TANNOY Legacy Eaton


Stand mount monitors

The world of Tannoy is inhabited by real men, loud music and ice cubes tinkling in whisky glasses. The Legacy Eaton are standmounts in Tannoy's opinion yet they are massive and chunky pieces of furniture that require plenty of space around to sound their best. Most floorstanders look like toys next to the Eatons. If you appreciate 'real' loudspeakers then the Tannoy may satisfy you.

Function and form

Ease of use

The Tannoy Legacy Eaton are derived from 1974's Tannoy HPD speakers. They are two-way boxes with a big 25cm dual-concentric driver in the middle of the baffle: in the center of a paper mid-bass cone in a dual wave impregnated fabric surround there is a 33mm magnesium-aluminum dome tweeter. The tweeter sits deep in the cone which functions like a horn waveguide. The cabinets of the Legacy Eatons are nice woodwork of walnut venner on MDF/plywood boxes. The veneer has silky sheen and a tin of special wax is provided in the package to maintain it.

The Legacy Eatons provide one unusual feature: there is a switchbox on the front baffle that enables adapting the response of high frequencies. By moving gold-plated bolts one can regulate the roll-off (+2, -2, -4, -6dB/octave) and total treble energy (5 steps between -3 and +3dB), one independently of the other. Speakers terminals are of high quality WBT standard and enable bi-wiring, bi-amping and even grounding. The Legacy Eaton's nominal impedance is 8 ohms (89db sensitivity) and therefore a good stable amplifier with at least 50 watts of power will be required.

Bass management


Despite it is not a tall speaker the Eaton is wide and deep. Its internal volume is therefore fully comparable to many slick floorstanding towers. Add sizable driver and two reflex ports firing forward and the physics guarantee massive pressure at low frequencies. The Legacy Eaton's bass response is limited by circa 50Hz (-3dB), yet I never missed the bass. On the contrary, in small rooms (or if you push the Tannoys into corners) the bass volume can be overwhelming. Normally this can represent a problem - with the Legacy Eaton one has several options to adjust their response. The easiest solution is to move them away from walls, the farther the better. Then you can plug supplied foam pieces into one or both bassreflex ports. Though the latter helps tame the bass instantly I do not recommend it - the music got a kind of constrained and less spatial with the ports closed.

The best way how to adjust the frequency response is to play with the switchbox and optimize the upper mids and treble energy. For example, by tilting it up the ear changes its reference point and will perceive the bass more proportional to treble energy because you will turn down the volume by few dB at the same time. The possible combinations are numerous and I had no issue to dial in the speakers in a small room (<20sqm) for the bass heavy material like Judas Priest's Painkiller (Sony/Columbia). So please be patient and you'll be rewarded.

Clarity & delicacy


The Tannoy Legacy Eaton are visually impressive including their harmonizing deep brown nylon grilles. Unfortunately, the grilles are not the last word in transparency and therefore I recommed to remove them before any serious listening. Doing so the concentric system provides very detailed and open sound.

Scoundrel Days (Warner Bros) is the best record that Norwegian A-Ha have made to date. This song collection has strength and catchiness that leaves most todays pop startlets lightyears behind. The Legacy Eatons let me hear the arrangements and instrumental colours with nice resolving power, no matter if I played soft or loud. Actually, the sound character remained the same even when the Legacy Eatons were pushed hard. The sound was robust and transparent, though the transparency was different from what I experienced from rather fragile sounding Franco Serblin's Accordo. Here the sound had scale and size.

Tonal accuracy

Temporal resolution

As mentioned the dome tweeter's output is guided through a horn-like midrange cone and it lends ease to the sound. However, it also lends a bit of 'tannoy' coloration which can be liked or disliked depending on your reference point. Objectively speaking there is the coloration, however, after few days of listening to the Legacy Eatons and switching to Wharfedale's Jade 5 I've found the objectively uncolored Jade 5s little amoebic and closed-in. The Legacy Eaton is a different sounding loudspeaker and any comparison to standard designs fails - is that why the Tannoy clan is so strong in hi-fi communities? Therefore consider my evaluations to be a reflection of the impression the Legacy Eatons left rather than precise benchmark to other stand-mount monitors.

Spatial resolution

Soundstage width
Soundstage depth

If I should highlight one single parameter that sets the Legacy Eaton apart from competitors it would be their sensuous soundstage. The concentric driver guarantees that the listener will not hear the individual drivers and will perceive the sound as if it was coming from one driver only. With the Tannoy I could not locate the sound source at all - it was as if I was listening to omnipolar speakers. The soundstage was very spatial laterally and absolutely amazing in its depth. Imagine deep waters, so clear, gently flowing, illuminated by sun rays, with colours and shapes clealy visible and defined. The soundstage of the Legacy Eaton was so spatious that I could take a swim in it. The old vinyl record of Count Basie's orchestra acquired a completely new dimension as did the Ravels''s Nocturne from Daphnis and Chloé (Serge Brando, Czech Philharmonics). The look into the pastoral landscaper was so seducing through the Legacy Eatons that I played the track several times in a row.

My resumé? The Tannoy Legacy Eaton are not cheap and they are not for everyone. They have their style and their house sound and they are not afraid to show it off. It is up to a listener to get either attracted or repelled by it. As far as I am concerned I now understand much better why some people fall in love with it and become 'tannoyists' for the rest of their lives.

Price as reviewed:140 000,- Kč

Recommended resellers

Perfect Sound Group, Praha, tel. +420 722 960 690

Associated components

  • Sources:  Accuphase DP-720 SACD, Clearaudio Concept/Concept MC
  • Amplifiers: TAD M-2500, Pro-Ject Phono Box RS, Sony TA-313
  • Loudspeakers: Wharfedale Jade 5
  • Interconnects and speaker cables: AudioQuest Redwood, AudioQuest Wild, AudioQuest Vodka, QED Supremus, Accuphase AL-10
  • Power conditioning: Shunyata Research Denali 6000T, Nordost Valhalla, Block Audio Snakeblock, Synergistic Research Atmosphere Level 2 PowerCell AC


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