Tannoy, Linn, PrimaLuna, Atlas (Video)

Tannoy consultant/designer Danny Cooklin gave me a proper introduction to the company’s forthcoming 70th Anniversary Autograph 12 loudspeaker, which was in the prototype stage at High Munich.

The Autograph 12 is built around Tannoy's current 12" concentric driver with an AlNiCo-magnet motor on the mid/bass driver. “The new design retains AlNiCo for the legendary midrange Tannoy is known for while employing a dedicated neo-magnet for the tweeter, a redesigned waveguide, and many other improvements to form a new flagship driver design for the brand,” a press release stated.

The new Autograph 12's cabinet has higher-tech construction and a port. Cooklin said final cost is yet to be decided, but the press release noted that it “will sit between Kensington and Canterbury, $19,800/pair and $35,000/pair USD, respectively."

In this video, Tannoy's Danny Cooklin talks to Ken Micallef about the 70th Anniversary Autograph 12.

In Tannoy’s room, which was decorated with a large backdrop of the Scottish Highlands, the Autograph 12 prototype was joined to a Linn Klimax DSM DAC ($39,000), PrimaLuna EVO 400 Tube Preamplifier ($4995), and PrimaLuna EVO 400 Tube Power Amplifier ($4995), with Atlas cables and line conditioner.

I have reviewed prior Tannoy floorstanders, and I enjoyed the newish Sterling model at AXPONA. The Autograph 12 was altogether different. The system launched "Blue Train" like a bolt from the—um—blue, with ample texture and tone. The soundstage was impossibly wide, a concert hall in the listening room. The trumpet of 19-year-old Lee Morgan' blared with youthful ferocity, each note punctuated by satisfying splat and spit.

Philly Joe Jones's drumming crackled with infectious energy, driving the entire band with a relentless hard swing. Forget your grandfather's Tannoy speakers – this may be an autograph for the ages.