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  »  New  A new CES 2010 loudspeaker?..  Good idea, indeed......  Horn-Loaded Speakers Forum     15  97749  01-13-2010
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01-20-2010 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
manisandher
London
Posts 156
Joined on 09-05-2008

Post #: 1
Post ID: 12736
Reply to: 12736
Many Mani's options: My first horns
fiogf49gjkf0d

For the past few months, I’ve been looking for a solution to a problem – how to recreate through speakers the same sound that I get through headphones. Why did I embark on this quest? Well although I’m quite happy with my headphones, I miss being able to close my eyes and have at least some semblance of something happening in front of me. Also, I want my 3 month-old boy to grow up in a house full of beautiful music.
 
I’m totally bought into the idea that well-implemented horns are the way to go. But therein lies the problem – implementing horns well seems to be a life-long endeavour... one that I just don’t have the time or inclination to pursue.
 
So, I’ve listened to a couple of commercial horn systems in the past few weeks – an Avantgarde Trio with sealed sub (at the UK distributor’s home) and a BD Design Oris Swing (at the designer’s home in Holland). I was hoping to be able to write a detailed account of each (akin to a review), but I’m not sure it would be a useful exercise – in both instances the setup was flawed, in my opinion, leaving me to translate how each might sound, ‘properly’ set up, in a better room and with better ancillary equipment.
 
But I did get to hear a glimpse of ‘horn magic’ – the sound was generally ‘alive’ in a way that I’ve never heard from any ‘conventional’ speakers. But I think this ability is a double-edged sword to a certain extent. There was quite a bit of inconsistency in sound, depending on the music chosen. On both occasions, some of the music just sounded ‘grating’ – I’m not sure how else to put it.
 
So, am I rushing to place an order for one of these? Uh, no. The dilemma I face is whether, if I bought one of these systems, I could improve it to get the sound I want. I have a few ideas.
 
With the Trios, I’d want to use a multi-amp setup. I’m not sure what sort of crossovers it uses, but I’d want to experiment, in the first instance, with active 1st-order (using the Pass XVR1s I already have) and also with time-aligning the drivers to the listening position. I’d also want to use single-ended amplifiers. Although I’m totally bought into Romy’s DSET idea, I think I’d start with SS in the guise of something like the First-Watt J2 (2 units per channel to give a 4-way system). I wouldn’t bother with the Avantgarde sub but rather get something else made up for me using low-mass 15-inch drivers being driven by a J2 channel.
 
The Swings would be a little more difficult to play around with (I think). My feeling is that Bert has spent a long time optimising everything so that he can get a setup that shouldn’t theoretically work, to actually work quite well, in my opinion. (A little like the boys at Porsche did to get an engine hanging out of the back to work well!) I’ve no idea what he’s done to get such short horns to ‘work’, but I suspect there’s a lot of jiggery-pokery going on ‘under that hood’. I have no idea about crossovers or equalization. One thing I do know though, and am concerned about, is his use of built-in Glainclone amps for the bass horn. This extends up to 270Hz, covering, in my opinion, much of the ‘life’ of the music. Maybe it’s just a psychological thing, but I just don’t want Gainclone amps in the signal path.
 
So, what am I left with? Well... no horns, for now. Remember, we’re talking $30-$50K for each system. So firstly, I need to be convinced that I’d have a good chance of getting the sound I want. And I’m just not sure how to proceed on this front.
 
Meanwhile, I’ve bought a used pair of AKG K-1000s headphones, and am driving them directly by my Berning 300B. These can be angled forward, providing 30-40dB of interaural crosstalk and actually work very nicely. What I love is the simplicity of this setup – one amp, one driver and no crossovers or equalization.
 
If only life were as simple with speakers!
 
Mani.
01-20-2010 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,067
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 2
Post ID: 12737
Reply to: 12736
Aim
fiogf49gjkf0d
Mani, my first thoughts were questions, whether you want to fill the room "like headphones fill your head" or you want to aim the speakers right at your ears and "do the mixing inside your head, like headphones".  These are two mutually exclusive approaches, and you don't want to get too far along before you decide which way you want to go.

One of the (many) things I was not able to do with horns was to properly "load" the room.  Of course, my limited experience tells nothing about whether this can be done, but it does tell me that the "aimed at the ears" approach is do-able with horns.  Once you decide which route to take, then you can begin to refine the sound you'd like aimed directly at your ears or loading your room.

Best regards,
Paul S

01-20-2010 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
coops
London, United Kingdom
Posts 115
Joined on 02-16-2007

Post #: 3
Post ID: 12738
Reply to: 12736
Time alligned
fiogf49gjkf0d
Are the Trios not time alligned already?
01-20-2010 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,327
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 4
Post ID: 12739
Reply to: 12736
It is very simple and it is very complicated.
fiogf49gjkf0d

 manisandher wrote:
For the past few months, I’ve been looking for a solution to a problem – how to recreate through speakers the same sound that I get through headphones.
I very much applaud to the desire to have speakers that do not sound worse than headphones. Of course headphones and loud speakers have different presentation but the TYPE of the sound your speakers and your favorite headphones do shall be very much the same.

 manisandher wrote:
I’m totally bought into the idea that well-implemented horns are the way to go. But therein lies the problem – implementing horns well seems to be a life-long endeavour... one that I just don’t have the time or inclination to pursue.
It is not necessary that well-implemented horns are the way to go. I do believe into the well-implemented horns but it is my own conviction that has nothing to do with others. Audio people constantly make mistake by associating successes or failures in audio with specific brand, model or topology. The reality is very far from it. The successes in audio are from realization and understanding- it is coming from the head of a listener, not from equipment in his/her room. The selection of the equipment and the ways how the equipment performs is just a reflection of sound in the person head. Without a firm identification of that sound in hear it is irrelevant what horns, direct radiators or electrostatics would do in a listening room. The well-implemented horns or well-implemented anything … they are just tools; they are like colors that still need to be used by an artist to become a beautiful painting…..
 
 manisandher wrote:
So, what am I left with? Well... no horns, for now. Remember, we’re talking $30-$50K for each system. So firstly, I need to be convinced that I’d have a good chance of getting the sound I want. And I’m just not sure how to proceed on this front.
 
Well, it is hard to say. My observation that first “serious” speaker like a first cartridge – regardless what it is you will destroy it. I think instead if asking me or anybody else about the advantages or disadvantages Avantgardes, Swings or any other $30-$50K pre-caned speakers you need to develop your own prime for your future playback. What do I mean? I mean instead so going for a playback that would do “everything” (it realty it might do nothing) you might start from a cheap playground playback in context of which, you can model what you like and where you might be able to find something upon which you might what to capitalize in your future full-scale, larger playback.

If I were in your situation and if I was insisting in horns then I would make a small 2 ways $1000-$2000 configuration. Something very flexible, very inexpensive what I would model as I wish. Let take for instance a ported enclosure with Altec 416 drivers, aka Altec 19, Altec 5/7, RCA LC-9A and alike. The Altec 15” are good driver and they are cheap. This bass enclosure will fill a room with all possible noises, they are very far from perfect but they  are OK and they are well less annoying then the most of the speakers for $30-$50K would do. You can get Altec 19’s bass section for $1000 or less. It not supposes to be Altec 19 – there are zillion home brewed designs around the Altec 416 ported drivers. The key in here is to kill sub 700Hz region with a single hit from a more or less good vintage driver and do not pay for it more than $1000.  Then you can get some kind 250Hz -350Hz horn and would load it with whatever driver you like. Soon or later you will find the one that you appreciate. The MR horn would cost a few hundred dollars, the MF driver would cost more but you will buy it ONLY if you have very own reason to lake them. Eventually if you would like you will be able to expend your playback around what you like in your sound and be able to capitalize on what you feel is importation for you.

You see, my definition of High-End Audio is deferent then most of the people. People feel that High-End Audio is when they go to Bert Doppenberg from BD Design or to Holger Fromme from Avantgarde Acoustics and learn something from their speakers.  To me it sounds ridicules! High-End Audio is when a person goes to BD Design or Avantgarde Acoustics and to educate them how sound shall be and BD Design or Avantgarde Acoustics are trying to fulfill this demand. If they are not structured or not able to do it then I see no use from them in High-End Audio. If I hire a contractor to paint my house to rearrange pluming then who dictate conditions: me or my contractor? The High-End Audio is accustomed to deal with idiots and truly it is not so difficult to please an idiot. So, the bottom of it is that acoustic system is not a CD player or a better capacitor and there are a lot of active dependencies and conditions in there.  If I intend to spend $50K for acoustic system then I would ask myself how important for me that I will be getting for my $50K and how what I will be getting will reflect what I need.

Honesty, I do not feel comfortable to advance one of another direction or topology in speaker in this none-specific case. You might talk with somebody who like you started from scratch. In this site you will see op9, Jessie, me - to name a few who built own sound. Was it worth it? Hard to say – financially and time-wise I would say that probably it was not. You can do it ONLY of you have own interest to do it. If you do not have the interest in the PROCESS and would like to get result then probably it is better to hire help or to go for off-the-shelf solution. The twist in it is that I personally never was able to appreciate or understand Result until I went over the ceremony of conceiving of the result. It is not for everyone. Some people can get “it” buy own talents or whatever. Some people just think or just claim that they “get” it. I am not one of them. It never was easy for me and it looks like I away needed to make my share of mistake and faulty realizations in order to eventually recognize “how it shall be“.  I very much not at the delusion that the results I get or anybody else get are some a kind of “final stage” of realization. But the “final assessment” is absolutely irrelevant to me as I do not compete with anything beside my own interest to play with my own realization

So, in context of above, when you think about your playback then you need to ask yourself:  what is your interest? If you just looking for sound in family room then there zillion opportunities and I do not see why horns, DSETs of any other “PandoraBox-type” of solution needed to be rendered in there. To your son (who will be growing around your playback) will be absolutely irrelevant if it will be 6-way multi-amped horns or a table radio boombox. In fact if it will be boombox then we will have more money for dentist, school lunches, collage, and more time spent with his dad.  If you insist in well-implemented horns then you need to give to yourself a very clear definition of what you are looking and how much you are willing to sacrifice for it. It might be a pain-in-ass journey or a fun ride – it all depends from what are your interests.  Life is what we sell to ourselves….

The Cat

PS: I edited the name of the thread to make it less generic


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
01-20-2010 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
nietzscheflake


Wastelands of former federated democracy
Posts 2
Joined on 02-14-2009

Post #: 5
Post ID: 12740
Reply to: 12739
A journey of a thousand channels begins with four driver
fiogf49gjkf0d
Romy says:
"Then you can get some kind 250Hz -350Hz horn and would load it with whatever driver you like"

manisandher wrote: "For the past few months, I’ve been looking for a solution to a problem – how to recreate through speakers the same sound that I get through headphones. "

I am also thinking about how to get that headphone sound in my house and am contemplating the horn route(no boutique gear for me it will have to be diy) I have researched and think these drivers might be an good starting point for midrange http://professional.celestion.com/pro/products/cdx/detail.asp?ID=9  Of course there might be "more interesting" things out there.
On the other hand That fucking John Cage's ideas are in my head-Maybe I'll pick up a mic and  digital recorder and go find some street musicicians Smile
P.S sorry for the clunkiness of the post


"Beethoven was wrong"-John Cage
01-21-2010 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,327
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 6
Post ID: 12741
Reply to: 12740
How it might sound in your application…
fiogf49gjkf0d

 nietzscheflake wrote:
I am also thinking about how to get that headphone sound in my house and am contemplating the horn route…

It ‘s fine but never forget that the imitation of headphones sound is NOT something that need to be targeted by your acoustic systems.

 nietzscheflake wrote:
  I have researched and think these drivers might be an good starting point for midrange http://professional.celestion.com/pro/products/cdx/detail.asp?ID=9  Of course there might be "more interesting" things out there.

Perhaps, I do not know this driver. Generally pure titanium  might be a bit “hard” sounding driver for home use. What you need to look is how that titanium diaphragm is suspended. JBL in past came up with own “diamond” metal suspension, and they later use solidifyable damper over the titanium diaphragms - I was not a huge fan of it. I like when titanium diaphragm, or any other metal diaphragm by suspended in semi-soft spider:  plastic or polymer for instance. The driver you mentioned uses polyimide suspension. Polyimide is one of the plastics, so it shell somehow subdue the typical titanium nastiness. How good it works all together – who knows… I am sure that the people who design this driver do not really know how it might sound in your application…

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
01-21-2010 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Saturntube
Posts 24
Joined on 07-08-2005

Post #: 7
Post ID: 12742
Reply to: 12741
Smaller driver
fiogf49gjkf0d
http://professional.celestion.com/pro/products/cdx/detail.asp?ID=4
This driver looks interesting, it has aluminum diaphragm and neo magnets, it doesn't specify if it has a plastic suspension though.
01-21-2010 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
el`Ol
Posts 225
Joined on 10-13-2007

Post #: 8
Post ID: 12743
Reply to: 12741
Titanium nitride
fiogf49gjkf0d
Titanium diaphragm drivers that are completely free of the titanium nastiness (you can believe me, I usually show strong allergic reactions to it) are the Eighteensound drivers with titanium nitride coating. I heard one in the Duevel Sirius.
01-21-2010 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Saturntube
Posts 24
Joined on 07-08-2005

Post #: 9
Post ID: 12744
Reply to: 12743
Beryllium anyone
fiogf49gjkf0d
Then there is this:

http://www.truextent.com/about.phtml
01-22-2010 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,327
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 10
Post ID: 12746
Reply to: 12743
The “made for sound” drivers….
fiogf49gjkf0d

 el`Ol wrote:
Titanium diaphragm drivers that are completely free of the titanium nastiness (you can believe me, I usually show strong allergic reactions to it) are the Eighteensound drivers with titanium nitride coating. I heard one in the Duevel Sirius.

el`Ol,

again, I think we make a strategic mistake, attributing applying accidental experience as a foundation for some kind of general rules. The Duevel Sirius is VERY different type of speaker where high frequency is being lost a LOT for omni- directivity. Remember in CD horns we need to EQ HF as with conventional drivers juts because the dispersion is unproportionally wide for HF? In case of Duevel Sirius it I not CD directivity but fully omni – it has even more natural HF lost. So, I do feel that for them to use brittle HF driver, or even the drivers with typical titanium resonances at 20K -30K would not be a big deal as they would be severely deferred by HF lost, not to mention that they would dampen but the throat reactance of omni-horn.

I did not use the titanium nitride cones; they might be different from regular titanium domes. From what I have seen I more prefer the titanium domes imbedded into plastic. Saying all of it I would like to note that titanium itself is not a problem. The problems that very seldomly, if ever people design titanium application with respect to sound, they rather design drivers with respect to theories. I am very sure that if people design drivers with respect to sound then no matter what kind materials of diaphragms would be the driver will out the same sound.  It would be different use of the diaphragms but the sound would be the same. We do not have it. We have a driver and we begin to load it with diaphragms of the different materials and we have different sound. So, we attribute that sound to this material. This is wrong as we need to attribute not the material to sound but rather the given application of the material to the sonic results. We do know how for instance identical aluminum and titanium domes behave in the same driver. But we forget to acknowledge that the aluminum can not be unpunishably substituted with titanium in the same driver because if a driver is “made foe sound” then such a change would destroy very fine and very intricate diaphragms/damping/loading balance…

Romy the Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
01-26-2010 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
el`Ol
Posts 225
Joined on 10-13-2007

Post #: 11
Post ID: 12777
Reply to: 12746
False tranparency
fiogf49gjkf0d

To my ears the Duevel Sirius has some kind of false transparency I also know from The Focal titanium tweeters, so maybe there are metal artefacts, but I didn't find if painful or annoying. Nevertheless, I find this is an unnecessary gimmick, so my next project will have a BMS driver.

02-06-2010 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
manisandher
London
Posts 156
Joined on 09-05-2008

Post #: 12
Post ID: 12868
Reply to: 12737
Loading the room
fiogf49gjkf0d
 Paul S wrote:
Mani, my first thoughts were questions, whether you want to fill the room "like headphones fill your head" or you want to aim the speakers right at your ears and "do the mixing inside your head, like headphones".
Hi Paul,

My objective is definitely to load the room. I already have a pair of headphones that I really like and don't see the need to 'amplify' this effect with horns.

You say that you were never able to load the room with horns - this doesn't bode very well for me then...

Mani.
02-06-2010 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
manisandher
London
Posts 156
Joined on 09-05-2008

Post #: 13
Post ID: 12869
Reply to: 12739
No new horns... for now.
fiogf49gjkf0d
 Romy the Cat wrote:
The well-implemented horns or well-implemented anything … they are just tools; they are like colors that still need to be used by an artist to become a beautiful painting…..
I see where you're coming from, but I can't help but feel that you simply cannot bypass the physics here. Look, I bet it would be possible to design a front-engined, front-wheel-drive car that could match the lap-time of a similar-powered mid-engined, rear-wheel-drive car around the Nurburgring. But, I refuse to believe that the former could be made to feel and handle the same as the latter - the physics simply will not allow it.

 Romy the Cat wrote:
I mean instead so going for a playback that would do “everything” (it realty it might do nothing) you might start from a cheap playground playback in context of which, you can model what you like and where you might be able to find something upon which you might what to capitalize in your future full-scale, larger playback.
Yes, I think this is the way forward. I will keep an eye out for anything that looks remotely interesting. Meanwhile, I have set up my old DR speakers in my new (actually, 125 years old... but you know what I mean) house. The sound that I'm getting is surprisingly listenable with all genres bar classical, which I tend to listen to on my headphones.

Thanks for all the ideas, but I doubt I'll make much progress for a while - there's simply too much else going on in life right now, and it seems that dipping into the world of horns is not something to be taken lightly...

Mani.
03-26-2010 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
manisandher
London
Posts 156
Joined on 09-05-2008

Post #: 14
Post ID: 13225
Reply to: 12869
The journey continues... on to Germany!
fiogf49gjkf0d
I'm planning on visiting the High End Show in Munich in May (www.highendsociety.de/english/highend/highend.php). It looks like this might be a great place to actually hear a lot of commercially available horns in one place... and perhaps even one that I really like...

Mani.
03-28-2010 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
el`Ol
Posts 225
Joined on 10-13-2007

Post #: 15
Post ID: 13228
Reply to: 13225
Not the best show this year
fiogf49gjkf0d
No Blumenhofer, no Duevel, no Martion, no Odeon.
Not a horn, but no Analysis either.
Listen to the Goebel if you are interested in injection.
I won't be there this year.
03-28-2010 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Stitch


Behind The Sun
Posts 222
Joined on 01-15-2009

Post #: 16
Post ID: 13229
Reply to: 13228
High End 2010 in a extra Hotel too
fiogf49gjkf0d
Some Manufacturers are not in the regular High End Exhibition Show.

They choose the rooms in a Hotel 10min away from the HE Show.You can find them here:

Fleming's Hotel München Schwabing
Leopoldstraße 132 - 134
80804 München



Kind Regards
Stitch
03-28-2010 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
el`Ol
Posts 225
Joined on 10-13-2007

Post #: 17
Post ID: 13230
Reply to: 13229
Around the corner
fiogf49gjkf0d
Martion usually only had a stand at the regular show and their system playing around the corner in a home for old people, but as they have no stand this year they have probably redrawn from Munich. You would have to mail them.
04-03-2010 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
el`Ol
Posts 225
Joined on 10-13-2007

Post #: 18
Post ID: 13253
Reply to: 13230
Stax
fiogf49gjkf0d
And as a headphone addict go to the Stax stand first and last to have a reference.
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   Target    Threads for related reading   Most recent post in related threads   Forum  Replies   Views   Started 
  »  New  A new CES 2010 loudspeaker?..  Good idea, indeed......  Horn-Loaded Speakers Forum     15  97749  01-13-2010
  »  New  Barn Conversion - James' Project..  The vintage vs. contemporary compression driver....  Horn-Loaded Speakers Forum     28  202815  02-04-2007
  »  New  Macondo's Axioms: Horn-loaded acoustic systems..  No wonder...  Horn-Loaded Speakers Forum     72  323187  07-29-2007
  »  New  My Multi-way Horns..  Faital chamber/ratio...  Horn-Loaded Speakers Forum     8  74220  11-29-2009
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