For you horn guys: What kind of compression driver are you using for high frequencies? Why that choice (if you know...)

morricab

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Apr 25, 2014
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#1
I am curious what kinds of high frequency horn drivers are being used in either commercial or DIY horn systems. I am also curious, if you know, why that particular driver/horn combination was chosen.

For my Odeons it is a Beyma CP350Ti and I think either a spherical or round Tractrix horn. Looking into this driver I found that it has a good frequency response and very low distortion compared to most other 1 inch drivers where distortion data is available.

I have bought a second, used pair (they are only available used now) along with an 18 sound contstant directivity waveguide to take over the highs on my Decware HDT system.

The 1 inch CDs I have heard with plastic diaphragms has left me not too pleased and it seems an Al or Ti or Be diaphragm has a more realistic sound...

Thoughts from the horn guys out there?
 

jdza

Active Member
May 3, 2010
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#2
What do you consider high frequencies? 1k?10k?

IME above 6 to 7k nothing can beat a dedicated tweeter. I have spent a huge amount on my bass horns yet every single first time visitor always comments on the quality of the high frequenciy reproduction first.

Tweeters are Goto rolled in at a shallow 6db slope from 10 k so still significant output at 5k to compensate for beaming from the high mid horns even if the TAD 4003 still have significant on axiss response into the very high teens
 
Jan 29, 2012
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#3
All of my research and personal experience tell me that the two outstanding horn tweeters are the Fostex 500A mkII and the TAD 2002. I think either would be a significant upgrade over the Beyma, which I've also heard in a spherical horn configuration only.
 

morricab

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Apr 25, 2014
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#4
What do you consider high frequencies? 1k?10k?

IME above 6 to 7k nothing can beat a dedicated tweeter. I have spent a huge amount on my bass horns yet every single first time visitor always comments on the quality of the high frequenciy reproduction first.

Tweeters are Goto rolled in at a shallow 6db slope from 10 k so still significant output at 5k to compensate for beaming from the high mid horns even if the TAD 4003 still have significant on axiss response into the very high teens
I woudl consider treble from around 2Khz and up. I would agree having a dedicated "super" tweeter is a good idea but I have found the integration of such units to be problematic if they are addons and not considered in the initial design. Same with subwoofers.

Goto tweeters...got a photo? Or of your whole system for that matter?
 

morricab

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Apr 25, 2014
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#5
All of my research and personal experience tell me that the two outstanding horn tweeters are the Fostex 500A mkII and the TAD 2002. I think either would be a significant upgrade over the Beyma, which I've also heard in a spherical horn configuration only.
You might be right but there were many back in the day who thought the Beyma was every bit as good as the TAD...I haven't heard the Fostex...that's one of the bigger ones in Brass, right?
 

DaveC

Industry Expert
Nov 16, 2014
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#6
I use the Fostex T500, they are excellent... compared to the Al diaphragm Fostex tweeters they are much cleaner sounding, although the Al models do cymbals really well. :) I like them a lot more vs ribbons as well. I've heard the TAD but did not buy a pair to test after trying the T500.

The T500 simply disappears in my system and blends perfectly with my midrange horn while other tweeters would give away their presence due to their distortions. IMO it's very important to match driver's sound characteristics, and I think this has been neglected in many speakers. Just a small amount of distortion from the drivers that are different in characteristics, like paper and aluminum membranes, makes the speaker sound disjointed and incoherent.

My midrange plays pretty flat up to 15 kHz and I experimented a bit with xo settling on a single cap that both attenuates and provides the slope... It's more efficient vs the mid horn so it's technically crossed over very high. With the mid horn having so much extension and many folks not hearing anything over 15 kHz anyways, the tweeter isn't 100% necessary but I find it's still a pretty big improvement, but I can still hear CRT flyback clearly which is around 18 kHz...
 

jdza

Active Member
May 3, 2010
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#7
I woudl consider treble from around 2Khz and up. I would agree having a dedicated "super" tweeter is a good idea but I have found the integration of such units to be problematic if they are addons and not considered in the initial design. Same with subwoofers.

Goto tweeters...got a photo? Or of your whole system for that matter?

IMG_0014
by jdza, on Flickr

DSCN5514
by jdza, on Flickr
 

Audiophile Bill

Well-Known Member
Mar 23, 2015
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#8
I use a BMS coaxial compression driver in the Orphean horn. It goes up to 22k. The highs are very natural and extended - I wasn’t expecting big things tbh. I had planned in my head to replace the BMS driver with 2 TADs or the Vitavox / JBL slot or even use an AER with the Oris horn but actually I am very satisfied indeed and have zero intention to change the recipe.

Ask Kedar what he thinks of my upper range as he has heard it and can provide independent opinion.

Best.
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
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#9
I use a BMS coaxial compression driver in the Orphean horn. It goes up to 22k. The highs are very natural and extended - I wasn’t expecting big things tbh. I had planned in my head to replace the BMS driver with 2 TADs or the Vitavox / JBL slot or even use an AER with the Oris horn but actually I am very satisfied indeed and have zero intention to change the recipe.

Ask Kedar what he thinks of my upper range as he has heard it and can provide independent opinion.

Best.
The highs are quite good, as good as anything I have heard and quite nuanced with the Mayer 46.
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
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#12
Ked - what system highs have you heard that exceeds this performance?

Best.
That is difficult to say given the combination of your analog and LP software is higher than almost anybody's that I have visited except the General's. Also depends what you mean by highs, if it is violin highs, vocal highs, etc. I don't think while listening in terms of frequency range as 15k Hz etc or more. Tang's vdh on SME provides also the best highs as does vdh Stradivarius in other systems I have heard, as does Lampi with stats or 242 clicked in. i don't find any of the systems I like not having good highs, what additionally helps your system is the agility of the 46 combined with those highs
 
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Audiophile Bill

Well-Known Member
Mar 23, 2015
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#13
That is difficult to say given the combination of your analog and LP software is higher than almost anybody's that I have visited except the General's. Also depends what you mean by highs, if it is violin highs, vocal highs, etc. I don't think while listening as 15k Hz or more. Tang's vdh on SME provides also the best highs as does vdh Stradivarius in other systems I have hear, as does Lampi with stats or 242 clicked in. i don't find any of the systems I like not having good highs what additionally helps your system is the agility of the 46 combined with those highs
Yes for sure Thomas is a genius with the 46 and 10Y amp/pre - the minute inflections and nuances are really portrayed with elegance. I have been enjoying very textured and dense plucked double bass today courtesy of Cannonball Adderley Trio too.
 

morricab

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Apr 25, 2014
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#14
I use a BMS coaxial compression driver in the Orphean horn. It goes up to 22k. The highs are very natural and extended - I wasn’t expecting big things tbh. I had planned in my head to replace the BMS driver with 2 TADs or the Vitavox / JBL slot or even use an AER with the Oris horn but actually I am very satisfied indeed and have zero intention to change the recipe.

Ask Kedar what he thinks of my upper range as he has heard it and can provide independent opinion.

Best.
Interesting because the BMS is a plastic diaphragm, correct? I am tempted to get a pair of the DIY horn mid/high to see what that is like....
 

Audiophile Bill

Well-Known Member
Mar 23, 2015
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#15
Interesting because the BMS is a plastic diaphragm, correct? I am tempted to get a pair of the DIY horn mid/high to see what that is like....
Yeah they are Polyester - like many clothes lol. I guess the benefit in the pro sense is durability and cheap cost of replacement. I am sure someone built a Be replacement mod or something somewhere but honestly, you don’t need it. I am about to acquire another pair for a project. The specs are absurd, Brad. 118dB, 16ohms (or can get 8 ohms), and massive power handling.
Can you do better with TADs and Vitavox - sure I think obviously you can but I urge you to hear some before losing a lot of money on TADs or Vitavox...
 

the sound of Tao

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Jul 18, 2014
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#16
Am also currently dressed in the BMS polyester, just a really nice treble even compared to the Maggie 20.7s. Just sounds completely right to me and I did consider getting in the Fostex T-500 also.

Might still explore a second mid with separate tweeter for the Pap horn as a second option as the Pap is modular and allows for reconfiguration... a bit like DIY but with a stream of options. Am also considering the Autotech Iwata horn for the mid and tweeter.

That said I’m really enjoying the BMS and it’s making upgrading a bit of a hard choice as it does just work so beautifully in the Pap horn... I also have an upgraded cap with duelund bypass cap and path resistors on the way for the BMS compression horn so will be very interested to see where that takes it.
 
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morricab

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Apr 25, 2014
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#19
Yeah they are Polyester - like many clothes lol. I guess the benefit in the pro sense is durability and cheap cost of replacement. I am sure someone built a Be replacement mod or something somewhere but honestly, you don’t need it. I am about to acquire another pair for a project. The specs are absurd, Brad. 118dB, 16ohms (or can get 8 ohms), and massive power handling.
Can you do better with TADs and Vitavox - sure I think obviously you can but I urge you to hear some before losing a lot of money on TADs or Vitavox...
The only hesitation I have is that so far, I haven't heard a high frequency driver that used mylar or polyimide or whatever plastic, that I really loved. The ones I have heard so far (by no means exahaustive) are slightly more "tizzy" and seem not to differentiate subtle tonal and textural differences in high percsussion than good metal diaphragm'd designs. Also, where distortion measurements are available, they seem to be a good deal higher in 2nd and 3rd harmonic distortion...of course output level matched this might disappear (118db down to normal listening levels probably means vanishing low distortion for example).

Like I said, I am thinking about taking the plunge on this BMS/horn combination given that it is kind of a turnkey solution...making a true high end DIY straight forward...
 

morricab

Well-Known Member
Apr 25, 2014
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#20
I use fostex t500amkII for highs as well and it is great. However when you say from 2khz, I have another channel with a 1" beryllium Radian 475be. The fostex takes over 8-9khz
The Radian should be able to easily go to 16Khz or so, no? I have heard good things about this driver. It is one I was considering. That said, I really love what this older Beyma does...it is so well differntiated in high cymbal and brush strokes, wood percussion etc. The replacement driver (the currently avaialbe CP380/M) does not do this as well IMO and has significantly higher measured distortion that it's older Ti diaphragmed parent.

Why didn't you use a large format compression driver is you only run it to 8-9Khz? A Radian 745pb Be or one of the nice 900 series Neo drivers? How low do you take the 475pb?
 

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