All that I will be saying are the subject of my own experience with horns and my personal observations. You shouldn’t agree and most likely you will not. That is fine with me. I have lot of reasons behind what I will be saying and opened for some clarification, however I will leave behind myself the rights do not collaborate on some of my comments if I find it unnecessary. My comments will not be unconditional, although they will sound probably in my typically exclusive mode. If you have brain, own consciousness, creatively, own experience or just a common sense that you would know how approach and interpret what I will be saying. If you do not have them then good luck, and, please, do not send me those idiotic emails informing me that I insulted the speakers of you brother-in-low: get live, some brain and perhaps a deeper familiarity on the subject.
It probably will be ~15 short overviews of what is wrong with horns, each of them will cover a specific area; they will be written with no particular order… just as came to my head.
Let start with transducers…
THE PROBLEMS WITH HORNS: TWEETERS.
Ok, there are no good tweeters in the horns world. Bold statement, isn’t it?
Well, what I need form a tweeter? I need an ability to handle ~15kHz-16kHz, with sensitively of 110dB, with dissipation of ~180 degree, with geometrical size of at least ~ 3x3 feet, preferably not compression type and without any typically-excessive accentuation at HF.
This tweeter just does not exist. Let look:
*** handle ~15kHz-16kHz
Most of the good midrange phase-plug armed horns run to 11kHz-14kHz but none of them produce the frequency over 10kHz properly. They just generate acoustic pressure in there with necessary amplitude but thy do not have Sound there or the necessary property within the Dynamic Level ”B” (Look at my Six-Leveled-Listening Benefits™.. when it will be done ...) Most of the time midranges require a tweeter with a duty in one or in other way to correct what midrange channel do. If a midranges PROPERLY reproduce ~13kHz then it is more then enough for music. Audio people need more, all the way to 20kHz but they need it just to acknowledge a language of audio reproduction, not music; beside most of the systems that I have heard DID NOT reproduce even the ~13kHz PROPERLY, not to mention anything higher. The very best tweeters that I heard were not “SACD ready” and roll somewhere at 16kHz. Using those tweeters at the bottom of the slope was always very effective.
*** with sensitively of 110dB
The threshold sensitivity where a tweeter might perform OK is ~ 111dB. Any more efficient tweeters (or any drivers at this mater) are junk. Even of you pump into a driver 3 Tesla into a gap, with very high coofficiency and use a Chernobyl-approved diaphragms then the compression of Sound in a driver/horn to higher degree will bleach Sound and make it sounds like many times washed t-shirt. Over 111dB-sensitivity drivers have a lot of obnoxious force with compromise of delicacy or discrimination. Generally I would question that the compression drivers are way to go for a tweeter but unfortunately everything else is even worth. The best drivers that I heard were somewhere under 110dB.
*** with dispersion of ~180 degree,
I hate the narrow radiated tweeters. Even if they accidentally perform OK then they have to be piled into the multi-dimensional line arrays or into the hemispheres. However, to use the tweeters in multiple sources this is VERY difficult to accomplish and very finicky to tune correct (particularly in room’s nearfield) Without a wide HF dissipation a sound reproduction is similar to eating of frozen sushi… The narrow dissipation is acceptable for jazz-like music only but who cares about a primitive complexity of jazz reproduction?
*** with geometrical size of ~ 3x3 feet
Did you ever try to reproduces large choruses? Anyhow, the large size of souse is very helpful and particularly when it combined with wide dissipation. No mater what it should NOT be a small source: no 1” little hole that barks into room with it’s HF. Those narrow source should be calibrate to 0.1dB precession in order to perform properly, but it never happens in real world as the recordings, electricity, and hundred of other parameters wildly fluctuate. A 3x3 feet tweeter might run plus or minus .5dB with no large affect to listing experience. Certainly, it will no be 3x3 source that will be able to do handle HF (please do not mention for me any film panels or electrostatics) In past I have quite interesting result by introducing the large diffusers that tweeter were fired upon. It created an appealing randomanization of HF and the large no conflict cloud of HF in a room but it killed some other important things, including the wide dissipation, eaten sensitivity, screwed transient response and few others…
*** preferable not compression type
*** and without any excessive pronunciation at HF
Any metal diaphragms add the “glitz” and “sparkles” to HF, sort of a HF emphasis and I that it. The audio people consider emphasis as an “evidence of quality” and “presents of air” but I still can’t listen it. Even if you roll-off the “typical audio-tweeters” with minus 6-9dB then the damn “sparkles” are still there but the mid HF have already gone. Among very many reasons of the phenomena (I mean the audio-zombies’ love to HF-emphasized sound) is a fact that a typical high-end audio electronics can’t handle HF properly. What audio people looking is “13 kHz punch” but it is just their reaction (beside the corrupted taste and wrongful expectations) to the amplification that is falling apart at HF and completely loosing the ability to handle the “resonanses” that live at 5kHz-8kHz. If your amp and your mid-range driver can handle the necessary USEFUL RESONANSES at 5kHz-8kHz than it would be totally different expectation from a tweeter’s duty. The properly structured 5kHz-8kHz and a NUTRAL tweeter is a way to go.
Anyhow, finishing the accusation, the Horn World uses many different tweeters and all of them suck to more or less degree. I did not even mention that that horn’s tweeters, no meter how good or bad they are, mostly are NOT used in civilized way. But I will talk about it in the crossover, compensators, alignment section… when get there….
"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche