Can one find realism in box speakers that cost less than $150K after experiencing dynamics of horns and horn-type speakers?

bonzo75

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Feb 26, 2014
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#41
Graham, what can I tell you. One can only go by a dealer recc.

SS can work on horns. Bakoon 15W/ch produced magic on Liszts, way better than Tron 211s. Mola Mola SS v poor on them.
Yamamura is SS as is Mani's. Not against the idea
 

the sound of Tao

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Jul 18, 2014
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#42
If you want to fly in the air you just need to buy 400k TTs and 150k cones. That gives you temporary license to fly in the air till some new flavor comes up and you crash. Truth is like kryptonite
Love it.
 

the sound of Tao

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Jul 18, 2014
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#43
Graham, what can I tell you. One can only go by a dealer recc.

SS can work on horns. Bakoon 15W/ch produced magic on Liszts, way better than Tron 211s. Mola Mola SS v poor on them.
Marc get where you are coming from... also heard Bakoon on the Animas. The Bakoon sounded way better than a Modwright.

The Bakoon sounded great... the SET sounded right. The Modwright didn’t sound great or right.
 

spiritofmusic

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Jun 13, 2013
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E. England
#44
I wasn't expecting to love Liszts on SS, just as I wasn't expecting to love Duettas on tubes.

I was expecting to love Liszts on Tron 211s just as I was expecting to love Divas on Spectral.

So, I'd go to Mani hopefully putting a lid on expectations. Other than of a well thought out system.
 

Audiophile Bill

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Mar 23, 2015
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#46
Marc get where you are coming from... also heard Bakoon on the Animas. The Bakoon sounded way better than a Modwright.

The Bakoon sounded great... the SET sounded right. The Modwright didn’t sound great or right.
I have no idea why anyone would think it remotely a sensible idea to put Modwright electronics with it.
 

spiritofmusic

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Jun 13, 2013
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#47
Marc - I don’t think Animas will fit through the hatch?
Um, you're right on that. My hatch and current state of savings both counting against. I'd still love to hear them singing properly.
 

JackD201

[WBF Founding Member]
Apr 21, 2010
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Manila, Philippines
#48
Once one hears the startling, life-like dynamics of a horn or horn-type system, the more fake box speakers sound. They may sound good, but just not real once you have that experience and know what's possible in terms of dynamics...The box speaker technologies under $150K sound as slow as molasses to me.

What do you guys think?
I would say yes but rather than go through the litany of prerequisite and requisite conditions and the variables associated with the same, I'll just stick to the physics. It is a question of power to weight when it comes to dynamics, how fast and how hard can you go an equally important, how fast can you make the driver stop. In such light the the driver can only be seen as as good as the amp supplying power when looking at the macro end. When looking at the micro en of the spectrum, horns have the distinct advantage of needing less power because the diaphragms are typically of lower mass and that they are acoustically impedance coupled to the air by the horn itself. Same can be said for electrostatics which on the other hand require more power but have even lower mass diaphragms.

Now there are horns and there are horns. The majority of horns for the home have box base boxes, typically bass reflex. Factors that go into this are size and throw. Front loaded horns can be 5 feet deep. With a 10 or 12" driver expect extension to drop off as early as the 50s. The throw is still quite directional for the work it is being asked to do. Best integration ends up beyond the typical 150Hz floor bounce leaving one with distances to the speakers of 10 ft or more to get the best out of them. The more common box arrangements allows for a closer listening distance ergo smaller required space. Strangely enough, the relationship isn't strictly linear. Front loaded horns have been known to do well in small spaces where distance to the rear wall actually aids the integration as the reflection time is very short. In other words, one need choose wisely for the SPACE available to him. That is the primary factor.

On the big pro folded bass horns, the typical audiophile might be surprised to learn that these are seldom if ever tuned to go into the 20s. They can do so easily but the choice is a practical one. Subsonics in music and film are carriers of the information on venue size. Basically the output is the reverberation captured on the recording. Obviously, this is not an issue if you are already AT a large venue. So now the ever present caveat...

For those more interested in tonality and specific imaging rather than scale, subsonics just isn't as important. Going down competently into the 40s covers most instruments range missing only some of the more obscure (in the first place) overtones. That makes for a very broad range of choices.

So again as the physics go, yes for as long as there is enough power, specifically rise time and back EMF damping. The dynamic rivers will need to be light, have robust fixed magnets and not mentioned very often, be able to stay at controlled temperatures given the extra power required will generate thermal distortion.

The cost then to get the quality as opposed to just the dynamics goes to the amplification. Watts are cheap these days but sadly, quality watts aren't. The advantage of horns is that the price of entry for a quality SET amp is much lower than what would be considered quality high power amps. Not to mention, the very good low powered class A SS amps that can be used on horns as well, which likewise have a low price of entry. When we get to the very top of the food chains we find the prices somewhat even out.

For those who personally require scalable midbass and subsoics, let's face it. Bass eats power like an elephant eats peanuts. It is perhaps the most expensive and time consuming thing to get right. I would dare say, I recommend pursuing this only to the most committed. I would also add that it is possible to achieve it with any speaker topology but this is the area where the box speaker has the lower price of entry all things considered.
 

KeithR

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#49
We don't have the array of native horn offerings in the US - at least to my knowledge - that is available elsewhere. And with that seems to come less information than is available for the likes of Wilson, YG, etc. Thus, less exposure. So I ask those more knowledgeable.
Tim - if you've seen my speaker thread, you'll find how hard it is to demo horns in the US. I'm honestly contemplating giving up on the entire idea and just sticking to dynamic driver speakers. In SoCal, arguably the #1 audiophile market in the US, there is no dealer for any of them. You basically have AG in Florida and Cessaro in NYC of the big guys. Acapella is in California now, but are lower sensitivity hybrid horns.

Its even hard to demo JBL that was based in Northridge for years. I was at the Harman store in NYC last week and was appalled at the setup- for a company that spends $ with its whole spinarama research.
 
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Al M.

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Sep 10, 2013
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#50
Tim - if you've seen my speaker thread, you'll find how hard it is to demo horns in the US. I'm honestly contemplating giving up on the entire idea and just sticking to dynamic driver speakers. In SoCal, arguably the #1 audiophile market in the US, there is no dealer for any of them. You basically have AG in Florida and Cessaro in NYC of the big guys. Acapella is in California now, but are lower sensitivity hybrid horns.

Its even hard to demo JBL that was based in Northridge for years. I was at the Harman store in NYC last week and was appalled at the setup- for a company that spends $ with its whole spinarama research.
Volti may ship horns for in-house demo, which is always the best. They once offered me to try the Rival for $ 250 (I think that was to cover shipping costs), which is reasonable.
 
#51
I get realism and incredible tight bass from my Vapor Nimbus speakers driven from 35W SET monoblocks:

Vapor Nimbus2.jpg
 
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KeithR

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#52
Volti may ship horns for in-house demo, which is always the best. They once offered me to try the Rival for $ 250 (I think that was to cover shipping costs), which is reasonable.
I agree in-home demos are ideal, especially on speakers, but I've heard Voltis numerous times at shows and find them old school, colored sound. I also find the aesthetics, well um, very poor. Sorry we disagree on them.

But thank you for the idea, Al.
 

Al M.

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#53
I agree in-home demos are ideal, especially on speakers, but I've heard Voltis numerous times at shows and find them old school, colored sound. I also find the aesthetics, well um, very poor. Sorry we disagree on them.

But thank you for the idea, Al.
You're welcome, Keith. I have only heard the Rival, so I can't comment on presence of coloration on other Voltis. We do agree on the aesthetics ;).
 

SCAudiophile

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Sep 11, 2010
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#54
Once one hears the startling, life-like dynamics of a horn or horn-type system, the more fake box speakers sound. They may sound good, but just not real once you have that experience and know what's possible in terms of dynamics...The box speaker technologies under $150K sound as slow as molasses to me.

What do you guys think?
IMHO you can definitely have great, live, dynamic, fast when called for and realistic sounding speaker experiences without dealing with horns and without spending $150K.
 
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manisandher

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Feb 7, 2011
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#55
Once one hears the startling, life-like dynamics of a horn or horn-type system, the more fake box speakers sound. They may sound good, but just not real once you have that experience and know what's possible in terms of dynamics...The box speaker technologies under $150K sound as slow as molasses to me.

What do you guys think?
We can put some numbers to this:

As they're currently set up, my speakers measure ~103dB/w@1m. I'd like a level of 85dBSPL at a listening distance of ~3m distance. I want a headroom (dynamic range) of 20dB, to take account of the dynamics in the music. With all these as inputs, I need an amp with an RMS power of ~15 watts.

Changing the speaker sensitivity to a more normal 88dB/w@1m, I'd need ~450 watts to achieve the same effect.

Hence why it's difficult for direct radiators to match horns for dynamics. It's not impossible though, as others have said.

Mani.
 

christoph

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Dec 12, 2015
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Principality of Liechtenstein
#56

Al M.

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Sep 10, 2013
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#57
We can put some numbers to this:

As they're currently set up, my speakers measure ~103dB/w@1m. I'd like a level of 85dBSPL at a listening distance of ~3m distance. I want a headroom (dynamic range) of 20dB, to take account of the dynamics in the music. With all these as inputs, I need an amp with an RMS power of ~15 watts.

Changing the speaker sensitivity to a more normal 88dB/w@1m, I'd need ~450 watts to achieve the same effect.

Hence why it's difficult for direct radiators to match horns for dynamics. It's not impossible though, as others have said.

Mani.
Something seems off in your calculations. Try this:

http://myhometheater.homestead.com/splcalculator.html
 

manisandher

Active Member
Feb 7, 2011
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#58
Likes: bonzo75

manisandher

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#60
Now repeat this using same data but to achieve 105dB peak at listening seat for an orchestral ff
105dBSPL with 20dB headroom? I wouldn't attempt this with your Swings - your mid-high horn might not mind, but your 15" bass drivers would be no more ;)
 

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