Best horn/compression drivers for music?

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Outside of something like TAD, which horn drivers would you recommend for an all-out system?

Something that should make the Scanspeak,Usher,Vifa,Peerless drivers sound like junk!!!

Let's say your budget is less than $1000 per driver to keep it reasonable.

(Been playing with domes for years and still haven't found the magic)

I am aware of the Unity Horn, but am wanting something a little more DIY than that.
 

ScottG

Member
2003-02-04 12:23 am
US
I scanned through some threads.
Can anyone add to this list of recommended horns?

B&C DE250
Radian 745/950pb 745P
Beyma CP25 CP380 CP380M
BMS 4540 4592nd neo 4540ND
JBL Alnico 2482
18 sound ?
TAD 2001

==============================

Radian 745 1.4 in. CD'

2NDA520

Radian 950pb with the BMS 4592nd, and the Radian plays in a other league.

jbl 2405

Brient had the TAD 4001 to compare with - he sold the TAD, and kept the Radian,

Instead of the JBL slot - look to the Beyma CP25

BMS 4540 tweeter going down to 1KHz,

used both small and large format BMS drivers and have to say they really aren't my idea of high fidelity.

Beyma CP380 LINK They sound better than the big dollar TAD's to me.

CP385/Nd.

love those 755Nds I got from you Duke.

distortion of the CP380M is practically negligible and predominantly 2nd order.

BMS neo compression drivers, and I think they are excellent. I would go so far as to say that they are all but unbeatable at that price range.

I've used Selenium, B&C, BMS, Radian and JBL. Here are my opinions, FWIW:

B&C: Great value for the money, great quality control. One of my favs.
BMS: IMHO their neo compression drivers are almost unbeatable. I think this is why JBL rebrands BMS drivers. Amazing sound and value.
Radian: After hearing all the positive feedback on Radian, I bought a pair. They don't measure the same. Is this a quality control problem? I don't know, because I bought mine used. But I never bought another pair, and stick to B&C and BMS now.
JBL: Hideously overpriced. If you don't mind buying used, you can get amazing deals on Ebay. I have a set of Alnico JBL compression drivers which are to die for. I had to replace the diaphragms with Radian, but now they work great (and they match!)

only reasonable choices are:
BMS 4540ND
B&C DE250
Beyma CP380M

BMS 4540

Phenolic sounds good. I like JBL 2482 and Eminence APT series.

Other than the B&C I can recommend the TAD 2001 (expensive) or the Emilar EC175 (out of production / business) or any of the Radians. The 18 sound horns are very good! Maybe they have an inexpensive non-metallic diaphragm compression driver for them? The little BMS drivers are probably less collered than the Selenium because they are polyester.. The Beyma CP380 is VERY good

think you will like the DE10 and the 18 sound horn XT120

FWIW, the stuff I have to work with:
Lambda TD15X ( I have 3 due to a shipping accident, may get another soon)
JBL 2123H
BMS 4540ND
DDS ENG 1-90

Radian 745P 16 ohm:
2125hz -6db LR 24
 
ttan98,

Actually, the stuff below the line of ====='s in my comment was my compiled research from all the forums on diyaudio.

I was hoping someone would add to it.

I was attempting to catalog a list of any compression driver that was mentioned favorably.

I found it interesting that some people liked some drivers much better than the expensive TAD drivers.

The horns I've listened to have a sonic footprint to them. But they are so dynamic and image so well my hope was that there was something out there that was equal to or better than the best cone drivers.

I realize that the horn that you mate your compression driver with is about as important as the driver itself. So if someone has a combination of horn/driver that they think is stellar I'd like to hear about it... provided that its not thousands of dollars.

It occurs to me that since horns are generally made to produce good sound at 120db, that they are in a way over-engineered for reproducing sound at say 80db in a home.

I also like the idea that they are typically so efficient that you can use high quality Class-A amps without worrying about power consumption/heat, etc. It would be nice to use a 20-watt Class-A amp and be able to listen to loud music without a problem.
 

ttan98

Member
2006-04-04 11:24 am
Melb
Daveis,

I just placed an order for a combo of B&C comp. driver(CD) and horn from PE.

model, DE10 and the compatible horn(cannot remember the model no). This combo is cheap and x-over at 2.5Khz. Costs no more than $60 per set ie horn and CD.

If I find them a good combo I will report back. Magnetar seemed to like the DE10 very much.
 

ttan98

Member
2006-04-04 11:24 am
Melb
Daveis said:
ttan98,

I also like the idea that they are typically so efficient that you can use high quality Class-A amps without worrying about power consumption/heat, etc. It would be nice to use a 20-watt Class-A amp and be able to listen to loud music without a problem.


That is the way to go, I have similar thoughts, great mind thinks alike, ha, ha...

with global warming even a high quality class ab amplifier will be good enough.

cheers.
 

limono

Member
2007-03-02 8:04 pm
Hi
One of the best affordable comp. drivers are alnico JBL 2440 JBL 2441 .This is what Dr. Edgar is using in his Titan horns . The prices vary from $250 to $500 each used .
Also Altec 288 series is reportedly good sounding and cheaper than JBL. Used TAD's 2001 and 4003 are well within your price range.
There are quite a few horn makers nowadays and you probably want tractrix round mid-horn . Dr. Edgar salad bowl midrange horns (wood ) will set you back ~$1.2k. Some German company is selling composite horns on E-bay for decent price . Martin Seddon from Australia will make you a custom horn with LeCleach flare (Azura Horn)
IMHO there is no reason to buy any of temporary compression drivers for a DIY project as there are plenty of great vintage drivers to get.
Regards, L
 

ScottG

Member
2003-02-04 12:23 am
US
Daveis said:


What are the good 500hz on up horns out there?


http://www.azurahorn.com/azurahorn_horns.html

(..the AH-340.)

The problem you will have with such a design is integration with the tweeter - considering center-to-center driver distances.

As a "base" design, figure the Azurahorn will be above your tweeter section - aiming down toward the listener.

From 4-500 to 3 khz, I hear the Selenium D405 phenolic compression driver is excellent (..and a bargain if you can find it).;) (..do NOT look at their titanium versions.)

Here it is:

http://www.speakercity.com/Merchant...SC&Product_Code=D405&Category_Code=SeleniumCD

That B&C DE10 with an 18sound XT120 would be an excellent fairly low cost tweeter pairing with the Selenium and Azurahorn (..and likely placed at listener ear height UNDER the Azurahorn).
 

Brett

Member
2002-01-07 6:02 pm
I also have a fondness for the BMS 4590 coax CD. Done well, it's very, very good.

For 18Sound suggestions, I'll get back to you. I have some ND1090 and am going to get some 1020 later.

Something else not to forget are the Altecs, either the old ones, or new GPA manufacture.

Daveis said:
What are the good 500hz on up horns out there?
Big format Altecs, some EV's and the like. Oris and Azura, Edgar tractrix, a couple of German trax (search ebay - lost link) designs.

Depends on if you want to use a small 1 or 2" CD or a cone driver. Most of the small CD's sound pretty awful down low.
 

limono

Member
2007-03-02 8:04 pm
Also , Your best bet is 4-way for least compromise. Personally, I'd avoid full range horns
(lowther like in big front horn ) or coax compression drivers as inherently flawed "by design" ,they still may sound better than your ScanSpeak though. You may look at Avantgarde or Cesarro horns for inspiration. These are good design lines to follow. I admit that although I got into horns just recently (they are simply different audio reality than any other speaker to me ) there are not many paths to get the horn system right , actually I'd risk thesis that there IMHO is only one configuration that really works and it is Avantgarde trio, Cesarro Gamma and Edgar Titan like application .All are variation on the same theme -separate bass , Mid- bass horn , mid horn , tweeter .
I found the other to be only wishful thinking or seriously compromised solution.
Regards, L
 
In a cone system, you tend to minimize center-to-center spacing of drivers. Is this as much in issue in multi-horn systems?

Also, do any of the principals of acoustic suspension apply?
Is there any reason to build a box back to capture the back wave?
Is there much sound emanating from the backside of the horn anways?
 

Brett

Member
2002-01-07 6:02 pm
limono said:
Hypothesising based on "old fashioned " theory that proper horn is 2-3 octave device
and everything else is flawed "by design". It may sound OK but it is not horn;)
Explain how the BMS when fitted to a suitable flare is not a horn driver.
Also explain how an 8" coax with a CD fitted to a large flare like the Azura is not a horn. Ditto for the Tannoy Westminster.
 

limono

Member
2007-03-02 8:04 pm
Bret
I know that you know much more about horns than me so why do you ask :D
Azura , Oris like "horns" horn load the driver only in a narrow band maybe 300-2K the rest of it is a direct radiator compromised by horn mouths .Try to match a tweeter for such a huge horn and time align it.
What is correct size of horn for coax compression driver ? All I saw are 200Hz huge horns . My ignorant answer would be why tweeters in midbass horns under perform?
I love tannoys and won't say a bad word about them.
I would suggest the OP to try to listen a few horn systems it may not be his cup after all. People are very opinionated on this subject and he has to evaluate himself the way and solutions . My friend and sound engineer hates TAD drivers because they are supposedly "harsh & unpleasant " sounding , the other sources state that they are like glycerin carmel sounding and useless in demanding application. Some love altecs and some say they are tonally dead and all modern compression drivers are for Hip-hop clients . Go figure .
Bret I don't think I know enough to debate you on the subject. I tried "full range" horns and I know they are not for me.
Regards, L
 
You need to look at the whole system not just the horn/compression driver on it's own. Are you looking at a 2 way, 3 way or 4 way system?? That is going to influence what your "best" horn will be as well as the compression driver.

I would stick to a 1" driver for a couple of reasons. It keeps the horns small and you proabably will be able to live without a tweeter. I would look at Earl Gedde's horn as an option or some of the waveguides from other sources. I would look for a CD type and match the directivity at the crossover point.

The "best" horn is the one you like the most so go find some and have a listen.

Rob:)
 

ScottG

Member
2003-02-04 12:23 am
US
Daveis said:
In a cone system, you tend to minimize center-to-center spacing of drivers. Is this as much in issue in multi-horn systems?

Also, do any of the principals of acoustic suspension apply?
Is there any reason to build a box back to capture the back wave?
Is there much sound emanating from the backside of the horn anways?

C-T-C is always an issue, combing can create freq. response deviations. Its one reason why steep crossover filters are often used with horn systems. Of course a digital crossover can effectively "side-step" this problem in most instances.

Note that because of this issue people tend to think "co-axial" - BUT from the perspective of horn coloration at higher freq.s and extreme directivity, thats the wrong "road to travel".

Acoustic suspension applies in its own way (..though here you have the compression driver that incorporates its own enclosure). As a result there is no need for a "box".

Sound only emanates from the backside of a horn once the horn begins loosing pattern control at the lower end of its freq. response.
 
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