Rerurn to Romy the Cat's Site

Horn-Loaded Speakers
Topic: How Much Best?

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Posted by gordan on 04-12-2011
well, i believe that the popularity of the better fostex tweeters comes from their typical, off-shelf sound which is soft and easy on ear in comparison with super-resolunt Ti or Be diaphragm equipped competition. they very much suit any sharpness coming from the lower range solutions in the system. so why trying to change their typical sound when it's easier to select a different driver with a different sonic signature. i myself have fostex T825 and when i compared it to fane ST5020 and even 2404, they couldn't be more different in the way they render the HF, amazing difference.
going back to lowther topic. i still think they do some things amazingly well in the range of say 600-700 hz up to the first big midrange peak due to cone breakup/resonance (i think around 2k, have no graphs here), and possibly better than most of the drivers out there including plenty of compression drivers available. the speed, tone and transient energy are all good fundaments for a really good upper midrange solution, even if it is only run from approx 640 to 1280hz. in comparison, one of the (cheaper, but not really cheap) feastrex drivers we've had on loan here sounded very thin and strangely deranged (uneven, unbalanced) in comparison. apart from fetishism with anything japanese in this field and the tales of a rice paper hand pressed by 200 years old japanese virgins, i really don't understand the hype - no need to say both 5 and 9 inch feastrex were returned to factory. i would really love to hear a properly implemented lowthers in the way it avoid their inhereted and unavoidable shortcomings if used on their full range, i.e. on a very limited bandwidth where they do their very best. i too believe that all the bad mouthing lowthers get is from the myths perpetuated around them when used as a single, full range solution. however i'm afraid that the fetishists such as a guy with the above system would than rather pay some $$$$$$ for feastrex and rullit than $3000 for some PM4 which is also not cheap for using for one or one and the half octaves only. and i'm sure if he would rearrange his channels properly so the mid driver is not forced to go too low, he wouldn't hear any reasonable advantage from any rullit, feastrex or whatever is the fetish of the day over a lowther driver. my two cents.....

Posted by Paul S on 04-12-2011
Gordan, you may be aware that I have blabbed quite a bit about the Lowthers at this site.  The problems with getting the best from the Lowther are not really that different from optimizing other drivers via networks and other range-limiting strategies.  If to de-whizzer the Lowther, ease it in about 440 Hz, then roll it off at 6 bB from 2k Hz, then you would mostly get its "best", apart from the need to put a cotton ball or something in front of it to try to shape the still-jagged top end that remains.  Meanwhile, the matter of a satisfying balance of frequency response versus harmonic and transient presentation remains, and not everyone will be indefinitely satisfied with a "tamed beast".  Unfortunately, the Lowther loses much of its theorectical (and actual) appeal when targeted as a narrow-range driver.

As I have written, I have finally gone the way of notch filters + Zobel.  Despite theoretical disadvantages, this approach has gotten the most from my own Lowthers in terms of sound, and using them wide-range - with all their remaining problems - has proven a better compromise for me than further chopping up the sound spectrum with more drivers.

The Alnico Lowthers have a smoother response than the DX4, but they also lack "weight" by comparison, and IMO this is a major consideration in dealing with any of these small "full-range" drivers.  I understand that some favor horns as a "solution" to Lowther balance problems; but I can't get past the sonic issues introduced by the horns, themselves.

Maybe this post should be moved to the Lowther thread?

Best regards,
Paul S

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