Audio Asylum Thread Printer
Get a view of an entire thread on one page
|For Sale Ads|
In Reply to: RE: Horns and high efficiency . what effect ? posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on March 30, 2017 at 15:25:41
"They are here" is a mis-application of the phrase. The apparent presence or lack thereof is much more a function of how the recording was made, rather than the type of speaker it's being played on. However, since most horns are more directional than appropriate direct radiators with similar crossover frequencies, there 'is' a difference in the soundfield of the listening room, which may account for the perceived difference regarding the "they are here" aspect. Personally, in a home environment, I prefer direct radiators (or maybe stats if a person has the space for them) because well-designed ones tend to better mimic the radiation patterns of real instruments (this is a generalization, since instrument radiation patterns vary quite lot), thus creating a more natural ambient soundfield.
With regard to high efficiency, this is a sticky wicket. High efficiency has its advantages, particularly for large high-output systems such as for concerts, but, to achieve very high quality sound in a home environment, they also require amplifiers which perform (sound) very good at low output levels. You may already know that many amps have higher distortion in that first 0.5 to 1 watt or so output than they do at higher output levels. Matti Otala and John Curl did landmark research on this back in the early 1970s. So, choice of amplifier becomes much more important.
With regard to horns in general, many are not well-designed or matched with drivers and crossover frequencies which are appropriate. Two of the drawsbacks which result from this are distortion of the air in the horn throat (where the SPL can be VERY high), and acoustic reflections within the horn. These both contribute to what is often termed "horn sound". Some people don't mind it, and actually like it.
Having said that, if a horn sounds fine, then it sounds fine, at least to that listener. I suggest that you look into resources which describe "horn theory" and related physics.
Previously on this forum you told Tom Danley that he should contact a rival who makes array systems and "learn from him". This was a jaw dropping statement (and not in a good way). Or perhaps it was meant to be hilarious. I'm going with the latter just to be safe.
Have you ever heard Tom's Unity horns? If not you could listen to some of the recordings of them Tom has linked to on this forum. Bearing in mind that our ear drums are horn loaded (unless you have had your pina surgically removed, or following an accident), you may want to eliminate that variable by listening with in ear "earbuds". Has the "horn coloration" disappeared? This may establish where the coloration is coming from.
You'll have to give me some context, and tell me what the discussion was at that point in a thread. A URL reference would be even better.
I doubt if I was being unnecessarily harsh on Tom. Probably just a difference of opinion on a topic, but I do tend to not sugar-coat things.
Thank you to all . I think that I understand some it ,probably enough to get me into trouble ! But it does help me to understand what I am hearing in a pair of speakers that I acquired recently .
Another question , if I may...Does anyone manufacture a horn system speaker that would be suitable , size wise , for in-home use that would pass the W.A.F. and be suitable for nearfield listening of @ 6 ft. ? A direct radiator type woofer would be fine . I am intrigued by the mid and tweeter horns though .
What are your WAF limits? Could you get a local craftsman to build your enclosures?
Is something like this a possibility?
The coaxial style is suited to nearfield use. Can have decent WAF (try an image search on "Altec 604"), depending on the construction choices.
I went to Greatplains Audio website and could not find info on a complete
speaker package . I sent them an email request .
I did find some images of complete speakers , on Bing , which may be acceptable . But no info on the builders .
"could not find info on a complete speaker package"
They sell the driver, they sell a crossover, and they suggest a suitable box:
Recommended Enclosure: 9 cu. ft. (254.9 L), with tuning at
45.5 Hz. Recommend two 5.25-inch
(133 mm) diameter by 2.3-inch (58 mm)
long ducts or 2.5"(6.4 cm) x 11" (27.9
cm) horizontal slot for above tuning.
If you go for these, you have to decide exact dimensions and finish for yourself - even if that decision is as simple as copying someone else's build (printing some plans & photos, then giving them to a cabinet maker).
You could of course, change any of this up: buy a similar driver from another manufacturer, or use a crossover of your own devising. The GPA drivers are just one example of a type.
Maybe see if there is an audio club near you, or some other way you can contact people and hear these or something like these.
"I did find some images of complete speakers , on Bing , which may be acceptable"
Usually they are just big rectangles. You can vary the dimensions and get them finished in whatever way appeals & suits your house.
"But no info on the builders"
Since they are just big rectangles, you should be able to commission their construction pretty easily.
Personally, I use 604 clones (from Asian manufacturer P Audio) in sealed cabinets, supplemented with subs. I tinker with other speakers, and always come back to this system. I think coaxials like these are a decent set of compromises:
-simple build (not too big, no complex shapes)
-suitable for close listening position
-they sound big and effortless.
...basically the same merits as the Sansui speakers that got you interested in high efficiency.
Their main demerit, in my experience, is that on some complex / raucous music they don't have as much clarity as good headphones.
Kits and flat packs are also an option, if you're willing to do assembly / finishing. There are some crazy good deals for y'all in the USA.
Standard starting procedure for arranging speakers is to place them into an equalateral triangle with the preferred listening position (with some toe-in for adjustment). So if your listening position is 6 ft. from each of the speakers, then the speakers will be 6 ft. apart. This would imply a small room which would put many horns at a disadvantage compared to electrostatics and box direct radiators. The Altec 19 for instance is a very good speaker, but in a small room there may be too much reflection from the side walls from the mid horn. Some of the Lowther horns may fit your space, the Lowther Medallions for instance are reasonably sized for your space in that they are tall and don't have that big a footprint and they sound very good. The Lowther driver, as in the Medallion, is usually "back loaded", that is to say there is a folded horn on the back of the driver while the output from the front of the driver is direct radiating, and there is no tweeter or mid horn.
Yes, manufacturers of modern horn speaker systems exist (for a mix of vintage and modern with exquisite craftsmanship Volti comes to mind) but please DO be prepared for a sticker shock ;) If you don't mind and are capable of some DIY Wayne Pelham of Pi speakers or Bob Crites who does Klipsh are a good guys and very reasonable. Welcome to horn speakers brotherhood! My decisive moment was acquiring a single diy EV Patrician IV from 50's and since then I'm cursed , ha ha. Good luck to you.
Thanks , but I'm not able to do DIY . I will need turnkey only .
Saw the Crites CS1.5...any thoughts on those ?
Any others ?
The DIYSoundgroup horn systems are pretty much turnkey kits. If you can't DIY you can probably get someone to put them together for you for modest price.
I use a two-way horn/direct radiator system in a small room. It comprises an Altec 414A, Altec 802D, and Altec 32A horn. The 414 and the horn were intended to be used in smaller spaces such as studios and domestic environments. The 802D gives better HF's than the usual 806 driver when used with a properly implemented crossover. This is not something you'll find off the shelf unless you are willing to pony up for a Shindo Petite LaTour.
Post a Message!
This post is made possible by the generous support of people like you and our sponsors: