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-   -   Commercial Front Loaded Horn Loudspeakers (http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/full-range/65884-commercial-front-loaded-horn-loudspeakers.html)

rabw 12th October 2005 11:37 PM

Commercial Front Loaded Horn Loudspeakers
 
Dear all,

Just wondering if I could gather peoples opinions on an Industrial Design Final year project I'm preparing to undertake.

I notice that the majority of front loaded horns around are DIY or at least partly DIY (i.e. use an unfinished Oris Horn on a DIY cabinet/stand). Also, on the styling side, this often leaves much to be desired due often to lack of really good tools and/or user inexperiance. Even the complete Oris systems use a fantastic looking Horn, but unfortunately couple it to a rather plain boxy cabinet.

The nature of my course means that I'm concerned with both the performance and aesthetics of the final product, so I'm planning on designing a Front Horn Loudspeaker for use with an 8" driver such as a Lowther of FE206e, probably 2 way with a separate bass horn.

By their nature they attract attention, but I'd intend to attempt to make this loudspeaker fit into the modern home environment (WAF important), and minimise how much it imposes itself on a room - i.e. a slimmer shape - and therefore likely taller and deeped (pilastro, the new kef's etc), elegant styling and finish etc, but without compromising performance.

I think there should be interest in this kind of product

- please let me know, would you consider buying something like this? how much would you pay for this product? Personally I think this could be done for around 2000UKP retail, under $4000, still be commercially viable, and better any other speaker at the price.

Please feel free to critique my ideas, tell me what you like about them or maybe something you would like to see tried out that I havent mentioned.

Cheers, Richard :)

phase_accurate 13th October 2005 06:57 AM

http://www.avantgarde-acoustic.de/

Scottmoose 13th October 2005 09:59 AM

Depends on what you call 'better'! Horns are not for everyone, especially front-loaded horns, thanks to the colouration, but they can work well. I'm fairly sure there'd be a market especially at sub 2000 you say? if you can do it, and make a profit at that price (which is the point of a business after all, so long as its not obscene!), I wish you the very best of luck, and at that price or thereabouts would be very interested in the finished product and its specifications once completed (and if it would fit in my room!)

You probably already know this, but if you're going to be designing one of these things, Martin King's site is the best place to start. Have a look here:

http://www.quarter-wave.com/Horns/Front_Horn.pdf
and here
http://www.quarter-wave.com/Models/MathCad_Models.html
for what you need. if you don't own MathCad, there's a free version of MathCad 8 Explorer to download too.

I know I don't need to say this to yourself, but if it's a commercial product, you'll need to licence from Martin. He is, however, a reasonable man, and I'm sure isn't going to charge the Earth and try to fleece you dry -that's not how he works! Anyone who puts this information in the public domain is hardly that sort of person!

As we are on the subject though (forgive the diverting) -a little rant against a few other people (I use the word in the broadest possible terms you understand). If anyone is out there and reading this who has been taking advantage of Martin's hard work and generosity for commercial gain, or passing his work off in the public prints as their own without acknowledgement or licence -get your wallets out! There are those of us who are not amused!

rabw 13th October 2005 10:59 AM

Hi, thanks phase_accurate for bringing those avantgarde loudspeakers to my attention.

The name rings a bell to me, but havent looked closely at them before, some really nice stuff there. They give the impression of being quite niche, I'd like to aim towards something that could potentially be more mainstream and obtainable, but inspiring stuff none the less!

Yes I've looked at Martin Kings website a bit before (when making some Back Loaded horns in my spare time) - A very useful resource, and yes if I were to use anything from it and go commercial, it would all be above board and licenced.

Have dabbled with MathCad before, maybe a plan to purchase the full version.

Thanks for your comments, they're much appriciated and nessesary to me! Nice to know you'd be interested to hear where this goes.

Cheers, Richard.

phase_accurate 13th October 2005 12:13 PM

There are even more "horny Krauts" (all of them are doing multiway only though):

http://www.martion.de/produkte.html

http://www.speakerheaven.de

Edit: Forgot this one:

http://www.acapella.de

Regards

Charles

GM 13th October 2005 02:15 PM

Re: Commercial Front Loaded Horn Loudspeakers
 
Quote:

Originally posted by rabw
By their nature they attract attention, but I'd intend to attempt to make this loudspeaker fit into the modern home environment (WAF important), and minimise how much it imposes itself on a room - i.e. a slimmer shape - and therefore likely taller and deeped (pilastro, the new kef's etc), elegant styling and finish etc, but without compromising performance.

please let me know, would you consider buying something like this? how much would you pay for this product?

Greets!

The only way I know how to do maximize WAF without compromising performance to an audible degree is to build them into a false wall, ergo it won't be practical/cheap, so now it becomes a matter of choosing trade-offs and usually it's the sound system that gets 'hammered'.

Bruce Edgar's Slimline system appears at a glance to be a reasonable trade-off between size/performance and a creative soul could dress it up to suit a variety of decors without further degrading performance. Its pricing seems incredible 'bang/buck' in its performance range, so I guess it's the benchmark for this market niche.

GM

rabw 13th October 2005 02:47 PM

Thanks for the links Charles, all useful to me - I wonder why almost all of this sort of speaker are made in Europe on the continent, and normally Germany. Unfortunately this means if googling, I tend to miss any sites not in english, so thanks for them.

Unfortunately, although you're correct, it would dramatically improve WAF, the scope of my assignment means building a false wall is not feasable. Although I'll be making a one-off prototype, it must be designed with batch or mass production in mind so that it COULD be commercialised (i.e. simulating me working in a 'real' company, not a university)

Yes Bruce Edgar's designs are interesting, I'll be analysing similar products during the design stages, and will be sure to reference the links you guys have given me, I'm aware of a much wider range of varying design ideas now (in just half a day after starting this thread; and I've been into this area of design for a few years now) so this is all much appreciated.

Thanks again, Richard.

Bas Horneman 13th October 2005 03:02 PM

Hallo Richard,

Quote:

They give the impression of being quite niche
Horn loudspeakers for the home have always been niche and will always remain niche.

I am not too sure what your goal is. If it is this
Quote:

Personally I think this could be done for around 2000UKP retail, under $4000, still be commercially viable, and better any other speaker at the price.
then I still don't know what your requirements are. Do you have any requirements for the sound quality?

So it seems you would like to do something similar to Avantgarde but cheaper? ...or what? I reckon you'd have to be a lot more specific to be able to gather good suggestions.

Regards,
Bas

rabw 13th October 2005 04:07 PM

Hi Bas,

Fair comments, I do have a requirement for sound quality. The dynamics and impact is very important to me. I would like to design a speaker that gives a true sense of scale to music, and from peoples opinions and comments about previous designs, a horn seems to be a favourite way to do this.

Yes you would be correct to an extent in thinking 'Avantgarde but cheaper', however I dont think that that means a loss in sound quality (although I planned on using a Lowther rather than a compression driver and would have to find out how the two compare), and I definitely think there will be no loss in 'design' or 'styling'. I think its entirely possibly to design something to fit into peoples lives and maintain desirability better than any current horn does.

As to whether Horn Loudspeakers will always remain niche, i think depends on whether Horn Loudspeakers always remain overpriced and unobtainable to the masses.

Rgds, Richard.

Bas Horneman 13th October 2005 04:18 PM

The expense really goes into a lot more than the materials..as you are obviously aware...People who bring into their homes something as visually dominating into their houses ....

(Dutch houses are small German houses a little bigger, hence more horns in Germany)

....want nothing less than perfection! Not a blemish or dimple anywhere will do. It seems to me you need to be talking to factories and materials experts a lot more than you need to speak to audiofreaks :)

Quote:

whether Horn Loudspeakers always remain overpriced and unobtainable to the masses.
That is where you are underestimating the power of women to decide what comes into the room or not. And you are overestimating the demand for good sound equipment. True audiophile or good equipment is a niche to begin with...the masses are into multichannel (with speakers as big as a wristwatch) and mp3...(sorry rant..but still relevant to the discussion I think)

Quote:

I wonder why almost all of this sort of speaker are made in Europe on the continent
SE triode amps are much more prevalent amongst europeans than Americans.. a lot of Americans are into restored Dynaco's, McIntosch...etc...Americans want much more power...(blatant blanket accusation, but true nevertheless) than the average european...because of bigger houses and well...just because.. ;)

If you believe John Broskie, and I do, it is essentially a couple of californians that are into tubes anyway...and the whole off the midwest is into Solid state..

Americans seem to go for Ribbon tweeters...europeans horns...don't ask me why ;)


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