tuga

Affordable high-performance horn speakers?

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Edit: This topic is about high-performance horn speakers.

Requirements are flat quasi-fullrange response and constant narrow directivity down to the bass (~200Hz - 20kHz).

That means 3-way 3-horn speakers and 4-way 3-horn speakers.

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@Phobic's "Design the perfect Wam speaker" got me thinking about horns. :whistle:

Ready-made horn speakers tend to be very expensive but there are a few reasonably affordable options.

One of them is Marc Henry's KornHent (formerly known as La Grande Castine), a 3-way model using the Le Cléac'h profile which can be had for around £12,675.

It needs a complementary subwoofer or two, also available from the same manufacturer.

cGi4YPT.jpg

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Edited by tuga
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I personally think they look amazing. The wife would have a melt down if they turned up at the front door though! :D

What's the challenge with the cost of horns? are they hard to manufacture? In my mind it's maybe closer to designing a musical instrument.

I'm instantly thinking about 3d printing....

Edited by Phobic

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Super Wammer

Horns don't need to look like something off a space ship...... and can be fairly easy to build!

I made these myself but they can be bought off the shelf for for £12k

https://www.henleyaudio.co.uk/products/la-scala-al5

125438384_Horn2.jpg.36e26ebf6877440c85f1853100795555.jpgHorn.jpg.8b3644e3722a21bd15192d81ef1a5a0e.jpg

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Those look beautiful! Much nicer than the Klipsch version. And quite a sane size. How did you go about building them yourself? Is there a kit, or plan? 

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Those are looking great Simon.

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Your idea of reasonably affordable , tuga, is totaly different to mine.

£12,000 is totally bonkers for a pair of speakers.

The best value in high efficiency speakers is from something DIY'd from cherry picked body parts. A Frankenstein creation. But with no thunderstorm required to bring them to life.

Or from a once in a lifetime, right place, right time used purchase.

Ready made classic 1950's to 1980's American horned speakers can sometimes be bought for attractive, smile inducing prices - especially for someone shopping in the USA.

The thing about horned speakers is that, yes, for example, a well engineered compression driver tweeter with a Dolly Parton horn will cost more to manufacture than a traditional domed tweeter. And by the time you've added markups and sales taxes the manufacturing cost differences get magnified.

The other thing is that it's difficult to get the bass up to the same efficiency as the midrange and treble. That's just the physics of moving and controlling air at the various audible frequencies. Efficiency in the bass can be had by going large to huge in the bass driver department. Huge magnets, with strong magnetic field with huge cones. And then using something like a corner horn enclosure to help get the efficiency up without having stupidly large bass horns. Big heavy speakers cost more to manufacture and ship.

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Moderator

If you can manage with 'conventional' bass then Klipsch make horn speakers (that look Ok(ish)) such as the Forte or Cornwalls. At £4K-£6K they may be considered more reasonable. They have the magic of horns with very complex shapes that get rid of some the problems. And with a 12" bass and a 15"ABR the Forte is not too bad as far as value is concerned and it uses grain matched veneers.  

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Super Wammer
34 minutes ago, lindsayt said:

£12,000 is totally bonkers for a pair of speakers.

Ah that accounts for it - my wife and kids keep telling me I am bonkers.   Each to their own - get what you do not love and then keep hankering after the sound you heard on the speakers you could not afford or be prepared to pay out for.  

The problem is though, when you hear something that sounds perfect to your ears then buying something else is not an alternative (because you know they do not sound as good as those beauties you heard that cost £12k plus).   

So some of us ended up with a second mortgage or beg stole and borrowed to buy those speakers we loved so much.    What is better is, having bought them - some 18 years later they are still there and still sounding perfect to my ears and that works out at less than a £700 a year ... seeing some of the box swapping and changes going on in here that could be considered very small potatoes.
 

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Super Wammer
16 minutes ago, uzzy said:

So some of us ended up with a second mortgage or beg stole and borrowed to buy those speakers we loved so much.    What is better is, having bought them - some 18 years later they are still there and still sounding perfect to my ears and that works out at less than a £700 a year ... seeing some of the box swapping and changes going on in here that could be considered very small potatoes.

But look how much you saved with your cheap power amps and DAC :D

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Super Wammer
1 hour ago, simonpj said:

Those look beautiful! Much nicer than the Klipsch version. And quite a sane size. How did you go about building them yourself? Is there a kit, or plan? 

There are no kits available for them but I do have various plans, if you would like a copy drop me a PM.

These were built from scratch using all original Klipsch drivers and horns, the crossovers were fairly easy to make but the mid-range horn was a pain to get hold of.

Here is a link to the project thread:

I must admit, I don't think I could bring myself to pay £10k + for these or any speakers, but having had loads of fun making them and learnt a lot along the way, I certainly think they represent great value for money for the build and parts cost. 

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1 hour ago, lindsayt said:

Your idea of reasonably affordable , tuga, is totaly different to mine.

£12,000 is totally bonkers for a pair of speakers.

It isn't really.

I was talking about affordable in the context of high performance ready made commercial horn speakers.

These are actually not affordable to me.

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One can of course make one's own high performance pair of horn speakers, there's a lot of information available on the web and people manufacturing affordable tractrix and Le Cléac'h horns.

It'll still be expensive when compared to a box with dynamic drivers or an open baffle.

Edited by tuga

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A pair of 3-way Tune Audio Animas costs around £38k, a pair of Avantgarde Trio XDs £67,000.

Yes, these ones are cheap for a pair of high performance horn speakers.

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There are cheaper 3-way horn speakers but not high-performance. Not that I know of at least.

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The Klipschorn AK6's measured performance is appalling... https://www.stereophile.com/content/klipsch-klipschorn-ak6-loudspeaker-measurements

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Moderator
8 minutes ago, tuga said:

A pair of 3-way Tune Audio Animas costs around £38k, a pair of Avantgarde Trio XDs £67,000.

Yes, these ones are cheap for a pair of high performance horn speakers.

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There are cheaper 3-way horn speakers but not high-performance. Not that I know of at least.

What I don't get is why do horn speakers almost universally have to look so fugly?

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13 minutes ago, Tony_J said:

What I don't get is why do horn speakers almost universally have to look so fugly?

They need horns? :?

These are ugly but I like them for some reason...

Kxerzaj.jpeg

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