Tannoy Reveal 8D Monitor
Fast FactsApplications: Studio, broadcast
Key Features: Two-way; 8-inch multifiber woofer; 1-inch titanium tweeter; 120W LF amp; 60W HF amp; onboard DSP; S/PDIF I/O
Contact: Tannoy North America at 519-745-1158, www.tannoy.com.Green rooms, rejoice! Tannoy has made a monitor well suited for small listening environments as well as for audio workstations and other studio applications.
The Reveal series model 8D, priced at $399 each, is a self-powered (120W rms low frequency/60W rms high frequency), closefield monitor with analog and S/PDIF digital inputs, ready to plug into your sound card or console feed.
The 8D’s drivers include an 8-inch, multi-fiber paper pulp cone and a 1-inch titanium dome neodymium magnet system. The monitor is 16.75 inches tall and the drivers are mounted into a gently sculpted oval baffle for time coherency and proper dispersion.
The 8D features a user-adjustable, equalization response curve, about which the owner’s manual points out that the adjustments are not “equalizing the room modes due to standing waves or resonant structures [but rather] equalizing the speaker to take account of the varying air load presented by the room and surrounding large structures such as the mixing desk.” The adjustments are applied by selectively switching 20 DIP switches, where on this installation, an up switch means off or ô0ö and a down switch is on or “1” – think “opposite a light switch.”
The switches are logically grouped to control four frequency bands: low, low-mid, upper mid and high. The manual supplies several monitoring scenarios and strings of binary digits for the user and his flashlight to translate into switch settings. The linear response switch setting is silkscreened on the monitor’s back plate, making it easier to reset the monitor to a flat response.
[Tannoy adds – Tannoy Activ-Assist software is designed to assist the user of Tannoy active monitors in setting the DIP switches to account for different listening environments. Activ-Assist measures the sound radiation characteristics of the monitor compared with a built-in anechoic free-space reference for each particular model, and recommends one of over 2,000 DIP switch combinations to get the best possible response in that environment. The software is available by itself, or as a package supplied with a pre-calibrated microphone and the necessary cables for use with a Windows or Mac computer with standard sound card input/output facility. – Ed.]
Tannoy Reveal 6P MonitorFrequency Response:
On-axis 87 Hz to 20 kHz +/- 2.3 dB
90 dB SPL @ 80 Hz (<10% distortion)
System has no user adjustable controls
6 ohms Nominal; 4.6 ohms @ 9443 Hz Minimum
87 dB SPL
Narrow, Reasonably Well Controlled
The passive Reveal 6P monitor has moderately rough frequency response without unusual off-axis anomalies. This means that reflected sound will be returned to listeners without significant timbre change. The most salient characteristics are a 1-dB raised section between 600 Hz and 1100 Hz, a 2 dB swale between 1,200 Hz and 2,200 Hz and a curious 4 dB dip in the upper octave. Although the bass reflex system is tuned to 41 Hz, port output, approximately 10 dB lower than passband, fails to extend low frequency performance to a useful degree.
Note: The figure of merit 10% distortion for Bass Limit is used because operating characteristics of drivers (using DLC Design DUMAX) shows that when a speaker is driven to its linear operating limit (BL product has fallen to 70% of the rest position value or the suspension compliance has increased by a factor of 4) the unit will still sound clean, but further drive causes exponential increases in distortion.
– Tom Nousaine
The Tannoy 8D’s S/PDIF inputs are internally converted to analog by a 24-bit DAC that supports 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz and 96 kHz sampling rates. The user plugs the digital signal into one speaker, and connects that monitor’s pass-thru digital signal to the opposite monitor. A slide switch selects which channel that particular monitor reproduces; left, right, or mono sum. A rear panel knob trims the input level from +6 dB to -12 dB, the digital level being controlled after its analog conversion. Audio can be applied to both analog and digital inputs, the selection of which input is reproduced is chosen by a slide switch.
The amplifier complement is made up of a 120 watt for the low frequency driver and a 60 watt amplifier for the high-frequency driver.
Finally, another slide switch engages a high-pass filter that rolls off -6 dB at 80 Hz. This feature is for systems that use a separate subwoofer and so don’t need the 8D’s low frequencies.
The Chinese-manufactured monitors are well-made and the quality of the finish and the mounting of the drivers is high grade all the way.
I placed a pair of Tannoy 8D monitors on the either edge of my audio desk – 36 inches apart – with my video monitor between. At five inches from the side of the video monitor, I was pleased to see the 8D’s permanent magnets did not affect the screen.
According to the 8D manual, my evaluation environment was described as a “quarter space,” typical of small workstation environments where the monitors are in a confined space, such as on a desk and near a wall, and the listening range is 0.5m to 1.0m – a closefield distance. The manual lists this DIP switch diagram: 1110 0010 10 00000 0000000.
I auditioned an original 44.1kHz WAV file of spoken word, as played through the analog outputs of a Digigram PCX11+ sound card. I jacked the chair down to 18 inches above the floor so when hunched over, my ear level would be between the LF and HF drivers.
In the quarter-space mode, the audio revealed the prominence of the announcer’s sibilance and there was not as much low-end. I listened to male voices and again heard the sharp sibilance and a lack of the low end. The manual confirmed what I was hearing; this configuration had a 4 dB slope at 500 Hz and a rolloff below 50 Hz.
I then tried the flat response setting by using provided DIP switch tool. Because the flat setting is printed on the back panel, it is the easiest setting to configure. I listened to the same material again, both male and female voice. Much better. The low end had returned. There was the slight hint of midrange coloration emphasis in the voice and subsequent music recordings, but the “flat” setting sounded more natural at reasonable listening levels.
Because the monitors were placed closefield, I used conservative sound pressure levels. If I cranked them up on my workstation desk, the sound was somewhat muddy because of the acoustic coupling and reflections. To listen at loud levels on surfaces, such as my workstation desk, I recommend stand placement.
The “Half Space” mode, which specifies a 2 dB slope at 200 Hz, was a better compromise between quiet and moderate listening levels for my evaluation environment. The sibilance was still present on the voice material.
Overall, the cost-effective, feature filled Tannoy 8D powered speaker is a good choice for radio station and other small studio/workstation environments where there’s some physical room to move, configure, and position the monitors. The high-end is particularly revealing in audible artifacts, such as sibilance, that an engineer may want to correct in processing.
– Rich Rarey
Tannoy Reveal 6P Monitor
I have been a fan of the Tannoy Reveal passive speakers since they hit the market five years ago. I acquired a pair and found them to be an easy-to-listen stereo monitor system to use for numerous playback/edit tasks and computer workstation monitoring.
The new version has much of the same warm bass, smooth mids and good imaging of the old, but have a bit more high frequency extension, thanks to a new tweeter.
The Tannoy Reveal 6P, retail priced at $229 each, sports a 6-inch multifiber woofer, 1-inch neodymium titanium done tweeter, and an attractive beveled-on both-sides red/black cabinet. The 13 3/8 inches tall by 12 9/16 inches deep by 8 1/4 inches wide MDF cabinet has a set of quality binding posts on the back and a bass port.
Other features include 40mm thick driver baffle and magnetic shielding to prevent discoloration of computer monitors. The speakers weigh in at 8 pounds each. Specs include a 65 Hz to 51 kHz frequency response (check out the lab measured specs in the bench test). The crossover frequency is listed at 2.9 kHz.
For multichannel setups, Tannoy also offers the passive Reveal 66 ($339 retail) matching center channel speaker to match the Reveal 6P.
Using Monster Cable 16-gauge stranded speaker cable with several different amps, I found the Reveal 6P to have much of the character of the originals Ñ but with a flatter response in the treble, thanks to the neodymium magnet titanium dome tweeter. As per the original Reveals, the Reveal 6P has a strong midbass with a fast dropping response at the low-end of the bass spectrum.
Imaging was excellent at the closefield distance and very good at the midfield. On music with a lot of midband and treble energy, the sound was clean and smooth Ñ without harshness of other titanium dome I have heard.
If you still like to use your own amps (yep, that’s me), Tannoy’s Reveal 6P is a good, low-cost choice for small rooms in broadcast suites, home studios, or maybe a secondary small system in a big studio room.
– John Gatski