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Old 20th June 2005, 04:52 PM   #1
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Default Full Ranges for Rock/Metal

Boy I am just full of questions. I found some very nice looking orange basket dual cone 8" drivers at a local reclamation yard and was thinking about using 4 of them, 2 per side in some type of rear loaded horn to help extend the bass response, actually I want to experiment and find out how much bass can truly come out of a horn so I can build a fairly large enclosure. This is going to be my workshop system and will be driven by a Brian GT 4780 kit, passive volume control and a turntable and cd player. I mostly listen to classic rock, zz top, the beach boys, the who but I like metal also, metallica, fear factory, and my wife likes everything else How do full ranges with horns sound for rock music??? Anyone have any opinions/suggestions? I was almost thinking about a 2 foot wide by 6 foot tall spiral horn, but want some opinions first.


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Old 21st June 2005, 08:38 AM   #2
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2' x 6' spiral horn. That's one large horn! (for a spiral)
Full ranger with rock? Depends on the spec of the driver, but generally, the larger ones work fine (let's not think about a Fostex FE83E though, bless it). In some ways stuffing a cheapish Fostex 8" driver into a basic box will provide more dynamics than most monster multi-driver setups. That said, you'll never get subwoofer bass even from a horn the size of the one you're thinking about. But it'll do well enough. Remember, rock doesn't actually go especially low (prog excepted thanks to the myriad keyboards) -about 40Hz is usually the low-end, and a big horn shifts air like nothing else. You could be onto something here -I await developments with interest.

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Old 21st June 2005, 11:28 AM   #3
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Actually, bottom end is not the problem with using a full-ranger for rock music. As Scottmoose points out, rock music doesn't normally go below 40 Hz. However, it is heavily loaded 60-100 Hz. This is the range for "slam" and the range broadcast by those rolling boom boxes with the heavily tinted windows. Unfortunately, this is also the range that full-rangers in MLTL's and BR's run out of excursion. I'll let those more knowledgeable about horns comment on those.I suppose you can get concert levels out of 12" and 15" drivers, but forget 8"ers. I have a customer running Fostex F200A's in my FTA-2000 TL who is unhappy with the ultimate SPL before unacceptable compression occurs.

IMO the appeal of full-rangers is really at odds with what rockers want.

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Old 21st June 2005, 01:36 PM   #4
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Thank you both for your replies. I was thinking about using the spiral horn after seeing the attached speaker. I had previously wanted to build a large horn loaded subwoofer and two line arrays using 100 ea of some small 2" mylar speakers I have but after building a line array of 20 the soldering got quite boring, I could only imagine soldering 200 I was thinking that if I use 2 8" speakers mounted close together vertically in the center of the large baffel. I was hoping for a tuning around 30hz as I know the low b on a 5 string bass is 32hz. Bob, you have created some beautiful speaker systems. I had heard that full rangers are lacking in that area but I was hoping that the increase in cone area would help. Do you guys think it would be better to say mount a 12 or 15 in the spiral horn and co-axial mount a dome mid/tweet over the center or go all horn and mount horn mid/tweets above the woofer in the spiral horn??? I am not really looking for concert levels, actually I should not say that, when the wife is not home it would be nice to have the ability to shake the rafters playing some AC/DC
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Old 21st June 2005, 01:46 PM   #5
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Originally posted by juan_caliente
Do you guys think it would be better to say mount a 12 or 15 in the spiral horn and co-axial mount a dome mid/tweet over the center or go all horn and mount horn mid/tweets above the woofer in the spiral horn??? I am not really looking for concert levels, actually I should not say that, when the wife is not home it would be nice to have the ability to shake the rafters playing some AC/DC
Yeah, I agree with Bob. Fullrangers do a lot of things nice, but usually at the expense of power handling. I would think a 12" or 15" crossed over to a front horn loaded tweeter or compresion driver (not a spiral horn) would be best for serious rocking .
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Old 21st June 2005, 03:42 PM   #6
DeonC is offline DeonC  South Africa
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Considering the size box you want to use for a horn, how about an infinite baffle set-up? For rock I would suggest either that or a bass reflex system. Now I am not a fan of bass-reflex, but to get the most low bass out of two 8" drivers, that might be the best way to go (other than horns). Are you sure that those drivers are suited to horns? Horns are mighty complicated things, but if you still choose to go down that route, good luck. You definitely have more guts than me.

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Old 21st June 2005, 03:59 PM   #7
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I am not really a fan of ported designs either. I just keep hearing about the amazing air moving capabilities of horns and I am intrigued by the cost and simplicity of full range drivers. I had always wanted to build my own version of the L-100 by JBL for the garage but kids and other expenses have put that dream on hold for the forseeable future. I wanted to use the 8 inch drivers because they are very inexpensive here locally. The only other unused drivers I have at home are 3 JL Audio 6 inch 12 ohm subwoofers, W0 series I beleive. Does anyone have any suggestions for size is no object, low budget driver speakers to play rock n roll in my garage???
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Old 21st June 2005, 04:54 PM   #8
GM is offline GM  United States
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Assuming you have an acoustically large enough room for <20Hz WLs to develop, to get the full benefit of FR 'sonics' with R&R's 'slam' and classical's power structure capability requires a very efficient driver and a long, slowly expanding, wide BW horn that is somewhat larger than Nelson Pass's big rig, with a compression horn loaded horn, ribbon array, or similar super tweeter and enough super clean power to exploit the system's dynamic limits.

As the room shrinks, so does the horn's BW/size requirements so ideally you measure your room's gain curve and design a horn that best blends to it around the most efficient driver you can afford that has a reasonably low Fs. For most of us, I imagine that would be one of the 6.5" Fostex models. Those folks that either have two good corners or the space/lack of WAF issues to make some false ones can reduce the size dramatically.

If we either ignore or relegate the bottom couple of octaves to a separate sub system, then in a large room the horns can be shrunk to a semi-sane size (think Jensen Imperial in bulk) and in a typical size room they only need to be ~7ft^3 if corners are available.

The trade-off though is that due to the need for a horn with a wide BW is that too much comb filtering occurs between the horn and driver's output for truly high SQ IMO, so to get around this, ideally you need to front horn load the driver to a low enough cutoff to put the acoustic XO point to the rear horn down where our hearing acuity isn't so good. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be any clear consensus where this point is, so FWIW mine is around 250 Hz, though others I've seen go as low as 150 Hz and as high as 500 Hz. While 'doing the math' to get a first approximation design for such a 'monster' is easy these days with the freeware computer tools available, getting it ~flat in-room without DSP is no trivial task, so for most of us this avenue to sonic bliss is best left untraveled.

So what are our options? The best one IMO is to trade some dynamic headroom for a lower acoustic XO point via either some series resistance and plenty of squeaky clean SS power, a hybrid amp such as NP's F1, or one of the better impedance matching tube amps of days gone by. For most of us though, getting a FR driver to go ~'live' down low is way more effort than their perceived sonic benefits warrants, so large, low gain front FR horns and either multiple driver and/or large driver LF/mid bass 'scoop' bins XO'd over at -150 - 300 Hz are the 'best of the rest' options IMO, then 'Basszilla' style systems, with large duplex driver systems (preferably corner loaded) being the acceptable minimum.

WRT to using two/horn, this will require the filter chamber Vb to double, but it also allows you to shorten the horn somewhat since the required throat area will double also, then roll off one of the drivers at whatever point yields the flattest in-room response and/or least audible comb filtering.

As always though, YMMV.

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Old 22nd June 2005, 07:37 AM   #9
el`Ol is offline el`Ol  Germany
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Somebody who likes classical music tried a 12" Beyma (open baffle speaker) and said it`s awful, sounds like PA stuff. Could that be right for you?

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Old 22nd June 2005, 01:44 PM   #10
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Not really, I am not a fan of the pa sound. I don't want it to sound like a concert, just play at concert levels. Plus I listen to a lot of Ennino Moricone and Beach Boys and I don't they would sound good on PA speakers. I think I am going to complete my line arrays and see how they will sound and for now use them with the jl subwoofers temporarily. Does anyone know of any good/inexpensive horn/compression driver midranges??
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