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ChrisRiggle 5th January 2013 08:12 PM

Full range desktop horn speakers
Hi all, first post.

I'm looking to build some desktop horn speakers for use with my pc. So pretty much near field listening. I have my own cnc machine so I can get pretty creative. Below is a picture of some early concepts. I would like to make something with a smaller foot print. Maybe 3.5 X 8inches and around 12 or 14 inches tall. I'm leaning towards the one with the blue arrow.

I know nothing about making calculations for optimum sound etc. I also realize I shouldn't expect the world from something that comes in such a small package but I'm going to try anyways.

Anyhow I'm looking for some creative advice. Anything would be appreciated.

Thanks, Chris

xrk971 5th January 2013 08:38 PM

There is a nice 15 in tall x 9 in deep x 4 in wide unit with see thru sides here. I have copied this in foam core and it sounds pretty good. It is made with cnc mdf panels stacked together but other ways of fabricating are possible.
Development Inside Story of See-Through Horn Speakers - TelaVox annex to TelaAudio

Scottmoose 5th January 2013 08:45 PM

I can't see any pictures in the original post.

OK: do you want me to be honest, or tactful?

If you want tactful, then I'll say 'go ahead, great idea.'

If you want honest, I'll ask why in the name of sanity you want a desktop sized horn? Granted, it might look pretty if you use transparent sides, but acoustically, they don't do all that well (I'm going to respectfully disagree with the above post regarding the sound of the linked box. I've heard a couple of variations of it too, & thought it was an abomination. The lower midrange was horribly coloured). The compromises inherent are too great in such small horns IMO, short of a very simple BVR. You'd be better off acoustically for a desktop speaker with a TL, sealed or reflex box. Yes, the latter two are common, but there's a reason for that: they work & tend to have more acceptable compromises. The TL option also works well, & is less common largely because it's slightly more complicated to design & build.

ChrisRiggle 5th January 2013 08:52 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Here's the pictures of some concepts.

ChrisRiggle 5th January 2013 08:59 PM

Space is at a premium for me right now and I also want to get my feet wet with a horn speaker build. But no, I don't want to make something that sounds horrible either :). Right now I have some free time on my hands. I recently got laid off which isn't a big deal since I'm was planning to move to another state this summer. Leaves me with a little project time until then.

xrk971 5th January 2013 09:02 PM

Just to be clear, I did not copy it exactly, I put quite a few sharp corners in to low pass the horn output and used more stuffing. I did not measure it but it did not sound colored to my ears. Scottmoose may have heard other variants but he certainly has not heard mine.

See post 17

Scottmoose 5th January 2013 09:11 PM

Ye gods man, you said you'd 'copied this [linked box] in foam core', not completely changed it, which is what that amounts to. ;) Clairvoyance was never one of my strong points.

Frankly, I can well imagine your box works better than the translam original. I'm not unknown for advocating / employing the Olson / Nagaoka style manifold expansion for back-horns myself. It's usually more effective for back-horns IMO, & in most of the boxes of this type I design, this, and the folding scheme is taken as part of the design from the outset. Nevertheless, I maintain that a desktop back-horn is fundamentally inferior to most other alignments. The main appeal is that it's different; as a general rule, performance is unlikely to match, let alone exceed, a decent example of a much simpler box. Been there, done that.

xrk971 5th January 2013 09:19 PM

Perhaps copy was wrong choice of word, maybe 'inspired'.... It's still too big of a box for desktop use and too loud when sitting 2 ft away. I agree a nice slot loaded BR or folded TL would be better for performance but I think the OP may be looking for something 'different'.

ChrisRiggle 5th January 2013 09:28 PM


Originally Posted by xrk971 (
Just to be clear, I did not copy it exactly, I put quite a few sharp corners in to low pass the horn output and used more stuffing. I did not measure it but it did not sound colored to my ears. Scottmoose may have heard other variants but he certainly has not heard mine.

See post 17

If I may ask, how did you know where to put the sharp corners? In going with a smaller design should I look to use more sharp corners instead of curves? If my pictures ever show up they are very curvy. I've also made few other posts, not sure if the forum isn't taking my posts or if it's a thing where my posts need to be reviewed by a mod since I just joined.

Scottmoose 5th January 2013 09:31 PM

Yeah, I know the feeling. Tradeoff between appearance and performance. Assuming transparent sides aren't used, so you can't see the internals anyway (always a PITA when it comes to dressing), I'd probably be inclined toward a horn loaded reflex / BVR / whatever term you favour (OK, so 99.9% of back horns can technically be described as that anyway, but you know what I mean). Looks like a long-path horn externally, but it should avoid some of the pitfalls.

Forgive me Chris -very rude of me before not to say it, so please accept this belated: Welcome to the forum! And apologies if I sound overly negative. I'd rather give my views, FWIW, up front. So I can come across as a miserable gibbon sometimes. That said, I've been there doing much the same & that's just my view. Take it or leave it as you see fit of course.

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