Tannoy

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 and moved to Coatbridge, Scotland in the 1970s. In 2015 brand was acquired by Music Group (company) 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. 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.

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. Tannoy is famous 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.

Company’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 generically in colloquial English in some places to mean any public-address system or even as a verb – to “tannoy”, particularly those used for announcements in public places; although the word is a registered trademark, it has become a genericised trademark. 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.

  • Tannoy speakers