TANNOY Revolution XT8F floorstand speakers 8"dual-concentric 91dB 34Hz-32kHz

TY 04 SF REVXT8F
NZ$ 4,500.00 pr (incl. GST)
Tannoy Speakers

Tannoy aims to lead the industry through concentrating on innovative, high performance products

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REVIEWERS CONCLUSION:
Revolution XT 8F 2015 "Huge scale, with plenty of bass; go loud with ease; excellent build and finish. These floor-standers are an excellent buy. Little else at this price can match them"....... WHAT HIFI - 5 STARS AWARD

TANNOY REVOLUTION XT8F LOUDSPEAKER - THE SPEAKER FIND OF THE YEAR
"The bottom line is that the Tannoy Revolution XT 8F is a terrific speaker and a jaw-dropping bargain for US$2600 (excl tax) per pair. It’s also beautifully finished—the way the cabinet is raised off the plinth (part of its technical design) with chrome tubes is elegant. It’s also exciting to realise that Tannoy makes an entire range of speakers featuring similar technology (the coincident driver and innovative woofer loading) that tops out with the flagship DC10Ti, priced at $9998 per pair. Given the XT 8F’s superlative sound and stunning value, you can be assured that we’ll be reviewing more models from this venerable British company".......Reviewer: Robert Harley - TAS The Absolute Sound

The flagship revolution XT 8F is a substantial floorstanding loudspeaker offering the scale and dynamics of real live music in a loudspeaker that looks every bit as good as it sounds. The combination of a 200mm (8.00”) Dual Concentric driver and a 200mm (8.00”) auxiliary bass driver is a configuration that has found exceptional success throughout Tannoy’s illustrious history and the Revolution XT 8F builds on these strengths. The new Omnimagnet Dual further refines bass performance with its linear LF response and exceptional timbre accuracy, while its new HF section with Torus-Ogive waveguide delivers smooth HF extension with outstanding imaging. The Revolution XT 8F crossover uses low loss laminated core inductors and audiophile components throughout and further benefits from high purity oxygen free copper (OFC), silver plated wiring.


The 49.4 litre Revolution XT 8F cabinet houses the largest iteration of Tannoy new dual-cavity coupled reflex system, featuring separate cavities coupled internally by tuned ports. Bass energy exits from a tuned down-firing port between the angled base of the cabinet and the integrated plinth. The precisely engineered angle of the ‘waveguide’ formed between cabinet and plinth encourages LF energy to disperse forward into the room, making closer-to-wall placement of the speaker than is typically possible without major detrimental effect on sound quality. The result is tight and articulate bass with exceptional power and extension down to 34Hz. With an overall loudspeaker efficiency of 91dB/watt and 400Watt peak power handling, the Revolution XT 8F is nothing short of breath-taking in its dynamics and realism.

Each Revolution XT 8F cabinet is offered in Medium Oak or Dark Walnut real wood veneer, hand finished to the same exacting standards that Tannoy demands of it premium models and world-renowned Prestige series. The 200mm Omnimagnet driver is finished with an etched trim ring and driver bolts that contrast the black driver chassis. Magnetic grille mounts are installed below the veneer to ensure a smooth and uncluttered appearance across the front baffle and afford easy fitment of the grille for a more subtle look. Revolution XT 8F is a worthy flagship of the dramatic new Revolution XT series, combining classic Tannoy values of dynamics and musical articulation with exceptional smoothness and class-leading imaging of the new Omnimagnet Dual Concentric driver.

Introduction - Revolution XT series - 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.

Tannoy’s pioneering Twin-cavity coupled reflex system and down-firing external port delivers the Revolution series’ most tuneful and musically coherent bass to date, while the integrated plinth further improves transient attack and overall stability. The new Dual, with its Omnimagnet™ motor and class-leading dispersion characteristics, has been partnered with a new series of audiophile grade crossovers to realise the very best performance across the range.

XT is a true Revolution in loudspeaker design.

With a range spanning 100mm (4.00”), 150mm (6.00”) and flagship 200mm (8.00”) Dual Concentric drivers, Revolution XT is offered in a five-strong range to ensure there is a perfect model for every home. Available in Medium Oak or Dark Walnut real wood veneers, Tannoy’s legendary quality of finish is further enhanced with magnetic grille mounts and subtle trim detailing. From the compact Revolution XT Mini stand-mount loudspeaker to the imposing Revolution XT 8F floorstanding model, the range delivers unrivalled musical articulation and outstanding dynamics.

Drive Unit

The Revolution XT Dual Concentric driver represents a major revision of Tannoy’s long standing and well regarded coaxial driver technology. While retaining the Dual’s fundamental benefits of class-leading coherence and point-source imaging, the new driver technology delivers exceptional smoothness and even further improved imaging. The Omnimagnet Dual Concentric is a completely new interpretation of this proprietary point-source drive unit, combining a revolution new HF diaphragm and waveguide with a single magnet that energises both the HF and LF coils.

The HF dome is Torus (donut) shaped allowing it to be placed further forward in the throat of the driver. An Ogive (bullet) shaped phase plug sits in front of the diaphragm which assists in shortening the propagation path of HF waves. The Torus Ogive waveguide has a more aggressive flare than previous ‘tulip’ shaped Dual Concentric waveguides which expands wave front propagation through the cone of the bass driver. The result is a shortened acoustic path through the driver and greater phase coherence between HF and LF.

The Omnimagnet Dual Concentric is a radical evolution of Tannoy’s signature driver.

The new Dual’s wider and more even dispersion pattern has a profoundly positive effect on imaging and the improved phase coherence ensures a natural and expansive sound. The revised (shallower) cone design and potent Omnimagnet motor deliver even smoother bass performance with exceptional transient attack. Used exclusively in the new Revolution XT series, the Omnimagnet Dual Concentric driver opens another illustrious chapter in the development of Tannoy’s driver technology.

Construction

The now famous trapezoid shape of the Revolution family derives its eye-catching form from its musical function. The non-parallel sides disperse internal standing waves and internal reflections to produce incredibly low cabinet colouration. The result is a sharply styled, contemporary loudspeakers series. All products in the range now include a stylish and sturdy plinth which is an integral part of the cabinet tuning mechanism, chrome pillars add strength and style to the product, while easily adjusted spikes are incorporated into the Floorstanding variants.

Yet the most significant advances to the Revolution XT’s cabinet are on the inside. Following three years of R&D, Tannoy has developed a unique twin-cavity reflex system that optimised driver performance from extremely low to mid frequencies using balanced back-pressure damping. The system also dramatically reduces vertical standing waves within the cabinet, leading to exceptional tight and controlled bass down to the lowest organ notes. On the floorstanding models, LF energy exits from an angled down-firing port, diffusing into the room between the cabinet and the integrated plinth. In addition to outstanding bass reproduction, the design reduces room boundary effects and facilitates easy loudspeaker placement.

Tannoy’s dual-cavity coupled reflex system is a revolution from the inside.

As you would expect from Tannoy, finish and attention to detail on Revolution XT models is second to no other loudspeaker in its class. Each model is hand finished in real wood veneer, in a choice of Medium Oak or Dark Walnut colours, with magnetic grilles supports for a smooth and seamless look with the grilles on or off. Celebrating the new Omnimagnet driver, each Dual Concentric is finished with an etched metal trim ring. Satin black plinths, with large knurled locking feet and chrome pillars, are subtly finished with an etched metal Tannoy badge.

Specifications

Reviews

Specifications

PERFORMANCE
Recommended Amplifier Power - (Watts RMS) 25 - 200
Continuous Power Handling - (Watts Peak RMS) 100
Peak Power Handling (Watts) - 400
Sensitivity (2.83 Volts @ 1m) - 91 dB
Nominal Impedance (Ohms) - 8
Frequency Response (-6dB) - 34 Hz - 32 kHz

DRIVE UNIT
Dual Concentric™ High Frequency - 25 mm (1”) Linear PEI dome with Torus Ogive WaveGuide and Omnimagnet technology
Dual Concentric™ Low Frequency - 200 mm (8”) multi-fibre paper 44 mm (1.75”) voice coil
Bass Driver - 200 mm (8”) multi-fibre paper pulp cone with rubber surround. 44 mm (1.75”) edge wound voice coil

CROSSOVER
Crossover Frequency - 250 Hz & 1.8 kHz
Crossover Type - Passive low loss 2nd order low pass, 1st order high pass

CONSTRUCTION - Enclosure Type Downwards ported twin cavity coupled reflex
Volume - 48.8 l (1.72 cu. ft.)
Dimensions H x W x D (incl. plinth) - 1080 x 317 x 345 mm
Weight - 20kg
Finish - Dark Walnut Medium Oak

Reviews

Few rivals can match the power and finesse offered by these excellent speakers.

WHAT HI-FI Review: 5 STARS
Our Verdict - If you have the space, these Tannoy floorstanders are an excellent buy. Little else at this price can match their combination of force and finesse

FOR:
Plenty of good quality bass
Go loud with ease
Subtle and insightful presentation
Excellent build and finish
Aggressive price

AGAINST: 
They require a larger room to shine
Take care in system matching

Tannoy’s new Revolution XT range has made quite an impact. The XT6F floorstanders waltzed away with a Group Test win in our May issue, Having spent a considerable amount of time with the new Tannoy Revolution XT8Fs, we think they’re arguably these are best of the bunch.

Build and design

In essence, these are just larger 6Fs, using an 8in (20cm) version of Tannoy’s dual concentric driver rather than the 6in version. Tannoy has put a lot of work into this latest generation of drive unit, honing just about every aspect of the design from the motor system to the tweeter waveguide in an attempt to push performance standards higher.

By putting the tweeter in the middle of the mid/bass driver, integration is improved over the separated arrangement used in most rivals, as is the time alignment of the drive units and uniformity of dispersion.

In the XT8F, a dedicated 20cm bass driver augments the dual concentric’s output. The additional unit comes into play below 250Hz.

We think Tannoy has done a great job with the cabinet. It’s solid and smartly finished, though with a volume of almost 50 litres, it’s pretty big. There are two finish options: Medium Oak and Espresso (a dark walnut), but we think both look smart.

There’s more to this 108cm tall cabinet than just crisp edges and angled sides, which are designed to reduce the build up of internal standing wave. Tannoy has designed a coupled cavity bass reflex system to optimise low-frequency performance. A downward-firing port exits into the gap between the base of the cabinet and plinth.

Performance

As we start listening, it’s obvious the work has paid off. We begin with Hans Zimmer’s Time (from Inception OST) and discover that these Tannoys are capable of producing oodles of low-frequency information.

Not only is it deep, it’s delivered with real power and precision. There’s plenty of agility here coupled with a solid punch.

If you have a medium sized room, say anything smaller than 4x4m, then it’s possible that the quantity of low-end may prove too much. But give them a larger room to play in and the XT8Fs will shine. In a suitably large space these speakers deliver a scale of sound, loudness capability and dynamic reach that’s hard to better for the money.

There’s more to these towers than just bass and brawn, though. Move up the frequency range and they’re articulate and communicative; alt-J’s Breezeblocks is delivered with enthusiasm and coherence.

There’s a fine degree of rhythmic drive and plenty of attack on offer. Vocals are crisply rendered, lacking nothing when it comes to subtlety and precision. There’s a lovely directness to the way these speakers produce sound that just draws the listener into the music.

Tonally, these Tannoys aren’t the sweetest sounding performers around. You’ll have to take care not to partner them with anything that sounds overly forward or harsh, because they’ll do little to tone these qualities down.

But feed them with well-balanced electronics and these floorstanders will deliver.

We’re pleased with the stereo imaging. These speakers shine when placed well out into our test room and given just a touch of toe-in towards the listening position. Once the Tannoys are positioned with care their sound stage is crisp, nicely layered and pleasingly solid.

Verdict

Given a suitably talented system and a large enough room, few rivals can match the XT8F’s combination of muscle and subtlety.

Most of all they make listening to music fun and that, more than anything else, is the reason why we’re happy to recommend them wholeheartedly

The Tannoy Revolution XT 8F is a terrific speaker and a jaw-dropping bargain
Robert Harley

REVIEW SUMMARY: The bottom line is that the Tannoy Revolution XT 8F is a terrific speaker and a jaw-dropping bargain for US$2600 (excl tax) per pair. It’s also beautifully finished.... given the XT 8F’s superlative sound and stunning value, you can be assured that we’ll be reviewing more models from this venerable British company.

EXTENDED REVIEW: Tannoy’s new Revolution XT 8F made quite an impression on me at the latest CES. I listened to it without knowing the price, and after hearing its open and uncolored midrange, wide dynamics, and deep bass (and seeing its wood-veneered cabinet) guessed its price at close to $10k. The XT 8F actually costs $2600, leading me to fast-track the review by Dick Olsher that appeared in Issue 255. Dick said of the XT 8F, “The vocal range was reproduced with exceptional timbral fidelity. My own personal reference, David Manley’s Lesley album, never sounded any closer to the original mastertape. This is high praise indeed, as very few speakers manage to get this right, regardless of price. They either reproduce Lesley’s voice as harmonically too thin or too thick. In contrast to much of the competition, the Tannoy 8F hits the harmonic Goldilocks zone, sounding just right. The range from 300Hz to about 10kHz left little to be desired in textural purity, microdynamic integrity, and tonal accuracy.” That’s saying a lot for a US$2600 (excl tax) speaker.

In the meantime, Jonathan Valin, Julie Mullins, and I heard the XT 8F sound terrific at the Munich show. Jonathan even included the Tannoy in his Best of Show roundup, a list populated by many six-figure items. “Speaking of surprises! I could’ve picked many other speakers to fill this final slot, but I simply wasn’t expecting this modest floorstander from the storied British firm whose name was once synonymous with ‘loudspeaker’ to produce such high-quality sonics. The XT 8F produced an astoundingly robust, full-bodied sound. Oh, its midbass might’ve been a tad overfull, but it still had impressive definition, while its midrange timbre and transient response were excellent by any measure. Driven by Rega’s top-line electronics, the XT 8F was shockingly good for the money. Thus its inclusion in this illustrious company.”

Always on the lookout for those stand-out overachievers that bring high-end sound to accessible prices, I decided to give the Revolution XT 8F an extended audition in my own listening room as well as in a friend’s system. I drove it with a range of electronics, including a Hegel H360 integrated (a stunningly great integrated amp, incidentally), and the big Soulution 701 monoblocks (don’t ask the price).

Auditioning the Tannoys at length with familiar music, I couldn’t believe that I was listening to a $2600 speaker. What makes the XT 8F such as standout is its midrange—with its amazingly natural rendering of timbre. Female vocals through the XT 8F were as pure as I’ve heard from some very expensive speakers. The XT 8Fs projected vocals with a weight, body, and tangibility that you just don’t expect from a speaker under $10k (or even over $10k, for that matter). The Tannoys were also highly detailed in the mids, conveying nuances of expression usually reserved for the high-priced spread. Transient speed and snap were superb, adding to the impression of lifelike realism. The word “coherent” kept coming to mind as I thought about what made the XT 8F’s midrange so gorgeous.

As Dick and Jonathan noted, the XT 8F’s bass is a bit overfull. The bottom-end extension is remarkable for a speaker of this size, but it’s a bit too much of a good thing. Fortunately, there’s a remedy; a rolled up pair of socks in the port between the cabinet and the plinth takes out some of the excess energy. Interestingly, though, when I listened to the XT 8Fs in my friend Scott’s room, the bass balance was just right without the socks, even though his room is much smaller than mine and my room is outfitted with ASC 16" Full Round Tube Traps. Tannoy says that it will offer a port plug for those rooms that benefit from less bass output. None of this should overshadow the fact that the XT 8F has terrific weight and body in the lower registers, seamless integration with the midrange, and exceptional dynamic agility.

The treble is open and extended, contributing to the XT 8F’s clarity and immediacy. Above about 8kHz the treble gets a little dry and bright, but only in juxtaposition with that gloriously smooth and natural midrange. Vocals had a trace of excess sibilance, and cymbals took a step forward in the mix. But it seems churlish to mention this treble performance in light of the XT 8F’s price and all its other outstanding attributes.

The bottom line is that the Tannoy Revolution XT 8F is a terrific speaker and a jaw-dropping bargain for US$2600 (excl tax) per pair. It’s also beautifully finished—the way the cabinet is raised off the plinth (part of its technical design) with chrome tubes is elegant. It’s also exciting to realize that Tannoy makes an entire range of speakers featuring similar technology (the coincident driver and innovative woofer loading) that tops out with the flagship DC10Ti, priced at $9998 per pair. Given the XT 8F’s superlative sound and stunning value, you can be assured that we’ll be reviewing more models from this venerable British company.