Srength and weaknesses of Horn speakers

f1eng

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Right experts.

I am really interested by speakers, and have been a specialist in noise and vibration research in the past, and even built 2 pairs of speakers myself decades ago.

Front loaded horn speakers are new to me since I joined the Wam.

They have always been impressive but my Eargle Loudspeaker Handbook cautions about bandwidth and horn distortion and reflections.

OTOH I have read some pretty firm positive opinions on here...

I am just going to take my ageing Alzheimer suffering Mum some fish n chips, hopefully the fountain of wisdom will have filled this thread by the time I get back :)

PS I am half trying to resist the temptation to buy Animas from BD...

 

pmac

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Right experts.I am really interested by speakers, and have been a specialist in noise and vibration research in the past, and even built 2 pairs of speakers myself decades ago.

Front loaded horn speakers are new to me since I joined the Wam.

They have always been impressive but my Eargle Loudspeaker Handbook cautions about bandwidth and horn distortion and reflections.

OTOH I have read some pretty firm positive opinions on here...

I am just going to take my ageing Alzheimer suffering Mum some fish n chips, hopefully the fountain of wisdom will have filled this thread by the time I get back :)

PS I am half trying to resist the temptation to buy Animas from BD...
Resistance is futile! They're world class :^

 

browellm

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The Animas are tremendously good, I assume you heard thaem at Jack's? The best I have heard outside of Vox Olympians. Whether they are better than £32k's worth of Avantgarde I don't know (not even sure of the rrp of stuff such as the Duo Mezzo), but they appear to be superb 'value'.

 

meninblack

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  1. Yes
The only real weakness of the Animas is their excessive size and the fact that I can't afford them. :cs: If you have the space and the funds, go for it. :^

(Probably worth a visit to Jack's with a Devialet first, just to make sure they mesh.)

 

browellm

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The only real weakness of the Aminas is their excessive size and the fact that I can't afford them. :cs: If you have the space and the funds, go for it. :^ (Probably worth a visit to Jack's with a Devialet first, just to make sure they mesh.)
Apart from being a tad overpowered, I can't see a problem They sound brilliant with the Bakoon amps.

 

pmac

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They're also superb with the Modwright 150w amp :^

- - - Updated - - -

As John said earlier, weaknesses - too big for my room too.

Oh, and I can't afford them either :D

 

browellm

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I reckon they'd be OK in my room. I could do demos for the East Midlands with my free pair :cool:

 

Purite Audio

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Front loaded horns,their only real compromise is size , to get bass you need extremely large horns, three ways are always going to be a bit of a compromise four or five way is really the way to go.

Keith.

 

browellm

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Front loaded horns,their only real compromise is size , to get bass you need extremely large horns, three ways are always going to be a bit of a compromise four or five way is really the way to go.Keith.
They didn't sound compromised to me Keith, but then what do I know?

 
B

BD Audio

Guest
Frank visited when the Animas were only a few weeks old and brought the Devialet with him. At the time the Bakoon was here and we compared the two. I was blown away by the was the Devialet gelled with them, I just wasn't expecting such synergy.

Ps, Frank popped out and grabbed some Fish and chips for our lunch too (I was stuck in waiting for City Link), instantly boosting him to the top of my favourite visitors list. :D

- - - Updated - - -

Front loaded horns,their only real compromise is size , to get bass you need extremely large horns, three ways are always going to be a bit of a compromise four or five way is really the way to go.Keith.
Lol, each to their own Keith.

 
B

BD Audio

Guest
Just to add, (then I'll duck out) I've had many conversations with Manolis the Anima designer about the bad reputation horns have for being 'honky' 'coloured' and bass light. Unfortunately too many poor designs have soured the general opinion of the horn, do it correctly though and imo they cannot be beaten in giving a 'live' 'natural' and tonally spot on performance. The Anima is an outstanding example of how to do things right.

 

Purite Audio

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With a three way , the bass has to extend too far into the mids, ideally you keep everything horn loaded ,until you get to say 60Hz

then introduce your bass whatever implementation you decide upon.

Keith.

 

browellm

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These must have been doing an awesome aural con trick on me, they sounded fantastic.

 

f1eng

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What? No tales of how the swamp throbble modulator on horns makes the sound wibbelly on gridgley music!

How can I save money without in depth justification?

The Animas driven by the Devialet configured for its minimum power of 50W were a revelation. The best horn sound I have heard.

I only regret we didn't try the IO cartridge into the Devialet phono input which I had configured to suit. Ah the heresy.

 

pmac

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What? No tales of how the swamp throbble modulator on horns makes the sound wibbelly on gridgley music!How can I save money without in depth justification?

The Animas driven by the Devialet configured for its minimum power of 50W were a revelation. The best horn sound I have heard.

I only regret we didn't try the IO cartridge into the Devialet phono input which I had configured to suit. Ah the heresy.
I've heard the Animas driven by 211 SET's, 845 SET's, Coco's SIT amp, Modwright amps and the big monoblocks (can't remember their name) at Munich. Not once have they produced a sound that I wouldn't be happy to live with. Yes, the different amps had a pecking order, to my ears, but that's not the subject under discussion.

 

AmDismal

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The strengths of horn systems are numerous - much better coupling into the room, high sensitivity meaning increased dynamics and the ability to use much lower power amps, lower distortion, and many more.

The weaknesses are often only overcome by spending lots of cash and/or sacrificing lots of space. The 'honkiness' of many horn systems is usually because each horn is trying to cover too great a range; modern horn profiles and modelling tools can overcome this to some extent; often it just take a great designer with a lot of time (which naturally equates to money), but whatever you do, if you want 20Hz you need a bloody enormous setup. Having many ways can give rise to driver integration issues, this again can be fixed with time (=money), or do what a few of us DIYers have, and use a digital crossover system.

Personally I find that only a large horn system gives me sound that sounds like live music. I love the clean, transparent presentation of Quad ESLs, but they don't have the dynamics and scale of live music; the pneumatic bass you can get with some US-style 'high end' systems is fun with electronica, but not something I hear in live music. Choose what you want. But beware, it's a slippery slope...

 
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rabski

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Weaknesses of proper horns: I don't have a room big enough and I can't afford them.

Strengths of proper horns: They reproduce music like having it poured straight into your brain.

End of frankly. Sorry, but I'm old and ugly enough (yes, fuck off) to have heard a fair old variety of systems of all sorts. A properly worked out horn setup just does things no other speaker can.

The Vox Olympians are indescribably good. I've heard them thrice so far and I can't express how good they sound. Any doubters need to hear them. However, a brief listen to the Animas was mind blowing. The sheer scale and wide open sound is way, way apart from any conventional speaker. I'm looking forward (get off your backside mate) to hearing the Primes, because if they're a tenth as good, I need to get some work in here fast....

 

pmac

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Weaknesses of proper horns: I don't have a room big enough and I can't afford them.Strengths of proper horns: They reproduce music like having it poured straight into your brain.

End of frankly. Sorry, but I'm old and ugly enough (yes, fuck off) to have heard a fair old variety of systems of all sorts. A properly worked out horn setup just does things no other speaker can.

The Vox Olympians are indescribably good. I've heard them thrice so far and I can't express how good they sound. Any doubters need to hear them. However, a brief listen to the Animas was mind blowing. The sheer scale and wide open sound is way, way apart from any conventional speaker. I'm looking forward (get off your backside mate) to hearing the Primes, because if they're a tenth as good, I need to get some work in here fast....
Oi! wait your turn :clout:

They have a trip North planned :D

and no, they're not as good as the Animas, but what they do is bloody impressive, just on a smaller scale :love:

 

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