Tannoy Revolution XT6 Review 199


It’s no secret that I love Tannoy loudspeakers. So, when Tannoy announced in update to their revolution range, featuring a radical new iteration of their famous dual-concentric driver, I was pretty keen to get my hands on a set. And so it is that, a few months later, I’m beginning this review whilst beside me a factory fresh pair of XT6 standmounters begin their run-in period.

Right from the get-go, the new XT6s are an obvious cut above their DC6 predecessors. While Tannoy have retained the trapezoidal cabinet shape, the new enclosure is a reflex-coupled design featuring a down-firing port and an integral plinth for maximum stability. This down-firing port design evenly distributes low-end energy throughout the room, resulting in a deep bass response with exceptional differentiation of individual notes. The trapezoidal shape of the enclosure helps to reduce internal reflections, while internal bracing guarantees rigidity.

The new Revolution XT range features a radical new iteration of Tannoy’s world-renowned Dual-Concentric driver. This new driver features a new omni-magnet technology, whereby both the HF and LF drivers share a single magnet resulting in improved time-alignment and coherence. In addition, the new waveguide utilises a new Torus (donut-shaped) HF diaphragm and an Ogive (bullet-shaped) phase plug. This shallower wave guide results in improved coherence, more accurate high-frequency reproduction, more dynamic headroom and exceptional dispersion and imaging characteristics.

The Revolution XT range comprises the XT Mini bookshelf speaker, the XT6 stand mounter, and the XT6F and XT8F floor standers (which utilise 6” and 8” drivers respectively). There’s also a matching XTC centre-channel speaker for those who wish to integrate these speakers as part of a multi-channel home cinema setup.

The entire range is available in walnut and oak finishes.

Packaging

Upon opening the rather weighty box, i was delighted to see the XT6s packed using foam as opposed to the usual crumbly polystyrene. It’s a minor point, but one that gives a good first impression nonetheless.

The speakers themselves are wrapped in cloth bags to protect the finish, the grilles wrapped in plastic. Along with the speakers themselves, you get some documentation and some self-adhesive rubber feet.

It’s clear that a lot of thought has gone into this packing. Thanks to the oversized box, the speakers are easy to remove. Again, it’s a minor point, but one that certainly leave a lasting positive impression on the end user.

First Impressions

The first thing that struck me about the XT6s is their weight. While they’re certainly not the heaviest standmount speakers I’ve lifted, they do have a good degree of weight to them, a sense perhaps heightened somewhat by their solid, unforgiving cabinets. Said cabinets are machined with strict attention to detail, with not a sharp edge or fixing in sight. The usual tap test reveals no concerning resonance from any of the panels.

Around back, you’ll find a new terminal block, pre-fitted with some removable bi-wire plates. These large, substantial terminals are more than capable of accepting banana plugs, bare wire or large spade connectors.

On the front, you’ll find the single 6” dual-concentric driver, held firmly in place by 6 bolts each with a Tannoy logo machined into the head. You’ll also find a Tannoy name badge affixed to an angular cutout in the front of the plinth. The grille magnets are, as you would expect, concealed within the front baffle. Said magnets are strong, too – keeping the grilles firmly in place.

The grilles themselves are plastic-framed and wrapped in an acoustically transparent cloth. They feel solid, especially when mounted to the front of the speaker, and don’t noticeably alter the speaker’s sound. I left them off throughout the duration of this review.

Setup

Thanks to the new downward-firing port and plinth design, and also in part to the new Dual-Concentric driver, positioning is easy. Though they do benefit from a bit of breathing room, they work well near a wall – and, in some rooms, placing them near a rear wall will result in a deeper bass response.

For optimal results, I positioned the speakers roughly 2M apart, angled 15 degrees inwards towards my listening position. Distance from the rear wall was round 60CM. It’s important to insure you use a good pair of solid stands, as these speakers are large and a little top heavy.

Sound

Despite their relatively small stature, the XT6s manage to reproduce an impressively deep, chest-pounding bass response. Sure, it’s not the deep, thundering bass you would expect from the XT6s floor standing counterparts – but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Through my tests with the XT6 I found the bass more than adequate, and I actually found myself listening to the bass rather than feeling it, which made me appreciate the exceptional timing and rhythmic abilities of the new DC driver.

The XT6s also manage to convey the tiny details and musical nuances that so many speakers forgo in favour of masking a recording, or because the detail simply gets lost within their complex driver and crossover arrangements. From the good old triangle making a subtle appearance, to the bristles of a brush hitting a snare, the XT6s left nothing to the listener’s imagination, laying out every element of a song in front of you in a beautiful, expansive stereo soundscape.

The XT6s are a very natural-sounding speaker. Acoustic instruments and well-recorded vocals sound simply stunning. Throughout my tests they always remained faithful to the original recordings. Feed them a bright recording, and you’ll get a bright sound. Though even this isn’t enough to detract from the sheer musical enjoyment the XT6s deliver. Try all you like, but give these speakers a few minutes to show you what they can do and you’ll soon be too immersed in the music to care about the deficiencies in modern recordings.

Summary

Simply put, the XT6s are an enthralling, exciting, and musically rewarding listen. And when you consider that all this new technology will only set you back £600, you need only marvel at the price before giving your local dealer a call to reserve a set for yourself.

the musicality of the XT6s is simply astounding. Place these at the forefront of your system and you certainly won’t be disappointed. I’m thrilled to have a new pair of Tannoys on the review stands, and i couldn’t be happier with the performance of the XT6s. Highly recommended.


About Ashley

I founded Audio Appraisal a few years ago and continue to regularly update it with fresh content. An avid vinyl collector and coffee addict, I can often be found at a workbench tinkering with a faulty electronic device, tweaking a turntable to extract the last bit of detail from those tiny grooves in the plastic stuff, or relaxing in front of the hi-fi with a good album. A musician, occasional producer and sound engineer, other hobbies include software programming, web development, long walks and occasional DIY. Follow @ashleycox2

Share Your Thoughts

199 thoughts on “Tannoy Revolution XT6 Review

  • jan kieboom

    Hello Ashley: I have an old but fine amplifier from Sony TA-AX410 Legato Linear.
    Unfortunately the speakers are really on, they are APM -33. The rubbers of the bass cone are completely gone and with an old bicycle tire repaired (really!) They do make enough noise, they do, but I also want to try the Tannoy revolution XT 6.
    Is that also a good combination with this amplifier?
    I would like to hear from you, thanks in advance.

    • Ashley Post author

      That Sony will drive anything from the XT range just fine. If you did ever upgrade the amp (which is at least 33 years old at this point) you will almost certainly see further improvement.

  • Huda

    Dear Ashley: Reading your post about Tannoy Revolution XT 6f now I am very much interested to buy a pair of those.
    Just bit confused about Amplifier. I have a rega brio 2017. What do you think about the combination of tannoy and rega? Will it be good enough?

  • Vic

    Hi Ashley,
    What are your thoughts on combining this speaker with the Hypex-driven Marantz HD Amp1, which is not quite vintage Marantz in terms of sound? Would the result be too harsh or bright sounding in your opinion?

  • Svetlin

    Hello Ashley,
    What do you think about this: Marantz SR7011, TANNOY REVOLUTION XT6F – front speakers, TANNOY REVOLUTION XT6 – surrounds, TANNOY REVOLUTION XTC – center, OPPO UDP-203?

        • Ashley Post author

          They’re fine in situations where looks are arguably of greater importance than sound. It is almost impossible to optimise the speaker position for the best possible sound quality when ceiling speakers are used. I’m afraid I don’t work with those types of installations so I can’t recommend anything specific, I believe Tannoy still offer their Definition install range but I’m not sure on the pricing and I’ve never heard them. In my opinion traditional speakers are always the best option. If you need something smaller, perhaps take a look at the Cambridge Minx range as a possible alternative, or take your suggested system above and swap the XT6 rears for a pair of XT Minis.

  • Sergey

    Hello, Ashley.
    Thanks for the great reviews and always valuable comments.
    Could you please tell me, which version of the amplifier will be more optimal for XT6f: CXA-80 or a set of Rotel RC-1570+RB-1552mk2?
    And what a difference it will be in the sound?
    Room 22 square meters, I usually listen at low and medium volume levels. Source – CD player (digital output).
    Now I have an amplifier Onkyo-9030 (65 watts per channel), but it’s a budget model, and I’m afraid it will not reveal the possibilities of XT6f?…

    • Ashley Post author

      The Rotel set would be my choice between the two. As many have confirmed in the below comments the CXA is a brighter sounding amp, the Rotel will offer a more neutral tonal character and more power. The Rotel has balanced connectivity and I’d recommend you make use of them, though there’s no need to invest large amounts of money in expensive cables. High quality XLR cables with Neutrik connectors can be had for very little on eBay and will do fine.

  • Wil

    Hi there, read your review on the Tannoy XT6f. I’m currently using the Qacoutics 2050i. Wondering if you think it is a worth while upgrade to get the tannoys and how big a difference do you think are between the two speakers. I’ve recently upgraded to the Rogue Pharoah, Oppo 105d and a Rega rp40. Appreciate the advise.

  • Maxprocrj

    I need another opinion, what do you think of the Tannoy XT6F with Cambridge 651a and Parasound ZDAC combination. As 651a is bright on north of neutral signature.

  • Matjaz

    I am ordering XT8Fs and would like opinion of new Yamaha R-N402 or Onkyo TX-8150 driving these speakers.
    Any suggestion on these two devices you can give based on your experience? Or other suitable solution for network connectivity with good amplifier.

    • Ashley Post author

      I’ve heard great things about the R-N602. The other 2 models you mention are lower end, budget models and I’d be hesitant to pair them with the XT8Fs, though if I did the Yamaha would probably be my choice. The R-N602 would be my minimum.

      • James

        Sorry to interject, but I am also considering a Tannoy XT8F + Yamaha combination. The AS701 seems like a good deal at the moment, but I can’t find anywhere to audition it with the Tannoys.

        I’ve heard the Yam RN602 with Dali Zensor 7s (warmer than the Tannoys) and it was a little bright, so I fear the 701 might be too bright with the Tannoys.

        Ashley – have you heard the AS701+ XT8F combination, can you confirm if it is any good? I read in the comments on your Yam AS501 review that the 501 is a little bright but the 701 is warmer and bassier…

          • James

            Thanks Ashley – that’s helpful. I might just bite the bullet and buy the Yam and take it along to demo, hoping it’s warmer than the RN602 also.

            I should add that the Zensor 7s and the RN602 in my test were both straight out of the box, so would likely have warmed with some run-in time. 🙂

              • James

                Thanks again Ashley. Do you have any idea as to whether the AS701 is warmer or brighter than the CXA080? I’ve heard the CXA80 with both Opticon 8s (very good) and the Tannoy XT6Fs (a little bright).

                • Ashley Post author

                  I’ve not had them side-by-side, however, I think the CXA80 is probably the brighter of the 2 amps though by a small margin. The CXA80 is a more forward, exciting sound whereas the Yamaha is more laid back.

                    • James

                      I couldn’t help but audition these again after so many positive reviews. I heard the xt6f alongside the Dali opticon 6 and MA silver 6 on a cxa80. There was no comparison- the tannoys really disappointed with a rather bright tone and lacking detail with heavy rock music. I’m sure there are better combos that make them sing (the cxa80 is known to be quite bright) but I don’t know what they’d be… any recs for a warmer amp around £500?

                    • Ashley Post author

                      NAD, Marantz or possibly the new Rega Brio assuming it doesn’t suffer from the hum issues of its predecessor (I’ve yet to hear one). Any idea how long they were run in?

                    • James

                      Thanks Ashley. No idea how run in they were, although the RS rep wasn’t keen on them so they probably aren’t played that much!

                      Thanks for the recs. Is the Marantz 6006 sufficient for these, or would they benefit from the 8005? I’d love the latter but it needs a DAC which makes it a much more expensive option…

                    • Ashley Post author

                      They need a lot of run in time, more than most. I’ve seen Tannoys take months to truly settle in. The 6006 is sufficient, but I’d probably go with the 8005 as it offers more power and a higher current power supply. These speakers are pretty efficient so the 6006 offers plenty of power for most environments, but I do like big amps with plenty of muscle. Personally I don’t really care for integrated DACs anyway, though I appreciate they are a convenient feature.

  • Nick

    Hi everyone,

    I am in a delicate situation and would require some advice from you guys. A month ago I bought the KEF E305 5.1 system and a Marantz NR1606 slimline AV receiver. While great for movies, the KEF system just can’t handle music the way I prefer. Hence I decided to upgrade the system by adding a pair of floorstanders, namely the Tannoy XT6F’s. Basically I will be making a 7.1 system that way. I also bought the Chord Mojo DAC to use with my headphones as well as an external DAC for my system.

    Would the Marantz NR1606 and the Chord Mojo be a good match for the Tannoy’s, or should I go for a separate amp to drive them?

    Many thanks!
    Nick

    • Ashley Post author

      I’d always recommend a separate amp for 2 channel. AV receivers aren’t the best for music as a general rule. Some amps (Marantz PM-8005 for example) feature a power amp direct input, so that you can use your 2 channel system as the fronts in the home cinema. Assuming your receiver supports this, you would then have the best of both worlds – I.E, 2 channel system for music, and 7.1 multi-channel for movies. That said, what is it about the musical capabilities of the 1606 that you aren’t currently satisfied with?

      • Nick

        Thanks for the quick reply. Well, I am generally satisfied with the sound the NR1606 produces, it’s much warmer and more musical than comparable Denon or Yamaha receivers. I am not satisfied with the KEF’s for music, but they weren’t intended for music in the first place. However, as I will be using an external DAC with analog inputs into the receiver (in order to bypass the internal DAC), I would like to know whether this combination would be adequate for the Tannoy’s in a stereo composition. I intend to bi-wire them to the receiver’s via Atlas Equator 2.0 speaker cables.

        So, the Tannoy XT6F to NR1606 via Atlas Equator 2.0 bi-wire speaker cables, with a Samsung K8500 UHD blu ray player (as a cd transport) connected via optical toslink to the Chord Mojo DAC, and the Chord connected to the analog inputs of the receiver via Atlas Integra Element rca cable. This is my intended combo.

        • Ashley Post author

          There certainly isn’t any harm in trying, and if the results still aren’t satisfactory you could always add a 2 channel amp. I wouldn’t bother bi-wiring the Tannoys, in my opinion bi-wiring makes little difference, and when it does it’s rarely a change for the better. Use a couple of single runs of decent, thick speaker cable and let the crossover in the speaker do the work. As for the DAC, I personally think that if the Marantz were the component at fault, the amplification would be mainly responsible not the DAC. While adding an external DAC may improve things somewhat, don’t be surprised if you find yourself wanting a second amp too.

          • Nick

            Thank you, comments duly noted.

            Regarding the speaker cable, which one would you recommend? I wouldn’t pay more than £10-12 per meter.

            Thanks!

              • Nick

                I was thinking AudioQuest FLX/SLiP 14/4 Speaker Cable, it has some glowing reviews and is cheaper than the Van Damme’s.

                I am not sure regarding termination, should I go bare wire to bare wire, banana to banana, or perhaps bare wire (receiver side) to banana (speaker side).

                Will the XT6F’s accept this AQ banana plug (termination by futureshop): http://www.futureshop.co.uk/popup_image.php?pID=8770

                • Ashley Post author

                  The 4MM Van Damme variety is available for a similar price from Here. It looks as if the AudioQuest cable you refer to has a thinner conductor. I think you’d be fine with either cable myself, I’d go with the Van Damme 6MM if it were me or the 4MM which is cheaper and a little more flexible. Ignore cable reviews. The XT6Fs should accept those terminations but it’s difficult to tell for sure. They will certainly accept any standard banana plug. It makes no difference to the sound whether you terminate your cables or not, it mainly makes equipment easier to install and remove when necessary.

                    • Ashley Post author

                      Not necessarily. The thicker cable offers slightly lower resistance (which is always desirable for the best signal transfer possible). It is the best of the 2 options, though I don’t believe there would be a huge difference between the 2.

                    • Nick

                      Thanks mate!

                      It appears the Van Damme cannot be shipped to my country, so I order the AudioQuest from Futureshop (they also deduct the British VAT at checkout so it gets even cheaper)!

                      I will report back after I install everything (probably within a week or so)!

                      Thank you for all the help, much appreciated!

                      Nick

  • mondechristo

    Hello,

    My system now is the Marantz PM6005 and B&W 685 S2.
    I am thinking to change my speakers and buy the XT6Fs. My space is about 3m x 5m. Do you think that these speakers are too much for my space? I like a full body sound but not boomy!

    Thank you and happy new year!

    • Ashley Post author

      The 6Fs will be fine in that space. If you can, point them down the length of the room and achieve an equilateral triangle between them and your listening position.

      • mondechristo

        Thank you for the fast answer! What do you think about the differnces in the sound between those two speakers. What do I have to expect? In the country I live it’s imposible to have an audition of Tannoys.

        • Ashley Post author

          I think the Tannoys would be warmer sounding with better projection of vocals. The dual concentric speakers sound very clear and extremely detailed.

  • Rizu Rahman

    Hello Ashley,
    I am again. Sorry my query was incomplete. What do you think will be the best of the two- Tannoy Revolution XT6F and B&W 683S2? My room is 14X12 and I use Marantz PM6005 and Rotel RA1570. Thank you very much.

    • Harry

      Hi mate, I own a pair of tannoy xt8f floorstanders and demoed The B&w 683 s2, I thought they sounded pretty decent but not much difference between the xt8f’s although I’m sure they will have more base output in comparison to the xt6f’s, but the xt6f’s are much smaller speakers and in a different prices range so it’s not really a fair comparison.
      However I did also demo the b&w cm s2 series and was really blown away by the quality of the cm9 s2 and almost bought them but in the end I couldn’t justify spending £2000 on a pair of speakers that costed twice as much as my tannoy xt8f’s and in my opinion they were not twice as good either.
      Now my tannoy’s have had plenty of time to run in I am very happy with them I think they are excellent value for money, build quality and sound and are exceptional.
      I hope this helps you with query.

      • Robert

        The Tannoy sound horrible Bright. How can you find this good? Here in Holland almost NO one Will buy Tannoy because of this.

        • Nick

          I had a second listen and definitely gave up on the Tannoy’s. I agree they are bright and very thin sounding.

          I went for Dynaudio Focus 260 instead, a whole different league. Warm, musical, with great tight bass. I paired them with Arcam A29 and couldn’t be happier. However, they are much more expensive than the XT6F’s.

  • Mic

    Hi guys.

    Nice review.

    I need a litle help.

    I just got the Tannoy XT8f speakers. I heard them in a sop where i was really impressed with them.

    Now at home not so much 🙁

    My room is about 30 m2 in L shape with wooden floor. Speakers are about 3 meters apart.

    Unfortunatly atm i only have a very old Pioner AV reciver i got used wich is not the best.

    Thing is I am starting to wonder if my speakers are faulty. I can barely hear any sound output from the bottom drivers even if I put my ear all the way upto the driver i am not sure if there comes any sound out from it.

    Is it normal its so low output from the bottom driver, or should i hear it as loud and clear as the upper driver ?

    Also I have not mounted the spikes yet, so the speakers stand on the floor directly. Do you think it would make a big diference to munt the spikes, when i have them directly on wooden floor ?

    Also I may suspect its my AV reciver that is the problem ( at least i hope it is )

    I am planning to buy some new Hifi very soon. Budget is about 3.000 $

    And i want to be mainly listening with high quality streaming.

    I am considering buying Bluesound Node 2, and hook it up with Belles Aria, or maybe Nuprime St10.

    Also considering Hegel H80.

    Does anyone have any recomendations for solutions where i need a streamer, DAC, and aplifier for roughly 3000 $ ?

    • Ashley Post author

      Assuming you’re not bi-wiring with 2 pairs of cables to each speaker, did you install the jumper plates or cables across the terminals as shown in the manual? Have you connected the speakers correctly?

      The lower driver won’t sound quite as loud as the top driver as it is a bass driver only, whereas the top driver with the tweeter in its centre handles the mid and high frequencies. However it shouldn’t be significantly lower. What exactly is it about their sound that makes you feel they’re under performing? Be aware that they also need sufficient time to run in, play them as much as possible over a couple of weeks and see if things improve.

      As to your streamer question, the Cambridge 851N and 851W would make for a great streaming system and DAC if you don’t need analogue inputs. The 851N is probably the best streamer on the market today, and it can be used as a digital preamp to directly drive a power amplifier such as the 851W. I’m not sure what they sell for where you are but worth a look.

      • Mic

        Well I am sorta beginner to Hifi.

        But to the best of my knowledge I connected the speakers just as shown in the manual, not bi- wirring

        Cables are the red to red, and black to black from aplifier to speaker terminals. I did not touch the jumper plates at all, they are mounted as they where out the box, same as shows in the manual.

        I dont know maybe I am overly conserned. It would be unlike that the bottom drivers in both speakers should be faulty. However I still feel like I am actually in doubt if they are producing any sound at all.

        Thanks for the tip on the Cambridge, will defenetly check it out. It dont support Tidal though. Do you think its a big thing that spotify dont support Lossless formats compared with Tidal, or is it like not posibel to hear the diference anyway ?

        • Ashley Post author

          If you play some bass-heavy music, do the bottom cones move and vibrate to the touch? If so they are working. perhaps run the speakers in and if something still doesn’t sound right ask the advise of the retailer who I’m sure will be happy to confirm whether the behaviour is normal or possibly replace the speakers.

          I don’t think CA’s lack of support for Tidal is a big issue, but I believe they’re working on implementing support for Tidal into their products.

      • Mic

        Well I am sorta beginner to Hifi.

        But to the best of my knowledge I connected the speakers just as shown in the manual, not bi- wirring

        Cables are the red to red, and black to black from aplifier to speaker terminals. I did not touch the jumper plates at all, they are mounted as they where out the box, same as shows in the manual.

        I dont know maybe I am overly conserned. It would be unlike that the bottom drivers in both speakers should be faulty. However I still feel like I am actually in doubt if they are producing any sound at all.

        Thanks for the tip on the Cambridge, will defenetly check it out. It dont support Tidal though. Do you think its a big thing that spotify dont support Lossless formats compared with Tidal, or is it like not posibel to hear the diference anyway ?

  • Borges

    Hi Ashley,
    I have a room with 39m2 and the listening distance of the speakers is 3.5m, these have to be close to the walls (back – 10 to 15cmcm and one side – 5cm). The styles of music are classical, popera and pop (acoustic), giving special emphasis to instrumental and clarity of sound.
    I am tending to buy a Tannoy XT6F, but I am in doubt if they are enough for the space of the room, thank you for help, because the XT8F are already a little big for my taste, despite having space and budget to put them there.
    I was thinking to combine with a Cambridge 851a / CX60 or 80 / Arcam Solo Music or even a more expensive one, I deem it more complete, Cyrus Lyric 09.
    The part of my tastes, which amplifier thinks combines well with the XT6F (or XT8F if you think the XT6F are not enough for the space).
    Thank you.

    • Ashley Post author

      The XT6F will be fine in that room. I’d go for the more powerful 851A out of your choice of amps, depending on the source components of course. What sources will you be using?

      • Eduardo

        The sources is CD, HDD, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. But if i buy the 851A add a CD player and a Netwoork server Cambridge, is a high budget!

        What do you think about Cyrus Lyric 09? Because is powerfull, have a good cd player (and i need one), have a netwoork server, and other sources. This is another level and another price, But I question whether to justify the price?!

        Other possibility is a Marantz or Yamaha (Amp + CD player), what do you recommend for the XT6F?
        I like the Yamaha MCR-N870D but have low power!

        • Ashley Post author

          As you don’t require analogue sources, you could pair a Cambridge 851N with an 851W, using the 851N in digital preamp mode for volume control, and add a CXC CD transport. That would be an exceptional system which I’m confident would outperform most if not all of the alternatives, including the Lyric 09 for the same price if not slightly cheaper. The Marantz 8005 series (NA-8005, PM-8005 and SA-8005) would also work, though the Cambridge offers a clearer more neutral sound and the Marantz offers less power per channel. In your situation, my vote would probably be for a CA 851W, 851N, CXC and the BT100 bluetooth adapter, wired with balanced cables (Van Damme microphone cables will do just fine).

          • Eduardo

            I need another opinion, what do you think of the Tannoy XT6F with Naim UnitiLite All-In-One System, because it has everything I need with a fair price, and i have a good experience with Naim amp (not this one and not with this speakers).
            My care is because it don’t have much space to accommodate multiple devices, if i can find a device with a good sound quality, and with multiple sources of playback, great.
            Thanks!

          • Eduardo

            Hi,
            I have a good deal for the “Tannoy Precision 6.2 + Naim UnitiLite” or “Tannoy XT6F + Naim UnitiLite”.
            With a small price difference, what is the best choice?

            • Ashley Post author

              The XT6F offers a brighter sound, the Precision 6.2 is warmer. I’d personally go for the Precision 6.2s, but it’s up to you to decide which type of sound suits your taste

                  • Simon Williams

                    ….which has the potential to be fatiguing (slightly strident) if not set up with the right system and run in well.

                    My 6Fs did not sound that great at all when I first got them. In fact, I was a little disappointed at what I perceived as their harshness in the upper mids and the woolliness of the bottom end. Since then, I have bought an external DAC (Arcam irDAC), experimented with subtle changes in speaker placement, manually tweaked the EQ in my Yamaha RX-A1040 and run them in for many, many hours. Now they sound great! The bass has tightened up and the stridency has all but disappeared (although I still notice it a little on the occasional female vocal or horn solo).

                    Of course, this has just been my experience. I know many others have loved the 6Fs straight out of the box, and that’s great. I just think it was worth noting that they might sometimes take a bit of work to get sounding their best. 🙂

                    • Ashley Post author

                      It’s important to allow them run in time too and not to immediately judge them. I’ve had speakers in the past that took months to sound their best.

                    • Harry

                      Thanks for your reply. I noticed it also when I first bought my Tannoy xt8f’s . I changed my amplifier from the yamaha as 501 wich made everything really harsh. I was later told that yamaha tend to make really bright equipment. I now have a Cambridge cxa80 and everything sounds much better but as you say I still notice the occasional harshness with female vocals.
                      During this time I have tried out many speakers and the only ones that didn’t display any kind of harshness were the B&W cm9s2 but they retailed at £2000 and I was not prepared to pay and exta £1000 for only a slight improvement and even then they wouldn’t be able to match my xt8f’s on base performance.

                • Harry

                  I hope so but I have had the xt8f’s for over 4 months now and still finding them too bright and become fatigued after a short amount of time.
                  I’m wondering if these are not the speakers for me and would suit a more warm sounding speaker?

                    • Harry

                      I listened to keff r500 and thought that they were a bit on the bright side. Have you got any experience with the b&w cm9 s2 speakers?

                    • Ashley Post author

                      B&W speakers in general do tend to be less bright. I haven’t spent enough time with the CM9s to compare, but I’d say they’re worth a demo. As are the KEF LS-50s which are a more neutral speaker.

                    • Harry

                      I have demoed the cm9s2 once with my Cambridge cxa80 and out of all the speakers I tried they were by far the best to my ears. In hindsight buying the xt8f’s was a bit of error as I didn’t demo them before I bought them, I previously owned tannoy dc6t se floorstanders previously wich to my ears sounded nice and warm but lacked base and assumed the xt8f would be good speaker.

                    • Ashley Post author

                      The old DC6 series were less bright than the XT series, though they needed a good few months to run in for the bass to improve, and they certainly weren’t the lowest things around. Perhaps the B&Ws would be worth considering if you like their sound, the CXA80 is more than capable of driving them.

                    • Harry

                      Yes I am very tempted to go for the b&w cm9s2 , I have been offered a trade in price for the same price I originally paid for the xt8f’s. Although an exta £1000 is a lot of exta money to put down on a pair of speakers.
                      If I dont trade in my speakers now then they will quickly lose there resale value so it’s either now or never

                    • Simon

                      If you have an amplifier or receiver with parametric EQ, I’d suggest pulling back the highs around 6-8k a wee bit (experiment). This is the “ouch” zone, where sibilance and stridency can make themselves felt on some recordings, and I found that tweaking it gently helped a lot with the 6Fs.

                    • Harry

                      What’s your opinion on bi wiring?
                      My amp ( Cambridge a cxa80) has 8 binding posts. I have tried with and without and using bi wire the sound is much fuller with more base when I switched back to normal wire the speakers sounded quite underpowered.

                    • Ashley Post author

                      I think it’s a waste of time and money personally. Splitting the crossover in a speakers, to me, is never a good thing. That’s a subjective opinion though of course, if it sounds better to you then by all means bi-wire.

          • Eduardo

            I need another opinion, what do you think of the Tannoy XT6F with Naim UnitiLite All-In-One System, because it has everything I need with a fair price, and i have a good experience with Naim amp (not this one and not with this speakers).
            My care is because it don’t have much space to accommodate multiple devices, if i can find a device with a good sound quality, and with multiple sources of playback, great.
            Thanks!

  • Siva

    Hi I am planning to buy Cambridge audio cxa60 and tannoy xt6

    I am just confused whether to go with this or with Cambridge audio cxa 80 and tannoy xt8

    Which will be a better combo?

          • Siva

            Thank you Ashley. My room size is 22*14 feet . I like to listen music at very low volume to medium.
            I prefer good tight bass and good clarity(towards warm side). I am planning to buy one of the following combination. I require your advise.
            Combo1-tannoy revolution xT6f with Cambridge audio CXA60 with a subwoofer
            Combo2-tannoy revolution xT8f with Cambridge audio CXA80
            Combo3-tannoy revolution xT8f with Peachtree audio nova 220 se.

            • Ashley Post author

              I personally would go with the with either the XT6Fs and a Cambridge CXA80, or the XT8Fs and a Cambridge CXA80. The CXA80 is a much better amp than the CXA60. Note that with the XT6Fs you won’t need a sub woofer as they’ll go very low. The XT8F will give you a little more base, and are the better choice if you can position the speakers out into the room a little. The XT6Fs will offer tighter bass, and should be your choice if space is tight.

    • Ashley Post author

      Sure. The number refers to the amount of frequencies split between drivers in a speaker. For example, a 2-way speaker in its most basic form will have 1 driver to handle the bass and mid range frequencies, and a tweeter to handle the treble frequencies. A 3 way speaker will have separate bass, mid and treble drivers. The frequencies are divided up by the internal crossover in the speaker, which is a simple electronic circuit that sends the required frequencies to the required drivers.

        • Ashley Post author

          Not really, their are as many good and bad 2 way speakers as there are 3 way speakers. You can get some idea of how a speaker will perform by looking at its sensitivity and impedance. A speaker with a low sensitivity rating (measured in dB) and a low impedance (measured in Ohms) will be theoretically harder to drive than a high sensitivity and high impedance speaker. In reality you can’t rely on these numbers completely, as the impedance of a speaker changes under dynamic conditions. Most modern amplifiers of reasonable power will drive most speakers to more than acceptable levels.

    • Ashley Post author

      I’m afraid I’m not familiar enough with their range to give you a reliable answer, and I don’t want to give you incorrect advice so I’m afraid your best bet is to audition some.

  • Burrometer

    Hi Ashley,

    Between the xt6 and the dc6t se… given the opportunity to have either speaker at the same price, would the refinements made on the xt6 make it a preferd choice over the additional bass response of the dc6t? They would be used in a room measuring 10ft x 14ft and a subwoofer could be added to the mix if needed.

    Many thanks.

        • Ashley Post author

          Yes, especially if your’e using a sub woofer. The 2 speakers will give you different presentations if you don’t use a sub. The XT6 standmount will give you plenty of detail and accuracy at the expense of bass weight and scale. The DC6T sacrifices some of the accuracy and refinement in favour of a large sound stage and bass power. It really depends what you’re looking for. For the best of both worlds, look at the XT6F. If I were choosing between the 2 options I’d pick the XT6 because I think they’re more fun to listen to, but they’re not going to envelop you in a massive sound stage.

  • armstrong

    Hi, Ashley,thanks for your helpful review and comments. I am planning to set up a home cinema with Revolution XT series. The XT6F is good enough for me. But the center channel XTC and surrounding XT mini seam too small. I am worried that they cannot match the 6F seamlessly. And the center is so important in the front soundstage. There are few reviews about XTC and mini. Have you heard them? would you please give your opinions on XTC? Thanks a lot.

    • Ashley Post author

      As responded to your comment below. I’ve not heard them personally as I’m not into home cinema. That said don’t be put off by the size, it’s amazing what can be achieved with a small enclosure and a well matched driver. I’m confident that the XT6s would be more than adequate. Vocal reproduction, which is one of the primary purposes of a centre channel, doesn’t require much low end frequency response so the XTC will be more than up to the job.

      • armstrong

        Thanks for your reply, and sorry for putting my question twice because of wrong operation.
        I want to use Anthem MRX 720 to drive the XT6F,XTC and mini. Will they match each other well?

  • armstrong

    Hi, Ashley,thanks for your helpful review and comments. I am planning to set up a home cinema with Revolution XT series. The XT6F is good enough for me. But the center channel XTC and surrounding XT mini seam too small. I am worried that they cannot match the 6F seamlessly. And the center is so important in the front soundstage. There are few reviews about XTC and mini. Have you hear them? would you please give your opinions on XTC? Thanks a lot.

    • Ashley Post author

      I’ve not heard them personally as I’m not into home cinema. That said don’t be put off by the size, it’s amazing what can be achieved with a small enclosure and a well matched driver. I’m confident that the XT6s would be more than adequate. Vocal reproduction, which is one of the primary purposes of a centre channel, doesn’t require much low end frequency response so the XTC will be more than up to the job.

  • Rob

    I’ am looking at the Tannoy xt6f and xt8f. Normally with my metal music i didn’ t like Bright speakers. But the Tannoy on the Bright side but strange for me fun to listen to it.
    The xt8f would then be my First choice. But how far from the Walls must these? More then the xt6f?

    • Ashley Post author

      It really depends on the room, though in general yes the 8Fs need to be further out. Between 40 – 80 CM is usually the sweet spot, but I’ve had situations where Tannoys have worked really well even closer to the wall than that with no issues. What is the size of the room and what amp will you be driving them with?

      • Rob

        Then i think the xt8f are too big. My room is 55m3, but it is in L-form and i’m listening in the small area of it. With a xt8F the distance from the backwall will be around 40 cm. Left side problem, because with a xt8f the distance to the sidewall will be only 10 cm. Rightside will be 60 cm. Listening distance is 2,5 m. Music rock, metall, pop like Nightwish. Unfortunately bad recorded (loudness war). Some people with this music you must buy a speaker with soft dome tweeter. But this is no guarantee. I have listened to Q acoustics. Yes nice warm sound, but also a little boring and not so fun.

        • Ashley Post author

          Yes, definitely go with the 6F. The brightness does calm down a little as the speakers run in, so if they do sound a bit too harsh at first that should even out. They don’t lose any of the fun though.

          • Simon Williams

            I have to agree with the running in comment. I’ve had my XT6Fs for a bit over 8 months now, and I have to say that they still seem to be improving with age and use. I found them almost uncomfortably strident at times at first – particularly on some female vocals – but that’s all gone now. The bass has also tightened up considerably.

            If you’re running them through a suitable receiver, I would definitely recommend using room-correction with them (mind you, I’d recommend this with any speakers these days).

            • Rob

              Yes, indeed. I can buy a new pair for 800 Gbp. For that price i think there is nothing better. But a dealer said with my music which Are often bad recording q acoustics or Dalí zensor would be better because they Are More forgiven. True?

            • Ashley Post author

              I agree with your sound comments, I think all Tannoys are the same. I’ve never used room correction for stereo use and while i know many who do, it’s never been my thing. Correct positioning and a decent analogue amp with none of that digital rubbish wins every time in my book. That said if you’re using a multichannel AV receiver, room correction is of course important.

        • Rob

          Oh jeeh; my amp is a Exposure 3010S2. (the model before the current 3010s2D). Speakercable Van den Hul 352 and interconnect Van den Hul D102 3T.

          • Ashley Post author

            I’ve yet to hear the exposure amps but from what I understand they have a fairly neutral sound with plenty of power so should be a very good match.

  • Jay

    Hi Ashley, You mentioned the Yamaha as701 as being a good amp for the
    xt6f’s. I have a Yamaha as500 currently in use. And Harmon kardon 3490.
    Would either of those be exceptable for a year to upgrade ?
    Thanks J

      • Harry

        I had the yamaha as-500 with my tannoy xt8f, sounded awful, really bright, thin sounding amp. Upgraded with cambridge cxa80. Amazing amp loads of power with a really warm sound.

        • Ashley Post author

          If you can pull them out from the walls a little, and create an equilateral triangle between you’re listening position and the speakers, they’ll be fine. The ideal position is about 40-60CM behind them and about the same off the side walls. THey’re a lot easier to position than other floor standers because of the downward firing bass port. You could even get away with pushing them back toward the rear wall a little more.

    • Ashley Post author

      In general they’re a bit too bottom heavy for my taste (at least the low and mid range options). The 685s offer great bass, but are a little too thin sounding in my opinion. Of course it depends what you pair them with and the acoustics of your room.

  • Mark

    Hi,Ashley!Can you compare Tannoy XT 6F and Tannoy DC 6T SE?DC are a bit more expenssive,but are they better in sound quality and performance?

  • Slavio

    Hello,Ashley!I will probably accept your advice and buy Arcam rPac.However,I read many good reviews about HRT Micro Sxstem which,accordinf to users, gives better sound quality for the same price.Could you tell me your opinion about HRT Micro System,in comparation with Arcam,and about matching it with RCF.Regards.

  • Simon Williams

    Yours was one of the reviews I read before deciding to buy the XT 6Fs, and I have found your comments to be pretty accurate overall. So thanks.

    What I would add, with regard to the 6fs, is that the bass, while plentiful and full, is definitely a transmission line sound (funny that, given that they are transmission line speakers). What I mean by this is that it tends to be a bit “rounded” rather than kick-in-the-gut punchy. This is fine for most music and listening styles, but if you’re after the really physical concert experience, you might be better looking elsewhere. Perhaps the 8Fs would be better in this department. I don’t know. I haven’t heard them, but they are transmission lines too – albeit bigger ones.

    To be honest, I wasn’t that happy with the sound of the 6Fs at first. I found them a bit strident with some recordings, and that bass a bit loose and boomy on others. I even tried using port plugs to dampen and tighten the bass at one stage. But I was listening to them upstairs, and I came to realise that a lot of the bass energy was being transmitted into the floor. Putting them on a couple of concrete paving slabs helped the bottom end a lot (which wouldn’t be the case, of course, for those with concrete or more solid floors). I also found the stridency eased and the bass tightened further over the first couple of weeks of playing as the speakers ran in.

    Interestingly for me, though, was that the biggest improvement to the sound of these speakers came about when I bought an external DAC for my system, bypassing the internal DAC on my Onkyo receiver. Wow, what a difference! Suddenly everything just sounded more…. musical. More analogue. Less of that digital brittleness that accurate speakers such as the Tannoys can often display. The stridency I was hearing has gone completely. The soundstage has come further into focus. I’m enjoying my music in the same way I used to back in the old Linn Sondek/ Grace cartridge/ Radford valve amp and whole albums of vinyl days of my youth. For anyone truly interested in great sounding music, I would thoroughly recommend exploring the idea of a good quality, dedicated external DAC. For what it’s worth, the unit I bought was an Arcam irDAC. There are quite possibly better ones, but I’m more than happy with the improvements I got from this one. Now, I am finally truly loving my Tannoy XT 6Fs. Which only goes to show that love doesn’t always have to be at first listen. 🙂

    Cheers

    Simon

    • Ashley Post author

      Thanks for your comments on the review and for sharing your feedback. It just goes to show that while speakers make arguably the biggest difference to the sound, the rest of the system should never be overlooked. I don’t care for the trend towards amplifiers with built-in DACs, simply because they’re often an afterthought and I’d rather they spent the DAC budget on the rest of the amp. In all likelihood you’ll buy an external DAC eventually anyway. Call me an analogue purist. Also synergy between the components of absolutely essential. I do find with Tannoys that they take a long time to run in, so depending on how long you’ve had your 6Fs you may even have some further improvement to look forward too. Either way I’m glad you’re happy with the sound and are enjoying the music, because after all that’s what’s important.

      • Mario

        I am also thinking about DACs lately and when I found about Creek it got me interested.
        They have (and sell) Ruby DAC separately, but as plug-in card for their amplifier.
        It is practically separate component, but instead being housed in separate housing requiring inter-connect cables, it connects directly to amp’s prepared interface.
        It does make sense, but I am wondering if this is still on-par with integrated DACs or is this solution far superior and much close to quality external DACs.
        Opinions?

        • Ashley Post author

          It would be superior to an internal DAC, though I assume it gets its power from the amp’s internal power supply. I’d probably opt for an entirely separate DAC with its own power supply, unless the amp has a dedicated internal supply for the plug-in DAC.

          • Slavio

            So,Ashley,Simon,Mario,after all,what would be your best option for hi-fi system with Tannoy s xt 6f?(what amp,what player or receiver and what external DAC would you choose?).

            • Ashley Post author

              Amp: anything with a bit of power and current. A Cambridge CXA80, Marantz PM-8005, Yamaha A-S701, Exposure 2010, etc. Player: probably a Cambridge CXN.

              • Mario

                Actually, they do not need much power to work great. Even with solid 40-50W you can run them beyond comfortable volume levels (obviously depending on room size, but I am assuming small to middle sized rooms).
                Of course, they will not mind extra power if you give them but they do not need it (unless you like your music really loud), they are really easy to drive.
                So, any decent amp that does not mess with sound should do nicely with them.

                • Slavio

                  Thanks.And what do you think about these two pštions:1.amp Denon PM-50(50w withot DAC),player Denon DCD-50;2.amp Onkyo 9030(65w without DAC).For any of these options I would add HRT Mycro Streamer as external DAC.Is this enough for good sound quality and performance,or should I rather wait,and add some money for something better and more powerful?I mean,does some more powerful amp like Marantz 8005 or Yamaha A-S701 really make a difference,and is it so obviously in sound quality and performance?

                • Ashley Post author

                  I agree, though it’s important to note that 1 amp of a certain wattage differs from another in terms of its power delivery. Take 2 45W P/C amps for example, 1 based on a chip and one based around discrete transistors, and you’ll likely find that the transistor amp has more real world power than the chip-based amp. What I’m saying is that amps should be viewed on an individual basis, rather than generalising based on the output power. It’s also better to have an amp that has more power than you need, rather than one that is underpowered. Driving a pair of speakers at high volumes with an underpowered amp causes clipping and that’ll cause far more damage to the speakers over a shorter period of time than an amplifier with higher power.

                  • Mario

                    Of course, I assumed decent quality amps, not some cheap off the shelf Chinese amp – should have been more specific.
                    What I meant is that, for instance, both Creek 50A and Marantz PM6005 will run 6F without any problems far beyond comfortable listening volumes even though they are “only” 50W and 45W amps. Obviously, this applies for living sized rooms, not larger rooms.

  • Slavio

    Mario,Ashley,thank you very much,guys!It helps a lot,especially for someone without hi-fi experience.Here is my situation:my room is 20m.I don t know is it small or midle,but I coud find 2,5m space between speakers.However,I have other kind of „problems“.I am at begining of making my music system.That means I have only pc,without any desktop speakers.And I am not sure that floor standars could be used as a desk top speakers.So,I consider to buysome bookshelf speakers(like qQ Acoustic 3020,Concept 20,or Dali Zensor 3)and to mach it with Denon D-50 amplifier(Marantz 6005 is great,but no bluetooth).That comb would be about 800$.
    I also think about Q Acoustic BT3,not only as a budget option,it has all I need-amplification,DAC,bluetooth,and in my country is about 550$.As I read,the sound qualiti is great.
    On the other hand,I am very interested about floor standars(Tannoy XT 6f look wonderful,and have good reviews),especially after your explanations,and because I would like to have some really great sound quality.Now,I am not sure what to do.

    • Mario

      I will assume that you don’t do any audio processing on PC (if you did you’d probably be asking different kind of questions :-)) and that you do gaming and movies on PC.
      Positioning any speaker to be “pc speakers” will probably result in very bad listening position, so regardless of your choosing non would be adequate PC speakers.
      For that reason, just get proper headphones (for instance Audio Technica ATH-M(50/40/30)X – they are all very good for the money) and setup HiFi for music.
      Or if you really need PC speakers, get some small studio monitors with small integrated DAC/AMP – but I think headphones will give more for much less.

      • Mario

        Oh, and why Bluetooth? Not so great for HiFi (lossy compression is forced over Bluetooth).
        Get yourself a RaspberryPi with HifiBerry Digi+, install Volumio or RuneAudio and you get bitperfect network streamer which is also capable for DLNA and AirPlay – all under 100$.
        And you can easily control it with mobile / tablet / PC. P
        (Raspi 3 even has bluetooth, but I do not think it is yet supported in Volumio or RuneAudio).

        • Slavio

          So,you don t think Q Acoustic BT3 would be good option?I watched some videos in which people put it on desk top and they say the sound quality is great.But you are probably right,some simple and small speakers may be better option.What would you recommend?Maybe something from Logitech Z serie?
          About bluetooth:It is not so important to me,but possibility to play and control music from smartphone looks nice.Yes,I know it could fall in sound quality,but I read reviews about some devices with bluetooth(i.e.Q Acoustic BT3,NED 3020,Denon PMA D-50)which,according to writers,have tehnology that makes the sound via bluetooth stay almost the same as on cd-s,or other sources.
          I am not familiar with Rosberry Pi,but I will check for it.Any other alternative for bluetooth?

          • Mario

            Well if you are considering Tannoy XT 6F on one side and bluetooth speakers on another – I am not sure what exactly you seek.
            Placement of PC speakers (usually on table by monitors side) makes it inherently bad positioned for quality music. Sure, they can be good and could be enough for you – but only you can answer that.
            The fact is XT 6F will blow them away, it is simply another world completely.

            For PC, I prefer over-ear headphones, not speakers. They provide much more for the buck and also provide isolation.

            If you are into music, go with dedicated HiFi. XT 6F if you can afford them or BA CS260 II if you are on a budget (of course, there are many other alternatives, but these two will do the job either brilliant (XT6F) or very very good for the money (CS260)).

            If, on other hand, you want good all-round with decent music – then you have to figure it out – not my world 🙂

            Have fun!

            • Slavio

              You are right.I will decide in next few days.Just tell me this:What would be the other components to match Tannoy xt6f with?

              • Mario

                Well, I only ever heard them with Creek 50A – which worked just great.
                Ashley generally recommended Marantz 8005, but I could not get a chance to audition it with XT 6F.
                RaspberryPi with HifiBerry Digi+ and Volumio / RuneAudio installed works great as sound source, but you can also use your PC (if you have digital out) with some good software (like JRiver).

                • Ashley Post author

                  Tannoy speakers match well with just about anything. Marantz, Arcam, Cambridge and Yamaha are probably the budget favourites. Even the 6005 will happily run a pair of the 6Fs.

          • Ashley Post author

            If sound quality is a priority, computer speakers such as the Logitech Z series should be avoided. If you really want something that can be used on a desk, a pair of small monitors will give you the best results, something like the RCF Ayra5. M-Audio also make a range of desktop monitors which I believe also feature USB. The RCFs are basic active speakers so no bluetooth and only a single input source. They’d have to be connected to your computer or to a preamp for volume control. The bluetooth technology you refer too is called Apt-X, and it works well though it’s not the best quality method for streaming audio. Wired is always preferable.

            • Slavio

              Thank you,Ashley.I found RCF Ayra5 only in one shop.The price is 200eur for one(400eur for pair)and I will consider it.Can you,please,recommend me some models of M-Audio,there is larger choice of them here.

              • Ashley Post author

                Anything from their AV range would be suitable for you. Unfortunately they don’t feature USB like I thought they did. A pair of monitors like the RCFs or something from the M Audio range and any USB DAC with red and white RCA outputs would work.

                  • Ashley Post author

                    The BX5s are rear ported, meaning they won’t work as well if you place them close to a wall. The RCFs are easier to position. In other aspects the 2 models are fairly similar, so listening for yourself is the best way to decide.

                    • Slavio

                      Than I will probably take RCF.Can I connect them directly with my computer?As I see,they have XLR,jack and RCA connectors.

                  • Ashley Post author

                    Get a 3.5MM jack to 2X RCA cable and connect it between the speakers and the computer. Set the input gain on the back of the speakers to about half and use the volume control on the computer to control the sound level.

                    • Slavio

                      Thanks.Finally,what would you recommend for better sound quality,pre-amp,or USB sound card?

                    • Ashley Post author

                      Either a preamp with USB, a dedicated streamer or a USB DAC. Arcam’s RPAC would connect to the RCFs, as would a dedicated streamer such as the Cambridge CXN which features a digital preamp. The CXN would offer you the best playback quality, just make sure to enable the digital preamp mode before playing any music.

                • Helen

                  Thanks,Ashley. I am also interested in studio monitors,that is why I ask.You also recommended something from AV range of M-Audio.So,what do you think about M42?

                  • Ashley Post author

                    I haven’t heard them personally so can’t give a fair judgement. They look reasonable specs wise. I tend to stick with RCF for studio use as I know their sound well and they’re reliable.

  • Slavio

    Hello,Ashley!Your reviews are great and I learned a lot.As a beginer in hi-fi I would like to know what is the main difference between bookshelf and floor standars speakers?Is it all just in position or there is difference in sound quality?Are once or another better in some condition?Do you have some advice how to make a choice?Thanks.

    • Mario

      I can share my experience since I was on exact same road. Keep in mind that entire experience is subjective and yours may vary significantly.

      I did a fair amount of listening and concluded that floor standers have “fatter” sound. Obviously, that is most evident in bass which is simply deeper and richer on floor standers, but it is not only bass, but mids as well.
      However, to get that, you need to step up in price to get proper floor standers. And you need room for them to get them clearance back and sides and still get enough distance to listening position.
      I also noticed one exception – Boston Acoustics CS260 II – which sound ridiculously well for their price.
      As a matter of fact, I didn’t hear any significant improvement over CS260 with any speakers below 1200$ until I heard Tannoy XT 6F – which are five times more expensive – but finally provided significant step up in definition, precision and dynamics.
      If you have room and money, go with floor standers. XT 6F or even better XT 8F. They are truly something special.
      If you have small(ish) room, go with bookshelfs. You will get great and clean sound with them with a bit less of bass and general fatness – which you may or may not notice depending on music you listen.
      I was a bit disappointed with BW 685 S2 – they offer almost nothing more compared to BA CS260 (at least for music I listen) and they lack a fair amount of bass while being twice expensive. I mean, they are great, but so are CS260 for half the money.
      So I went with Boston CS260 for now in a 25 m2 room and they are amazing for this price – which is why I couldn’t resist them even though they are just a replacement until I save for Tannoys XT 6F (or maybe even 8F) and a better amplifier.

      • Slavio

        Dear Mario,thank you very much for your explanation.I suppose floor standers require specific position and placement.So what would you recommend about it?(what is the optimal distance between speakers and wall,and between speakers and listener,do they need some distance from furniture on their sides)?On the other hand,what bookshelf speakers would you recommend?

        • Mario

          I don’t think there is a golden rule, because there are too many variables.
          You start with what people generally recommend – equidistant triangle where corners are speakers and listening position. Size of the triangle is dictated by your room – so not much freedom there.
          Here are my findings with placement experiment – note that yours my vary significantly (as always) because surely your room is different than mine 🙂
          – Too wide between speakers is no good (more than 4-5 meters) – I started to loose sound stage – actually, not that it was lost, it was more like each instrument sounded wider, not focused as they sound when you listen them alive.
          – Too close is also not good ( < 2m) – sound stage becomes compressed – all instruments and voice start to be coming from the same direction – still sounds good, but no sound stage.
          – Spacing speakers from walls seems to play difference only with higher volumes – which is also hard to define. For instance, I mostly listen music with volume knob on 9 o'clock which makes it nice and pleasant. At that volume, I didn't notice any issues with placement – I only avoided strict corners. However, when I pass 10 o'clock (it is becoming hard to understand people near you talking) then you start to hear various reflections that "ring" in your head or bass which is "boomy" and unpleasant. Moving speakers about a meter from back and side wall seems to clear this issue.
          I did not notice furniture to be an issue in my case, but you just have to try it out. You simply start with equidistant triangle (or something close to it), tilt them a bit towards listening position and then experiment until those instrument focus and sound like they are really there. I ended up with 3m between speakers and I sit 3m from each.
          For comparison, a friend of mine has 5m between speakers (we have same speakers), 4m to listening position and they are almost on the wall – and he has wider and unfocused sound stage and stuff gets boomy on higher volumes – but on lower volumes – everything still sounds very good and he doesn't mind unfocused stage because he plays music in 5.1 setup anyway (on low volumes) because he enjoys that sense of room fulfillment. Basically, at his place, music sounds like it's coming from a giant headphones 🙂 – so you see – we are all different and you will have to find for yourself what you like 🙂

          As for recommendations – you didn't mention any budget.
          If you are low on budget, just get Boston Acoustics CS260 II and Marantz 6005 if you don't have amplifier. In my country that costed 700$ – together. I was so pleased with that combo that I just had to take it – so instead of silence I have really, really nice sound for the buck while saving for Tannoys.
          If Tannoy XT 6F are in your budget – just go for them. I was listening them on Creek 50A and I was delighted. That is a 3000$ combo. Also XT 6F are much more forgiving regarding placement (they can be closer to the walls).

          So, I would go with bookshelf's only if you really don't have space for floor standers. On a budget BA CS260 were so good that I saw no point in cashing out double or triple the money for bookshelf speakers – differences were either non-existent or not worth the money in my opinion.

          And if you can afford XT 6F, I see no point in getting anything else (except XT 8F) 🙂

          Another disclaimer at the end: This are my findings based on my preferences, liking's and music taste. Yours may vary significantly and best way to figure it out – is to go to store and listen. Take my experience nothing more but a loose guideline.

          • Ashley Post author

            Excellent summary, thanks Mario for sharing your feedback. In general, floor-standing speakers offer a larger sound, whereas bookshelf or standmount speakers are designed to offer greater detail and accuracy at the expense of some low-end bass response. As Mario rightly says, in reality speaker models differ, and there is no golden rule. Some floor-standing speakers are more accurate and detailed than some bookshelf models, and some bookshelf models have simply astonishing bass output comparable to many floor-standing models.

            As a good rule of thumb, I tend to opt for a bookshelf or standmount model in a small room, where floorstanders would both book, and sound, imposing. That said if you have the room, floor standers will generally offer a much larger, more powerful sound.

            • Mario

              No problem Ashley, I am glad to share since there is a lot of “mist and fog” in HiFi – perhaps more than anywhere else. And when you start the search it is REALLY hard to find a path.

              “Small room” would also need some definition.
              I would say that if you can’t fit 2,5m equidistant triangle (speakers 2,5m apart and listening position 2,5m from each speaker) – go for bookshelf.
              Oh, and volume. Volume is important. At low volume, anything seems to be ok. But then – why would one buy floor standers and never crank them up and disturb all the neighbors – there is some special joy in that as well 🙂

              Also Slavio, when you audition speakers, listen to where they put they sound. Does the sound “punch you in the face” or is it casual in the back, even behind speakers line. Avoid punchers 🙂
              That’s what surprised me with BA CS260 II – their sound is way back, beautifully defining sound stage and sound stays there, fixed and coherent even on really high volumes. And they are < 300$ !!.
              I auditioned several other options even up to 1200$ per pair but none brought any significant difference (most difference were in tone curve either to bright side (mostly) or expanded lower-end – while CS260 are rather neutral(ish) – which is my preference – hence it was no brainer for me)

              However, it is stunning how Tannoys bring things to another level. And it is even hard to describe how.
              There is simply more, much, much more. Instruments are "faster" (you hear notes much more clearly, while other speakers "merge" more notes, like they don't/can't move fast enough to play them all).
              And also, sound of instruments itself is expanded – not spatially, but – like the sound itself was decompressed. It is like you listen to a person talk from a distance – you hear his voice, all the details, but when it comes closer, then you hear all this tiny things in his voice.
              Thats what Tannoys do to classical instruments and voice. It is just delightful 🙂
              Yea, yea, you got it – I really love XT 6F 🙂

              • Ashley Post author

                I think with regards room size, it’s important to take the manufacturer’s recommendations into consideration as all speakers are different. Some bookshelf models require a larger room than some floor-standing models, and smaller floorstanders can often be used in smaller rooms at a distance of 1.5M apart and still provide decent sound. Manufacturers usually give a recommended positioning distance, I know that Tannoy offer some guidance in their manuals.

  • Mario

    Hi Ashley,

    I loved the insightful review.

    I am planning to buy XT 6F speakers and I am wondering would Creek Evolution 50A be a good pair for them and also, would Creek bring signifiant sound upgrade compared to Marantz PM6005/7005/8005?

    Thanks!

  • Claudiu

    Hi Ashley. What amplifier would you recommend for a pair of Tannoy DC6T? I can only go for a Yamaha as501 or Marantz pm 6005. My room is a 5x4m. Thank you

    • Ashley Post author

      A difficult choice, the answer to which depends on how loudly you play your music. The 6005 is a lovely amp, and would be my choice if the sound was the main priority. That said the Yamaha offers double the power and a higher current power supply which would easily fill your large room. What sort of volume levels are you looking to achieve, and how close to the speakers do you sit?

  • selvam

    I have Tannoy SFX 5.1 system paired with Yamaha AV Receiver. I want to upgrade now. I’m confused whether to go with Precision series or Revolution XT series. I would be pairing with Yamaha Aventage AV receiver. I would be mainly watching Indian movies and listen Indian classical songs. Thanks for your time.

  • Raymond Mak

    I am choosing and comparing between Precision 6.2 and Revolution XT6F. Which one is a better speaker. I like to listen to K-Pop music with strong Bass. Do these speakers have powerful Bass?

  • Diego

    Hi. I have just read this review and the one for the precision 6.1, both very nice. I know that was some months ago, but can you comment on the sound differences between them?