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12-11-2005 Post mapped to one branch of Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 1
Post ID: 1862
Reply to: 1862
The IDEAL horn system

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I would like to dedicate this thread to sharing views about a theoretically ideal, ultimate horn system. What would it be?

Am NOT talking about the typical wishful thinking when people publicly drooling what they would do it they have larger rooms or more money. I more interested in motivations, reasons, justification… and all of it bounded to conclusions and the reality of practical sound reproduction by the horn lorded loudspeakers.

So, if no compromises allow and we did build our virtual ideal horn system… then how far we are from the ideal horn system? Any brainstorming and any "obnoxious" ideas are welcome.

Rgs,
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
12-11-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
MochaMike
Posts 3
Joined on 11-04-2005

Post #: 2
Post ID: 1864
Reply to: 1862
Re: The IDEAL horn system
 Romy the Cat wrote:

I would like to dedicate this thread to sharing views about a theoretically ideal, ultimate horn system. What would it be?

Am NOT talking about the typical wishful thinking when people publicly drooling what they would do it they have larger rooms or more money. I more interested in motivations, reasons, justification… and all of it bounded to conclusions and the reality of practical sound reproduction by the horn lorded loudspeakers.

So, if no compromises allow and we did build our virtual ideal horn system… then how far we are from the ideal horn system? Any brainstorming and any "obnoxious" ideas are welcome.

Rgs,
Romy the Cat


A stereo three way horn system with a dual concentric 15" woofers backloaded to 50 cycles and front loaded  with a  short round tractrix horn  200-800 cycles handed off to the  concentric  2"  compression driver loaded with it's own round short conical horn with a series network.  Below  50 cycles self driven 1/8th space horn subwoofers in mono with 18"  high BL drivers.   Surely you will find this barbarian and obnoxious but it does offer many attractive virtues over a four or five way array - LOL 

Added By Romy in a few weeks: The user turned out to be Mike Bates (know as Magnetar at AA). This humane waste is not alowed at my forum and therefore since I learned who it was the MochaMike is no more.
12-11-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 3
Post ID: 1865
Reply to: 1864
The ideal dual-concentric horn instalation.

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 MochaMike wrote:
A stereo three way horn system with a dual concentric 15" woofers backloaded to 50 cycles and front loaded  with a  short round tractrix horn  200-800 cycles handed off to the  concentric  2"  compression driver loaded with it's own round short conical horn with a series network.  Below  50 cycles self driven 1/8th space horn subwoofers in mono with 18"  high BL drivers.   Surely you will find this barbarian and obnoxious but it does offer many attractive virtues over a four or five way array

I do not find this idea barbarian but rather very clever. The biggest problem with dual concentric sound is thier mix of dipoleness at upper bass and all of those vintage Tanoys sound consequentially…The problem might be cured high-passing of the direct radiator channel with high order filter, it un-tight the direct and back loaded channels but it unfortunately introduce all problem of high order filers into the direct high-passed channel, making it very amusical. What you suggest is quite interesting: to load the direct cone of the dual concentric with short round tractrix horn. This is defiantly a very witty! By loading the direct cone with a horn we introduce a perfect acoustic high pass and we could dial in the exact cut off where the back loaded channel would take over confidently. Defiantly this idea does offer many attractive virtues. Did anthology ever did anything like this?

I ask if anyone did it because there are some native problems entrench into this approach. The first would be throat of that direct 15 cone. If it were too large, for instance 12”-15” then the horn would not attenuate the lower knee, as it would be too undersized. If to drive the throat lower and to make the horn slightly longer then following problem would kick in:

1) Inside this horn would be small horn of the HF dual concentric and with the smaller throat of the outer horn it’s presents would be too tangible.
2) The longer horn would produce a higher throat reactance but since the drive is back-loaded into own horn it is unknown how it would behave without our ability to damp the cone with a back chamber.

Theoretically, if to tune the reactance of the direct horn and the back horn (by adjusting the throat diameters, I do not see any other ways to do in this setting) and make the driver to sound well under this condition then it would be possible to get a phenomenally interesting result. The problem is that by changing the throats we need to change the length of the horn… I really do not know how a person could research his subject and fine un optimal seating in this case. I know that if one would go over it and do tune this into something that perform well then it would be truly a peaces of loudspeakers art. The only question would remains: how optimum that optimum would be… :-) Still, This conceptual idea is very-very much worthy, from my point of view, to run for the ultimate horn setup.

The only point of objection that I would like to bring is your proposal for the bottom octave. The Audio propaganda conceived and convinced the audio people that bass is non-directorial and might be implemented as a mono solution. It is a very-very mistake vision! Bass MUST be completely separated by right and left channels ….all the way down. No mono bass must be used.  Yes, one more…defiantly bass should not be the “self driven”… :-)

Rgs,
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
12-11-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
slowmotion


Oslo, Norway
Posts 60
Joined on 07-22-2004

Post #: 4
Post ID: 1866
Reply to: 1862
Re: Uncoherent thoughts about IDEAL horn systems...
Hi

Some loose thoughts.....

A system where each amp-driver-horn-room interface are designed to work together as a unit in their respective frequency bandpass...

They each have to be optimized to work in their respective bandpass,
but at the same time we would have to combine them into a functional system.

The horn should ideally load the driver uniformly in the passband.

The horn-driver combination should ideally be designed to be used only
in the least reactive part of the passband, which realisticly would mean
that we would probably have to set the crossover 1 to 2 octaves higher than the horn cutoff frequency.

To keep the distortion low, the passband would probably have to be restricted
to 2-3 octaves per horn.

It would be nice if we could find a way to make the horisontal dispersion
as uniform as possible through the frequency range for the whole system.

We would have to find a way to compensate for the different length of the bass and treble horns, since the system would probably end up as 4 or 5 way.

The system should be able to reproduce sound levels up to at least 120dB
in the listening room without strain uniformly from 20 to 20K Hz .

As i said ; this is just some loose thoughts from the top of my head.
Feel free to comment or critisize Wink

cheers Wink
12-11-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 5
Post ID: 1867
Reply to: 1862
The Cat's view....

Here is my proposal for an ideal horn system. The concept derives from the really of the horns as I know them, the available park of the drivers, the drivers’ real capacity and from… everything else that I might comment upon if you would not figure out where I was coming from…

110dB multi-channel installation, multi-amping with identical two-stages SET amplifiers, with each amp optimized for own channel. Here are the channel from top to bottom

1) HF channel. A120dB-sensitive hemispheric array of compression drivers, with a dispersion approximately 180° x 230°, sitting deep in the transition slop. First order high-pass.
2) Upper MF channel. A soft magnet compression driver with severely meticulous phase plug, taking out of the driver all that it’s 2’-4’ would be able to give. Response from 13K to 1.2K. First order high-pass. 550Hz spherical horn.
3) Lower MF channel. A soft magnet driver with no phase plug. Response from 150Hz to 1.2K. First order band-pass. 120 Hz spherical horn.
4) Upper bass channel.  A single driver of Fs 40Hz loaded into 45Hz horn. Response, floor coupled, - 45Hz to 150Hz. Diagonal horn spreading.
5) LF channel. A line array of the entire room height with individually sealed enclosures featuring 18” underhand with Fs of 11Hz. The array should be positioned outside the upper bass channel.

Interestingly that having a sufficient amount of space (many of lofts that I have seen or juts the homes/apartments with open floors layout) to position such an installation alight the horn naturally would not be a big deal.

As the shortcoming of this I can see only size and space. Also, it is not clear what amplification might be used for bass channel.  If it were a tube amp, then should be a SET and to use the same driver and the same linestage coupling principle as the rest amps but it might use a different output tube stage.  For instance some of those high voltages transmission tubes with 400-500W plate dissipation. With 2-4 drivers of 99dB sensitivity 200W of SET power should be enough to drive the LF channel in the room of that size.

Rgs,
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
12-11-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
MochaMike
Posts 3
Joined on 11-04-2005

Post #: 6
Post ID: 1869
Reply to: 1866
Re: Uncoherent thoughts about IDEAL horn systems...
You have identified the tricky parts -the transistion between the front and back horn as well as the throat  of the front tractrix horn.  A one to one throat with the front horn works best with my coaxials and a short 1.25" straight 'ring' at the throat is required to improve the lower end of the front wave response by a half octave. The back chamber is tricky and in my system I find a tapered transmission line with 7 liters of volume lined with felt to a 560 cm2 round throat and the back horn is quite enjoyable. Maintaining a near point source with 105 db sensitivity 50-16k was the goal. The coaxial is the Beyma 15DX. It is OK as a direct radiator but when properly horn loaded it blossoms

Bass below 60 cycles? The front mono hornsubs are also used with nearfield direct radiator stereo subs placed to the sides and behind the main listening area. The side subs are delayed and driven with their own amplifier. Setup correcty (not too difficult) the room sound much larger in the bass and the low end matches the rest of the system in sheer size and power.

Added By Romy in a few weeks: The user turned out to be Mike Bates (know as Magnetar at AA). This humane wast is not alowed at my forum and therefore since I learned who it was the MochaMike is no more.
03-11-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
CO
Posts 37
Joined on 11-18-2005

Post #: 7
Post ID: 2183
Reply to: 1867
Re: The Cat's view....
 Romy the Cat wrote:

1) HF channel. A120dB-sensitive hemispheric array of compression drivers, with a dispersion approximately 180° x 230°, sitting deep in the transition slop. First order high-pass.



Hi Romy,

Why such a wide angle? To keep the highs evenly spread and match to the angles of other chanels ofcourse but this will call for much more attention to room setup/treatment.

Wouldnt this also lose some of the horn magic by letting the playback room "mix" with the recording.
Alot of the benifits i have attributed to horns is because of the narrow directivity they posess. At lower frequencies the directivity is always less ofcourse so i can understand why.
Perhaps you see this wide angle setup only restricted to a large space?

Regards,

Collin
03-11-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 8
Post ID: 2186
Reply to: 2183
Re: HF hors of narrow directivity

 CO wrote:
Why such a wide angle? To keep the highs evenly spread and match to the angles of other chanels ofcourse but this will call for much more attention to room setup/treatment.

Wouldnt this also lose some of the horn magic by letting the playback room "mix" with the recording.
Alot of the benifits i have attributed to horns is because of the narrow directivity they posess. At lower frequencies the directivity is always less ofcourse so i can understand why.Perhaps you see this wide angle setup only restricted to a large space?
Collin,

I do not attribute to hors any specific “magic”, Horns have some advantages but it has nothing to do with “magic”. Also I do not attribute anything positively to narrow directivity of horns, quite opposite: the wider dissipation diagraph we have the more interesting result would be. Partially I do not like the narrow dissipation at HF. Those compression tweeters with ultra high directivity and phase plugs that terminated with a heddle point are particularly horrible. It is also difficult to build arrays with those drivers as with angle then we have all kind of phases problems (it is how some Japanese manufactures time-align them) That all boils down to what you want to make a source of your sound: your speakers of your room. In order to “turn a room on” you might need a defused and non-directional HF. There are many other aspects: wider dissipation = lower depth of hors, that it very beneficial (unnecessary) for HF; better MF-HF integration, wider listening space, more natural reverberation radiuses when listening is off the “sweet spots” and many other thighs…

Rgs,
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
03-11-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
slowmotion


Oslo, Norway
Posts 60
Joined on 07-22-2004

Post #: 9
Post ID: 2187
Reply to: 2186
Re: narrow directivity ?
But not everyone agree with you there, Romy.

If I could make the directivity reasonable constant through the frequency range....all the way down....

An array of tweeters is the last thing I would do....


cheers Wink
03-11-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 10
Post ID: 2188
Reply to: 2187
Re: disagree with myself ...

 slowmotion wrote:
But not everyone agree with you there, Romy.

If I could make the directivity reasonable constant through the frequency range....all the way down....

An array of tweeters is the last thing I would do.... 
I disagree with myself about is as well and an array of tweeters is the last thing that did try. I can not say that I had success but I presume if more afforts would be spent in this direction then a "success" might be accomplished.   Remind you that we are talking not about a specific implementation but about the conceptual objectives. I proposed the hemispheric array because I do not know any other ways to get a wide dissipation from a  wide-size–source of ~120dB sensitively. I still do not have a clear picture what I would like to see at HF  the “ideal horn systems”. It is possible that it should not be a HF horn at all…

Rgs,
Romy


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
01-18-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Dominic
Montreal, Canada
Posts 69
Joined on 08-23-2006

Post #: 11
Post ID: 3514
Reply to: 2188
there would be two
one would take full advantage of what can be done in the digital domain so that the horn mouths could be arranged, not for time but to clean up their other interactions. This would be digital the entire way, solid state music files, digital amplification and crossover, preferably in isolated compartments of the same box(for compactness) with signal correction between them. (tube power supplies?) There would of course be one line of tailored amplification per driver. As far as the horns go, at this very week day hour and minute, i'm not sure what would take best advantage. Most likely the sub would be a full front horn, mostly because i would want to keep the air coupling rigid and to maximise transient headroom. It's definitley barbaric in the old school sense - bigger hammer, could potentialy go far too loud for anyone. The midrange area would possibly be anchored by a 100hz horn. With higer mids coming from a short ~350 horn and the HF would preferably be something non dirrectional like an ionic. My main goal concerning how it would be split up would be to put the fundamentals that are important to me at the same point source. Most of the pattern control would be dealt with in the room design. I'm interested in contrast between pieces of music and the different ways artists try to get their message across but without treating technically inferior recording or mastering, or even playing techniques as seccond class citizens. So somehow it would have to grummble the right way at certain compressed pieces while still showing the many colours of very dense and very loud music as well, and other such things. In some ways it should be very highly capable.

The acoustic design of the ideal all analog system is much trickier, you know all the reasons.
I like the timing you get with single horn coaxial setups like Danley's Unity, or Bert's Orphean. IF one could build the driver section so it could work, i think the ideal might be something like a 60 or so (probably horn loading to 70ish) pure expansion, with some sort of constant directivity but magically non-refracting horn coincident with the bass driver that would start maybe in the 150 region which would, like the EAW coax, allow the lower frequency information to pass through.
01-19-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 12
Post ID: 3519
Reply to: 3514
"Horn's other interactions"...?

 Dominic wrote:
….one would take full advantage of what can be done .. so that the horn mouths could be arranged, not for time but to clean up their other interactions.

Dominic, care to explain what would be and what would it mean?

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
01-19-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Dominic
Montreal, Canada
Posts 69
Joined on 08-23-2006

Post #: 13
Post ID: 3521
Reply to: 3519
refraction
I'm thinking mostly of how a higher fq. unit will be situated acousticaly somewhat hidden by the flange of the nearest lower frequency horn. Setting up what can be an ugly situation from a difraction perspective. Either that or you have to space them pretty far appart or out of time. So the point of the above idea would be to align all the mouths into as tight a coherent whole as possible. It may be misguided but that's where my head was at at four in the morning.
01-20-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,148
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 14
Post ID: 3523
Reply to: 3521
So many variables (including all-digital)?

I understand that this is just an excercise, but one thing I keep coming back to as I experiment with hi-fi is to try to minimize the number of changes I make at once so I can - hopefully - keep track of and sort out what each change brings to my system.  I am wondering how much of this conceptual venture has proven its worth, from the digital interfacing to the horns that are optimized for this.  The reason I gave up on horns so many years ago was because I "foresaw" that it would take a personally-developed 5-way system with dedicated amps not only to optimize this approach, but it would take about that just to overcome what I did/do not like about horns.  This makes me wonder how many people out there are really, actually, doing what Romy has done, or anything even approaching that level of relentless commitment, in order to get to "the good stuff" that horns would seem to be able to do, this without making "the horn sound" that always winds up spoiling it for me no matter the horn system I have heard to date.  Of course any system needs tuning; but, 5-way horns...  now THAT is a LOT of very complicated work!  Add digital and you are on a Life Quest.

So, I am wondering, is this just a ferocious brain storm, or has someone who reads along here actually gotten good results with anything touched on here, at least to his own satisfaction?  So far, the only digitally-controlled sound I have heard is "high-end" HT stuff, and, not surprizing perhaps, I heard nothing apart from the pure scale of it that would make me want to pursue this any further.  Not that I mind (appropriate) "Big Sound" for orchestral works...  But the overall quality of the reproduction has been another matter altogether, as you might imagine.  I should admit that I am not pre-disposed to insert digital this and that into a system, again, because the learning curve is so steep for me, and the audible promise of it has been so faint to this point that I simply have not bothered to learn it.

Although I realize that I have not heard everything, I am rarely pleasantly surprized by other systems I hear, and this seems only to reinforce my prejudices over time.  Oddly, putting ML2s in my system has opened the door to digital a crack, meaning I can now (finally) begin to hear some "possibilities" for digital that have eluded me for many years, up to now.

I also "understand" (read, believe) that for many if not most audio nuts digital is more a matter of expedience than an embracing of a "superior" format/delivery system.  I use CD mainly because I can ignore it if I want, while the TT needs constant/periodic attention.

Anyway, please join me in seeing the circularity of my "logic", and maybe someone can educate me on what I am missing, here.

Best regards,
Paul S

01-31-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Dominic
Montreal, Canada
Posts 69
Joined on 08-23-2006

Post #: 15
Post ID: 3602
Reply to: 3523
I really want to meaningfully reply to this
"because I "foresaw" that it would take a personally-developed 5-way system with dedicated amps not only to optimize this approach, but it would take about that just to overcome what I did/do not like about horns"

I tend to think it's more what i feel i'm heading towards simply because of how i want music played for me. How many people are doing it? Some

5-way horns...  now THAT is a LOT of very complicated work!  Add digital and you are on a Life Quest.

so is good sound

...
has someone... actually gotten good results with anything touched on here.....the only digitally-controlled sound I have heard is "high-end" HT stuff, and, not surprizing perhaps, I heard nothing apart from the pure scale of it that would make me want to pursue this any further.  Not that I mind (appropriate) "Big Sound" for orchestral works...  But the overall quality of the reproduction has been another matter altogether, as you might imagine.  I should admit that I am not pre-disposed to insert digital this and that into a system, again, because the learning curve is so steep for me, and the audible promise of it has been so faint to this point that I simply have not bothered to learn it.

I can't argue with you, it hasn't been done right yet. Digital has to be fully integrated and should only have two conversions 1 at the recording and one before the speaker. It can't really be done right yet since the whole digital world revolves not around good sound (or picture for that atter) but expediency. George Lucas didn't start recording w/ digital cameras because it looks better. Mr starwars did it so that he could manipulate the imagery in a more freeform manner without having to scan film stock. That benefits a digital plaback to no end. The whole promise i think comes from the fact that, theoretically you can have more control over the signal without introducing error if the software is written right. One interesting thing to note is that photoshop can work in higher bit rate colour than anything can transduce, but it's done in order to maintain dynamic range. Problem is we have the same thing going on with audio, it's recorded and mastered at bitrates that far exceed even, um what were those dvd-based audio discs called?- That's why i suggested what i did. It is totally doable with the right approach, to even provide seperate multibit per channel (speaker) streams, phase, time, and amplitude etc corrected and do any of those corrections cleanly and intuitively in software. But that day has not come.

I'd really much rather keep the whole thing Analog.
07-10-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 16
Post ID: 4728
Reply to: 1862
The future of loudspeakers according to Lynn Olson.

From the Lynn Olson’s site:

http://www.nutshellhifi.com/

The introduction to the “The Art of Speaker Design”:

“If you relax and take a mental journey to the 22nd Century, it is easy to imagine the perfect loudspeaker. It would made of an immense number of tiny point sources that would create a true acoustic wavefront (or soundfield). Resonances due to massive drivers and cabinets would be a thing of the distant past. A host of distortions (harmonic, intermodulation, crossmodulation, frequency, phase, and group delay) would be utterly absent ... the sound would be literally as clear as air itself.

This perfect loudspeaker would be made of millions of microscopic coherent light and sound emitters, integrated with signal processing circuits all operating in parallel. (Similar in principle to present-day military phased-array radars, with tens of thousands of tiny antennas with individual electronics subsystems.)

It would be "grown" by nanotechnology and operate at the molecular level, appearing simply as a transparent film when not in operation. Let your imagination roam free ... this device also has access to all sounds and images ever recorded, and an instantaneous link to billions of similar devices. The primitive 20th Century technologies of telephones, movies, radio, television, hi-fi stereo, and the World Wide Web converge into an apparently simple technology that is transparent and invisible.”


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
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  »  New  The “Dead Points of Live Sound”..  Confused...  Playback Listening  Forum     28  208603  05-14-2005
  »  New  Srajan, 6Moons, sex industry and sapphire horns..  Unless the objective is .......  Horn-Loaded Speakers Forum     4  47450  07-11-2006
  »  New  The most promising “best” commercial speaker..  Viva Audio...  Horn-Loaded Speakers Forum     190  1268819  12-06-2006
  »  New  Macondo's Axioms: Horn-loaded acoustic systems..  No wonder...  Horn-Loaded Speakers Forum     72  403934  07-29-2007
  »  New  Jessie Dazzle Project..  Will this better to be auditable?...  Horn-Loaded Speakers Forum     172  1131156  08-03-2007
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