Tannoy’s timeless Kensington Gold Reference continues the marque’s heritage of blending time-honoured values with cutting edge performance. Its bold cabinet of finest mahogany plywood is extensively braced to house Tannoy’s flagship 250mm (10.00”) Gold Reference Dual Concentric™ driver. It’s high-efficiency compression driver with 50mm (2.00”) heat-treated dome, Alnico motor system and new, stiffer cone materials create outstanding dynamics, spacious sound staging and exceptional musical articulation.
The flagship 250 mm (10.00”) Dual with its Alnico magnets, identified by its PepperPot Waveguide, is fitted with the latest Tannoy GR cone material, comprising a bespoke paper pulp infused with fibres to increase its rigidity. Combined with the new 50mm (2.00”) aluminium-magnesium alloy cone, the Kensington GR Dual offers an expansive sound stage, extremely high power handling and class-leading musical communication. The Kensington GR is set to follow its predecessor models as being the bestselling Prestige loudspeaker for its outstanding performance, small footprint and elegant design.
To match the new Alnico GR Dual, the Kensington crossover has been extensively upgraded with custom-specification ICW ClarityCap™ MR capacitors, low loss laminated core inductors and thick-film resistors, before the entire unit is Deep Cryogenically Treated. This technology brings a wealth of benefits to the Kensington GR sound, including more spacious soundstage, crisper micro dynamic detailing and an exceptional natural HF response.
The Kensington GR is hand built in the time-honoured Tannoy fashion to ensure that attention to detail and unique styling go hand in hand in maintaining the exclusive appeal of this highly respected loudspeaker. It’s 18mm thick birch ply baffle and rear panel are extensively detailed with walnut inlays and machined metal trim. Easy room placement, adjustable HF power and luxury oiled veneer finish with machined metal trim ensure Kensington Gold Reference is as easy to live with as it is exhilarating to listen to. Gold Reference takes Tannoy’s Kensington to new levels of refinement in every respect.
I decided to move up from a pair of audiovector speakers due to both the performance and appearance of the Kensington GR speakers.They took around 30 hours to really 'settle' and now they sound fantastic. The highly sensitive nature ensures they work well with tube/valve amplifiers. I am using the prima luna dialogue premium pre amplifier and dialogue premium HP power amplifier.With the default EL34 tubes in the power amplifier, the Kensington GR's did sound a little too soft for my liking, even with silver cables and Van Den Hul Hybrid cables in the mix.I bought 8 Tung Sol KT 150 power tubes and run it in ultra linear mode and it has helped dramatically to make music more involving and dynamic.After a few weeks of more tuning I have bought some Artisan silver cables for between the pre amp and power amplifier and had my friend make 8 inch custom solid walnut stands for the Kensington GR's to raise the driver higher - this has helped bass response dramatically.Lastly, due to a little recession in the mid range (which I felt could be tweaked with tubes) I decided to roll the 12AU7 tubes in both pre amplifier and power amplifier for 12 E80CC Phillips Mini Watt SQ tubes (hard to get as they are no longer made but some on ebay). The 12AU7 and E80CC aren't directly compatible, however the power transformers in both the high end Prima Luna amplifiers are capable of dealing with the exta 0.3 demand per tube/valve.I am happy now with the audio quality, and the Kensingtons are able to produce a very lifelike, organic sound which I would attribute to the fantastic driver they produce. Vocals are sweet, detailed, surrounded by a luscious sound stage. Bass response can hit you firmly in the chest and shake the floorboards (had to get granite platforms from RS acoustics).All in all these are beautiful speakers and I like the adjustments available on the front, however if you set the rest of the system up properly, you can comfortably leave them on the default flat settings.Some people have mentioned that due to the somewhat smallish 10 inch drivers that bass response will be somewhat limited, but unless you have a very large room, I think these are more than adequate - rather than moving further up the range to get the full 15 inch tannoy driver. The size is also a consideration, especially if you are contemplating the Westminsters!
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