Since falling in love with an idea of coaxial drivers, I’ve been on a lookout for different constructions from well known brands. Having experienced the high end Tannoy drivers and speakers, I was interested to see if more modestly priced constructions are capable of creating similar character of sound.
Believe it or not, but I actually found these Tannoy DC2000 speakers on a car boot sale! They did not look very clean when I bought them, but with a bit of work they turned out just fine.
Please note – usually before reviewing vintage speakers, I recap the crossovers to ensure that capacitors are within manufacturer’s specification. On this occasion, caps were within the specs, so there was no need to replace them. Also, bear in mind that purchasing vintage speakers is always a gamble. 30 and often 50 years it’s a long time, and one can never be sure how this time affected driver suspension compliance, ferrofluid cooling is some tweeters, etc. Consequently, it is possible that the Tannoy DC2000 that you want purchase will sound different than the pair I reviewed.
These Tannoy DC2000 speakers were in the higher end of the ‘Series 90’ – the range developed by Tannoy which featured technologies from professional studio monitors, adapted for domestic market. Here is how Tannoy describes these: “Designed to deliver high sensitivity and bass extension, the DC2000 is a compact, floor-standing speaker“. Drivers feature famous ‘Dual Concentric’ construction which means that two diaphragms (HF and LF) are combined in one driver and are working on the same axis – if you are not familiar with this construction, read the Monitor Gold 15″ review, which explains it in more detail. The benefits of having the high frequency driver sharing the same chassis as the bass driver are that the whole drive unit operates across the audio bandwidth as a single point of source, which in theory, should produce perfect stereo image. According to Tannoy, the crossovers are designed to time align both high and low frequency drivers, to eliminate “unnatural time delays” and create a true point source.
Tannoy DC2000 Specs
|Frequency Response:||44 – 25,000Hz (+/- 3dB)|
|Sensitivity:||92dB (2.83V input, measured at 1m)|
|Impedance:||6Ω (4Ω min.)|
|Recommended Amplifier:||10 – 150W|
|High & Medium Frequency Driver:||DC2025 DMT 200mm (8″) Dual Concentric with 25mm (1″) Aluminium Dome and 200mm (8″) Polyolefin Diaphragm|
|Low Frequency Driver:||200mm (8″) Polyolefin Bass Driver|
|Crossover Frequencies:||400Hz & 2,300Hz|
|Enclosure Dimensions (HxWxD):||716x260x253mm (28x10x10″)|
|Weight:||19.9kg (each speaker)|
|Price When Launched:||Unknown|
|Equivalent Present Day Price:||Unknown|
|Current UK Price:||£100 to £300 for a pair|
Look & Feel of Tannoy DC2000 Speakers
My first impression was quite positive – the speakers are quite heavy and the drivers look neat. The enclosures are made of chipboard and are fairly rigid. They are finished in black vinyl laminate that tries to imitate wood – I’m not a big fan. There a two drivers in each speaker, one Dual Concentric driver and one bass driver and both feature baskets made from pressed metal. We often see this in budget speakers, so seeing it in Tannoy DC2000 was a little disappointing, especially that from what I found on the Internet, they were not exactly cheap when they were new. Both driver cones are made from polyolefin suspended on rubber surrounds. The tweeter diaphragms are made from aluminium and are driven by a separate magnet, positioned behind the bass diaphragm magnet (see photos below). The crossovers are hardwired and feature fairly basic components, glued to the back of the speaker terminals – popular cost saving approach, frequently utilised amongst modern speakers.
Sound of Tannoy DC2000
I did not have any expectations when I first plugged these Tannoy DC2000 speakers in. After first few tracks I was neither disappointed, nor excited. They seemed neutral.
Bass is low enough to enjoy most music but if you ever experienced well recorded music with low bass on a full range system, you know that something is missing. The bass is quite quick, as you would expect from a closed box. Tracks like Water of Love by Dire Straits sound dynamic and do not lack anything.
Midrange and treble are well balanced – not shouty but not dull either. Vocals and instruments sound nice but do not sound ‘alive’. They are of course different degrees of sounding close to alive, and perhaps at the time of testing I was used to my other speakers (i.e. Tannoy LGM) and the Tannoy DC2000 simply did not sound nowhere near as good as the other speakers. Saying that, when I test speakers I apply the same ‘ultimate’ test scale regardless of the price. What I am trying to say here is that if you normally listen to the music on low quality speakers, you will be very impressed with DC2000 but if you have a relatively good quality set up, you may not appreciate them as much. They are not the most transparent speakers in the world, however, they are quite easy to listen. They are capable of playing many different types of music at relatively high levels without causing distress to listener’s ears.
Another important part of speakers’ presentation is depth of soundstage. Unfortunately the reviewed pair does not have much of it. The presentation is actually very similar to all other Dual Concentric Tannoy speakers – sound seems to be coming from in front of the speakers. This may have something to do with the construction of the driver as I actually never heard any Dual Concentric driver capable of sounding ‘from behind’ the speakers. Or it just may just by how designers voiced them. Maybe because of this Tannoy DC2000 are not that engaging. You will not have tears in your eyes when listening to Bob Dylan’s – Girl From the North Country, but it will not sound bad at all – just less engaging than on other speakers.
Tannoy DC2000 are quite neutral with a good low end extension and moderate level of transparency. Not the most engaging speakers but easy to listen. Good value for money but overall nothing to get excited about. Before buying, I would definitely recommend to listen to other second hand speakers available within this price range.
|Balance of Sound:|
|Neutrality of Tone:|
Songs Mentioned In This Review
Bod Dylan – Girl From the North Country
Dire Straits – Water of Love
Reviewed: October 2011 | Published: December 2014