They may be small of stature but the Tannoys have a huge sonic heart
Powerful, direct midrange
focused, cohesive soundstage
Lack bass weight and depth
treble could sound clearer
Tannoy's Revolution DC4 is one tiny speaker – even the diminutive Dali Lektor 2s loom menacingly over it.
However, you needn't sit there feeling sorry for the DC4s: they still have some of the most attention-grabbing design features we've seen.
For starters, their trapezoidal cabinet (available in either a light oak or espresso wood veneer) is a distinctive alternative to the standard rectangular boxes of the rivals.
DC4s stand out from the crowdNot only does it give the speakers a unique look, it's also there for very solid acoustic reasons, reducing internal resonances and breaking up reflections.
Next, there's the Dual Concentric driver arrangement, from which the speaker take part of their model number (the rest comes from the driver size in inches, fact fans).
More after the break
Those of you unfamiliar with Tannoy's speaker design might be wondering where the tweeter is: in fact the small titanium-domed unit is positioned in the centre of the 10cm driver.
The aim is to produce a focused, cohesive sound – and that's exactly what the Tannoys deliver. Everything in the soundstage is positioned precisely, and high frequencies sound clear and open.
Every instrument and vocal is regimented and held together with the most adhesive of sonic glues. Vocals are projected solidly, and the Tannoys aren't afraid to unload both barrels when you crank up the volume.
Lack bass weight and depthThe small cabinets mean the Tannoys are at a slight disadvantage here. Try as they might, the DC4s just can't summon the same level of bass weight and depth as their rivals.
Yes, they give you a reasonably detailed outline of the bass notes during Kanye West's Love Lockdown, but to be frank they're blown out of the water by the likes of the B&W 685s in terms of pure weight and scale.
Combine that lack of bass conviction ?with the forcefulness of the midrange and you could accuse DC4s of being rather one-dimensional.
But that would be doing them a disservice: this is a very capable speaker design, and it should be saluted for its combination of endeavour and bold character.