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Who has experience with the C34 back loaded horn? I am considering building a pair.

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Posted on September 15, 2020 at 04:43:39
pete1729
Audiophile

Posts: 8
Location: new orleans
Joined: March 2, 2010
I have given up on finding a pair of big vintage JBL's to pair with my recently overhauled Fisher X202B. So I'd like to do the next best thing and build 'em myself. I'm currently running a pair of restored KLH Model Fives and it's really a sublime rig, but I want to move some air with some big two-way horns. My general strategy is to build a 'bass bin' and try to match it with a 1.4" throated horn. I plan to manage it with a Behringer 3400 active crossover and once I have settled on crossover point I'll build a passive crossover. I'd like to go with all 16 ohm components. I can build pretty much any cabinet, but I would prefer not to have to turn it into a dog house later because I picked the wrong design.

I'm not really moved by anything more than a raw sort of intuition so bear with me or maybe tell me why I'm wasting my time.

Here's how I got to this point. A friend of mine has Altec Model 19's he bought in 1978. I have always enjoyed them, but cloning them seems like it's just going to end up being expensive to do properly. I have a pair of Cornwalls in my other home which I like very much, but I feel like I want some bigger horns out here in Montana. I have looked at the Humble HiFi Calpamos, but again I'm struck by the expense involved with the Faital drivers. There's Wayne Parham's 4PI, but there's less flexibility with the drivers than I'd like. The DIY Audio Group Fusion 15 looks like a too small box. Back loaded horns seem like they are a little more forgiving than bass reflex cabinets. A BLH seems like it would allow me to start with a an Eminence woofer and drop in a JBL 2226 at a later date. As I understand 2226's are sometimes available inexpensively when a theater is remodeled.

Am I just another dude trying to square the circle or bake a diet cookie? Anyhow the C34 cabinet is the object of my obsessive speculation right now. Who has experience with them and can give me some direction?

I miss Zilch, he probably had this one sorted out in four dimensions.

 

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RE: Who has experience with the C34 back loaded horn? I am considering building a pair., posted on September 15, 2020 at 05:10:14
Bill Fitzmaurice
Industry Professional

Posts: 4996
Location: New England
Joined: October 20, 2002
Back loaded horns have a major inherent flaw, a response dip where the front and rear waves meet 180 degrees apart. It's the major reason why they disappeared from the marketplace long ago,even in pro-sound applications. The C34 doesn't go all that low either, a reflex box will beat it.

The Danley Tapped Horn is a variation of the back loaded horn, and they suffer from that dip, but since they're used as subwoofers they're low passed below the dip frequency, which typically occurs between 150-250Hz.

 

RE: Who has experience with the C34 back loaded horn? I am considering building a pair., posted on September 15, 2020 at 07:00:23
pete1729
Audiophile

Posts: 8
Location: new orleans
Joined: March 2, 2010
Thank you. I have read about that problem. I kind of know your name, if I remember correctly you're an authority on this subject. Just reading your comment has given me some clarity. Now that I'm looking from this perspective I'm realizing that even a high dollar take on this approach, the Living Voice 'Air Scout', has an accessory subwoofer.

A bass reflex box it is. I'd like to try to build some flexibility into it so that it might accommodate more than one driver; not more than one at a time, but rather one to start and a different one later. Is there a practical way to do this?

 

RE: Who has experience with the C34 back loaded horn? I am considering building a pair., posted on September 15, 2020 at 09:37:53
claudej1@aol.com
Audiophile

Posts: 467
Location: Detroit
Joined: August 17, 2007
Yes, Bill, and the fact that the suitable drivers for those Tapped Horns have lots of inductance, the mechanical low pass in concert with said inductance makes them unsuitable above about 40-70 Hz. unlike your Tuba HT's which can go at least an octave higher with greater sensitivity!

It's ALL a compromise!

 

RE: Who has experience with the C34 back loaded horn? I am considering building a pair., posted on September 15, 2020 at 10:11:57
joessportster
Audiophile

Posts: 221
Location: Rockingham NC.
Joined: January 23, 2007
Every speaker EVER made has flaws. No one can honestly say otherwise. I have heard Box speakers that suck as well as BLH styles that do. On the other hand I have heard both that sounded very good set up properly. Point is Let YOUR ears dictate what you like and leave all the paperwork and opinions of others behind

 

RE: Who has experience with the C34 back loaded horn? I am considering building a pair., posted on September 15, 2020 at 11:42:10
pete1729
Audiophile

Posts: 8
Location: new orleans
Joined: March 2, 2010
You are entirely correct about letting your ears be the judge. I was sure I'd never pair my Model Sixes with a solid state amp and certainly not a Panasonic. That's where I ended up though and I could solder the speaker wires in place at this point.

However building cabinets is time and effort I don't feel like gambling with, so I'm going to take a more conservative approach.

 

RE: Who has experience with the C34 back loaded horn? I am considering building a pair., posted on September 15, 2020 at 12:45:32
Bill Fitzmaurice
Industry Professional

Posts: 4996
Location: New England
Joined: October 20, 2002
You don't have to use that type of driver in a tapped horn. Danley does to make them as bulletproof as possible. One of the trade offs for the relatively small size of the tapped horn is higher excursion, so Danley has to account for that. With the prices he gets for them he can afford to use $500 drivers.

 

RE: Who has experience with the C34 back loaded horn? I am considering building a pair., posted on September 16, 2020 at 04:51:14
B. Scarpia
Audiophile

Posts: 2321
Location: Near Pisgah Forest
Joined: October 30, 2019
Contributor
  Since:
May 23, 2020
The 2226 has an X-max of just 7.8 mm and an Fs of 40 Hz so doesn't really produce "chest thumping" bass. The bass factor in the over-damped 4Pi is for tight, clean portrayal of acoustic bass instruments.

The closest thing to the "thump" of the Model 19 I've heard comes from the GPA Altec 416-8. There are numerous threads here and elsewhere on building suitable cabinets and upgrading the GPA Altec crossover so you don't have to fool around with 'seat of the pants' speaker design. I wandered around in those woods for years before I built my 4Pi's.

I built the typical 8 cu.ft., 2x10 slot port cut in the 3/4" plywood cabinet for a friend and he loved them. Me, not so much but my appreciation is colored by having played classical music in orchestras all my life. RodM here has a pair of the more Japanese style set-up you can search for and there are others.

Any Damned Fool Knows One Horse Can Run Faster Than Another

 

RE: Who has experience with the C34 back loaded horn? I am considering building a pair., posted on September 16, 2020 at 08:39:01
claudej1@aol.com
Audiophile

Posts: 467
Location: Detroit
Joined: August 17, 2007
Agreed, having owned 3 of his tapped horn designs and settling on the venerable TH-50 as the best overall for my current living room, and having designed/built a few of my own. I agree with you comment 100%.

 

RE: JBL 2226's, posted on September 16, 2020 at 14:20:17
belyin
Audiophile

Posts: 1038
Location: New Orleans
Joined: November 1, 2003
I have dual 2226 drivers in JBL 4648 cabinets (thank you JBL tent sale of old--$250 each including delivery!)and can attest they are much more natural sounding with acoustic bass instruments than chest thumping for synthesized dance music. These are from their cinema series so I imagine they were used with subwoofers for the intended cinematic effect.

 

If you haven't started yet...., posted on September 17, 2020 at 05:47:59
Scholl
Distributor or Rep

Posts: 1230
Joined: March 8, 2001
Consider the Acoustic Elegance TD15S, X or H in a 3 way crossed at 400hzish. They are only 93db but give an honest 20hz in a room. Be done with it.

 

RE: Who has experience with the C34 back loaded horn? I am considering building a pair., posted on September 18, 2020 at 00:44:20
KanedaK
Audiophile

Posts: 1859
Location: Brussels
Joined: April 27, 2010
I run Peavey FH1 bass horns - loaded with cheap but perfect Eminence Kappa 15C.
I use them up to 500Hz without problem; but yes, there is no low bass to speak off. I use two active subs and an active crossover. Depending on your room and music taste, you "might" not need subs.
Advantage of that FH1 enclosure is sensitivity (+100dB, depending on driver) just like a LaScala but with smoother output and less resonating panels. I've put bitumen sheets and just a little but of acoustic foam inside the backchamber of mine.
I've read that 2226 behave quite well in that enclosure, despite not being the ideal horn-load drivers.
They are also extremely cheap (but arguably extremely ugly).

 

RE: If you haven't started yet...., posted on September 18, 2020 at 15:58:39
pete1729
Audiophile

Posts: 8
Location: new orleans
Joined: March 2, 2010
They look great, but out of my price range. I'm more inclined to give some LF extension for a crossover point of 600hz or better in order go with a horn mid-range.

 

building a horn system, posted on September 30, 2020 at 08:06:15
hottattoo
Audiophile

Posts: 117
Location: New York
Joined: July 30, 2011
Hi, Pete1729

We all have choices to make and I have made many. After 40 yrs.of listening and owning a substantial speaker collection, I wound up making what you see in this YouTube video. Since you can make cabinets, making something I did should be something to consider. Bendable plywood is your friend !!! I was fortunate to get help from Dr. Bruce Edgar with the mid bass horn design. Best of luck.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFoCVw2AJRc&t=931s

Joe

 

Who has experience with the C34 back loaded horn? I am considering building a pair, posted on September 30, 2020 at 08:09:21
hottattoo
Audiophile

Posts: 117
Location: New York
Joined: July 30, 2011
Hi, Pete1729

We all have choices to make and I have made many. After 40 yrs.of listening and owning a substantial speaker collection, I wound up making what you see in this YouTube video. Since you can make cabinets, making something I did should be something to consider. Bendable plywood is your friend !!! I was fortunate to get help from Dr. Bruce Edgar with the mid bass horn design. Best of luck.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFoCVw2AJRc&t=931s

Joe

 

Who has experience with the C34 back loaded horn? I am considering building a pair, posted on September 30, 2020 at 14:20:01
hottattoo
Audiophile

Posts: 117
Location: New York
Joined: July 30, 2011
Hi, Pete1729

We all have choices to make and I have made many. After 40 yrs.of listening and owning a substantial speaker collection, I wound up making what you see in this YouTube video. Since you can make cabinets, making something I did should be something to consider. Bendable plywood is your friend !!! I was fortunate to get help from Dr. Bruce Edgar with the mid bass horn design. Best of luck.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFoCVw2AJRc&t=931s

Joe

 

RE: Who has experience with the C34 back loaded horn? I am considering building a pair., posted on October 3, 2020 at 07:07:00
Retsel
Audiophile

Posts: 1180
Joined: April 17, 2000
One problem to be concerned with is the soundstaging that different speaker configurations have. I am using Lowthers in front conical horns (waveguides really). This projects the sound forward relative to most speaker types. Backloaded horns, reflex boxes and open baffle speakers (H baffle might be an exception) don't project the sound forward and the difference in soundstaging is noticeable.

The front bass horn that Hottatoo built is the best option, although they don't go very low. Another option if you want lower bass in a smaller package is a Karlson speaker. I am using Karlson speakers and they work very well with horn midrange speakers. Karlson speakers also have a dip in the midbass, but the way that they are designed the dip is small and not noticeable.

 

RE: Who has experience with the C34 back loaded horn? I am considering building a pair., posted on October 3, 2020 at 08:17:43
hottattoo
Audiophile

Posts: 117
Location: New York
Joined: July 30, 2011
Hi, Retsel

The mid bass horns were built to play that critical 80hz.to 450hz. Building a bass horn would be gigantic, to play down to say 30hz. Since most normal folks don't have a very large room (like me) a compromise was made. In MY room these mid bass horns measure down to 60hz., so the dual 18" subwoofers are crossed at 60hz. and rolled off at 48db per octave and go down to 12Hz. This is the great thing about the Crown I-Tech 5000Hd amps, built in DSP, crossovers, etc. plus strapped to monoblocks put out over 3k watts per sub. There is absolutely no stress on any drives in this system and the reason for the ultra clarity, dynamics, and uncompromised bass power.

Joe

 

RE: Who has experience with the C34 back loaded horn? I am considering building a pair., posted on October 5, 2020 at 14:17:01
Retsel
Audiophile

Posts: 1180
Joined: April 17, 2000
Hey Joe, I saw your audio system on You Tube and was very impressed! I would like to hear it but I discovered that you live far away from me so it will likely never happen....

How far away from your horns do you sit? I found that my setup does not sound good unless if I am sitting at least 13 feet away from them (13 feet from the drivers, not the horn mouths).

Retsel

 

RE: Who has experience with the C34 back loaded horn? I am considering building a pair., posted on October 6, 2020 at 06:43:19
hottattoo
Audiophile

Posts: 117
Location: New York
Joined: July 30, 2011
Hi, Retsel

I sit 17' from the drivers although the still sound great at 13'--almost like giant headphones at the closer distance.

Joe

 

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