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:|
| 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. |
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:|
| 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. |
| 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 CatPS: 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