Some folks from Australian audio site nominated my Macondo as the ugliest loudspeaker. I would disagree but my objective in this thread is not arguing about tastes but to talk a bit about reference points of judgments. It is irrelevant to me personally if others feel that Macondo is ugly or not – I made it for myself and I like it. Furthermore if those guys who judge speakers ugliness were a bit less intelligent in horns and try to make a multi-way horn playback to work properly then they surprisingly for themselves would end up with the…. very same Macondo design. Anyhow, the commentary of those guys about my speaker visual deficiency open an interesting subject about the beauty and ugliness of horn speakers in general.
I admit that my visuals perception of horn loudspeakers (that we familiarize ourselves from web) is very different from most of audio people. An average Audio Moron, including most likely those from Australian audio site, when they see a new horn acoustic system they sub-consciousnessly response with very few unavoidable for them limited reflexes: what is the price, how to buy it cheaper than others, where and how to steal it, is profitable for their social lives to worship or to damn the speaker. With all ridicules of this reaction it is the ONLY reaction that 95% of audio people have (among those who do did design speakers themselves). So, the views of those people about beauty and ugliness are very superficial and have zero regard to what the acoustic system is/does. It is like comparing a beauty of a young woman with an ugliness of a demolished building. I mean those categories are very different and it is not truly applicable to compare.
When I familiarize myself (visually from internet) with deferent horn loudspeakers I always try to disassemble the ideas that was behind the given acoustic system design.
The horn speakers are very simple and if to get rid in ourselves a very few common but very mistaken notions about horns then whatever is left is very straightforward. So, looking at the horns I see first a functional purpose and the ability to perform properly the functional objectives. Then I recognize how pretty and how elegant an acoustic system was implemented in respect to those objectives. To me “prettiness” is not an abstract, absentminded esthetic characteristic but an esthetic rendered with respect to what works in horns (in minimum format outlined in Macondo Axioms article).
To me, Macondo is not pretty or ugly, I do not think about it in those terms. To me Macondo is a rendering of what is properly works in horns under the given conditions and from this perspective I find Macondo is being quite elegant and graceful. Perhaps my perception of elegance and grace is ugly but it is what it is. Probably if I do Macondo from scratch I would do some things differently from visual perspective but not a lot.
From visual point of view prettiness or ugliness there are very few horns speakers that like out there. I like the Cessaro Gamma
… but there are some aspects that I do not find attractive
I very much like the idea that I have in past
… I think it was the most elegant design I have seen. Unfortunately I did not go for it and it require the MF Island to be free-standing.
Jessie’s version of MF Island is hugely attractive as it has a lot of design advantages over Macondo
… but I personally like the idea of the stand-alone horns. I guess in Jessie’s case the horns are much heavier then mine and then need to have more heavy support. Still, the idea of a “monopod tree” and the horn sticking out of the tree like tree branches is very attracts me. I did not see people explore this direction however.
It kind strange to me but when people design horns then for whoever reason try to hide the horns, making the acoustic system to look like a box loudspeaker. This is so unfortunate in my view. I very much like the idea of horns “flying away” from some kind of center of gravity and I have no idea why horn people do not capitalize upon this concept. Perhaps the B&W need to start making horns…
Anyhow, as you might expect I do not find a lot of attractively looking horns systems out there, not to mention that I do not see a lot of properly made horns systems. I would like to see interesting multi-way 4-7 channels designs with unconventional-elegant take about the MF Island’s sculpturing. I am sure there is a lot more that could be done in this direction.Rgs, Romy the Cat