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Old 23rd January 2006, 01:42 AM   #1
rabw is offline rabw  United Kingdom
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Default Front loaded horn concepts

Hi everyone,

I've just finished some CAD renderings for my current project so I thought I'd share them with you all (links to larger images coming soon). I've essentially designed something similar in operation to an Oris system, but paid attention to aesthetics (after-all a high-end speaker should have high-end looks?), and investigated the cost side of things to see what it'd be up against in the 'real-world'.

Anyway, I've already had some ideas to tweak the styling, so my finished prototype (which I make next semester at uni) might look a little different. If anyone has any cool ideas that I could add please suggest them to me!

The drivers I've modelled in the renderings are the Fostex FE206e (tweaked) as this is what I will be using (at least initially) and the Eminence Magnum 15LF which measures very well for what I want and looks rather neat with its cotton mesh dustcap. The bass enclosure is around 120L and sealed. The plate amp is a BK electronics BSPV300 and I've used some virtual WBT binding posts hehe. Incase anyone's interested I used PTC Pro/Engineer with the photolux (lightwave) plugin for rendering.

Cheers, Richard.
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Old 23rd January 2006, 01:44 AM   #2
rabw is offline rabw  United Kingdom
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Here's another image finished in gloss black...
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Old 23rd January 2006, 02:22 AM   #3
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hey rich, looking good!
we're gonna have fun 'glassing up those horns, got any pictures of the moulds to show ppl?
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Old 23rd January 2006, 03:09 AM   #4
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Yow. Nice. I'll take mine in red, if you please. How are you going to lay up the horns? I was just on this subject myself, and I'm thinking about wrapping my form with carbon fiber roving. But then, I'm still in the conceptual stages at this point- haven't ruled out compression drivers just yet.
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Old 25th January 2006, 01:49 PM   #5
rabw is offline rabw  United Kingdom
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Hi Corvus,

Well I've made the mould for it (foam->modroc>plaster of paris>reface>polishing!) and will be laying up in fibreglass. I think I'll be cutting (or rather tearing to help blend edges) chop strand into segments rather like orange segments. After all the release agents and a few layers of gel coat these will go on with layup resin obviously.

Heres a recent picture of the mould - hopefully will lay up in the next few weeks however workshops are currently shut during intersemester period which is impeding my progress ....
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Old 25th January 2006, 03:50 PM   #6
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gorgeous.
I wonder, given the use of an active amp ion the bass module, if it ultimatley wouldn't be a cleaner project with a fully integrated mono amp for each channel.
Less wiring, less components...
You could happily drive the fostex's with a small chip amp
good luck and remember to post process images
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Old 25th January 2006, 07:44 PM   #7
rabw is offline rabw  United Kingdom
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Hi Neil,

Thanks very much for the compliment. I agree it would be neat to have a fully active speaker.... perhaps I could mention this as a possibility during my evaluation stages of the project at the end of the year, however what I initially set out to achieve was a SET friendly speaker without the poor or compromised bass often associated with high-eff designs - this is how I ended with this 'hybrid' speaker if you like, similar to an Oris.

Another focal point of my project was to come up with a high-eff design that would hold its own (styling wise) against other 'typical' high end speakers (the B&W 800's, Linn Artikulats of the world). I felt that other than size obviously, although well designed acoustically, the aesthetics of the very limited numbers of commercial high-eff speakers currently availible probably has played a large roll in them not becoming more accepted.
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Old 26th January 2006, 12:42 AM   #8
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I wouldn't bother with the internal amplifier for the horn route. Most people who are using horns prefer to use them with SE tube amplifiers. You would lose 90% of your audience if the speaker was made FULLY active.
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Old 26th January 2006, 01:02 AM   #9
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Corvus, you are probably right if this project was about market share. It strikes me given the nature of the design and the painstaking attention to detail that rabw has lavished (at least on the VR version) on this project that it attempts to be questioning some standard concepts that prevail market share audio. I am not necessarily arguing with your point as its probably true, it just when manufactures like Avantgarde Acoustic release a product like their Solo that one stops and perhaps questions market share…
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Old 26th January 2006, 04:51 AM   #10
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The Solos are a unique product. Unfortunate, though, the only reason I shied away from them was the fact I couldn't use my own amplifiers with them. I can have any tube amplifier I wish- I need only fire up the CNC, and go to work. Two weeks later-<ding!> world class Amplifier. The only things I can't build for myself (audio) or haven't bothered/ had success, etc., are source components, and speakers. By and large, I find the Avantgardes hugely overpriced, and getting worse. I was kind of hoping the Solos would allow me to finally have a commercial horn speaker that looked good and didn't break the bank, but without using my own amps, what's the point? I mean, I'm in the business of building amps, how am I supposed to obviate them from my reference system at home?

I just wish they would have made them available with a seperate integrator crossover. The way they are kind of takes the fun out of having, well, speakers.

And I haven't seen too many systems built around them. They are primarily intended to be a home theater product. Haven't seen too many home theaters with them, either. Pretty hard to get any WAF on six of those puppies all round the room, eh? They don't exactly blend in.

Sorry to say, also- sales are the only reason manufacturers make product. Without a market, there is no reason to design product. Self powered speakers do not sell. Not in the high end. Meridian lost out big with high end powered speakers, and so has everyone else who's tried it. And, once again, the whole reason designers like Richard and myself build things is so people will BUY them. Selfish? Maybe. But no one wants to design the next Edsel.
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