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Old 9th January 2009, 09:08 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ronmeister
What type of enclosure would you suggest for the PM6A and the PM5A?
Me, I'm really a big open baffle guy, which usually means a woofer below 80
Hz or so.

Quote:
Originally posted by hifimaker
Are Ticonal and Alnico the same thing? I thought Ticonal was a trade name for Alnico.
As I understand it, Ticonal is an Alnico variant. Jon her Halen got a hold of
some Lowthers using it, and they are the best I've heard, so there is the
temptation to ascribe those qualities to the Ticonal, although I have not
experienced a totally apples-apples comparison.

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Old 10th January 2009, 12:33 AM   #12
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Click the image to open in full size.

Carfrae Horn
This might give you some ideas to explore.
Carfrae has a 3.34 meter horn length and uses a tractix curve with only one bend. It stands 2.21m tall and about 95cm deep.

The website can be found here.

Stumbled across The Dino Horn while looking for some carfrae pics.

Cheers,

Alex
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Old 10th January 2009, 02:10 AM   #13
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Thanks so far!

I've sent an email to Jon of Lowther-America to see what he suggests.

There are a lot of designs to consider. I like some of the commercial suggestions, such as the Carfrae and Rhetm, but don't think I'll be able to secure plans for them.

I've also emailed my affluent friend in Denmark with some of your suggestions. As expected he's sticking to his guns; no open baffle (sorry Nelson, I tried) or LF assistance. Estethically the front-runners, so far, are:

- TP1-Isis - with EX4? (thanks for the suggestsion serenechaos!)
- Audiovector - with PM5A?
- Medallion 2 or 3 - with DX4 (enough bass though?)
- Saxophon - with PM2A and PM6C (thanks HM!)
- Opus 1 - not sure which driver though

I suggested the KleinHorn, he mentioned he would probably be forced to live in them by his wife... close to my initial prognosis...

If anyone has any experience with the above designs, please share... I have limited experience (Fidelio - Medallion 2) and would appreciate your thoughts.

I'll await Jon's advice of course, but wanted to keep everyone up to date as well as give some hint as to the direction he's looking.

Please keep the suggestions coming.
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Old 10th January 2009, 04:43 AM   #14
TerryO is offline TerryO  United States
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I personally like Jon VerHalen's Lowther/Tone Tubby Open Baffle design that he had at VSAC this last summer.

http://www.enjoythemusic.com/vsac_2008/

While you're at it, build the Experience Music amp that really allows this speaker to "sing."


Best Regards,
TerryO
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Old 10th January 2009, 05:32 AM   #15
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Default The Ultimate Lowther

Yikes! This is a tall order, in part because everyone has a slightly different view of what what is the most important part of audio to them. Let me give some examples:

The 5" Lowthers have killer soundstage abilities, better than the 8". However, the 8" drivers have much better micro and macro dynamics - they follow the flow and emotion of the music better. Which is better? Isn't that taste?

The big neodynium magnets (DX4) do transients better than the Alnico - they sound faster and more dynamic. The Alnico magnets capture more of the low level information, sounding warming and capturing the harmonic development better. I find that most user into jazz and rock prefer the DX4 sound, and if you enjoy classical/ vocals the A series does a better job.

Application will affect which driver is better. For some reason, the DX4 sounds great in a back loaded horn, but not so good in an open baffle. The DX sound best when loaded a bit more.

Lets go on to different types of cabinets. The Opus 1 with a PM4A is just an awesome speaker, and truly goes full range from roughly 30 hertz to around 15 kHz. But it requires a corner to load it. Full range, reasonably sized cabinets either have to be corner loaded (i.e. Big Fun Horn, Beauhorn, Opus 1) or huge (i.e. Klien Horn, the big Carfrea, and the Yamamura). See Yamaura Churchill for information on the Yamamura.

For less than full range sound, there is a variety of systems. The reputed all time greatest is the PM4A ticonal, silver voice coil in the big Azurahorn. This goes from 150hz to 12kHz, so a little augmentation is required at both ends. Again, you have to like the sound of a front loaded horn for this to be "the best". A couple of these reside in the Fort Collins area, and EVERYONE who has heard rants about how it sounds. Next step is reasonable sized back loaded horns, like the smaller Carfrea, the Hedlund, or the Medallion.

Open Baffles? The PM6A has the flatest response. In every other way, the PM5A wins (dynamics, low level information, warmth, dynamics, speed, high end, and imaging). By toeing the PM5A properly it can get reasonably flat response with all the other benefits. BTW, that is why Nelson is waiting for my PM5A's, and why I am having a hard time sending them. But you need something to bring up the low end, as these will only go to 150 or 200 hz.

I will leave it to others to talk about other constructions such as TQWT or bass reflex. I just don't believe these represent an ultimate Lowther experience.

With regards to Ticonal vs Alnico. Ticonal is similar to Alnico, but is distinctly different. It includes titanium. The science is that different magnetic materials have fields which vary in stiffness. You want a stiff field, so that when the voice coil magnetic field pushes against it, it won't move. From least stiff to stiffest: Ferrite, Neodynium, Alnico, Ticonal.

Voice coils come in silver, copper, and standard (aluminum). To my ears, standard works fine with ferrite and neodymium magnets. Copper hurts the highs slightly, but adds warmth and low level information. It sounds more "whole". Silver is somewhere between the two.

So, giving you my list o' favorites:

Full range back loaded horn: can't say, I have only heard the Klein Horns. These were a lot of fun, but the thin walls were built as a quick and dirty project and needed stiffening to keep the bass under control. But tremendous fun. I would use the PM5A, copper voice coil here. Use a different, stiffer construction and this could be awesome.

Less than full range back loaded horn: The Hedlund horn modified for use with the PM5A copper voice coil. Build it with cold molded ply construction for best results, MDF is too flexible and kills bass transients when used in horn construction.

Front horn: Azura horn with PM4A, silver voice coil.

Corner horn: Opus 1, PM4A, silver voice coil

Imaging and flatest response: The Alerion, but modified for use with a A55 and silver voice coil. (Flat, but only to 45 hz.)

I prefer ticonal, but it is no longer produced and is rarely available. Not a huge difference, but it is simply more fun.

That should give you enough to chew on for awhile.
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Old 10th January 2009, 02:25 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by hifimaker
Are Ticonal and Alnico the same thing? I thought Ticonal was a trade name for Alnico. It would be great if someone could help verify this.

Interesting reading about the differences between alnico and ferrite, and the rapid industry conversion from alnico to ferrite in the late 70's due to the embargo of commercial cobalt used in Alnico from Zaire.

-David
http://www.ireland-alloys.co.uk/tabid/116/Default.aspx
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Old 10th January 2009, 03:38 PM   #17
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Default BFH, Opus 1 or TP1-Isis?

Wow Jon, that is a lot of info! Thanks!

Besides it being a real help now this is definitely "future-reference" stuff. With this latest project my year is full, but who knows what 2010 will bring, I was hoping something for uh... me...

Going back to the parameters set:
- Single Driver design
- Top of the line
- As full range as feasible
- No LF support
- No Open Baffle
- Plays mostly Jazz, World Fusion, less Country and Folk
- Transportable from CR to Denmark
- An inkling of WAF (a boundary BHD helped discover)

New info: we managed to open two corners for corner loading by re-arranging the listening room/cinema. We now have a 14' wall with two suitable corners. This proposal has been approved...

Reading through Jon's post and keeping in mind the parameters mentioned above, there are three main options:

- Big Fun Horn with DX4
- Beahorn (commercial design, so no plans)
- Opus 1 with PM4A

A fourth option?

- TP1-Isis with EX4

Musically the Big Fun Horn with the DX4 would fit the number one choice of music - Jazz. Optically, esthetically, the Opus 1 and TP1-Isis are (his) favorite.

A few questions for the "community":
- Does anyone have experience with building any of the above 3?
- Does anyone have photographs they'd like to share?
- Does anyone have plans for any of the 3 available for review?
- Any new suggestions within the above parameters?

I really appreciate all the input so far!

Ron
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Old 10th January 2009, 03:59 PM   #18
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Default Ticonal

Guess I have to word my answers a little more carefully. Lowther no longer makes magnets from Ticonal. Ticonal is available as a commodity.
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Old 10th January 2009, 04:28 PM   #19
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http://www.hornspeakers.co.uk/main.htm
http://www.lowther.com.hk/tp1.htm http://www.lowtherloudspeakers.com/drawings/opus1.html
etc, etc, etc... google is your friend!

I don't know if the big fun horn would be considered a "no-holds-barred" design, I haven't heard it, have only heard mixed reviews.

Beahorn mignt not be too hard to clone if that interested; expansion rate & length are given... Would be a little less gain from being little less length than TP-1, is why I was less interested in it "back then."

Opus 1 is very interesting; plans are available, and Jon Ver Halen puts it at the top of the list of corner horns, so what else is there to look for?

...ok; I might still call the hornspeakers.co.uk, who build both TP-1s & Opus 1s & ask them what the differences are. But that's just because I've wanted to build a TP-1 for years...
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Old 10th January 2009, 05:18 PM   #20
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Default Opus 1?

Quote:
Originally posted by serenechaos
http://www.hornspeakers.co.uk/main.htm
http://www.lowther.com.hk/tp1.htm http://www.lowtherloudspeakers.com/drawings/opus1.html
etc, etc, etc... google is your friend!

I don't know if the big fun horn would be considered a "no-holds-barred" design, I haven't heard it, have only heard mixed reviews.

Beahorn mignt not be too hard to clone if that interested; expansion rate & length are given... Would be a little less gain from being little less length than TP-1, is why I was less interested in it "back then."

Opus 1 is very interesting; plans are available, and Jon Ver Halen puts it at the top of the list of corner horns, so what else is there to look for?

...ok; I might still call the hornspeakers.co.uk, who build both TP-1s & Opus 1s & ask them what the differences are. But that's just because I've wanted to build a TP-1 for years...
I fully agree, the Opus 1 looks like the way to go.

Having said that. It's a BIG investment, time-wise and financially, so I do want to make sure I've covered all aspects and have not missed out on a design I was unaware of. A knee-jerk decision is easier made from the side-lines, and it's not exactly my money, but it is my time so I'd like to avoid that.

As for Google, great for those living on land, on board a ship, with a very limited bandwidth, it can be an excruciating experience. That's why I appreciate the links provided all the more... it cuts out a few steps... the plans I did find of the Opus 1 were much, much too vague.

Anyway, back to work...
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