"The first words of the review are always the hardest" – said nobody in particular. But it's true – I always struggle to start a review. Tell us something about the company? Well, what is there to say? Tannoy is a word synonymous with sound – the word 'Tannoy' refers to a public address system, usually installed in high street supermarkets, airports, and other public venues, designed to deafen members of the public with staff announcements and advertisements for discounted products, mumbled by an uninterested individual nearing the end of a long shift.
Tannoy, a company founded in 1926, is one of the oldest and most prestigious audio brands in the world. Their legendary studio monitors, cutting-edge hi-fi speakers, and budget 'mercury' lines have dominated the market for many years.
The Revolution DC6T's (here by referred to as the 'DC6's' so as to reduce the ware on my keyboard) sit near the bottom of Tannoy's range. They're an improved version of the award-winning DC6T, featuring improved stands, a better crossover, and improvements to the drivers.
The first thing you'll notice about the DC6's is the trapezoidal cabinets. Not only do they improve the aesthetics, they also help the sound by minimising standing waves and controlling cabinet resonance. It does make them harder to carry – however, standing a metre tall, and weighing just over 15KG, this is not a speaker you're going to want to be moving around often.
On the front are situated 2 drivers. The top driver is one of Tannoy's trademark Dual-Concentric drive units. Essentially a 1" titanium dome tweeter recessed within a 6" woofer, this driver offers a single-point source for all but the lowest frequencies, ensuring they arrive at your ear at the same time. This helps to improve imaging and the over all sound stage.
Located beneath the dual concentric driver is a second 6" woofer. This woofer handles lower bass frequencies, taking the strain off the upper woofer, giving the speakers a more refined, open and effortless sound.
The provided grilles are magnetic, meaning they can be easily installed and removed. They're plastic, and feel cheap in comparison to the rest of the speaker. Wooden grilles, such as those found on the Tannoy Precision range, are much nicer in this regard. They do provide protection for the drivers; however, most of the time I leave them off.
On the back, you'll find a bass port, and a set of speaker terminals. These speakers support bi-wiring – for this review they were used exclusively in single-wire mode. The terminals are recessed in a narrow, rectangular slot – this can make them difficult to unscrew. However, I used banana plugs – so for me this wasn't an issue.
The DC6's feature a rather nice stabilizing plinth. They come supplied with floor spikes, cups to prevent the spikes scratching wooden floors, large heavy round feet which screw onto the spikes, and an adjustment key. The spikes can be adjusted via the holes at the top, so there's no need to tip the speaker over to make an adjustment – a nice touch.
Due to the nature of the dual-concentric driver, accurate positioning of the speakers is a must to get the best out of them. During my testing, I found that an equilateral triangle 1.5M apart, 1.5 M away from my listening position, angled inwards roughly 20 degrees gave the best sound.
You'll have to experiment – probably with the help of a patient friend of family member, as even an inch can make all the difference.
Once you've got your positioning spot on, you'll be rewarded with a wide, deep, 3-dimentional sound stage. Positioning of instruments is spot on – and the quality of vocals is simply breath taking. The sound is very natural too – these speakers do a fantastic job of remaining faithful to the original recording.
Play 'ghosts that we knew' from Mumford & Sons 'babel' album, and the acoustic guitar is as natural as you could hope for. The presentation is subtle rather than forced – the sound flows from the speakers, and the realism of vocals is astounding. There's plenty of volume when required, and the speakers stay composed even at ridiculously high volumes. There's no tendency for the treble to become harsh – and, if anything, the experience becomes more enjoyable the louder you go.
That being said, these speakers are just as comfortable playing Norah Jones's 'Come Away With Me' album at low volume as they are belting out Fleetwood Mac's 'The Chain' – a track that they play with particular enthusiasm.
Perhaps the only area where these speakers lack is sheer bass attack. The bass is there – though not as deep as it could be. However, you'll be too lost in the music to notice.
I tend to summarise my reviews by weighing up the pros and cons of a product. However, in this instance, it's simply not necessary. These speakers have earned a spot in my system – in fact, they're playing as I write this, sounding better than ever. And, as the closing track from Nirvana's 'MTV Unplugged in New York' builds to its powerful, screaming crescendo, it's easy to see why. Highly recommended.