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Old 6th September 2013, 03:22 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peteleoni View Post
Other than actually owning one and living with it, and after much much study, I'll be damned if I can find any reason to think that this is not an end all product, in effect having the inherent possibility of making other horn designs obsolete. Please set me straight because I can't find one hole is this design, couls someone give me a good reason to choose anything else as far as high fidelity is concerned?????
They're great speakers but if one wants to complain about issues:

- Frequency response not smooth
- Size (huge)
- Complexity to design and build
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Old 6th September 2013, 03:36 AM   #12
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gainphile View Post
- Size (huge)
But about 1/3 the size of my speakers.
EDIT: Ooops! Just measured. The JH-50 is 1/2 the size of my speakers.
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Old 6th September 2013, 03:59 AM   #13
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Hi Scott, all
Scott if you see problems in the electro-acoustic domain I would like to hear them, if they are philosophical or cosmetic then no. Part of what allows them to “sound the same” over a large span of distances is Constant directivity, what allows them to have high intelligibility in a large room (or large near field in a stereo) is the lack of energy projected outside the pattern (to the sides, up/down, rear etc) the result of not producing an interference pattern from multiple drivers. Side mounted drivers would perturb the directivity, make it less constant. I made some Unity speakers like that about 12 years ago.

I had asked our programmer to take the 3d polar balloon from the an SH-50’s CLF data and plot that as a map like some hifi speakers use (attached). Note this is a full bandwidth (30Hz to 16kHz) data plot with 3 dB per color division. If you compare that to hifi speakers you will notice the pattern control extends down much lower in frequency than normal. Much less energy is projected 90 degrees off axis or elsewhere outside the pattern.
Gainphile, the directivity needed for larger room is only possible with large size in fact we make much larger speakers than the SH-50 plot shown here (which has a 28 inch square mouth).
The flatness issue is addressed in post #6

Yes they are complex to design and build, the former took 8 years to get to a design routine that I could use to design what the folks at the shop said they wanted and get close or on target on the first try. The larger Synergy horns (one has 108 drivers) were more difficult because one had to combine multiple hf drivers as well but even with that large one, you can walk into the horn mouth move your head around and never hear more than one source “somewhere” in front of you.

The latter is addressed by our CAD guy who turns my drawings into 3d drawings which are then used to program a computer driven router etc. While I built the first prototypes of some of our early / smaller loudspeakers, the larger ones are out of my wood working ability, time and tools.

Hi Pano, I just looked at the sh-50 curve on the data sheet, I have to have that one changed it’s from the old days with a driver we stopped using ages ago.
The -3 is about 50Hz and that depression between 90 and 180 hz isn’t there.
I do have subs on mine but that’s because we make subs too haha.
Yeah they can go pretty loud but for a cabinet that has 7 horn loaded drivers they are pretty small and in a living room, they are loafing as loud as I ever listen.
3Xlarger eh, did you say you had A-7’s or something? I can see why they are hard to move.
Best,
Tom
Attached Images
File Type: png SH-50 H map.png (20.2 KB, 843 views)
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Old 6th September 2013, 04:16 AM   #14
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Yeah Tom, A-5s. Only twice as big as the SH-50, I was wrong.

A lot of guys think their speakers go subterranean, but they don't. Most Hi-Fi speakers don't have much real output below ~50Hz, so the SH-50 does not sound thin in comparison. Nothing wrong with an added sub, just saying the SH-50 has more balls than the specs could lead one to believe.
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Old 6th September 2013, 04:28 AM   #15
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Only the FR being uneven is relevant then. I would expect that is fixable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gainphile View Post
They're great speakers but if one wants to complain about issues:

- Frequency response not smooth
- Size (huge)
- Complexity to design and build
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Old 6th September 2013, 04:52 AM   #16
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On second thought after looking at that plot fr uneveness is a non issue. I'm starting to think this is a jet vs. prop plane.
I need to see what us going on here. My thought now is that unification of low mid to HF in this sort of horn and using conventional methods below would be all that is needed for any sort of hifi or home theater duty. It is the point source at negligible distortion and no compression distortion that has eluded us. These speakers would seem to solve this for the first time. Therefore this design is the new paradigm the new reference and conventional speakers are the compromise. This would seem to be common sense if there are no really significant issues
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Old 6th September 2013, 05:56 AM   #17
ScottG is offline ScottG  United States
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Originally Posted by peteleoni View Post
Yes Scott I would like you to list them.
Caveat: this is entirely limited to what I've seen measured, and certainly doesn't characterize all (or perhaps even most) of Tom's extensive line of Synergy's..

1. As mentioned - the most obvious is the not great freq. linearity - and not only on-axis, but any given axis. From what I remember deviations are "coarse" when compared to more uniform designs (that are within +/-1.5 db), particularly in the upper mid and lower treble where only .5db deviations are easily audible. While a 1 meter position doesn't express what the result will be at the listening position, at higher freq.s it is a good indicator with respect to deviations from linearity with respect to direct sound - and direct sound is "key" (..NOT the summed average with reflections, or at least not with respect to the higher freq. response). Additionally I believe these deviations aren't of the narrow "q" variety, but are rather more troubling broader-band "peaks" and "dips". Narrow-band deviations can give a "sonic signature" with some recordings at certain times, but broad-band deviations do more than that - altering the presentation all the time.

2. The directivity isn't "uniform". Of course this *starts* with the issues in #1 and is compounded as pressure reduces from the design's dominate "window" (centered on 0 degree axis). Even within that window however there is enough deviation that is NOT represented in a well designed "domestic" speaker. When I say directivity isn't "uniform" I mean that freq. linearity changes as you move the axis with near axis's that can be up or down in pressure from the axis you are looking at. Pressure losses are no longer simply a matter of driver directivity that follow a predictable progression - a loss (largely based on driver diameter). The result is an axial "undulating" response even within a narrow "window". If it was presented as a series of single axis freq. responses with only one axis viewed at a time that you could move to see the next near axis (horizontally or vertically) it would "undulate" (..sort like a wave). (..and it's the horizontal that is most important.) This sort of behavior is far from ideal; we hear the entire polar and we are particularly sensitive to +/- 15 degrees (both loudspeaker forward and reward horizontal radiation) from our own position, NOT simply one axis. Even a compromised "traditional" 2-way with diffraction artifacts and the typical depression in response from the mid-bass driver around 1.8 kHz - tends to be less exaggerated with its "undulations" within a wider "window". Note however that a waveguide with a wider horizontal "window" with an appropriately narrower vertical window tends to lower these sorts of artifacts (horizontally). It's entirely possible that some of Tom's designs are more than competitive with traditional loudspeakers.. it would have to be a "horn by horn" case-basis.

3. The design relies on compression.

Compressing the polar response (or increased directivity by means of a bounding waveguide) as freq.s increase usually generates two subjective artifacts: reproduced sources or "images" usually move forward and venue effects tend to become less pronounced (relative to those images). The former isn't necessarily something that is "bad", in fact it can be "good". If most images are "pushed into your lap" it's certainly bad, but in the case of comparison with the lower freq. compression, (driver not polar), found in many traditional loudspeakers (that ONLY push lower freq. images forward - like drum kits), the result *may* be better - by maintaining a better depth distance between lower freq. images and upper freq. images. I'm guessing that Tom's designs are in this case "good" - even if somewhat forward overall, and as a matter of preference may be "better" (in that some prefer a closer "auditory scene"). However.. a reduction in venue effects relative to images as they relate to upper freq. effects almost always occurs to some degree (..literally in this case). Additionally, it's not uncommon to have a reduction in lateral image placement (or horizontal image "squashing" - as if sources moved closer together laterally). Typically however this is compensated for by moving the speakers further apart, but this has a further negative effect of lowering the impression of lateral venue effects. (i.e the images have a wider spacing between them, but the venue's side-walls become less apparent and often move closer together). Of course most of this does NOT apply with ambiophonics - where the synergy's would be moved very close together with some minor "toe-out". Additionally Tom has some wider dispersion designs that would likely have less of an effect (..though as a practical matter the wider the better - but with a 110-120 deg. horizontal waveguide often being sufficient enough).

Driver compression is another issue. Driver compression is complex and the subjective results aren't altogether predictable. However, it's often the case that the field of depth is reduced (images moving closer together in the depth plane), and the venue's front wall (or rear depending on your perspective) - also moving forward - further foreshortening the perception of depth. Just the use of a particular (size & construction) compression driver (AND its age and prior use), can make a rather large difference in the overall presentation. This really is a sort of "black art", BUT chances are very high that any of the Synergy's are not providing quite as much depth as they other-wise might with a *very* cherry-picked selection of compression driver, and by comparison less depth to a good traditional design. (..ask Pano more about this..) And that's just the compression driver - then there are the other drivers and their loading (both frontal and enclosure). Ex. closed-back (traditional) drivers *tend* to have exactly this sort of problem (reduced depth perspective), specifically as you go lower in freq.. Of course you can have this problem in even objectively excellent traditional designs - Ex. many of the Revel loudspeakers (that I've auditioned over the years) have this problem, not *badly* - but not particularly good either. Paradigm - dido. Any overstuffed cabinet on a diy design - dido. (..all pretty much relating to mechanical compliance inhibiting movement at exceedingly low excursions, which is ironic when you consider that a smaller rear chamber for the driver increases the value of Qms. )




While there are many other areas I could also write about.. I'll leave it with these "3".
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Old 6th September 2013, 06:18 AM   #18
ScottG is offline ScottG  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Danley View Post
Hi Scott, all
Scott if you see problems in the electro-acoustic domain I would like to hear them, if they are philosophical or cosmetic then no.

Part of what allows them to “sound the same” over a large span of distances is Constant directivity, what allows them to have high intelligibility in a large room (or large near field in a stereo) is the lack of energy projected outside the pattern (to the sides, up/down, rear etc) the result of not producing an interference pattern from multiple drivers.

Side mounted drivers would perturb the directivity, make it less constant. I made some Unity speakers like that about 12 years ago.

Best,
Tom
High Tom.. must have been writing my post when you were posting yours.

I would like to see good data on your designs ..but it's why I put in the Caveat - hopefully that is fully appreciated by any reader.



Oh, the design has a multitude of favorable aspects - BUT that's NOT what peteleoni is asking for (..rather the opposite). Hey, I tried to put forward what I thought was it's absolute best feature.



I was NOT referring to side-mounted drivers, rather a specific "aperiodic" rear-phase leakage (on the sides of the cabinet) that specifically lower the directivity IN-ROOM (at least to a greater extent than currently).
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Old 6th September 2013, 06:48 AM   #19
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Scott than you very much for that frame of reference. FWIW I am a mixing and mastering guy. Therefore I know that the very best direct radiating speakers that I use daily are in no way competitive with horn loaded speakers and they never will be. Too much dynamic compression or too many divers spaced too far. What do I think is almost the perfect speaker? The Khorn of course. If the KHorn exhibits the problems you have outlined for the Synergy then to me they are not problems at all. Here are the real tangible problems of the KHorn: Somewhat ragged FR due to cross from woof to mid, it's *not* a point source, some throat coloration in the mid. If the Khorn and Synergy horn have the same problems you listed in common, but the Synergy horn solves the problems I have listed for the Khorn without adding new ones, game over because I believe the Khorn warts and all, is still at the pinnacle of approaching realism even today. Fix the issues I have listed' All else is probably all academic. I wonder if the Synergy or Unity horn does exactly that, because if it does that and leaves only the other smaller issues and directivity "problems" of a Khorn, well..................
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Old 6th September 2013, 07:06 AM   #20
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I guess I should also add that I think that in a home or smaller "horizontal" venue horns that spray the ceiling and floor are silly. I see that all Synergy horns are all not "square" That has to go a way toward solving some of the issues mentioned by Scott. I suppose most of the good or bad points ScottG brought up about the Synergy pertain to horns in general right? Is the FR in a Synergy horn any worse than say, a KHorn? If this sounds like I'm a horn fanboi than yes you bet I am. But if the Synergy/Unity horns add big new issues then there is a problem. I certainly have zero issues with compression drivers or horn directivity, in fact the only issue I had with the EV Sentry III horn is 120 degree was I felt, too wide.

One more thing. The Bose 901 made certain that the listener did not get the "in your lap" effect caused by horns. Horns direct the sound away from the walls. I'm guessing that Tom's speakers do not sound like 901's. In fact they would be the opposite. Perhaps I could live with that 'artifact' Bwhaaahaaaa.
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Last edited by peteleoni; 6th September 2013 at 07:28 AM.
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