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soundNERD 2nd April 2006 03:23 PM

First horn woofer - ideas please
I'm getting really interested in different types of speakers such as horns, transmission lines, and IB speakers, and I'm actually going to be building a pair of TL speakers soon. I'd like to put together a woofer section for them using a horn loaded enclosure.

This is completely experimental - I know I'm skipping all the design steps, but I just want to begin messing around with these types of systems.

I'm planning on making my experiments based upon this design:

For the bass horn I would split it in half and have two seperate horns with 1 10" speaker per horn. My plan is to make a pair of bass horns for use in a pair of speakers I would be building.

This project is completely experimental, but what I'd like to know is if anybody can send me in the right direction towards learning how to properly design horn loaded speakers.


AndrewT 2nd April 2006 04:43 PM

decide on the lower frequency limit you want.
Then calculate the size you need and have a rethink.
Then double the frequency of your lower limit and decide if you can live with this compromised roll off for a bass horn.

Seriously, go and read the forum threads on bass and sub-bass horns. There are numerous links in there to other design sites.

For a prebuilt example look at Tannoy's Westminster Royale. They claim 18Hz in a 500l cabinet but I can't believe that they have genuinely achieved that with only a 3m long horn.
For a complete design find Tom Danley's paper on the Lab horn. About 600l, 3.2m long and 27Hz to 35Hz lower limit depending on how many / how boundary loaded.

cowanaudio 3rd April 2006 12:18 AM

Small Bass Horns
G'day Mike

Having designed and then built a few of these horns, I have a fair idea of what they will and won't do. Firstly, DON'T split the horn in half. That gives you a mouth that is way too small to be useful for anything. My suggestion would be to build a pair of these horns with a 15" driver in each. If you corner load these two horns behind the main speakers, you will get lots of high effeiciency bass to below 40Hz, in a typical room. In small rooms, I've seen this horn measure flat to below 30Hz, due to room gain. One horn outdoors has trouble getting to 50Hz, and has a lot of ripple in the response. Not sure where you live, but the Eminence Delta 15 and Jaycar Venom 15" available here in Australia are excellent performers for the $$$.


cowanaudio 3rd April 2006 12:18 AM

Driver options
G'day again Mike

Sorry I missed you were in the US. The driver of choice for you would be the Eminence Delta 15LF. If you have any others you would like to try, just feed the numbers into Hornresponse. That will give you a pretty good idea about it's performance.


soundNERD 3rd April 2006 12:47 AM

I have two 10" speakers and am not going to buy new ones.

I have no idea how good/bad horns sound so I'm not going to waste money on them. People may tell me they sound good, but I've also been told that vented boxes sound good, and I can't stand the sound of a vented woofer. It's a matter of opinion and I want to hear the sound with basic speakers.

cowanaudio - by these horns do you mean the specific ones in the link or just a generic bass horn?

What I want from the horn is a single 10" woofer per horn and the box to be just as wide as the woofer requires (so no wider than about 12" because it's going to be part of a pair of speakers and I don't want it too wide). The reason I want to try these rather than the basic sealed design is I want to increase efficiancy of the drivers and hopefully get a more natural sound with more depth.

I'm also considering a Transmission Line woofer as part of my speakers - has anyone attempted such a thing? If so, how does it sound? Have you compared it to a horn woofer?

Thanks again,

AndrewT 3rd April 2006 07:51 AM

if you are going to restict the horn mouth to about 12 inches wide, then the compromise you build in will be heard.

I suggest you either forget horns or widen that mouth substantially.

Have a look at the Pass horn. It's a monster of a back loaded horn but gives some idea of where you are aiming.

lndm 3rd April 2006 08:14 AM


Originally posted by soundNERD
I'm also considering a Transmission Line woofer as part of my speakers - has anyone attempted such a thing? If so, how does it sound? Have you compared it to a horn woofer?

Horns are a serious business. If you are to build one, you'd best be sure you don't plan to change your mind. The transmission line now has formulas and will be easier in so many ways.

hm 3rd April 2006 09:00 AM

First horn woofer - ideas please
do you know:

horns are the best is my experience!

GM 3rd April 2006 05:58 PM


Hmm, 40 Hz horns 10" wide (i.d.).......

Assuming the speakers are close enough to acoustically couple and not in corners, ergo can have 80 Hz size mouths, then they will need to be ~218" i.d. high, and even if there's enough room gain to up it to 120 Hz, they still need to be ~102" i.d.. As you shrink it to fit, its performance becomes far worse than the vented alignments you dislike.

Even a much lower gain, but still pretty efficient, TL will be much larger than what you want.


soundNERD 3rd April 2006 09:30 PM

Thanks everybody

Say I want to use the original design I linked to before with only one 10" woofer.

Common sense tells me I can at least make it a little smaller.

How much smaller can I make it for a single driver?

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