"Are Horns Really that Much Different from Electrostatics ..." - diyAudio
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Old 20th December 2007, 11:21 AM   #1
Steve M is offline Steve M  Australia
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Red face "Are Horns Really that Much Different from Electrostatics ..."

This may seem like a rather strange observation that I am making - one that may cause some differences of opinion from both horn and electrostatic camps ...

By way of explanation, I've been a long time user of both the Edgar Horn loudspeaker and a pair of ER Audio ESL-3 fullrange thin membraned (3.4 micron) electrostats + TL subs (see: www.eraudio.com.au ). Settling on these stats after trying many speakers, for the extra speed and resolution that they provide.

The ESL-3 stats have been a long time reference point for me, displaying all the hallmarks of the breed including EXTREME DETAIL RETRIEVAL, the best levels of transparency and a naturalness of tone. All my best efforts at Accutons/Ravens/Seas/Focal/Berylliums/Apogees/Eton/Fostex/Coral/Goodmans Axiom 80 etc, still falling short of the performance of the ESL-3 stats, for overall audiophile performance. Following on from my love of the stats and regardless of the faults I noted in cones-domes & boxes (which I perceived to be slower than stats), I continued to persevere with trying to get the best out of my DIY Edgar Horns, feeling that they had a certain joi-de-vivre (life or liveliness) that could perhaps compete with the low level dynamics of the stats.

To cut a long story short I feel that I have recently finally 'cracked it' with the Edgar Horns, getting the combination of drivers *just right* and by using a DBX active crossover. The Edgars now sound basically as 'holistic, transparent and as real as my electrostats' ...with the added bonus of being able to play all types of music (while not being picky) at any volume level.

My DIY Edgar Horn speaker is a complicated affair running five stereo amplifiers; a DBX Driverack x-o; Eton hexacomb 11-581 for low bass below 40Hz; a 15" RCF 801-P midbass between 40-500Hz; Dynaudio D-54 midrange between 500Hz-6.7kHz; Audax PR120 piezo horn tweeter from 7kH upwards (or a Yamaha JA-4821B compression driver) and a Raven R-1 super tweeter at 16kHz+. All heavily EQ'd for my personal taste in music thru' the DBX's x-o and its parametric equalizer.

The result with the Edgars is now so close to the stats that its hard to pick a preference between the two! A first for me, having always previously preferred the stats over anything else.

So, I'm just wondering whether anyone else out there has noticed a similarity or have a liking for BOTH horns and electrostats, or, am I just imagining that they share similar sonic atttributes when the theory behind their physics and sound is so divergent??

Curious ...


Regards,


Steve M.

All System Pics & Speaker Projects here:
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Old 20th December 2007, 11:37 AM   #2
Steve M is offline Steve M  Australia
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Pic of the ER Audio ESL-3 DIY electrostatic loudspeaker ...

Steve M.
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Old 20th December 2007, 11:43 AM   #3
Steve M is offline Steve M  Australia
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Pic of the Edgar Horn loudspeakers with Raven R-2 ribbon ...

Steve M.
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Old 20th December 2007, 12:45 PM   #4
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My first real system was stacked Quad 57's. Lovely in a small room but no dynamic range. Progressed through a lot of gear until full range fromt loaded horns. they had the low distortion, detail and ease of the ESL's at low levels but no dynamic or power compression until extremely high SPL. It's easier to fix the problems with FLH than ESL IMO.
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Old 20th December 2007, 01:04 PM   #5
SY is offline SY  United States
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Chalk and cheese. Very different radiation characteristics and polar patterns; the dynamics are entirely different. And to date, every time I've heard a horn system touted to "not sound like horns," I thought, "Sounds pretty good... for a horn."

Yes, I've heard the Edgars. Pretty good... for a horn.
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Old 20th December 2007, 02:01 PM   #6
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Very nice setup indeed.

But don't call an Audax PR 120 piezo again !!!!!

Regards

Charles
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Old 20th December 2007, 02:15 PM   #7
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I'm interested in both horns & ESLs (and some of the other stuff you've tried), but a long way behind you . .you dont live in Victoraia do you . . any chance of a listen??

Thanks

Richard
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Old 20th December 2007, 02:19 PM   #8
Steve M is offline Steve M  Australia
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Sy: It was also my opinion (until recently) that Horns and Electrostatics sounded completely different. That is, until I got the active crossover and EQ 'just right' on the Edgar Horns. There's virtually zero honk and it sounds very close to the stats for smoothness, coherence, transparency and detail, but with the psychedelic dimensional aspects and strength that horns and boxes seem to give. One regular listener of my various systems said to me... "Steve, you've got those Edgars sounding so nice I think you might have a hard time going back to your stats!". He could be right...

Charles: I don't have any specs on the Audax PR120, I just assumed it was a piezo from the look of it. So what is it, a horn loaded ring radiator perhaps? Whatever it is, it seems to go very nicely with the D-54 Edgar horn mid. I've tried a few high quality tweeters in that position (R-2, Beyma slots & Yamaha compression drivers) and they don't seem to blend as well as the humble PR120 ...Dr Edgar seems to have chosen this driver well to compliment the D-54.

Richard: Thanks for the nice words, but sorry I'm not in Victoria -just 4500km on the other side of Australia in Perth!

Regards,

Steve.
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Old 20th December 2007, 02:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
I don't have any specs on the Audax PR120, I just assumed it was a piezo from the look of it. So what is it, a horn loaded ring radiator perhaps?
Yes it is a ring-radiator. They were once quite expensive.

Some vague memories: Usable from 5 kHz, 18 Watts thermal power limit, 109 dB efficient.

Regards

Charles
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Old 20th December 2007, 09:36 PM   #10
56oval is offline 56oval  Australia
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Only if I had room to have either of these design's.
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