What Front Horn to build?

After years of chasing the elusive and blowing money, I have come full circle and going back to horns. I’ve concluded (to my ears) that nothing beats moving large amounts of air with ease.

I’d be grateful for any advice regarding building a quality front horn system perhaps along the lines of the Edgarhorn slim line.
I am after power, slam and dynamics of course, but I cannot deal with harshness and brightness. Single driver and/or 1st order preferable but not indispensable. Compression Drivers and co-ax could be considered. Budget in the $1200 to $1500 area.

Thanks to anyone who cares to offer their opinion.

GeorgeJ
 
Hello George!

Have you tried the High Efficency board (Audio Asylum)


More hornphiles over there, and, you will get a world
of responses (Providing you are talking horns)

Bruce Edgar post frequently (High Efficency board)
along other reputable horn designers.


Oh, just for the record, one TAD Compression driver
would swallow your $1500 :devily:


Best Regards,
 
What Horns to Build?

OMNIFEX said:
Hello George!

Have you tried the High Efficency board (Audio Asylum)


More hornphiles over there, and, you will get a world
of responses (Providing you are talking horns)

Bruce Edgar post frequently (High Efficency board)
along other reputable horn designers.


Oh, just for the record, one TAD Compression driver
would swallow your $1500 :devily:


Best Regards,


Thanks for taking the time to reply. I am aware of the high prices on TAD and JBL (maybe i should go mono)
:idea:

I guess what I'm after is some starting setup that would give me quality representative sound before I commit to high price TAD's etc. I will post at some point in the High Efficency board, but after lurking here for awhile I find people here are a bit more focused and technical. For example, as good as the Single Driver site is, it seems most are looking for the cheapest possible as opposed to furthering sonic quality. Pro Sound boards do not want to hear about home systems, although I'm sure many of them have great modified home systems.

Thanks again

GeorgeJ
 
For example, as good as the Single Driver site is, it seems most are looking for the cheapest possible as opposed to furthering sonic quality.
While horns are my preferance for serious listening, I spend most of my time/energy there because IMO as a group they're the most dedicated to 'getting back to the music' that I've found on the net.

True, some are financially strapped or have different priorities (kids, etc.), but they're still seeking the most accurate performance they can afford, tweaking the el cheapo FR drivers into one or more levels of improved accuracy above what the manufacturer intended, etc.. Others, like me, that have 'been to the mountain' performance wise, now just enjoy a good challenge, with the implicit understanding that you 'can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear'.

Anyway, by my definition of 'slam', i.e. 'live' dynamics in the midbass/lower mids, only large driver compression horns or huge driver arrays will get the job done, so you can forget using FR drivers since any useful compression creates too much distortion in their mids/HF BW. Even for a second tier system, horn loading FR drivers need to be limited to >350Hz to keep distortion low since the widest dynamic range (if pipe organ music isn't factored in) is in the 250-350Hz BW.

I don't bother to keep up with what the manufacturers are doing, I assume by 'slimline' this means a folded design. If so, do a search on the HE (or any) forum for Ton Danley's (Tomservo) and W. Geiger's posts on the subject for guidelines to designing/building one. Indeed, with regard to TD, I've yet to read anything from him over the years that wasn't technically spot on IMO, and all his designs I've heard or used were outstanding performers so I recommend you study all his posts.

GM
 
Champagne tastes on a beer budget _big grin_

If it were not for the word _slam_ I would say that you were a perfect candidate for Azurahorns and Fostex FE206E.

Something I have not heard but is in your price range is http://www.ccsdana.net/mhauk/ Larry Moore and Dave Aukerman are pretty well known in the SET crowd so I'm guessing that you would have a pretty good shot with their kit.

If you started out with their kit and used the FE206E, you then would have a future upgrade path wil Lowther PM2A and AER.

As a practical matter, I don't see how you can achieve your objectives with compression drivers unless you allocate a somewhat larger budget.

However, high efficiency and low power tube amps and 8"FR front loaded horns are not what I usually associate with _slam_.


Dynamics with the 38" Azurahorns which I have are great - outstanding. So much so that I find myself listening at lower levels. Not sure about the Slam part though, maybe I don't listen to very much music that has much _slam_.

_Big Grin_

Ken L
 
As usual GM is on the money

and says it better than I did. I apparently was composing the above post as he posted - I did not see his post until I checked mine.

FWIW GM's posts are some that I am always interested in reading because as he says about Tom, his posts seem always to be _spot on_ to me.

They both seem to have a way of cutting to the heart of the matter without wandering into technical irrelevancy.

Later

Ken L
 
Originally posted by GM

While horns are my preferance for serious listening, I spend most of my time/energy there because IMO as a group they're the most dedicated to 'getting back to the music' that I've found on the net...

I agree and I follow your posts there. I hope what I said does not offend, it just that every other post seems to be about RatShack and Pioneer $15 drivers and it gets a little stagnant, not that I have extra bucks to throw around either.

Anyway, by my definition of 'slam', i.e. 'live' dynamics in the midbass/lower mids, only large driver compression horns or huge driver arrays will get the job done, so you can forget using FR drivers ...

Iv'e also come to that conclusion and hence my digging around for a new direction. By "large driver compression horns" do you mean larger than 1" or 2"? or am I completely misunderstanding you here?

I assume by 'slimline' this means a folded design. If so, do a search on the HE (or any) forum for Ton Danley's (Tomservo) and W. Geiger's posts on the subject for guidelines to designing/building one. Indeed, .... so I recommend you study all his posts.

By slimline I meant something that I can practically use in a moderate size room. Oh' if I had the space i would go nuts! I have been checking out Tom Danley's posts and others, yourself included, and learning as much as I can as fast as I can. I might end up knocking down some walls if I have to.


Thanks GM
 
Re: Champagne tastes on a beer budget _big grin_

Ken L said:
If it were not for the word _slam_ I would say that you were a perfect candidate for Azurahorns and Fostex FE206E.


Hi Ken: $1500 US beer budget?:cannotbe: Slam was not the best word to use, but basically it means to me effortles dynamics, clean and detailed transient response top to bottom, without the propensity to thin out in the upper registers when passages get loud.

Something I have not heard but is in your price range is http://www.ccsdana.net/mhauk/ Larry Moore and Dave Aukerman ...
If you started out with their kit and used the FE206E, you then would have a future upgrade path wil Lowther PM2A and AER....

As a practical matter, I don't see how you can achieve your objectives with compression drivers unless you allocate a somewhat larger budget.

You are most likely right, but i thought that maybe some of the more economical CD drivers would provide a starting point. But it appears that there is not too much good below a certain price range (i.e JBL, TAD)


Dynamics with the 38" Azurahorns which I have are great - outstanding. So much so that I find myself listening at lower levels.

Is there a URL you can point me to for the Azuras?

GeorgeJ
 
Sorry, didn't mean to be tactless, I did put a big grin behind it.

Actually, I would like to be an owner of some TAD compression drivers and horns myself - however, even used looks like several thousand dollars more than I could put into it at this time.

[email protected] is the only thing I have - Martin doesn't have a web page.

I don't know what you mean by moderate, but I believe that the Azurahorns need about a 12 x 20 ft room minimum and that may be borderline too small. I don't mean they won't work at all but I have noticed in different rooms that they need space to get the magic.

I had been doing a good bit of searching on horns and remember someone saying that this had quite a good sound - May not be one of those things that _catogorizes_ well but seems interesting.

http://www.e-speakers.com/products/cabasse-mid.html

HTH

Ken L
 

roddyama

diyAudio Moderator Emeritus
2002-01-19 9:25 am
Michigan
Hi George,

I have, in the past few months, gone from JBL 1” CD’s to TAD 4001’s. As with the older JBL LE85’s, the TAD’s and McCauley horns are used above 1200Hz to try and keep the bandpass of the drivers above their primary resonance. I could take them down lower, and have done so at times (my system is tri-amped so this is easily done), but I found I liked them crossing at the higher frequency. This also keeps them from having to reproduce below 1kHz which can be quite challenging to do well for any CD.

I have searched a long time for the “slam”, as you put it, in the area below 1kHz. Particularly below 500Hz. I am currently using dual 10” JBL LE10A’s. I figured there could just as well be a number of other very good drivers that are available that can handle the 80Hz to 1200Hz band, and still sound good (dynamics, presence, effortlessness). This is what I had so the price was right, and they do a very good job of giving me what I want (what it sounds like you’re looking for).

I looked at many different horn configuration, but horns that play down to 80Hz are to big. Not to mention the problem they will have trying to reach 1200Hz with dispersion. Crossing to the subs higher then 80Hz or so would create placement problems for the subs. This always brought me back to direct radiators.

As I look at doing better then the 10” JBL’s in this range, I found that there weren’t that many drivers that would do the job as well as the JBL’s. At least not so much better that I was willing to take the plunge. As I started to set the parameters by which I would select an alternative I found there were very few drivers that would meet my requirements. I’m pretty happy with the performance of the JBL’s. I may try a folded horn one day, but I feel it will be very tricky to make work the way I want.

I hope this helps. It’s just some of my experiences looking for the “slam”
 
Ken L said:
Sorry, didn't mean to be tactless, I did put a big grin behind it.


I didn't take it the wrong way and I did see the grin ;)

Actually, I would like to be an owner of some TAD compression drivers and horns myself ...

[email protected] is the only thing I have - Martin doesn't have a web page.

I don't know what you mean by moderate, but I believe that the Azurahorns need about a 12 x 20 ft room minimum

... searching on horns and remember someone saying that this had quite a good sound ....

http://www.e-speakers.com/products/cabasse-mid.html

HTH

Ken L

I'm at 12.5 x 21 but can add 5 more feet in lenght by knocking down a back wall. Have to check ratios etc. to determine if it's worth it. Thanks for the links and your opinions, really appreciated.

GeorgeJ
 
roddyama said:
Hi George,

..I have, in the past few months, gone from JBL 1” CD’s to TAD 4001’s. As with the older JBL LE85’s, the TAD’s and McCauley horns are used above 1200Hz to try and keep the bandpass of the drivers above their primary resonance... This also keeps them from having to reproduce below 1kHz which can be quite challenging to do well for any CD...

Hi Rod. Even the CD's that claim 500hz Fs should not be considered below 1200hz? Can the resonance be mitigated with a resonance trap filter like conventional drivers?
Was the improvement of the TAD over the JBL substantial?
...I have searched a long time for the “slam”, as you put it, in the area below 1kHz. Particularly below 500Hz. I am currently using dual 10” JBL LE10A’s.

Is your system 2 way? Since you mentioned tri-amping I can't quite picture your setup.

I looked at many different horn configuration, but horns that play down to 80Hz are to big. Not to mention the problem they will have trying to reach 1200Hz with dispersion. Crossing to the subs higher then 80Hz or so would create placement problems for the subs. This always brought me back to direct radiators.
I think I will concentrate on big direct radiators for now, coupled with CD's. I'd be happy if I hit 35hz with authority (and slam ;)). I am farting around with a scavenged 15" and a quality tweeter XO'd at around 1200hz, and have been pleasently surprised at the results.
I hope this helps. It’s just some of my experiences looking for the “slam”

Always greatful to people that take the time to help... hope i can contribute more soon...

GeorgeJ
 
Hi GeorgeJ :)

When listening to different systems...my favorites seem to use JBL compression drivers. My favorite being the 2441...but the 2440's and 2420's sound damn good too. I haven't heard any TAD's with the EdgarHorn "saladbowls"...but the JBL's and Altec's I've heard, with them, weren't harsh at all.



Rodd...you got me thinking here...two 10" JBL's and maybe a 2420 w/tractrix horn for a center to match my mains. Do you have any more info on these speakers? thanks



Love to hear what you decide to go with...
 
gonefishin said:
Hi GeorgeJ :)

When listening to different systems...my favorites seem to use JBL compression drivers. My favorite being the 2441...but the 2440's and 2420's sound damn good too. I haven't heard any TAD's with the EdgarHorn "saladbowls"...but the JBL's and Altec's I've heard, with them, weren't harsh at all.


Love to hear what you decide to go with...


gonefishing, thanks for the post. I was not aware of your thread and your project. Great work and it sure looks (sounds?) like the kind of thing I was fishing for (pun intended):devily:

Here come the questions: The JBL's 2440's are no longer available I presume? I only see the 2426 and 2446 (gulp!) on the PE website . Is the Edgar salad bowl available directly from him? Are you still happy with your rig? Is the Edgar salad bowl propietary or can one make them from plans?

I am getting dangerously close to throwing budget and caution to the wind.

GeorgeJ
 
agree and I follow your posts there. I hope what I said does not offend, it just that every other post seems to be about RatShack and Pioneer $15 drivers and it gets a little stagnant, not that I have extra bucks to throw around either.
====
Well, it did sound a bit derogatory to me. Anyway, I find the repetition no more boring than the samo-samo 943rd variant of a two way monitor using equally cheap drivers that most of the other speaker forums drone on about. At least on the FR forum they're a very pleasant/laid back bunch.
====
Iv'e also come to that conclusion and hence my digging around for a new direction. By "large driver compression horns" do you mean larger than 1" or 2"? or am I completely misunderstanding you here?
====
I'm talking 10"-15" drivers (depending on the desired BW), or multiples of, in compression horns.
====
By slimline I meant something that I can practically use in a moderate size room.
====
Then you'll have to fold up the LF/midbass and lower mids one, reducing their BW and then at least one more for the mids/HF and maybe a supertweeter horn to get a wide BW. Or use a horn such as the Altec 511 from ~500Hz-up and a multi-driver EBS cab to handle most of the bottom half of the power spectrum, though your listed budget would have to be for a single channel.

Another possibility if you have two good corners is to make pi corner horns and use a horn loaded FR/supertweeter similar to what Michael Zhang (Michaelz) did for the rest of the BW.

GM
 
GM said:

====
Well, it did sound a bit derogatory to me. Anyway, I find the repetition no more boring than the samo-samo ... At least on the FR forum they're a very pleasant/laid back bunch.

====

In looking back at what I said, I can see how it could be taken that way, but I honestly didn't intend that. And, nor do I find it boring. In retrospect, it was an unnecessary comment.

I'm talking 10"-15" drivers (depending on the desired BW), or multiples of, in compression horns...

Then you'll have to fold up the LF/midbass and lower mids one, reducing their BW and then at least one more for the mids/HF and maybe a supertweeter horn to get a wide BW. Or use a horn such as the Altec 511 from ~500Hz-up and a multi-driver EBS cab to handle most of the bottom half of the power spectrum, though your listed budget would have to be for a single channel.

Well, my budget limits were shot down in the first reply:bawling: It looks like if I want to play I gotta pay. My thoughts are going in the direction of single 15" (of which I already have two good enough to experiment) and JBL CD's, just to get going on something. The cabinetry (once I decide what) I can make at reasonable cost. Any thoughts/experience on the JBL's 2426H and 2446H and the horns that JBL makes 2370A? Like I said, forget the budget!

Another possibility if you have two good corners is to make pi corner horns and use a horn loaded FR/supertweeter similar to what Michael Zhang (Michaelz) did for the rest of the BW.

I was going to say this idea was not practical in my case, but I took a look at the sound room and with a little ingenuity it might be possible (would have to move a door and get rid of another). It would end up with the speakers about 10' apart center to center. I'm wondering about the lack of flexibility in placement though.

GeorgeJ