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Looking for thoughts on horn speaker project
Looking for thoughts on horn speaker project
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Old 29th June 2018, 05:35 PM   #1
Tjj226 is offline Tjj226
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Default Looking for thoughts on horn speaker project

I have been looking at building a pair of horn speakers for a while now. Like most things in audio, the more I research, the more confused I become : P

I grew to love horn speakers by listening to wetsern electric, altec, and the nicer klipsch stuff. Horns are very interesting because if they are done right, they sound effortless, smooth, and inviting. If they are done wrong, they sound shouty, hollow, and almost echo-y. When people say that horns have too much coloration it just means that the horn was implemented incorrectly IMO. This is the reason I am kind of gun shy to try building my own pair because there are just so many things that can go wrong very quickly.

My goal is to build a medium small vintage inspired horn speaker. Ideally I would like it to be two channels. 1 altec styled horn, 1 10-15" alnico paper cone woofer, and a port. I don't want to go crazy with multi way horn speakers because generally speaking the crazier the horn system, the less I like it. The simpler the design the better it sounds.

What are your guy's thoughts? Is this project folly? And if it isn't, does anyone know where I can source good paper cone woofers?
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Old 30th June 2018, 03:48 AM   #2
GM is offline GM  United States
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The Altec M19 is a perennial favorite with full plans available. Unfortunately the components are a bit pricey due to Altec's popularity in general and the M19 in particular.

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Old 30th June 2018, 02:51 PM   #3
Salectric is offline Salectric  United States
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A 2-way design that many of us like uses Altec 414 (12” woofer) and 802 compression driver in Altec 32 horn. Great Plains Audio can sell you new versions of the 414 and 802, and the 32 horns are available on EBay.
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Old 30th June 2018, 03:43 PM   #4
LineSource is offline LineSource  United States
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The Cornscala Style D is a popular 2-way design using a 1.4" compression driver horn and a 15" woofer.

You will find similar diy designs using all Faital speaker drivers.

You can construct cabinets similar to the Altec M19 if your favor a classic appearance.

Cornscala Style D | Critesspeakers.com
=========
TOO BIG? There are SEVERAL diy designs which use a 12" woofer and a 1" compression driver horn. The Cornscala-12 is one example of several "EconoWave" style constructions. Visit diysoundgroup.com for kits

Crites CS-1 And CS-1.5 Speaker Project | Critesspeakers.com
========
At a higher tech and higher price point, the $550 BMS 4594Nd is a 1.4" coaxial compression which covers 500-20kHz. You will find diy designs using 15" woofers with both rectangular and round horns on the BMS 4594Nd.
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File Type: jpg 2Way 12in faital.jpg (96.1 KB, 332 views)
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Old 30th June 2018, 04:08 PM   #5
hottattoo is offline hottattoo  United States
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Tjj226,

Since this is DIY, give a look at Dave's Fastlane audio wood horn kit ( Eliptrac-400 ) and build a pair- cost $299 + shipping. The kit is all CNC cut and easy to put together and finish the way you like--good down to 400hz. Dave took down his site but will still the kits--do a search. These horns have a 2" throat so you will need an adapter for a 1"driver. You can then use any of the "classic" bass, mid bass cabinet designs from Altec, JBL, EV etc. You could also add a fostex or similar tweeter if you like later. Good luck.
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Old 30th June 2018, 05:12 PM   #6
nigelwright7557 is offline nigelwright7557  United Kingdom
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I like folded horn speakers.
Must have built about 10 in my time.
The best is probably the Fane 15-300TC driver in a Fane folded horn box.
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Old 30th June 2018, 07:53 PM   #7
Tjj226 is offline Tjj226
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Salectric View Post
A 2-way design that many of us like uses Altec 414 (12” woofer) and 802 compression driver in Altec 32 horn. Great Plains Audio can sell you new versions of the 414 and 802, and the 32 horns are available on EBay.

I think this or something similar is what I will end up doing. After a few hours of searching late the other night, I saw that JE labs has a speaker like this and I have always liked his stuff. Heck most of my amps and other things are JE labs equivalents or inspired by his designs.

Plus I have heard the 414 driver before and really liked it. Over all this design just seems to be a perfect match.

My only wish is that I could get some other cheap 12 inch driver to use for testing and experimentation. The horns are cheap and robust enough that I won't be too concerned when working with them. But I have played around with some older altec paper cone stuff before and they will just disintegrate if you aren't careful.
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Old 30th June 2018, 08:08 PM   #8
freddi is offline freddi  United States
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Looking for thoughts on horn speaker project
the "Mini-punch" (2x12" - short front horn reflex hybrid) might be a fun project - Kappa 12a would probably work. It could be cut in half
for a tiny speaker with mild midrange gain over a direct radiator 12

retro vintage modern hi-fi: JWC DIY Mini Punch Kit From Fast Lane Audio
Click the image to open in full size.

Last edited by freddi; 30th June 2018 at 08:12 PM.
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Old 30th June 2018, 09:23 PM   #9
Salectric is offline Salectric  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tjj226 View Post
I think this or something similar is what I will end up doing. After a few hours of searching late the other night, I saw that JE labs has a speaker like this and I have always liked his stuff. Heck most of my amps and other things are JE labs equivalents or inspired by his designs.

Plus I have heard the 414 driver before and really liked it. Over all this design just seems to be a perfect match.

My only wish is that I could get some other cheap 12 inch driver to use for testing and experimentation. The horns are cheap and robust enough that I won't be too concerned when working with them. But I have played around with some older altec paper cone stuff before and they will just disintegrate if you aren't careful.
A pair of vintage 414 woofers in good condition will be your best bet. Personally I prefer a Jensen P15LL over the 414 so that’s another option.
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Old 30th June 2018, 10:09 PM   #10
LineSource is offline LineSource  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tjj226 View Post
I have heard the 414 driver before and really liked it.
One new GPA 414-8B Alnico speaker sells for $1230. (ebay)

Researching NdFeB vs. Alnico speaker motors, plus researching a couple "best new tech" designs could help an informed purchase decision.
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