When Tannoy brought out a ‘Special Edition’ of its DC6T floor-standing speaker, we worried that it would merely be a blinged-up version of a much-loved product.
At a glance, it’s hard to tell what’s new about the Tannoy DC6 SE speakers. They have the same trapezoidal cabinet design, which reduces internal standing waves and looks lovely in its ‘espresso’ veneer.
There’s the same Dual Concentric driver layout too, which has a tweeter recessed in the throat of the mid/bass driver. Not only is it visually striking, it should make the performance more focused and improve integration.
The upgrade to SE-spec adds a new double-magnet driver motor system, with a tweaked crossover. It doesn’t sound like a massive step, but we don’t mind as long as it sounds good.
First things first: these speakers take about half an hour to wake up properly, even after significant running-in. Until then they’ll sound a little lightweight. With that out the way, we tuck in.
The best thing about these speakers is how they tie everything together: the different frequencies are properly integrated. Play a complex piece – Atoms for Peace’s Ingenue, for instance – and there’s a lovely sense of cohesion between the various elements.
The sound seems to emanate from a single drive unit, getting that much closer to the ‘point source’ ideal, where sound comes from a single point in space.
We also like the speed at which the DC6 SEs operate. They’re responsive speakers with a good sense of rhythm. Up against some rivals, however, the Tannoys could do with greater precision and clarity. There’s a slight tonal unevenness that muddies the sound a little, particularly at the top end.
These speakers are certainly musical: as we skip between genres of music, the presentation changes, shifting gears up and down accordingly.
We'd like more excitement, though: there’s a good sense of weight, but when we play The XX’s Heart Skipped A Beat, the DC6 SEs struggle a little to get a sense of travel between hand-claps, dead silence, and a kick drum.
Good looks and good sound: that’s what you get with the Tannoy Revolution DC6 SEs.
We really like them, but then again there's no shortage of strong rivals offering greater dynamism, or balance, or refinement. These are good speakers, but they need that sparkle to make them great.