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Thread: Horn Dispersion Wide or Narrow ,Which is prefered?

  1. #1
    Addicted to Best! RogerD's Avatar
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    Horn Dispersion Wide or Narrow ,Which is prefered?

    I'm building a pair of horn speakers and noticed many types. Horns are categorized in degrees of dispersion ie 90/40,60/40,40/20..90/40 being wide and 40/20 considered narrow. I will be sitting about 20 feet from the horns with only the left channel near a side wall. The mid range horn will be large,about 30 to 39 wide and about 25 inches high. I want something different as my current system is very open. I have noticed a TAD horn TH4001 is wide but not high and is well liked. What can I expect with a large narrow dispersion horn,as opposed to a wide dispersion type horn?
    Speakers: ParAcas Satellites ParAcas Dual 16 subwoofer Velodyne FSR18 Fulton Little Maestros Mission speakers
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    VIP/Donor [VIP/Donor] Folsom's Avatar
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    It depends, are you entertaining yourself or an audience? The narrower the better fidelity for the sweet spot to reduce reflections etc.
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    [Industry Expert] Addicted to Best! DaveC's Avatar
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    That's a topic with many variables...

    The room and the area to be covered are main issues, it's a large room and you'll be far away from the speakers, maybe too far to be honest, you may find a smaller setup to work out better even though you have the space. The wider the dispersion the more room acoustics will matter, and this will change the ratio of direct to reflected sound you hear. But with room size and lp you're talking about a narrower dispersion might be better.

    Personal preference is also a major factor, some prefer wider dispersion and more reflected sound, others like a more focused/direct sound. This seems to depend a lot on acclimation and can vary quite a bit. I think it also depends on the system's ability to resolve detail, the more resolving the less desirable reflections are, imo. Too narrow can also result in the impression you're listening to a large pair of headphones, which is also a product of acclimation and everyone doesn't feel this way but too narrow can seem unnatural to many people.

    90/40 isn't wide these days as the JBL M2s are 120 degrees all around. I think this is too wide and 90 is more ideal for most 2-ch listening. Narrower vertical can be good, though I use round horns, and I have high ceilings which makes a big difference.

    Then there's shape... Le Cleac'h is ideal for diffraction and achieving a clean sound but it'll be massive for a horn that covers into the lower midrange. Although a oval version is possible it would have to be custom made... I'd go with tractrix for the large horn and Le Cleac'h for the higher frequencies.
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    Senior Member U47's Avatar
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    We are using TAD TH4003(80 by 30) and finding it to be excellent. There might be some clones available. TAD stopped selling them a few years ago.

    http://qa.pioneerelectronics.com/PUS...eakers/TH-4003

    R

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    Addicted to Best! RogerD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveC View Post
    That's a topic with many variables...

    The room and the area to be covered are main issues, it's a large room and you'll be far away from the speakers, maybe too far to be honest, you may find a smaller setup to work out better even though you have the space. The wider the dispersion the more room acoustics will matter, and this will change the ratio of direct to reflected sound you hear. But with room size and lp you're talking about a narrower dispersion might be better.

    Personal preference is also a major factor, some prefer wider dispersion and more reflected sound, others like a more focused/direct sound. This seems to depend a lot on acclimation and can vary quite a bit. I think it also depends on the system's ability to resolve detail, the more resolving the less desirable reflections are, imo. Too narrow can also result in the impression you're listening to a large pair of headphones, which is also a product of acclimation and everyone doesn't feel this way but too narrow can seem unnatural to many people.

    90/40 isn't wide these days as the JBL M2s are 120 degrees all around. I think this is too wide and 90 is more ideal for most 2-ch listening. Narrower vertical can be good, though I use round horns, and I have high ceilings which makes a big difference.

    Then there's shape... Le Cleac'h is ideal for diffraction and achieving a clean sound but it'll be massive for a horn that covers into the lower midrange. Although a oval version is possible it would have to be custom made... I'd go with tractrix for the large horn and Le Cleac'h for the higher frequencies.
    Dave thanks,very informative.

    The sitting distance can be from 16 to 20 feet. The horns will be about 13 ft on centers. I have spec'd in tractrix horns,but I just want to explore different options. A more direct sound intrigues me.
    Speakers: ParAcas Satellites ParAcas Dual 16 subwoofer Velodyne FSR18 Fulton Little Maestros Mission speakers
    Electronics: Agtron Platinum Mono Blocks Accuphase C200 preamp Accuphase P300 amplifer Parasound amplifier ParAcas Sierra electronic crossover
    Digital: Monarchy NM24 DAC Sony DVD Transport
    Tuner: McIntosh MR78
    Cables: NBS Statement,Pro,Master Cables, Nirvana Digital SPDIF Cable
    Turntable: Linn LP12 Technics 1200
    RTR: Ampex 350,351,440BC,MR70
    Studer C37 60hz,Crown 2-844,824

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    Addicted to Best! RogerD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by U47 View Post
    We are using TAD TH4003(80 by 30) and finding it to be excellent. There might be some clones available. TAD stopped selling them a few years ago.

    http://qa.pioneerelectronics.com/PUS...eakers/TH-4003

    R
    Hi, TAD's seem to be used as monitors. What qualities do you like about them? Is it a more direct sound? How do they compare with high end speakers.
    Speakers: ParAcas Satellites ParAcas Dual 16 subwoofer Velodyne FSR18 Fulton Little Maestros Mission speakers
    Electronics: Agtron Platinum Mono Blocks Accuphase C200 preamp Accuphase P300 amplifer Parasound amplifier ParAcas Sierra electronic crossover
    Digital: Monarchy NM24 DAC Sony DVD Transport
    Tuner: McIntosh MR78
    Cables: NBS Statement,Pro,Master Cables, Nirvana Digital SPDIF Cable
    Turntable: Linn LP12 Technics 1200
    RTR: Ampex 350,351,440BC,MR70
    Studer C37 60hz,Crown 2-844,824

  7. #7
    Senior Member U47's Avatar
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    TAD 4003 driver and horn are pretty wonderful together. 4001 less to my liking, but still fine. Complete TAD systems are somewhat of a mess IMO. Pick and choose horns and drivers from their line(mostly discontinued). We will likely be using the TH 4003s with some 30s vintage field coil compression units.
    Very uncolored sound with well controlled dispersion. Magico's top speaker is a horn rig and from what I remember visiting Alon Wolf 15 years ago, he was using the 4003 drivers in the first(prototype) version of the Ultimate.

    R

  8. #8
    WBF Technical Expert (Speaker & Acoustics) [Technical Expert] Mark Seaton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RogerD View Post
    I'm building a pair of horn speakers and noticed many types. Horns are categorized in degrees of dispersion ie 90/40,60/40,40/20..90/40 being wide and 40/20 considered narrow. I will be sitting about 20 feet from the horns with only the left channel near a side wall. The mid range horn will be large,about 30 to 39 wide and about 25 inches high. I want something different as my current system is very open. I have noticed a TAD horn TH4001 is wide but not high and is well liked. What can I expect with a large narrow dispersion horn,as opposed to a wide dispersion type horn?
    As others have noted, the use, speaker placement vs listener vs walls, and preference all matter. Do know that as horns get dramatically asymmetrical at more than 2:1, the coverage pattern often flips dimensions at the low end of the horn. As an example, most "90 x 20 horns" are only 20 degrees above 8-12kHz (larger dimension = lower frequency control), and quickly widen below that range. The 90 degree dimension can often then pinch sharply in the horizontal dimension at the lower end of the frequency range before it looses control related to its dimension. The most important bit to understand going in is that no matter the shape, a horn or any device must be a large enough dimension to control sound. Every time the frequency you want to control drops an octave, you need a horn twice as large. Every time the angle you want to keep the sound within is cut in half, you need to again double the mouth dimension of the horn, else that effective coverage range shifts up one octave.

    In other words, for the same ideal range of control, a 45 deg horn should be 2x the dimension of a 90 degree horn, and if you have a horn design which you know controls down to 2kHz, you have to make it twice the dimension to extend that control to 1kHz.
    Mark Seaton

    Seaton Sound, Inc.

  9. #9
    VIP/Donor [VIP/Donor] Folsom's Avatar
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    Sometimes horns don't do much for CD but improve polar plot, power response, so more areas has consistent SPL. Again, not real interesting for someone that sits in a sweet spot unless it is in a null.

    Horns also can make more linear output than dynamic speakers, as they allow a linear inverse driver to be used. The throat has to be compatible with the driver in such case so it may trump other concerns when going that way. Wish I could say more, haven't played with enough horn drivers.
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  10. #10
    Addicted to Best! RogerD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Folsom View Post
    Sometimes horns don't do much for CD but improve polar plot, power response, so more areas has consistent SPL. Again, not real interesting for someone that sits in a sweet spot unless it is in a null.

    Horns also can make more linear output than dynamic speakers, as they allow a linear inverse driver to be used. The throat has to be compatible with the driver in such case so it may trump other concerns when going that way. Wish I could say more, haven't played with enough horn drivers.
    Folsom I have always wanted a set of horn speakers. I have owned a pair of JBL L200,still do,but these will be different. Much to learn. Any and all input is appreciated.
    Speakers: ParAcas Satellites ParAcas Dual 16 subwoofer Velodyne FSR18 Fulton Little Maestros Mission speakers
    Electronics: Agtron Platinum Mono Blocks Accuphase C200 preamp Accuphase P300 amplifer Parasound amplifier ParAcas Sierra electronic crossover
    Digital: Monarchy NM24 DAC Sony DVD Transport
    Tuner: McIntosh MR78
    Cables: NBS Statement,Pro,Master Cables, Nirvana Digital SPDIF Cable
    Turntable: Linn LP12 Technics 1200
    RTR: Ampex 350,351,440BC,MR70
    Studer C37 60hz,Crown 2-844,824

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