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Upgrade suggestions from Tannoy Arden HPD-385A


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Had these Arden's now for about ten years or so.

Wondering if anyone has had experience of these wonderful speakers but found the grass greener elsewhere?

Thinking second hand with a budget of up to £15,000.

My current amps are Lightspeed passive pre into either Radford Sta-15 (Valve) which i have two of! or, an Audionet Amp1-V2 (Tranny)

Either amp sounds absolutely sublime through the Tannoy's, but just wondering what could better them.

looking forward to some answers as I genuinely haven't got a clue. Would active ATC's better this, Thiels? Wilson's?

Hit me!

Alan.

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There's been a guy trying to move on a pair of KEF Blades for a while now in the classifieds, might be worth a look as are within your budget. 

https://www.hifiwigwam.com/forum/topic/132255-for-sale-reluctantly-kef-blade-speakers-reduced/?tab=comments#comment-2359496

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I enjoyed my time with some 10" Tannoys but did feel like the frequency extremes suffered a touch. I'd imagine a 15" Tannoy could only be worse in that regard.

Some nice, big 3-way JBLs would be on my list of things to hear.

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Many thanks Lurch & Fatmarley for your considered response's. 

Whilst I am aware of a multitude of options that may better my Arden's, I am really seeking persons who have had experience of the Arden's and moved on.

I must say I haven't been aware of any limitations in the frequency extremes with the sound of the Arden's - certainly no problem in the lower register.

Some speakers I have heard have bettered the Tannoy's upper registers but at the expense of shrillness that I would rather do without. 

But that's the thing I suppose, in that essentially I am very happy with my system, and tend to listen to music, with absolutely no fatigue, rather than to be temporarily in awe of some exceptional delivery from a system which I look forward to turning down, or off!

I would certainly love to hear some JBL's, or some Wilson's, if not just to dispel some of the criticisms's I have read about either. Big Altec's intrigue me as do the Blades currently in the classifieds....but

Who here has actually had Arden's and satisfactorily upgraded?

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I'd suggest listening to a pair of Magnepan 20.7 with that budget. They are one of the best speakers on the market today.

Your audionet has plenty of power. I've heard big tannoys at a dealer and prefer big Magnepans. Bass is superb, and mid-top phenomenal.

Assuming you have a big listening room.

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I owned original HPD Ardens, and have since moved on via Cheviots (decided smaller may be better in my room) but still lacking the tight bass I craved, and sweet mids. I then went completely the other way and built myself a pair of Ls35a clones, and got the wonderful mids and vocals i was after, but obviously not the bass.

I then heard some active speakers, which gave tight tuneful bass, not one note, also incredible speed/control. I decided to go down this route, and first built some 2 way using a Behringer DCX 2496 and 2 Behringer A500 power amps. These were a success, and I kept a sealed cabinet, but still got enough bass for my room, but it was also quality bass. Over time I realised I was still not getting the sweet detailed mids of the Ls35a, that i so liked. So after a lot of deliberation, about building a completely new 3 way cabinet, I thought I would try just adding a mid cabinet to what i had and use a KeF B110 driver from the Ls35a's. This was built and put on top of the 2 way cabs, putting the tweeter central between the bass and mid drivers. I also acquired a 6 channel KJF Audio amp using Hypex Ncore modules to drive the 6 drivers. 

Adding the mid gave me what was missing with vocals and the all important midrange, but it also improved the bass, an added bonus. So this is where I am at now, and very happy I am too :) 

The Ardens in comparison, and this is in my small room (16'x12') seemed ponderous, and the bass overexcited the room, once the volume went past 9 o'clock. The actives are very fast, notes start and stop quickly, and bass is so tuneful, still not the deepest, but so much better than anything I have had before, Soundstage is fantastic, and the detail that is portrayed is excellent.

I realise you are probably looking to buy and not build, so this is probably not a lot of help. But if you want to hear something that will sound very different to the Ardens, (are yours original, or the newer Legacy range) I would suggest with your budget listening to some of the higher end ATC actives.

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Many thanks to the wigwam creators and members for such a wonderful forum.

Psilonaught - that's an interesting suggestion and one I have wondered about in the past along with Apogee's of course. Are you allowed to disclose which dealer you witnessed the audition? and which Tannoy's did you make the comparison with?

greybeard - first and foremost I must say its a pleasure liaising with Peter Gabriel on this forum - I would have thought your wallet would have relieved you of the necessity to go down the homemade route!.....

moving on ....

My Arden's are original, not the legacy version which I am unfamiliar with. My current room is 16 feet 10 x 16 feet and when I moved here from by previous home, there was a significant degradation in my sound. Previous room size was around 24 feet x 20 feet. That sound was impeccable - the sound-stage was phenomenal with everyone visiting me commenting that there would be no point trying to get anything better. My present sound suffers slightly from the point you raise and was more apparent in the early weeks from the move. Familiarity is a strange thing, enabling one to become quite content with something that is actually below par - still I am educated by the fact that your present system suffers from no such deficiency in the same room with presumably a bigger speaker system than the Arden's. Was it ATC's that were the catalyst to your own build?

Many thanks,

Alan.

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29 minutes ago, Axe.al said:

My current room is 16 feet 10 x 16 feet

How far from the rear walls would you able able to place your speakers? Maggies need to be at least 1m forward given they are dipoles. Mine are well out into my 5x5m room.

I've never heard bigger Apogees (on my bucket list) but I suspect their bass reproduction won't be anything like as good (deep). The 20.x series are push/pull (two bass panels sandwiched together), hence their ability to go down to around 23Hz, enough make objects in my room, and doors to ajoining rooms, rattle annoyingly.

It was a long time ago when I hear the Tannoys, I can't remember the dealer, but they weren't for me.

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1 hour ago, Axe.al said:

greybeard - first and foremost I must say its a pleasure liaising with Peter Gabriel on this forum - I would have thought your wallet would have relieved you of the necessity to go down the homemade route!.....

Unfortunately I am David Essex, and Eastenders did not pay that well :D

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQcOSMAYdj3-sj3ZLBU9Yt

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I have had Tannoy Cheviots or Sterling tw's playing for the last few years in my set up & very happy with them and various amplification worked well with them to. A few months ago I had the opportunity to buy a pair of Event Opal Active Studio Monitors which I had read about on here many moons ago and fancied trying active speakers.

I can honestly say they are amazing and I doubt very much that the either Of the Tannoys will get back into pride of place any time soon. Infact the Sterlings and Leak TL12+ mono's are now sold on. 

I don't think I could go back to passive tbh but I do intend putting the Cheviots and Manley Mahi Mono's back in for a trial but frankly don't hold much hope for them. With your budget you could get some very nice ATC Actives which will blow your mind I think.

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On 09/04/2021 at 10:27, Axe.al said:

16 feet 10 x 16 feet

You will struggle to ever get a good sound in a square room. IOW, don't blame your speakers for bad room acoustics.

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Lifes a bloody compromise..and hifi more so. I think we can spend alot of money before realising this is actually as good as it gets. When we realise this we should imo focus more on the music & realise how fortunate we are to have a more than adequate hifi to play it on.  It sounds good (today)...but maybe not tomorrow ?   You have to smile :)

* secretly I wish that I still had a large space & a bigger spkrs.  Bookshelfs can even be ace(ish).

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On 08/04/2021 at 22:00, Fatmarley said:

I enjoyed my time with some 10" Tannoys but did feel like the frequency extremes suffered a touch. I'd imagine a 15" Tannoy could only be worse in that regard.

Some nice, big 3-way JBLs would be on my list of things to hear.

Good advice here, I had 385HPDs which I sold when I moved to a house with a smaller listening space.  I bought JBL 4311 which give much of what I liked about tannoys but with rapier quick speed and super tuneful bass  with none of the wooliness of the big Tannoys. Since getting the JBLs my speaker search ended.

The 4311 and 4312 are great speakers and still decent value in the UK if you can find them.

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