Who are Tannoy? Few companies have such a profound impact on our lives that their name enters the dictionary as a generic description for their invention. There are notable exceptions such as Biro, Hoover and Post-it, but in the audio field, Tannoy stands alone for its success and reputation for pioneering audio solutions. Still producing high-end speakers today they are one of the oldest audio brands around.
4c have worked with Tannoy since 2008 in an industrial design capacity; we’re hugely proud to be considered an extension of Tannoy’s design team. During our time with Tannoy we have developed a strong working relationship from which we both profit. Our role as industrial designers means we must have a strong understanding of Tannoy’s ‘style’ as well as the acoustic requirements of the speaker; our remit often includes the design refinement of existing ranges, as well as the development of completely new product concepts.
The Tannoy Kingdom’s have existed as a model of speaker for many years in various guises. As Tannoy’s flag-ship speaker it was in need of updating both the acoustic performance and aesthetic appearance.
Tannoy provided 4c with a brief on the next generation of Kingdom Royal Speakers, the brief detailed cabinet volume, driver sizes etc. We began by presenting concept sketches to illustrate the various options. We knew the speakers were initially intended for the Asian market and so were styled appropriately. As the design became more developed we moved to CAD (Computer Aided Design) models and increasingly accurate renders. Ultimately once a design was confirmed at 4c, we passed on our CAD data to Tannoy for further manufacturing and acoustic engineering. As prototypes were created and manufacturing issues addressed, 4c we frequently brought in to provide an opinion on aesthetic options.
To differentiate the new speakers from the original Kingdoms the product was renamed the Kingdom Royal and has been pitched at the luxury market in the Far East. This has proven to be such a phenomenal success that Tannoy are working hard to satisfy demand. For a full and in-depth review of the speakers click here. Also following on from this success, 4c was involved once again to produce variation of the speaker more suited to the western market.
Back in May 2011 4c Design were delivered a brief to design the look of a residential floor standing speaker that would feature between the Tannoy Revolution and the Tannoy Definition ranges. We knew it would come in 2 and 4 driver configurations and feature Tannoy’s unique dual-concentric driver. Apart from that we were left to rely on our long standing knowledge of the Tannoy product range and our own creativity.
As with most projects of this sort we began by collating images from the audio and design world as well as looking at the Tannoy product family for inspiration. Once our findings are pitched to Tannoy we usually have a firm understanding of the type of product Tannoy is looking for and we begin generating multiple concepts. Over a series of meetings these were whittled down to the ‘winning’ design. Once the primary shape was confirmed we generated a raft of concepts for different options for trim, plinths and finishes? From this point onwards Tannoy’s technical team stepped in to produce prototypes giving us a glimpse for the final look and sound leaving us only in an advisory role.
Both 4c Design and Tannoy are particularly proud of these speakers (many of us now own a pair). The speaker design is subtle, the build quality astounding and the sound mind blowing. The speakers all fit perfectly into Tannoy’s Product family in between the Revolution and Definition ranges. What do you think? Have your say on the 4c Blog
Tannoy’s studio monitor’s have an almost intimidating history; with artist such as The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Queen and Michael Jackson choosing to recording using Tannoy’s legendary monitors. With this in mind we had our work cut out for us in designing the latest revision of the studio range.
As with all projects for Tannoy, our starting point was to research the competition, inspiring products and where Tannoy’s wishes its new Reveal’s to place in the market. From this we begin generating concept sketches, which evolve into increasingly refined CAD renders. During this time we work closely with Tannoy to ensure both the correct aesthetics and acoustic properties are achieved from the design. Our final output is a detailed CAD model that the Tannoy engineers can then take forwards for manufacture and acoustic magic.
With Artist such as Munky (koRn), Doug Aldrich (Whitesnake), Eric Smith (Rihanna), Richard Fortus (Guns & Roses), Kern Brantley (Lady GaGa), Joey Bellandunna (Anthrax) and Divinity Roxx (Beyonce) using Tannoy Studio Monitors, we know the speakers are going to be put to good use. The new Reveals have been released in three different options, the Reveal 402 (4″ driver), Reveal 502 (5″ driver) and the Reveal 802 (8″ driver).
Tannoy’s Prestige range has been in existence for over 5 decades, over which time they has built up an almost cult like following for their rich sound and vintage appearance. Tannoy asked us to review the aesthetics for the upcoming ‘Gold Reference’ update to the speakers. The new range intended to take advantage of technology developed for the Kingdom Royal, as well as use a new material for cones that would improve performance and address manufacturing sustainability concerns.
It was important to retain the ‘feel’ and acoustic properties of the cabinets, while accommodating the planned changes. The classic appearance of the Prestige range is part of its appeal, so our task was to focus on subtle changes that would lift the overall presence and sense of quality of the product. We did this by focusing on the details; re working the trim, material choices and finishes etc…
The new Prestige range has been received with great success from Tannoy, Reviewers and most importantly its fans. They have been ‘selling like hot cakes’ and Tannoy have struggled to meet demand since release.
Quote from Tannoy “Revolution XT is the latest development of Tannoy’s most affordable loudspeaker to feature the world renowned Dual Concentric™ driver. The XT is a true ‘revolution’ of the series, featuring an all-new ‘Dual’ with some of the most significant and fundamental design changes in the driver’s near 60-year history. While retaining Revolution’s familiar trapezoid cabinet shape, wide-ranging changes to Revolution XT’s internal design make for a completely new and unique loudspeaker concept.
Quote from Tannoy Website “The flagship Mercury V4i is an impressive floor standing loudspeaker with a dedicated plinth, capable of huge scale dynamics and highly detailed top end articulation. Featuring two potent 165 mm (6.5″) mid/bass drivers, the V4i is a high-impact design delivering an authoritative performance with power and passion. The new plinth assembly lends the design even greater stability than previous Mercury floorstanders, making bass notes tighter, punchier and more accurate.”
VX and VXP Series represent a major step forward from Tannoy’s renowned V Series (and PowerV), which itself defined new standards in loudspeaker design when introduced to the market back in 2002 – quickly becoming an established favourite of contractors working in the installed sound market as well as proving to be an agile performer in the portable PA sector. Now the bar is about to be raised by several notches. VLS Series passive column array loudspeaker system incorporating another Tannoy innovation, FAST™ (Focussed Asymmetrical Shaping Technology). This performance was packaged into a slender and narrow profile, aesthetically refined, powder-coated aluminium chassis with curvilinear aluminium grille; ensuring a sleek aesthetic and ultra-discrete appearance.