Austin TX - The New Horn Capital of the USA? WBF Tour of Austins Newest Manufacturers

Believe High Fidelity

[Industry Expert]
Nov 19, 2015
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Hutto TX
ibelieveinhifi.com
For your consumption I have visited the newest manufacturers demos room here in Austin. By coincidence they happen to be horn specialists so you add myself and that makes three here in the Austin Area in less than a year.

Up first we have Sadurni Acoustics. Recently relocated from Mexico City to Point Venure he gave the local Austin group a demo of his newest speaker, the Miracoli 3-way horn system.

Powered by MicroZOTL headphone amps producing 1 Watt Class A in a bi-amped configuration (Pair of stereo amps for the tweeter and midrange) and sporting a powered amp class D for the low-end duties. Surprisingly he opted for no preamp for the demo which I can say for the first time in a while it did do the system justice.

Source was a Forsell Air Reference Transport playing redbook only.

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Believe High Fidelity

[Industry Expert]
Nov 19, 2015
1,666
321
355
Hutto TX
ibelieveinhifi.com

Believe High Fidelity

[Industry Expert]
Nov 19, 2015
1,666
321
355
Hutto TX
ibelieveinhifi.com
Austin Acoustics is a newer company that designs both japanese style horn designs as well as AN inspired electronics. Very beautiful to look at and have to be seen in person to truly appreciate the craftsmanship.

This system consisted of the SP-4R 4 way Horn speaker system using gargantuan ALE drivers. System was tri-amped with digital through a CD player I have forgotten the name of.

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amirm

Banned
Apr 2, 2010
15,813
37
0
Seattle, WA
Looking good Joshua. Thanks for taking the time to post the pictures. Look forward to the listening impressions.
 

Believe High Fidelity

[Industry Expert]
Nov 19, 2015
1,666
321
355
Hutto TX
ibelieveinhifi.com
Let's start with the Austin Acoustics demo session:

You can see from the pictures the room was a very live room with absorption panels for the reflection points which tamed the room fairly well. The side panels were held up by Vinyl boxes so they could be dynamically positioned based on where they best sound was to your ears. For me the Bass and driver integration was better further back, but for some of my peers felt they preferred the bass sitting about 3-4 inches closer.

None of us remembered to bring any CD's so we started off with some Krall to set the mood.


Right off the bat the tell tale signs of a well designed horn were there. Effortless compression free highs. No honking or shouting anywhere to be found. Despite being a 4-way design there wasn't any frequency that sounded disparate from the rest. Though Bass driver was not horn loaded , it blended well into the audio band without sounding sluggish or bloated. Speakers had no trouble disappearing into the room. Krall's voice had that musical sultriness that oozed smoothness and had a lovely roll off.

We listened to some various Jazz recordings soon after. The Soundstage was wide and immersive. I would say about 5-6th row in the seating so not in your face, but not far removed. It pushed the boundaries of the room to make you feel as tough the walls were not there. The stage was also very focused with true-to-life instruments and height, something again is difficult to implement in a horn design.

After a few more tracks from various artists we started to feel the hunger for some food and ended the session. For the first demo from a new company and a young star I would rate the experience as a solid B+. I didn't get true 3D in all of the recordings and the imaging was not 100% balanced. Some time with more room placement and A/B testing I am sure would get it the extra oophm to seal the deal.
 

Believe High Fidelity

[Industry Expert]
Nov 19, 2015
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Hutto TX
ibelieveinhifi.com
The Sadurni demo ended up being a real treat amongst those in the Austin group that made the trek. Sadurni is in the Austin area but you have to drive to the other side of Lake Travis to get there so about an hour. This is actually helpful because when you arrive you want to put up your feet and take a load off.

The room had only some panels behind the equipment rack and there were various household items to help diffuse/absorb the sound. Truth be fold this only took away focus from the sound more so with low level detail. Imaging was also affected by the layout, but in reality what the system did was quite astounding and made you forget all that.

Same M.O. We put on the familiar show vocals via CD player and away we went.

3D, 3D, 3D!! Man the deep separation of instruments and singers was awesome. This speaker did 3D remarkably well with the Macros of the music you definitely had the illusion of being right there. From a listening standpoint the position would be closer to the 3rd-4th row. Like before, I preferred the furthest seat back but our host preferred 1 foot or so more in front of that. Once we switched from vocals to some music brought by one of our members that were all well recorded did the system start to hit its stride.

Soundstage was not as wide as the AA system but because of the 3D capabilities of the system it was deep and gave a more immersive experience. What is more impressive is that there wasn't a preamp in the system at all! Any change in volume had to be made on each amplifier to balance the sound across the pair. Through this pair of 1W stereo amps the players had a real sense of height and placement. Vocals had tone and richness with real weight and body. Instruments sounded alive and had the impact they should have. SOUL!

Treble had air for days. Michael Jordan would be hard pressed to get as much air as this system had. Bass was taught and punchy doing very well to keep up with the speed of the drivers. Dual 8in subs opposed help with making that happen. While it didn't have the weight of a large driver it blended so well that you didn't miss any of the that lowest octave and extension until we listened to some orchestral music.

As with the AA system the Horns did not have any Shout or Honking. Driver integration was also Class A, but did not disappear as easily as the AA system did which were double the size. And on that point once very important accomplishment was how WAF these speakers were. Very compact in size and with the right color palette would be easy for even the most difficult Mrs Approval factor.

I am told that a second room is in development for the flagship Staccato horn and I look forward to a follow up visit for that.
 

jeff1225

Well-Known Member
Jan 29, 2012
3,013
3,265
1,410
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The Sadurni demo ended up being a real treat amongst those in the Austin group that made the trek. Sadurni is in the Austin area but you have to drive to the other side of Lake Travis to get there so about an hour. This is actually helpful because when you arrive you want to put up your feet and take a load off.

The room had only some panels behind the equipment rack and there were various household items to help diffuse/absorb the sound. Truth be fold this only took away focus from the sound more so with low level detail. Imaging was also affected by the layout, but in reality what the system did was quite astounding and made you forget all that.

Same M.O. We put on the familiar show vocals via CD player and away we went.

3D, 3D, 3D!! Man the deep separation of instruments and singers was awesome. This speaker did 3D remarkably well with the Macros of the music you definitely had the illusion of being right there. From a listening standpoint the position would be closer to the 3rd-4th row. Like before, I preferred the furthest seat back but our host preferred 1 foot or so more in front of that. Once we switched from vocals to some music brought by one of our members that were all well recorded did the system start to hit its stride.

Soundstage was not as wide as the AA system but because of the 3D capabilities of the system it was deep and gave a more immersive experience. What is more impressive is that there wasn't a preamp in the system at all! Any change in volume had to be made on each amplifier to balance the sound across the pair. Through this pair of 1W stereo amps the players had a real sense of height and placement. Vocals had tone and richness with real weight and body. Instruments sounded alive and had the impact they should have. SOUL!

Treble had air for days. Michael Jordan would be hard pressed to get as much air as this system had. Bass was taught and punchy doing very well to keep up with the speed of the drivers. Dual 8in subs opposed help with making that happen. While it didn't have the weight of a large driver it blended so well that you didn't miss any of the that lowest octave and extension until we listened to some orchestral music.

As with the AA system the Horns did not have any Shout or Honking. Driver integration was also Class A, but did not disappear as easily as the AA system did which were double the size. And on that point once very important accomplishment was how WAF these speakers were. Very compact in size and with the right color palette would be easy for even the most difficult Mrs Approval factor.

I am told that a second room is in development for the flagship Staccato horn and I look forward to a follow up visit for that.

What you experienced is a properly physically time-aligned horn. A properly time-aligned horn has no peers in terms of fidelity.
 

Folsom

VIP/Donor
Oct 25, 2015
6,029
1,501
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Eastern WA
A fair experience. But if you expect me to believe objects behind horn speakers created trouble in the horn frequency range the answer is no; perposterous. If it were true then horns would only have the value of making a linear driver norminalize across its intended frequency spectrum. And everyone here knows that is not the case.

That's somewhat wild it only takes mere headphone amps to power them as much as you need. Sure I've seen 2w, or more like 5w, typically, but 1w, those must be crazy efficient.
 

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