Survey: Best Sounding HF/MF range Horn driver to use with First Watt amps? - diyAudio
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Old 29th June 2015, 08:32 PM   #1
oltos is offline oltos  United States
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Default Survey: Best Sounding HF/MF range Horn driver to use with First Watt amps?

I built Gary Dahl’s 3 cu ft sealed GPA Altec 416-8B midwoofers. Gary uses them with his RAAL ribbon tweeters and Azurahorn/Radian drivers. He uses the Altecs from 700Hz to 70Hz, which really keeps distortion very low. Below 70Hz, his subs takeover. See them all stacked up in these photos Beyond the Ariel

However, I spend a lot of time at that thread and can’t recall anyone who uses any First Watt or Pass amp to drive the countless horn designs there. Most, if not all of them seem very happy with tube amps, many of which are very well designed, like Gary’s.

As its been months since I’ve been able to nail down what drivers to go for above the Altecs, I am eager to take suggestions from anyone here who may happen to be truly delighted with their First Watt amps driving a specific horn system. And when playing a very wide variety of music.

I have First Watt J2 and F4 amps and a pair of 12” sealed Rythmik servo subs.

Last edited by oltos; 29th June 2015 at 08:35 PM.
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Old 29th June 2015, 09:34 PM   #2
Zen Mod is online now Zen Mod  Serbia
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Papa's Koan M2 driving my secondary spks
my Papa is smarter than your Nelson !
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Old 1st July 2015, 12:26 AM   #3
anilva is offline anilva  India
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My Altec 288 with Azura horns based on Beyond Ariel design is driven by F5 and the mid/bass by F5 Turbo (Altec 515B based). Sounds terrific for me.
DIY F5, F5T, F6, Aleph J, Fostex 206 based BLH, Altec Onken with 515 LF & 288 HF, Technics SP10 MKII & EMT950 turntables
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Old 1st July 2015, 11:39 AM   #4
wdecho is offline wdecho  United States
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I have a pair of modified Klipsch LaScala's I have used 3 Firstwatt clones with. An Aleph 30 which sounded very good with no harshness and a single ended 3 stage Burning amp that was nice and smooth that I would have been very satisfied with if I had not built an F6. Right now I am using the F6 but I did change the crossover to a 1st order because the F6 shows more detail and I quickly detected some problem with my old crossover network. I am using an Altec 511b as my midrange with the original K55M driver and a after market tweeter. In my opinion horn systems are made for Class A amplifiers whether SS or tube.

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Old 1st July 2015, 08:13 PM   #5
koja is offline koja  Canada
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I remember Papa saying that F3 amp was a popular choice with horn aficionados (mind you I have no personal experience with either, horns or F3).

Last edited by koja; 1st July 2015 at 08:19 PM.
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Old 1st July 2015, 08:55 PM   #6
Botte is offline Botte  United States
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I have the csx1 driving a altec 515 and TAD 2001 combo and it sounds great.
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Old 1st April 2016, 05:51 AM   #7
plasnu is offline plasnu  United States
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Aleph 5 for Urei / JBL 813c, the last incarnation of Altec 604 based monitor.
Aleph J x3 for JBL DMS-1, pro version of K2 M9500.

Alephs are great for JBL driver. High resolution without harshness, tube like air with solid bass. I just fell in love with it when I heard it at NY audio show about 20 years ago. It's really great to see many people still love them and DIY them.
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Old 1st April 2016, 06:07 AM   #8
Rewind is offline Rewind  Sweden
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I use F5 but only for midbass. For horns I use 2A3 tubes. I want to use 45 tubes, but have not gottena round to it yet. I would like to try 45 tubes with a future F4 build. I find my dIY F5 too hard sounding compared to tubes. I hope the F7 will fix this.
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Old 2nd April 2016, 12:26 PM   #9
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Old 6th April 2016, 11:48 AM   #10
fpitas is offline fpitas  United States
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I'm using a J2 as my horn amp, with TAD TD2002 drivers on well-damped Altec 511B horns. I can't imagine a better amp for driving horns.
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