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Tannoy FX Company Introduction


Tannoy is the brand name on many prestigious sound installations throughout the world. Examples include the Hong Kong Convention Centre, the Sydney Opera House, the London Palladium theatre, Coca Cola Headquarters in Atlanta , the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas , the Dolce & Gabbana headquarters in Milan and the Finnish National Theatre.

In January 2002 TGI plc merged its entire portfolio of companies with the TC Group, a holding company of seven individual companies; Tannoy, Martin Audio Lab Gruppen, TC Electronic, TC Helicon, TC Works and GLL. The Merger was completed to create a group with the necessary expertise and market access to take advantage of the trend towards convergence of digital and acoustics technologies in the audio industry. Within the TC Group Tannoy consists of the parent company in Coatbridge, as well as Tannoy North America in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, along with the 51% owned Tannoy Netherlands, based in Rotterdam. Manufacturing is split between the facility in Coatbridge and a range of sub-suppliers, with some assembly carried out in Kitchener for products specific to the North American markets.

Back Story: Near fields vs. Full-Size Speakers

Before even beginning this review, it is very important to point out my particular thought process behind this paper. First of all, I reviewed the FX 5.1 Home Cinema System in a near-field speaker configuration. I also purposely declined to compare this system (in this review) to larger systems, floor-standing speakers, or systems costing three to four times as much (with one notable exception you will encounter later). The FX 5.1 speaker system should be compared to other $699 retail or satellite 5.1 speakers. It is my opinion that to deny this is to pit apples versus oranges and deny any chance of a well-balanced or properly-targeted review.

With that being said, there are several basic reasons you might select a satellite home theatre speaker system:

  • Wanting your speakers to be "heard, but not seen." This is also commonly referred to as obeying the 'Wife Acceptance Factor' or WAF, for short. A majority of satellite speaker buyers I know personally cite this as the number one reason. They want their system to blend in and be unnoticed.

  • Room size . It may be impractical for someone in a small or confined space to entertain the idea of a full-size speaker system. If you are looking for a decent system for a college dorm or rented space, for example, you may select a satellite system for its small form factor.

  • Cost. There are a number of satellite speaker systems available that costs hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars less than a full-sized alternative.

Regardless of which reason you choose to look at satellite speaker systems, there are a large number to choose from and it is always a good idea to weigh as many factors as possible before making a purchasing decision.

What's going to happen then in a review on satellites? Well, as I mention previously, I will not be comparing these speakers to packages costing much more. Instead, I will focus on the pluses and minuses of the speakers themselves at the value price point at which they are positioned. One thing to remember is that for the price of a low to mid-priced receiver, you are getting an entire 5.1 speaker solution, by a company known for its advances in the speaker industry. What we will be attempting to reveal in this article is whether the system is a value, or just inexpensive. To whet your appetite, I'll just say that in my opinion, Tannoy should rename their speakers "Bose-busters" and piggy-back off the marketing already done by one of the slickest companies in the industry!