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Tannoy Ltd
IndustryAudio Electronics and Speakers
Founded1926, London, England
FounderGuy R. Fountain
Area served

Tannoy Ltd is a British manufacturer of loudspeakers and public-address (PA) systems. The company was founded by Guy Fountain in London, England, as Tulsemere Manufacturing Company in 1926[1] and moved to Coatbridge, Scotland, in the 1970s. In 2015 Tannoy was acquired by Music Group along with TC Group which itself had acquired Tannoy in 2002. Later on it was suggested that the Coatbridge facility would be closed and all related activities would be relocated to Manchester, England.[2] However, this was later corrected and in 2016 it was confirmed that Tannoy loudspeaker manufacturing would continue in Scotland, with a brand new manufacturing facility planned.[3]

Actor Cyril Ritchard and three young women listen to the Tannoy public address system in 1948.

The name Tannoy is a syllabic abbreviation of tantalum alloy, which was the material used in a type of electrolytic rectifier developed by the company. The brand was trademarked by 10 March 1932, on which date the Tulsemere Manufacturing Company formally registered as Guy R. Fountain Limited.

It became a household name as a result of supplying PA systems to the armed forces during World War II, and to Butlins and Pontins holiday camps after the war. Identification being such because the company logo name was prominently shown on the speaker grills. This usage is current as of mid-2010.[4][5] Tannoy is notable for its 'Dual Concentric' speaker design, which places the tweeter behind the centre of the medium or bass driver. "Dual Concentric" is a trademark although Tannoy is not the only speaker manufacturer to design coaxial speakers.

Tannoy's image is particularly linked to studio monitors on the one hand and its Prestige range of home speakers on the other. Prestige speakers use Dual Concentric cone speakers and are easily recognisable by their "vintage" design.

The term "tannoy" is used in British English for any public-address system, and as a verb, to "tannoy", for making an announcement in a public place;.[6][7] That is, although the word is a registered trademark, it is often used generically. The company's intellectual property department keeps a close eye on the media. To preserve its trademark, it often writes to publications that use its trade name without a capital letter or as a generic term for a PA system.


Home and Studio speakers:

  • Reveal Series (Made in China)
  • Plus Series
  • 70Anniversary Series
  • Surrey Series
  • Gold Series
  • Definition Series
  • Eclipse Series
  • Mercury Series
  • Prestige Series
  • Classic Monitor
  • K3838 monitor kit (similar to Classic Monitor)
  • Super Red Monitor
  • K3808 monitor kit (similar to Super Red Monitor)
  • Little Red
  • Sixes Series
  • Profile Series
  • Precision Series
  • Revolution Series
  • Dimension Series
  • Eyris Series


  • Lancaster
  • System DMT

PA Systems:

  • Wildcats (1984)
  • CPA Series (1990)
  • T & I Series (1998)
  • B Series (1998)
  • V Series (2002)
  • VS Series (2003)
  • IQ Series (2004)
  • VQ & VQNET Series (2009)
  • VX & VXP Series (2011)
  • VSX Series (2012)
  • VSXNET (2015)

Further reading[edit]

  • Alderton, Julian (2004). The Tannoy Story. Edward Gaskell. ISBN 1-898546-58-4.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ https://www.bloomberg.com/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapid=29732350; accessed December 7, 2016
  2. ^ Jonathan Evans (2016-04-29). "Tannoy announces possible closure of its Scotland loudspeaker plant | What Hi-Fi?". Whathifi.com. Retrieved 2019-11-25. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ "Tannoy to keep Prestige speaker production in Scotland". What Hi-Fi?. Retrieved 2016-11-04.
  4. ^ "Goldtrail collapse leaves Britons in Greece and Turkey". BBC News. 17 July 2010.
  5. ^ BBC World Service broadcast 27 February 2010 referring to the use of "Tannoys" in warning seaside dwellers to evacuate to higher ground due to a possible tsunami caused by the Chilean earthquake of that day (heard on WNYC FM)
  6. ^ "Tannoy", Longman Dictionary of Current English online, 14 March 2012
  7. ^ The usage is not obsolete; see [https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=tannoy%2F%28public+address%2BPA+system%29&year_start=1930&year_end=2019&corpus=26&smoothing=5&direct_url=t1%3B%2C%28tannoy%20/%20%28public%20address%20%2B%20PA%20system%29%29%3B%2Cc0 nGrams for "tannoy" compared to "public address"

External links[edit]