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  »  New  Vitavox’s S2 Survival Guide...  A typical convention......  Horn-Loaded Speakers Forum     123  933036  07-16-2004
  »  New  5-ways from Speedysteve7..  Hehe - no invite for you...  Horn-Loaded Speakers Forum     23  126011  05-20-2011
03-07-2013 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
guy sergeant
United Kingdom
Posts 258
Joined on 08-03-2004

Post #: 1
Post ID: 19076
Reply to: 19076
For one day only
fiogf49gjkf0d
At last weekend's HiFi Wigwam Scalford show several members brought together various elements to make this 5 way speaker system.


Picture courtesy of Alfie2902

1. Raal Amorphous Lazy ribbons - 9KHz to 20KHz.
2. Vitavox S2's on Tractrix 600Hz horn- refurbed by Mike Harvey with white surround diaphagms - 1.5KHz to 9KHz.
3. RCA MI-1428B field coil mid drivers on Vitavox multi cell. About 500Hz to 1.5KHz.
4. 12" Jensen Field coil mid bass - about 90Hz to 500Hz
5. In the middle the bass system. 4 x 18" JBL drivers.

This was put together on the saturday afternoon/evening and played throughout the duration of Sunday's show.

It was surprisingly well integrated given the time allowed and rendered a wide range of music extremely well.
 
More info here.

http://www.hifiwigwam.com/showthread.php?77576-The-horny-monster-communal-system/page11
03-07-2013 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


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

Post #: 2
Post ID: 19077
Reply to: 19076
Scalford in UK
fiogf49gjkf0d

Interesting, thanks Guy for posting.

Let analyze what was done in there. It looks like well-thought, time-aligned, looks like multi-amped configuration. BTW, how the filters were implemented and what (slope/order) filters were?

To my knowledge it is the only installation that I heard about where Vitavox S2 works together with RCA 1428. It would be interesting to know how RCA driver do against S2 in the sub 1000Hz range. RCA shall go lower theoretically but I more interested to hear about sonic aspects.

A few warning comments. For Vitavox S2 to use Tractrix 600Hz with 1.5KHz filter is a bit too close in my view unless you stay with second order filter. The bass section in the middle are begging to be positioned on right and left side of the horns.

Generally if the system was put together din a day before then it might be a bit raw. Those  like multi-amped horns need some time to settle down, not the horns themselves but the listener how need develop some grip of what they are hearing. As they do they might do some fine-tuning of such a playback, like roiling the tubes in amps, fine adjust the crossovers, fine tune the out of individual channels and etc…

On the separate note, did you detect that the reflection from the large window behind affects the Sound you get? This is some kind of parabolic window, right, so does it work like some kind of acoustic focusing devise?

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
03-07-2013 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
guy sergeant
United Kingdom
Posts 258
Joined on 08-03-2004

Post #: 3
Post ID: 19078
Reply to: 19077
Digital X-overs
fiogf49gjkf0d
I wasn't involved in putting this together so perhaps one or two of those that did will chime in.

From the thread..."The source was J River playing through a Lynx AES16 soundcard. Two digital outputs to the Behringer DCX2496s, acting as digital XOs and DACs. The Behringers both had modified output stages - the nicer one was the transformer output (DAC chip out straight to transformers), used on the top three channels, while the cap output one was used for the bass and mid bass...."

So there was provision for a good deal of adjustment and measurement which was being done throughout the evening before the show. I'm sure with more time spent listening & adjusting over a few days it could have improved further but I was surprised by how well it worked as it was. I don't think it could really have been done in the allotted time without resorting to the DCX2496's or something similar.

There didn't seem to be any pronounced effects from the bay window. There's alot to learn putting a new system into an unfamiliar room. These channels hadn't been brought together previously.  It would have been interesting to draw the curtains but I suspect the room would then have been too dark for the visitors on the day of the show.

EDIT: The owner of the 1428s does also own a pair of S2's.  I don't think they can or should really be used for the same frequency ranges. The 1428 is arguably stronger and more comfortable playing lower than the S2 perhaps between 500Hz-1KHz but less refined (in my view) above that & certainly above 2kHz.


03-07-2013 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


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

Post #: 4
Post ID: 19079
Reply to: 19078
..even more…
fiogf49gjkf0d
 guy sergeant wrote:
There's alot to learn putting a new system into an unfamiliar room. 

…and I would add: the unfamiliar drivers with unfamiliar amplifiers. It is trippy how SET amps could be loaded with different drivers and produces drastically different results. In case of horns it is even more complicated. The balance the harmonic balance of amps with harmonic capacity of loaded compression driver is a finicky ceremony.


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
03-07-2013 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
i_should_coco
UK
Posts 15
Joined on 08-25-2005

Post #: 5
Post ID: 19080
Reply to: 19079
Slopey shoulders
fiogf49gjkf0d
As one of the perpetrators, I should chip in, I guess.

Lower crossover for the RCA was 430Hz. All slopes were 4th order. I did try shallower, but we preferred the steeper slopes and it does make it easier. With a lot of work, I think shallower slopes could be mad to work well also. We tried crossing the S2 a little higher and a little lower than 1.5kHz, but this seemed to give the best sound on the day.

It was far from perfect and you are right, it took most of Sunday to understand what was happening. It was an interesting exercise and lot of fun trying it out. Of course it was not meant to be taken too seriously, but I was surprised at how well it worked. A bit raw is probably a good description!

Edit: we needed the bass system in the middle as they are designed to combine to give a larger mouth area, splitting them would have affected the LF response and even as they were they did not go that low(~35Hz).
03-08-2013 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


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

Post #: 6
Post ID: 19081
Reply to: 19080
A playback for Restaurant Music?
fiogf49gjkf0d
Well, my experience indicates that if in the installation of this topology people chose to use 4th order crossovers then they play crappy pop music on their audio. To play pop music within playback and to have pop interests in music is certainly not a sin but it unfortunately makes many fine things about this topology not truly understandable or not utilizable. You truly do not need this topology to care the complexity of pop music.

Anyhow, about the bass system. First of all 35Hz is sufficiently low and if playback does honest 35Hz, not the 35Hz of noise, then it is more than enough. I do understand that you want to get a larger mouth area but I question if it even right objective. The larger mouth area make scene if you change mouth to throat ration but in your case pyramiding the bass bins together you do not change it. You will get some very minor gain from coupling the mouths together but in my view it not right aim. You do not need an extra 2-3dB as you multi-amp and you easy can have any amount of extra gain you need. However, the present of central-radiated LF source is very devastating for an imaging of this topology of loudspeakers.  Also the coupling between the drivers of your horn is affected by the location of your LF. There are few other things that will not work properly but it is not the point. Instead of reading all of it you need (if the installation still stays) to move the bass bins in vertical position, 2 per side, one above another on right and left of the horns. Time-align them and observe the result. After you did it you need slightly to play with toeing the horns. You will understand what I mean when you heard it. BTW, you will also begin to hear the contribution from that parabolic glass window. If you were a good boy you will then drop the crossover on that 90Hz low pass to second order and to play Beethoven Op 131 but it might be too much to ask….

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
03-08-2013 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
amdismal
Posts 1
Joined on 03-08-2013

Post #: 7
Post ID: 19082
Reply to: 19081
Scalford: another view from a perpetrator
fiogf49gjkf0d
And as one of the other perpetrators...

The nature of this kind of thing is compromise.  The owner of the bass horn system wanted to run them together, for the enlarged horn mouth, and so we did - there was never going to be enough time to play about with placement.  I run my sub horns outside of my main horn array, although this is necessary given the room layout.  We did discuss the idea of a mono tapped horn next year, to do 17Hz to 35Hz, to fill out the last organ stop, although this may well end up with a different set of compromises and sound no better.

The crossovers were fourth order, which is what I use on my horns.  Second order, I have found, can give a better blending, but reduced the delicacy and transparency in my system.  But it's very complicated, and further exacerbated by the (potentially quite steep) crossovers that are already in the horn design, so a second order electronic may create a fourth order overall.  I find it quite difficult to decide what measures best, and the listening also tends to be preference at the time, rather than anything I could consider absolute.  We didn't play Op. 131, but we did play the Op. 74 'harp' quartet, and the realistic placement and timbre of each instrument as they played the 'plucked harp' from bottom to top was really impressive for a scratch system.

Most interesting to me was the range of views we got from visitors.  I'll ignore the Saturday evening, as there had been plenty of beer and the system was definitely dialled into 'fun mode', with bass shaking the room; from Sunday mid morning it was sounding excellent, to my ears.  What I thought it did really well was present a real sense of space, a soundstage in which the instruments played, and scale.  It could realistically portray a full orchestra (more Beethoven for fragile Sunday heads) but also give a beautiful rendition of a real voice.  It exceeded my expectations, even though it had some clear (to me) flaws in certain colorations and distortions.

There were quite a few people who were properly blown away by it, basically saying that it sounded like live music (which it could achieve both for acoustic and amplified live music).  Many of these had not heard a large scale horn system before, and indeed many did not even realise that there are some mad people who have this kind of thing at home.  But I was staggered by the number of people who did not actually really 'listen' to it with their ears - they seemed to compartmentalise it as a PA system, and then went on to listen to the small hifi boxes elsewhere in the show for a taste of 'real' hifi.

There were some systems I quite liked there - a Snell A system and smaller horn system (with 2-way Tune Audio Marvels) were of particular note, and the DIY Westminsters were remarkable from a build perspective, if struggling acoustically in a terrible room.  However, in my view our big horn system was the only one that actually came close to reproducing real music, and stood head and shoulders above all the other systems for this reason, but few others seemed to think so.  I am constantly surprised that so many people clearly want something so different from me, but I guess that people can choose their own compromises...
03-08-2013 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


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

Post #: 8
Post ID: 19083
Reply to: 19082
Order of the filters in Macondo-like configuration.
fiogf49gjkf0d
 amdismal wrote:
The crossovers were fourth order, which is what I use on my horns.  Second order, I have found, can give a better blending, but reduced the delicacy and transparency in my system.  But it's very complicated, and further exacerbated by the (potentially quite steep) crossovers that are already in the horn design, so a second order electronic may create a fourth order overall. 

Well, a lower order crossover does not reduce any delicacy and transparency. In fact in most of the cased it increases it. The first order for sure as it is by dentition phase-constant order. You might stay with higher order filter but at line level, where target impedance is fixed and you can write a Bessel curve with best group delay and linear phase response.

It you feel that your lower order filter make your playback to have too much harmonics then begin to eat harmonic by idling the pates of your SETs, or by loading the amp less (you will lose power doing that). The whole idea to use good compression drivers in their save operation regions is to let them to show off their harmonic capacity. Instead you truncate then with 24dB slope. Better drivers might be at 0dB produce the same sound as bad driver, the whole point is that at -40dB better driver will show something that bad driver will not even dream. The low order crossovers, besides obvious phase benefits, allow the acoustic systems of Macondo configuration to make channels to act as sort of line array devises – very pleasant and very useful move.

For sure you not always can go with first order and in horns it never a first order buy in my view one need to peruse with lower order possible as get delicacy and transparency by other natural means. The “transparency” that derives from fighter order filter is useful only for pop music.

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
03-08-2013 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
speedysteve
UK
Posts 7
Joined on 03-08-2013

Post #: 9
Post ID: 19084
Reply to: 19083
Not bad for one day only...
fiogf49gjkf0d
As another of the contributors / perpetrators i have to chip in too.It's my Raal's, S2's and stands that can be seen.

Great project and fun to do and as Adan says it opened some eyes. Others seemed to have little or no time for it, as it is incomprehensible to them or perhaps as simple as it won't fit in their rooms or get past the missus?!
Full marks to Adam for thinking of the project and catalysing us to do it.
I have to agree that in a well set up system, 2nd order or even first order on upper mid and tweeter is preferable to me now.
In the one day only world - what we used worked but we all agreed could be improved upon with more time.
The system gave flashes of brilliance and showed what potential was there - had we time to unlock it.there are so many variation of setup and positioning it is mind boggling - no time to try the physical ones. The modded DSP X/O in Coco's capable hands gave us a functioning system of scale, presence, dynamics and volume (when required) that not other 'speaker' could achieve.
just like my 12 sided conical project gave me a taste and increased my experience, moving on to a tractrix upper / mid and hyperbolic mid bass horn has unlocked more from my drivers.
So, fun for day - you bet!
  
03-10-2013 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
skushino
Seattle, WA
Posts 93
Joined on 07-07-2004

Post #: 10
Post ID: 19086
Reply to: 19077
Elaborate S2 on 600 Hz horn
fiogf49gjkf0d
Romy wrote:

For Vitavox S2 to use Tractrix 600Hz with 1.5KHz filter is a bit too close in my view unless you stay with second order filter.

Would you elaborate further about your warning?  I'm very interested in this application.

I think you use the S2 on a 400 Hz tractrix from 1k - 12k or so (I don't remember your PLXO slope).  If this sounds acceptable using a 1st order filter, it seems the Brits configuration above would be similar in coverage demands, just working in a different bandwidth:

1) 600 hz horn is a half octave higher than your 400 hz horn, and

2) 1.5k is a half octave higher than your crossover at 1k

I always felt my Edgar 350hz tractrix / jbl 2441 could do better.  The sound was slightly too heavy and ponderous, maybe a little gray sounding.  It wasn't a deal breaker, but stringed instruments especially needed a lighter touch.  I recently changed to 600hz tractrix / coral m-100 running electrically filtered ~ 2100hz (acoustic ~ 900hz).  It's still new, and I'm learning about the new combo.  First impressions are positive - much more to my liking.  There's a lightness and touch of sweetness now - just what I needed.  It's more agile and golden sounding.  Not yellowish like a phenolic phragm, just a shimmer.  So far so good.

I need to work on a seamless transition to the lower mid / upper bass channel.  My UB channel is fane studio 8m loading 142hz tractrix.  When I get home (I'm traveling now) I'll try my smaller faital driver again in place of the fane.  I remembered the faital being able to go higher than the fane in this horn. 
I have a hunch I'm pushing the edge running my 600 hz horn down to 800, 900hz. 

So, I'll rephrase my question - based on your experience, how low can the 600hz horn go before running in to problems? 

I know I know...  it depends on many factors like the cd, x-over slope, adjacent channels, etc.  I'm not seeing a problem running this way.  Am I missing something here?
03-10-2013 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


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

Post #: 11
Post ID: 19088
Reply to: 19086
The elaboration…
fiogf49gjkf0d
It is not about “how low can the 600hz horn go before running in to problems” but rather a specific if of Vitavox S2 driver.   The S2 with plastic suspension has secondary resonance at 1250 cycles (you might read about in details in my S2 thread). So, crossing at 1K will do nothing as the budge just over 1K will not let you to have proper decay, I mean in context first order of cause. My driver is crossed at 3200Hz and the 1250 bulge is factored in the slope. The bulge is left sided and it works perfectly as the bulge getting bigger the transition slop getting lower and compensate it. Talking about all of it you need to differentiate electrical and acoustical measurements. With my 3200Hz crossover I have a perfect 1000Hz acoustical filter. I do not know what Brits mean when they claim 1000Hz – the acoustical or electrical measurement. If they set at their d-crossover 1000Hz then acoustically the S2 is very far from what they mean. I presume that since they had no time they did not do any measurements then their 1.5KHz filter is very far from 1.5KHz.

Anyhow, to “pushing the edge running my 600hz horn down to 800, 900hz” is a bit too much to ask for a linear driver but it would be absolutely no accessible for S2. Even if you talking about acousticall 900hz then it would be also too close and I would stay with a least a full octave horn rate. Do not forget that you do want to use s2 in slightly deeper horns as it would like horn to hold a bit the S2 upper range “excitement” if you do not use any other messures...

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
03-10-2013 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
speedysteve
UK
Posts 7
Joined on 03-08-2013

Post #: 12
Post ID: 19089
Reply to: 19088
My S2 measurements
fiogf49gjkf0d
Here are a couple of measurements of S2's (not taken at the show).


Both are taken at the listening chair, ear position in my system.
This one is on a 2nd order passive, spec'd to cross at 1.25KHz.(This was Coco's S2 with new surrounds on a Le Cleach 550 horn - I think it was)




As you could imagine I could not live with that bump, but gave the drivers / horns back before trying other things.
When I got my S2's I experimented more and tried the 3uF recommendation from the S2 survival guide - most useful...
Here is my S2 (after Mike refurbed it), 1st order on a 3uF cap, on the Tractrix 600hz horn. Measured at home, not at the show.


 
We did take measurements of all drivers at the show - to see what was going on and to phase them properly - using Holmimpulse.The S2's measured amazingly flat there too. Didn't keep any of the graphs though... Too little time.
03-11-2013 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


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

Post #: 13
Post ID: 19090
Reply to: 19089
Yes , but….
fiogf49gjkf0d

Yes, the bottom response is about right. There is a thing about the bottom response, I might be a bit in unchartered territory as I do not know how properly calibrated your measurement devise and many other conditions that might affect the measurement but from looking at the response you posted I feel that S2 provide doo much output at higher octaves . I do not insist that I am right but in context of the condition that I accustom I would like S2 to role atom very faintly faster. It might be the HF characteristic of your room treatment that made me to feel so or the fact your speaker are toed in to direct but something is there. It is not the measurement itself that I feel is “wrong” but that transition where the driver begins to roll of at HF I feel a bit too eager for THIS driver. It would be fine for something like JBL 2440 or for any another driver but not for S2. I might be wrong and if I am then discard anything below.

Try to target the vertical axes of your horn not toward to ears but let say 1M from your shoulders. It will give effective HF roll off and will curve the imaging. The most important try the following. As your playback is set and running as you like get any very transparent acoustic materials and cover the mouth of your 600Hz horn. Do not use the crap the used on speakers grill – they are not acoustically transparent. I am taking about truly acoustically transparent material, like nylon that women has stocking made from. If you put 1-3 layers of that defuser then you will have very mild low pass filter that will very slightly just tap S2 from above. You might do it by crossing a few ¼ inch tapes over the mouth as well but it will be a little different effect. Anyhow as you get the feeling I am taking about you might find that S2 that is very very medley held atop do sound more interesting. In my playback I do it with very mild inductance after OPT. The key in here to do it negligibly small. While you are listening you my listed your subdued S2 with and with tweeter. I think if you do you might understand what I meant.


"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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   Target    Threads for related reading   Most recent post in related threads   Forum  Replies   Views   Started 
  »  New  Vitavox’s S2 Survival Guide...  A typical convention......  Horn-Loaded Speakers Forum     123  933036  07-16-2004
  »  New  5-ways from Speedysteve7..  Hehe - no invite for you...  Horn-Loaded Speakers Forum     23  126011  05-20-2011
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