Horns 2017

j.phelan

New Member
Mar 25, 2014
54
0
0
#1
They shout, they 'honk', they have pronounced coloration. Not true anymore -they're the fastest growing audiophile speaker today. If we include the waveguide-style horn. A growing list of reviewers have them in their systems.

Waveguides: Devore Organgutan, GedLee, Amphion, Tannoy, ATC, Emerald Physics, Spatial. Most of these are 93-96db except Tannoy (low 90s) and ATC (high 80s).

Horns reviewed (in recent years): Avantguarde, Acapella, Sadurni, Volti, Burwell+Sons, Soundquest, JBL, PureAudioProject (compression-driver model). Some of these co. had more than one review -all getting BIG thumbs up.

U.S. show reports (no review): Amps & Sound, Classic, Exemplar, Cessaro, The Natural Sound, Swan Song, Destination, Viking, Pi., AudioKinesis.

If the Munich show reports are any indication, horns are here to stay. Stein music (Germany) now makes horns -but who would have thought THIS would happen:

www.totaldac.com/d150-speaker-eng.htm
 
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May 3, 2010
191
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#2
Not sure why you seem surprised about totaldac venturing into horns? Vincent Brient became known for his horns long before his dacs

systeme.jpg
 

DaveC

[Industry Expert]
Nov 16, 2014
2,175
0
0
#4
It's a nice design and similar to the speakers I've developed. There are a lot of advantages to such a design. A few things I don't like in the horn/xo design choices but compromise is the nature of speaker design.
 
#5
Don't forget hORNS Universum :cool:

Universum.jpg
 

zztop7

Member Sponsor
Dec 12, 2012
750
0
0
Edmonds, WA
#6
Pricing

They shout, they 'honk', they have pronounced coloration. Not true anymore -they're the fastest growing audiophile speaker today. If we include the waveguide-style horn. A growing list of reviewers have them in their systems.

Waveguides: Devore Organgutan, GedLee, Amphion, Tannoy, ATC, Emerald Physics, Spatial. Most of these are 93-96db except Tannoy (low 90s) and ATC (high 80s).

Horns reviewed (in recent years): Avantguarde, Acapella, Sadurni, Volti, Burwell+Sons, Soundquest, JBL. Most of these co. had more than one review -all getting BIG thumbs up.

U.S. show reports (no review): Amps & Sound, Classic, Exemplar, Cessaro, Natural Sound, Destination, Viking, Pi., AudioKinesis.

If the Munich show reports are any indication, horns are here to stay. Stein music (Germany) now makes horns -but who would have thought THIS would happen:

www.totaldac.com/d150-speaker-eng.htm

http://www.totaldac.com/prices.htm

Speakers by Totaldac:
d150 speaker, a pair, excl shipping: 46000euros incl VAT in Europe, 42000euros excl VAT out of Europe
subwoofer for d150 speaker, a piece, excl shipping: 6500euros incl VAT in Europe, 6000euros excl VAT out of Europe

zz.
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
8,794
28
48
London
#9
how many folks on this forum own horns?

i don't see it as a large presence at all, despite your enthusiasm.
Check on other forums. Forums attract their own herd. If this forum has less, it is poorer by that
 
#10
Jan 29, 2012
822
3
18
#11
how many folks on this forum own horns?

i don't see it as a large presence at all, despite your enthusiasm.
This forum no. But any German or Japanese forum the majority of systems feature horn speakers.
 

Mark Seaton

WBF Technical Expert (Speaker & Acoustics)
May 21, 2010
318
0
16
42
Chicago, IL
www.seatonsound.net
#12
They shout, they 'honk', they have pronounced coloration. Not true anymore -they're the fastest growing audiophile speaker today. If we include the waveguide-style horn. A growing list of reviewers have them in their systems.

Waveguides: Devore Organgutan, GedLee, Amphion, Tannoy, ATC, Emerald Physics, Spatial. Most of these are 93-96db except Tannoy (low 90s) and ATC (high 80s).

Horns reviewed (in recent years): Avantguarde, Acapella, Sadurni, Volti, Burwell+Sons, Soundquest, JBL. Most of these co. had more than one review -all getting BIG thumbs up.

U.S. show reports (no review): Amps & Sound, Classic, Exemplar, Cessaro, Natural Sound, Destination, Viking, Pi., AudioKinesis.

If the Munich show reports are any indication, horns are here to stay. Stein music (Germany) now makes horns -but who would have thought THIS would happen:
I believe a significant part of the continued resurgence of horns comes from better understanding, modeling, measurement, and ultimately good sounding examples. While REALLY big horns can be easier to get smooth response from, they quickly get tricky to blend with the next piece of your full bandwidth jigsaw puzzle.

Just as many dismissed ported enclosures as non-musical and inherently bad sounding, better modeling, understanding, and quantification has made for some excellent sounding examples of this entirely valid design choice. The similar, but much delayed evolution of horns will continue as we see/hear more great sounding examples become expected rather than exceptions. While there still are plenty of examples based on simplistic concepts, equations, and rules of thumb, there are plenty more that have been given serious design study and refinement. For anyone with some general technical knowledge and time to study past work, it is dramatically easier to develop a competent horn system with confidence and much less trial and error.

One of the biggest hurdles for horn loaded designs will always be balancing size, aesthetic appeal, and practical use in our rooms. Horn loading below ~1kHz always requires significant dimensions and make a significant visual statement. The nature of that statement depends greatly on the designer.;)
 
Jan 29, 2012
822
3
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#13
The resurgence of horns is similar to the resurgence of analog, they just sound better and make for more interesting listening. When solid state came out people adopted is based on the cost and ease of operation, just like CD's. Most solid state sounds terrible with horn, hence a move away from horns to dynamic speakers.

Now with warmer and more engaging solid state designs (Pass, First Watt, Lamm, etc) more audiophiles can enjoy the dynamics and presence of horns with the convenience of solid state.
 

DaveC

[Industry Expert]
Nov 16, 2014
2,175
0
0
#14
One of the biggest advantages is the ability to get excellent results with minimal room treatments. Some horns are much easier to successfully integrate into a living environment vs cone 'n' domes.

And if you do have a dedicated room... horns are still better. ;)
 
Oct 30, 2017
496
0
16
USA
#15
I believe a significant part of the continued resurgence of horns comes from better understanding, modeling, measurement, and ultimately good sounding examples. While REALLY big horns can be easier to get smooth response from, they quickly get tricky to blend with the next piece of your full bandwidth jigsaw puzzle.

Just as many dismissed ported enclosures as non-musical and inherently bad sounding, better modeling, understanding, and quantification has made for some excellent sounding examples of this entirely valid design choice. The similar, but much delayed evolution of horns will continue as we see/hear more great sounding examples become expected rather than exceptions. While there still are plenty of examples based on simplistic concepts, equations, and rules of thumb, there are plenty more that have been given serious design study and refinement. For anyone with some general technical knowledge and time to study past work, it is dramatically easier to develop a competent horn system with confidence and much less trial and error.

One of the biggest hurdles for horn loaded designs will always be balancing size, aesthetic appeal, and practical use in our rooms. Horn loading below ~1kHz always requires significant dimensions and make a significant visual statement. The nature of that statement depends greatly on the designer.;)
Dude, I love the way you write. Clear, cogent and full of good stuff.
 

j.phelan

New Member
Mar 25, 2014
54
0
0
#16
jeffrey_t.: This is true..

Besides electronics, passive XOs were no good either. Better today with teflon caps and HQ internal shielding. Finally, cone speakers -probably the most common type for audiophiles -(today) have less distortion, in motor design. A horn revealed all these flaws, in the past.

Horn reflections (in the 'mouth') have been eliminated, another reason for their resurgence.
 
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Mark Seaton

WBF Technical Expert (Speaker & Acoustics)
May 21, 2010
318
0
16
42
Chicago, IL
www.seatonsound.net
#17
Dude, I love the way you write. Clear, cogent and full of good stuff.
Thanks for that. It's always great to hear a message was understood.

Besides electronics, passive XOs were no good either. Better today with teflon caps and HQ internal shielding. Finally, cone speakers -probably the most common type for audiophiles -(today) have less distortion, in motor design. A horn revealed all these flaws, in the past.
Depending on the loading, and raw, native response, horns can in fact amplify distortion from a loudspeaker. If you are able to compare the difference in response of the cone speaker in a sealed box to the result when loaded on a given horn, the difference not only affects the original signal, but also applies the same gain/loss to any distortion being produced. This is one reason you will often see even higher distortion when a driver is used well below the natural roll off vs that of the driver sealed, as the horn amplifies the harmonic distortion which occurs at multiples the frequency. There are even some chambered horn designs which will amplify the operating range while attenuating or putting a significant notch in the upper frequency range. Since this filtering is acoustic, it affects distortion along with the original signal, and can thereby sometimes reduce distortion over some ranges. The highest frequency range of constant directivity/conical horns usually have this effect (above the mass roll-off) and many midrange horns can as well.
 
Apr 26, 2017
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1
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#18
I never could get the same response (and pleasure) I got from my horn system from any other. The coloured or honky horns are horns that are used beyond their bandwidth and not matched spl wise with the other horns properly. Then there is vast time alignment issues with lots of them. These are the main problems from lots of commercial horn designs.

I have 6 way system from 20hz to 40hz tapped horn, 40-160hz direct radiator and then horns up to 20hz and beyond. It is time aligned, passive and given the right listening distance and height, it is very transparent and sound very cohesive with incredible dynamics and great subtlety. Your front end has to be as good as it can be. My system is 109db efficient from 160hz and upwards. They are more transparent than my adam and genelec studio monitors which means a lot to me at least. They are huge and need a big room, thats for sure. You need to also be very diligent and spent a lot of time for small adjustments.
 
Jul 18, 2014
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#19

KeithR

VIP/Donor
May 7, 2010
3,010
5
38
Marina del Rey, CA
#20
This forum no. But any German or Japanese forum the majority of systems feature horn speakers.
point taken.

but to say there is a renaissance of horns belies Audiogon sales or dealer sponsorship. There is 1 dealer for AG, Cessaro, Horning etc. in the US. Most of the JBLs (made in our backyard no less!) have been sold to Japan for years - nothing new. Most of the other horns are bespoke, direct vendors (Volti, Spatial, etc.)

that said, I can't wait to hear your incoming JBL-like PBNs! I'm a horn fan - but my girlfriend says AGs are ugly :(