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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.