Rerurn to Romy the Cat's Site

Horn-Loaded Speakers
Topic: ... similar to what my wife would say

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Posted by noviygera on 05-16-2019
I used to have Edgar 80hz straight horns and this was my only experience with short midbass horns. I did not like them in my system and sold them. Lately, I have been wondering about these designs in general and is there such a thing as a good sounding short mb horn? What I like about this concept is the time alignment that is possible with the midrange horn of similar length but other than that, what is the idea behind such a concept and is there an optimal application for them?

All I understand is that it is not a true horn but more like a waveguide for the midrange so in this case it should have a slight advantage over direct radiator but what do people think about these and is this just a gimmick? To me, the main point "should" be to cover around 80-500hz and have some advantage over similar bandwidth direct radiator. Is there?

It is easy to say they don't work but why? Or if they do, how?

Posted by rowuk on 05-16-2019
The short horns like with the Altec are horns, but being too short and generally with a truncated mouth, they do not eq very much in the “midbass”, rather an octave or two higher. In that case, you might as well use direct radiators. The reason for a midbass horn is because the midbass is where large acoustic music has the most power requirement. Romy had the midbass horns in his last place, but seems to be getting along with his current large direct radiator solution too.
In my view, the La Grande Castine had a “manageable” mid bass and a very elegant alignment solution.

Posted by noviygera on 05-17-2019
When commenting on Musique-Concrete System, Romy wrote: "In a horn the most important category is the ratio between the mouth and throat" 

"the bass horn are dangers and it is better do not do it if they are not done properly."

Although, berried in the The European Triode Festival’s horns post:
i did find useful information to follow the evolution of one short midbass horn. 

So here is some information about the problems of short midbass horns with their fundamental flaws pointed out. It seems to be a choice to make proper long horn or if that is not possible, to use direct radiators, like a pair of 15". There is no "in-between horn".  (80-500hz)

Posted by Romy the Cat on 05-18-2019
Noviygera, yes to a degree a short midbass horns is not really a horn but some sort of waveguide or bounce-horn. A horn described, if to drop all crap out, by volume of LF equalization (boost) the horn makes. A larger trout to mouth ratio the larger LF gain, different profiles yield different LF gains and many other factors and it is not necessarily that the larger LF gain is better. I personally call an enclosure a horn if you have more than 6dB gain at mouth rate frequency. Do the acoustic enclosure that have less then 6dB gain and not qualified by my standards as “horn” have right to exist? If cause they are. It is not about the topology per se but HOW you use the topology. 
Now about my comment regarding the "bass horns are dangers and it is better do not do it if they are not done properly”. You understand that “dangers” is an allegory that describes a punitive aspect of improper implementation projected to amount of efforts. Do, turn wood, buy drivers, make the thing happen but if you do it wrongly then you have a result that is much easier to get out of direct radiators. Is it prohibitive direction to go it audio? It looks like we in high-end audio accustomed to justify any of our ordinary stupidity by our extraordinary desires...  
Sorry, for my typical philosophical soliloquy. So, what is wrong with short midbass horn? Try it, answer to yourself and then see if you can live with the answer projected to the very specific listening objectives you have. If you can make the sound you need with short horn or longhorns or whatever topology you use …  it all what counts….

Posted by noviygera on 05-18-2019
I actually had one of those horns, as I wrote in the first post. Edgar 80hz straight horn. I sold it long ago because I did not like the sound, no matter what amps I tried it with. The problem was, to me it sounded muddy, no matter what I tried, that's all I remember. Actually, I don't remember anything positive from listening to it. Also, the box was very resonant. So I came back to this topic to figure out if the entire topology is doomed or if there are in fact good sounding short horns, designs that address the issue of muddy sound that I experienced.

I don't really understand what happens acoustically, as you say "chocking effect" so I have no particular list of deficiencies to address when it comes to this short horn topology and the only obvious one is to make the box/horn extremely rigid, but that is just one variable out of the rest of unknowns to me. Knowing those unknowns would be useful to engineer a sound design. But I do not intend to shoot in the dark, specially with something as complicated.

So my first intent is to rule out a ill-fated topology if it is such, by people who have experience with these topologies. It may be in fact a sonically extremely compromised design that was born out of marketing decisions. Or not. In that case I want to find out what makes for a sonically good short midbass horn with compromises that are reasonable. Bad sound is not one of them but others may be acceptable. For example, complexity of construction is acceptable (non parallels walls). Since I need to use it up to 80-300hz, that is relatively narrow bandwidth, also acceptable.

I saw this design and thought maybe it is sort of waveguide midbass approach. Something like this can be implemented with good sounding 12" drivers, like the Vitavox or maybe less exotic even.

Has anyone experimented with such type of enclosure? Does anyone see glaring problems with such an enclosure?

Posted by rowuk on 05-19-2019
There is nothing waveguidy about this product. It is just a bunch of dead highest power drivers in a too small box with a high power DSP Amp to compensate.

If you want inspiration from PA, look up Tom Danleys company. At least he has working ears and a brilliant mind.

Posted by DorinD on 01-20-2020
First I want to say "Hello" to our host and to the other guests here.

Sorry that I interfere here, but talking about PA inspiration and using PA parts in creative mode in dinning room, I can say that for about 15 years back I was starting my interest specifically in horn speakers and kept that way.

My 3 ways horn system was kind of lab to many configurations I've tried but --till now-- the unchangeable part was a resized clone after Bruce Edgar's Show Horn. Lately, I was satisfied with the result, but somehow, a very specific situation --cello music-- shows a strange "instability" of all the system. I had no explanation of it, measurements show nothing special in the bass or midbass that could potentially be a problem. Otherwise, it plays decently on other music genres.

Seeing on eBay some empty horn enclosures used on stadiums ( ) I was wondering if that a strait midbass horn could solve my problem. I was lucky enough to get a good deal on a pair of Audac's ( ) and I committed to them. These complement the system and now, no instability could be detected in any kind of music, especially cello parts. Now especially cellos are sounding good on my system. Also the kick it brings now is fantastic compared to what was before. For me, the strait horn and the much more rigidity of this PA product compared with my DIY approach was a success. This is how it looks like now:

Best regards,Dorin

Posted by Romy the Cat on 01-20-2020
DorinD, the objective you posts for yourself was “getting best audio-reproduction realism in a dining-room with reasonable cost. And time is pretty cheap for an DIY amateur.” And I think you did very well. I do feel that investing no more then $200-$300  and to buy Bose level consumer boom box would bring better result but it would eliminate the majesty of satisfaction from own DIY endeavor. From purely conceptual pure-audio objectives I do not think we need to talk about the ways and means you chaise your best audio-reproduction realism but as to the DIY amateur-hobbits I do apply to your efforts.

Posted by DorinD on 01-20-2020
Thank you for the honest reply, it's very similar to what my wife would say if asked for an opinion :-) which is not that bad.

Posted by Romy the Cat on 01-23-2020
DorinD, I would like you to understand my response in a proper context. I did not mean to slur the audio result you are getting by equating it with $200 boom box. Well, I did but it is not the insult and from certain perspective the result I am getting is not different then $200 boom box. Your wife listening your playback feels that it is no different than a boom box and she is very right. If you had not the playback that you have but literally multi-million dollars super sophisticated installation she would be not incorrect equating it with a boom box as far as she concerned. Even if you have a super intelligently organized playback that would satisfy my most paranoid demands then she still might feel that it is not different then a boom box. And she would not be incorrect. The perception of accomplishment is reflected through the prism of perception and necessities that are clearly formulated in the minds and hearts of listeners or the playback system users. So, what I was trying to say is not that some of your system architectural decisions make your playback to sound like boom box but the depth of the objectives you exposed yourself to, those that you describe at your site, suggested me that $200 Bose radios will very much serve all that you need. Trust me, it is very much not an insult but rather a sharing an experience from a person who has a very sensible understanding regarding the matching of listening objectives with the expressive means of audio.

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