Tannoy Reveal 501a, 601a & 601p Nearfield Studio Monitors

Tannoy Reveal 601A BlackA long standing name in the monitor business, Tannoy has built a reputation on different sides of the market.  Apart from their high-end and mid-range studio monitors, Tannoy’s Reveal nearfield monitors are indeed renowned both for their quality and great value for money. Wave goodbye to the jolly red and blue Reveals of former glory, and welcome 3 new revamped models: the 501a (60W) active 5 inch, the 601a (90W) active 6 and a half inch along with the 601p (50-100W recommended) passive in the same size all of which are available in nothing but black. The cabinet has a simple but functional 2 way design with a flared bass port below the low frequency driver which would lessen rear reflections considerably should one have to place the speakers in close proximity to a wall – which in some cases can be unavoidable. All versions all make use of the same soft dome tweeter which has slight boosting and attenuation controls on the back of the cabinet to further aid those in smaller mixing environments. The option of both XLR and TRS input connections also provides further user flexibility. The two-tone dual concentric bass tone gives the Reveal monitors a familiar yet rather slick appeal without looking tacky or cheap.

Once operational they certainly do perform well for their size – the 601a putting out a maximum spl of 111db at 1m – making all variants more than adequate for nearfield use. The Reveals have a punchy, present sound with a response well suited to modern rock and pop production with an easily distinguishable, broad stereo image. Provided the speakers are well situated to minimize bass reflectivity, a tighter low end is achievable giving decent transient response even at relatively low levels. High frequencies come across smoothly without any of the harsh or artificial colouration associated with entry level monitors. Musicians, home recording enthusiasts and producers looking to buy their first pair of monitors can’t really go wrong with a set of these. The Reveals will easily prove a worthy addition to compact setups in small to medium sized rooms without making you wade the waters of your local loan shark to fund your budget. Overall tonality is well balanced and although one can’t really expect crystalline audio waterfalls for the price, you do get a speaker that will reference quite easily with a few checks on a decent pair of cans for the finer details like longer reverb times, vocal tails and cymbal decays. Even if these are your first pair of monitors you won’t be far from great mixes due to the fact that they have a rather smooth but un-doctored sound which allows your ears to easily adjust where as higher end monitors are generally far more linear and take some getting used to.

The approach taken by Tannoy on the design of the new Reveal range seems to focus far more closely on the technology behindTannoy 601athe drivers and and electronics of the speaker rather than the physical cabinet which can push the price up considerably depending on the material chosen. In this aspect some truly astounding work has been accomplished, Tannoy have by created a monitor within a tight budget constraints without compromising on sound quality. As a direct result there simply isn’t much competition out there as the price sets it so far apart from monitors that are one up on the clarity front, and I think they have achieve the goal they set out to meet. The Reveal is an unbeatably affordable, simple means of getting the task of mixing done in your home studio. Some other active speakers in the price range include the Rockit G2 series from KRK and the widely used Alesis M1MkII. Although these are competitively priced, you will find Tannoy has a slight edge due to the fact that the Reveal monitors do not overly favour a particular genre’s mixing style and are simply more pleasing on both eyes and ears.

Reveal 501a Features:

  • Integrated 60W total power amp unit
  • 5″ (130mm) LF/MF driver and 1″ (30mm) soft dome tweeter
  • Frequency response of 64Hz-30kHz
  • Sculpted and rigid front baffle design to minimise diffraction
  • Response has been optimised for quarter space near-field operation
  • Front firing reflex bass port to negate boundary-coupling
  • Bass unit development using to minimise offsets and linearise the suspension components
  • Wideband tweeter design extends response to 30kHz to improve audible phase response
  • LED indicator shows power status
  • +1.5/0/-1.5dB HF trim switch for custom room adjustment
  • Rear mounted volume control for convenient Home Studio and PC/MAC laptop/desktop use.
  • Balanced XLR and unbalanced jack connectors

Reveal 601a Features:

  • Integrated 90W total power amp unit
  • 6.5″ (130mm) LF/MF driver and 1″ (30mm) soft-dome tweeter
  • Wide frequency response of 60Hz-30kHz
  • Sculpted and rigid front-baffle design to minimize diffraction
  • Response has been optimized for quarter-space nearfield operation
  • Front-firing reflex bass port to negate boundary coupling
  • Wide-band tweeter
  • LED indicator shows power status
  • +1.5/0/-1.5dB HF trim switch for custom room adjustment
  • Rear-mounted volume control
  • Balanced XLR and unbalanced ¼” TS connectors

Reveal 601p Features:

  • 50-100W RMS Recommended Amp Power
  • 6.5″ (130mm) LF/MF driver and 1″ (30mm) soft-dome tweeter
  • Wide frequency response of 60Hz-30kHz
  • Sculpted and rigid front-baffle design to minimize diffraction
  • Response has been optimized for quarter-space nearfield operation
  • Front-firing reflex bass port to negate boundary coupling
  • Wide-band tweeter
  • LED indicator shows power status
  • +1.5/0/-1.5dB HF trim switch for custom room adjustment
  • Binding post connectors

Tannoy Reveal 601a Rear

Pros:

  • Balanced overall sound with good high freqency response
  • Very affordable monitoring solution

Cons:

  • Spending more would easily get you a speaker with better depth and clarity
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