classic Audio Loudspeakers which can handle 300 watts, are 16 ohms and 98dB (also flat to 20Hz).

The Tannoy is about 8 ohms; its an easy speaker to drive. I've found that speakers this efficient still do benefit from some power; 140 watt is not out of place on a speaker like this.
 

montesquieu

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Jan 27, 2019
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I've been running Tannoys of one sort or another since the early 80s.

The sensitivity figures are not the whole story. Those big cones need quite a bit of starting and stopping which means a decent damping factor/low output impedance That's why single ended amps by and large disappoint with most Tannoys, since the vast majority of single ended amps (regardless of power) have the opopsite characteristic.

There seems to be a general consensus that the vintage Tannoys work best with valves (I use a 100w Leben push pull amp my speakers, based on the late 60s HPD315a, but many earlier Tannoy drivers I've owned have been happy with far lower PP power - down to 10-12w, or even lesss), while the modern Tannoys are best with solid state. I'm inclined to concur with this. After much experimentation with valves and solid state, a friend with Prestige Canterburys whose ears I trust has ended up with 300w of Accuphase power amp. (Though I haven't heard it yet due to the Covid lockdown).

I'm sure some of the beefier valve amps would also make a decent fist of the later Canterburys, but I'm not personally a fan of most parallel push pull valve amps, preferring single pairs of power tubes per channel.
 

Atmasphere

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Those big cones need quite a bit of starting and stopping which means a decent damping factor/low output impedance
This is a common myth. The size of the cone has nothing to do with the ability of an amplifier with high output impedance to control it. I'm not doubting that you hear a problem with many SETs on this speaker, but output impedance per se isn't the reason. I can say this with quite a degree of confidence as we've had Tannoy customers for decades and they all say our amps play great bass on them. Our most popular amp on them is the M-60 which has a higher output impedance than many SETs. But the M-60 is full power to 2Hz within 1/2dB and that might have something to do with it:

SETs often sacrifice the bottom octave in favor of the top. This is because above about 4-5 watts bandwidth starts to get difficult to get out of the output transformer. With more and more powerful SETs, the bandwidth is more and more compromised. This is one of the advantages of push-pull as they can make about 10X the power before bandwidth issues emerge.

Quite literally if the efficiency is 96dB, most SETs simply won't make the power needed. Keep in mind that with any SET not using feedback (which describes 99 44/100ths percent of them) that to get the most out of that amp the speaker needs to be easy enough to drive that the amp never makes more than about 20-25% of full power. This is to prevent excess distortion, some of which is perceived by the ear as brightness, as the higher ordered harmonics start to show up in greater percentages above that power limit. This can skew the perception that the amp is weak in the bass.
 

montesquieu

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I don't believe it's a myth at all - I'm speaking from considerable experience. I have tried a large number of SET amps over the years with Tannoys (and many dozens of amps altogether, owned, borrowed or just visiting), from fleapower 45s and 2A3 (with Tannoy Monitor Golds) right up to 845s, 211s and even 60w Kronzillas with T1610 with Monitor HPDs.

I owned Silvercore 833C monoblocks with the 833A transmitter tube for a while and thanks to the nice stuff they were doing higher up, almost convinced myself they were up to the job in the bass as well, but against my current Leben, the gap in bass performance was clear, and I eventually had to admit it.

In general with Tannoys and SET (to a greater or lesser extent depending on the particular speaker and amp), while the perception may well be of 'strong' or prominent bass, compared to a more suitable amp there is always lack of bass control, expressed either as lack of definition, or lack of extension, or indeed as both. This may not bother some people (and I've heard people deny the problem even while I've been sat listening to it myself) but it certainly bothers me.

I have tried a couple of OTL amps (not including Atmaspheres, it has to be said - they are fairly uncommon here in the UK) and essentially found the same issues as with SET. Though I'd be the first to admit it's not an amplifier topology I've had much experience with, compared to tube SET/PP and assorted solid state.

If you know of an Atmasphere amp in the UK I could have a play with I'd be delighted to give it a try,
 
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Atmasphere

[Industry Expert]
May 4, 2010
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I don't believe it's a myth at all - I'm speaking from considerable experience. I
I've no doubt you are! But nevertheless this is a common myth- so much so that if in this particular case it turned out to not be the case, it would be the first time I've seen it since I first heard this some 30 years ago. Occam's Razor is telling me that's unlikely. But you never know.

A simple way to see if this is the case is to put a resistance in series with your existing amplifier. An 4 ohm resistor would do fine; assuming that the amp is less than an ohm that would result in 4-5 ohms which could simulate an SET or the like (tube amp with no feedback). The resistor will absorb a good deal of energy so it should be able to handle a few watts. But you should know easily enough if that's all there is to it or not.
 

montesquieu

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My preference would be to put your amp in the system and see if it delivers.
 

montesquieu

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There's an interesting thread on the french site club-hifi.com (non-French speakers might want to run this through http://itools.com/tool/google-translate-web-page-translator )


I have to say both the original listing and the comments below it are pertinent to this thread. (The poster references Westminsters not Canterburys but the challenges are similar and I suspect the prescription - for higher power - is the same).

My vintage driver Tannoys are a different proposition (RFC Canterburys with a 12in HPD driver) - which of your amps would you recommend for these? (I might try and track one down somehow).

EDIT: meant to say, gorgeous looking amp!
 

Gregadd

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Apr 20, 2010
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These specs are similar to my Classic Audio Loudspeakers which can handle 300 watts, are 16 ohms and 98dB (also flat to 20Hz).

The Tannoy is about 8 ohms; its an easy speaker to drive. I've found that speakers this efficient still do benefit from some power; 140 watt is not out of place on a speaker like this.
Sounds like a job for the MA1:D
 

Jim Smith

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Good morning WBF friends

What are your experiences? What power should I look for? What benefits should I expect from sound?

Thanks for letting me know your ideas ...

Thank you,
Gustavo
I owned Canterburys for a number of years, The best tube sound - most musically involving - was from a pair of Viva Aurora SET monblocks - 34 watts each, IIRC.

And they're from Italy...

However, I never had a pair of Atma-Spheres to try...
 
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jespera

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Jan 12, 2018
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thank you for all your very valuable answers to me as i also tried luxman 900u series solid state preamps and amps but i didn't find them superior to mine jeff rowland but i was too curious to try a tube so yesterday i took home to try out a 60 stereo Leak power amp with el34 all nos Mullard even if not really suitable I used my preamp The Choerence Two / 2 Jeff Rowland. well I understood that with transistor amplifiers it takes a lot of watts as in my case while with tubes it really takes 30/40/50 watts. I am very amazed that a vintage 30 watt tube amp had so much power to drive the canterburys and sound good. so i asked my hifi shopkeeper friend to try; Luxman CL1000 with 2 stereo amps that I will use in bi-amp luxman MQ88UC and also Air Tight pre Atc-5 and 2 stereo ATM 1S amps that I will always use in bi-amp.
Ciao

Radford sta 15/25 (with mullard el34) and tannoys are a classic combination.

McIntosh mc30 also has a good reputation.

For more clarity get vintage tannoys and pimped crossovers.

Jesper
 

montesquieu

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Radford sta 15/25 (with mullard el34) and tannoys are a classic combination.

McIntosh mc30 also has a good reputation.

For more clarity get vintage tannoys and pimped crossovers.

Jesper

Vintage Tannoy drivers are the route I took. I agree on Radford STA25 which is superb with Monitor Golds and Monitor HPDs ... I also had an STA100 (similar design, but 100w with KT88s) which worked beautifully with my HPDs.
 
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tano.longo

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Gli amplificatori VAC 200iQ mi sembrano assolutamente perfetti con il mio Canterbury GR. Vedi se riesci a mettere le orecchie su uno dei loro attuali amplificatori iQ / auto-bias. Anche l'entry-level 80 Watt / canale sarà sufficiente per i 96 dB / Watt del Canterbury. Tuttavia, non andrei sotto i 40-60 Watt. Un sovraccarico extra ti offre una migliore chiarezza e dinamica con questi altoparlanti. Ho eseguito Canterbury SE e Kensington SE prima del GR.
grazie per essere stato accolto in questo gruppo.
ho altoparlanti tannoy kensington SE e vorrei passare a canterbury SE. La stanza è 4,3x7. Come suona Canterbury rispetto a Kensington. il Concentric Dual è più basso nei Canterbury a tre metri di distanza dal pento di ascolto e i diffusori posti a 2.5 metri da centro a centro tw possono anare bene?
 
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Phantom-Audio

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Apr 23, 2017
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Atma-Sphere M60 Monoblocks will give you 60 Watts per channel or a little more if your using the NOS Power Tubes.
 

Phantom-Audio

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Apr 23, 2017
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I think we have spoken by email, My UK Distribution Demo units were sold off in early 2020. Once the Lockdown was put into place.

Hopefully early next year, I will have the Atma back in the UK but probably the much higher-powered units paired with the Classic Audio T1.5 Field Coils. I have tried the Atma-Sphere with Cube Audio and Tannoys. I own a pair of Cube myself.

In your case, I have seen Tannoy users in Indonesia with Either the M60 or MA-1 both will work and this really comes down to how big your room is and your listening distance.
 

montesquieu

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Would love to have the opportunity to hear these with my Tannoys. I no longer buy amplifiers without hearing them - too much variability in performance with different speakers, and price is no guide whatsoever!
 

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