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I had a pair of Lowther Medallions which I sold, but I really miss the clarity and transparency of the midrange and would like to get something similar. I am considering the Hornshoppe (Fostex FE 126e), Lowther Alerion (DX55), and Decware DNA Horn (Tang Bang W5-1880). Does the Hornshoppe or DNA Horn have a similiar clarity, presence, and transparency of the Lowther? My room is 11 x 14. Thanks.
Edits: 07/16/11Follow Ups:
I just ordered a pair of Ed's Heil Horns. I will be pairing it with a pair of Transcendent Beasts, Ed's Truth Pre and an EMM Labs XDS1.
I thought the Beasts would be way too much amp for the speakers but Ed assured me that the sound will be absoultely incredible. In fact, he said he will be purchasing a pair of Beasts to use with his own speakers.
As an aside, I have the XDS1 in my small system consisting of a Cary CAD 300SEI LX20 and Nola Boxers and it sounds about as close to vinyl as I've heard playing SACDs.
I have heard the Horns (not the Heil version) be driven by the Beasts and Truth. You will be totally blown away. The Horns sound just so effortless with the Beasts.
I have the Transcendent T16 driving my Horns, but I believe the Beast make them sound even more effortless and powerful sounding.
In addition to their sonic attributes, is that you have a trial period to try them in your room, your system. If you don't like them, send them back, and you're only out the shipping. And as Capt. Z said, they are even better with the new 126 EN driver.
I haven't heard your other choices (although I'd love to), nor have I heard the latest incantation of the Horn Shoppe Horn, which uses the Heil air motion transformer up top. The "little single driver that could" seems to be evolving into a two-way. Initial reports are glowing, but the Luddite in me resists change. Especially when one of my amps, the First Watt F1J, doesn't like crossovers. The single driver version is still available, but is now their budget, or starter speaker.
Good luck in your search.
I have the Horn with the latest Heil drivers. It has all the clarity, extension (high), imaging, tremendous transient and speed. They are also very efficient, a couple of watts are all you need.
Other speakers that I have: LS3/5a's, Spendor SP-100, Snell K's, Ohm's Walsh, Martin Logan ESL. The Horn Heil bested them all except in the bass department.
If you decide on the Alerions, upgrade to DX 65. I had the DX 55s in my
Alerion for about 2 years. Jon Ver Halen from Lowther America installed DX 65s in my Alerions last Fall. The sound is much improved over an already good speaker.
I've owned several lowther + many Fostex speakers. Most Fostex designs will give you great bang for $, but they won't compete with lowthers. I had the Alerions with both DX55 and C45 and, althought they are very good considering size, most 8in lowthers are way more resolving than the smaller ones.
You could search for the lowther Alfredo, a small design that apparently is superb even with lower line 8 in lowthers.I'm hoping to build a pair for myself eventully, but am currently building another pair of All Fun Horns (With DX-4, my current fave).
I only have heard the Hornshoppe Horns out of these 3 speaker mentioned, and I own the Hornshoppe Horns with the new 126 en driver, whic is even better then the 126e driver.
The Hornshoppe Horns have been a great revelation to me.
I love them especially with vinyl.
These are very fun loving speakers.
I haven't heard the Decware/TB, but have compared the Lowther PM-6a with the Fostex 126e. The 126e is a remarkable driver, especially considering the cost, but it is not even in the same 'ballpark' as the Lowther with respect to upper bass, mids and highs. That said, if you like the 'full range' sound, a 126e based speaker can be the foundation of a fine music system at relatively low cost. Compared to most 'average' efficiency speakers, the 126e sounds far more detailed and dynamic. However, if you have a highly resolving signal source and amplifier, the Lowther is well worth the cost (IMO).
I'd love to compare those three speakers in the same room. Interesting choices. What amp are you using?
I am using an ASL Orchid 2A3 integrated amp.
The only time I auditioned a pair of Ed-Horns they were powered by a good 2a3 homebrew amp, and I readily understood what the fuss was about. the horns, with 2A3 I can vouch for, very very smooth, dynamic, great combo, my vote goes with Hornshoppe for a start, and especially if you have vinyl.
I've been amazed how good the Hornshoppe Horns can sound (I use a 2.5 watt Music Reference EM7 amp to drive them). I just bought the Heil upgrade from Ed and will get the system set up next week. Happy to post my impressions. Not an unimportant consideration is that Ed Schilling is as devoted to customer satisfaction as anyone else I've had the pleasure to deal with.
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