Giant Custom Horn Systems - How they sound and issues with sonics

I definitely dream of one day building the ultimate system and room. I see what some of these crazy guys do with truly giant custom horn installations and they make me drool, but (like most of us) I've never had an opportunity to hear one of these crazy systems (see pics).

But I'm guessing at least a few of you have and others probably possess some theoretical engineering knowledge around the issues these giant horn systems might create, but I've never seen a thread that discusses the sonic pro's and con's of these systems.

Would love to hear some thoughts (even if it is just some pontificating on theory) regarding these types of installations. Let's discuss.
 
11 feet ...

Here's an extract:

"Each Westminster Royal SE speaker cabinet incorporates two 11-foot long rear folded horns—composed of 30 individual panels—that couple to the rear of the Dual Concentric™ drive unit and exit at the front cabinet corners (see the cutaway diagrams of the cabinets below). The rear horn starts acoustic coupling to the drive unit at 300Hz and provides low frequency response down to 18Hz (-6dB). Above 300Hz the low frequency drive unit is coupled to the front horn and provides frequency response in the range of 300Hz to 1000Hz. The high frequency compression driver component of the Dual Concentric™ drive unit provides frequency response from1000Hz to 20000Hz."


___

I highly recommend reading the full article:
https://positive-feedback.com/Issue49/tannoy.htm

I did, how many of you did too?
___

Another extract:

"The high frequencies (1000Hz to 20000Hz) of the Dual Concentric™ drive unit are provided by a high performance 2-inch compression driver with a wide dynamic range whose acoustic output is routed through a multiple phase compensating device into the throat of a solid steel acoustic horn, where it goes through an impedance transformation that matches the compression driver's radiation to the room. The driver uses a aluminum-magnesium alloy diaphragm that is manufactured according to a precision five-step process that produces a grain structure aligned at the molecular level to provide high performance and long-term durability. The diaphragm is driven by a round wire voice coil that is an ultra-low mass aluminum design, and is wired with copper Litz wire for high performance and long-term durability. The acoustic cavity of the driver is damped to control its response and to match its impedance to the horn throat. The compression driver's response extends two octaves below the crossover frequency of 1000 Hz, which eliminates colorations that can arise due to operation over the fundamental resonance region.

The 15-inch low frequency cone is made of a proprietary paper-pulp material that is treated to absorb internal resonance modes, and utilizes a reinforcing structure that gives it a very high stiffness to mass ratio that allows it to maintain very accurate pistonic motion over its frequency range. The low frequency cone has a damped twin roll fabric surround that is designed to be compliant and linear over the large excursions the driver is capable of. A high power motor that consists of a four-layer coil that is suspended in a very fine tolerance magnetic air gap drives the cone. The coil is wound using a special high temperature adhesive system and then goes through a curing process that ensures reliable operation at high peak power inputs the driver is capable of handling (e.g. 550 watts peak, 135 watts RMS)."

Ok, so it has essentially dual 3.3 meter long horns, which should give pretty good bass and the front is a horn as well for midrange. I still find it hard to believe a 20 watt SET won't do it with these speakers...but if doesn't it doesn't.
 
Ok, so it has essentially dual 3.3 meter long horns, which should give pretty good bass and the front is a horn as well for midrange. I still find it hard to believe a 20 watt SET won't do it with these speakers...but if doesn't it doesn't.

It’s an interesting conundrum

Clearly the sensitivity is correct

And maths shows the quarter wave response of a 11 foot horn is 25 hz

In those who have experience, they feel low wattage is not enough

Though reviews mention flea poewered amplifiers ie Jeff’s place ....

I am not sure what is going on here?

My personal experience is only with 70 watt class a amplifiers ie Accuphase

I am open to explanations of this issue....any takers?

Though frankly imho there are more interesting horns than the Westminster ..... such as big Cessaro, of Tango, DDK Bionor, AV trio, Acapella such as Sphaeron etc.....
 
Ok, so it has essentially dual 3.3 meter long horns, which should give pretty good bass and the front is a horn as well for midrange. I still find it hard to believe a 20 watt SET won't do it with these speakers...but if doesn't it doesn't.

Like some others Tannoy's market started with pa, broadcast radio and recording studios and starting back in the 60's Tannoy wanting/needing? to increase the power handling of speakers started making drivers out of heavier thicker materials and changed crossover and lowered the impedance from 16 to 8 and 4 ohms. It's not a difficult load but the Westminster does require a certain amount power to be driven properly. I know what you're saying about the published specs but this problem with SETs goes all the way back to 15" Monitor Red drivers which were already a lot more efficient and an easy 16 ohm load.

david
 

Just amazing!!! Do you know any details about this build? I emailed Jeffrey to see if he would chime in on this post. Not sure if he posts here. If not and if he gives me any details, I will share here (with his permission of course). Would love to get some posts from people like Jeffery who have actual experience designing, building and listening to these kinds of giant horn installations. :)
 
My friend had some years ago Kondo M1000 and Gakuho II ( Shinden) with Tannoy Westminster royal
Sound very bad,slow and dark,and power not enough

After 2 months sold Tannoy because wanted keep Kondo
 
Ok, so it has essentially dual 3.3 meter long horns, which should give pretty good bass and the front is a horn as well for midrange. I still find it hard to believe a 20 watt SET won't do it with these speakers...but if doesn't it doesn't.

Minus 6dB @ 18Hz, very usable bass...full range for 99% of general music recordings.

As for the type of amps to power hnem; David is right...they want to be mated with lots of quality RMS watts. I consulted few forums talking about them, and the consensus is lots of power, current, dynamic amplifiers...they can take it, they love it, they song their best with them. I guess it is what it is, from the people who experiment with them. Buy a pair, $35,000, and try all type of amps till you find the right ones. But you don't have too, others did already. I trust David on that one.
___

The reviewer mentioned this in his own review...Jeff Day

"Just a note on amplifiers: Use vacuum tube amplification, even really good solid-state amplification gives up too much performance. Given the 99dB sensitivity you would think any of the DHT SET amps out there would work fine, but in practice I've found that anything below about 5 watts just really couldn't make them sing and swing at levels that are typical of live music, so you'll want to look for something bigger than a 45 or 2A3 amp if you listen to dynamic music played loud. If you listen at low levels the majority of the time you can easily get by with a 2A3 amp, but you'll never be able to hear what the Westminsters are really cable of dynamically.

To date, the two best matches for amplification have been the MasterSound Caesar 300B integrated amplifier from Italy that my friend Ron brought over for a listening session, and my own Leben CS660P power amplifier from Japan. The Caesar is a beautiful little amplifier that is made to an extremely high quality standard, and its 9 watts sounds massively powerful on the Westminsters even on the most bombastic pieces played loud. It's a very transparent amp with a lot of natural resolution of detail, is a lot of fun to listen to music with, and is one of the best amplifiers I have ever heard. My Leben Hi-Fi Company CS660P power amplifier at about 40 watts is way more power than you really need on the Westminsters, but it does give plenty of reserve power for those dynamic peaks in the music."

https://positive-feedback.com/Issue49/tannoy.htm
 
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Just amazing!!! Do you know any details about this build? I emailed Jeffrey to see if he would chime in on this post. Not sure if he posts here. If not and if he gives me any details, I will share here (with his permission of course). Would love to get some posts from people like Jeffery who have actual experience designing, building and listening to these kinds of giant horn installations. :)

I do remember the picture Gary first posted. It is somewhere back few years right here @ WBF.
I sure tried to locate, and find more about it. I only found that second picture which seems to be the exact same bass horn as in the other picture. It is on couple audio forums but I couldn't find the details of who's the owner, the house location, the architect, etc., or I would have posted it already.

I thought that I could get by by googling around with key words and pictures, but I am limited. I know someone who excels @ searching the internet; I'll ask her ...
 
Last edited:
I do remember the picture Gary first posted. It is somewhere back few years right here @ WBF.
I sure tried to locate, and find more about it. I only found that second picture which seems to be the exact same bass horn as in the other picture. It is on couple audio forums but I couldn't find the details of who's the owner, the house location, the architect, etc., or I would have posted it already.

I thought that I could get by by googling around with key words and pictures, but I am limited. I know someone who excell @ searching the internet; I'll ask him...

Don't post the guys information if you find it. Its not likely to be appreciated.
 
Don't post the guys information if you find it. Its not likely to be appreciated.

No, of course I won't do that; I was simply saying that I searched on the origins of the two pictures. If I find a link I will only post the link, if it is available publicy.
Of interest here are the design and the installation; that's all what we like to learn more about. And the final music listening results, of course. ...Measurements would be a nice added bonus.
 
Best for Electronic/New Age (Vangelis - Chariots of Fire), and Jazz (last tune starting @ 6:26) music reproduction.
...In my listening opinion from the end of my laptop connected to my speakers.
 
Ok, so it has essentially dual 3.3 meter long horns, which should give pretty good bass and the front is a horn as well for midrange. I still find it hard to believe a 20 watt SET won't do it with these speakers...but if doesn't it doesn't.

I just read an article on jbl horn loaded bass enclosures

They mentioned that folded rear loading bass horn is excellent for extension at the expense of efficiency

Remember sensitivity is usually measured at midrange frequencies, also they mentioned there will be phase inversion as is quarter length horn for lowest frequencies
 
11 feet ...

Here's an extract:

"Each Westminster Royal SE speaker cabinet incorporates two 11-foot long rear folded horns—composed of 30 individual panels—that couple to the rear of the Dual Concentric™ drive unit and exit at the front cabinet corners (see the cutaway diagrams of the cabinets below). The rear horn starts acoustic coupling to the drive unit at 300Hz and provides low frequency response down to 18Hz (-6dB). Above 300Hz the low frequency drive unit is coupled to the front horn and provides frequency response in the range of 300Hz to 1000Hz. The high frequency compression driver component of the Dual Concentric™ drive unit provides frequency response from1000Hz to 20000Hz."


___

I highly recommend reading the full article:
https://positive-feedback.com/Issue49/tannoy.htm

I did, how many of you did too?
___

Another extract:

"The high frequencies (1000Hz to 20000Hz) of the Dual Concentric™ drive unit are provided by a high performance 2-inch compression driver with a wide dynamic range whose acoustic output is routed through a multiple phase compensating device into the throat of a solid steel acoustic horn, where it goes through an impedance transformation that matches the compression driver's radiation to the room. The driver uses a aluminum-magnesium alloy diaphragm that is manufactured according to a precision five-step process that produces a grain structure aligned at the molecular level to provide high performance and long-term durability. The diaphragm is driven by a round wire voice coil that is an ultra-low mass aluminum design, and is wired with copper Litz wire for high performance and long-term durability. The acoustic cavity of the driver is damped to control its response and to match its impedance to the horn throat. The compression driver's response extends two octaves below the crossover frequency of 1000 Hz, which eliminates colorations that can arise due to operation over the fundamental resonance region.

The 15-inch low frequency cone is made of a proprietary paper-pulp material that is treated to absorb internal resonance modes, and utilizes a reinforcing structure that gives it a very high stiffness to mass ratio that allows it to maintain very accurate pistonic motion over its frequency range. The low frequency cone has a damped twin roll fabric surround that is designed to be compliant and linear over the large excursions the driver is capable of. A high power motor that consists of a four-layer coil that is suspended in a very fine tolerance magnetic air gap drives the cone. The coil is wound using a special high temperature adhesive system and then goes through a curing process that ensures reliable operation at high peak power inputs the driver is capable of handling (e.g. 550 watts peak, 135 watts RMS)."

18 Hz. - 6 db haha.
This is a Horn i actually listened to a couple of Times , you mean - 6 db at 60 Hz OR something maybe , Just like most horns ive listened too , a listenable midrange and thats about IT ☺️
 

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