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Old 29th January 2005, 08:57 PM   #11
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>Many thanks to you both for taking the time to reply.
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You're welcome!
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>I would describe my design process as the other way around : I have decided that on this occasion I wish to make a full range horn (OK, down to 150Hz) using a full range driver. My problem is now to select the best driver for this application. I may some day decide to make a compression horn or use co-axials. And maybe that will be better. But thats not what I am trying to do now.
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Understood.
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>but as a curiosity, please can you explain why a co-axial can reproduce *dynamics* better than a full range ? I can see that a co-axial makes the design & production compromises simpler in some ways since the BW of the component sections is reduced, and this might eg affect efficiency etc. But how are the dynamics affected ?
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FR drivers are severely Xmax limited, typically can't handle much power and also have smaller diaphragms, ergo can't go as high or as cleanly.
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>to be clear, I can (and prefer) to buy the best from the get go. what I seek to avoid is wasting money buying thewrong thing at the get go and then having to buy something else, then something else, and "progressing" more or less by trial and error. Horns have been around a long time and as you noted elsewhere in your reply there is a lot of science around now : I would prefer to stand on the shoulders of giants and do it more or less right first time. I am *not* aiming or claiming to be advancing the state of the art ! .. I just want to make a horn to listen to (and then I can maybe make some flea powered amps and experiment with them too, which today isnt an option with the speakers I have.)
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Then a huge conically loaded Lowther DX4 is my recommendation based on what I know, though by no means am familiar with all the FR drivers available. Maybe the AER is audibly better, or possibly a Fertin, but I don't have any personal experience with them and I haven't seen enough tech info to form an opinion one way or the other.
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>this is well worth knowing, many thanks indeed. Since 2nd user lowthers are pricey anyway this encourages me to do what I would prefer anyway, ie buy new ..
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Hmm, I tend to view it the other way 'round in that the original owner has already been through all the grief (if any)/break-in, so short of extraordinary abuse, should be the better deal.
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>will check these out, many thanks, but we are back on this issue of relative quality. cheaper drivers being less efficient isnt a big issue for me (I have lots of powerful amps) but sound quality is. If I am going to invest time as much as money making some horns, I would prefer to get a "good" driver (for selected values of "good") first time out, especially as the horn has to be optimised to match a specific driver. How much sound quality do I loose getting the cheaper driver ?
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It's like most mature technologies, you get a lot of performance relatively cheap, say 90%, but from this point on cost goes up ~exponentially so you rapidly reach a point of diminishing returns unless you have above average hearing and tycoon's budget.
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>Some say "you get what you pay for" and that may be true inside eg the lowther range, but how does the lowther range compare to an Aura, Fostex or whatever ? Is more expensiive = better, or simply overpriced to some degree ?
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This applies to both within a brand and between brands so it's always up to the individual to make the call which brand/model best suits the performance goals.
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>If the price difference is large and the sound difference small, then I will of course probably select the cheaper unit for "experiments", but if cheap drivers sound bad, I feel Im kind of wasting my time ?
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Based on your perspective, I agree.
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>Full range drivers are "on paper" the most demanding design challenge of all because of the problems of providing the BW.
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Hmm, actually, FR drivers are the easiest since they already have the BW, all you have to do is confine its BW below its mass corner and make sure the horn is out of the way for the rest of it. It's when someone tries to stick '10lbs in a 5lb sack' so to speak as most folks do to keep size ~acceptable that it becomes a 'sticky wicket'.
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>I expect to have to pay a reasonable some for a good one - if good ones were cheap, why has the mainstream gone so overwhelmingly multi driver ?!
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Even if they were cheap, there's still the low electro-mechanical power handling/ease of destruction and large cab that goes with it, so a dead end AFA manufacturers are concerned for other than clock radio, etc. apps, and most DIYers just follow their lead.

GM
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