What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Tue, 4 Feb 2014, 11:51am

Tannoy Precision 6.4

Tested at £2200
80100
4

A great looking speaker that offers plenty of bass and scale, but falls short on subtlety and timing

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For

  • Nice build
  • Focused soundstage
  • Nice detail
  • Deep bass
  • Goes loud

Against

  • Not the last word in subtlety
  • Less rhythmic than rivals

Back when we reviewed the Tannoy Precision 6.2 in October last year, we predicted it could well be the sweetspot of the new Precision range, and even outshine this – its bigger, flagship brother.

We were right.

That’s not to say the Precision 6.4s aren’t a great pair of speakers. They are.

However, while the 6.2s blew us away with their beautifully balanced sound and excellent stereo imaging, its flagship sibling falls short of the same wow factor, despite being £500 more expensive.

DesignTannoy Precision 6.4

Like the Precision 6.2s, the 6.4 speakers are extremely well made, setting a good first impression with a gorgeous satin dark-walnut veneer curved cabinet (high-gloss dark walnut and high-gloss black are also available).

This premium finish continues all the way to the terminal block, with its gold-plated binding posts.

They can be used either single or bi-wired, plus there’s also Tannoy’s signature fifth terminal, allowing you to earth the driver chassis to improve shielding.

It’s not a necessity, from our experience, but it does offer a slightly cleaner sound should you wish to make use of it.

Looking at the drive units, and the top one is the latest iteration of Tannoy’s trademark Dual Concentric drivers, which sees a 25mm titanium-dome tweeter recessed within a 15cm paper-pulp cone mid/bass driver.

Tannoy claims this helps improve focus, integration and dispersion.

Below the Dual Concentric sits a dedicated 15cm bass driver, and lower still there are two front-facing 15cm auxiliary bass radiators.

Among other things, these allow the 6.4s to be more flexible with their positioning than their rear-ported rivals.

Sound

If there’s one thing these Tannoys have over their smaller siblings, it’s scale and authority.

These will go seriously loud, reach deep into the bass and show a sense of scale that rivals competitors such as the much larger SVS Ultra Towers.

That excellent stereo image we loved so much in the 6.2s is here too, but feels bigger still, positioning the various instruments of a track accurately around the room, painting quite the sonic picture in the process.

There’s loads of detail to get stuck into here as well, with a good handle on dynamics to boot.

Faithless’ Insomnia builds steadily, and as each element of the song is introduced, it’s given the space it needs to be individually identifiable.

When the drop finally comes you can’t help but want to hit the back button and start it all over again.

It’s fair to say, though, that these are not the subtlest of speakers.

While they’ll easily show up the likes of the SVS Ultra Tower when it comes to fine detail, compare them to speakers of a subtler nature, such as the Spendor A6Rs or PMC Twenty 23s, and you’ll find that they gloss over some of the texture and depth that those rivals achieve.

And while they’re far from ponderous, the Tannoys do show some signs of being less rhythmic than their livelier rivals too.

Play A Tribe Called Quest’s Excursions and there’s a feeling of them being just slightly ‘off’ with their handling of the energetic double-bass bassline.

The sound is agile, given its weight, but not quite agile enough.Those things considered, it’s still hard not to like the Tannoys.

Their scale, detail and excellent stereo image make them a thoroughly enjoyable, not to mention impressive, listen, all finished off in a design that’s pleasing to the eye.

Verdict

The Tannoy Precision 6.4s balance a good – if not market-leading – handling on detail and dynamics with deep bass, power and scale. In this respect you get the best of both worlds, if not the last word in either.

There are better-rounded, more subtle speakers available at this price, but if bass weight is important to you, these are certainly worth an audition.

 

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