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Horns - Necessary to complete the Audiophile Journey?

watchnerd

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#1
I've never owned horn speakers (unless one counts JBL 305 waveguides) in my life.

I've owned speakers of the following types...

-Dynamic (multiple flavors, sizes, brands)
-Pure ESL (Quad)
-Hybrid ESL (Martin Logan)
-Ribbon (Apogee)

...but I've never owned a pair of horn speakers of any type, either partially or fully horned.

I'm wondering:

Is it finally time?


I know they're going to measure (by current design principles) worse than anything I've owned in the last 5 years.

But I'm curious about their vaunted dynamic capabilities and if their other flaws are other accepting for that quality.

Will my audiophile journey be incomplete if I don't try them for a while?
 

Doodski

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#2
Horns in my experience are good at mid range and leave the highs to dedicated tweeters. Let the horns do the drums, horns and mids and all will be well. :D
 
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watchnerd

watchnerd

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Thread Starter #3
Horns in my experience are good at mid range and leave the highs to dedicated tweeters. Let the horns do the drums, horns and mids and all will be well. :D
Meaning a hybrid horn / dynamic bass driver speaker?

That's basically what JBL and Klipsch make.
 

Doodski

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#4
Yes, with DSP crossover and separate amps to the drivers. Even a straight up active crossover with 3 or 4 way is great fun.
 
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watchnerd

watchnerd

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Thread Starter #6
Yes, with DSP crossover and separate amps to the drivers. Even a straight up active crossover with 3 or 4 way is great fun.
Nah, I'd only go passive.

I don't want to re-architect my entire system.

Does passive make it a no-go?

I know you can't really time align horns without DSP...
 

Doodski

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#8
A good pair of Altec Lansing horns or similar would be sooperb. They are easy to drive and sound great with the tangerine green diaphragm. Sitting them on top of a cabinet is easy when attached to the aluminum horn section.
 

617

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#9
Nah, I'd only go passive.

I don't want to re-architect my entire system.

Does passive make it a no-go?

I know you can't really time align horns without DSP...
Worth remembering that time alignment only works for a single point in space. If the transducers are far from each other, you will have huge problems off axis, regardless of time alignment. In a big space like a stadium, the relative path length differences between drivers are small, but in a domestic space the relative path length differences will be considerable.

Having said that, you should absolutely do it.
 
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watchnerd

watchnerd

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Thread Starter #12
A good pair of Altec Lansing horns or similar would be sooperb. They are easy to drive and sound great with the tangerine green diaphragm. Sitting them on top of a cabinet is easy when attached to the aluminum horn section.
One of these things?



I wasn't really looking to DIY.....I don't have time to get into speaker building again until I retire.
 

MakeMineVinyl

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#13
May I humbly suggest that if you go with horns, use vacuum tube amplification, specifically single ended triode for the mid/HF.
 
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watchnerd

watchnerd

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Thread Starter #15
May I humbly suggest that if you go with horns, use vacuum tube amplification, specifically single ended triode for the mid/HF.
I really don't want to get rid of all the functionality that I get with my Devialet.

If I want to tube it up, I have a tube phono stage.
 

MakeMineVinyl

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#16
One of these things?



I wasn't really looking to DIY.....I don't have time to get into speaker building again until I retire.
In my experience, the Altec horns pictured are excellent, but need to have damping on the exterior horn surface because these things ring like a bell. Beyond that, I don't think the ready made horn systems available today sound all that great. I'm not a Klipsch fan at all. Of course, YMMV.
 

Doodski

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#17
Currently JBL has nice setups with a decent size horn assy and woofer to match that too.
 

Inner Space

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#19
Recommendations?

I was kind of eyeing the Klipsch La Scala, or maybe even the Klipschorns.
I love the La Scalas, and would recommend them unreservedly - but they might be more of a way-station on the journey, rather than its completion. What they do well is spectacular, and what they do badly is horrible. The question would be how either captivated or irritated you would feel, one way or the other, sooner or later.
 

gvl

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#20
I used original Klipsch Fortes for quite a while. I have been overall satisfied especially after I dialed in the EQ to tame a couple of HF peaks. One downside I could not get them to image very well. They do get loud while remaining clean, that they do well but the magic in sound is lacking so to speak. I've been listening to Monitor Audio RS6s lately and frankly it feels I may be done with the Fortes.
 
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