Dual-concentric drivers are making a comeback, and one of the original kings of the scene is also back with a vengeance. The Tannoy GOLD 8 aims to deliver studio-quality sound without a huge price tag. All things considered, they have achieved their goal.
Tannoy GOLD 8
The Tannoy GOLD 8 is a powerful full-range studio monitor with an engaging and capable sound profile. Its driver configuration and retro aesthetic are also appealing. Below are the quick highlights before we dive deeper into what this monitor offers.
The Tannoy GOLD 8 will return memories of yesteryear due to its appearance and driver configuration. But are those memories clouded by nostalgia? Below we check out this retro-inspired monitor to see if it stands up in the modern era.
There is a lot of variation between studio monitors, but they all share the same purpose. Accurate and dependable audio delivery enables you to make informed decisions when working on your latest project. In this area, the Tannoy GOLD 8 is a worthy candidate.
The large 8-inch woofer provides a warm and generous bass response that is punchy but not forced or colored. It also offers a front-facing bass port for increased bass performance. At first, I was a little concerned that the placement of controls over the top of this port might increase tonality issues, but the GOLD 8 remained clean and consistent.
Stepping into the mid-range frequencies also highlighted the strength and precision of the design of this studio monitor. The crossover points are smooth, and there is a gentle and well-formed transition from the lows to the mids.
The dual-concentric driver provides superb sound quality.
The dual-concentric driver configuration features a 1″ Titanium Tweeter to handle the top end. The integration and performance here are impressive, but there is a slight tinniness to the highs that didn’t sit right with me. A quick tweak of the forward-facing trim control for high-frequencies made things more in line with my preferred sound.
Precision throughout the frequency range is superb, with them hugging the baseline and presenting minimal dips and peaks. Spatial and stereo imaging is excellent thanks to the focused and concentrated driver design. The sweet spot is also ample enough for near-field applications.
Resurrecting a technology and injecting it into the modern era can be risky, but Tannoy has pulled it off. This is a clear, precise, and engaging monitor that can handle the rigors of serious studio work.
When the Tannoy GOLD 8 was initially announced, I expected a much higher price point knowing the attention to detail Tannoy placed on its products. Upon seeing the price, I had concerns that perhaps that level of detail would not be present, but those were unfounded fears.
The Tannoy GOLD 8 is a solid, dependable studio monitor with excellent build quality. The MDF with a black vinyl wrap is tough, durable, and won’t scratch easily.
Excellent quality at a reasonable price.
The quality of the drivers is superb, with the engineering efforts of the team and Tannoy paying dividends. Robust drivers with high performance and precision construction.
The knobs and switches on both the front and back are also high quality, and I have no complaints regarding the available connection points. A dependable monitor that retains Tannoy’s legacy of producing quality products. And at this price point, it is quite an achievement.
The Tannoy GOLD 8 features a frequency response of 54Hz – 20kHz (±3 dB) which is a decent extension in the low end and an appropriate top-end reach. There are also independent high and low-frequency limiters to protect the system, but it doesn’t offer any magnetic shielding, so interference could be an issue depending on your studio configuration.
The GOLD 8 features a powerful amp configuration.
The Class AB amp provides 300 watts of power to the Dual Concentric Driver, which features an 8-inch woofer and a 1-inch Titanium tweeter. This combination nets an output level of 110dB max SPL at 1 meter. There is ample headroom for the vast majority of studio applications. Performance at higher volume levels is also impressive, with minimal distortion as you creep up.
This studio monitor also features short circuit and thermal protections for the amplifier. The dispersion is 90 degrees conical for a consistent and immersive listening experience.
The Tannoy GOLD 8 is powerful and effective, with all the features you’d expect from quality studio gear.
The Tannoy GOLD 8 also offers basic tuning controls to adjust output to your needs.
The forward-facing HF trim is a handy feature and something that most other manufacturers relegate to the rear of their monitors. This trim knob ranges from -2dB to +2dB, which is enough to help shave off brightness or increase top-end response if desired.
The front-facing HF trim control is very convenient.
Next to the HF trim control, you’ll also have Input trim available. Once again, this is exceptionally convenient compared to other monitors on the market.
At the rear, you’ll also have access to bass control via a dedicated switch. You can set it to 0dB, -2dB, or -4dB, which can help deal with resonance and bass build-up issues depending on placement. There is also a switch for speaker position where you can assign left or right.
There are monitors available that offer more comprehensive controls to sculpt output further. If you require more precise control, the options on the Tannopy GOLD 8 might feel restrictive. But for most studio applications, the choices available here will suffice.
From an appearance standpoint, the Tannoy GOLD 8 is a love-it-or-hate-it affair. For some people, the retro aesthetic will be appealing, and I can see it finding a home in a chic-styled studio space with a classic flair.
The gold trim catches the eye, and the point source tulip waveguide for the central tweeter helps with directivity and lures you in like some blinged-out black hole. The cabinet itself is clean with rounded edges.
While some might love the retro theme, I can envision others feeling like the look is dated and, in some cases, even a little tacky. If you want a more modern-looking monitor, there are better choices available.
The gold accents give the GOLD 8 a unique look.
Beyond aesthetics, the most prominent design feature of the Tannoy Gold 8 is the Dual Concentric Driver setup. This is a legendary component of the Tannoy series and provides a central point source that maintains the integrity of the source material. It also ensures a generously wide sweet spot both vertically and horizontally. This design also offers excellent spatial positioning and is a fantastic tool for sculpting and placing elements within the stereo field.
Variety is the spice of life, and I’m happy to see more choices available in the studio monitor market. From woofer materials to tweeter types and driver configurations. Finding a studio monitor that suits your needs has never been easier.
The Tannoy GOLD 8 is a large studio monitor due to the 8-inch woofer. It is in the same range as other 8-inch monitors, so if you are already familiar with this speaker size, you won’t find any surprises. But if you are new to 8-inch monitors, be prepared for the sheer size on hand, especially the depth, which often throws people new to monitors for a loop.
The GOLD 8 is a large and heavy studio monitor.
As for its weightiness, the Tannoy GOLD 8 comes in at 30.8 lbs. (14 kg). This is not a lightweight monitor. I like a little bulk to help provide a feeling of sturdiness and quality, but this monitor stretches well beyond that into the cumbersome side of my preferences. If you intend to place this monitor on a stand, ensure it can handle this hefty beast.
The Tannoy Gold 8 offers a refined and practical set of input options. You’ll have access to a balanced XLR point or a balanced 1/4-inch TRS connection option. It doesn’t offer an RCA connection, so you’ll need to look at other monitors or invest in some conversion cables.
The GOLD 8 features balanced connections and an added AUX connection.
Beyond these two primary connections, the GOLD 8 also offers an AUX 3.5 mm stereo mini jack. A convenient inclusion that many monitors don’t offer. A further 3.5 mm monitor link connection is also present.
Keeping with its retro vibe, don’t expect any other bells and whistles here. There is no Bluetooth functionality which has become increasingly common for remote tuning or music playback. You’ll need to look elsewhere if this feature is essential to you.
When I saw the price of the Tannoy GOLD 8, I was initially taken aback. Could they deliver on all the listed promises while keeping the price this reasonable? That answer is a firm yes. This fantastic monitor offers excellent sound quality and a robust level of construction quality that is well beyond its price point.
There are more affordable monitors available, and equally, there are plenty of more expensive options. But the Tannoy GOLD 8 has found a fantastic middle ground between price and performance.
I was highly curious to see what the general public would think of these monitors, and the results are overwhelmingly positive. There is ample praise for the detailed sound signature and the enveloping dispersion. Plenty of people also adore the retro gold fuelled aesthetic.
One Driver To Rule Them All
Within audio circles, there is much debate about concentric drivers. These drivers integrate both the woofer and tweeter into a single unit. But does it mean they are better? As always, the answer isn’t clear-cut within the audio gear scene.
A concentric driver provides a single-point source for output. This allows for precise phase alignment and reduces off-axis effects. The directivity of the treble is also more concentrated, which can minimize room reflections. But for some, the narrow treble dispersion could be seen as a negative.
Tannoy is a leader in the development of concentric drivers.
But it’s not all good when it comes to these drivers. The development and production of concentric drivers are more expensive than other systems. This leads to increased price points which can lock some people out of the market.
Poor engineering can also result in a less-than-ideal sonic signature. This is where it is worth pointing out that not all concentric drivers are created equal. Tannoy is a leader in the space, and over 70 years of experience and refinement have gone into their drivers.
The new Tannoy GOLD 8 perfectly represents their prowess in the space, and it features one of the best dual concentric drivers available today. So if you want to explore dual concentric options, I strongly suggest sticking with a trusted brand with years of experience like Tannoy.
As I have already mentioned, there has never been a better time to shop for a studio monitor. There are a wealth of options available. Below is a quick snapshot of some alternatives to the Tannoy GOLD 8 worth considering.
Yamaha HS8 Review
The Yamaha HS8 is one of the most popular 8-inch monitors available today. It features fantastic sound while maintaining an approachable price point.
- Excellent clarity and ultra-precise delivery for detailed studio work.
- Solid construction and high-quality components with a modern design.
- The HS8 features a super flat response that some might find too bland.
PreSonus R80 V2 Review
The PreSonus R80 V2 offers exceptional clarity and punchy bass response that isn’t muddy, which will appeal to electronic music producers.
- Neutral sound profile that retains character, warmth, and vibrancy.
- An extensive range of tuning options to sculpt the output.
- The AMT tweeter delivers crisp highs, but some might find them fatiguing.
PreSonus R80 V2
Focal Alpha 65 Evo Review
For those that want a smaller monitor and one that offers a modern design aesthetic, the Alpha 65 Evo from Focal is a superb choice.
- Accurate frequency response with impressive bass extension.
- The futuristic design combines well with high-quality components.
- Temperamental standby feature that takes too long to kick back in. Luckily you can switch it off.
Focal Alpha 65 Evo
Should You Buy?
The Tannoy GOLD 8 is an impressive studio monitor that revives one of the classics while taking advantage of modern sensibilities. A wonderfully accurate sound profile that makes working on your latest project a breeze. The wide dispersion will also appeal to those that want more freedom in the studio.
The retro design might not be to everyone’s taste, but I’m happy to see something with more character in a world of boring black boxes. If you want a well-constructed, effective studio monitor and like its appearance, the Tannoy GOLD 8 is a great choice.
Tannoy GOLD 8