It’s therefore good to find two new ranges of high quality mid-price loudspeakers, reviving the Revolution name that the company last used around a decade back, though there are also echoes of the Definition series from the mid-1990s. The ‘standard’ Revolution range has four models including two stereo pairs. Both the latter – one standmount and one floorstander – feature a small, 4-inch Dual Concentric driver in a real wood trapezoidal enclosure, the floorstander equipped with an additional bass-only drive unit. However, the Revolution Signature range goes a couple of steps further. It has four rather than two stereo pairs, as there are versions with both 4-inch and 6-inch Dual Concentric drivers, with appropriately matching bass-only drivers in the floorstanders, plus real wood enclosures with attractively curved sides. This Revolution Signature DC6 is the compact two-way stand-mount based on a solitary 6-inch Dual-Concentric driver. It’s a fairly pricey proposition for its size, at £800/pair, but it does come with an elegant and shapely enclosure, finished in an attractive pale light oak or much darker (and apparently more popular) ‘espresso’ real wood veneer. The decidedly matt finish with nice grain is probably of East European origin, and is preferable to the much glossier surfaces favoured by Far East suppliers – at least to these eyes.
The Dual-Concentric drive unit has been a hallmark of Tannoy’s engineering since 1948, so the company has had plenty of practice building them. It started out as a large (15-inch) unit intended for open-air public address, but became popular for recording studio monitoring and amongst hi-fi enthusiasts, especially in the Far East. The DC driver has evolved through a huge variety of types and sizes, the latest being the 4-incher used in the DC4 Revolution models, though past experience suggests that the 6- incher in our DC6 variant is probably the minimum requirement for driving my relatively generous 14x8.5x18ft room. The key feature of the DC driver is that the tweeter is a horn-loaded device that fires through the centre of the bass/ mid cone via a ‘tulip waveguide’. This ‘point source’ gives a fully symmetric off-axis performance and apparently provides constant directivity through the c1.8kHz crossover region. The driver has a150mm cast alloy frame and a 115mm flared doped paper bass/mid cone, driven from a high power handling 44mm voice-coil. Claiming extension to 54kHz, the 25mm diameter tweeter’s titanium dome is just 25 microns thick, and well protected from prying fingers by the horn.
Although the top and base are flat and parallel, the enclosure sides are quite tightly curved, stiffening the sides, defocusing horizontal standing waves, and dispersing reflections. The 11-litre enclosure is loaded by a front port, below the solitary dual concentric drive unit. The front panel has to accommodate the 6-inch driver, but the back panel is only just wide enough for a strip of five terminals –one pair each for the two drivers plus an extra one to earth the driver chassis to the amplifier to reduce RF interference (should you happen to have a 5-core cable handy – it’s a Tannoy thing, which cable companies have hitherto resolutely ignored).
Measurements reveal a loudspeaker that’s quite different from the norm in tonal balance terms, but which by no means deserves censure for following its own distinctive path. With the speakers clear of walls, the far field averaged in-room trace is strongest through the upper mid-band and presence, and although the overall response holds within +/-3dB between 90Hz and 10kHz, the bass has a very dry alignment, rolling off slowly but surely below 210Hz. Close-to-wall siting provides a useful boost between 50 and 100Hz, though the lower midband remains rather lean nonetheless. Apart from a mild dip around 2k, the upper mid-band and treble is smooth and well integrated, if a tad prominent, though the treble rolls off a little more rapidly than usual above 5kHz.
Our sensitivity rating matches the 88dB claimed, and does so alongside a relatively straightforward 8 Ohm load, with an easy-to-drive 6 Ohm minimum at around 200Hz. With the port tuned to around 52Hz, there’s little bass output of note below 40Hz.
As the measurements predicted, this Tannoy has its own rather different take on tonal balance. In our quite large room the result is a very cool, dry character, which suggests that this speaker might be better suited to relatively small rooms.
That said, if the balance suits the room, listener and system, there is much to like here. While the extreme top-end lacks a little air, the upper mid-band is beautifully coherent as well as slightly forward, so voices are unusually clear and open, making lyrics and speech very easy to make out, aided by a notable absence of boxy colorations. The downside is that it isn’t kind to aggressive and forward recordings, as the combination of coinciding characteristics in both speaker and recording can make for uncomfortable listening. Certainly a warmer and richer midrange would give the DC6s a more sumptuous and convincing overall character, but they do show great coherence which is a real strength on massed strings, choirs and brass, while the bottom-end brings an agility and sense of purpose to rock material that should be the envy of many larger and more complex designs. Conclusion This small group of speakers might fit into a fairly modest price window, but the differences between them, in size, shape, presentation, configuration, and above all sound quality, are surprisingly large. Each has particular strengths that the others lack, so picking a winner will depend very much on a particular individual’s personal priorities.