Over 80 Years of Audio invention

Few companies' products have such a profound impact on our lives that their names enter the dictionary as generic descriptions for their inventions. There are notable exceptions such as Biro, for its ballpoint pen and Hoover for its vacuum cleaner. But in the audio field, Tannoy stands alone for its success in developing early public address systems and then continuing its reputation for pioneering audio solutions.

A Household Name

The word Tannoy is synonymous with sound, appearing in the dictionary as: 'a communications system with loudspeakers, used for making announcements in public buildings.' The phrase 'Over the Tannoy' is universally used to describe a PA announcement. Tannoy is one of the oldest audio companies in the world today. It was founded 78 years ago, just after the beginning of broadcast in London, by an engineer name Guy R Fountain. He owned a commercial garage in Dulwich and it was there that he invented a solid-state rectifier made from an alloy of Tantalum and Lead. This Tantalum-Lead Alloy is the origin of the now world famous brand name - Tannoy. Fountain set up a small factory in Dalton Road, West Norwood to manufacture the rectifiers and a few years later Tannoy was commissioned to supply a sound reinforcement system to a famous European circus. This was just the stepping stone they needed and in 1933 Fountain produced Tannoy's first discrete two-way loudspeaker system. A year later they had a complete range of microphones, loudspeakers and amplifiers under their belt. By the time the Second World War came in 1939, Tannoy was established well enough for their products to be used in the nations defence, largely as part of communication systems for airfield crews, submarines and command systems.It was during this period that the company become known for the "Tannoy" PA System.

This phrase now exists in its own right and is still used in the UK today to describe a Public Address announcement and it even has its own entry in the Oxford English Dictionary.

Three years after the war came the launch of Tannoy's first Dual Concentric™ loudspeaker. This was and still remains the core of their success.

Chief Engineer at the time, Ronnie H Rackham combined a high frequency compression horn drive unit with a 15" direct radiating bass driver. This unique design was then implemented into all the loudspeaker ranges. It has continually been developed and updated, but traces of the original concept can still be found in the newest and latest products. More recently in 2002 Tannoy merged with the Danish TC Group of companies. TC Group is a holding company of several individual music technology businesses, which includes TC Electronic, a modern and exciting company at the forefront of digital technologies. The combined expertise has allowed the companies to share research and development resources ensuring they always have their finger on the pulse and areaware of all the latest industry updates. In today's market Tannoy has its hand in a number of sectors including Residential Audio, Installation Speakers and Studio Monitors.

They cater for small or large projects such as: professional audio and film recording studios, retail outlets, shopping centres, corporate boardrooms, public buildings, pubs, clubs and bars.