tuga

Affordable high-performance horn speakers?

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13 minutes ago, tuga said:

Here we get an idea of the size/FS (mouth Ø to cutoff frequency) of a tractrix horn.

eBCII0i.jpg

holy horn batman.

that's 1 big daddy right there.

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7 minutes ago, lindsayt said:

Because for example, Klipschorns appear to satisfy your requirements.

Like I said earlier, the Klipschorn AK6s are massively flawed.

If you look at the measurements you will find that they're not time-aligned, which as @Non-Smoking Man mentioned is a mandatory requirement.

As John Atkinson says at the end of his technical assessment "Multiway loudspeakers with horn-loaded drivers but a flat baffle can be made time-coincident with digital signal processing" but the only one I know of is the Avantgarde Zero.

https://www.stereophile.com/content/klipsch-klipschorn-ak6-loudspeaker-measurements

.

The idea of the folded corner horn is very attractive though. This one is from Vitavox:

qhy41Jd.jpg

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Lindsay -

Lets not wrangle amongst ourselves about the definition of a 'true horn'.

Those 'horns' that have a direct driver in an enclosure ('cab' if you are PA) to save space (as bass horns are geometrically bigger the lower they go) are 'hybrids'. People call them horns because they 'see' a huge tractrix horn with, typically a 2" comp driver attached and their mind goes 'horn'. Same as at Scalford when I had the 5 way horn system in Coleman, Coco and Hayward (Ritchie) had a pair of direct drivers in each bass cab doing the bass in a system in Belvoir across the hall, people kept coming in and saying they had just heard the best horn system they had ever heard in Belvoir (thanks a bunch). That was a hybrid.

I dont think Tuga is being hard and fast about what is and isnt a horn, but is just focussing on full horn systems which, he is quite correct in saying, are narrow band devices and need multi horns. To take your point Lindsay, we should not exclude hybrids from the conversation as they are a practical solution to the 'real estate problem' that affects domestic applications of horn theory.

Having doused the flames I will now pour petrol in there by saying the Altec VOTT (Voice Of The Theatre) speaker system employs too short a horn to fully load the bass driver. It can still sound good but the design is not quite there.

Jack

Edited by Non-Smoking Man
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12 minutes ago, tuga said:

It doesn't matter that it is narrow minded when the goal is to reap the benefits of using horn speakers (narrow constant directivity).

Se my previous post for why horns are not easily used below 100Hz.

This is what the Avangarde bass horn looks like (1.0 x 2.0 x 2.3(h) m):

Of course it doesn't matter if you have chosen to be narrow minded in this thread. You can be as narrow minded and as dogmatic as you want - especially when it comes to hi-fi.

Domestic horns that can be easily enough used below 100hz have been around since the 1950's.

The solution being: corner horns. They use the corner of the room as an extension of the bass horn. Which makes a lot of sense when you think about it.

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5 minutes ago, tuga said:

Like I said earlier, the Klipschorn AK6s are massively flawed.

If you look at the measurements you will find that they're not time-aligned, which as @Non-Smoking Man mentioned is a mandatory requirement.

As John Atkinson says at the end of his technical assessment "Multiway loudspeakers with horn-loaded drivers but a flat baffle can be made time-coincident with digital signal processing" but the only one I know of is the Avantgarde Zero.

https://www.stereophile.com/content/klipsch-klipschorn-ak6-loudspeaker-measurements

.

The idea of the folded corner horn is very attractive though. This one is from Vitavox:

How important is it in terms of the overall sound quality in getting all the drivers perfectly time aligned?

As opposed to getting the best sounding drivers?

Or the best sounding horn for the driver?

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I dont think anyone  would  argue that the Klipsch speakers et. al. are not horns. Its just that there are theoretically better ways of doing itv or, at least, alternate ways.

In commercial terms 5 way horn systems are a non starter unless you are Kevin Scott and on friendly terms with Sheik Mohammed. The benefit of the cornerhorn (yes they've been around a long time) is that its domestically acceptable. Ive seen and heard them up close and they are still humungous. They have their limitations domestically as you cant have skirting boards - the cabs have to be flush with the wall. Not with the Belles or La Scala.

Edited by Non-Smoking Man

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1 minute ago, lindsayt said:

How important is it in terms of the overall sound quality in getting all the drivers perfectly time aligned?

As opposed to getting the best sounding drivers?

Or the best sounding horn for the driver?

Excellent questions Lindsay - as a non DSP user I wrestle with all this daily (well almost).

Nobody knows mate...

But hazarding a guess from my experience if you get time alignment approximately right and use the right horns and drivers it will work. If you get the latter wrong it will not..

Jack

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26 minutes ago, lindsayt said:

Sticking dogmatically to a horned only domestic speaker system makes no sense whatsoever in the real world.

Your assertion that none of the speakers I've mentioned qualify is false. JBL Hartsfields are an example of a classic yank speaker. They are over 95dbs efficient. They weigh 113 kgs per channel. They are the sort of speakers that I would strongly recommend for purchase if anyone ever saw them at a really attractive price. They are an entirely horned design. They are high performance in terms of the overall sound quality.

And, what does it matter if speakers like the Altec 604 use a conventional bass driver arrangement at a higher frequency than the speaker system linked to in your opening post? Surely the main thing is the overall sound quality and the cost to buy them, now in 2020? Combined with ongoing depreciation prospects and the looks and size and placement requirements.

Altec 604's are just as much horned speakers as the speakers linked to in your opening post - apart from them handing over from horned operation to more conventional operation at 1500 hz instead of 80 hz.

Like I said, requirements are flat quasi-fullrange response and constant narrow directivity down to the bass.

3-way horns should only cover upperbass (at most), midranges and treble so from ~125Hz to 20,000Hz.

It is generally agreed that sub-bass is omnidirectional and this defeats the point of using horns for that range.

We can start another topic for almost horn speakers if you're interested.

.

To better illustrate what I mean, this is the normalised horizontal response of the Volti Rival where you can see wide dispersion below the upper mids:

617Voltifig5.jpg

617Volti.promo_.jpg

https://www.stereophile.com/content/volti-audio-rival-loudspeaker-measurements

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14 minutes ago, lindsayt said:

Of course it doesn't matter if you have chosen to be narrow minded in this thread. You can be as narrow minded and as dogmatic as you want - especially when it comes to hi-fi.

Domestic horns that can be easily enough used below 100hz have been around since the 1950's.

The solution being: corner horns. They use the corner of the room as an extension of the bass horn. Which makes a lot of sense when you think about it.

Feel free to start your own wide-minded thread.

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Calm down please..

This thread is getting good and I dont think we should start a fresh 'hybrid' thread.

There's no need for acrimony - horn fans should stick together.

Jack

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11 hours ago, lindsayt said:

How important is it in terms of the overall sound quality in getting all the drivers perfectly time aligned?

As opposed to getting the best sounding drivers?

Or the best sounding horn for the driver?

Regarding audibility, when people discuss differences between audio cables and the effects of equipment support, dismissing time-misalignment of the magnitude one finds in 2-way horns in flat baffle boxes is a bit absurd... Se the Khorn measuremnt below.

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The best sounding horn is the horn with less own sound, obviously.

Le Cléac'h measured a few at the ETF2010: http://unepassionaudiophile.fr/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Horns_measurements_ETF2010d-1.pdf

The best sounding driver? Depends on who you ask but for me it would again be the one with less own sound.

.

If you look at the Khorn measurements you'll see loads of resonances in the impedance plot.

Frequency response (and horizontal response) shows deep canyons at the crossover point because 2-ways is manifestly insuficient for covering the mids and the treble.

In the step response graph the lateness of the bass is blatantly clear as it is in the waterfall.

819Klipfig09.jpg

Compare that with the waterfall of a Thiel CS3.7:

1208T37fig9.jpg

Edited by tuga

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16 minutes ago, lindsayt said:

How important is it in terms of the overall sound quality in getting all the drivers perfectly time aligned?

As opposed to getting the best sounding drivers?

Or the best sounding horn for the driver?

How important is it for a Formula 1 car to have 4 wheels instead of 3?

For a multi-way horn speaker it is very important.

.

The best speaker will have the correct amount of ways (see 2 - 3 octave rule above), the most "transparent" or accurate horn profile and the most "transparent" or accurate drivers.

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The Avangarde Uno (in this case the Nano) is also flawed because it doesn't break down the mids and treble over enough horns (crossover frequencies are 300Hz and 3kHz):

709AGUfig4.jpg

709AGUfig5.jpg

709avant.1.jpg

https://www.stereophile.com/content/avantgarde-acoustic-uno-nano-loudspeaker-measurements

Edited by tuga

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Tuga - but the Nano, for example, might be the only way a male hifi consumer can get ANY horns into the house (WAF). (That is shockingly sexist I know..) At least the use of a direct radiator (which has a wider bandwith than the equivalent horn) can do the job of 2 bass horns over the same frequency solving the real estate problem. Pragmatics...!

Jack

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One solution to the domestic problem of huge bass horns is the (Danley) tapped horn. They combine domestic acceptability (go in corners) but require DSP to time align. Digital time alignment is acceptable, nay desirable to some, but me, Eddie Baby and Romy The Cat are dead against it in analogue  playback.

Edited by Non-Smoking Man
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