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Old 23rd June 2007, 07:47 PM   #1
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Default New member with a question about horn loaded compression driver-type speakers...

Hello all,
I'm so very glad to have found you all. I'm doing what some have called the "unthinkable" and decided to design and build my own HLCD speakers using a few very choice components.

My question relates to the prospect of wave shaping the sound with a fiberglass horn body. Other than consideration for the obvious principles of sound direction and reflection, what advice can you offer with respect to the shape, size and construction of this type of speaker?

My goal is to build a proprietary shape that will utilize the lower portion of my dash panels to function as an extension of the horn body itself, but the SPL could be so high in this application that it might be best if it were "French horned", as in a nautilus or spiral shape in order to internally dampen the standing waves. Would this type of design, aside from the difficulty of construction pose any immediate issues for sound quality? Would it be best to have them act as direct reflecting horns or would I benefit from utilizing a reflected audio wave path as in some of the very high-end studio monitors of the world?

With consideration for the fact that Image Dynamics and USD had such incredible success with sound quality competitions for a brief period, would there be a real-world benefit for a very choosy audio-head like myself in this design, or have cone-based speakers derived a comparable sound quality at this point and time that I'm not aware of?

Thanks so much and thanks for letting hang out with you folks. I hope that I'll be of some help to someone along the way too.

Michael
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Old 26th June 2007, 01:17 AM   #2
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Is there no one with advice on this subject? Is there no one with interest in this idea?

Michael
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Old 26th June 2007, 01:30 AM   #3
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Hi Michael. Sorry you didn't receive a response to this and to be honest I can't help either but it does sound like an interesting idea and I hope someone chimes in here. It's just not fair that you're so darn polite and no one has an answer for you.

So, start by filling us in a little more, ie:

What are you trying to achieve with the horn?

It it full range or...?

etcetera.
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Old 26th June 2007, 03:45 PM   #4
MartyM is offline MartyM  United States
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Well, here is a small suggestion:

Both Image Dynamics made several models and quality levels of compression horns. If I were you I'd check out some of their photos and specifications.

A lot of those were often used in competition and audiophile cars for improving stereo imaging and sound fidelity.

My pair was lower end, and had molded plastic horns, but the higher end units had some very neat shapes.

Also Audiobahn had some called ACH15 I think. Hard to find, never would have guessed they'd make some!

Check those brands for some ideas (mostly ID!)
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Old 26th June 2007, 08:12 PM   #5
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Thanks Cal,
I am not too put off by the lack of responses. It's a rare idea indeed, so I was anticipating some lack of real-world experience with this type of driver's construction.

Marty,
I've owned the ID Comp2 horns and the Veritas designs. Both sounded very good and provided a very good value for the investment. However, now I'm into precision acoustics and that requires some special work to match the limitations of my interior. Overall, the ID horns were a bit too crisp for my ears, even with a PPI-230 eq to tune them in. They just had a few untamable peaks that simply cut right into my enjoyment.

The Veritas horns were far, far more accurate, but they rang like Big Ben in the upper mid-range area. Ultimately, they could be dialed in, but they never fit right and the fact that they were virtually impossible to blend into the interior made me think that I can do a better job on my own.

I have a very keep grasp of advanced acoustical design an I truly do love ALL kinds of music. But I'm a purist, as much as one can be anyway, and I like to hear music as it was produced, without coloration. I'm just trying to get a bearing on how many other people are as completely mental as I am.

I think that by coupling the dash to the horn body with a smooth, consistent roll off I should be able to create an extremely accurate driver housing with little if any imperfections. I'm specifically interested in the expansion ratios of different drivers as they are mounted in to different materials and how to effectively calculate for the shift in velocity as the mouth widens, and at which frequencies I can expect to get the widest peaks.

So, thanks so very much for the ideas, and please pass this along to people who might be of some help if you know of anyone who might be able to.

Thanks again,
Michael
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Old 1st July 2007, 05:31 AM   #6
MartyM is offline MartyM  United States
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Hi Michael. You obviously are a pretty intelligent guy, but venturing into "the road less traveled"!

Personally, after experimenting with placing component speakers on top of the dash (with excellent sound quality and imaging results!) I decided to almost forget floorboard/lower dash custom kick-panel mounted speakers and create custom fiberglass enclosures for small drivers on top of my dash.

The soundstage height and clarity in sound reproduction was so much better-finally I found it.

But of course the last horn set I was supposed to have were delivered to the wrong address by FedEx, and the receiving party wasn't man enough to notify me or FedEx. So I never even got to try higher quality horns. Still to this day I'm both sad and extremely angry...

Now if you'll excuse me I need to drive up the road and get an eyeful of the unkempt illegal aliens loitering in the gas station parking lot and really bringing the neighborhood down even further. Nice.

Good luck!
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Old 9th April 2009, 09:38 PM   #7
JZatopa is offline JZatopa  United States
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munkittrick I am curious if you ever did anything with this? I see you are in FL, I am as well and would like to try to do something like this as well. IF you are near by maybe we could work on this together.

Personally I think the easiest thing would be to to make a mold from an existing horn to make a copy then use that as a base line. From there you could modify the design all you want.
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Old 9th April 2009, 11:33 PM   #8
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Old 10th April 2009, 03:39 AM   #9
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Actually, yes. I finished my first set a long, long time ago and have been trying to get a fine-tuned version for my own use. I've sold my three previous attempts on eBay with a pretty reasonable price. They do sound spectacular, but they are hard to dial in without a bit of EQ. I've been trying to find enough interest to build a short run of the latest set, but so far there are just too many skeptics. I'll check back again soon...
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Old 10th April 2009, 03:41 AM   #10
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